5 Key Things I’ve Learned About a Property Business in 5 Years
Today my business is FIVE YEARS OLD!!
I almost missed the date – can’t believe I missed an excuse to have a little celebratory party!
But what with the Covid pandemic, a party would have been limited on numbers anyway, so I would only have been able to invite the staff in the business: the director, the secretary, the acquisitions manager, the project manager, the finance controller, and the lettings agent…
…Me then, just me!
It would have been a VIP party of one!
But anyway, today my business is 5!!
And although I was a landlord for several years before that, five years ago I decided to make a proper business of it and start buying property within a limited company.
So in celebration, I have put together 5 key things I have learned about running a property business… here we go!
1. IT IS HARD!
Don’t let anyone lie to you.
It takes way longer to build a property business than you were led to believe. It is also much more stressful, hands-on and costs a lot more than you ever thought it would!
But… if it were easy, everyone would do it, wouldn’t they?
I remember being in the property training room, learning all about this stuff five years ago. There were about 60 people there who had put four days of their time and money into that course… and five years later, only about a quarter of those people have stayed the distance, built a portfolio, and actually successfully progressed in property.
It’s hard… and that’s why most people don’t carry it on!
2. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AS MUCH AS YOU
A harsh reality, but even the people you employ or subcontract in are (mostly!) only in it for the money. They don’t share your vision, your dreams, your plans for success, or even how you envisage certain tasks done!
So if you outsource, delegate or supervise anything, you had better be watching that those other people are doing exactly what you need them to.
The buck stops with you, and every event that happens is your responsibility. The bottom line and all end results are your fault, so you’d better make sure things get done and get done right – delegate, not abdicate!
(But on the other hand…)
3. OUTSOURCE ANYTHING YOU’RE NOT GOOD AT
Remember at school, when the teachers told you to practice at anything you weren’t good at, so that you could ‘get better’ at it?
What utter nonsense of an idea that is!
When I was a child helping my mum redecorate our bathroom, (1980s child-labour-style!) I inadvertently stuck a wallpaper scraper in my forehead (Look for the scar above my eyebrow when you next see me!)
This alerted me at an early age that perhaps DIY skills were not my forte.
And no matter how much I have practiced manual and DIY skills over the decades, I have never gotten any better, and it is a brave adult that leaves me unsupervised with power tools!
I fully accept that I am no good at manual skilled things, and what’s more, I don’t really enjoy doing them.
So what’s the solution? Get someone else to do them. Someone who is far better at it than you, makes a great job of it and likely loves doing it too – outsource! (but oversee, remember!)
4. PROPERTY IS NOT PASSIVE
Well, it might be, if you’re super rich and can afford to choose to throw money at agents to deal with everything, fair play to you!
But for the majority of people, they have to get involved with their property portfolios at some point for certain things.
For example, although my rental portfolio mainly runs smoothly most of the time, this week I have visited three of my properties for a gas safety check, a property tenancy inspection, an insulation upgrade in a loft, and to check a new tenant into a room in shared accommodation.
Luckily I quite enjoy this range of tasks… and for all three days of this ‘work’, I was back home by noon.
5. PROPERTY CAN GIVE YOU TIME FREEDOM…WHICH IS AWESOME!
I have worked hard enough in the last five years to no longer have to work hard.
In the humblest way I can state this, my property income means I don’t need to work if I don’t want to.
I don’t need to exchange time for money, like in a normal job.
That is a powerful turn of events in anyone’s life.
If I’m ill, or if I do nothing, all my bills and outgoings are covered.
I’m not accountable to anyone else, and nobody is cross if I call in sick or don’t feel like doing anything productive on a particular day.
And that time freedom is a fabulous thing!
Thus, having a smooth-running portfolio means I have freedom of choice. Freedom to choose what I do with my time on a daily basis. Freedom to choose who to work with – or not!
I do get bored easily though, so when you see me doing ‘work’ things, it’s because I choose to, not because I have to. I feel very lucky!
There you go, my five big key things to share with you!
And yes it’s been hard, and there have been stresses and tantrums and worries, and financial concerns and sleepless nights, and early times when I thought it was all going wrong and doubted myself.
So five years in, we’re still going strong.
I’m still nowhere near where I want to be, but I keep going and believe that one day I’ll get there, and try my best to enjoy it as I go.
So as a bonus item, here’s my final thoughts:
Life happens as a result of my decisions, choices and actions.
And I choose to continue to build my portfolio, to create the income to provide the lifestyle I’ve got in mind.
Does this involve Presley Property Ltd being so successful that it enables me to afford my dream house, with my dream study-library-office?
Where a large Elvis mannequin model adorned with a custom-made rhinestone jumpsuit overlooks my red leather Chesterfield sofa, on which I sit to decide and mull over my future projects?
What do you think?!?