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 🙂

Advertisements

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 🙂

 

I’ve sacked my job!

No Worries!

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, I’ve been sooo busy, but I have some great news!!!

Today I sacked my job! I handed in my notice to my boss at the UHL (University Hospitals of Leicester) as I want to devote more time to concentrate on building our property / marketing business.

I really don’t like to do things by halves, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing well and I want to be able to put in 100%.

This is a BIG step for me, I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time but have been waiting for the ‘right moment’. Well I’ve realised that the ‘right moment’ will never come, there will always be some excuse as to why I can’t. It was one of my goals at the beginning of this year, so now I’ve done it and there’ll be no looking back 🙂

I’d like to say it was all off my own back but I have to give some credit to all the people I’ve been working and training with who’ve inspired me and given me confidence to believ in myself and do this.

I’ve done a lot of courses but the one’s that’ve really helped and given me the knowledge and courage to move on are Parmdeep Vadesha’s ‘Tycoons Mastermind Alliance’ (TMA) and  John Lee and Vincent Wongs Wealth Dragons. I’ve been doing a lot of training recently with the  Wealth Dragons and am feeling extremely motivated and raring to go, it made me realise I needed to take action to move forward towards my goal of being financially free.

I did things on the course that took me totally out of my comfort zone and despite feeling very uneasy at times I knew it was somehing I had to do to improve my confidence…..so I went for it!

I learnt a lot, came away feeling extremely focused and decided it was now or never, so bye bye job & hello to a more fullfilling future 🙂

Some people may think this is naiive of me and of course they’re entitled to their opinion (but they can ke ep it to themselves!) and I do have another source of income which I’ve lined up to replace my ‘wage’ so that’s not an issue.

It’s not about how much money you have to start up in this business (or in any business) it’s about your mindset, if you truly believe you can do something then you will do it, no matter what obstacles stand in your way. The main thing is to go out there and DO IT, stop putting it off and making excuses, because that’s all they are excuses. Take control of your life , becasue it’s now or never.

I’ve  been fortunate to have the opportunity to become business partners with a fellow friend and colleague, Vince Audritt who has excellent connections in the Online Marketing field, and we are currently working together to perfect our services and get our new site up and running.

Internet Marketing will be another ‘tool’ in my box which will enable me to build capital to buy more properties and the more tools you have in your box the more things you can ‘fix’. Each ‘tool’ is a different strategy, you just have to apply the relevant strategy each time an opportunity comes along 🙂

I’m a great fan of inspirational quotes and this one, I feel, sums up my post very well;

You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Christopher Columbus

Now THIS Is What I Call Job Satisfaction

Yesterday I got a surprise text from a guy I’d helped with an Assisted Sale back in August last year.

 At the time, I was selling his house through an Estate Agent because the guy was on the brink of having his home repossessed for non payment of his mortgage and owing around 5k in arrears , this was due to an accumulation of circumstances.

 The guy (we’ll call him John) was estranged from his wife, lived by himself and had lost his driving job as a plumber due to a drink/drive offence (drowning his sorrows)

 From then on he ‘buried his head in the sand’ stopped making his mortgage payments and let himself (and the house) go until he couldn’t ignore the letters he was getting from the bank any more because they were threatening to take him to court to recover the debt.

 That’s when he called me, after receiving one of my leaflets through his door which basically said ‘Do you need to sell your house fast?’

 If you missed my previous post about the Assisted Sale you can read it here:https://suziebates88.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/how-i-made-more-than-12k-in-7-weeks-using-none-of-my-own-money/

 What I didn’t say in my previous post is how depressed John was at the time. I’ll be completely honest about why I didn’t elaborate on it…. I felt guilty because although I was helping him to sell the house I felt I could’ve offered him a greater share of the profit.

The Download Music Festival

 I spent a lot of time chatting with him because he seemed lonely, he told me about his teenage son and his love of  rock music and  the ‘Download’ festival, which he’d attend every year with his son (it’s a heavy rock festival which goes on for days and everyone camps out in tents) There were photos everywhere!  

Apparently this was the first year he’d missed because of his financial difficulties, so his son had gone without him.

 He also talked about his Dad, who he missed and hadn’t seen for years due to an argument they’d had years ago. I had to ‘push’ him a lot to get paperwork signed and sort things out in the house, I felt like I was always ‘nagging’ at him to get things done!

 At the time we agreed that I would…

  • Pay off his arrears
  • Pay the mortgage until the house sold
  • Speak to the bank about giving us some time to sell the house
  • Put the house on sale with an Estate Agent and conduct the viewings
  • Pay all his Estate Agent  & solicitors fees

 Then he would get £1000 (which he owed his ex wife and wanted to pay back) and 15%  from the profit of the sale, and he was happy with that.  I know I could’ve offered a bit more and  didn’t want to advantage of his situation,  so on completion of the sale I gave him a cheque for an extra £500 on top of what we’d agreed as with hindsight I felt a bit ‘greedy’.

 As part of our ‘agreement’ I also said I would pay for his ticket to the ‘Download festival’ the following year which he was really pleased about.

 When the day came for him to move out (he was moving in with a friend) his ex wife called me saying he’d been taken to hospital because he’d attempted suicide, I had no idea he was feeling that low and I was beside myself with worry for him.

 I went straight to the hospital to see him, he did look a sorry sight and I felt so guilty at selling his home, but the alternative was losing it anyway and being left with a massive debt which he couldn’t pay. It’s a terrible, hopeless situation for anyone to be in and it made me think about others in the same situation who HAD been taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies.

Rather him than me!

 I spent ages talking to him about his life and how being more ‘positive’ would make a difference to him.

 I gave him a copy of ‘Rich Dad, poor Dad to read! and suggested he contact his Dad, which he did, and to cut a long story short he went to live with him in Wales for a ‘new start’.

 Anyway, last week I bought him his festival ticket, plus camping for 5 days and a return bus ticket from Swansea so he could get there and back. I sent it to his Dad’s address in Wales.

 Yesterday John sent me a text, here’s what he said:

 “Sue thanks so much for sending the ticket and for all your help. I’m more than happy here, getting on great with my Dad, I have a job, a new girlfriend and now my Download ticket, life doesn’t get much better than this. Thanks again for sorting me out, John x”

 I can’t tell you how much that meant to me, knowing that he was happy and settled, a far cry from the sad, sorry soul I’d first met.

Although I made a good profit on the sale of his house,  knowing that I have actually changed his life for the better has given me the most amazing sense of satisfaction that money could never buy, and that’s what makes it all worthwhile 🙂

Why Your Biggest Challenge Is Yourself

How often have you envied someone who has done something amazing or made a success of their life?

 How often have you said ‘I wish I could do that’ or ‘I’m just not lucky enough’ or ‘he’s just lucky, that’s why he’s made it’?

 I’m sure we’ve all said this at some point, but do you ever stop and think why you don’t achieve more in your life?

 How many excuses have you made to others (and yourself) about why you can’t do something?

 I tell my daughter Summer that she’s not allowed to use the word ‘can’t’. Instead she has to say ‘I’ll try’. Yes, she moans whenever I say it, but she will always remember it, and it will stand her in good stead for the future 🙂

 Have you heard the saying ‘We are what we think’? Often, the way we think determines whether or not we will be successful in what we set out to achieve.

 So if you start off thinking you’re not capable of doing something, then guess what? You’ll probably never do it. You may as well not even try because you’ve lost the battle already!

 Many of the millionaire gurus practice NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which basically means that if think about something you want and really believe you will get it then your thoughts will manifest themselves into reality.

 The secret to their success is an ‘I can’ attitude. They don’t say ‘I can’t do it’. They say ‘HOW can I do it?’

 Now I’m not saying this is all you need, but it’s a great start! A positive attitude will go a long way and is what separates the successful people from the unsuccessful.

 It’s ok to try and fail. So you tried, and it didn’t work, but you don’t give up. You try another way, and then another until you make it work. There are many great people who tried, lost everything, then succeeded in getting it all back.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.”

Thomas Edison. Invesntor of the light bulb
Thomas Edison

As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.

When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

 Negative Thoughts Produce Negative Actions

 Do you know someone who always seems to have ‘bad luck’ and whatever they do always seems to go wrong? This is not a coincidence at all, it’s down to mindset.

 They constantly tell themselves they’re unlucky and things will always go wrong….so guess what….that’s what happens!

 Positive thoughts produce positive actions. Give all your thoughts to what you want to achieve, see what you want in your mind, feel it, focus on it constantly as if you already have it.

 See yourself actually achieving your goal and you will be nearer to getting it.

 Did you know that 1% of the population own 96% of the worlds’ wealth?

 This is no accident, it’s not down to luck. These few people focused on what they desired, they believed in themselves and set out to get what they wanted. They are where they are today because of what they thought. There are other contributing factors but mindset is the most important.

 You can focus on the past and your previous disappointments, or, you can focus on your future and what you want to happen. So what’s it going to be?

 Because your biggest challenge is YOURSELF.

When Things Go Wrong

Inevitably there are times when things just don’t go to plan.

It happens to all of us as we all make mistakes but as long as we learn from them then that’s fine.  After all, there is no success without failures.

Anyway I’ve  had a bit of a set back 😦 If you’ve been following my posts you’ll remember me talking a while back about the ‘Assisted Sale’ I completed on and at the end of the post I said I had another one in the pipeline?

The 3 bed semi

Anyway, a retired couple had cotacted me (through my leaflets) saying they wanted to sell their 3 bed semi (in Leicester) as it was too big for them.

It was a non standard build property (BISF – steel construction) which can be difficult to sell (and get a mortgage on as some lenders don’t like them) however I’d spoken to my broker and he assured me there WERE lenders happy to lend on it depending on the buyers criteria.

There was no mortgage on the property, they just wanted to sell it, rent a small flat and live off the money as they had no relatives to leave it to. They’d been thinking about it for a while and decied to do something about it when they read my leaflet 🙂

It had a good sized garden

They were a lovely couple and I spent a lot of time with them finding out what they wanted to do and how etc. Eventually we came to an agreement. I would find them a nice flat in the area they wanted, pay all their legal fees, solicitors, Estate Agents etc and they’d sell the property to me for £60,000, market value was around £90,000.

They didn’t want the hassle of dealing withthe EA, showing people around, legal issues etc so I was going to do all that.

I found them a gorgeous flat exactly where they wanted and to their specs, one bed, ground floor, central location, that was being advertised by a letting agent. I picked them up, took them to see it, they loved it and wanted to move in asap but wanted the rent a bit cheaper.

So I negotiated the price with the landlord via the agent and got it at the price they wanted. They were delighted and decided to move in within a couple of weeks so I put the house on the market with an estate agent.

They didn’t have a lot of money behind them so I offered to lend them £2,000 so they could move into the new place (to pay upfront tenancy fees etc, and this amount would come off their share on sale of the house. (This was all written up in the T&C’s on the Option Agreement)

I’d already had it valued at 90k (by the EA) but was marketing it at 85k as I wanted a quick sale. I figured that if I could sell it for about 75k I’d still make a good profit after the legal fees were paid. I luckily made 12k on my previous assisted sale and was hoping I could repeat it! If you missed it You can read about it here

So to save a bit of money I thought we’d hire a van and move them ourselves, so my hubby Mike and son Nick and I got there early to start loading the van! It was a nightmare, I’ve never seen so much stuff and they’d packed most of it into black plastic bin liners…they were everywhere!!

There was Mike dismantling their electrics beds and Nick heaving the washing machine & fridge into the van while I was piling up a sea of black bin liners and going back & forth in an attempt to get as much as possible into the first load.  I don’t know how the hell they thought all that stuff was going to fit into a one bed flat haha.

As the old couple weren’t very moblie and the guy had a bad hip I didn’t expect him to do any lifting so I took them to the new flat in the car with a couple of chairs and made them a cup of tea while I went back to carry on with the loading.

We had to make two trips so it was a total of 40 miles in the van and a couple of car trips to pick up the last few bits, my car was covered in mud from all the bloody pot plants in the garden :/ but after 6 hours we’d done……or so we thought!

They then wanted help to put the beds back together, the washer needed plumbing in and they needed help to unpack the heavy items and make up the beds, plus I went to the local shop to get them some chips as they were hungry!!

Then we had to go back and start taking up the old carpets, stripping walls in the lounge & kitchen and re-painting it . There wasn’t a lot of work to do but it still took us another couple of days to finish it. we were knackered by the end of it but thought it would be worth it in the end.

The area where the property was situated was a ‘bit rough’ and we had a couple of problems, we visited the property regularly to make sure everything was ok and one time someone had stolen the bark and plastic underlay from the front garden, so it looked a righ mess,  and someone else had thrown a door and broken furniture over the fence into the back garden. So obviously we (Mike) had to clear this up!

Then there were the phone calls from the couple “Can you please do this for us” “Could you please come and show us how this works” “the Alliance & Leicester is shut, what can we do” etc etc! They were always pleased to see me though and treated me like part of the family bless em!

Initially there was a lot of interest in the property and we had an offer of 72k but the guy couldn’t get a mortgage (because of the build). The estate agent said people were put off because of the type of property. Two months later we had another offer of 70k from a guy who’d come from London to view it, he wanted to buy it to let.

I went to see the old couple to give them the good news and was astounded when they said (very matter-of-factly) that they’d had a nice time at the flat but had decided they wanted to go back home as they missed the neighbourhood,  ‘pottering about in the garden’ !and they didn’t think their BUDGIE liked it there!!!!!! Grrrrrrr

It’s a good job I’ m a patient person or I would’ve strangled them and buried them under the patio! After chatting with them for a while it seemed they were adamant that they were going back so I had to accept that, but also told them we had incurred fees which would have to be paid back (the £2000, van hire, EA fees etc) which they agreed to pay by getting a loan 😦

SO……they ended up moving back (with their own removal van this time) we had to tell the guy from London he couldn’t buy the property and the landlady of the flat wasn’t pleased as the 6 month tenancy was only in it’s 3rd month. And this is cutting a long story short lol!

We wasted a lot of time on this project but at least we recouped our costs, which made me feel very guilty as the old couple had to get a loan to pay us back. I’m a big softy and was thinking of letting them off but Mike quite rightly said “We’re not running a charity”.

They were fine about it, and said “Well at least we tried it out”  and asked me to keep in touch as they’d miss me!

Anyway, a valuable lesson was learnt, don’t mess with pensioners or non-standard builds again, and I have to ‘man up’ and stop being so soft! 🙂

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:

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    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!

    .

     

    A Christmas Message

    I hope you’re all ready for Christmas and managing to get out and about alright with all this snow!

    I’ve only had one annoying incident where I was stuck on the M6 for a while whilst coming back from visiting my sister in Telford….so I’ve been lucky so far 🙂 Actually it was more unlucky that I had three kids in the car at the time that drove me mad because they were bored!

    Mike and I have just been to the local Tesco today to finish off the ‘food shop’ where people were piling up their trolleys with enough food to feed them for a year, the shops are only shut for a day for goodness sake, why do they do that ?!

    Maybe because Christmas is a great excuse to EAT isn’t it?

    I went for a meal with family last night and stuffed myself silly, then got home, ate half a box of mint matchmakers and drank two glasses of Baileys… in bed! 🙂 ~ Luxury

    Our daughter Summer half -heartedly built a six inch snowman in the garden (probably the smallest on record lol) she’s excited about opening her presents but sadly doesn’t believe in Father Christmas any more 😦 so we won’t be leaving the usual mince pie for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer on Christmas eve.

    My cat looking not too impressed with her Christmas outfit!

    I hate it when that happens, a childs innocence makes Christmas time even more special, but I’ve often wondered how they feel when they find out we’ve been ‘lying’ to them for years about Santa bringing them presents (especially when we tell them it’s naughty to lie!)

    Hopefully you’ve all had a great year. Mine has been good, I’ve met some amazing people, made new friends and learnt some interesting stuff.

    Looking back I could’ve been a lot more proactive, especially the latter part of the year, but I intend to make next year AMAZING so watch this space!

    I hope we will all be grateful for what we have this year because although Christmas is a time for having fun and being

    with family for most, there are unfortunately some who are less fortunate,  those who are missing loved ones and those going through bad times,  so I ask that we remember and say a prayer for them.

    Anyway, I’m sending you all my very best wishes for a fabulous Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year,  be sure to make your resolutions ACHIEVABLE and GO FOR IT!

    EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY !

    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:

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    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!

    Why Is It Important To Network?

    Hello again 🙂

    It’s been suggested that my blogs are a bit ‘long winded’ and I admit I do tend to waffle on a lot so I’m going to try and keep them a bit shorter so that people don’t get fed up reading half way through (and it’s less time for me to have to sit tapping on the laptop!) I can’t promise, I do like attention to detail, but here goes….

    Never underestimate the power of networking

    Anyway, networking, why is it important?  What is networking all about?

    If you look up the term ‘networking’ in a dictionary it describes it as:  ‘a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest’  which sums it up perfectly.

    You really cannot underestimate the power of what networking can do for you and your business.

    I love going to networking meetings. I’ve met some amazing people, everyone is unique and has a different story to tell and EVERY time I pick up new tips and skills that increase my knowledge.

     So how can you network?

    • Attend courses
    • Networking meetings (held all over the country)
    • Post on forums (as many as possible, get yourself  ‘known’)
    • Sign up to all the social media sites
    • Call people you meet regualrly and keep in touch
    • Listen in to webinars
    • Attend relevant events (seminars, free events, workshops etc)
    • Go to social events (a great and informal way to get to know people)

    Whilst at these events, speak to as many people as you can, find out why they’re there.  What do they do? Where are they from? What do they hope to gain? What are they looking for? What skills do they have? Can they help you at all? and most importantly, how can you help THEM?

    Collect business cards, as many as you can, because you need to build your list of contacts, you can never have enough of these. Networking will help you to expand your contact list. This will help you to expand your sales base and bring you in touch with different requirements to help you to diversify your business.

    Join property forums, ask questions to build your knowledge.  Join in with discussions and help new investors by answering their questions, add people as ‘friends’ and keep in touch regularly. The one’s I currently use are:  TYCOONS: www.property-networking.com   PROPERTY TRIBES:  www.propertytribes.ning.com  and SINGING PIG: www.singingpig.co.uk

    Join as many social media networking sites as possible like: Facebook, Twitter, Digg It, Stumble Upon (there are loads of them) social networking is very powerful and members are growing in their thousands daily so you need to get your name and your business on there.

    When I started my first property course there was a lot of emphasis put on ‘networking’ and why we should all be doing it.  At first I didn’t give it a lot of thought. I told myself I’d try and make it to a couple of meetings if I had the time.

    However,  since I’ve been attending events, socialising, posting on the forums etc, I have met SO MANY PEOPLE, a lot of whom have become good friends and I’ve learnt as much from them as I have from paid courses. It has not ceased to amaze me how people have been and continue to be so helpful 🙂

    The more people you meet and network with, the more opportunities will come your way.

    Forums are great for making friends and asking questions and you can have a good chat on the ‘phone but I prefer to meet up with people face to face.  It’s much more informal, you can relax over a drink and get to know the ‘real’ person this way.

    Maybe it’s a ‘woman thing’- and I’m biased- but intuition plays a big part for me.  I can ‘sense’ if I’m going to like and trust someone pretty quickly, and I wouldn’t want to work with someone I didn’t like or trust.

    People I’ve met recently and learnt from through networking

    I’m only mentioning RECENT people I’ve met in the last month as I’d be here all day if I listed ALL my contacts.  I like to get around 🙂

    Vince Audritt and Laura Smithson

    I have a new business partner called Vincent Audritt who I met through the TMA course, he’s very intelligent, has a great head for business as he’s run his own company for many years, and is a really nice trustworthy guy.

    My husband and I have become good friends with Vince and his partner Laura (I love her, she’s great fun) and meet up socially regularly. 

    They have just flown off to Thailand on an intensive Internet Marketing course (wish I could’ve gone!) Vince is a great writer and also has his own blog: www.propertyinvestmentjournal.com

    as does Laura: www.laurasmithson.com  

    Colin & Karen Parker

    Colin Parker:  I first met Colin through a property forum about a year ago when he helped me with a query I’d posted (one of many lol) 

     Last week Colin and his wife Karen (lovely person) invited me up to Newcastle for a couple of days to have a  look around the area and see how they run their very successful property investment company called ONEPORTFOLIO-NGU www.highgrowthpropertyinvestment.co.uk

    They were good fun, great hosts and took me out ‘on the toon’ ! I had a brilliant time, learnt a lot about how the company runs and was very impressed (particularly with their ethics)  and as a result of my visit I will now be working closely with them. More about this in my next post 🙂
     

    Rob Hubbard

    A couple of weeks a go I met up with Rob  Hubbard who I met through the Property Tribes forum.

    We met in Leicester for a drink and a chat, he’s a friendly guy, very knowledgeable and willing to help, he’s given me lots of tips on property investment strategies
    .
    Rob is a property investor and sourcer who’s based in Wakefield and he recently did an interview talking about his views on ethical property sourcing  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj6CBSbT3UQ  with Vanessa Warwick (another friend of mine and co administrator of the Proprty Tribes forum)

     We keep in touch and he’s invited me up to the next Northern Property Tribes meet to speak!!! OMG don’t know about that, I’m very flattered, but what could I possibly speak about!  I’d like to  go anyway as a guest, meet new contacts and make new friends 🙂

    Sue & Maksoom, property entrepreneurs

    Sue Elkington & Maksoom Hussein: Two lovely friends I met through Parmdeep Vadesha’s TMA course.

    Amazing people, they both had a difficult start in life yet have triumphed against all odds to become successful investors and now co- host the Birmingham Property meet which I try to attend regularly, they have some great speakers.

    We keep in touch and I met up with them for a lunch time meal in Birmingham to hear all about the interesting things they were getting up to. Sue is a dab hand at DIY with many years experience and would put many a man to shame, she’s soon running a course on Property Refurbishment which I can fully recommend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZGjeNtjCng

    Philomena Connelly

    Yesterday I met up with Philomena Connelly who I met on the Wealth Dragons course, she’s a genuinely kind and friendly person who runs a home design business so can help if you need to dress up a property to optimise it’s sale price for resale or letting : www.shapinghomes.co.uk 

    We met for lunch (she lives in Bristol and came out of her way enroute from Bedford to meet me)  and we spent three hours chatting, exchanging experiences and had a lovely time (you know what it’s like when women get together! )

    Philomena is determined, like myself, to pursue a career in property investment, as well as as being a teacher of Salsa! (Oh I’d love to be able to do that!) We shared our recent findings and experiences and will definitely keep in touch.

     I’ve also spoken to lots of people by email and on the forums in the past month, they help me and I help them, which is what it’s all about, you don’t just take, you give back. I’ve met sooo many helpful people in this industry, I love being  apart of it and get a great buzz from being able to help a ‘newbie’.

    Yes it takes up a lot of my time to do this but as the saying goes ‘Two heads are better than one’  so think of the possibilities of having many heads helping with your knowledge and building your business 🙂

    Tomorrow I’m in Milton Keynes all day for training as an apprentice for the Wealth Dragons.

    Until next time, Happy Networking Folks. You know it makes sense!

    Mmmm, wasn’t exactly SHORT was it? Sorry 😉

    Previous Older Entries

    Top Clicks

    • None

    Follow me on Twitter

    My Tweets!

    Authors

    %d bloggers like this: