Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Why oh Why do we do Property Investment?


He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Why do you do what you do?

Why? is a potent question. This seemingly innocuous combination of three letters has the potential to cause havoc or an unnerving degree of anguish when addressing a sensitive subject.

Do you ever stop to think about why you …
… do the job you do?
… live where you do?
… drive that particular car?
… go to that particular holiday destination?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to pause and revisit the reasons for my daily actions. Otherwise, the risk is that I fall into habits of activity, the original purpose for which may be long gone.

Why Property?

Going back many years, when The Other Half and I started investing in property, we simply bought what worked for us at the time – a holiday home, a pied-a-terre in London – and were lucky to ride the crest of an increasing house price wave. The over-riding reason was … fun! It added value to our corporate-centric lives.

Since those heady days back in the late 1980’s we’ve had plenty of ups and downs in property and life, acquiring a few rentals along the way. Years later, we eventually realised that property had come to form the backbone of our income, sustaining us through a multitude of moves, job changes, life and business challenges and too many hair-brained schemes.

When we started, the income factor was not important, but that has changed. Now, property is our business and the rental portfolio our primary source of income. If we don’t “do” property, we don’t eat. Quite an incentive to make it work, don’t you think? (Oh ok, I’m exaggerating just a little – but we wouldn’t be able to go to nice restaurants!)

What’s Your Why?
Chances are, in reading this you are either considering or already investing in property yourself. 

Why? What is your over-riding purpose? What is the ultimate reason for which you are purchasing property and renting it out, that will keep you going through the days when tenants can’t or won’t pay the rent, when they do a bunk and leave a mess, when you lose out on a deal that you’ve been working on for weeks or more? What is worth the time and hassle involved in renovating or flipping, or (gasp) the risk of losing money?

Some people invest in property because they love it – they relish getting down and dirty with the physical bricks and mortar, or thrive on the thrill of cutting the deal. For others, investing is a means to an end. There might be almost as many motives as there are readers, but examples for the latter group could include:

  •          Not enough pension for the lifestyle you want during retirement
  •          Being able to give up a hated job
  •          Having a more flexible lifestyle
  •          Helping your children get a foot on the property ladder
  •          Securing your family’s future
  •          Getting a decent return on your money.
I’m sure you can think of plenty more, but what does it for someone else may not do it for you. Your reason must resonate at an emotional level. I may want a decent return on my money, but that in itself is not enough to stir me to get off my rear end and build a property portfolio just to be able to see higher ROI percentage figures on the spreadsheet. Being independent and having enough freedom to pick and choose what I do and when I do it, is.

Let’s be honest. There might well be times you wish you had never started. So what is it that will get you through that and break through the pain barrier to the long term reward? You may not like going to the gym, but you do it for the gratification of good health and an enviable physique in the long term.

As Nietzsche says, it’s the why that will get you through the how’s. To find your why, ask yourself:
Why am I investing in property?
When you have an answer to that, ask:
What does that get for me?

Repeat the above question until you get to a word or phrase that resonates emotionally, a little mental “Ah!” of satisfaction and recognition that says “yes, that’s it, that’s why I’m doing it.”

Check in with yourself every year or so to make sure that reason is still valid. Circumstances change, attitudes change and it’s ok to uncover a different outcome with a different why.

Key point: to invest in property successfully, uncover the deep-down emotional reason why it is important to you.

Helpful books:

Jayne Owen
Writer: Your Property Network magazine
Mozaique Property, South & West Wales ( @jayneowen)
The Property Bookshop (@Property_Books)

Personal and Professional Leadership Coach

Monday, 24 March 2014

Keep Your Knowledge up to date

Keep Your Knowledge Up To Date

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin
Have you noticed that the property investing landscape doesn’t stay the same for too long? Market fluctuations, lending criteria, regulation and budget changes all have a major impact on the day-to-day business of property investing. Any changes might usher in new methods of operation, or result in new opportunities or acquisition strategies.
How do we keep up with it all?

One of the challenges, I believe, of 21st century living is how to manage the volume of information that comes at us every day. This is not specific to property of course, but the e-revolution of the past 20-30 years has transformed the way information is distributed. As well as newspapers, industry magazines and books, we now also have email newsletters, online forums, industry specialist sites, RSS newsfeeds, blogs … the list can go on and on.
Then we suffer from information overload.

As investors and landlords it is our responsibility to make sure that we know what the current regulations are, and keep an eye on anything that might affect the value of our properties and rental yields. Over-reliance on one strategy could be heavily affected by a change in policy. While it might make sense to specialise in one particular property investment sector, it is important to keep scanning that landscape for signs of change at the same time.
Keeping up to date with change is essential, but what options are available to you if you want to avoid drowning in the deluge of information?

Professional associations. Joining an organisation such as the NLA or RLA is probably a no-brainer if you are a residential landlord. The information is reliable and most associations communicate regularly with members by email, post or both, and send out a regular publication of industry news.

Professional network. By this, I mean your network of professional contacts – brokers, surveyors, solicitors, accountants and so on, as well as organised network meetings. Updates can be conveyed via meetings, email newsletters, blogs or even webinars. Organised networking meetings may also deliver updates that affect the market.

Online property forums. The right forum can be a good source of knowledge provided you have the time and inclination to search for what you want. Beware though – they can be addictive and you could end up wasting many hours. Depending on how you value your time, it might be cheaper in the long run to pay for the information or advice you need.

Industry magazines. There are a lot of consumer property magazines around, though precious few specifically for investors. As a writer for Your Property Network, I must declare an interest here! It is not the only one on the market, and most investor magazines will keep readers abreast of changes.

Books. Being a book-lover, it is no surprise that I advocate books as a good source of information! For timely updates and changes though, you are better off with a professional association, your own network, magazines or forums. Books are a good place to start when you want to learn about something new or are seeking inspiration.

Courses. More expensive, very focused and generally a means of developing your knowledge of a particular subject, rather than keeping you up to date. Most landlords will benefit from a course that introduces them to the regulations and responsibilities of letting residential property, though whether to become an Accredited Landlord remains the individual’s choice at present. That may change, so watch that space. Numerous companies and individuals offer courses on property strategies and wealth development – choose your course and provider with care. Decide what subject you want to learn about first, then research providers carefully. Get recommendations from previous delegates.

Mastermind groups and courses. Often a high cost, these are more suitable either for ‘serious’ or experienced investors who want to develop themselves and their business, or for people who want to turn professional.
Key point: find the information medium that works best for you and avoid getting distracted by all the rest.

Jayne Owen
Editor: The Property Bookshop (@Property_Books)
Your Property Network magazine
Mozaique Property, South & West Wales
Personal and Professional Leadership Coach

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Student HMO investments - are they worth it?

Over the last two and half years the Midas team have been researching and developing an exciting new product which is now a proven model and ready to roll out. It's called a student HMO which stands for House of Multiple Occupation and is basically a property with rooms rented out separately on individual basis. 

We looked for an area which would provide predictable rental incomes and where there would be a high density of potential tenants. Cardiff provides just such a location and the small triangle of streets known affectionately to investors as "The Golden Triangle" - Cathays. We developed a concierge service for one of our client who now has 5 HMOs generating a massive £5,500 per month passive income. 

Take a look at this video and see how they work. If you are interested and would like one for yourself, just get in touch and we can send you the PDF and spreadsheet to play with the numbers. 

We can also arrange a viewing of several of the properties so you can see for yourself. Call 0844 357 940 or email info@midasestates.com and ask for the HMO Information pack. 

Wishing you every success.
Robin Campbell (Director @ Midas)
....helping people profit from property and design a life of choice

0117 9117590 | 077 6660 6662 | Website | robin.campbell@midasestates.com

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Leave Nothing to Chance with your property investment

Midas Property School
Midas Property School

At Midas, our standards are extremely high, and we are always striving to ensure your investment is protected and your financial position as strong as it can be.

So, we insist on our clients having a buffer in place to protect them. Mortgage rate increase, repairs, voids or a need drop rents will impact your cash flow, so we insist that buffer is enough to protect you in such times.

This tough stance might seem a little strict, but we believe this sensible approach ensures you are still thriving whilst others are struggling.

The buffer is your nest egg and an essential part of your portfolio structure.

It's vital we find the best tenants for your property and we carry out extensive checks on them before they sign. They must pass a credit check, provide works and landlords references. If any of these references do not prove positive, we will not accept them as tenants. Reference

We conduct a video inventory when the tenant checks in and checks out, to ensure the deposit can be utilised to cover the costs of any damages.

This detailed inventory covers the condition of every part of the property and is legally watertight when a claim is made on the deposit.

Our management team director Tom Derrett, who is a qualified barrister, and used to sit on the panel for adjudicating landlord disputes, is well placed to help you get the most from this side of the strict management.

Rent guaranteeDispute resolution

We place our landlords with rent guarantee insurance, and offer a dispute resolution service to take care of any issues which might come up if the tenant falls out of work or gets made redundant and struggles to pay the rent. The policy pays out your rent one month in arrears, and we take care of any court proceedings if the tenant becomes a delinquent tenant.

One of the ways we maximize your rental income is to use a multi-agent strategy to perform the tenant find. That way we maximise the chances of a tenant being found because the local agents have all the prospective tenants on their databases.

We negotiate the finder's fees down and instruct all the agents, with each knowing that the first one to find a tenant gets paid the finder's fee.
Multi agent

In addition to this, we also conduct rent reviews for our landlords every six months. Some agents get lazy and don't want to rock the boat with good tenants and quiet landlords, but we believe the agent should be proactively looking to increase rents for the landlord and will take the earliest opportunity to do this.

So, we contact 30+ agents in every location on first instruction and then 10+ on each review, so we are seeing where the most agents agree, and we then get the most realistic maximum for our landlords. It's a business after all, and you need to know we are doing our best for you and getting your investment working as hard as it can do.

To book a no obligation appointment with us please just get in touch today on 0117 9117590
or email info@midasestates.com

Wishing you every success.
Robin Campbell (Director @ Midas)
....helping people profit from property and design a life of choice

0117 9117590 | 077 6660 6662 | Website | robin.campbell@midasestates.com

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Watch our Online Property School >