My Plan Of Action

If you don’t plan where you’re going then how’re you going to get there?

Right then, here it is, my ‘Plan of Action’. It’s nothing special or clever but it’s a plan which I intend to follow and hopefully reap rewards from. Remember you’ve got to have a plan and act on it if you want to get anywhere, procrastination is the opposite of decision and is the ‘killer of all dreams’ (which I have to admit I’m guilty of at times)

As I’m not currently in a position to buy property I’m looking to trade instead, ie; get an option agreement on a property, use finance from a JV partner to fund the deal and take a finders fee, or an assisted sale- I’ve completed on an assisted sale previously – read about it here:  http://singlemumtopropertyinvestor.com/2010/09/19/how-i-made-more-than-12k-in-7-weeks-using-none-of-my-own-money/

I have a couple of investor friends who’ve agreed to JV with me this way. Or, if an opportunity arises to do a Lease Option that cash flows well then I’ll do this as well.

I’ve spent a lot of money in the past on leafleting, PPC, newspaper and online ads but never measured the results or compared the different strategies to calculate the cost of each lead I obtain or, more importantly the cost of conversion per lead. ie: I may get 16 leads from a distribution of 10,000 leaflets but if only one of those converts to a deal then the cost of that deal is going to be considerably higher. It all boils down to what you want to be paying per deal and is it worth your time, money and effort?   It can be ‘swings and roundabouts’ and its difficult to measure it exactly as there are lots of other factors to consider like:

  • The time of year (Christmas and summer holidays are not good times to advertise)
  • Your availability. Will you be available to answer telephone calls or will you use a call centre? If you don’t answer the caller will immediately call one of your competitors!
  • People skills. Are you comfortable talking with people and making them feel at ease?
  • Negotiation skills. The longer you’ve been doing it the better you will get.
  • Marketing material – What your leaflet or advert says is vital. Is it going to make people want to call you? There’s a lot of competition out there!
  • Your distribution method. Are your leaflets being delivered correctly by your team? (or being dumped?)
  • Your ‘Team of professionals’ ; The people you choose to work with to complete the deals, brokers, solicitors etc, if they’re not doing their job efficiently you can easily lose the deal

I’m intending to use three forms of advertising and compare costs and leads obtained/converted for each method to see which performs best. The three I’m using are:

  • 10,000 Leaflets
  • 30 Postcards (in shop windows)
  • 4 Local Newspaper Ads

I’ve already designed and ordered my flyers, the cost so far for that is £112.00 (for 10,000, they should be with me around 21stMarch.  I put an advert on my local ‘Gumtree’ site yesterday (15/03/12) saying:

‘Owner Drivers Wanted For Leaflet Distribution For Local Property Company. £30.00 per 1000 paid plus bonus of £200.00 (paid on completion) if a lead turns into a deal’

So far I’ve had 19 applicants, well it was 20 but one of them lived inRomania, so I’m not counting him – he sent me his CV, gotta give him credit for trying though lol. I’ve replied to them all saying I’ll be in touch when the flyers are ready for delivery.

In my experience it’s much better to have lots of distributors delivering small amounts (ie; 1000 each) rather than a couple delivering thousands. Why? Because they might be keen to do a few but get bored after a while (it is a tedious job) and therefore be more inclined to dump them!  I don’t use the mail companies, they’re expensive and tend to deliver your leaflet with 10 others! (which subsequently get dumped in the bin)   Also, make sure the distributors all live near to the areas you want covered as you’ll have to drive out to pay them for their work (after checking to make sure they’ve delivered correctly) and you don’t want to be driving for miles (time is money!)

I’m currently writing the Post Cards and will be taking them out to local shops in the area, there are not many places that let you advertise nowadays but I’ll just have to drive around and find them. The cards will say something similar to my flyers…’Houses Wanted, Guaranteed Quick Sale’ etc

The Newspaper Ads will say something similar, but these ads will be a bit shorter as they’re expensive – around £120.00 for 3 insertions for a 5cm ad – and will be shown for two weeks on three consecutive days each week, ie; Thurs, Fri, Sat.

I’ve designed a Vendor Contact Form which I’ll refer to when dealing with enquiries which also has a field asking where the vendor saw my advert so that I can log which method they are responding to and therefore see which advert has been most cost effective overall.   As I want to start each strategy around the same time I’m currently looking at starting around Thursday 29th March (which incidentally is my birthday!) as by then I will have my flyers back and have all the necessary paperwork etc in place.

I think I’ll give the campaign about a month to 8 weeks then draw up a graph to show comparables for cost/conversion for each strategy etc, as that will be interesting, although I’m rubbish at maths!

Well that’s it for now, I’ll post more as I start the campaigns and keep you up to date. Feel free to ask any questions – or make suggestions!   


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The Reason I Stopped Posting And My New Plan Of Action

Myself and friend Betty Masters at the LICN meeting in Leicester February 2012

So, why did I stop posting? Lots of reasons, but I suppose if I’m honest I kind of ‘lost faith’ due to having to go back to work after posting ‘I’ve sacked my job!’ in April last year.  To re-cap, I’d been intending to go full time as a property investor after handing in my notice in at the  NHS.

So, what went wrong? With hindsight I was a tad impulsive…but then i usually am…steam in full speed ahead, then think afterwards, this doesn’t always work for me but I don’t get put off lol! I’m a positive person and not afraid to take risks, however I realise the type of risks I SHOULD be taking should at least be calculated in some way and not ‘pot luck’ lol.

It’s been said many times before but ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ . I think that sums it up very well. It’s good to be positive and motivated but YOU HAVE GOT TO HAVE A PLAN. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH SUZANNE!

I looked back at all the leads I’d sourced from my leafletting campaigns, there were lots of them, some of them uncontacted because I didn’t have time with working as well. Trying to do everything yourself is NOT a good idea,  I built the website, I designed the flyers, ordered them, advertised for distributors, delivered flyers to distributors, did the spot checks, answered the ‘Batphone’ when it rang, chatted and negotiated with vendors, visited them at home if need be, researched and typed up the comparables and sent out offers, called Estate agents, viewed properties, dealt with mortgage brokers and solicitors, attended property network meetings etc etc…as well as working 4 days a week and running a home!

Obviously this was all costing money and there wasn’t enough coming  in, our properties were cash flowing well but it wasn;t enough,  we had a home to run, bills to pay which were totting up, I got stressed and was forced to look for another job. I was offered a full time post as a Virtual Office Assistant in Market Harborough which I started in June 2011…..I hated it, I was cooped up in a small dark office for 9 hours a day, not moving off my chair with no lunch break, with the travelling it turned into an 11 hour day! I was rarely at home, my house needed a good clean,.

I felt stressed and I was designing more websites for SEO, Website Building, Leaflet Printing, and even one for marketing Gold iPhones (another idea of mine – which I roped my poor colleague into!) www.iphoneingold.com – anyone want one? See me at the end for a discount haha!

So what was going wrong? I was very busy doing ‘a bit of this’ and ‘a bit of that’ but I had no FOCUS.  I spent too much time half-heartedly trying to make money with lots of bright ideas instead of just sticking to what I know and am passionate about – PROPERTY! So that’s what I’m going to do from now on.

I’m surprised at how many views I’ve gotten on my blog over the past year considering I haven’t been posting and I also get a lot of new property investors contacting me asking questions (which I’ve been happy to answer) so this has given me a proverbial kick up the butt I need to carry on!  Plus, I’ve done all those property courses too, what a waste if I don’t use my knowledge, so, I’ve started regularly attending property network meetings, mainly the Leicester meets – East Midlands Property Meeting with Parmdeep Vadesha and the Leicester Investors Curry Night (LICN) with Rajesh Gohil. They are all great guys and very helpful, I’ve  realised how vital these meetings are to keep me motivated and on track, so thanks guys 🙂

I now have a ‘Plan’ in place and have started implementing it this week.  I’m going to do an EXPERIMENT and hope to get a couple of good leads as a result. I’m just off to my ‘Zumba’ class now so I’ll tell you all about my plans next time. Watch this space 🙂

A Very Late ‘Happy New Year’ !

Hi again 🙂

I know it’s been some time since I last posted, Ok, almost a year, but I’ve just come back from the East Midlands Property Meeting with Parmdeep Vadesha, Richard Shepherd and Shimon Rudich and made an impulsive decision to start posting again – I’m sure there’s no one more impulsive than I am and there’s no time like the present!

Network meetings are essential for success in any field – for inspiration, meeting new friends, contacts and JV partners, sharing knowledge and ideas, gaining confidence in your abilities, learning from people who actually ‘Walk the Walk, adding new strategies to your list of ways to make money with property, and, most importantly for me, keeping up your level of motivation and determination, because without it you’ll come to a standstill…..like I did.

Before I explain why it’s been so long since my last post I’d just like to say that I hope you’ve all had a good start to 2012 and all your plans, hopes and dreams come to fruition. Are you busy sticking to all the goals you made at the beginning of the year? Well I hope so, unlike myself, but I do intend to start working on this, as from now.

I met some interesting and helpful people tonight as well as picking up more great tips from Shimon and Richard but I also realised from talking to new investors that I actually know a lot more about property investment than I give myself credit for, and I get a great sense of satisfaction from explaining investment strategies and helping these new people to understand how they work. So, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why aren’t I practising what I preach’? ‘Why has almost a year passed by without me doing all this stuff I’ve spent time, money and energy learning?’ ‘What’s gone wrong?’

Well it’s late now so I’m going to sleep on it, analyse it a bit and continue this tomorrow….Goodnight for now 🙂

 

My New Office!

I started my blog in September 2010 and finding the time to write is difficult when I’m still working 3 days a week at my ‘day job’, being a Mum, running the house and persuing my career as a property investor.

 However, I make the time and have a couple of interesting projects up my sleeve!

I recently have a new business partner, Vincent Audritt, who I met through a property course (the TMA) he’s a nice guy and has a great business head having run his own business for many years, he also has some brilliant contacts re the Internet Marketing side having recently spent a couple of weeks in the Phillipines on an intensive marketing seminar, and as a result has access to c70 Internet Marketing experts/IT workers who will be helping us with the business.

We’re currently in the process of setting up a couple of new sites. One  for lead generation (for ourselves) and we’re also looking to help people with:

  • Website design & building
  • WordPress Blogs
  • Video marketing
  • SEO & PPC management
  • Article marketing 
  • Social Media profile setup & management
  • And other stuff!
  • Business is about ‘pooling’ your resources, we all have different talents,  so Vince and I are combining our attributes and intending to put together a great business 🙂

    I enjoy being sociable,  so I’m intending to get out and about at property meets, make contacts (and friends) keep up with the Social Media side, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc (which in itself is very time consuming) and generally make ourselves ‘known’.  I also like designing marketing material, flyers etc, so that will be my job.

    I’m currently setting up a new profile on Facebook for our business with ‘Pagemodo’ which is a bit like a Fan Page but more indepth. Try it out for yourself  here: http://www.pagemodo.com/

    We’ll both be responsible for updating the blogs and newsletters…oh, and Vince is a great writer too!

    These things take time to set up, but we’re aiming to have at least one of the sites up and running within the next month, so watch this space!

    I’m also going to be working closely with my friend and collegue Colin Parker who jointly owns ONEPORTFOLIO http://www.highgrowthpropertyinvestment.co.uk/oneportfolio-armchair/, who provide a great portfolio building service for people looking to minimise risk, maximise net rental income and achieve great medium to long term capital growth.

    So….. I just need to find the time to do all this now haha!  But you know what they say…. ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.

    I’ve just moved into my new office, which was once our old garage and was used as a ‘dumping ground’ for anything we didn’t have space in the house for (most of it was Mike’s junk as he likes to collect useless things…..no jokes please!)

    We’ve had a new shed to house all the things that we needed to keep…like my bike, I love cycling in the summer!

    It’s nothing glamourous, just a place to work from and at least we can get rid of all the paperwork that’s been cluttering up the dining table!

    I still need some more furniture in there as it’s looking a bit bare but the main bits are in place. There’s under floor heating so it’s nice and warm, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s being cold!

    There’s some ‘before & after’ pics:

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    So…….busy, busy, busy!!!

    I’ve had lots of help from some great people, a lot of whom have become friends, and I thank you all for your time and for sharing your knowledge, it’s very much appreciated and I hope we can continue to work together and help each other. PLEASE contact me if there’s anything I can help you with in return.

    Enough waffling, here’s to our success and I hope that 2011 is the best year yet for all of us 🙂

    If reading this as an email, click here to go to blog post:https://suziebates88.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/my-new-office/ 

    And please follow my posts by clicking ‘follow posts’ on top right of blog!

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    Armchair Property Investment. Is It for You?

    What is ‘Armchair Investment’?

    People choose to invest their money in many ways, ultimately hoping for a good return on their investment.  ‘Armchair Investment’ is another way of doing this, and simply put means that your money is invested with a company that  looks after your interests on your behalf with minimum input from yourself, leaving you free to get on with your life (and reap the benefits in later years!)

    Obviously there are many fields you can choose to invest in but lets look at investing in property and how armchair investment features in this.

    Why invest in property anyway?

    The news is always full of doom and gloom regarding the property market which can be very off putting for someone who might be thinking of investing first time, and people tend to get carried away with the bad news instead of looking at the ‘bigger picture.’

    On average and according to trend, property prices double every 7-10 years. (you can see this on the graph below)

    Graph showing average house price increases from 1983 to present day

    Yes, there’s an element of risk when you invest in anything but as the saying goes ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ so you need be aware and take calculated risks based on the current market.

    We will always have ‘dips’ and ‘peaks’ where property prices plummet and then rise again, and in the ‘dips’ some people can find themselves in negative equity.  

    This can happen when they’ve  bought or re-mortgaged just before the dip, as unfortunately no one can predict when this is likely to happen.

    I don’t profess to be an expert on the property market but I can read a graph! So lets look at the ‘bigger picture’.  If you look at this graph you’ll see that although there have been ‘dips’ in house prices over the years, on average prices still double every ten years or so:

    So if you had bought a property in 1983 for £30,000, even though prices started to dip in 1992 you can see that 10 years later in 1993 the value of the property had still risen to £60,000 (so it had doubled in value) and in 2003 it had risen to £120,000! (doubled again)

    You can see that prices started to dip just after 2008 when the last reccession started, so if you were unlucky enough to buy a property then you may find yourself in negative equity today if you bought at full market value.

    BUT even if you had bought at full value, as long as you’re not intending to sell the property right away, then eventually its value will rise again.

    If you can, it’s best to buy property below market value but not everyone knows how to do this.

     House prices WILL rise again in the long term, so, despite the current property climate and all the negativity surrounding the subject, property is still one of the best ways to invest your money to be sure of a good return in the future as long as you intend to hold on to it long term.

    Some people prefer to do their own ‘legwork’ when buying a property. This is great if you have the time, ability and the knowledge to do this. This would involve:

    • Advertising
    • Sourcing the property
    • Dealing and negotiating with Estate Agents
    • Negotiating with the vendor (seller)
    • Knowing how to assess the ‘condition’ of the property and spot building defects
    • Understanding the current property market and doing your own due diligence
    • Knowing the area you’re buying in
    • Knowing the property is in a good rental area
    • Applying for a mortgage
    • Dealing with brokers, solicitors and surveyors (and their fees)
    • Having the time to ‘chase’ the case’ to completion
    • Refurbishing the property to a good standard and having access to tradesmen to do this
    • Paying the mortgage until the refurbishment is done
    • Finding a tenant yourself or finding a reputable lettings agency to do it for you
    • Making sure the tenant is credit checked and referenced
    • Providing an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) document for the tenant
    • Providing a detailed inventory stating the condition of the interior
    • Making sure the rent is paid regularly
    • Visiting the property regularly to ensure it’s being ‘looked after’ by the tenant
    • Dealing with maintenance problems and ensuring that any issues are resolved
    • Chasing the tenant for late payments
    • Knowing how to deal with an eviction if the need arises

    These are just some of the things you need to be able to deal with when you decide to use the ‘hands on’ approach to property investment.  Of course this also involves using finance by way of fees and refurbishment but by far the biggest problem for most people is having the TIME to do it!

    What are the benefits of  ‘Armchair Investment’?

    If you realise the potential of property investment but aren’t the type of person who’s  happy with the ‘DIY’ approach, or you’re not sure how to go about it,  or just don’t have the time to do it all yourself then you should consider Armchair Investment.

    If you have an idea of how much you want to invest and where, then an Armchair Investment company will do the rest. They will generally find you ‘below market value’ property and sometimes manage it for you.

    Up to now I’ve preferred to source my own property and be ‘hands on’ and there has been some negative press in the past regarding some unscrupulous companies so I was quite sceptical about the idea of armchair investment.

    That was until I spoke to a guy called Colin Parker who has a property investment company in the North East called ONE PORTFOLIO.  I first heard of Colin about a year ago after he answered some of my many questions on the Tycoons property forum (can’t remember which question – there were so many!) he was very helpful and I noticed he had a good reputation and was well respected by the other members.

    I spoke to Colin on the ‘phone regarding a deal I was contemplating and he gave me some sound advice. After speaking with him for a while I discovered he offered an Armchair Investment service which he told me a little about, however I wasn’t really interested because as I’ve said, I was quite sceptical at the time.

    I then spoke with him a couple of months ago and he invited me up to Newcastle to meet himself and his wife Karen who jointly run the company.

    Like a lot of people, I thought properties in the North were all run down and the areas were in a state of disrepair and this was why property up there was cheaper. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

    Myself with Colin and Karen Parker

    First of all, I found that Colin and Karen Parker were very welcoming, warm and down to earth people. They are honest, hard working and proud that they offer a second to none investment service, but the one thing that stood out to me was their genuinely ethical approach to their investors.

    They have built their company by showing respect and listening to what their clients actually WANT and their reputation for providing a great service is growing fast.

    Most BMV companies will provide you with a property that’s 15-25% below market value and charge you a ‘finders fee’ (around 2 – 10 thousand pounds depending on whether the deal has been ‘packaged’ or not)

    However, you have to be quick because these properties are sent out to everyone on the companies list. There’s no ‘having a look’  at the property before hand or getting your money back if the surveyor down values it!

    Also, once these BMV companies have sold you a deal then that’s it, they walk away, and the rest is up to you! There’s no guarantees that it will stack, or that it will rent, or that it doesn’t need a lot of money spending to refurbish it.

    If you were going to source property yourself, where would you look and why?  Well of course you’d look in your own area, because you’d know that area well, you’d know which are the good and the bad bits, you’d know whether the property was below market value and you’d know whether or not it was a good rental area and if you could find a tennant quickly.

    Which is why ONEPORTFOLIO only source property in their own area in the North East, because they know this area like the back of their hand and they know which properties will provide great investments to their clients. In fact they’ve been doing it for years!

    Why would you want to invest in the North East?

    Contrary to belief, properties ‘up North’ are not all run -down shacks, and it’s not all cobbled streets and mass unemployment!

    A lot of investors  from London and the surrounding areas choose to invest in the north because properties are  lot cheaper there and of course the yields are higher.

    They’ve found that as long as they get the properties at a good price, they cash flow well and they’re managed well they can have a ‘hands off’ approach and most of them never even see the properties, they don’t need to!

    Considering it was November when I went up to visit them it was cold, but the sky was blue and clear and Colin and Karen gave me a tour around the areas they buy property in.  Newcastle, Middlesborough, Sunderland and the surrounding areas, and I was pleasantly surprised at how neat and tidy the streets were and how much regeneration was going on.

    As we were driving around Colin was giving a commentary on the history of the area, pointing out properties they’d bought for investors, talking about the regeneration projects and answering any objections I had. It was clear he knew his area very well indeed and I was very impressed with his knowledge and also his obvious passion for the area.

    Properties sourced are valued between £50,000 and £150,000 and are purchased for between £40,000 and £120,000.  All properties can be purchased using buy to let finance so an investor would require a deposit of 20-25% of the purchase price. The typical investment required is around £20,000.

    I loved Newcastle, it’s an amazing place with some great architecture. I took some photos of the types of property sourced by ONEPORTFOLIO and other landmarks whilst we were driving around:

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    What ONEPORTFOLIO do is provide a personal service which is great value for money. Obviously there’s a lot that goes into making this a good service, but to keep it short, basically here’s what they offer:

    • You get a free one to one consultation with Colin who will invite you to have a look around the area so you can discuss your investment requirements and see the type of properties they source.
    • ALL properties offered will be GUARANTEED 20% below market.
    • When a property comes up that matches your requirements you will be offered it personally with a 12 page report on the property, it’s condition, rental & market value comparables, photographs, floor plans and any refurbishment that may be required.
    • If you decide to purchase, the mortgage will be arranged for you and a solicitor instructed on your behalf
    • A fully independent RICS survey will be instructed
    • On completion of the sale, if required, the property will undergo a FULL refurbishment.
    • ALL properties undergo a 192 point check list to make sure they are ready for renting and comply with safety regulations (Gas certificates etc)
    • A tenant will be found under strict guidelines, they will be credit checked and referenced thoroughly.
    • The property will be fully managed for you, so if there’s any problems with maintenance etc it will be dealt with swiftly.
    • NGU Lettings currently looks after 370+ properties for it’s investors.
    • All this leaves you to get on with your life – stress free!

    Some Armchair Investment companies have asked up to £37,000 for this type of service but ONEPORTFOLIO require a reservation fee to show you are commited of just £485  (which is fully refundable if you change your mind)  Then a further payment of £4,500 on completion of the sale.

    So the total arrangement fee is just £4,985 which includes ALL legal fees  (survey & solicitor) AND it includes a full refurbishment of the property if it’s required.

    Their full managment service is just 10% of the monthly rental fee.

    If you can find another reliable company that offers a service that’s better than this then please let me know!

    After our drive around the area, which took up most of the day, I went back to my hotel to freshen up then met up with Colin and Karen in the evening where they showed me the nightlife in Newcastle.  Or “Let’s go oot on the toon” as Colin put it haha!

    Although it was now raining,the bars were buzzing with people and vibrant. There was a great atmosphere and we had a lovely evening getting to know each other then had a sumptuous chinese meal before I was dropped off at my hotel, where I slept really well after a great day with good company 🙂

    I can thoroughly vouch for Colin and Karen and their company ONEPORTFOLIO, they came across as genuinely honest and sincere people who have invested a lot of time building an ethical, value for money GUARANTEED service. Indeed, many of their investors have gone on to buy more than one property with them when they’ve realised what a great service they’ve received.

    ONEPORTFOLIO Established 2007
    ‘Armchair Investment’ At Its Best
    GUARANTEED Property Discounts
    GUARANTEED Rental Income
    GUARANTEED Money Back Offer
    You Invest – We Do The Rest!
     
     If this sounds like something you’d like to discuss further please contact me: suzanne.bates@one-portfolio.co.uk

    Happy Investing!

    Follow me by subscribing (free) to my blog at the top!

    How To Design A Flyer/Leaflet To Attract Motivated Sellers

    I recently talked about using flyers/leaflets to ‘find’ motivated sellers. If you can contact the seller BEFORE they contact the Estate Agent you have a much better chance of getting a good discount on the property. I have used this method several times and can honestly say IT DOES WORK!

    If you’re a new property investor looking to source bargain properties you need to be able to find motivated sellers and distributing flyers/leaflets is a great way to do this!

    I had a ‘motivated seller’ contact me because he needed a fast sale as his house had been on the market for over a year and not sold. As he’d moved out of the property and it was standing empty he just wanted to get it off his hands. One of my leaflets was given to him by his daughter who’d received it through her door and he called me to discuss selling his house quickly.  

    What Should The Leaflet Say & How Should It Look?

    Anyone can write an advert on a piece of paper, but if you want yours to stand out from the competition it has to attract attention. I am not saying you must design your leaflet this way, or that my way is best. I’m merely stating what I have learnt from  my courses, others experiences and trial & error!  It’s up to you to  make your own decisions and  use whatever information you feel will be of benefit to you.

    Basic Layout

    A5 is most commonly used (approx 21cm x 15cm) horizontally or vertically, whichever suits your design best.

     You can use one side of the leaflet or both. It hardly costs any extra to have double-sided leaflets printed so you may as well use the extra space.

    Use a relevant heading: The heading is THE MOST IMPORTANT!

    It’s no good slapping your company name across the top as ‘Joe Bloggs Property’ isn’t going to mean anything to someone who’s looking to sell their property fast.

    Make it big and bold so that it stands out.

    It has to offer something that your target market ‘wants’. It has to be ‘to the point’ and provide a solution to their problem.

    A good tip is to ask a question, ie; ‘Do You Need To Sell Your Property FAST?’   ‘Are You Looking For A Quick House Sale?’ ‘Do You Have Property Problems?‘  These are questions that motivated sellers can identify with and will make them want to read further to see what you can offer them.

    Let the reader identify that he needs what you are offering: ie:

    • Are you stuck in a chain?
    • Worried about repossession?
    • Having debt problems?
    • Are you relocating and need a quick sale?

    State the main benefits: Don’t be tempted to go overboard and write dozens of points, it will look messy and overcrowded.  Stick to the main points that the seller is going to benfit from. It usually looks better and tidier if you use bullet points for this, ie:

    • Property bought FAST with  no cost to you
    • No Estate Agent fees
    • No Solicitor fees
    • No more waiting for a sale
    • Get an offer in 24 hours!

    Offer something FREE:  People love to get something for nothing! So the word ‘FREE’ tends to get noticed.

    • FREE house valuation
    • FREE consultation with property expert
    • FREE ‘sell your property fast’ guide

    Use photos and testimonials: People feel reassured if they can see that someone else has used your service and was happy with it. It’s obviously much better to use genuine tetimonials, however, I appreciate that it’s difficult when you’re first starting out to have ‘genuine’ quotes, but you could use a testmonial from anyone you’ve helped in the past who can vouch for your character ie; a friend that you’ve done a good turn for.

    When using photos, if you can’t use real pictures of people you’ve helped, then use photos of friends or family (with their consent) and make sure they’re looking directly into the camera as they’re seen to be more ‘genuine’ (this isn’t my opinion, it has been reasearched!)

    Psychology: Use photos of houses with a ‘SOLD’ sign outside. People will associate this with their own house being sold.

    Use Scarcity: How many times have you responded to an advert because there was a ‘time limit’ on it? People don’t like to think they’re ‘missing out’ on something good, so if they think there’s a bargain on offer but it will be ‘sold out’ if they don’t act quickly then guess what, they’re more likely to act immediately.

    ie; ‘Call before the end of November and get a FREE valuation’ or ‘Get all your legal fees paid if you call before the end of the month’

    Colour or black & white? There’s been a lot said about this aspect and as I’ve never used black and white leaflets I’m not in a position to advise what’s best. It’s been debated that it doesn’t really matter as it’s THE CONTENT that matters most. I think you should try both and see whether it makes a difference, however I like to use colour as it looks ‘nicer’ and stands out better.

    If you’re going to use colour, don’t overdo it, it will end up looking fussy. You don’t need to use more than three colours and primary colours work well as they ‘stand out’ better. This goes for fonts as well, try to stick to the same font in not more than three different sizes.

    I use Photoshop to design my leaflets, in fact I use it for lots of things! You can just as easily use ‘Word’  or ‘Paint’ or if you’re not feeling very confident about designing your own, most printers will design one for you at a small cost.

    One of my previously used flyers

    Terminology is important. Personally I prefer to use the words property or house rather than home.

    The word ‘home’ is emotive, it’s personal and refers to a place you have ‘made your own’ with your family.

    You’ve heard the expression ‘turn a house into a home’, they are two different things and people can be defensive if they think you’re trying to ‘take away’ their home or suggesting it’s worth less than they think.

     

    Call to action: (your contact details) This should contain your telephone number, email address and website details (if you have one) and needs to be clear and prominent. Apparently it’s better to use a female contact name as these are seen as being less agressive and more approachable.

    If you can use a photo of yourself (or your partner) this is good as the person the seller is contacting is seen to be more ‘real’. Hence why I’ve used my own photo on most of my leaflets. I’ve actually had people call me and say “Is that you on the leaflet then?” or when I’ve gone out to visit them at home they’ve said “Oh I recognise you from the leaflet”. This promotes trust 🙂

    Should you use an 0800 number? Again this is debateable. An 0800 number is free to call from a landline but you are charged if you call from a mobile, so it would depend where the seller was calling from.  Some people feel it’s more personal to have a ‘local’ number on their leaflets or a mobile number. You could use both.

    Well I think that’s about it, if there’s anything I’ve missed or you’re not sure of then please contact me and I’ll do my best to help 🙂

    Happy Leafletting!

    Get  quality, cheap Flyers HERE

    Best Wishes until next time,

    How to make more than 12k in 7 weeks using none of your own money

    Hello again 🙂

    Yesterday I attended a fantastic free seminar in London with my good friend and JV partner Vince Audritt. The seminar  ‘Think Big Education’  was hosted by Juswant and Sylvia Rai who host the Berkshire Property Meet, which I’m now attending regularly.

    I learnt some great new stuff which I’m just itching to get out there and implement!

    There were some great well known speakers, John Lee, Rob Moore and Glenn Armstrong all talking about their strategies and how these strategies had helped them to become property millionaires.

    One of the things that stood out for me that was emphasised by all of the speakers and summed up in a quote was ‘All that we are is a result of what we have thought’ (buddah)

    What a fantastic quote that is! In my experience this is so true. You are what you ‘think’, so if you think you CAN’T do something, then guess what? You’ll never do it!  More about motivation and the ‘Law of Attraction’ in another post.

    Anyway, as promised I’m going to talk about the title to todays blog which incidently I wrote in my note book on the train to London yesterday. I like travelling by train, it gives me a chance to contemplate, get away from my lap top (we’re joined at the hip) and just ‘chill out’ for a bit (a rare occassion!)

    One of the strategies I learnt on the TMA course (Tycoons Mastermind Alliance, run by Parmdeep Vadesha & Hanif Khan) was how to do an ‘Assisted Sale’ (AS).

    What is an assisted sale?  this simply involves as the title states ‘assisting’ someone to sell their property. Read on for more information.

    Why would someone want ‘assisting’ with a sale?  There can be many reasons:

    • Selling a house can be very stressful and some people just don’t want to have to deal with this.
    • They may not have the time nor the inclination to deal with Estate Agents due to their job or other commitments.
    • The house may have been on the market for a long time and has not sold.
    • They may not have enough funds to pay ‘up front’ fees to Estate Agents/Solicitors.
    • The house may need extensive work before it can be sold which they cannot afford to fund.
    • They may have moved out of the property (or out of the area) or it may be a deceased estate and they don’t want the inconvenience of having to deal with viewings or the legal jargon.
    • They may have debt worries or be in the process of repossession and need someone to liaise with their mortgage lender on their behalf / stop the repossession
    • They may not be familiar with the whole selling process and just want someone else to take care of it.

    The seller would have to be ‘motivated’ in some way, meaning he needs a quick sale to help him resolve his problems.

    One of the ways to ‘find’ motivated sellers is by sending out leaflets, and as a result of my leafletting campaign in June this year I recieved a call from ‘John’ (name changed) who asked me to come and have a chat with him as the bank was threatening to repossess his home.

    I went to visit John and was there chatting with him for about an hour. It’s very important when speaking to vendors to find out exactly what it is they NEED and want you to help with. The name of this game is not just ‘what’s in it for me’ it’s about giving people achieveable options to help them move on with their lives. People have to be able to trust you and believe you can deliver what you offer so you mustn’t make promises you can’t keep.

     The house in question was a lovely 2 bed town house in a nice area. John (47) had lived there for 7 years but had lost his job a year ago and just stopped paying the mortgage (a typical ‘I’ll bury my head in the sand and hope it all goes away’ type of guy) he’d previously split with his wife and lived alone.

    John had also ignored all correspondence from his lender (mortgage provider) and was around 5k in arrears with his payments. All he wanted to do was pay off his debt to the bank and move on to rented acoomodation but because he’d lost all credibilty with his lender he was now not in a position to do this, theywere  fed up with him ignoring their attempts to contact him and had put in for a possession order.

    The banks don’t repossess people just because they can. They do give ample warnings of missed payments and ask people to inform them if they have problems making the payments so they can come to an agreement whereby the home owner can make payments they can afford. For instance they can have the payments reduced to ‘Interest Only’ for a while until they’re in a position to afford more.

    However, if people choose to ignore the correspondence and the case goes to court then this is a different matter.

    After assessing the figures I suggested I could help him with an ‘Assisted Sale’ which he was happy to go along with. We agreed that I’d pay his debt (the final redemption figure from his mortgage lender) and anything the property sold for over this amount he would get 15% of, which he was happy with. I would also deal with all aspects of the sale, conduct the viewings, appoint him a solicitor and pay all his fees (solicitors and estate agent)

    When you make an agreement like this you have to have something legal to ‘back it up’ so my solicitor drew up an ‘Option Agreement’ stating everything we’d agreed and John signed it.

    I then sent a ‘letter of authority’ to his lender on John’s behalf (which he signed) saying that from now on I would be their point of contact and I was a ‘family friend’ helping him to sell his property.

    The lender (Alliance & Leicester) called me and were happy to talk to me. Amazingly they didn’t want to see any ID etc, all they were concerned about was that the situation was finally being addressed and as John had sufficient equity in the property were happy to give me some time to sell it and repay the debt. All they requested was a £100 token payment for goodwill which I paid immediately.

    John owed £62,000 on his mortgage and had around £5,000 in arrears. On the open market the property was worth between 100 – 105k in it’s present condition (it needed decorating) so I spoke to an Estate Agent and told them I didn’t want any bullsh*t about what it ‘could’ achieve, I wanted it to sell quickly and wanted the price to reflect that.

    The house then went on sale for £89,950. There were 4 viewings and after just 6 days I had an offer of £85,000 which I accepted.  The couple that had offered on the house were first time buyers and loved it!

    John actually told me how much he appreciated my help as he’d never have done it alone, he’d have lost the house and would’ve still had a massive £69k debt over his head. This way his debt was paid off and he had some money in his pocket as well.

    This was a ‘win win’ situation which is what we must strive for to ensure that not only are WE better off, but the vendor is too.

    They guy was infuriating at times, I had to constantly ‘chase him’ to sign all the paperwork. I once even picked him up from the pub, took him home and got the documents signed then took him back to the pub lol.

    Still. we became friends and he told me about his life and I jokingly ‘told him off’ for getting into that mess in the first place and gave him a copy of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ to read to ‘motivate’ himself!

    Here is the redemption statement I recieved from the lender:

    Redemption statement from Santander

    Everything went pretty smoothly and after 7 weeks the sale was completed. Here’s the completion statement:

    Completion statement August 2010

    After paying all the legal costs for myself and John and the Estate Agents commission (total around 4k) I was left with over £12,000 profit. Not bad for a few weeks work!

    How did I do it using none of my own money?

    Obviously there are ‘upfront fees’ that needed paying like my solicitors fees, the £100 token payment to the bank etc.

    So what I did was take out a zero percent credit card, pay all the upfront fees with that then when the money was credited to my account after completion I just paid off the credit card in full with no interest to pay. Easy!

    Although John was happy with everything I felt a pang of guilt that I could’ve offered him a bigger percentage of the profit so afterwards I actually sent him a cheque for £500 and offered to pay for his ticket to the ‘Download Festival’ next year (he’s a big fan and goes every year but hadn’t been able to attend this year due to losing his job) which he called me to thank me for. And I WILL remember to buy him a ticket!

    What if the house hadn’t sold with the estate agent?

    As there was plenty of equity I’d have  sold it on cheaply to another investor for a ‘finders fee’. So there was really no great ‘risk’ to myself but you know how the saying goes ‘Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained’ and I’m a great believer in this…………or I wouldn’t have got this far!

    The point of this is not to brag about how well I’ve done but to make people realise that it’s not that difficult, because if I can do it then so can anyone else.

    If anyone wants any more information please email me, I’ll be happy to help: suzanne@bluecatproperty.com/

    I’m currently in the process of another ‘Assisted Sale’ but will talk about that when it’s completed. See, I said ‘when’ not ‘if’ because I’m a great optimist lol. Where there’s a will there’s always a way!

    Until my next post,

    My very best wishes,

    Suzanne 🙂

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    Where Do I Start As A New Investor?

    Where do I start as a new Property Investor?   

     
     
     

    Climbing to the top, slowly but surely

    How do I climb to the top?

    As a new or ‘would be’ property investor what questions are you asking yourself right now?

    • Where do I start?
    • How do I start?
    • What do I really NEED to know?
    • How can I make contacts?
    • Which property course should I take?
    • When’s the best time to buy property?
    • How can I ‘fund’ a deal?
    • Can I buy property with no money?
    • Who’s going to help me?
    • Where do I find resources?
    • How do I build a property portfolio?
    • What strategy should I use?
    • What sort of property should I buy?
    • How much should I be paying for property?
    • How do I learn the legal aspects?
    • How do I find bargain property?
    • Who will motivate me?
    • How do I stay motivated?
    • How do I deal with Estate Agents?
    • How will I source property leads?
    • Where can I network?
    • Which seminars should I attend?
    • Who can I trust?

     These are some of the questions I wanted answers to when I started out a year ago. It can be very daunting when you start because there are thousands of similar questions to be asked and initially so much information to absorb. You just don’t know where to begin, or how!

     I know because I’ve been there and done all the agonising about where and how to start!  The main thing though is to make a start.

     As with any new ‘project’ getting started is the hardest bit. Once you learn the fundamental way in which something is built and how all the cogs are put into place it all starts to become a bit clearer and ultimately begins to ‘work’ for you.

    It’s like starting a new job – your first day is daunting, you don’t know anyone, don’t know where anything is kept, you’re not sure how anything works or who to ask for help. But as time goes on you pick it up bit by bit and start to feel more confident as you get to know everyone and become familiar with your surroundings and what is expected of you.

    Imagine you’re on a bike climbing a big hill. At first you struggle as you work your way up the slope, taking in your surroundings bit by bit, getting stressed and out of breath, wondering if you’re ever going to reach the summit. How long is it going to take?  Will I ever get there?  Should I carry on?

     With each little bit of information you take in, things start to fall into place and if you’re anything like me a ‘light’ suddenly pings on in your head and you say to yourself “ahhh, so that’s how it works!”  I don’t pretend to be the ‘sparkliest’ tool in the box (is there such a word? Lol) but what I lack in cognitive skills I certainly make up for in tenacity and perseverence.

     So you continue up the hill, building your knowledge, and soon the hill levels into a plateau. This is when you start to put all the information together, like building a jigsaw bit by bit and getting more confident as the different parts of the jigsaw slowly start to fall into place.

     As the jigsaw nears completion the hill then starts to slope downwards, so the journey starts to get a bit easier and instead of struggling upwards you start to ‘freewheel’ confidently down the slope.

     As your knowledge builds even more you start to pick up speed and before long no one can stop you. Then you’re ‘flying’ down the hill shouting “Hey I can do it, woohoo!!!” The hard work and effort has paid off.

     I’m not saying this is an easy ride, don’t expect it to be a short journey, but the main thing is that you keep going and don’t give up at the first hurdle. It’s gonna be a bit ‘bumpy’ at times but you’ll get through it if you just persevere and carry on AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

     What you get out of life all depends on what you’re prepared to put into it, what are you going to ‘give’? It’s not all about what you can get. You’ll find that the more you give then the more good things will come back to you tenfold- by the ‘law of attraction’ (I’ll speak more about this another time)

     If you expect it all to fall into place by just reading a book or going to one seminar then you’re in for a shock and wasting your time. You get out of something as much as you’re prepared to put into it and surely if something’s worth doing it’s worth doing well?

     To become an expert at anything takes time, endurance, perseverance, commitment and above all the belief that you can do what you set out to do. If you don’t believe in yourself then how can you expect anyone else to believe in you?

    Questions: Don’t be scared to ask them! If there’s something you don’t understand and need to know then ask the question. It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a dumb question! I’ve asked DOZENS of questions on the TMA forum, maybe some people thought they were daft, but I learnt so much from the answers I received.  There are so many people on the forum who want to help you succeed, I can’t tell you how helpful they’ve been.

     I’m no expert, but I KNOW that if you want something badly enough and pursue it long enough then you will eventually get it. I want to help others to become successful Property Investors and by doing this I’m increasing my circle of contacts and friends which will ultimately help me to achieve financial freedom, not just for myself but for everyone else involved too.

    Keep setting your goals weekly to keep you focused (more about the importance of goals in another post)  and attend as many property meetings / seminars as you can because this will keep you motivated and moving forward.

     In my next post I’ll talk about how I made over £12,000 on an ‘Assisted Sale’ in 8 weeks using none of my own money (a strategy I learnt on the TMA Course) so please follow my progress!

    My very best wishes,

     Suzanne 🙂

    DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF FINDING AND BUYING YOUR OWN BARGAIN PROPERTIES:

    FREE 5 Part Course!   http://www.property-course.com/cmd.php?af=1034008

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