Kev Tran shares his story growing up in Sydney's West where he learnt hard work from his Mum who migrated from Vietnam as refugee. He studied Hospital Management and got a job in the Casino industry where he helped High End clients who had abundance mindset on creating wealth which led him to Property Investing.
Kev Tran Interview
Kev Tran Interview
[00:00:00] Kev Tran: . Hey guys, it's Carlo
[00:00:00] here from the Business Launch Podcast. Has been way overdue. Um, I've had a month off because of, uh, a few things that's happening with life contracting that I'm doing and a few other things. But today I'm here with my special guests, um, Kevin Tran.
[00:00:17] He's a buyer, his agent for Invest Kit, he's absolutely killing it. Um, and he is been doing it for a few years, but, um, yeah, I've saw him with a few articles as well on, on LinkedIn and a few other things. So how you doing Kev? Yeah, I'm good. Thanks Carlo. How are you man? I'm good. Good. So how's, tell us a bit about yourself.
[00:00:39] So where did you grow up and. And where did you, um, start in
[00:00:46] Kev Tran: Yeah. Cool, man. Um, give you a bit of background to me personally. So, uh, my background culturally is Vietnamese. My, my parents came after the war in, um, they came early eighties. Nice. Uh, they met each other here. And then I was born, um, in here, uh, Bankstown [00:01:00] by Sydney.
[00:01:01] Yeah. Nice. Um, yeah. And we, we lived in. Both parents worked a lot. We lived in social housing till I was about eight, and then, um, and then yeah, we were able to buy their own home. Um, basically from there yeah, I, I was able to see a lot of, like, through my parents, they instilled a culture of hard work in, in me and, and saving, being frugal.
[00:01:21] Uh, but after a few things happening with life and I saw how they managed money. Yeah. Um, , I learned a few lessons there as well. Like money can go only get you so far and you've really gotta, you know, start a business or earn that income to grow wealth and, you know, invest. So yeah, that, that's kind of in a nutshell, my background.
[00:01:37] Yeah. Awesome. Where did you study, um, you studied around Bankstown area, I guess. Uh, yeah, so, so Port Bankstown kinda lived there for the first few years and then we moved to, um, our, we had, um, social housing in Preston's, Liverpool. Nice. I lived there. I grew up around Green Valley, so yeah. Yeah, same. I was in Hinchinbrook for a while.
[00:01:54] My parents first. what? Our first home, um, we're in Hinchinbrook. Nice. Yeah. Grew up around that area. [00:02:00] So yeah, went to Hinchinbrook Primary. I went to Hinchinbrook Primary. What? Too big. Yeah. And I went to Hoxton Park High School for a few years too, so. Okay. So then, um, then I went to, uh, all Saints High. Nice.
[00:02:11] Yeah. Liverpool. Yeah. Nice. Yeah. So, and um, from there, did you go to uni? Um, what, what did you end up doing after. Yeah, so I, I always felt like I was pretty good at school, like throughout primary, most of high school's doing okay, but I had a lot of family issues, personal stuff going on. So the last few years were pretty turbulent for me.
[00:02:32] And, um, I, I just, I just cruised through, like, I just wanted to, it got to a stage where I was in 11 year. 11, yeah. And I think it was too late. Like I was, it was messing up a bit, so I thought I'll just, um, just write it out. So I actually got mystery. Well, oh, back, back, back then, 2008, it was, um, uai, I think, and it's ATAR now, but, um, I got, I think it was like 30 and below, so I got a mystery mark, so I didn't make it to uni.
[00:02:52] Yeah. Um, then I just did some random jobs, uh, for the first year or also, yeah. Uh, then I eventually got into hospitality management. [00:03:00] Yes. Then you were working in a casino?
[00:03:02] Kev Tran: I heard, yeah. So ho hospitality management to kind of work in hotels and, you know, that kind of thing. Yep. Um, and then, Just where I was able to score from, from working in hotels, uh, front desk and stuff like that.
[00:03:14] Yeah. Able to score a role working at the, uh, the Star Casino. Nice. In brp division, which is pretty cool. So dealing, you're doing? No. So not, not in like that. Uh, not dealing. Uh, I was, In a, I was basically a V R P host. Oh, nice. I got fancy names for it. But you're basically a host. Yeah, . Yeah. So exhaust, yeah.
[00:03:34] You get a portfolio, like a book of clients, and the job was basically to make sure they're all happy and. To make 'em gamble more really. , they're all spending, they're all spending the money looking after you had all these fancy names and stuff, but that was the job really. You're make 'em, make 'em happy, stay there and come back more.
[00:03:49] That's it. Yeah. That was, um, how long were you doing that for before you started, um, doing other things? Yeah, so that, that was my first kind of, um, first like real,[00:04:00] uh, introduction to the amount of. There, there is in the world and in Australia. So I was, I was at the staff for about four years and then I moved over to, I got a job at Crown Casino.
[00:04:12] Um, I was there for about four years as well. So yeah, just under a decade in the casino industry and while I was working there, exposure to the amount of wealth that there is, um, you know, understanding different mindsets. Cause you have people. Would lose 10, 20, 50 grand in a day. And isn't not blinking eye
[00:04:28] They're not phased. Yeah. They're like, Hey, I'll see you next week. I'll see you in a few days. Whatever. Yeah. Um, gets, you know, talking to them, you understand like they're, they've got multiple businesses. Yeah. They, they know like they're their mindset, which is a cut star contrast to my parents, which was like, they've got, they've got their employee income and then they save whatever they can.
[00:04:46] Yep. Um, this guy, well, you know, or you know, ladies or whoever I was talking to, majority of them. They were like, yep, I, I'll lose this, but I can, I know how to make more. Yeah. It was that a, a different mindset. The the abundance mindset. Yeah. Um, so I'm not saying I agree with their habits, right. But it was just that, that [00:05:00] mindset, which was really, um, eye-opening for me.
[00:05:02] Um, and that's where I decided that I was gonna invest. So I was saving. Yep. I've always been a good saver, but I decided I'm gonna invest in something. Um, and yeah, that thing kind of led me into property. Yeah. So how. . So you're, you're a good saver. Saved a bit of money. Um, what made you go to property though, in the, in the first place?
[00:05:22] Yeah. It was, um, like what I made, when I decided to go into property, I guess it was, I had a very, very basic understanding. I kept, this is 2000 and. My first one was 2016, and around there from 2015 there was, you know, Sydney and Melbourne were booming. Yeah. You know, they're gone through, you know, they're gone gangbusters.
[00:05:43] So I kept hearing about all these, you know, it's in the media when, whenever things are good, like it's in the media when things are bad. It's in the media, in the media with property. So, um, I'll, you know, I was just curious. I'm like, how do I, how do I do this? How do I get a, a piece of this? Um, in my, I had very limited understanding.
[00:05:55] I think all I knew was that if the property grow, , you could [00:06:00] somehow use the growth there to buy more properties. Um, and you know, you, you get the, you get growth on the, the whole amount of the properties value. So for example, you put you down your deposit, but the bank loans you the rest. Yeah. And you get growth from that whole amount.
[00:06:14] So they, they, they were kind of the main reasons why I didn't go into shares. Yeah. Because if I put 50 K into shares, I get growth from that 50 k with property, I can get on 500 K, right? Yeah, that's right. Um, so yeah, I decided to go into property. Um, but that was really the extent of Yeah. My research at that time.
[00:06:29] Yeah. So being in the property industry, you could have gone a few different ways. You could have been a, a real estate agent, but you went the other route. You went as a buyer's agent. So what made you decide to become a buyer's agent? Yeah, I mean, I, I came across the concept as I was building out my portfolio.
[00:06:51] Yeah. Um, and. even now, like there are quite a few buyer's agents, but in contrast to sales agents and, and even it's still quite new as an [00:07:00] industry. Yeah. You still come across people who haven't heard of what a buyer's agent is. Um, but that just made me the whole process of built buying my first property, my second third.
[00:07:09] There's, there's so much involved and when I, I made some mistakes with my first one, and I realized that, you know, I would've been somewhat better with proper guidance. . Yeah. You know, what would would've, would've made some better decisions. Yeah. Um, so basically I feel like buyers are underrepresented, whereas sellers, you know, you've got too many sales agents, if anything.
[00:07:26] Yeah. So they're competing so much more with more salespeople out there. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, buyers, whether you, you look for your family home or you're looking to invest in property, um, need a lot of support. You know, there's, these are other issues as. Like SPK and other people in the property space.
[00:07:44] Yes. Um, who oppose as you know, like they're not really, they've got hidden agendas and stuff, so. Yeah. Um, , which is kind of where I got caught out with my first one. Yeah. But, um, but yeah, that, that's kind of the reason why I wanted to, I feel like I'm more aligned to the buyer side. Yeah. So it's been, uh, you were, I know that you, you went through, um, [00:08:00] buyer's Agent Institute learning there.
[00:08:02] Um, how was that for you as, um, Being able to learn from actual buyers agents. Yeah. Yeah. It's absolutely phenomenal. So, anything, what I realized in life is you need the, the network that you can get when you, when you meet the right people, uh, the knowledge, your skills, it can really make sure that you don't make mistakes.
[00:08:20] It's kind of like, you know, Prolong your journey. Yeah. Um, so basically getting guidances, having mentors or a team, a network, leveraging all of that expertise, it's gonna be able to make sure that you can, you know, move a lot faster. Yeah. Same, same thing with those for me, in terms of, um, when I transitioned into like a new career.
[00:08:36] Um, then also as an investor myself, you know, just understanding new concepts, research, um, yeah, it, it's really, I. Yeah, that's, it's awesome. Um, so you got into business. You've been, as we were talking offline, uh, before the recording started, you were, you've been in business for two and a half years as a buyer's agent under investigate.
[00:08:59] Um, [00:09:00] how's that going for you? That's, So, so yeah, just to clarify with investigate, um, it's been shorter. So as a buyer's agent, it's been two and a half years. Yep. When I first launched and, and got into the space I was working, um, with another business. Oh, nice. All right. Getting exposure to different types.
[00:09:16] And I was also doing, uh, some family homes in, in Sydney's in the west. Yep. Um, I wanted to understand what really. Aligned more with me. Yeah. Um, and one of my first clients, we bought an auction for them. They were looking for more than nine months, which is, you know, they were crying when we won the auction.
[00:09:32] So that was really, uh, um, you know, it, it's really fulfilling, right? Yeah. But, uh, I think over time I realized that I wanted to niche down and, and be a specialist in the, on the investment side. Yeah. That's the excite that I've got the most experience and Yeah. Um, and yeah, you know, that's when a partnership just made sense.
[00:09:47] I guess what, what I realized as well, . Um, and in, in business there are so many different layers to it as well. You know, you could start off your, your own whole company. Yeah. You know, with, with lots of [00:10:00] capital. And then you could outsource and you could hire people and all that stuff. Or you could, you know, figure out, uh, have a partnership with another business.
[00:10:07] And understand where pros and cons strengths and weaknesses are, and then leverage each other's, you know, strengths and grow faster. Yes. And that's effectively what I've done, you know, with investigate the, the research aspect is so, um, comprehensive. Yeah. And for me personally, that's not my personality.
[00:10:20] Um, I, I, I, I like to get deals done. Um, and the, the research analytical side is an area where, you know, um, Argen and the guys at the invested kit team are are stronger at, yeah. So, you know, we, we work on that and it, it's, yeah, a lot of synergies there. Using, using your skillset, um, as to, and, and using your, your team skillset to, to help you progress from what, what are, what were the big wins in, in the start of your buyer's agent career?
[00:10:46] Yeah, the big wins, um, Would be honestly the first year. And like, I think most real estate professionals, I mean, I think in any, any business, right? The first year is always the trickiest. Yeah. Um, and to be honest, like it wasn't really flashy for me,[00:11:00] kind of just getting by. Um, but yeah, that first win would be, were those particular clients, they, they're also good friends.
[00:11:05] Um, we, getting that deal done for them at auction was, was really rewarding. Yeah. Um, super emotional. and uh, yeah. You know, that, that, that was good. Um, I think for me, understanding overall where my business was going and what I enjoyed, yeah. That helped me kind of redefine my strategy a bit more. Um, because I've been able to grow exponentially since I decided that there were certain aspects of the business that I don't enjoy as.
[00:11:32] And I would rather partner with someone else. Yeah. Before that. That's great. Um, yeah. Yeah. That's probably after I decided on that and kept going. Um, yeah. Yeah. That's been a massive win. Yeah. So what were the early, I know that you, you just mentioned that you were having the first year wasn't so great for you.
[00:11:52] What were the challenges that you were facing as a business, as a buyer's? Yeah, so [00:12:00] the challenges you, you know, you face is just growing your, your brand, getting, getting exposure, um, you know, getting the inquiries and then converting them as well, you know, um, it's, there are so many aspects to it. Like when you, whether you're a Visa agent or you do some other, you have some other business, the actual work itself, you know what you, you're really good.
[00:12:18] it's only one small part of the business. Yeah. Generating business, marketing, all those other things, understanding cash flow, all, all those things, you know, um, were, were challenges for me. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I think it also comes down to then figuring out what, what's good for you and, you know, making a plan to fill up the gaps.
[00:12:35] So, um, what makes you stand out as. As a buyer agent because I know that they're starting to grow now compared to all the real estate agents. Yeah, it's still minimal, but I know that there's a big influx of buyer's agent that's coming now. What makes you stand out from all the buyer's agents? I. , I think when, so the difference between a buyer agent and, and a selling [00:13:00] agent.
[00:13:00] Yeah. On, on the selling agent side, you can kind of really prove your, your worth from the very first transaction. Yeah. You know, like you were able to get a good result or whatever it was, you ran a really good well campaign and after a few sales you can really demonstrate, uh, how effective you are to the buyer's agent.
[00:13:14] It's a bit harder. , you won't really know oftentimes that you've gotten a good deal or not, um, until later. Cuz if you haven't bought a good property, it doesn't really grow if you're, if you're on the investment side, it hasn't really grown. Um, and people won't really know. So yeah, I think what makes us different at investor care is, and with myself is I've got a portfolio myself Yeah.
[00:13:35] That I've grown over the last seven years using the same methods that I use for. , um, and we can prove our results. Yeah. You know, um, going back what sort of equity we've gained, um, and all that stuff as well. So I think the, the proven methods and results is probably what makes us stand out. Okay. Was there any missteps that you thought, crap, this, this is too hard for me, or like, was there some a [00:14:00] time where you thought, This is harder than what I thought.
[00:14:05] Um, was there any, any missteps like that for you? Or like when you Yeah. Well if, uh, I'm thinking that, you know, if I made the right choice every day, really, I think, um, in business you can, that's a, that's a natural thing, right? Talking to my Mrs the other day about it. just reflecting on the journey and it's, it's such such a rollercoaster.
[00:14:23] You know, you have some, some days or some, some weeks where you do really well and people on top of the world and then, you know, you have one or two weeks where nothing's really happening. I'm like, fuck did I, did I make the right choice? , I've, I've, uh, I've definitely had those moments, um, come up from time to time.
[00:14:36] Uh, much more in the first year. But, uh, but yeah, I think, um, for, for me, I'm lucky that I have a really strong partner that's been an emotional support that can Yeah. You know, just make me calm down a bit and, uh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's always good to have a partner that's helps you out and gets you through the tough times, I guess.
[00:14:55] Um, what ma, what motivates you daily? What [00:15:00] motivates me? Um, probably a few things. One would be my family. So I've got obviously my, my wife and my, I've got a 14 month old boy. Yeah. So, you know, working from home, I spend a lot of time with them and like a daily reminder why we're doing all of this. Yeah. Um, also just I guess the experiences that I had when I was younger, growing up with my family, you know, seeing how.
[00:15:23] Um, what financial insecurity can do to our family and break a family apart. Um, it's something that motivates me to, you know, I don't wanna ever experience that again. I don't want my, my son to experience that. Um, so. . Yeah. Just making sure that we can provide a good life for our family. Um, and then also my mom too.
[00:15:39] You know, she, she's always been a good rock for me, so anything that I can do now to make sure that her life is good, like they're, they're, they're my main motivators every day. Nice, nice. That's always the family that helps you keep going, helps you reach the goals that you want to do. Um, growing up, who were your influences?
[00:15:55] Um, in business or? Just in life. [00:16:00] Yeah. Um, gimme slight, maybe a bit tricky one. My mom definitely, she's always been a strong, independent woman. Um, so like she has a quick snapshot on her, her life. She came to Australia when she was 19. She's got eight siblings. She's the only one that left Vietnam. Yeah. Um, with her partner at the time.
[00:16:20] Um, so the whole trip, you know, leaving on boat from Vietnam to, I think she went to Singapore first, was in a refugee camp there for a while, and then flew to Australia. Came to Australia and knew no one all that stuff. and yeah, she's always been a hustler, you know, working multiple jobs whilst raising, you know, myself, my sister, um, yeah, always been someone that I looked, looked up to.
[00:16:42] Yeah. Nice. Um, and, uh, yeah man, I think o other influences one book that made a massive impact on me and probably to a lot of people when I was younger. Um, rich Dad Poor. , you know, that, um, proper Kiosaki book really opened my, my eyes up again. Yeah. Um, so yeah, they were fundamental things that [00:17:00] changed my mindset.
[00:17:01] Yeah. So going forward as a, as a buyer's agent or proper investor, what are your three biggest goals in the next, um, three to 10? Because goals for, for myself would be to continue the trajectory that we're going down. Um, to be able to help as many people as possible build and scale their portfolios, especially in a time, you know, there's a lot of economic uncertainty, um, to, it's empowering for people to be able to take control, you know, um, of, of their lives.
[00:17:33] And in a way that gives them confidence as well. So very happy to be part of that. We wanna get to a stage where, um, you know, well I've got, uh, digital products as well. Because understanding, like a lot of people may not have the resources to, to use a buyer's agent. Um, so something in between some digital courses and products that could help people, and then just building out the team, having systems in place to, to scale.
[00:17:54] Yeah. Yeah. That's for you, that's for investigate as a whole or [00:18:00] those Yeah. So the way that we've structured it and, um, the way that, you know, the, I look at business as well is with investigate. Um, I, I have my own. within the brand. Yeah. So my, my business is actually registered as Keran. Yeah. Uh, buys agent or keran invest kit.
[00:18:15] Yeah. Um, so, so yeah, there are elements in there that, you know, kinda like a hybrid model of. Franchise. Um, so there are elements that I can, yeah. I'm running my own, um, campaigns and I have my own products and stuff as well, you know. Nice. That's, yeah. You're, you're able to build your own business on the umbrella of investigate from what I can see.
[00:18:33] Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. Like I said, like, like a partnership where there are elements where we can leverage each other's, uh, expertise. Yeah. Yeah. And grow faster. What's your top three advice for. Business owners or even budding property investors, cuz I know that it's right now with the, the economy, there's a lot of uncertainty for a lot of people.
[00:18:59] But as a buyer's [00:19:00] agent, what are your top three advice? Um, cool. So we'll mix it up. Hey, with business and, uh, probably investing. Yeah. Um, I think. Having an overall strategy is really important because there's gonna be so much noise there. There's always noise right at the moment. It's interest rates and, you know, inflation living costs.
[00:19:18] Um, a couple years ago it was covid being the worst thing ever. Yeah. Um, there's always something happening, um, in the media or in the world. Uh, so if you don't have a clear, long-term strategy, whether it's in business or it's, uh, with your property investing, it's very easy to get absorbed with the short-term.
[00:19:36] Yes. Um, whereas if you, you've got that strategy, you can look back and go, you know what? I'm expecting all these things. This is fine. Everything's still on track. Um, you know, for, for peace of mind and confidence as well. Have buffers in place, you know, obviously that's really important in business, having cash flow.
[00:19:49] Yeah. Property investing is no different if you wanna hold onto your asset or your business. Um, cause that's how the, the tax office see property investing. It's a business, you know, it's got expenses, it's got income. Um, so have buffers in [00:20:00] place. Yeah. before, cause everyone loves the scale and you know, buyers, agents, we love talking about that.
[00:20:05] Buying more properties, building your portfolio. But I'm also very honest about it. Like you should have buffers in place. Yeah. Six months, nine months, whatever it is, so that you can be confident, go to sleep easy at night, um, and you can ensure that you can hold onto your asset. It's no point holding it for one or two years in selling cuz you're forced her.
[00:20:21] Yeah. You wanna hold on for the long term, right? Yeah. Yeah. That is awesome. That's a really good number. Down the track. I'll be looking at invest, investing or buy our own property. We're still renting at the moment, so it was, that's it. So I'm a rent investor as well. Yeah. And I'll probably make some more content about that.
[00:20:40] Yeah, it's, it's hard in Sydney, so for the, probably our generation, you know, to, to, to do that. So. Um, and then just last one, when, when comes a business and probably investing, it all makes sense. It's just understanding what you're good at and then. Either partnering or outsourcing the rest, you know? And, um, like for me, the way that I've structured it as a partner in a, in [00:21:00] business or like a franchise, whatever, whatever we want to gotta call it with investigate, um, it's really just matching up where, you know, strengths and weaknesses may be, or where we can add value to each other.
[00:21:10] Yeah. Um, . You know, so figuring out that yeah. The source, you guys are doing really well as a, as a team there with and the team. Um, how do you want to impact the world and what kind of legacy do you wanna live or want to have moving forward or down the track? Yeah. Yeah. I think, um, I think where I want to be known or make an impact, I'm, I'm finding a, a lot of our clients all, all different age records, but I get a lot of clients who are either, um, 20, like their twenties, thirties, or in early forties.
[00:21:45] And the, the, the landscape now is so much different to how it was when my parents, like my parents had base, both of them were full-time employees on basically minimum wage. They were able to afford two houses in. Well, right. Done. Well, the, yeah, like the, um, the, the income [00:22:00] to property price variance wasn't that big.
[00:22:02] Whereas now it's massive. Yeah. So it, it is harder to, living costs are hard, much higher now. And we have to be a bit smarter too, because by the way, things are going, you know, more than two thirds of Australians end up on the pension. Yeah. And as we know, it's not, So if I can help people empower their financial futures, like what I've been able to do, um, especially those who have come from harder backgrounds, then like that's, that's the dream.
[00:22:32] That's, that's a great legacy to live, especially for your kid. Yeah. It's, um, moving forward like the, it's good to see an entrepreneurial dad who's helping others. I think that's, that's the main goal is like helping people. It's, it's really satisfying to see that people are striving, especially with your help.
[00:22:52] Yeah. Yeah. And that's the reason why, I guess you're for your podcast, right? Yeah, exactly. People that you can impact and. Exactly. Um, you've [00:23:00] already mentioned, um, Robert Zaki, some Reached Out, poor Dad. Do you have any other books that you can recommend for business owners? Uh, yeah, probably, um, for, for business owners and, and pay people who are looking to grow, I found, um, fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount.
[00:23:18] Nice. A really good book. I refer to that one often. Um, it's a really good book. It really opened my eyes up to, you know, business can come out of everywhere and, um, I've seen firsthand, you know, how, how it can be, um, um, useful. So, yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah, they'll, I'll go have a look at that and, um, and put it on the show notes on, um, where they can pick it up on Amazon as well.
[00:23:38] Um, Thank you so much. It's been, um, eye-opening because I've always wanted, in the back of my mind, I wanted to be a buyer agent as well. So, and it's just one thing to see someone as young as you. Um, really mo motivated and doing, doing really great goals for your business and your family as well. If the listeners need [00:24:00] to help, need some help, um, with business or even property investing, how can they work with your, how can they reach out to you?
[00:24:08] Uh, yeah, so easiest way, probably just go on my website, Kev t. K E v t r a n.com Wu. Yep. I'm really active on, uh, LinkedIn and Instagram as well. Yeah, if you wanna find me there. All, all the socials. Excellent. Excellent. Thank you so much, Kev. It's been, um, I know that you're a very, very strapped with time.
[00:24:25] Thank you so much for, um, giving a little bit of your time and then hopefully I can. Get you, get you a bit more business down the track with the podcast. So yeah, thank you so much and um, yeah, have a great day. Thanks Carlo. Appreciate it mate. Okay, see you later.