5 Minutes with Khurram Saeed

Five minutes with…Khurram Saeed

As the co-founder and Director of Resi Ventures,  Khurram’s expertise and passion for property has been instrumental in driving the vision for the business. He took five minutes to discuss some of the experiences that have shaped his career path.

What’s your very first memory of working in property?

Growing up in the Carlton housing commission flats in the early 1990s, I used to see these amazing residential towers being built in the CBD. At 14, I would dream of getting out of the flats and one day owning my own property that would be big enough for my whole family.

What’s the best advice someone has given you?

For property advice, it was to buy well and afford to hold onto it, so you will never have to worry about the ups and downs of the market.

For the best life advice, it was, if you are passionate about your work, you will never have to work a day in your life!

What has been the most formative experience in your career?

When I was 25, I stretched myself and bought 30 acres which I thought was going to be land for Resi Ventures. It turned out to be industrial. We couldn’t get the rezone done in time and  afford to hold on to the land as the 2008 GFC hit.  I  wanted to become an ‘overnight success’ and  paid the price for it. The lessons I have learnt from this experience have been invaluable.  I have vowed never to repeat these mistakes again.

What advice would you give a young person starting out in property?

Just get started. Don’t try to time the market. You will look back in 5+ years and be glad you bought when you did. Making money in property is simple over time, don’t complicate it.

Who has been your most important professional mentor?

I have always had great mentors. At the start of my career, I learnt as much as I could from books and audio tapes. There would have been years when I didn’t listen to anything else but inspirational audio books from Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, and Napolean Hill in my car. As a migrant growing up in the housing commission flats of Carlton, I had plenty of negative associations with making a lot of money and success. I also had a massive fear of failure that I had to overcome. I knew I had to work on my “why” before I worked on the “what and how”.

I would take successful businesspeople out for lunch and dinner to pick their brains. You would be surprised at how genuinely others want to help you if you are passionate about what you do and are respectful of their time. That’s how I met Anthony Braunthal, my business partner at Resi Ventures. He has been a great mentor for me; he has had a string of successful non-property businesses, and I have learnt a lot about running a business from him. Another great mentor has been Farrell Meltzer. When I was at the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO), I was paired up with Farrell. This was 18+ years ago, and he has been very generous with his time over the years. I am grateful to have these amazing people in my life.

I now try to ‘pay it forward’ in this regard.

At what time of day do you get your best work done?

I have been called a workaholic in the past, but I am definitely getting better, so I get work done whenever and wherever. I try not to do too much over the weekends, other than some planning for the week ahead on Sunday nights.

If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it. Stick to it long enough, and you will ‘make it’. You are not doing this just for yourself but also for your kids and extended family. Have patience.

Don’t be too fixated on the results. Yes, we all want to win, but control what you can, and that includes your habits, routines, mindset, and systems.

One of my favourite quotes from James Clear is “You do not rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems.”

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s twofold: first, it’s seeing the barren land turn into thriving communities that people love coming home to. That never gets old for me. I still drive down to our older estates to make sure I am still proud of what we created. For all those purchasers who bought in our estates and trusted us with one of their biggest purchases, I want to make sure that they are part of a happy, thriving community long after we are done.

Secondly, it’s seeing our amazing Resi Ventures family share in that vision.

What do you like to do to relax?

Spend time outdoors with the family. I have a pretty big family in Melbourne, so spending time with them is very important for my mental health. Finally, I love playing and watching cricket; it’s my passion.

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