The months of April, May and June represent the busiest times in the property investment calendar for buying and selling properties, and are prime for helping investors scale their small businesses and promote their growth. While housing prices dipped in 2017 for the first time in several years, if you let this stop you investing you risk losing out – big time.
So ask yourself: this year, are you going to knock your targets to pieces, will you achieve some but hit a brick wall with others, or will you fail to even make a dent?
To help you have the successful high season you want, we have put together 7 pro tips to help guide you towards growing your small business and moving towards a bigger, better and more lucrative property portfolio.
Make 2017 your year!
1. Start getting your hands dirty
Many entrepreneurs with dreams of succeeding as investors live their lives without ever taking the plunge into property. This tragedy doesn’t have to be the case for you, because as long as you find that one good investment to start your journey, you can take the plunge, invest in something of your own, and start making a difference.
That first investment can be the most difficult, with fears and doubts holding you back from success. However, if you begin small, start local, put your research and due diligence into the geographical area and its profit potential, you will find yourself on the right track for an excellent initial investment.
Make sure that you have the down payment you need and calculate your margins and operating expenses. It can be tempting to find a “fixer-upper” property at a bargain before flipping it into a rental, but if you decide to do this, recognise that a property requiring renovation is a property that can require a great deal of extra investment, unless you already have the right industry contacts.
Ultimately, a first-time investment will teach you more than any amount of research you can do online or in books, so in the end, you’re just going to have to go for it.
2. Create a positive cashflow
Investing in a positive cash flow property means that its rental income exceeds the costs of the mortgage and the investment property management. One of the advantages of doing so is having the opportunity to use this extra money to fund further investment purchases, or cover the costs of your other mortgages.
Before basing your whole small business growth strategy on properties that offer positive cash flow, it is important to realise that their values may be less likely to explode as fast as those requiring a little extra cash every month.
Be conservative when considering how much extra cashflow a prospective property is likely to bring you. You may want to slightly overstate your expenses and underestimate the rental income it may bring in, to avoid suffering during void periods or if the interest rate refuses to budge.
3. Increase your property value
There are numerous ways to increase the value of your properties, many of which are low-cost, and some of which cost more but have the potential of skyrocketing your property.
Cheap options involve cleaning, adding a lick of paint here and there, and making sure that the fixtures appear well-maintained. Curb appeal can go a long way too, with attractive potted plants and outdoor lights offering low-cost options for doing so. First impressions can count for a lot, for both prospective buyers and tenants.
Higher-cost methods of increasing your property value can involve significant outlays, but should be done with the aim of seriously bumping up your property’s value. These include adding new doors and windows, changing carpets, knocking walls through, reducing noise or even renovating the whole property.
While these changes can bring about improvements to the value, it’s important to work out the costs and how much extra value they are likely to bring about. You will also want to ensure that you avoid over-improving by putting high-end appliances and features into a property that suits more modestly priced attributes.
4. Learn when to cut your losses
One of the biggest time-and-money drains in property investment involves hanging around waiting for a property you plan to sell to reach the price you want it to reach. If this is happening, regardless of whether you have tenants in the property, you may still be losing money.
To explain, if you are holding on to a property that is failing to generate as much equity as you had hoped, you are missing out on the opportunity to make more money from a better property than the dud. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride, sell up, and take the loss on the chin.
5. Define a clear investment strategy
There are many investment strategies to choose from when it comes to property investment, and you may find yourself favouring more than one. Only hard research, consulting your contacts and doing some soul-searching will tell you what will be the most beneficial strategy for you and for scaling your small business.
Some of the best strategies include a standard single occupancy buy-to-let, HMOs, flipping, and joint venture property buying strategies. While there is no “one size fits all” approach to property investment, it is important to decide which strategy(ies) you are going to focus your time on.
Keep in mind that what could be a good investment strategy to help grow one small business could spell foolishness for another, so plan your strategy around your long-term financial targets. For example, working for passive income is different to aiming for big-time equity, and aiming to reach your goal in 10 years is different to aiming to reach your goal in 20.
6. Play to your strengths
This may be tied up with the necessity of defining a clear strategy to focus on. Most property investors will benefit from finding one section of the property investment market that they love and are capable of finding success in, and then concentrating on this area.
Focus on the elements you excel at and then study them, develop them, and expand them. Find the investors who have conquered the area you wish to make your main focus and read, watch and listen to every piece of content that they have created.
No one can be an expert in all areas – particularly during the early part of your property investment career – so once you have defined which you want to play to, don’t dip your fingers in too many different pies, at least at first; stick to one and try to perfect it.
7. Take a course
There is no faster way to either prepare you for the world of property investment or to rapidly increase your knowledge of the field than by taking up a property investment course. Of course, you will have to dive into the property investment market and be closely involved to succeed, but there are many potential pitfalls that a good property investment trainer can prepare you for.
The uninitiated entrepreneur may find their way within the market over time, but property investment is unlike most other fields, in that the cost of each asset is astronomically higher than if you make your money buying and selling clothes or freshly baked cakes. Because asset prices are so high, making a single mistake can cost an investor thousands of pounds.
Property investors are lucky to live at a time when there is a great deal of free information available online and cheap information to be found in books, videos and podcasts. There are also a lot of people and companies trying to make some easy money but who are not qualified or successful enough to do so, so it is essential to read up on anyone you consider giving your hard-earned money to.
Doesn’t it make sense to invest in yourself and learn from a teacher who has already accomplished what you are setting out to do, and who can teach you the ways to overcome or avoid the obstacles that lie between you and powerful success?
If you would like to know more about scaling your small business and the kinds of property investment courses available to you, visit here
You can also learn more about property investment by reading our book The 44 Most Closely Guarded Property Secrets, which you can find here