From Expat School Teacher To Successful Hong Kong Property Investor

We always hear stories of regular Joes who quit their run-of-the-mill jobs and turn around to make hundreds of millions of dollars from smart, strategic investments. How did they do it? The million dollar question! Stories like this peak our interest because they are relatable. If others like us can be successful without an investment background, there must be a formula that we can all learn from, or at the very least it will serve as a motivational story to drive us forward. If you have long entertained with the idea of property investment - buying, selling, renovating - this story is just the inspiration you need to get in the water and start swimming yourself. 


Here’s an insider look into Michelle Cheng, a wonderful phenomenon who went from working as an expat school teacher to becoming a hugely successful Hong Kong property investor. Michelle Cheng is a Canadian expat, originally from Vancouver, British Columbia who has been working as a school teacher for the past eleven years. She first came to Hong Kong on a one year contract as an International School teacher and ended up staying for 13 years. Michelle’s first property investment started in Vancouver, Canada, and continued to purchase three additional properties in Hong Kong upon her move there. Her streak of success did not stop there, as she went on to purchase 2 more properties in London -all with a single salary. What sets Michelle apart is her immense passion for what she does, and she’s able to use her experience to help other expats invest in property in Hong Kong as well.Michelle is more than a property agent, she is someone who is actually living and breathing what she does. 


Her story is so inspiring and special to us because she has managed to singlehandedly build her excellent property portfolio with zero real estate experience. She is so successful in her endeavours in fact, that she is now resigning her job as an expat school teacher to becoming a full time real estate agent in Hong Kong. Let’s dive deeper into her story, and take a peek at the Hong Kong properties that Michelle has purchased. How have your property investments performed thus far?


Let’s focus on Michelle’s properties in Hong Kong. Two of the properties that Michelle purchased are on Hong kong Island, with one on Park Island. The returns on the property have shown that Michelle has doubled her returns every 2 to 4 years. Most people have the wrong idea that you need a large pot of money to begin investing but Michelle is testimony that you really don’t need that much to get started. People tend to put off the chance to invest and end up never getting started because they are always for the right time, the perfect time to invest. They are always “waiting for the bottom” but this “bottom” is not an accurate way of measuring the most profitable time for property investment. Sometimes you just need to go with your instincts with the right location, and that’s what Michelle Cheng has done. Location is the key to smart real estate investment.  


Let's take a look at her first property purchase in Hong Kong. She purchased a unit in Fook Moon Building, 56072 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun from her grandmother 4 years ago. The property was a family purchase at market value at a very fair price. This said property has gone up 41% since her date of purchase with a 6%per annum yield. Michelle purchased the property at $3 million HKD with a 50%bank loan. Four years later, it has gone up to $4.23 million HKD with a cash return of $1.23 million HKD after loan repayment. It took about 250K to fully renovate the 1 bedroom 1 bathroom 380 sq ft property, and it is now given her highly profitable returns from a smart investment decision. Michelle’s following 2 properties are:


Tower 31, Park Island, Ma Wan, New Territories and Golden Pavilion, 66 Caine Road,Mid levels - both of which were critical buys that yielded solid returns. All three properties are on AirBnb, which Michelle personally manages. All three of the properties in Hong Kong are now valued between $4.23 million HKD and $6.72 million HKD, which is a very achievable price range.


We are happy to announce that Michelle Cheng is now working with Engel & Voelkers. For those who are authentically interested in having a deeper understanding of investing Hong Kong property, now is a god time to contact Michelle for a one-on-one Skype chat. 

Engel & Völkers

Hong Kong, Real Estate Agency
Shop A, Ground Floor, 95 Caine Road, Mid Levels
- Hong Kong
Company License: C-035745
+852 2561 3616

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