Property Investory
Danica Zhan: From $2 to Entering the Market at the Peak of COVID-19
May 29, 2024
Danica Zhan may be young, but don’t let her age fool you! She’s garnered enough success throughout her education and two careers to activate the green eyed monster in people three times her age. The Defence Force dentist and co-founder of JD Capital aims to use every tool in her dentistry and business kits to help anybody with anything she can, wherever she is on her travels.
In this episode, Zhan shares the journey of how she learnt the value of a dirty $2 coin and how it’s worth much more than it appears. Thanks to the values her parents instilled in her growing up, she’s been on the path to success for as long as she can remember and has been smashing goals ever since that fateful treasure-hunting day. Despite a discouraging first experience in the property sphere, she stuck to her guns and managed to buy her first property during the peak of COVID, and she’s nowhere near done yet.

Timestamps:
00:53 | Danica Zhan, the Defence Force Dentist
03:08 | I’m a Wanderer
08:30 | Moving Up the Ladder
10:15 | The Power of a Dollar (Or Two)
14:06 | A Well-Educated Woman
15:32 | Igniting Her First Passion…
18:24 | …And Her Second
25:06 | Taking the Leap

 |

00:18 | Every Moment is a Learning Experience
04:43 | Grateful, Empathetic, and Mindful
08:34 | Sacrifices Pay Off
10:23 | A Big Second Leap
13:37 | The First Step is the Hardest
17:11 | Invest Early, But Don’t Forget Fun
18:56 | Yes, You Can
20:03 | A Sponge With a Grain of Salt

Resources and Links:

Transcript:

Danica Zhan:
[00:22:19] I think that's something probably a lot of young Australians can resonate with, and find challenging. Especially during COVID, with a lot of cash rich people buying properties and few options out there. 

**INTRO MUSIC** 

Tyrone Shum:
This is Property Investory where we talk to successful property investors to find out more about their stories, mindset and strategies.
 
I’m Tyrone Shum and in this episode we’re speaking with co-founder of JD Capital, Danica Zhan. Also a dentist in the Defence Force, she’s passionate about helping people, but less passionate about 13 hour work days. However, thanks to a purchase she made at the peak of COVID-19, grueling work days are sure to be part of her past sooner rather than later.

**END INTRO MUSIC**

**START BACKGROUND MUSIC**

Danica Zhan, the Defence Force Dentist

Tyrone Shum:     
Zhan is passionate about helping others through any way she can. As a military dentist, she’s constantly achieving her goal by improving people’s confidence and smiles. Now, as co-founder of JD Capital, she also brings smiles to faces by offering full-service property support with her partner in both life and business.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:00:53] I'm a full time dentist in the ADF [Australian Defence Force], currently posted to Larrakeyah Defence Precinct in Darwin. I don't know [if I have] that much of an interesting career. I was born in New Zealand. I came to Australia when I was five and pretty much grew up in Sydney, before posting all over Australia for work. And then I co-founded JT Capital in early 2021 with Jyh, and now we're here.

Tyrone Shum:   
A typical day for Zhan starts out like many others’ do, before veering in a different direction and ending in a delicious food bliss.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:01:30] I usually do a workout in the morning and then during the day, I'm looking at teeth! And then actioning a lot of emails, and I usually finish the day off with eating a big bowl of noodles.
  
[00:01:48] It's a childhood comfort food that my parents used to make for me all the time. So now that I'm away a lot, I guess it's just those little things that [are] nostalgic and keep you feeling warm. 

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:02:00] Oh, that's nice. And I guess you're living up in the Northern Territory at the moment. What's the weather like up there?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:02:08] Very warm! It definitely takes a week or two to get [acclimated] to the humidity. But the good thing is, you'll never need moisturiser when you're up there. Your skin's always looking great.

I’m a Wanderer

Tyrone Shum:   
Having spent most of her life in Sydney, she found there was more to get used to in the Northern Territory than just the weather.

Danica Zhan:  
[00:03:08] I think it's just a completely different pace of life. Probably because there's a lot less people, everyone just has a lot more space. So they're a lot more patient and just everything feels a little bit calmer. I guess everybody has the time to, or maybe they just, they're happy to take time out of that day to just have a chat with you. And they're super friendly. 
 
[00:03:30] There's definitely no traffic jams. No road rage, unlike in Sydney. So it's a gorgeous place to be and I definitely would recommend everyone making a visit at some point. Especially with lockdown and everything. It's so hard to go overseas right now. Definitely check out Darwin, and our crocodiles. 

Tyrone Shum:   
Although she’s a Sydneysider through and through, Zhan was born overseas before coming to Australia at a young age. From there, she’s never stayed put in one place for long— and that’s just how she likes it.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:04:27] I was born in New Zealand, and I moved to Sydney when I was about five. So [I] pretty much did high school in Sydney, and then I did my Bachelor's degree at the University of Queensland. 
  
[00:04:41] And then I posted back to Sydney for my first posting and then I posted to WA. And now I'm in Darwin. So I've been all around Australia. It's cool. That's been nice. I've been really grateful that I can travel for work.

Tyrone Shum:   
While continually moving can be stressful for some, Zhan loved the thrill and excitement each change of scenery brought. In fact, she was so fond of it as a child that she continues the tradition now as an adult.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:05:19] Because when you're little, you only have your own experiences to compare to. So I thought it was a very, I guess, normal thing for us to move around a lot. I didn't realise that a lot of people, especially in Australia, they might have stayed in the family homes for their entire childhood lives. Whereas ever since I was little, I've moved so many times. Into the tens of digits now. 
 
[00:05:46] I guess I just thought it was normal. It's always really, like, exciting going to a new place, and exploring a new area. And I guess the culture is a little bit different, especially in Sydney in particular, where you have so many different ethnic concentrations in different areas of Sydney. 
  
[00:06:05] So getting to experience a little bit of that every time we moved somewhere different [was fun]. I really enjoyed it. And I guess that's probably why my current career path also suits me really well. We're getting to move to different places and explore new regions all the time. 

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:06:22] So what was the reason why you moved around? Was it because [your] parents were actually travelling for their job? Or was it something else?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:06:30] I guess a bit about my background, it's just the typical migrant story. So my parents came to Australia with very little and so every time we moved, it was because they were trying to get us into better school districts so that me and my brother could have all the opportunities available to us. So that's why I moved around a lot.
  
[00:07:11] We first lived in Auburn, it was this tiny two bedroom unit on Dartbrook Road. So it's just very ethnically diverse there. Lots of migrants. And so we started off, I guess, very, very humble. And that was great to see my parents, I got to witness them work very, very hard for a lot of my childhood, to give me and my brother the opportunities that we had.
  
[00:07:54] We stayed in Auburn for about a year and a bit before we moved to Parramatta. And then we moved around within Parramatta a little bit before we moved to Carlingford, probably like another year or two later we moved to Carlingford. And then I think back to Pennant Hills afterwards, and then back to Carlingford, and then back to a different place in Carlingford. And now that's where my parents have decided to settle, in Carlingford.

Moving Up the Ladder

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:08:30] At those times, were your parents buying the properties or renting those properties when they moved to those locations?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:08:37] Initially it was a lot of renting. And then as my parents, I guess, settled down a little bit more, we started purchasing homes. And then they would just sell their own home. And then because a year or two would have passed, so it would have increased in equity, they would have normally made a small profit. And that kind of helped them get into their next home, which was, I guess, a little bit bigger, a little bit more spacious for me and my brother.

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:09:04] That's great. So at a very young age, I guess you got to experience what it's like to live in different places. So hence, I guess you've kind of got a bit of knowledge back in property in that sense. Being both from the tenant side and the ownership side with your parents. 

Danica Zhan:   
[00:09:19] Yes, definitely. 

Tyrone Shum:   
Her mother works as an accountant nowadays, and while she didn’t while Zhan was growing up, she definitely held a full-time management role of sorts.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:09:38] When we were still young, my mum was [a] full time at home mum. And it wasn't until we started going to high school that she started to work part time. Whereas my dad was always full time working. He's an electrician, a sparky. He worked really, really hard.

The Power of a Dollar (Or Two)

Tyrone Shum:   
Although her parents climbed their way onto the property ladder during her childhood, Zhan’s passion for property grew from the ground while she was digging for treasure.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:10:15] I think growing up, I guess my first ever memory of money was when I was still living in Auburn. I was playing in the dirt outside, and I found this $2 coin. And then at the end of the day, I went home to tell my mum I'd found this gold coin, and she grabbed a torch light and bolted out of the house to try and find this $2 coin in the dirt. 
  
[00:10:40] And it was because back then $2 could buy you a whole box of apples. And so I think as a little girl, that was the first time we realised what an important resource money could be. 
  
[00:10:55] And growing up, maybe it's [an] more Asian perspective to earn good money, we need to study hard, so that we can get into good schools and then get good jobs. And that's where the income comes from. 
  
[00:11:16] But then I guess myself, as I got older, and I started working full time, you realise, 'Oh, it's not as easy to grow your wealth this way. Saving your way to wealth, that's definitely one way to do it. But it's going to take a really long time'. 

Tyrone Shum:
It turned out that ‘a really long time’ meant working 13 hour days, which wasn’t in Zhan’s plans. Using that day as her motivator, she began to look into ways to make her money work for her.

Danica Zhan:  
[00:11:56] I knew I definitely wanted to look into investing. But because growing up, I'd always been taught to just save your money, I didn't know that much about investing. And I didn't really know where to start. 
  
[00:12:11] In the beginning, there's so much information online and on the web that it was really, really overwhelming. And I guess I just had a lot of friends who had started investing in shares so it just seemed, like, maybe an easy option to step into and start. I didn't even know which shares I was buying. I was just like, randomly buying this and this, because people had said that those were good shares to buy. 
  
[00:12:41] It was around this time that I met Jyh. And he was telling me about his property portfolio. And he just really inspired me to want to do something like that for myself. And so he became kind of my unofficial mentor, and really helped me grow my portfolio. I'm really, really grateful to have met him.

Tyrone Shum:   
She met Jyh Kao on a dating app in 2020, and he couldn’t have come along at a better time.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:13:24] Jyh and I met on a dating app, Hinge. You might have heard of it. I was kind of at the stage where I was about to give up on the male species and just kind of focus on my career. And then Jyh was the last person that I said I was going to meet up with. And we just really hit it off. Lots of our values aligned, and we just shared similar passions. And yeah, the rest is history. 

A Well-Educated Woman

Tyrone Shum:   
To get a sense of just how much Zhan has accomplished at such a young age, she lets us in on the when and where of her education journey.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:14:06] I went to North Sydney Girls High School in Crow's Nest from 2007 to 2012. And then I actually started a year of Medical Radiation Sciences at the University of Sydney before I changed to dentistry at the University of Queensland.

[00:14:38] And then straight into dentistry for five years. And then I graduated in 2018 with honours class one. And I'm thinking of starting a Master's next year at the University of Sydney and just further dental studies. So that's my rough education background. 
  
[00:14:59] I also recently got my Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking earlier this year. So I guess that's an overall summation of my education.

Igniting Her First Passion…

Tyrone Shum:   
She’s certainly always been ambitious and a dedicated student, but that doesn’t mean she always knew exactly what she wanted to do. Initially she thought she found the right path, until she discovered it didn’t fulfil her the way she had hoped.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:15:32] When I finished high school, I guess as a young child, the majority of young children at that age don't necessarily know what they want to commit themselves to for the rest of their lives. So that included myself, definitely. 
  
[00:15:46] I knew I wanted to work in health because I wanted to help people, but I didn't necessarily want to be a doctor. And so I hadn't sat any of the... usually to study medicine, you have to set a prerequisite exam called the UMAT. So I hadn't sat any of those exams. 
  
[00:16:03] And then Medical Radiation Sciences, so what that involves is just like taking x rays, MRIs, [and] CT scans. So I thought that might be a worthwhile thing to start doing. But I guess when I started learning about it, I guess I realised it was just very limited patient interaction. You would kind of just greet patients, 'Hi, get naked, find a position, lie this way'. Click the button, and then, 'Bye'. 
  
[00:16:31] I know radiographers have a really important diagnostic role in what they do, but I guess I didn't have much job satisfaction from it. 
 
[00:16:43] I had a friend who was doing dentistry in Queensland, and he said, 'Danica, it's great, you should sign up for it'. I applied, and luckily, I was able to get in. The five years of dental school is really great. 
 
[00:16:56] I have to admit, when I first started it— it was because I knew it was quite a financially stable job, I guess, as a dentist. It wasn't really until probably my third year of university that I had this patient who... he was only in his 20s. But I had to take out almost all his teeth. Because it was just... they just could not be saved. There was decay everywhere. 
  
[00:17:20] And when I gave him his dentures, he cried, because he felt like he finally had the confidence to smile again, to go and get job interviews. 
  
[00:17:33] That particular patient really touched me and made me really realise on another level, how your oral health affects your quality of life. [It] just made me really passionate about dentistry. 

…And Her Second

Tyrone Shum:   
Knowing she wanted to work in health was one thing, but the desire to help people in general has always been the goal underpinning her every move.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:18:24] That's kind of where JD Capital steps in a little bit as well. Because when I first started investing, it was just so daunting not knowing who the right people to talk to [were], what the right information to trust was. 
  
[00:18:42] Jyh and I really wanted to create [a] space where people could really access transparent information and be more informed about their decisions, money wise. It's been really rewarding, this journey.

Tyrone Shum:   
During university she signed up to the Defence Undergraduate Sponsorships Scheme, and gained sponsorship for the entirety of her degree. Thanks to this, she was able to walk out of university and straight into a job in her field. However, that’s not to say she didn’t pay her dues earlier in her working life.

Danica Zhan:    
[00:19:43] During uni, I definitely did work. I had a casual job. So my first ever job was selling show bags at the Royal Easter Show. I did some clerical stuff for Harvey Norman where my mum worked. I used to work at Woollies, and I restocked the shelves. And I also used to work at Ticketek selling tickets to the Suncorp Stadium games. 
 
[00:20:09] Ever since I was young, I've always known that you had to work to earn money. And so as I got older and started learning more about investing and realising how there's other ways to accelerate your wealth, it was really eye opening.

Tyrone Shum:   
It was during her first year of full time work when she realised earning a living requires a lot of effort, and sought to find a way to fast-track her journey to wealth.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:21:13] Because I was working not your typical nine to five hours, around seven to three, seven to four, Monday to Friday, and then you just come home. And you kind of just ask yourself, 'Oh, what's next?' 
 
[00:21:30] I think part of the Australian dream is everyone wants to own their own home at some point in their lives. But just the property prices, especially in Sydney, it's very difficult for a lot of people my age to have saved up a sufficient deposit to buy a property that they really want to live in, straight off the bat without further support from parents.
  
[00:21:59] I guess that's when I realised, 'Gosh, I have to do something different. I can't just wait paycheck by paycheck to save for this deposit'. Because by the time you'd saved for it, house prices would have increased and you'll just be forever stuck in this loop of trying to save for something that you're not going to get to in time. 
 
[00:22:19] And I think that's something probably a lot of young Australians can resonate with, and find challenging. Especially during COVID, with a lot of cash rich people buying properties and few options out there. 

Tyrone Shum:   
When it comes to her investment journey, her first experience was enough to throw anybody off track. However, she refused to let the experience deter her from her dreams.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:23:36] My parents were trying to set me up with their mortgage broker, who I guess was more of a transactional mortgage broker. So she'd send me emails and just asked me like, oh, did I want an interest only or a variable option and things like that. 

[00:23:54] But she didn't take the time to explain what any of those concepts meant. And I had no idea what was more suitable for my goals or anything like that. She didn't even ask me what my goals were. So that experience was very alien to me. And so I didn't end up going down that path with her. 
 
[00:24:18] And then it was when I met Jyh. At this stage he was not yet a mortgage broker, but he did have already a couple of properties. So he kind of just slowly talked me through the process, and had the patience to explain to me what everything meant. And then I guess I did some of my own research on the side. 
 
[00:24:37] My very first property was actually... I've been very lucky with my property journey that most of my properties have, I guess, just fallen into my lap in some ways. 
  
[00:24:49] This property was actually a property that one of Jyh's good friends offered to Jyh, but Jyh at that time wasn't ready to buy it just yet, so he offered it to me. And it was just a perfect property [to] start off with. 
  
Taking the Leap

Danica Zhan:
[00:25:06] I bought it at the peak of COVID. So I think at that time the market was... a lot of people were a bit scared of what was going to happen with COVID and all the uncertainty that brought. So you could nab a lot of good deals at the time. And I was really lucky to purchase [it].
  
[00:25:24] It was a three bedroom property in Preston in Queensland for only $259,000. This is probably the same price that these houses were selling for around maybe eight years ago. So it was a really good deal. And I guess starting off, I also personally didn't want to invest all my money into something that I was quite unfamiliar to me, property. So I think just because it was at a low price point, I was really confident that even if it were to be, like, not the best decision, the last opportunity hasn't been that great. And It'd still be a great learning experience for me overall. 
  
[00:26:11] After buying the first property, and you just go through the process— I guess in terms of theory, you can read as much as you want to online and stuff, but until you actually do it, do you really realise and understand all the different facets that's involved with purchasing a property? That was a great experience. And then from there, I've just been really eager to go and grow my property portfolio and buy more.

Tyrone Shum:   
While the first property is usually the hardest for anybody to buy, Zhan had an easier experience than most thanks to the values her parents instilled in her growing up.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:27:03] Coming from a household where saving was quite an important mentality, I'd always managed my funds quite well. And because I'd studied at the University of Queensland, I moved out of home, essentially, when I was 19. So I'd managed my own finances ever since moving out of home. So I guess I'd set up some good money habits and had enough funds ready for the purchase.

Tyrone Shum:   
She took the chance to explore all the opportunities available to her at an age where many of her peers were still living at home. She uses her experience to offer advice to those coming up behind her.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:27:47] I think [it's] definitely important to know what entitlements you have when you are studying interstate. I think [the] government provides a lot of support. And [it can help] if you're able to work casual jobs that can also supplement income. 
  
[00:28:02] And like I was saying earlier, because I was sponsored by the Defence Force, I also had a salary while I was studying towards the end of my studies. So I think just knowing what opportunities are out there and trying to take full advantage of them really helps with the financial side of things. 
  
[00:28:21] But in terms of the personal side, I guess you're at that stage in your life, where you're wanting to learn how to be an independent human. And it's just lots of experiences. And lots of maturation happens when you get to live outside of home and kind of create your own rules and guidelines for how you want to live your life. 
  
[00:28:54] At that stage, I hadn't actually started investing yet which, in hindsight, I regret. So for all the young ones out there, invest as early as you can! There's never a better time. 
 
[00:29:08] At that time, all I knew was just saving money. So I didn't start investing then. But I did have people tell me, 'Oh, you've got all this cash saved up, that you should go buy shares' and things like that. But because I guess what you don't understand you tend to be afraid of, and so I didn't have a lot of courage back then to start investing, because I really just didn't understand enough. 
 
[00:29:31] And also my priorities were a little bit different at that stage in my life. My first priority was just to finish my degree and to study well, so I guess the money side of things kind of took a back burner. It wasn't until I started working full time back in Sydney in 2019 that I started to think more about investing. 
 
[00:30:06] And then in 2020, I purchased the property.

Tyrone Shum:   
Zhan is the first to admit the reason why she doesn’t have any investment blunders under her belt. With her journey being in its infancy, she simply hasn’t had the time yet! However, her positive but realistic attitude will help her greatly for if and when the time comes.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:00:18] I think because my investing journey so far, [has] only been a brief one, I've been really fortunate in that I haven't had any super devastating moments just yet. And also, I've started off having a really good team around me. Whether it be my mortgage brokers, my lawyers, my builders, my property managers— they've all been incredible at what they do. So I've had a lot of guidance when it comes to buying and managing my properties. So I can't say I have just yet. 
  
[00:00:56] I think the moment that I probably regret... oh, sorry, not regret, because every moment is a learning experience. But it was probably when I initially started and just bought random shares without too much research or understanding to what I was buying. 
  
[00:01:12] There was a little bit of that FOMO element where, like, everybody else is doing this, so this is something that I should be doing as well. And then I think with time and with a bit more maturity, you realise not necessarily do we have to follow other people, but [it's] more just [about] gauging what your needs and what your circumstances are. And then doing your own due diligence and making informed money decisions from there is the best point of call.

Tyrone Shum:   
In a sentiment many share, she expresses what she wishes was taught in schools.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:02:14] When I first started working, I was like, 'I know nothing about taxes or any of this stuff. And I wish school had taught us more of it'. So yeah, I really encourage young people to go out there, but to take everything with a grain of salt. Not necessarily trust, or follow heavily any single thing that they read, but to read a wide range of information. 

[00:03:08] With lots of money things, most times it is through word of mouth. Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that was a great read. Jyh introduced me to Michael Yardney. He's written quite a few books on properties. And then I really enjoy just reading in general. So I guess reading broader content. That helps you with mindset in general. Things like The Resilience Project, and Atul Gawande's Being Mortal. The more you can learn, the better equipped you'll be. 
  
[00:03:51] But with the same understanding, that's always one step at a time, and you can't possibly learn everything. And that's okay, it's part of the journey to learn things as you go as well. 
  
[00:04:04] Also just listening to various podcasts. Because I was working— well, I still am working full time— it was very difficult to create time slots where you could just dedicate to expanding your investment knowledge. So I do things that would align with my schedule, whether that be popping on a podcast as I drive to work. So I listen to Property Couch. They were great. It's just little things like that. So you'd pick up like snippets of knowledge from everywhere, and then that would kind of help inform your overall mindset towards investing.

Grateful, Empathetic, and Mindful

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:04:43] Yeah, that's great. And you mentioned The Resilience Project. I haven't heard about that. Is that a book?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:04:52] It is a book, and it's mainly centred around, I guess... they talk a lot about gratefulness, empathy and mindfulness. Which I think are just important no matter what you do in life. 
  
[00:05:13] I think especially when you're a young investor, lots of people have a tendency to, like, rush into things. And then, especially if they're purchasing something like shares, for example, where there's a lot of fluctuation, and then a lot of people maybe emotionally can find that really difficult to manage. So being able to practice things like mindfulness, awareness, and gratefulness can really help with that.

Tyrone Shum:    
As if not content enough with her dentistry degree, Zhan throws some psychological wisdom into the mix when it comes to sharing her ‘aha’ moment.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:06:59] I think the Dunning Kruger effect probably comes into play here. Whereas as you initially increase your knowledge on the topic, your confidence kind of peaks and you think, 'Oh, I'm the master of this'. But then as you learn more and grow this knowledge, your confidence will drop into this valley of despair, when you realise how little you actually know. 
  
[00:07:22] And then as you continue to learn more, that confidence gradually increases up a little bit more. So I guess through my investing journey, so far, there's been quite a few aha moments. Probably one of the big ones is just understanding that there's no gold standard way to invest. There's no wrong answer. What each person chooses to do depends on their circumstances, their needs, and their desires. 
  
[00:07:54] I think just being flexible with yourself and being kind to yourself and understanding that not everybody needs to go buy 10 properties. Perhaps just two or three properties is enough for you, then that's perfectly fine.

Sacrifices Pay Off

Tyrone Shum:   
While she certainly wants to accelerate her wealth, it’s far from the only reason she’s so passionate about what she does.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:08:34] Because I've seen my parents have to work so hard and sacrifice so many things to give me and my brother, the opportunities that we have, I guess I want to come to a point where you have that financial security so that you can go do what you want in life and what you value in life, and so that my parents can finally kick back and relax. And I can look after them and that's really important to me. So my family, my loved ones, to have the financial security and go do what they want to do in life.

Tyrone Shum:   
While Zhan’s property portfolio isn’t the thickest volume just yet, she recognises that there’s nothing stopping her from growing it in time.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:09:48] As a fresh property investor, I have purchased only the three properties in the last two years. And that's my portfolio at the moment. I need to grow it a little bit further though.

A Big Second Leap

Tyrone Shum:   
Diving into her most recent purchase in Queensland, we bump into a familiar face we come across often on our Property Investory travels.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:10:23] My most recent purchase is a four [bedroom], two [bathroom], two [car spaces] in Kallangur, Queensland. It settled last year in September. So for that purchase, also, because at the time, I was about to deploy for three and a half months, I was going to be at sea with very limited reception and things like that. So I went through a buyer's agent who I think you've recently had on your show, as well, Simon Loo. 
 
[00:11:07] I had told him that I had this really narrow time frame, and it would be really good if we could get this property sorted before I [had to] deploy. And so he was lucky. And he managed to find this amazing property in Queensland. And so we purchased it for around $500,000. 
  
[00:11:27] The evaluation recently came back, I think last month or so, for $700,000. So it grew incredibly over the last half a year or so. And I think that's just probably attributed to a bit of having that support of a buyer's agent and managing to get a deal before it goes on the market. As well as just how hot the Queensland market currently is.

Tyrone Shum:   
With her first purchase being around $250,000 and her latest being double that, her mindset shift is one to be admired.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:12:35] Before you really get into property, I think a lot of people think of my money as more of a finite resource. And it's important to realise that it's really abundant, like, money's being printed all the time. And so just understanding that there is a lot of wealth out there, and everyone has the potential to go and chase after it and get what they want, if they're happy to put in the hard work for it. 

The First Step is the Hardest

Tyrone Shum:   
Full of advice for those who will come after her, Zhan offers some wise words for young investors and reminds us all of something to keep in mind throughout our journeys.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:13:37] All my properties... I guess I haven't purchased anything really big. They've all been really more affordable properties to get into the market. We touched on this earlier about how difficult it is to save up for that first deposit for the home that you do want to live in. And so I think for young investors purchasing properties that they are able to afford, and then growing wealth from them all forms a pathway where you can get to where you want to go.

Tyrone Shum:   
In addition to her growing property portfolio, she offers her specialised knowledge to one of our country’s largest organisations that’s always on the go.

Invest Early, But Don’t Forget Fun

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:17:11] If you met yourself, say 10 years ago, what do you think you would have said to her?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:17:16] I probably would have told Danica to start investing earlier! Because at the time, I was young, and I would just be planning, like, overseas holiday trips and things like that. I would still have my savings. But a lot of it also went to travel. Not that I regret those, because I think travelling opens your worldview and you learn things about yourself and learn things about the world that you wouldn't otherwise have. So those are all fruitful experiences.

Tyrone Shum:   
Zhan acknowledges that her unique position provides certain opportunities she otherwise may not have available to her, travel being one of them.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:18:25] Especially as someone who grew up on the east coast... I guess when I was young, I didn't really imagine much happening in the West. In Western Australia, or in Darwin. Because just flying there, you might as well fly overseas. But when you actually get there, and you realise, 'Oh, Australia has so many gorgeous, beautiful places that are basically almost untouched'. It's just amazing what Australia has. We're really lucky to live in this country.

Yes, You Can

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:18:56] Absolutely. And what are you most excited about in your property journey, maybe in the next five years?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:19:04] I hope to finish my cumulative phase and just start consolidating, and hopefully be able to maybe purchase my own home in the next five years. And then I guess just reach out and engage more people to also help them grow their wealth story. Because I feel if average first generation Australians like myself and Jyh can do it, definitely anybody else can as well. And just helping people realise that.

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:19:44] What is it that you think would probably be some really valuable wisdom that you can sort of impart to them to help them get started on their journey? Because as we've just discussed, the biggest challenge is knowing who to speak to, where to find any information, and using that as being trustworthy information.

A Sponge With a Grain of Salt

Danica Zhan:   
[00:20:03] It is difficult, unless you know someone who knows someone. But you'd be surprised at how many people around you do have a little bit of knowledge or recommendations that they can give. So definitely reach out to someone who you know has some experience in the field, and you feel like you can have frank conversations with them. 
  
[00:20:25] And then just to go from there. And always stay curious. Read what you can read, watch what you can watch, listen to what you can listen to, and talk to everybody that you can talk to. And then naturally, your knowledge will just grow from there.

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:20:42] So be a sponge.

Danica Zhan:   
[00:20:44] A sponge with a grain of salt.

Tyrone Shum:   
[00:21:05] So how much of your success at the moment is due to your skill, intelligence and hard work? And how much of it is because of luck?

Danica Zhan:   
[00:21:13] I think it's definitely 95% hard team work. Not just my own work, but as a team. And then maybe 5% is finding the right property. Because you have to put the effort into finding the property before the luck comes.

**OUTRO**

Tyrone Shum: 
Thank you to Danica Zhan, our guest on this episode of Property Investory.