Having been investing in property with my business partner since 2005, I always try to analyse the commonalities of people who succeed over the long term, and those who drift away. We can all learn something from everyone, and even despite owning/co-owning and managing over 700 properties, I learn something new everyday. Every successful property investor I have mentored or been part of their journey in some way, started with similar challenges. Every master was once a disaster, and so the challenges you may face on your journey are likely to have been faced by those before you, and you can leverage those lessons to save time and money.
Here are 8 commonalities across the board of the best vs. the rest in any strategy of property investment:
There will be ebbs and flows, high and lows, wins and losses, good and bad luck, market and strategy and regulation changes. This is the same for us all. There have been many changes in the last decade. Some go for you, others go against you. You can pivot and evolve your strategies as you go, dancing with those changes. Those who keep at it, slow and steady sometimes, get there in the end and in their own time. I have lost count of how many people flew out of the blocks but then fell off the radar. Mortgage and finance accessibility and rules continually change, as do interest rates, local planning laws, data regulations, prices, rents; everything. Those who react to and seek solutions to the changes beat the competition. Those who think it’s all over manifest that reality.
Viewings, Offers, Finance, Management. In nearly all cases where people drift and get distracted or demotivated, I check that they are maintaining VOFM. Mostly they are not. This needs to be be maintained and not over complicated. It is the core of being a successful property investor. Keep the viewings up; a numbers game which leads to more offers (but revelation time; you actually have to make offers on properties if you ant to buy them!). More offers force you to find finance, and having finance forces you to make more offers. People often ask the ‘chicken and egg question of what to do first or to focus on most, offers or finance. The answer is both simultaneously, as each drive the other. Once you buy deals, many people think that’s it, it’s now passive income time, but the work has just started. All properties need managing well to pay passive )or active) rental income. You can leverage the management, but not the responsibility.
3. A balanced view & emotional management
I’ve seen 1000s of "I'm so excited" people who can't maintain the energy for very long. It’s great to be excited, but that energy needs to be honed and focused. I’ve also seen as many glass half empty people who get sucked into believing the critics & haters. When people say "you can't" they usually mean "I don't know how". But being hyper positive without balancing the risks and downsides is also dangerous. Try to see both sides of all situations and you will maintain more consistency and enduring success. Be skeptical protecting the downside, but optimistic about your long term future and the way you deal with people and challenges.
4. Real understanding of assets & passive income
It takes time to set up assets and passive income, but not a lifetime. You need to set to forget. You need to work hard enough not to have to work hard. But if you don't set up assets that pay passive income, you'll be working until you die. Invest as much of your time as you can into assets rather than time for money exchange, set them up, manage them well, systemise them and periodically check them, and you can and will gain recurring income. Be realistic about the time it takes but also that it can be done. After all Slade earn £500,000 a year, and have done for the last 4 decades, from that famous song. That I bet you’re singing now in your head.
5. Continual learning
If you plateau, be it from job to entrepreneur, or single let to sexier strategies, or comfortable to successful, you grind to a halt. The education on yourself never stops. Not just strategies, but understanding yourself, relationships with people, methods of finance, marketing, money, markets and more. It's a continual journey. Stay open minded. Give and receive in equal measure. I have met many seasoned investors who stagnated or thought they knew all they needed to know, and they got left behind in the wake of the disruption to single lets. Don’t be like them. Stay hungry. Stay humble. Invest in yourself, you are your best asset, you pay the best return.
6. Contacts & connections
Another asset that continually builds and you can never have enough of are people. Powerteam, financers, brokers, builders, lawyers, partners; you can never know enough good people. Keep building and nurturing good relations and equitable partnerships. This is also an every growing, ever present requirement. People start well but often go underground when someone doesn't walk up to them with a briefcase full of cash after a couple of networking events. They need managing just like property. They are an asset just like property. They can bring problems just like property.
7. Problem solving (mentality)
There will always be problems. They will often happen when you least expect them and don't want them. The timing will often be bad. This is the nature of problems. Rather than melt down and blame the universe when they happen, or go into victim mode, roll up your sleeves and tackle them head on. This can be you for big ones, and leveraged but managed by you for smaller ones. Those who continually solve problems and take responsibility, grow, and those who don’t, decay. It is a mindset as well as a skillset to staying enthusiastic through consistent challenges, and this really separates the best from the rest.
8. Patience vs. persistence balance
Stay hungry, stay humble, stay on course. So many people change course or lose enthusiasm/belief without giving it enough time. A couple of knock backs and they are gone. You simply have to keep going, but not become so 'persistent' that you annoy and push people away. You have time. Give it time, and balance making it happen vs. letting go and allowing things to come in their own time. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it can, but it can also get better when you least expect it.
Even if you don’t have experience, or money, you can be the property investor that you want to be. Active or passive, full or part time. Observe these 8 lessons reverse engineered from those who fly and those who fail. I hope these help you. Feel free to ask me any questions you have in our Progressive Property Facebook community with pushing 20,000 active property investors.