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How to build a property portfolio

How to build a property portfolio and make money

Interview: Tanya Haffern

By Angelique Ruzicka

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How to build a property portfolio and make money

Interview: Tanya Haffern

By Angelique Ruzicka

, |

3 min read

Many profess to be knowledgeable about investing in property and try to make money off people who are interested in making a quick buck. But there are some legitimate operators out there who have a few tips and tricks up their sleeves who know the property game and can show wannabe investors a thing or two about making real money.

Tanya Haffern is one of these legitimate operators and boasts several ‘hats’ including author, speaker, property investor and trainer. She as recently published a book ‘Bricks for Chicks’ (Penguin: R200), which she refers to as a ‘Just bricks, no bullsh*t’ guide to property investing for women who want to take control of their financial destiny.

Here, Tanya talks exclusively to Estate Living’s editor about her book and views on how people can become financially independent.

I know you say your book can also be aimed at men, but why specifically aim this at women? Do you feel they are lacking in knowledge when it comes to property investment? And if so, why?

Tanya Haffern (TH): I certainly am not implying women lack knowledge, the title is a playful conversation starter. As a mother of 2 daughters, I am passionate about educating women and girls to grow their financial knowledge in order to be able to take care of themselves. Of course, the principles in my book relate to investing so by default, the lessons are for men and women.

Why would investing in ‘bricks’ help you feel in control of finances – wouldn’t a realistic budget alone do that?

TH: While a budget will certainly help you manage your income versus spend, it does not grow your income. My book focuses on property but of course, I strongly encourage people to create multiple income streams which I believe is a form of self-care. One source of income guarantees stress because if you lose it, thanks to covid, retrenchments etc, there is no back up.

Your book aims to bust the most problematic property terminology, which terms do women in particular struggle with? 

TH: Not only women, men too! It is not that people struggle with terminology but rather they are not familiar with them. It is like any business, there are terms used and unless you are in that business, you wouldn’t even know they exist! I aim to introduce those terms to daily conversation – open up property investing to all and not just those who are in the industry.

You say the book will help people attain financial independence – what is your definition of financial independence?

TH: Financial independence is being able to do what you want, when you want, with who you want. It means many different things to different people. I am hoping to encourage people to start building passive income to start covering expenses, for example, aim to cover school fees, then cover petrol, then cover rent – you get the idea.

Your book helps women build a property portfolio. Is this a good idea now given that we’re in an environment when interest rates are going up? 

TH: It is always a good idea to invest in property provided you have the right skills and choose the right property. You need to make sure the property income will cover interest rate hikes – well as far as possible given that we don’t know how many more hikes lie ahead. There will always be reasons not to invest – political unrest, interest rates etc, but with the right skills and the right research, it can build your income and wealth effectively.

When it comes to the major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban where do you see the most value? What areas are likely to gain the most growth for investors looking to make the most gain? 

TH: I don’t like to specify areas; my aim is to teach people how to find their own properties not just follow what I say. Having said that, the Cape is booming thanks to semigration so it’s probably too late to invest there.

What’s the biggest property investment mistake that people could make right now? 

TH: Buying the wrong property – by that I mean buying a property that costs you money every month. You never want to pay for your tenant’s lifestyle, the point of investing is to receive income into your pocket, not take it out!

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