Photo courtesy of Kelly Wing

Kelly Wing is a real estate, media, and tech Investor. She is the founder of Ohwabisabi, an online social channel educating Gen-Z on emotional and mental wellbeing. She is also an advisor to Global Brands and Influencers, helping them gain exposure and credibility through powerful earned press and media coverage.

In the last 3 years, she has generated made a career out of investing, with the majority being through real estate.

However, her growth and success have not always been linear, finding herself in tens of thousands in debt twice, all while battling mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression and overcoming years of drug, alcohol, and substance abuse.

I had the privilege of interviewing Kelly to ask her 3 quick-fire questions, gaining a great insight into the mentality around investing and how to make your money grow, the smart way.

If you want to become wealthy, you need to do more than simply trade time for money.

“I learned this from a young age, having term deposit investments as soon as I started working at age 12. I saw $500 grow into $5,000, grow into $30,000 by the age of 17. I could see the compound effect at work every time I received a bank statement in the mail. This taught me that time is a very powerful variable an investor has on his or her side. Not only do you have to be disciplined and smart enough to hold onto the money you earn, it then gives you confidence to find other ways to grow money that can generate greater returns. I saw my Dad buy and sell a lot of properties growing up so it was natural for me to consider real estate as a first step for investing too. Later, this led me to opening myself up to other investment opportunities such as media and tech, and understanding that although different, the same principles and mentality applies in other areas you wish to grow in too. You’ll have wins and you’ll have failures, but it’s all learning in the end. You can’t expect to win if you’re not willing to jump on the field and play.”

When people win big in real estate, it’s not because of timing like most people think

“Although timing is important, location is also a very important factor to consider. You don’t want to buy in any area simply because the price is good. Do your due diligence: Check the market value, the neighborhood demographic, and what the location offers including schools, amenities, shops, gyms, eateries, parks etc.

Research rental prices of other properties in the area to determine whether the property you’ve chosen is in a prime spot for investment purposes and to calculate what your yield will be. When people are looking to rent, they generally choose to rent based around the convenience and ease of what’s around them. What this also means, is that over time you can increase rent along with inflation, generating more cash flow.”

Build a strong network for the most profitable outcome

“Regardless of what you’re investing in, you’ll want to build a strong network of people around you for the most profitable outcome. With real estate, be sure to have profit at the forefront of your mind, guiding every decision you make.

Build your property value through renovations or cosmetic upgrades. What this also means is buying properties that haven’t been done up yet. They won’t look nice, or give you a “warm fuzzy homely feeling” upon first inspection (in fact it should make you feel the complete opposite) so it’s important to not let your emotions get in the way and buy based on what “feels comfortable”.

By building a strong network of tradesmen, whether it’s people you know personally, old high-school friends, or even asking around your peers if they have any contacts, not only can you trust they will do the job to a good standard, but they will offer you cheaper pricing. Tradesmen charge tens of thousands alone just for the labor alone and depending on your relationship you could potentially cut this down by half. Also, know that the materials alone don’t cost them much as they get wholesale deals through their suppliers.

When you increase property value through renovations as well as cutting down costs of materials and labor, you can sell it for much more, and your hard work will pay off in a big way, oftentimes more than you had imagined.”

Original article in Disrupt.