Arjun Paliwal’s Transformation

Arjun Paliwal

Below you will find the conversation between Ben Handler and Arjun Paliwal for the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show

Ben Handler:

So, whereabouts are you investing at the moment?

Arjun Paliwal:

Across the country really. Pretty much all States outside of Northern territory and reviewing, you know, parts of Brisbane, Adelaide, some parts of Sydney commercial, residential, and if you made your regional markets as well.

Ben Handler:

Welcome back to the buyer’s agent Institute show. I’m your host Ben handler. Today we have the privilege of our Arjun Paliwal joining us. He started a company called InvestorKit based in Sydney. It’s a national investment company. He’s built that company into an incredible company over the last 13 months. And today we’re going to dive into learning more about his journey. Welcome Arjun.

Arjun Paliwal:

Hey Ben. Thanks for having me.

Ben Handler:

You’re welcome. And before you obviously started your business, you were in the corporate game CBA. How long were you in that game for?

Arjun Paliwal:

Well I actually moved over from New Zealand what, nine years ago. And CBA itself was seven of those nine years. So straight into it.

Ben Handler:

Nice. And before CBA I hear you’re a dancer or..

Arjun Paliwal:

Yeah, look, I was into a bunch of things. So, funny enough when I moved over from New Zealand to here, I had a few mutual friends that were connected from New Zealand, Australia. They were into dancing and that led to a lot of cool stuff like the people I was dancing with. We’ve got to do some, you know, curtain raises for justice crew and we were able to, you know, dance around, get paid for some of it as well. And it was just that study, you know, play a bit of basketball and I didn’t really imagine all of this happening from the end. But yeah, that’s where it all started dancing.

Ben Handler:

Nice. What, were there any skills from that dancing time that you’ve been able to transfer into what you’re doing now?

Arjun Paliwal:

I definitely say routine, practice, action, make mistakes, get back up. Like in dancing. You make a lot of mistakes and from a routine that you practice again and again, I’m even bath basketball, which is another massive hobby. You miss a lot of shots. I still miss a lot of shots even now cause I’m not brushed up as they used to be. But from that, that whole no fear of making a mistake because you just got to keep practicing something until you can get it right. I think that’s the most transferable skill and as a result of practice comes discipline, just really getting that right.

Ben Handler:

That’s right. And property is your hobby. Would you say?

Arjun Paliwal:

Oh, it’s a hobby, passion and just so much more.

Ben Handler:

Running your BA business has that, does that feel like work for you?

Arjun Paliwal:

Not at all really for work, I think it’s a bit of an overused word. I just don’t resonate with that word. I just don’t feel it. What I do now is making relationships with people, helping them out with goals that they’re looking to achieve and feeling like I am in a position to help them because of my own personal experience as well as how engulf I am with what I’m doing every day. And that’s where the BA is just a label for this business. But really it’s just helping people kick some pretty cool goals.

Ben Handler:

You seem like a, I mean, I’ve watched your journey over 13 months or 15 or 14 or however long it’s been. It’s around that time. It’s been a remarkable journey. You’ve grown very quickly. It seems like you’ve got that natural entrepreneurial blood.

Arjun Paliwal:

Yeah, I mean I’m, I’m, I pinch myself every day, like with how fast it’s grown and what’s happened. It’s not like this is my fifth or sixth business deep. This is my first business. Right. but what I feel that I, I guess enjoy the most out of this growth or this entrepreneurship journey has just been having a group of people around me, mentors like yourself, and just people that I can reflect off of. Because whilst it’s a, you know, a new business for me, it’s not a new concept. It’s not a new, you know, thing that has never been done and, and success leaves those trails. And I think from that, whilst I can say that, yeah, cool. It’s gone really well in the first year. It’s not just because of me, it’s because there’s people out there, they’ve done well, like yourself and, and a few others. And I’m just picking out what’s worked and really applying it every day.

Ben Handler:

How important is it to surround yourself with the right people? How important has it been for you since starting your new business? To surround yourself with the right people?

Arjun Paliwal:

Yeah, look at critical mindsets, everything, and I know it’s an overused word a little bit, but I don’t mean mindset in terms of, you know, having certain things that you do to condition the mind or, or what you eat or all that. Like those are important. But what I mean by mindset in its greatest form to me is just the words that come out of the mouth of people around you. Like that is everything. Like if you really think about it, like our whole day is speaking and listening, speaking in this thing, speaking, listening, and by just changing the people around you of who listens in what they say. That’s what’s been super important in this journey. So having those people around you from, yes, you can do that. I used to do this, I’ve done this.

Have you tried this? Rather than, Oh, I’m not sure about that. I don’t think they’ll work and, and it’s crazy. I think most of the people who come up with ideas or thoughts or how they can help people or how they can help or start a business or what they should do. Most of the problem is that people speak it out to the wrong people and then that just kills everything because the responses to it kill your minds. I think to answer your question, it’s the most important because having these people around me has made me just continually speak what’s on my mind, this growth journey and it’s all going really well.

Ben Handler:

I blasted a post, I think yesterday or the day before, recognizing you for what you’ve done and listening you, you’re, you’re, you’re a phenomenal listener. You’re someone who, you listen with intent and then you actually go and execute and some people don’t do the listening, but they execute somehow and it goes wrong. Or some people listen but they can’t execute. Have you always been someone who has been curious about what other people do or just your learning and you’ve always been a good listener or is this something you developed over the last few years?

Arjun Paliwal:

Does definitely developed throughout my banking career. Really started there. I always used to ask myself, there’s a thousand plus branch managers in this one bank I worked for. Why is this happening to me? Like why is this all going so well? And I, I found there was one key difference people don’t realize in that industry, and even in the buyer’s agent industry, when you’re buying property for people who are in the banking space doing loans, there are some very successful people that walk through the doors. Too often you get focused on your internal organization, the next general manager, the next executive, you know, she’s really good at that. He’s really good at that, the CEO. But you don’t realize that there are multiple CEOs walk into your business every day, multiple people who’ve had it all go wrong and had it all go right. That was the game changer. Listening to customers, hearing their stories, not just realizing there’s a deal to be done here that’s going to happen. People don’t walk to your door in the bank just to ask what the time is or how’s your day been? They walk in with a purpose of can you help me with this or I’m thinking about this. So I always anticipated the deal was going to happen of some sort. Just cater it to them. But the main thing was they have to disclose everything. I’m in a role where people have to tell you what they have, what they spend, what they earn, what’s wrong with asking that question of how did you get there, where did it all start for you?

And so that started with me. I have customers coming in and I just was curious, very, very curious. Stories. What are they, how do they, how do they lose everything? Like when they’re coming to discharge their home cause they had a distress out. How did it happen? How did it get to that point? When they’re coming to buy multiple properties and it’s their 10th 15th to 20th when someone in flip flops comes in and they’ve got 15 20 million in assets and they’re, you know, just scruffy and this and that. Like that doesn’t have to look the piece right. It just through all these judgmental is that in my way. And that’s when it changed for me just asking people about how they did something, how something went well, went wrong, and just listen to their stories and, and I think I just took that on from banking to now property and just, I’ll never let go that.

I’ll just always ask questions. It’s just, I don’t consider myself someone who goes to innovate or find the next coolest idea. I just am someone who goes, how did you do it? What did you do? Why did you do it? What was the purpose? Who was helped along the way? What was the mistakes made? And just go do it. Like it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. I admire you for your curiosity. It’s a, it’s a skill that it’s a skill that, or it’s a talent. It’s, it’s something that not everyone has a lot of people like to talk. You know, we’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason. However, a lot of people prefer to talk as opposed to listen and also as you get curious around if you’ve got these customers coming in who are ultra successful or how did you get all those properties and why did you fail and you’re already curious at that stage so that that’s awesome.

I know what it’s like leaving the corporate world you stuck with you. I feel like you’re in a, it can be in a very closed circle environment and it limits you with understanding, well this is my perspective. It can limit you from understanding what is capable in the real world to what you can actually do and create. And I know the feeling of when you leave the corporate world and you start your own business, the positive emotion that gets triggered, like liberation, freedom, creativity. You feel empowered when you started InvestorKit, like how did you feel when you started to get a bit of traction coming from that corporate world? What was going on for you?

Arjun Paliwal:

The first feeling that was going through my mind was responsibility. Like I felt a huge positive weight on the shoulders. And, and what it was was there were people coming in and they were always doing that in the banking space, but when it was your own, your own brand, you people coming in and trusting you with everything to help them out. And that was a really special feeling for me. And off the back of that, I just realized the more and more I did that, the more and more I could help people, the scale that I could apply, the people that could help, that responsibility starts with that feeling. But then it turns into an outcome for them. They’ve achieved something, whether it’s the first or the next investment and the wealth that’s being created. And so for me, that’s where it started, that feeling of just that positive feeling of responsibility in a good way.

And then from there going to, you know, through scaling this and, and helping more people, you’re making huge differences to people’s lives. Like they’re trusting you with a massive financial decision here and if and should that all go well makes a huge difference to what they can do as a result of it all. So that was my first feeling.

Ben Handler:

What, why do you get out of bed each day at the moment? What is really what is really driving you to, to build your business and the journey you’re going on.

Arjun Paliwal:

At first it wasn’t as clear because I just want to just help people. And as a result of helping people, you’re also helping yourself. Like that was the first thought. But when, you know, some of my team started building out, that’s when it really hit me. And I’ll give you the example of one of the team members.

I actually grew up with him back in New Zealand. He found his way over here to Australia. And funny story is that his mum and my mum were also very close friends to a level where they’re so close that he was named after my name and we share the same name. It’s very corny. Now pass that story and him working in the team. What hit me was as a result of helping a customer, I’ve been able to, or multiple customers, I’ve been able to get the business to a stage where I’ve helped someone who’s grown up with me to have employment, to be in the industry, to go and achieve some of the goals they’ve had, and these little things started making huge differences to me mentally, like just a couple of customers. My first 13 months has helped multiple people gain employment and my team has made differences to their lives and their family’s lives has made differences to the customers that I’m helping with their mindset and the wealth they’re creating and as a reward. There’s also a difference made to my life, but that’s now the triggering effect. The scale that I want to achieve is the same way I helped a family friend just transformed their life and where they’re going. Other staff members in my team, customers where they’re going, I just want to do more of that. And the end result is sure, there’s also a reward for the company, a reward for us as a result. But being rewarded for helping people. There’s nothing, nothing wrong with that. So I think really that’s where now it gets me up every day. I’m helping people create wealth, creating jobs. I’m impacting multiple people and I’m also impacting me, my family as a result of it. So that’s, that’s where now I get up and massive purpose.

Ben Handler:

That’s respect your, you’re creating profound transformation externally to customers. You’re creating job opportunities for, for people that are very close to you. And I’ll see obviously people who aren’t, but you’re just, you’re creating, I think all round transformation for people now intrinsically and externally. That’s powerful.

Arjun Paliwal:

Yeah. And I think whilst that’s also very replicable in the corporate world from the organizations you work with and what the organizations do, having that control, having the full impact of it passed on by you, and having the choice of who gets impacted along the way and making changes immediately. Not running through barriers like if I can recall, just one thing that made me really excited was I, I had a customer, “tell me a couple of months ago, I love the process. It was fantastic Arjun, but there are too many emails and I was like, wait, but doesn’t want everyone want a bunch of emails” to make them feel like this person’s working hard and doing everything for them.

Having the whole life out source of property. But he hit me in a really smart way, which was like, well, there’s ways to optimize communication here. I would’ve gone through 20 deep barriers through 20 layers of management to share my suggestion to convince a hundred stakeholders and a massive firm and then probably have a, a roadblock of million. It’s going to cost millions of dollars to apply the solution, cause the scale and then go back to my, you know, cubby hole in this little cubicle and go, I can’t do that onto the next thing that that’s important to them. Like that’s wasn’t the case. I went back, I invested lots of money, lots of time in building out systems and optimizations and my processes. So now customers can condense all their emails in one notification, depending on how they want it. You want it to be five minutes, 12 hours every day.

You want to see the whole process map data hit a time. So you might not even need emails like these little things. That’s, that’s something that like, you know, you can just take on feedback and make a difference in your business and do it now.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And you obviously care about it. You are there to refine your systems and processes, get feedback from your customers and you’re there to just create a better experience for them, which is, which is very evident and you’re one of the very few people that I see who heavily invests, especially in year one into the business and you’re so focused on reinvesting into the business and that’s why you’re, I think you also growing such an exception, exceptionally fast growing business. Are you in the game? Would you see yourself in the game of buying property or your in the game of business

Arjun Paliwal:

Business and that business just makes a bunch of impacts in different ways.

Jobs, property, confidence with their journey. Like you can imagine someone not from a show off lens but from a confidence lens, you’ve never owned an asset before. You’ve wished how this could be a part of your journey and then all of a sudden someone’s helped you buy two or three. What does that do to your financial confidence? What does that lead to so much other parts of your life knowing that when you go out to dinner you, it’s okay cause you’ve done a whole bunch of things for yourself. Right? Like just a little thing. So and, and this property business is just a tool that I feel that my skill set lies in. I feel that my confidence lies in, I feel that my ability to add value lies in and that’s what I think everyone needs to find. Like if property is your skillset or you know, if, if these things are inspired, you know, you enjoy, you’re motivated by it.

Like this business part is really what it’s all about and this is just a tool and that tool of properties, what I feel, you know, confident in and motivated in and that’s what I’m doing.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. It’s buying properties. Just the byproduct of, of running a business. Right. What have you learned about yourself in the last 14 months running a business? Because I know from experience running businesses, it’s an incredible opportunity to go introspective self-awareness hopefully expands professionally and personally. Transformation typically occurs. What have you really learned about yourself over the last 14 months? Going through all the challenges and opportunities that you’ve been working through?

Arjun Paliwal:

What I’ve learned about myself is I found a new gear. Like, you know, you’re, you’re in fifth speed and then the sixth speed comes out of nowhere and you’ve got this, you know, new, new, new powers or skills or, or so forth.

And what I’m referring to with that example is that I thought that my limits, what I could do in certain times, how much of a service I could provide, it would look like this with going into business. Like, it’s not to say you don’t care about whatever job you’re in. People work hard all across the different jobs that are out there, but every day when it’s your name, your reputation, you know, your image that is on the line with each and every customer. I found the sixth gear, what I can do for them, how much I can help. And I’ve really found that like what I thought I could do and I, and I mean in terms of things I could do in a day, what I could, you know, achieve personally, achieve for others. It’s just in new levels as a result of being in business.

And I think that sixth gear is something that I can now try. And what I’m trying to do now is apply it to different parts of life. I haven’t successfully applied to all parts of my life, but I know that with this new found motivation, like I can, I can apply it in different ways.

Ben Handler:

Do you acknowledge yourself for, for what you’ve done over the last 14 months?

Arjun Paliwal:

No, I don’t think so. I don’t think I do it enough. But I think people around you can really shape that. Sometimes I’ll be honest, like in, in, in business, you can, you can feel like nothing’s happening like everyday, sometimes only because of how invested you are in it. Like the, the downside of that becomes that you want to do so much more because you’ve seen that in such a short time you’ve made such a difference and you never look back, celebrate, reflect you know, pinch yourself or anything.

But that doesn’t ever happen sometimes. But I think, you know, having my family, my wife, my friends, my clients, mentors that has helped me recognize and, and really start to think, yeah, look, I mean there are differences being made. There is an improvement being made because sometimes that’s probably the trap that business owners can fall in. You’re in such a state of improvement all the time that you never look back and go, hold on a minute. Like, I was just trying to see who I could help in my first few months, like 13 months ago. And, and trying to get them to understand how I can help to now, like it’s just a whole different thing. So yeah, I don’t think I do it enough, but I think I’ve got people around me that helped me sort of do it.

Ben Handler:

Did you ever think your business in that first 12 months would grow the way it did?

I mean you, you jumped straight in deep into the six figure Mark. Like did you think it was going to go that way? Genuinely?

Arjun Paliwal:

Goals, yes. But you know how sometimes you can just set these goals just because you think you’re, you know, you think you are like inspired, motivated. Like I know those first steps of starting with goals, I set some pretty decent ones. But on the back end you can know that’s fake. Like you just know you’re setting them and you’re like, yeah, ah, I want to help this many people. I want to do this. And, and you know, you don’t believe in it. So I genuinely didn’t believe in it, but I felt like spoken initially, but I didn’t believe that I could achieve that. And so I was surprised and I still am surprised when I look back. Last one months I was like, okay, this can happen and you can achieve this next phase.

So this next 12 months ahead, I’m renewing my confidence even more about what I’m going to set, what I can do rather than just saying that, but then not really feeling it as much as I’m saying it.

Ben Handler:

And I’m assuming your new goals are, they’re going to be large because you’ve had such an incredible first 12 months that you’re your second calendar year or financial year, however you’re measuring it’s going to be, it’s going to be a big one.

Arjun Paliwal:

Yeah, definitely. And in all aspects, the team that I want to build, the number of customers lives that I want to impact the people I want to help see, you know, what a buyer’s agent can do for them from a residential property and also the transition from many residential investors into commercial property. Like just across all of these things together. I definitely feel that the seed gets far bigger.

Because of that renewed confidence for my first year.

Ben Handler:

Why do you think there has, there’s not a lot of buyer’s agents in Australia. I know you’re new to the sector.

Arjun Paliwal:

I think it starts with a personal belief that why would someone pay someone else to do something for you? And being property is specifically, but so many parts of our lives are outsourced today. Like you’re doing it every day. When you go from meal, it’s a, a restaurant or chef buyer’s agents, right? Like, you know, they’re, they’re helping you get that meal that you want to buy, right? When you go down to the, to grab a car, like, like Uber or a taxi, like someone’s driving you around, like this whole outsource our life or parts of our life is happening everyday at different levels of scale for different tasks. And it’s just about time that people realize that the importance of outsourcing property it can impact your life in terms of time with family, time with friends.

It can impact your life financially by making decisions without as much of a deep dive of knowledge about it. You can, you know, rush decisions because of that. Feel like you’ve been missing out so for so long and you’re, you know, you’re really sick of it and you rushed decisions. Sometimes you’re can be higher levels of stress cause you keep worrying if you’re buying the right one or the wrong one. There’s so many things, right? Like there’s so much, there’s a problem out there today that there’s too much information. Information overload is a huge problem. It’s caused many of my clients who’ve shared their stories to not make any decisions for years and years and years on end. It’s caused many people to believe one thing than see another and then now believe that second thing and then not believe the first thing.

Right. I, where I, it hit me hard was when I was, you know, finishing my MBA, I actually tested this theory in my MBA. I had, I had a topic and in this one topic I wrote an assignment that went in this direction saying that X was incorrect and here’s why. With references. Then the same topic in my exam, I went in the other direction that X was Y is incorrect. And here’s why. Both passed for the same concept, same concept. And that just made me realize that information, there’s a problem with information. Like you can have references, you can find what you want to believe and create a story of what you want to believe. Right. to the extremes around earth, flat earth, right?

Like like even though it’s silly, but like people genuinely believe it.

The stop and have research associated with it and that’s a massive problem with property. Or you can’t get cashflow if you want capital growth or you can’t get capital growth if you want cashflow. And then there’s all these people I see from my banking career doing both and I literally see it. I’m like, whitewash what? What do you mean? And so that’s, that’s where you know, coming back to this journey, like that’s, that’s where it’s all sort of come together.

Ben Handler:

It’s incredible. And you’re right. I mean they’re there. We’re living in an information overloaded world right now and it’s getting worse and it’s overwhelming. You know, if you want to, if you’re a punter out there trying to understand where to buy property, I mean it could be too, too overwhelming. And so a buyer’s agent is just going to make a concise, digestible, clear, defined strategy. This is what we do, which is a big value add ride in this information overloaded world. I mean, we could sit here for days, I mean I could sit here for days and you just picking up and learning around what you’re up to and the journey you’re on because it’s inspiring. And I think for people listening to this who are maybe in the employment world, it’s change is hard, right? I think in all aspects of our lives, we don’t typically like change as human beings. We like to be get complacent with what we’re doing. Was getting out of the the corporate world and running your own business a significant milestone in your life?

Arjun Paliwal:

It actually takes me back to this story in primary school and everyone was dressing up for what they wanted to be in and do. People came in like police officers, uniform the fireman, doctor, all this stuff. And that was really cool. I came in with hair slicked back, like I was Draco Malfoy.

I came in on a little bit of a suit this little six-seven year-old and, and I said, I want to run my own business someday. So it started from there. But you get into the race of, and look, I will never say that race or things like that. The corporate world wasn’t a core part of it. I mean, you know, Jack Ma, perfect example talks about people jumping into the world of big businesses, the operational processes, our systems, you know, to run a business at that scale, like that’s valuable skills to service an at a high quality of service, create organization culture you know, and deliver a service level with such consistency across thousands of people. Like he, he talks about the importance of working in that sort of space. And then he also talks about the importance of working in small companies to have that dream, to have that vision, not just a dream and a vision that every big company slaps on a billboard, but the real stuff where they actually work to it every day and they’re trying to actually see them astronomical changes and that small business.

So that was super important, the big company, but it kept, this milestone kept getting blocked off because you just get so engulfed in the next step. I want to go from a teller in my banking job to an assistant manager, to a manager, to an executive manager, an area manager, and you get lost on this way up that you don’t think about that original goal and milestone ahead. So I got to actually give all the credit to my wife who, you know, gave me a bit of a shakeup and said, had you ever questioned yourself when things are going so well that you should do something different? And I was like, why would you do that? Come on. Like you’ve just been humbled and blessed by the, probably the most rapid career progression at CBA at that time. Commonwealth Bank and I was just, it was going really good.

Right? And I was just like, nah, nah, not leaving, not leaving, not leaving, not going, but the next step, the next step. And she just, what’s the worst case? Like you’ve done all this stuff already. You’ve had a career in the head office, you’ve had a career in the front line. I was graduate studies, you built an asset base of assets and I just thought that was normal. Like come on, I’m just just doing what I gotta do and, and you know, just taking the good and trying to make it better and, and keep, keep rising. She’s like, nah, you, you, there is no, there is challenges in your day to day work life, but there is no mental challenge or thing pushing you back in the longer term journey. It’s too predictable. And whilst we aim for predictability in parts of business, it’s also like, it’s also bad for you.

Like there’s no like mental growth. And so she pushed me to go and say, “quit”. However, I had a real estate portfolio that helped and assisted with that. I had all these positives that I just talked about. Then my wife was doing fairly well in her career. So I wouldn’t say it was an uncomfortable decision, but that milestone became huge and that became huge because of the, the history and my wife’s support with that.

Ben Handler:

So massive milestone your wife to support you and help activate that change. And I guess, yeah, like I said earlier.The city for days to unpack your story and it’s an inspiring story. I mean it’s been an honor knowing you over the 14 months witnessing your, your business transforming. I mean, it’s a privilege and you obviously you’re very grateful and you’re a very humble guy. So thank you obviously for having this opportunity now to dive into your story. So thanks very much.

Arjun Paliwal:

Thank you.

Ben Handler:

Check out our journeys at investorkit.com.au today. Arjun is a really awesome entrepreneur. He’s done incredibly well. I mean, as I’ve said multiple times, seeing this guy’s business transform over 14 months has been remarkable. He’s a gun property investor himself.

Catching next week on the next show. See you there!

 

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