Tom Faye Shares His Secrets to Success

1. Please tell us your story and what you want people to know about?

I am an African born entrepreneur who has spent the last decade living in New Zealand honing my skills as a business person, mentor and educator. I have learned how to perfect and repeat a cycle of business that has created financial freedom for myself and I am passionate about starting these skills with others.

2. What type of business do you run? Please provide the details.

I am a property developer and house flipper. Essentially I find distressed assets or a vacant plot of land in a strong economic location that has a demand for housing and I either build or improve the quality of the existing housing.

I’m also an educator based out of Auckland, New Zealand from where I teach and train others on how they can find and run their own deals. Most importantly I also assist investors who are time or cash poor by letting them Joint Venture on deals with me, thereby giving them the opportunity to be a part of something they would otherwise not have the time or sometimes the ability to do.

3. When did you start your journey? Also, provide details about your education and background.

I began my journey as a sales person in the property sector back in 2011, that was my first start where from scratch I started learning about housing, roofs, ceilings, wall claddings, insulation and the like. 5 years later in 2016, and after multiple failed business attempts, I sat my real estate salesperson qualification in Auckland via distance learning.

I did my training via a North Shore suburb real estate agency before deciding to join a CBD based apartment sales company where I cut my teeth in the world of property sales. My time at this firm was short and sharp, lasting less than a year I realised that my go to hunger for success was a far cry from the traditional and dreary form of real estate practiced by this firm and I was unceremoniously let go as skeletons from my past continued to follow me into my current role.

Looking back that was the best thing that could have ever happened to me because I was forced to pick myself up, face my fears, again, and confront reality; I was better off somewhere else learning different forms of real estate sales.

4. What has triggered or motivated you to choose the industry you are in?

I ended up in the industry due to an ex girlfriend of mine at the time doing a bulk application for jobs online on my behalf. We were in the midst of and just coming out of a global recession and a home heating sales company that in my opinion would take almost anyone on gave me a chance.

My motivations for staying initially were that this is what I knew, I was starting to make money in the industry but also because I found myself wanting to perfect my sales and business acumen. Once that was done, entering the real estate industry as a sales professional was somewhat of a natural consequence.

5. How has been the journey so far for you in the industry?

I hung up my boots as a salesperson in September 2020 after realising that my passion lay in flipping houses and finding my own deals rather than fighting for listings and then looking for a buyer.

I have found the journey interesting withplenty ups and downs but all of these have worked to make me a stronger person with extreme mental fortitude and have laid the foundations of my success today.

6. Who or what has been your inspiration to get into your industry?

I just followed the money to be honest. Growing up I did not have a lot of male role models but those that were there I noticed did have a certain amount of self confidence that came with having done something to achieve some form of success in life.

With the advent of YouTube which was initially really just used by most of the world as a music platform, I managed to find more mentors that assisted me in moulding into existence what it was that I was after.

7. Any advice which you would like to give to others starting their business or those aspiring to be a part of your industry.

If you want to start a business just be aware it is possible but it’s not easy. Business is an environment where there is no pay cheque, no boss to tell you what to do but plenty of customers who will let you know very clearly when you mess things up and some who may end up not paying you for your services.

So the first tip would be to find then keep your day job while you explore other business options. If your desire is to enter the real estate world, consider sitting your real estate salesperson licence as this will open doors into a world you would typically have no access to.

8. How do you see yourself different from others? or what makes you unique?

I used to think that everyone could do what I’ve done but the more people I meet and the more obstacles I over come, the more I realise that people’s goals and desires in life could not be more far apart. Everyone has their own idea of what success is to them and with that their personal ideals of happiness.

I was interviewed on the radio the other day and I talked about how harsh I am with myself especially during my formative years as a business person. I am definitely my own worst critic and I hold myself to an extremely high standard with a very low margin of error; most people are not like that and will accept failure as a part of life but I don’t, I take things much more seriously than that.

9. What are your next projects?

Coming up I’ve just bought four units in a regional city and the goal is to refurbish them to a high standard and either rent them out or put them on the market for sale. Simultaneously I’m finishing up a renovation and subdivision project that has been on going for a while now with regard to the subdivision application and the actual physical renovation work.

My team and I also have a 4 unit development in the South Island of New Zealand that is in with the local council body at the moment for Resource Consent. Our aim is to keep growing and stimulating the economy both here in New Zealand and overseas as best we can.

10. What have been your achievements so far in the industry and have you been featured on websites, etc!

I’ve had a few features, Yahoo Finance, Radio Taranaki, Scoop News, New Zealand Investor Online to name a few.

11. Is there anything else you would want us to include that would help us tell your story much better?

The power of the mind is beyond our comprehension. I have been using a vision board and a white board to write down my goals on which I leave, move on and focus on future opportunities and the jobs at hand.

When I come back to look at the vision board and goals that have been written down, 90% have been accomplished.

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