Meet founder and director of First Brick Property Buyers Agency, Kyrillos Mansour, aka ‘KM’. With an affinity for wealth creation and business, from a young age KM would auction his toys to the neighbouring houses. As he grew older, KM was always trying to find new methods of creating wealth.
From makeup entrepreneur to uni student, to Optometrist, to restauranteur, KM finally found his true calling by founding First Brick Property Buyers Agency. One of the best buyer’s agencies in the business, as evidenced through a 100% client success rate, nothing but 5 Star Google reviews, and helping countless people learn more about property and investing, KM’s mantra is the phrase “How can I help you?”
Below we caught up with KM to find out a bit more about property and his entrepreneurial journey so far.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
KM: I don’t know why or how, but I have always loved finance, money, business, the idea of growing something from nothing. And when I say always, I mean from when I was a very young child, I was selling toys on the driveway to make money, with no goal to use that money, but just to make it. Later, I found that creating business, helping others start businesses, helping others invest and become financially free was clearly my passion. Where this came from, I can’t answer, it’s just what was inside me, and I wasn’t good enough to become a professional soccer player.
What was your biggest startup challenge and how did you overcome it?
KM: My biggest startup challenge was simply, people in Australia did not know what a buyers agent was. There were a few buyers agents out there but very few, and even less people knew what a buyers agent was. Shows like Luxe Listings have increased the industry awareness but there are still a small number of people that actually understand or know what it is we do. I overcame this by having a marketing strategy that was very simple. Give away education for free, continuously and forever. The more I can help people, the more information I can give away, the more people will then learn and subsequently learn about the industry. I learnt this from Gary Vee and it has worked well.
And for those that are a little unclear about what a buyer’s agent is, what is that people hire you for exactly?
KM: A buyer’s agent is someone who represents a buyer in the real estate market. Similar to how a real estate agent represents a seller in the market, we represent the buyer. Now this is a relatively new concept in Australia, but the concept itself is very common overseas, over 90% of purchases made in the US are through a buyer’s agent. People hire us as we take away the stress of dealing with agents, going to open homes, we give people back their weekends, and week nights. Most people are busy, they go to work, they come home, cook dinner, have some family time and then just want to relax before they have to do it all again. Most people don’t really want to be researching and scouring the nation for their next investment. That’s where we come in. Of course, there are a lot more reasons, but I don’t want to ramble on, that is in a nutshell what a buyer’s agent does.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it and why?
KM: Failure, Persistence and Hard Work. I think I would name a book about myself that. It essentially encapsulates the truth about my life. There has been a lot of failure, there have been a lot of hard times, money lost and dark days. Running a business is not easy and growing it to where I want to get it to won’t be easy either. But there is no substitute for being persistent, and working hard. Simple. People do not see the work that goes on behind closed doors, people only see the snippets on Instagram and think that business is easy. I would love to share the story and make it clear that there are hours and hours, sleepless nights just to make things work. Actually, maybe I would call it; Behind Closed Doors: Failure, Persistence & Hard Work.
What is your biggest piece of advice for prospective buyers?
KM: My number one piece of advice, especially in the current environment, is to surround yourself with a team of experts. Mortgage brokers, accountants, financial planners and buyers agents are a must. But not just any broker, accountant, financial planner or buyers agents – these must be investment-savvy professionals, with a track record of helping people grow a portfolio. The richest people in the world surround themselves with expert teams, and success leaves clues. Do this as step one and the rest will fall into place.
What do you typically look for when investing?
KM: When I am investing in property, regardless if it is residential or commercial property, I am always searching for one particular metric. Supply vs Demand. Simply put, supply and demand will control how a particular market will move. Too much supply and not enough demand, prices will naturally fall. No supply and plenty of demand and you will find prices moving faster than you can save up. An equal amount of both, will lead to a steady market. If you can identify areas that have low supply and plenty of demand, there is a good chance you will be making some money. Of course, to actually measure this, we look at hundreds of data points, but this in essence is what we are looking for. Picking the right location. The property itself is the last thing I look at.
Why do you advise against buying off the plan?
KM: Buying off the plan is something that I will never be able to back as an investment option. If someone chooses to buy this asset for their home, that is a different story. From an investment perspective, we don’t like a few things about this type of asset. The first being that the locations these properties are usually built in, are usually areas with plenty of available land, with a heap more properties being built at the same time – meaning there is an increasing oversupply and lack of scarcity. Secondly, the amount of off the plan purchases that come in undervalue at the time of settlement is scary. More than 6 out of 10 properties in Sydney were quoted as coming in under value in the last few years, and if the banks don’t think the value is there, then that alone should be enough to steer clear. There are other reasons too such as complex contracts in favour of the builder, having money tied up for years until the property is built, and not being able to adapt to life as it changes because of a signed contract, but the main reasons are as I’ve just stated. Simply, they are not great investments and there is plenty of money to be made away from these assets.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
KM: The most worthwhile investment I have made is my investment in self education and continuous learning. This may sound abit cringe, but it is a very real answer. If I did not do self education on topics I was interested in, such as real estate and investing, I would most likely still be in my old career as an Optometrist and not running my business, helping people become financially free which is my passion. Reading books, listening to podcasts non stop has become easily the most worthwhile investment. From a real estate perspective, my first investment property would also be one of the most worthwhile investments. It was the hardest to achieve, but it set me up to continue to grow the portfolio.