Balancing the Grind with Arjun Paliwal, Founder of InvestorKit

In our latest edition of Balancing the Grind, we’re joined by Arjun Paliwal, the Founder and Head of Research at InvestorKit. Arjun takes us through his fascinating journey from banking to property investment, highlighting how his passion for real estate led to the creation of InvestorKit.

He shares the importance of property investment in transforming lives, reflecting on his own success and that of his clients. As a new father, Arjun also opens up about balancing his rapidly growing business with family life, emphasising the redefined concept of work and the integration of family values into his daily routine. 

Let’s start with your background. We understand you founded InvestorKit in 2018 and have grown it to be a multi-million-dollar business. Tell us about your journey to date.

My journey started with passion and curiosity. Prior to founding InvestorKit, I was in banking for seven years and had the privilege of seeing magnificent portfolios and some of the biggest mistakes.

This inspired me to jump in and build my own portfolio – rapidly accumulating 17 properties worth over $12 million with my wife. I quickly realised I was doing something different and many of my colleagues, who were more senior and earning more, were asking me for advice and guidance on their property investment journey. 

These watercooler conversations led to my ‘aha’ moment, and with my wife’s support, I decided to quit the comforts of my job, and over the next four months, considered the possibilities of having my own business. Through learning from my own mistakes; understanding what worked (and importantly what didn’t) by personally using a buyer’s agent; and sharing my property research with friends and colleagues I was confident I was on to a winning business idea. 

InvestorKit aims to deliver a superior buyers’ agency experience, leveraging research and data-led insights to deliver property outperformance for our clients. I am so proud that in five short years, I have grown InvestorKit from an idea and a “home office” in my bedroom to an award winning, multi-million-dollar enterprise that each and every year has averaged over 50 percent year-on-year revenue growth and now has a team of 30 people.  

Why property? What inspires you to help everyday Australians invest in the market and what’s next for InvestorKit?

Put simply, property is life changing. I experienced this personally as it enabled me to quit the workforce and back my own business with confidence. I could take risks in my late-20s knowing my future was protected, even if I failed. To have this confidence and surety of long term wealth and income is truly empowering. 

Over the years I have seen this in my clients as well. One of my clients is now doing a blockbuster campaign with cricketer Brett Lee to grow his migration business and he tells me that he has confidence to bet big in marketing because he has an eight-figure property portfolio, which he built in a few short years, to help protect his family’s future. Another client has seen seven-figure equity gain across nine residential and commercial properties and now has a six-figure passive income. This success and positive client feedback inspires me. 

History shows us that property is a performer. In the last 20 years, Australia’s property prices have tripled in value, increasing by a massive 186%. This is the reason why I am passionate about scaling my business to help more everyday Australians realise the benefits of investing in property. It is a proven formula with positive flow on effects for society, including addressing the mounting residential housing shortage through investors providing more rental supply. 

We understand you are also the proud new dad to a baby girl. How do you balance leading a successful business with family commitments?

My family is my biggest success and proudest achievement. My wife is also a very successful woman with her own business and welcoming our daughter Ruby, who is now four months old, encouraged us to have open, honest, respectful conversations about finding our balance and redefining our roles and values in a growing family.

The first thing we agreed on was redefining ‘work’. I am now outcomes focused and follow the ‘1-to-3′ rule. This means if I achieve 1-to-3 impactful things a day, that drive my business’ success, I have the right to clock off early. We also agree that ad-hoc communications are not part of ‘work’. If I have to shoot off a text at 7pm, so be it. However, I do not bring structured work, such as a Zoom meeting, into our family time. ‘Work’ empowers our financial freedom and protects our family’s future, so we approach it with respect. 

We also find ways to integrate and empower each other’s success, in business and life. We agree roles and responsibilities at home and the risks that each of us are willing to take in business. To us, clawing back time is vitally important so we are willing to spend money on this, which includes employing more people, and in the future, purchasing a bigger home so we can welcome extended family. 

Since becoming a father, I find I am more motivated, inspired, and positive. Bad days no longer spiral into bad weeks. I have a responsibility to turn up and be my best self for my family. 

Health is also a big focus for you. How are you prioritising your health and why is this so important? Any tips and tricks?

Like many busy professionals, I have struggled with my physical health journey. A busy life saw my health slip and bad habits creep in – sitting all day in meetings, working long hours, Netflixing and Uber Eats because I was too tired to eat healthy or get in some exercise. I came to realise pain is not normal and feeling better is an amazing feeling. Not prioritising this was selfish – I have a responsibility to my family, my employees, and my clients to be my best self and I can’t do this if I don’t invest in my health. 

I lost 28kgs by just showing up – this is the most important part. I turned up to the gym 3 days a week, even if my workout wasn’t great. I put my sneakers on and went for a walk, even if it was only around the block. Once I formed the habit of showing up, I started competing with myself. Could I up my daily step count? Could I beat my personal best for squats? Could I average a 0.5kg weight loss per week? The answer is yes…if I show up. However, people become focused on being perfect and when they don’t achieve perfection they give up. Showing up is where change happens. 

As an award-winning business leader, any advice for other entrepreneurs who are keen to get started or grow their business?

Beware the naysayers – the world is full of them. Everyone is going to tell you that your idea is not new, not creative, it won’t work. Let me tell you, very few ideas are original. You don’t need a game changing, world altering idea…just do that idea better and execute well.

I had proven success in the corporate world, which gave me the confidence to back myself. I do believe people should invest in corporate success first to boost self-belief. If your worst case is saying you gave it a go and landing back in corporate, that should be a motivating start. 

Secondly, and perhaps controversially, follow your skill sets, not your passion. Passion can be born from winning. Taste success from doing what you’re good at, enjoy the wins, and whilst not always, in most occasions that becomes your passion through winning. 

Finally, recognising the value of a team to grow your business is a gamechanger. You will not go far alone. People do the heavy lifting. For example two buyer’s agents who achieve 80% of what I do far outweighs me at 100%. A strong team, who you value and reward, will empower business success. 

Finally, what are you reading or listening to at the moment? Any podcast, book, or news recommendations?

I host a property podcast with my wife, The Property Nerds, so, of course, if you’re interested in property and investing, I recommend tuning in. A shameless personal plug! However, I am a bit controversial in that I don’t believe in learning too many things at once. Pick one author, YouTuber, industry guru who you want to learn from and do that. Do it well. Even if you have to read the book 5 times, make notes, and have a ‘To Do’ list, ensure you take those learnings, action them, and see meaningful improvements. For me, that person is YouTuber, Brandon Dawson, who was and is a game-changer for my business.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.