What Your Study Doesn’t Equal What You Become

by Ben Handler

October 19, 2020

Buyer's Agent Kyrillos Mansour on why what you study doesn't equal what you become

Ben Handler:

Welcome to the Buyer’s Agent Institute Show. The purpose of the show is to bring awareness to buyer’s agents to bring awareness around the career opportunities that the buyer’s agent sector is providing people to bring awareness around the value that buyer’s agents providing people who need help on buying property. Our goal with the show is to strip back and dive into the remarkable journeys and stories of buyer’s agents who are paving the way forward in one of the fastest growing career sectors in real estate. Right now. Our guest today is Kyrillos Mansour. He goes by the acronym K, M. He’s based in New South Wales out in Western Sydney. He at a very young age, his father instilled values with him around how to best manage money, how to best utilize and save money to build wealth. He then studied optometry and after studying optometry, he started two businesses, not in that space, in hospitality and also in a very different area, which is a bit like perfume. He then also has had such a strong passion for property. He bought two properties before the age of 23, and he’s a young guy since then. He’s now running his new buyer’s agent business called first brick property buyer’s agency business. He’s buying property all across Australia. He’s a very passionate investor. So today I’d like to introduce and welcome, Mr. KM.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Thanks Ben. Appreciate it. That was a beautiful intro. Thank you so much.

Ben Handler:

Well, good to be here with you. I’ve seen you online. I’m seeing you’re pushing content. You’ve got a podcast, you’re a passionate investor, you’ve got nice spectacles on. I first want to just understand, we’ve got so many people in the Institute with such diverse backgrounds, professional backgrounds. I’ve never had someone else optometry. Yeah. How did you get into that?

Kyrillos Mansour:

So yeah, good question. Pretty much. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was coming towards the end of school. I knew I wanted to get into business. You know, I love the business and why should I study a business degree? It’s going to take me four years to do a, everyone’s going to do a business degree. Or I could study optometry. I don’t know why my mate did optometry and I could do optometry with him. I’ll finish a bit quicker. And when I would a business degree and I fought, you know, optometry, it pays well, you know, it’s a nice income. And I thought you don’t really need a business degree to start business, but you need money most of the time. So forth. I’ll do a territory for a bit, get some money and go into business. So that’s how I pretty much got into optometry make did it and I want to tag along without to Jalong. And three years later became an optometrist and started businesses too long in Victoria. Johnny, Victoria. Yeah. So we started that in Geelong to study. Yeah. Living with my mate, it’s pretty good times. Yeah. So that’s how I got into optometry.

Ben Handler:

Good perspective. I like the fact that, you know, you record, I mean, you’re a young guy, you look pretty young. How old are you?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Just don’t to answer that.

Ben Handler:

Okay. So it’s great that you had perspective at a young age where you know, you don’t need to business in order to be good at business. Yeah, you’re right. Like you need to have obviously ideas you need to execute. You need money and it’s great that you saw the optometry space as a, as a vehicle to get you there quicker. Right?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah, for sure. So yeah, like I said, that is something that I love business. You know, when I was in school, I was watching shark tank and you know, all these business programs and when I started business it just made sense. Like at school I didn’t really study. It just, it just made sense. But I realized you need money to have business to start a business and I thought it’s probably quicker making money as an optometrist and studying a business degree. So just jumped into that and then figure it out later.

Ben Handler:

Like, so many of the guests I have on the show, very entrepreneurial. You’ve obviously, you’ve got that entrepreneurial DNA. You started two other businesses. Yeah. Not including your buyer’s agent presenter you had so you had a perfume business. Yes. So was that online sale?

Kyrillos Mansour:

That was online. So I had that when I was at university. So during uni I had three jobs plus plus the business. Just, just for fun. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed working rather than just sitting at home with my mate doing nothing. So I had a couple of jobs, started the perfume and makeup business. Yeah, it was primarily online. We did one or two events where we had people come look at the products and whatnot. Just before my final exams I just sold it, sold it for a small profit. When you’re a uni student, a small profit, it seems like big money back then by the end. That was like my first real taste of business back back at university. Good, good. And then you start another business. Since then? I did. So when I was working as an optometrist full time I started the restaurant full time so it was a lot of work with a couple mates and then ran that for a couple years, then sold that one off to my mates a couple years later,

Ben Handler:

Two exits at a young age. And I bet you’re glad you’re not in a hospitality now.

Kyrillos Mansour:

It’s a it’s a tough, tough spot to be in for for anyone in hospitality at the moment, obviously. But I think hopefully I think a lot of people like to support local Aussie businesses and hopefully when we get to the other side of, of coronavirus and obvious people flood to their cafes and local restaurants and help out local business owners.

Ben Handler:

Whenever I go to a restaurant or a cafe, I always, I’m always analyzing just business and I don’t know a lot about that sector. I’ve never invested or run a business in that area. But I, it feels like just by looking at it, the return on time and the return on investment doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Kyrillos Mansour:

That’s correct. One of the reasons why we got out was because of that. And I mean I haven’t worked in too many industries, but I’ve worked in a few and it’s one of the harder industries. And to correct, like you say, for the return to a lot of time, it’s a lot of energy. It’s a lot of manpower and there’s not so much automation that you can get out of it. So you are physically there a lot of the time you’re trading your time for for not a lot of money. So which

Ben Handler:

Is which, which is challenging. So which moves you now into, well let’s, before we move into your buyer’s agent business, you bought two properties before 23, which is great.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah.

Ben Handler:

What was the, what was the dry for the properties? Was, was there a specific reason why you wanted to buy them or you just thought it was good or,

Kyrillos Mansour:

No sir, well that’s actually a builder, but he had no influence on that actually, to be honest. Then when I was at university again I was just reading a lot of books about property business, you know, Warren buffet books, you know, books about anyone and anyone that was successful. Just trying to figure out how they did it. I came across a few property books that were quite out there. But gave me a perspective of, or you can actually make some money out of property. Started listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, anything I can get a hand on just to understand how property works. Realized you can become financially free just by buying some houses. This makes no sense, but kept looking into why does anyone else do this? Like it’s just so simple. And I just realized, Hey, I can stop working at a young age if I accumulate properties or whatnot.

Kyrillos Mansour:

As soon as I got my first paycheck after graduating as an optometrist, I went to the bank. He said I want a loan. And they kind of looked at me like, you don’t even have two paychecks. So I waited the second week, went back in, got a loan and looked into property and found what I wanted to buy. And that’s when the research in my spreadsheets or came to life because I just realized I enjoyed it. Yeah. So that was the first one. Second one was a couple years later, put out some equity and did it again.

Ben Handler:

So at least you had equity. So you obviously bought well.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah, that’s right.

Kyrillos Mansour:

And wrote and hopefully wrote a good market. But let’s talk specifically more around your BA business. I mean, I’ve seen been watching you online, you’ve obviously got some good skill from your online perfume makeup business and obviously you’re pushing good content. Have you found is different about this buyer’s agent business compared to all the other stuff you’ve done at such a young age? In regards to business?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah, for sure. I think in regards to business it’s, it’s something you in Australia it’s very small. It’s very niche. So there’s a lot of educating about the service rather than when we had the restaurant, I mean everyone knows what a restaurant is or where you had the perfume business. People knew what perfume was in makeup. There wasn’t so much explaining what the service or product was. It was more so just here’s the product, here’s the service, you like it, come buy it. Whereas with this business, with the buyer’s agency, it’s, you know, close friends of mine that have followed me from day one come up to me every second day and say, so what do you do? And, and you know, obviously pushing a lot of content about, you know, and educating what buyer’s agents do and how we can help help everyday Australians and other people to purchase property. I think that’s the biggest difference that I found initially is just educating people on what it is actually a buyer’s agent does. Cause as you would know, it’s not a very big industry at the moment in Australia. Quite small.

Ben Handler:

It’s a really good point you bring up and out of a lot of the people I’ve interviewed. No one really has specifically spoken about the education point because you’re right, it’s especially with you. You’ve run businesses before. People need to eat that is eat. People want to smell good. They spray perfume and not everyone up in the morning going, I’m going to buy something today or in two months I’m going to call a buyer’s agent. So there’s a, I think you’re right there. There’s a massive education piece that we’ve got to do which is needs to form part of our content strategy around education, around why people need a buyer’s agent, which I saw you did something yesterday. Six reasons, eight, eight reasons. Sorry, I saw that on Instagram. It’s great that you’ve identified that as an area that needs attention and more specifically, I wanted to also dive into you, I’ve seen you doing deals, you’re working with clients. How has been that client journey? Because obviously the online business is more product, not service. Your hospitality restaurant would have been very much customer service. This is obviously very high end service touch. How have you found that dynamic?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Pretty smooth to be honest. I think maybe because I just have a passion for it and like I enjoy talking about it and you know, when, when a client’s talking to me and they like, Oh, I’m so sorry. You know, do you have time for that mate? We can talk about property for the rest of the day. Your wife’s going to get you in trouble, not me. So it’s pretty smooth. And just I find when I explain everything to the customer or the client and really go through the process and, and show that I actually want to teach them that they see back in, they, they love top sober and they’re happy to go along cause they realize, you know, we know what we’re talking about and they appreciate that we’re teaching them but they still understand that just because we’re teaching them, it’s not as easy to do it.

Kyrillos Mansour:

So I found it pretty smooth to be honest. And you know, we are getting some clients and occupy clients. I’m very different to the investor clients. But both same fundamentals, you know, what we’re looking for and, and, and the education piece. But I find from all aspects, when you’re speaking to the client, if you’re educating them along the way, they, they just love it and they trust you and they realize, you know, their money’s going into safe hands and it’s going to become, it’s going to be much worth it, much more worthwhile for them in the longterm,

Ben Handler:

I believe. I know there’s a buyer’s agent within our community. I won’t name any names just so it’s not that it’s private, but I just thought I’d not mentioned it. They, they’re looking to read something. Someone in the buyer’s agency community, they’re looking to rent a property. They put me down as a reference. So I received a phone call from the property manager saying things are probably not just saying, just just interviewing this, this person, just getting some background information and make sure they’re okay. And what transpired in that conversation was the lady said to me, we were so impressed by call called mr X that my colleague who was there was really curious about the advocate services that he that he gives. He’s in Melbourne by the way. And so he, she said, my colleague just inherited money and was so curious, took a card from mr X to inquire more about his services. And then when you arrived here before the show, you then realized that the videographer who set this up lives near you and is potentially looking to buy. So where I’m going with this is there’s opportunity everywhere. There are people looking to buy property, create wealth everywhere around us. And so how have you found this whole notion of opportunity?

Kyrillos Mansour:

100% agree. There’s opportunity everywhere. Everyone wants to make money and everyone wants to have a financial future that’s secure and you know, so for some people, it’s freedom and not having to work again. So everyone’s looking to invest and everyone’s looking to, you know, generate wealth as we should be. But not a lot of people know how to get there and how to do it. So I find, you know, at the start it’s quite difficult, you know, getting your name out there and explaining. But like you said, you speak to a couple of people who a sudden you found someone that wants, wants to buy a property and you know, they speak to you. And if an opportunity is there, and even once that person’s done it and they’ve had a fantastic experience like luck my clients have and they told their mates, Evan, you know, slow spread, even though they may still their mate and it becomes like a nice big tree.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Of, of clients coming down and opportunities everywhere. So I find a hundred per cent agree with you. I think the opportunity is everywhere because anyone that you know has a job that has some solid income, is probably able to invest in some sort of capacity, might not be now it could be a bit later, but at least, you know, they’re learning how to where they need to be so they can start investing or, or buy their own property. Housing is very in demand quite often. So opportunities everywhere. And I find food, the Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn pages, like all our pages with all the educational content we’ve given out, people gravitate towards it cause they want to learn more and they want to learn more than they send you a message. Just to ho can you explain how do I get a better rate or how do I do this? And just one simple question. When they come back and they’re like, thank you so much for your help, you know, a bit of free help and they come back and can we do some work with you? So a hundred per cent agree opportunity literally is every everywhere.

Ben Handler:

And especially with the strategy, it seems like the approach you’re taking, which is giving out a lot of information, valuable information, just providing a lot of content. That’s what people want.

Ben Handler:

Yes. took a book, a page out of Gary on Facebook. Gary V is a big influence of mine. Yeah. I think the way he does it is very smart and, and very noble. And I, I like to think that do I want to do my run? My business is just, you know, give out information and try and help people make the right decisions and correct decisions. And I don’t know if you remember when we spoke a long time ago when we first started the journey. I told you I’ve had, I’ve met people that have made big mistakes cause of spruikers and whatnot. So that’s also why, you know, I love the education pieces. You know, if we can help someone not make a five, $600,000 mistake we’re setting them up in the right, in the right path for the future.

Ben Handler:

There’s a lot of spruikers when I got into the education space when I sold out of my company, I noticed that because we always personally talking to people at that time, and a lot of them had been sold into things, courses or even developments. And I heard a lot about people’s stories and it’s, it’s quite scary what goes on. And if even people were thinking that I was spruiking getting people into my program, I think I’m like, am I gonna be able to make money? Am I, I’m like, you know, like, it’s just, it’s a scary place out there. And as long as everyone’s operating with integrity, with good intention and just giving transparent information, that’s, that’s what’s important, right?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yep.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Correct. So, and that’s what it’s all about. Like just that education and giving out information, like we don’t want people to look at us and think, you know, we’re just trying to sell them something or our best interest is really the client’s interest. And we do really, cause if the client succeeds, then they’re going to come back and then we’re going to make money and they’re going to make money and everyone’s happy and then they’re going to tell their friends and they’re going to bring more clients over to us. So it’s in the interest of ours or anybody’s agent I can assume to lead someone down the wrong path, you know, do something that’s not right. So I think that free information, the free education or the content, I mean, you can learn a lot if you just fill out pages. It’s just, there’s so much out there.

Ben Handler:

I love it. How did you come up with the name First Brick?

Kyrillos Mansour:

I was sitting in a garage of a couple of mates and I was 109 for these business and just names being thrown out everywhere. And it wasn’t mine, to be honest. I’m giving him a shout out. His name is Peter, cause he always wants to shout out. He said, what about First Brick? I said, Hey, this is a nice name. Well, we’ll try to think of something like just like the beginning a name that kind of resembled the beginning of a journey. Then First Brick, if he threw it out, nothing else made sense. It had to be first brick. And so it kind of stuck and everyone just kept yelling for his brakes. That’s the one. So it came up in a garage mate’s garage.

Ben Handler:

I love how things are ideated just very different, different environments. So what have you found you’ve been able to transfer from, you know, the hospitality, the makeup, perfumer, and just life experience? What have you found has been very transferable into this new business?

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah. it’s a good question. They are so different. The industries are so, so different. But I think one big common thing between all three is the service and the customer first approach. You know, when you run a restaurant, it’s just me, it’s all about the customer. If they’re not happy with the food or they’re not happy with anything, you take care of the customer. And it’s the same with the perfume and the makeup. The online, even though it’s online, you can’t see your customer because they’re behind the screen in their own home. They’re sending you a message and they’re putting a review. And when you’re in an online space, one bad review and you’re done. So the service and having the customer focus I think translated very easily into to the buyer’s agent world because like with the buyer’s agent, it’s all about the customer.

Ben Handler:

We have to, you know, whatever the customer needs, we build a plan for him, we find out a way that needs to get, what’s the end goal then how do we get there? So I think that skill has transferred over quite smoothly. And then other little things that you pick up, just how to run a business, you know, what to look out for, what to, what do in your day to day running. Definitely transferred into this. And I think a big work ethic from both businesses moved into this, which helps cause there’s a lot of work that obviously goes into them involved in every client. And even just running the day to day operations and business is a lot of work. Even having that work ethic beforehand from the first two businesses definitely translated into it.

Ben Handler:

So you started First Brick when you were 24 yes, yes. That’s actually the same age I was when I started Cohen Handler. It’s impressive that you’ve started other businesses you’ve exited out and you’re getting into this space. I think more so because you’re entrepreneurial, you’re passionate about property and I, there’s a lot of transferable skills. I’m sure that you, which is evident from what you’ve just shared, bringing to the table. And it’s also exciting to see where this space is going to go. The buyer’s agent space, as you know, and as you were saying earlier, as you have, we have to educate people because it’s so niche, but it’s because it’s so niche. It’s also very opportunistic. But it’s, it’s going to grow a lot and it’s just interesting to see where it’s going to go. I mean, you’re obviously quite fresh in this space. What’s been some stuff that you’ve observed around this industry? Could it be anything? I’m just curious to know from your point of view.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Probably the first thing like we’ve kind of touched on is that no one knows what it is or not. A lot of people don’t know what it is. Why is that? I just don’t think it’s very common in Australia at the moment. Like, you know, the numbers probably better than me how many buyer’s agents there are

Ben Handler:

But, but why do you like, I’m just curious to get your point of view that, why do you think it’s, it’s been so there’s been so much weight on the sell-side with obvious representation from the selling agent to the vendor versus buyer’s agent to a buyer.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Well, I think, I personally think so. You know, Aussies, Australians, we love to talk property. And I had the barbecues on the weekend or when we were mates, you know, having to be, or whatever it is. There’s someone’s talking about property. And I think because we love it so much and we live in it, we think we’re all experts at it and we can all do it. And just, you know, Bob up the road board place and made some money off her so, you know, you learn from him and he might be doing it or he just might be riding a boom at the end of a wave or something. And I, I think because our intrinsic values are to talk about property I think it’s slower on the buying side because everyone wants to do it and everyone wants to buy themselves and wants to invest, which is fantastic. No issue with that. But I think when it comes to the selling, we are a bit more hesitant to sell our own place or to sell the products that we always look for an expert to sell it. So I think that might be a big part of why it’s not so common here. I know like in the US it’s very, very common to use a buyer’s agent. It might be different. They maybe they don’t care about, they don’t want to talk about property or their everyday life like we do.

Kyrillos Mansour:

Yeah. Not interesting observation. I mean, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s always me like, cause when I started and I felt like no one knew what advisor at all. And so just explaining the value proposition and just giving some insight as to why I thought it was necessary. It just looked like you’re staring at a brick wall. It’s, it’s sometimes, so it was challenging, but it’s, it’s definitely improving. And I, I, I believe it’s, it’s gonna, it’s gonna change a lot over that for the best, for the next, you know, two to three, four years.

Ben Handler:

You were the pioneer I guess in, in your course definitely helps. Bring, bring the buyer’s agents into more light and, you know, get more awareness around it, which I think is a fantastic, fantastic thing. Evan. I’ve in the community between, between the buyer’s agents. It’s not this, I haven’t personally seen like such competition between them small, how can I help you? Didn’t like, you know, some of the new guys that are starting out, I mean I’m new but some of the newer guys are messaging me, Hey can you help me with this? For sure. Like happy to help and what do you need them? And the other day, you know, I see someone needs help with a, with a client, they’ve passed it on someone else. Like no issues, no huge like rivalries or anything like that. I think everyone’s happy to, to help each other cause we can see the potential space growing to like a massive, massive scale, which is, which is something really cool.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. And that’s it. Thank you. It’s a good observation as well. I think, you know, the community is a big part. Just talk about helping and serving and sharing information and the camera. It all comes back for the best and having more of an abundance mindset mentality as opposed to a scarcity which you’ve clearly, you’ve clearly got the abundance. What’s your podcast called, by the way?

Kyrillos Mansour:

So it’s got the First Brick Property Podcast, so it didn’t, we fought skateboard and that was pretty, pretty similar. So first brick property podcast even the pages First Brick Property Buyers’ agency on every social platform you can think of.

Ben Handler:

Yeah. Awesome. Oh KM. It was good to chat. Thank you for having me. It was a, it’s inspiring to hear your story. You’ve started multiple businesses in different sectors industries and you are obviously leading the way now I think in this new space because you’re actually, you’re, you’re following your passion. So by leading, I’m not saying you need to have been here for 10 years, but everyone’s a leader. We’ve even got leaders without titles. On each side of this board is every single person is a leader. And the fact that you’re now pursuing your passion, you’ve bought properties, you’ve run businesses, you’ve sold businesses. I believe you’re leaving the Waymade. So I appreciate you being here. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. Some. Thank you. So check out KM. He’s the man on social media. Check him out. Check out his podcast. He gives out a lot of information. He gives that a lot of his time and that’s what you want. And so if you’re listening here, check him out. He’s websites on the screen. Check out the podcast across all social platforms. Loves property based in Sydney, buying property across many different States. Hope you enjoy today. See you next week.

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