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From restaurant failure to real estate success story: Ivan Tandyo

Ivan Tandyo, previous restaurateur, is now managing Xynergy Realty and nearly 2,000 properties.

The last thing you’d associate with the co-founder of a thriving real estate agency would be the story of a failing restaurateur. However, for Ivan Tandyo this was just the start of his journey towards successfully starting and managing Xynergy Realty.

Now managing nearly 2,000 properties, and holding its own as a competitive player in the real estate industry for over 10 years, Xynergy is worlds apart from where Ivan started at the age of 20.

Despite early beginnings with a string of unsuccessful restaurants, followed by the nightmare of liquidation, bankruptcy and people chasing him for money, it was Ivan’s failings that helped him build strength, invaluable knowledge and resilience.

“Going through the collapse of my restaurants was a critical part of the process that shaped who I am today and it is how I learned and developed the business skills that have guided my success today.”

In his early days, Ivan was naïve and too eager to expand, which saw him further pushing himself in debt, when he prematurely opened a second restaurant branch at Melbourne Central.

“I was young, I was impatient, I wanted to grow too quickly and I wasn’t focused on the journey.”

From there on, business down spiraled and Ivan recalls crying in front of his property manager at Melbourne Central, begging for help. Only to be met with the harsh reality that in the business world you need to fend for yourself.

“I went home not knowing what to do and then went bankrupt. I lost a lot of money and owed people a lot of money.”

To get back on track Ivan sold his business to a Japanese restaurant, which allowed him to begin paying back a portion of what he owed, with what was going to be a two-year journey and struggle.

“Although it was an immensely difficult and stressful period, looking back I’m now glad and grateful that I went through all of it, as I learned so many things.

“Everything comes with a capacity, if you want to develop a bigger company, it requires you to expand your own capacity, with a bigger mindset, mentality and a deeper level of skill and understanding of how to run a business,” he said.

Ivan realised for his next business venture he needed more than just his own ideas but also the leadership and implementation skills of another to be successful.

Once identifying a gap in the Australian market for Asian investors, Ivan decided he wanted to help others buy property in Australia at a time when it wasn’t easy and no one else was doing it.

By having a firm understanding of the Australian property market and its regulations, Ivan wanted to help facilitate an investment process that transpired peace of mind, where the numbers and management were knowledgeably taken care of.

To seize the opportunity Ivan partnered with Bruce Oliver and together they co-founded Xynergy Realty, with only $15,000 in capital.

“Normally a business requires a few hundred thousand dollars and we didn’t have that, but this limitation actually helped us. It encouraged our creativity and drove us to generate new ideas,” said Ivan.

Ivan said Xynergy Realty’s asset management now manages a portfolio close to a billion dollars.

Ivan’s experience demonstrates that capital is not always number one, and that past failings can lead to later success.

Ivan’s 3 top tips for fool proofing your new business venture:

1. Partner up before commencing a new business venture

Find someone who has complementary skills that will bring added strength and support to your business idea and get them onboard.

2. Draw from your mistakes

Mistakes are worth making and learning from. Don’t overlook what has happened in the past, but let it be a valued piece of information that prevents it from happening again and use it as a guide for improving company practices and future performance.

3. Don’t grow your business too quickly

Try to avoid racing ahead and don’t to get caught up in growing as quickly as possible. When starting a new venture you want the foundation of your business to be as solid as possible. Establishing and refining your business deserves your full attention and time, before you rush ahead.

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