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No Trust? No Money!

Private investors, husband and wife team, Antoine Dufresne and Caryn Yuen, comment

Investing in property can be rewarding but it can also be a daunting experience. When investing in other people’s projects, we have to rely on the people behind the projects to do well by us. This is the downside of being hands-off. We are vulnerable throughout the investment journey, especially when things do not go exactly as originally planned which is not at all unusual.

We started investing in property ourselves to build an alternative income stream. Caryn is a qualified barrister and solicitor. She worked in regulatory compliance for financial institutions for 10 years. Today, she does consultancy work for property businesses. Antoine worked in investment banking in Paris, New York City, and London for 11 years. Last year, he decided to leave banking to focus on property investing.

The investment journey for us begins well before deciding to invest in a particular project. Connections and introductions are made. We meet new people; people who are essentially strangers to us. We then embark on our due diligence journey. We want to know as much as possible about them. We need the information to decide whether
we are comfortable enough to consider investing with them.

This is when investor packs come into play
Investor packs are generally the first thing that property developers send out to their prospective investors. They are the main source of information for investors. When we say developer, we mean anyone who is trying to raise money for a property project, big or small. Not just those who build large scale multi-unit blocks from the ground up.

Having spoken with more than 50 developers, we realised that they generally do not have a good understanding of how to put investor packs together. Not the right content, not the right format.

We have seen a large number of poor-quality investor packs and for us, they simply raised more questions than provided answers. We have turned down investment opportunities solely because the investor pack did not meet our expectations. They made the developer look amateurish and would require too much effort by us to get the information needed to do our due diligence. As such, in some cases, it was simply not worth it.

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