How My Past Experiences and Skills Benefit My Property Career

Have you met me in real life?

Do you know anything about me?

It’s very important that you get to know anybody that you’re considering working with!

So in this post, I’ll be sharing a little bit of background information into me… but more specifically, how my previous experience fed into my current property investor career!

When I was little, I wanted to be all these things at various times:

✂️ hairdresser – but too clumsy, and all my Sindy dolls had mohicans 😖 ❌

✈️ pilot navigator – but had bad eyes and likely not clevererer enough! 😵‍💫 ❌

👩🏻‍🏫 teacher – managed that, but that was waaaaay too much hard work for me! 🥵✅

🏡 property developer – by Jove, I think I’ve made it! 😁👍 ✅

But it’s interesting that lots of skills and things I’ve learnt along the way have all fed into helping my career in property.

ie, because I did this, or went on a night course on that, it’s massively benefitted me.

And I love learning, the latest benefit paying off is my accredited Diploma in Internet Marketing, which has been wildly helpful in building up my online presence.

So, here I go: some major skills that I learnt ages ago which still benefit me now!! 👊

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The biggest one you may know about me is that I used to be a high school teacher. This taught me a lot about patience!

But also it’s honed my public speaking skills.

I know glossophobia is the number one fear of many people… but once you’ve tried to keep smiling and be positive and talk to stroppy disinterested year 11s about Shakespeare, whilst they argue back with you, any crowd or audience after that is a breeze!

Another good skill that came from teaching was resourcefulness, and the ability to think on my feet: “Oh the interactive whiteboard screen’s not working / my photocopying’s not ready / there’s no work been left for the class I’ve been called in to cover, etc, I’ll have to think of something else on the spot” –

Makes you think of a resolution fast!

Most teachers are organised and time efficient, calm and enjoy planning and things running smoothly – me too!

Finally it’s a great ability to be able to start each day afresh and not drag resentment with you from the past.

This particularly paid off with Samantha, as no matter how disruptive she was one day, I never held it against her the next lesson. And although she was a problem for other teachers, being given a new chance every lesson led to one of my teaching career’s greatest moments: on GCSE results day, when she told me mine was the only subject where she’d earned her only grade C, and she thanked me for not giving up on her.

And thus another skill learnt: no matter their circumstances or issues, people matter!

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The next experience that fed into my current property investor career – photography skills! 📸

I’ve always been interested in photography, and have hundreds of photo albums documenting the last 30-odd years!

I firmly believe that a photograph captures a memory and freezes it in time indefinitely 🤩

So about a decade ago I did a photography course at night college to improve my skills.

And whilst I’m no David Bailey, I am pretty decent a getting a good photo shot, having some concept and thought process of lighting, framing, angles, focal planes, the rule of thirds, and so on.

This skill has been particularly useful for photographing my property projects, both to document the transformation process and as rental or valuation photos for the end result.

It also helps with my social media content; hopefully you’ve seen some of my jazzy photos online!

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Here’s another way that my previous skills and experience fed into my property career….

At Leeds Metropolitan University I studied an English degree and a few years later I went on to do a creative writing course at night school.

I’ve always liked the written word, and my mum informs me I could read and write before I even went to school.

This has meant I have built up a superb grasp of many written skills, and I love to use language and vocabulary to entertain people. And I can spot a grammar or spelling mistake a mile off!

So how has this benefitted me in property?

Well it effectively means I am my own copywriter. I write the content myself for property adverts, my website, my investor email mailing list, this blog and my social media posts.

This has the added benefit of all my content and resources being authentically me!

You’re welcome to check out all my written resources on the platforms I’ve mentioned!

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Here’s the fourth way in which my previous experience fed into my current property investor career.

I have studied a range of counselling skills and psychology courses. This means I have learnt some great interpersonal skills, and have developed my ability to understand people and get on with them.

Some find it really difficult to walk into a room of strangers and begin a conversation, but I’m quite decent at networking, and am reasonably good at making people feel at ease.

Learning about counselling helped me develop patience and empathy, whereas the psychology course showed me different ways in which people think.

I love the nature versus nurture debate, and it really interests me why people are like they are, usually because of the past experiences they’ve had.

How is this relevant?

Well, I have to deal with clients, tenants, investors and contractors – people.

It’s often said that property is a people business, so it makes sense that I should continuously try and improve my people skills!

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The final thing I’m going to mention on how my past experiences fed into my current property career, is computing.

Bear in mind, I’m from a time when your junior school had just one computer between us all… and you took your one hour go on it a year, one-finger typing out a paragraph to print off! 🤣 And you weren’t taught much more about computers at high school either.

Even when I reached the Sixth Form in the late 90s, the Internet was only just starting up, and a laptop in every home was still a good few years away.

So I cajoled a friend to sign up with me to Joseph Priestley College (named after the discoverer of oxygen, FYI!), and after Sixth Form once a week, we would go and sit at their computers and learn the new-fangled arts of ‘Word Processing’ and ‘Spreadsheets’. I’ve still got the certificates to prove it!

Anyway, fast forward twenty years later, and my keyboard wizardry skills mean I can do a range of computer-based tasks which are vital to my property business.

Creating documents, templates, letters, and most importantly, those fiscal spreadsheets showing me that things are going well in my portfolio (well, mostly, barring a few evil months involving excessive repairs and maintenance! 😅)

Eeeh, who’d have thought in the last century that everyone in the future would be taught these skills at school?!?

Shame they don’t do the same with teaching kids about business, tax and mortgages!

So thanks for reading… who knew I had so many skills, eh?!

What, you want to hear more?!

Oh go on then…

…but as long as you have a go at recognising how your own skills and experiences are beneficial!

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