Vijay Mehra has been a general management, real estate, and property investment advisor for over three decades, operating throughout North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. He began his career in the United Kingdom. After studying the arts, finance, and economics in post-secondary school, Vijay quickly found his passion in advisory work, connecting businesses and individuals with properties to suit their needs. Throughout the course of his career, he has demonstrated an innate skill for finding undervalued properties all over the world. He has also developed a general management strategy and advisory niche for himself, specializing in assisting his clients acquire and sell high-end and high-profile assets. Along with his beloved wife, Vijay Mehra has worked with company owners and CEOs to locate and open dozens of new industrial and commercial facilities on three continents. The couple has been operating an independent real estate investment consulting firm for over fifteen years.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
From a relatively young age, I knew I wanted to get into property management and investment. I recall as a teenager researching potential careers that yielded the highest rate of financial return compared with initial investment in higher education (I was a practically-minded person even in my youth) and finding property management and investment high up on nearly every such list. So, I made the decision to pursue it with all of my abilities. With hard work, planning, and some good luck, I’ve managed to create quite a nice life for myself and my family because of that decision.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day revolves around three things: research, consultation, and negotiation. First, I conduct research on behalf of my clients regarding which properties would best suit their current requirements, as well as how cost-effective they are. Once I find an appropriate site for a reasonable price, I consult with them on how to proceed. Finally, if I get the go-ahead, I will enter into negotiations with the owner of that property. Or, on the other side of things, if a client consults with me about wanting to sell one of their properties, I will make inquiries and conduct negotiations to that end.
How do you bring ideas to life?
That really is the essence of my job. My clients are industrial tycoons, commercial magnates, and very successful entrepreneurs. They have built their wealth on good ideas. In order to implement those ideas, however, they sometimes need to acquire property—whether it be to build a new factory, open a new outlet, or construct some condominiums. That’s when they come to me. I specialize in finding and acquiring just the right properties to bring their ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Right now, a trend that excites me greatly is the continued flow of new business into my company.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m very diligent about time allocation—I hate to waste time. To that end, I have cultivated a number of habits in order to maximize my productivity on any given day. Some of these include keeping a detailed calendar, replying to texts and emails in bunches at the end of the day instead of as they arrive, and avoiding unproductive distractions, such as watching television. I also make sure to sleep for seven hours each night and to eat healthy foods.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Given the chance, I might tell my younger self to lighten up a little bit. I’ve always been a very serious person. I’m starting to loosen up as the years pass, but I have a hunch that I may have missed out on some fun as a result of my serious attitude as a child.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe interest rates in this country are far too low, and have been for years. I believe this will ultimately hurt the American economy over the long-term.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I research every proposal I make to my clients very thoroughly. I recommend anyone in a similar position do the same. There is no downside to this practice; only upside.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
There’s an old proverb stating that “nothing succeeds like success.” For a long time, I thought that was a ridiculous tautology, but I now realize that it expresses a great truth. What I mean is this: Once I made my first really big, really profitable deal, all of sudden other high-end clients began to seek me out for my services. I no longer had to seek them out. My success brought them to me, which grew my business exponentially—and fast! That old proverb is true.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Oh, I’ve pitched clients on one or two properties that I regret. In some cases they went with my advice and bought them, and in some cases they did not. Usually, if they made the purchase, it became evident fairly quickly that the sites weren’t appropriate. I fixed these errors by selling the properties in question at or above market prices, which usually made the clients happy once again.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If someone is able to get the money together, you can’t go wrong by creating a well-curated hedge fund. Mind you, that usually requires at least a few million dollars.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on buying a really good bottle of wine to share with my wife.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use an app called Mint to keep track of my spending and stay on top of my bills. It works phenomenally well. I wholeheartedly endorse it to rich, middle-class, and underprivileged families alike, as it will save you money, no matter your job or station in life.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I think everyone who endeavors to make themselves financially literate should start with the very inception of the discipline of economics. Therefore, I recommend Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, Books 1-3 in order to provide them with a proper grounding in the subject.
What is your favorite quote?
“Nothing succeeds like success.” — Old Proverb
- Time is the most precious commodity there is. Don’t waste it.
- Keep track of your spending and stay on top of your bills.
- Nothing succeeds like success.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.