Property is a rapidly growing industry and can be daunting when you’re first starting out. So, whether you want a few buy to lets for your pension or can see yourself developing high rises in London, these are my 10 vital things to consider for when you’re starting this journey.
1. Why property? Why you? Why now?
Property is right for me. I love the journey, it’s exciting, it’s challenging, it can be frustrating but I find the results incredibly rewarding.
I don’t mean the money. I mean the excitement of pulling the deal together, the finished product, the journey of property and the excitement of being so engaged in such a fast-paced industry. So not just for the money!
Don’t get me wrong, property is a great vehicle for the money stuff. But if money is your only driver how are you going to pick yourself up when things don’t work out? Or how are you going to compete with passion and enthusiasm? If you’re not ready for a fast paced journey of growth and hard work then maybe property isn’t for you right now.
2. What’s your goal?
I see so many people spending so much energy, time, money and resource by running in circles.
When you start any journey, you need to know where you are going. Property is no different.
For example; if your goal is to provide great and affordable flats to the London housing market then stick to that, if someone brings you a plot of land in Manchester don’t waste time looking too far into it (notice how I didn’t say turn it away, always take opportunities, but half an hour due diligence will tell you whether it’s a viable deal).
Scatter gun approach to property is not an effective or productive method of working. Refine your goal and your strategy will appear before you.
3. Be relevant and stay ahead of the curve.
Don’t jump on a band wagon that you hear everyone talking about. By the time you are hearing about it (especially when you’re starting up), it’s likely to be too late.
Everything is always moving in waves and you will be most successful by being ahead of the wave. Find the niche ideas and models and refine them until you find your identity.
Property is a big business with many moving parts so find your flow and try to be ahead of the curve. To find the niche in your area talk to agents, have a look what your area needs (don’t look what other people are doing). What is the demographic of your area? Students? Families? Single working people? What does that demographic need? How can you provide it? How is your area changing? What will that mean to the housing market in your area?
There’s no exact science behind it, get talking to people, ask questions and figure it out.
4. Value safety over profits.
Property is a safe business, well as safe as any business can be. Use that to your advantage.
Invest and develop with a mentality of safety first. When in doubt, find clarity. When unsure, find answers. The horror stories you hear in property need not ever exist, they are nearly always a reflection of errors and overstretching. So, ask yourself before doing anything, Is this safe? Am I over leveraged? Tick all the boxes before going ahead with any deal.
Remember getting into a deal is easy, getting out of a deal in profit is where people get stuck, unless they’ve done their due diligence and thought about all the outcomes before starting.
5. Educate yourself.
I have never understood why people assume they can just start succeed straight away in this business.
You wouldn’t set out to be a solicitor, a doctor or any other professional without first considering your education.
Pick a path that suits you and immerse yourself in the learning and information until you know, feel and embody everything you need in order to succeed. You need to have the right information at your fingertips in order to be the successful property person you aim to become.
6. Do not limit yourself to the depths of your pockets.
So many people fail to “get started” as they assume property is all about money.
The money is only a mechanism in the deal. There are so many other elements that are equally if not more important than the money. If you can pull together a great deal in principle, you can get the money, you just need to come from the right space.
For example, most businesses you see today, started with an idea, a concept and a belief, not money. Money is something that creates hurdles and boundaries for people when it doesn’t need to, I for one, do million pound deals and do not use my own funds, you just need to get creative.
This is a bigger subject than just the point I’m making right now and is something I will cover at a later date.
7. Be prepared for ‘downs’.
Having a strong mindset is a MUST for a property professional.
Every property journey has its ups and downs and you need to role with these punches. Particularly when you are starting your journey, the first years are very often the toughest and you need to have a resolve which is relentless and says “I WILL NOT STOP”. You will lose prospective deals, you will encounter road blocks, you will have days where nothing feels like it’s working.
You need to keep yourself in a positive space and trust in your actions. Deal with this is whatever way you need to, property is a roller coaster you need to enjoy the ride but keep your emotions in check.
8. ‘Cheap’ does not mean ‘best’.
I can’t stress this enough. Stop looking for ‘cheap’ properties!
“I want a below market value property” Guess what… So does everyone.
If you spend your journey looking for the 25% BMV property we hear about all the time, in the wrong market, you will be looking for some time. Some areas just don’t have BMV properties at all!
Instead of asking “what can I get this for?” Start asking “How can I add value?” and “what strategy can I employ to make the most of this deal?”
9. Get outside of the box.
The most successful people in this or any industry find opportunity in the strangest of places.
We currently live in times of uncertainty both politically and economically. This means many people in many industries are standing still and waiting for stability.
Be the person who finds the opportunity within this, be the person who creates their own stability. Property is a creative and engaging industry and for those creative types out there, this is your opportunity to take life changing action.
10. You will not be successful alone.
Not one single successful person is a product of working alone. The same can be said for me, my team and my partners.
Property can be a lonely journey if you go at it alone. So, bring people on the ride with you. We all believe we run out of either time, money or knowledge. By working with other’s we double, triple, quadruple our resource and more heads are better than one. Stay open to partnerships, relationships and leverage others who can leverage you. By working in win/win relationships you will go much further.
As a final thought, I want you to know, if you’re thinking about starting a property journey, you can do it!
You MUST start by taking some action, imagine where you will be in 5 years if you take one small step every day. There are so many opportunities in property.
When you hit hurdles, simply smile, acknowledge the challenge and find the best route forward. Believe in yourself and others will too, and be patient, as they say, Rome was not built in a day.
Wishing you the best with your journey