Category Archives for Property Investing

Cystal Ball

Where are My Crystal Balls?

Now it has all calmed down, can we move forward and not look back in anger. There has been some incredible vocabulary used by politicians in the last week. Xenophobia, disengaged, Fear, Anger, all of these words have negative perspectives.

Surely we should be using, community, empowered, pride, tolerant as replacements as this is how we have been living in the last three decades. One UKIP MEP stated that although he would naturally be out of a job in the next few years, his political ambition to serve his constituency would not waiver, although he admitted he would need to find a different path to do so.

So where does this unrest lead us to? The FTSE is back up to ‘normal’ levels, The pound has rallied, and everyone is still talking to each other in Europe. The agenda for change is being drafted, and David Cameron will steer this ship, until a new captain can take over, we are not rudderless.

And to property …….. have banks stopped lending? Not to my knowledge. Are interest rates predicted to rise? Not in the near future, at least. Which is interesting in itself, as the economists have been predicting a rise for the last eighteen months; still not happened.

The important thing to realise, is that we can adapt. One of the things that most individuals with a bit of business sense can do, is find ways of solving problems in hand, or engineer ways around them. There is change ahead. It may not be choreographed as well as a Diversity dance act, but we will get to the other side.

And that is my point. Property investors, for the most part, will continue do what they are doing, they will follow the principles of property investment, and they will monitor and assess their goals and objectives.

All change ……

Where do you see your portfolio going? Up, down or sideways?

Let me know if I can help you in any way.

Property Investment Outlook 2016

We're in uncertain times right now with a whole multitude of issues and regulations to hit the property investors pocket - but can you still make money through property?

I've been having a lot of meetings recently with clients who are interested in our hands-free HMO Portfolio Builder product and these questions and others have come up many times.

  • is this a good time to get into property investment?
  • what do you think will happen to interest rates?
  • what about the change in taxation allowances that is coming in?
  • do you think lenders will continue lending to property investors and landlords?
  • what area is the best place to buy for a property investor?
  • what property investment strategy should I do if I don't do HMO's?
  • do you think there's going to be another property crash?

and so much more.

The answer I have to these questions are the following:

Choose a Strategy

There are dozens of strategies you can follow. Whilst this is predominantly a HMO educational resource, HMO mentoring and HMO investment site; I am familiar with the numerous other strategies having been involved with and done many of them myself.

In my book "Cracking the Property Code", I describe 45 strategies that you can choose from (and I am sure there are at least a dozen more to be added) but remember; the choosing is the easy part.

If you're the type of property investor that likes to have a slice of every pie, then sure this will be more fun than the guy or gal who solidly plugs away at one HMO, then the next HMO, then the next HMO, then the next HMO.

BUT; that solid property investor with his or her main strategy will recoup the benefits in the long-run.  They'll have a more solid asset base, be more grounded in their wisdom and knowledge of their market and strategy and they'll ultimately have much more free time than the "shiny penny" property investor who flits from one strategy to another

STEP ONE: Choose Your Main Strategy​

Become An Expert

Picture this: you're in your 6th year of following your chosen strategy.  You've built up a portfolio or business which is turning over very nicely.  You've had some struggles (anyone telling you that property is easy is normally a salesman who DOES not have your best interests at heart) but you're in a stable solid position.

​You're now ready to diversify and to explore a new strategy.  This strategy may not work first of all, you may lose some money and you'll certainly gain experience but you're starting this off from a solid footing. You already have a successful and stable business in the strategy you chose to master 6 years ago.

Now picture this.  You want to get started.  You want to make money quickly. You've seen a ​course advertising how you can become a millionaire in 1 year. You go on the course, you spend money on the next course that's offered.  You go on that and then you see an advert for another thing that's saying you don't need money to invest and you can make £10K a month within 3 months.  

You're intrigued and off you pop onto that webinar, hang onto the experts every word and then start to follow what they say.  This spiral continues for some good 12-24-36-48 months until one day you decide you've spent thousands on education but you have nothing to show for it.

The lesson here is - become an expert in your chosen strategy.  Live it, breathe it, soak up all the knowledge you can, pay for a course or two, hire a mentor if you need to be held accountable (and want to fast-track your progress by 30-50%). But above all​ - know that because you chose well, your expertise will see you through the good times and the bad times as you sharpen your saw further.

STEP TWO​: Become An Expert At Your Chosen Strategy

Live The Long Game

Property investment always works best when the landlord holds onto their property for the longest possible period.

With capital appreciation in the United Kingdom proving to be strong over the last 100 years; for the person who can wait for the prize - the prize becomes even bigger and exceeds all expectations in a way that short-term fixes never can.

Most property investors do end buying a property or two​ that does not cut the grade.  And it's fine to sell these off, recoup whatever losses you made and try again.  But always beware the "shiny penny" or the "silver lining" or the "grass is greener" adage - your best interests are always served by forecasting out the future and holding onto the assets you have.

To build an asset base gives you financial security, stability, surety and a grounding that cannot be taken away.  There are certain strategies that clearly preclude this but these strategies are generally start-up strategies designed to build your war chest.​

To become wealthy through property, you must at some stage - invest in property and then hold it for the longer term - 10, 20, 30  years or more.

STAGE THRE​E - Build Your Asset  Base And Hold On For The Long Game

In future blogs, I will discuss some of the other questions raised by my clients (and any other's raised by this blog) but for now, I'd encourage you to review where you are right now, ensure you are following ONE proven strategy that will build your asset base and work on becoming an expert in this strategy.

We cannot predict the future but we can certainly ride the storms ahead through careful planning and the accumulation of cash-flow positive property investments.

I recommend HMO's as your chosen cash-flow strategy and to gain the very best in knowledge to set you up to succeed, I'd recommend you grab one of our free cheat sheets and start your journey today - invest in HMO's, invest in your future.

Show Me The Money

I love this clip and I think anybody serious about property should love it too.

After all, what is anybody in property investing for – unless they want a little piece of the pie.

We don’t go through all the heartache, the blood, the sweat, the tears, the disgruntled tenant, the broken toilet, the boiler and central heating going on a saturday night in december, the kitchen flooding, the non-paying obtuse tenant, the tax return, the worry, the stress, I could go on and on and on…

No, we don’t go through all of this for the good of our health.

We do it so that one day we can see the money (cashflow) coming trickling through, then roaring through.

Of course, if you have HMO’s, you’re pretty much going to see this roaring cashflow straight away – but always remember to keep some in reserve for a rainy day (!).

Enjoy this classic clip and make sure that you ask somebody everyday to “show me the money”.

“Not in my back yard” property investing

There comes a time when people need to stand and be counted, yet often a lot of what seems to come across from the media is talk about how the vunerable in society are being used and that we should all stand against the vultures of capitalism.

A case in point merits further explanation on a place dear to many seasides visitors, Southend.

Apparently developers are moving in on large victorian houses which front the sea, trying to buy them and then converting them into flats or worse still – multiple-occupancy homes. (I clearly say that tongue in cheek as this blog is all about HMO’s and more!).

An MP bemoans a company that leaflet drops targetting these areas (one elderly gentleman threw his in the bin), a local says – why don’t they refurbish the high street and the office blocks that have been left standing – lets have a moratorium on new-buildings.

Alas, I fear that none of these folks in their misguided attempts to do “the right thing” fully understands the meaning of “not in my back yard” and here is where it shall be explained.

Not in my back yard actually stands for:

  • No progress
  • Idiotic decisions based on emotion or money; not fact nor reason
  • Many cooks poking their noses in, getting paid and moving on
  • Bureacratic planning laws impeding progress
  • Yesterday’s property left to rot whilst tomorrow’s property is yet to be dreamt up – at the expense of today’s property being under lock and key.

Everywhere you see it – whether it be a new block of flats, a neighbours garage, a schook, a runway or even a wind-farm.  The people that extoll the “not in my back yard” mantra are the people that are impacting the rest of society – not the other way around.

Harsh words perhaps but lets face the facts.

  • councils approve planning applications based on their own “local” plan.  This is often put together by “professionals” and “amateurs” who have no overall strategic overview over what they are agreeing too.
  • the grants offered to turn empty derelict buildings into modern tenanted buildings are infrequent and often poor.  And even if you do get them, they often come with many onerous terms and conditions which hampers, rather than helps.
  • the focus on a quick buck is always the media angle on this but why would a development company enter into a development that lost them money?  That just wouldn’t be good business sense.
  • the British-way seems to be more and more to be jealous, suspicious or plan envious at anybody who is running a successful business.  Why is that?  If somebody has taken massive action, then all credit to them.

So, lets all look to the future and work together to figure out what needs to be done at a local and national level to turn this once great country of ours, back into the bastion of civilization and respect that it used to be.

Rather than “opposition” groups, lets have “co-operation” groups; rather than “not in my back yard” groups, lets have “change for the better” groups.

Property Investment Outlook 2015

We're in uncertain times right now with a whole multitude of issues and regulations to hit the property investors pocket - but can you still make money through property?

I've been having a lot of meetings recently with clients who are interested in our hands-free HMO Portfolio Builder product and these questions and others have come up many times.

  • is this a good time to get into property investment?
  • what do you think will happen to interest rates?
  • what about the change in taxation allowances that is coming in?
  • do you think lenders will continue lending to property investors and landlords?
  • what area is the best place to buy for a property investor?
  • what property investment strategy should I do if I don't do HMO's?
  • do you think there's going to be another property crash?

and so much more.

The answer I have to these questions are the following:

Choose a Strategy

There are dozens of strategies you can follow. Whilst this is predominantly a HMO educational resource, HMO mentoring and HMO investment site; I am familiar with the numerous other strategies having been involved with and done many of them myself.

In my book "Cracking the Property Code", I describe 45 strategies that you can choose from (and I am sure there are at least a dozen more to be added) but remember; the choosing is the easy part.

If you're the type of property investor that likes to have a slice of every pie, then sure this will be more fun than the guy or gal who solidly plugs away at one HMO, then the next HMO, then the next HMO, then the next HMO.

BUT; that solid property investor with his or her main strategy will recoup the benefits in the long-run.  They'll have a more solid asset base, be more grounded in their wisdom and knowledge of their market and strategy and they'll ultimately have much more free time than the "shiny penny" property investor who flits from one strategy to another

STEP ONE: Choose Your Main Strategy​

Become An Expert

Picture this: you're in your 6th year of following your chosen strategy.  You've built up a portfolio or business which is turning over very nicely.  You've had some struggles (anyone telling you that property is easy is normally a salesman who DOES not have your best interests at heart) but you're in a stable solid position.

​You're now ready to diversify and to explore a new strategy.  This strategy may not work first of all, you may lose some money and you'll certainly gain experience but you're starting this off from a solid footing. You already have a successful and stable business in the strategy you chose to master 6 years ago.

Now picture this.  You want to get started.  You want to make money quickly. You've seen a ​course advertising how you can become a millionaire in 1 year. You go on the course, you spend money on the next course that's offered.  You go on that and then you see an advert for another thing that's saying you don't need money to invest and you can make £10K a month within 3 months.  

You're intrigued and off you pop onto that webinar, hang onto the experts every word and then start to follow what they say.  This spiral continues for some good 12-24-36-48 months until one day you decide you've spent thousands on education but you have nothing to show for it.

The lesson here is - become an expert in your chosen strategy.  Live it, breathe it, soak up all the knowledge you can, pay for a course or two, hire a mentor if you need to be held accountable (and want to fast-track your progress by 30-50%). But above all​ - know that because you chose well, your expertise will see you through the good times and the bad times as you sharpen your saw further.

STEP TWO​: Become An Expert At Your Chosen Strategy

Live The Long Game

Property investment always works best when the landlord holds onto their property for the longest possible period.

With capital appreciation in the United Kingdom proving to be strong over the last 100 years; for the person who can wait for the prize - the prize becomes even bigger and exceeds all expectations in a way that short-term fixes never can.

Most property investors do end buying a property or two​ that does not cut the grade.  And it's fine to sell these off, recoup whatever losses you made and try again.  But always beware the "shiny penny" or the "silver lining" or the "grass is greener" adage - your best interests are always served by forecasting out the future and holding onto the assets you have.

To build an asset base gives you financial security, stability, surety and a grounding that cannot be taken away.  There are certain strategies that clearly preclude this but these strategies are generally start-up strategies designed to build your war chest.​

To become wealthy through property, you must at some stage - invest in property and then hold it for the longer term - 10, 20, 30  years or more.

STAGE THRE​E - Build Your Asset  Base And Hold On For The Long Game

In future blogs, I will discuss some of the other questions raised by my clients (and any other's raised by this blog) but for now, I'd encourage you to review where you are right now, ensure you are following ONE proven strategy that will build your asset base and work on becoming an expert in this strategy.

We cannot predict the future but we can certainly ride the storms ahead through careful planning and the accumulation of cash-flow positive property investments.

I recommend HMO's as your chosen cash-flow strategy and to gain the very best in knowledge to set you up to succeed, I'd recommend you grab one of our free cheat sheets and start your journey today - invest in HMO's, invest in your future.

An Outsourcing Case Study

Managing Yourself or Outsourcing to The Professionals?

I’m known for being hot on systems but if you are just starting out or if you have properties yourself, what can you outsource and what should you keep in-house?

When I first got started, I managed everything:

  • Marketing
  • House administration (ie utility bills, insurance)
  • Tenant administration (ie rent, paperwork, viewings, moving in/out)
  • Accounts receivable
  • Account payable
  • Maintenance
  • Business development
  • Book-keeping & Accounts

And a whole heap more that took time and effort to do.

And the thing is, nobody is ever going to be great at everything – it isn’t possible.

It took me two months to figure out that it would be better for somebody else to take on the jobs that I wasn’t good at and let me focus on the things I was good at.  It actually took over five years to properly set up our systems and processes to allow me to hand 90% of the business to outsourced and in-house staff.

Here’s how I did it:

Year Outsourced Task Why
Year 1 1) Annual accounts and tax returns straight away.

2) Gardening & cleaning after 6 months

3) Maintenance

1) Whilst I understand numbers, I haven’t got the energy to do them myself.

2) By doing it myself, I knew the time and standards required

3) No enjoyment so why do yourself?!

Year 2 1) A Property managed as a test 1) First manager had conflict of interest; second manager rescued things!
Year 3 1) Marketing for tenants online

2) Book-keeping

3) Management of portfolio

4) Opened up lettings business

1) Tested a PA on marketing tasks.  Then outsourced lead generation.

2) Moved to accountants.

3) Gave management to manager.

4) Systems and people already in place so made sense to expand where we could.

Year 4 1) Developed systems in all areas

2) Expanded lettings business

1) Expansion = slippage without standards.  Systems created for consistency in portfolio

2) Systems = Expansion.

Year 5 1) Accounts Payable / Receivable

2) Bad debts

3) Office

4) Apprenticeships

1) Outsourced to Experts who are unbiased and professional.

2) Still trialing different companies.

3) Home and Work.

4) To assist with administration/customers

This is only a snapshot but allows you to follow a logical progression and consider how your business can benefit from outsourcing.

Outsourcing and modifying systems never changes but you can quickly get to grips with the right ones for you by understanding the organization you need to run your business for you.

We cover this and much more in many of my programmes as well as in my book.  For more 1-2-1 assistance, why not work work directly with me to build your systems and processes to world-class level in just 6-12 months.  Look at the Mentoring section for more details.

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