LOOK AT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON!

In my property career I have a couple of regrets and disappointments over a couple of properties that I didn’t buy.

In fact, I have a folder, with a name inspired by Bullseye’s Jim Bowen, entitled LOOK AT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON!

This folder holds sales leaflets or details of around ten properties that I really really wanted, but didn’t end up getting, for a myriad of reasons.

This folder includes:

⁃ the house next door to my childhood home. Why didn’t I buy that?!? It was such a good price at the time! 🤦🏻‍♀️

⁃ An old hairdressers shop that I could have converted, but was too scared to. 🤦🏻‍♀️

⁃ A direct to vendor lead where she was about to be repossessed, in an estate where I have three others houses. 🤦🏻‍♀️

⁃ A really cheap flat next to a lovely church, one which the solicitor made an absolute balls of and caused me to lose the deal. 🤦🏻‍♀️

I occasionally look back in my LOOK AT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON folder to reflect on what went wrong with these deals, and what I could have done better.

Reasons, and more importantly, key learnings, include the following:

⁃ Having it drilled into me that every property deal should be an ‘all money out on refinance deal’. This cost me a lot of potentially good deals, because for far too long I believed that you shouldn’t end up leaving any money left in a deal. FOOLISH!

⁃ Faffing about, umming and ahhing, not making a decision quick enough. Success loves speed, and if you sit on the fence too long deciding, you get splinters in your arse!

⁃ Being a little bit too tight with my offers. Some of them eventually went for only 5-10 grand above what I’d offered. I’d have made that back within a year in rental income.

⁃ Hiring absolute garbage solicitors that didn’t know what they were doing. Incompetence on their part, really can, and did, ruin my deal.

⁃ Not knowing exactly what to do in a certain situation and then not asking for help.

⁃ Being too soft in thinking that because I hadn’t done a particular type of refurbishment before, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I should have said yes anyway, and then learned how to do it on the way!

I’m a very low risk person, and hate being uncertain, not getting things rights, and even worse, the ultimate Yorkshire sin: potentially losing money.

But I have to take responsibility for all these actions – me not getting each of these particular deals is Entirely. My. Fault.

Hey ho, hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?!?

Dude, that’s a real bummer #facepalm

Nobody’s perfect, and nobody knows it all. I’m continuously trying to learn.

But if you don’t learn from your mistakes, then making them was futile – because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

Also pain is a much stronger driver than pleasure.

So I keep this folder to remind me of those painful disappointing lessons.

That feeling of regret spurs me on to LOOK AT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE WON! – to avoid doing those same silly things again!

# IF YOU’RE NOT EARNING, YOU’RE LEARNING

# Did anyone ever regret not winning that speedboat in Bullseye?!

Most of us live miles away from the sea!


 ———————————————

Kellyann is a property investment strategist from Leeds. 

In her work she creates wealth for private investors through refurbishing properties. 

Visit her website for more details:

 ———————————————

To learn about 

STARTING OUT IN PROPERTY… What I Wish I’d Known At The Beginning! 

…. buy Kellyann’s book from Amzaon here!

STARTING OUT IN PROPERTY…: What I Wish I’d Known At The Beginning! : Martin, Kellyann: Amazon.co.uk: Books

3 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PROPERTY…

But property’s awesome all the time, right?

Wrong!

And here’s my top three reasons why!

PROPERTY HATE NUMERO UNO: REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

Repairs and maintenance is my number one pet peeve in property – I just hate hate hate it when things break – and sometimes it’s not even the tenant’s fault.

Then you have to deal with the call from the tenant saying that something’s wrong, work out how to fix it, who to call to do so, have to faff about getting various quotes and solutions and appointments in order, and then finally set fire to my money to remedy the problem.

Or even worse, sometimes it’s a product or service that needs addressing by a telephone call to the dreaded call centre or customer service department… where you waste endless hours of time to untrained people on the other end of the line, who can’t deal with it, aren’t competent, put you on hold forever, or just fob you off. There’s nothing more draining than a call centre department.

This week’s issue has been a young 14-month-old integrated Logik oven from Currys which has stopped working after minimal use. Currys customer service seemingly couldn’t give a shit about their faulty product, nor helping me fix it.

Here’s my advice: don’t ever buy a product from Currys – it’s a waste of your time and money buying their substandard products, then a waste of your time, effort, energy and patience trying to get them to do the right thing.

PROPERTY HATE PART 2: NAUGHTY TENANTS

Aha, I bet you thought this would be the first on the list, didn’t you?!?

Not me, because the majority of my tenants are great, nearly all of the time.

Occasionally though, one goes rogue, and starts acting in a naughty manner.

I have three key rules I tell all my tenants:

1. Respect the house and keep it tidy

2. Respect your neighbours (and housemates)

3. Pay your rent on time

…and it’s when one of these three rules is not followed that things go wrong, tenants do naughty things, I get irate, start dismembering their wayward corpses into pieces and setting them on fire etc etc…

I jest, of course…

But there have been instances where people have not paid their rent, given me a ream of bullshit about why not, told me barefaced lies to my face, behaved in ways which damaged the property, accidentally set fire to the kitchen, made an absolute tip of a pigsty to the house / their rooms, hoarding more things than I ever thought possible, not cleaning up after themselves in communal areas, carrying on and arguing so that the neighbours complain and the council send me whinging letters etc etc blah blah…

Thankfully, these things are not common ongoing occurrences, because naughty tenants don’t end up lasting long in my properties.

So yes, naughty tenants annoy me, because they are the exception to the norm in my portfolio.

But I must reiterate that on the whole my tenants are good people.

And when good people do the right thing, there’s nothing to worry about, is there?!

PROPERTY HATE 3: LE FINALE – EVERYTHING IS SO EXPENSIVE!!

I’ve already wittered on about the expense of repairs and maintenance, so I’ll not revisit that route… but EVERYTHING in property is just so bloody expensive!

This includes house purchase prices, the survey fees, the legal costs, the stamp duty land tax, refurbishment costs, gas and electric works, the insurances, the ongoing certificates and legislative measures.

It all costs a bomb, and that bomb frequently explodes in my purse and bank balance!

You know I’m Yorkshire, and you know that for me every pound is a prisoner.

It is always a sad day when money has to be traumatically prised from my parsimonious whimpering fingers to pay for necessary costs!

WHICH IN PROPERTY IS NEARLY ALL THE TIME!!! 

*cries*

So there we have it, the 3 things I hate most about property.

But hang on, let’s not be a negative Nellie.

Because although there are many thunderstorms and showers in property, there are plenty of sunshine-y moments too!

Such as:

  • Providing housing for people
  • Acquiring assets
  • Long term pension pot plan
  • Majority of property portfolio work is now passive
  • Time freedom and independence
  • Gives me a salary!

Can’t have all these nice smooth bits, without a bit of rough too, eh?!

That’s life for you!

Proper-teee…dious at times though!

𝗢𝗸 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗲𝘀, 𝗺𝘆 𝗯𝗶𝗴 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁… 𝗜’𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗱 𝗮 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸!

“𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗢𝗨𝗧 𝗜𝗡 𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗣𝗘𝗥𝗧𝗬…
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗪𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗜’𝗱 𝗞𝗻𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗔𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴!”

…is now available to purchase on Amazon.

𝗪𝗛𝗢 𝗜𝗦 𝗧𝗛𝗜𝗦 𝗕𝗢𝗢𝗞 𝗙𝗢𝗥?

People new to property and who are looking to buy their first residential house(s) to make rental income.

𝗪𝗛𝗔𝗧 𝗪𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗬 𝗟𝗘𝗔𝗥𝗡?

Things I wish I’d known at the start of my own property journey – many things that would have made the process so much easier, faster, and less stressful.

𝗛𝗢𝗪 𝗖𝗔𝗡 𝗬𝗢𝗨 𝗛𝗘𝗟𝗣?

I would be most grateful if you would 𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁 to help reach my target audience, and I thank you kindly in advance for your support! 🥰

Link to buy here:

Help new property investors learn from my experience… in order to make their experience much more pleasant!

Private Investors… What’s In It For You?

You might know that I help people build wealth passively, through the vehicle of property.

But have you ever wondered why people invest?

Why would people with funds want to work with me?

In this blog I’ll be exploring the reasons of what’s in it for them as private investors.

First of all, a key reason people choose to invest is that it gives them somewhere safe to invest their funds.

They realise that property is a good solid asset, and is unlikely to be stolen or magically disappear or reduce in value, like stocks, shares and other volatile online investment vehicles.

Property is a safe investment option, because it’s a tangible asset which really exists.

That’s why we have the phrase “Safe as Houses”! 🏠

Another great reason people choose to work with me is that they know it involves socially responsible investing.

They’re not putting their money into dubious activities, products or gambling – they are directly benefitting local families by providing housing.

There’s nothing more socially responsible than helping low-income families get a safe, secure home to comfortably bring their kids up in.

Here’s another key reason that I know many people want to invest with me: it gives them the chance to help me help others.

Not only does it help provide housing for people, it helps me build my own future, and it helps them build their own wealth!

It’s nice to be nice, it gives you a good feeling inside. It is often said that we rise by lifting others, and that helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life.

I fully believe this, in fact I even wrote a blog on the subject – do click here to have a read!

At present in Britain, there is a severe housing shortage. Every year we need an extra 300,000 homes in addition to the new ones that have been built, just to keep up with demand.

Investing with me gives you the knowledge that you’re helping create much-needed homes.

Demand vastly outstrips supply, which means your investment funds are providing a much-needed commodity.

There’ll always be a need for housing, meaning there’ll always be investment required to fund this, meaning you will be financially rewarded for the value you provide through investment funding.

Finally, a good draw for private investors is that they have the opportunity to make far more interest on their funds than they would by having it sat in the bank.

If you have £20,000 idly sitting in your high street bank, at current Bank of England interest rates, you are only likely to make around 25p interest per month.

Whereas if you put that £20,000 into one of my property projects, you are guaranteed a minimum of 6% per annum, which means you would receive £1200 interest per annum – which equals £100 a month in interest!

That’s a much better return than 25 pence, isn’t it?!?

How can I afford to give you such a high return?

Well, that’s because of the magic of uplifting the values of property development.

There’s always enough money in the deal to enable me to do this, and you deserve a great return for your trust in me and helping me deliver these projects.

Win-win for all!

You help me provide housing, and I help you grow your wealth passively within short periods of time.

It’s a great feeling to give someone back a large chunk of money in interest, knowing you have effectively beaten the banks!

So there we have it: a range of reasons explored as to what’s in it for private investors who choose to invest in my property project opportunities. 

If you would like to discuss becoming an investment partner to gain these benefits, do book in to have a call with me, by clicking the link below.

 The Benefits of Renting to Tenants on Benefits!

 The Benefits of Renting to Tenants on Benefits!

You might know that I have a property rental portfolio here in Leeds.

What you might not know is that half of my single let rentals are occupied by tenants on benefits.

Now whilst benefits tenants often get a bad reputation, many low-income families are just like you and me: decent, pleasant people, that have found themselves in a certain situation.

Being on benefits does not mean that you are a write-off, or a bad person. It does not mean you are scum, a degenerate, a waster, or any of the other negative connotations the media try to impose on us.

Of course, there are some people who aren’t as savoury as we would hope, throughout all areas of life – but we cannot tar everyone with the same brush.

Not all benefits tenants are bad ones, in the same surprising way that not all high paid ‘professional tenants’ look after the property and pay their rent – as some of my landlord friends will vouch for! 😱

As with anybody, carefully check out your prospective tenants, and be convinced that they are a good choice.

So here’s my reasons for the benefits of renting to tenants on benefits:

✳️ They are usually families, looking for a long term home, which means they stay longer.

✳️ There are lots of them looking for housing, as the council has a severe shortage of available local housing authority accommodation.

✳️ Often the council will provide a deposit for them or a scheme whereby they will fix damaged items

✳️ You can request for the rent to be paid directly to yourself as landlord. This massively reduces the risk of rent not getting paid.

✳️ You are helping vulnerable families by giving them a chance to build themselves a secure lifestyle, and a steady foundation for their children to progress in the future…

… because that’s exactly what happened to me.

I’m the product of a single parent on benefits. And although we were poor, our council house was immaculate, and we tried hard to improve our situation.

I’m not scum, a reprobate, a degenerate, a lowlife, or any of those things.

I’m a good person, just like my tenants are.

I was a kid who had a good grounding to want to do better than the situation I found myself in.

A couple of these kids in my class are from benefits families, can you tell which? 
Of course you can’t – but all kids deserve a decent start in life!

I appreciate everything, because I still remember what it means to have nothing.

And that’s exactly why I choose to rent to low income families – because I’ve been there, and know how important is it for someone to just give you a chance and believe in you.

So as there’s over 3 million people claiming housing benefit in Britain… why not consider renting to them?!?

❤️Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ 5 things I LOVE about property! 🥰❤️

Ah, the season of LURRRRRVE! ❤️🥰😍

Today I will share with you my love of property, and why it features so highly in my affections… so here’s 5 things I love about it! 😍🏠

❤️ 1. How property is magic and transformational ❤️

You take an utter wreck of a house, give it a little love and care and tenderness (and a shedload of refurbishment money!) et voilá, it magically transforms into a lovely cute little property, all smart and tidy!

🏠❤️

❤️2. Putting families in homes ❤️

Creating a rental property means you have a home for a family to make memories in. My target audience is families, often low income people, often with children. I have housed families who have found themselves homeless and domestic violence escapees, which I find really fulfilling and a worthwhile task.

It’s never too late to live happily ever after!

👩‍👧‍👦❤️

❤️3. Giving private investors loads of interest ❤️

If you’ve had £30,000 sitting in a bank account for the last year, you will have made around £3 in interest, or roughly 25p a month on your thirty grand… big wow, eh?!? 😱😤

I love being able to give great chunks of money to private investors who have trusted me with their funds – and their generous investment returns enable them to buy way more than a cheap box of chocolates!

🍫❤️

❤️4. How property always increases in value ❤️

You know how you give something love and that love expands??

That happens to property… if you treat it nice and look after it well, it will always increase in value.

Think back to when your parents and grandparents were young lovers… and between them in the 1980s/70s/60s etc, they managed to buy themselves a whole house for a can of Coke and a king size Twix… well not quite, but you get the idea!

Those £5000 property purchases are now likely worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

What’s not to love about increasing house value?!?

💷❤️

❤️5. How it creates passive income – you do the work once and get paid forever! ❤️

Oh passive income, shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day?!? Thou art more lovely for allowing me to have time and life freedom to do all the things I enjoy!

But let’s be fair here: I do work hard when I need to, and in the past I have worked hard enough building my portfolio so that now I don’t have to work hard – if I don’t choose to.

Time freedom: there’s nothing I love more about property than that!

🕰❤️

So there we go, fair readers: I’ve managed to spread the love about property… 😍

And don’t forget, if you’d like to know more about investing or working together, do visit my website, or follow me on all the social media platforms.

Have a lovely Valentine’s Day! ❤️💐💖

Best Business Highlights of 2021… a reflective look back over the year

Well, 2021 was a funny old year for business, what with Covid continuing to cause chaos, and the property market going wild!

Nevertheless, a steady year, and here’s a couple of business highlights that happened: 

✅ Completed refurbishment on a buy-to-let property, which has turned out to be the best-performing rental in the portfolio

✅ Appeared as a guest on a couple of podcasts 

✅ Gave investors a vast chunk of money for their investment 

✅ Continued to provide homes for people

✅ A magazine published a nice article about my property work

✅ Got a super eco grant for upgrading heating 

✅ Began networking again, and continued to meet lovely people and build relationships 

✅ Enrolled and completed an educational mentorship programme, ready to progress to the next stage of my property career

✅ My property business turned 5 years old, a good solid business birthday to reach! 🎉

So at least some decent things happened, and next year I shall continue to try hard, and hope you do the same.

Because remember: giving up on your goals because of a setback is like slashing your other three tyres because one is flat!

A very happy new year from me, and I thank you kindly and gratefully for following my work this year. 

KM 😊 x

PROPERTY MISTAKES I WON’T BE REPEATING

In my career as property developer, I’ve made some mistakes.

It’s good not to make mistakes to start with, or even better, learn from other people’s mistakes!

Here’s a selection of my biggest howlers over the years… laugh along with me… but don’t repeat these daft mistakes yourself!

One big boo-boo I won’t be repeating: putting laminate floor in rental houses!

I have it in my own house just now, it’s already trashed after just 18 months so will be coming out soon… so why did I think it would be hardwearing enough for tenants?!

The one rental house I put it in, their pets kindly seeped that laminate in urine… lovely 😖

So into the tip that lot went when they left, a mistake never to be repeated! 😱

Here’s another property mistake I won’t ever be repeating: asking for investment funding on too short a timescale!

A lovely investor offered to lend me money for a project, but I only asked for 2 months to bridge a gap before my refinance money came through – which in hindsight was ridiculous on my part.

What happened next was that my planned project got gazumped, and I couldn’t get another property acquired fast enough and time ran out.

But because I always do as I’ve promised I then gave the investor their money back plus their couple of grand interest as agreed – despite not even ending up with a project! 🤦🏻‍♀️

But… that same investor, having seen I can be trusted, went on to lend me funds for two projects.

And although it was an expensive lesson for me, I now know to always ask for at least a 12-month investment period for projects, just in case something goes wrong!

Hey ho, we live and learn from our mistakes – we just don’t do them again!!!

Another mistake I’ve made was not creating enough storage.

This wasn’t apparent at the beginning, where the kitchen units were adequate for a single mum. My logic for not adding more was they might want to use that wall and space for a dining table.

But fast forward a couple of years, and the family of 2 had grown to a family of 6, and they were struggling for storage space.

There is never enough storage, even in my own house, so we added these additional six units to the kitchen to relief the storage burden.

Good learning for the future!

Today I’ll tell you another property mistake lesson I learnt the hard way – not inspecting enough!

In one of my early rentals, the family just had a baby, seemed nice, so I mostly left them to it.

Fast forward 3 years when they moved areas, the entire house and floor coverings stunk and were ruined by the fact the tenants had accumulated SIX dogs!

Bear in mind, their letting agency tenancy agreement stated no pets allowed, so the agency obviously hadn’t been inspecting either… it was the neighbour afterwards who told me about their illegal half dozen dog collection!

So there you go, keep inspecting your property on a regular basis!

🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶🐶😱

Oh gawwwd, another property mistake not to be repeated… dodgy decor colours!

Now bear in mind I am no interior designer…

My first few houses all had what I call ‘The BMW Treatment’ – Beige Magnolia White! 😆

That was when magnolia boxes were the “in thing”!

Then I got a load of cheap paint – about 40 tins of the stuff – which was used in the next couple of houses (hey, we’re always on a budget!)

I loved playing the “Mix these paints and see what colour we’ll get, it’ll be reyt!”game. 😆

Now I am also no colour-palette-knowledgable artist…

So on occasions, we ended up with some very questionable colours for certain rooms.

A glaringly bright 1980s custardy yellow adorned one hallway.

But it wasn’t as bad as the hideous minty green toothpasty chaos that one bedroom ended up painted with!

Even I was glad when the tenant covered that up with a dinosaur mural! 😱🦖

Thankfully, those dodgy paints ran out, and since then, I now simply whiteout all the rooms, perhaps with one coloured feature wall on a chimney breast if we feel brave.

White walls and ceilings are fresh, bright and airy, and are literally a blank canvas.

Dodgy decor is so last season – so choose your colours wisely! 🎨🖌

I’ve admitted before: I’m not very good at visualising things that aren’t there.

So when it comes to planning out where electrical sockets and switches should go, in terms of planning out where the future imaginary furniture would be in a house: mistakes, I’ve made a few!

Yes, I’ve had light switches put on the wrong side of the door, so it opens onto the switch instead of next to it. 🤦🏻‍♀️⚡️

Yes I’ve not added enough plug sockets to rooms and had to have more retrofitted afterwards. 🤦🏻‍♀️⚡️

The worst mistake I made was putting a switch for a hallway inside a HMO room, with the intention of converting that bit of hallway into a self-contained unit kitchen bit… until I realised that I would then be billed for two sets of council tax, so I scrapped that plan. 🤦🏻‍♀️ ⚡️

But it was too late! The electrician had followed my orders, and now that hallway -missing-switch-cos-it’s-in-that-room bit annoys me every time I see it! 🤦🏻‍♀️

If you’re not earning, you’re learning, right?!

Here’s the final property mistake I won’t be repeating, one I definitely learnt my lesson from… the first and only time I did it!

In my house of multiple occupancy, we were bringing a new room into use.

My beloved Mummio was helping, in the days before we started employing professional fitters – she’s a dab hand at laying the odd carpet in the odd room.

I was sent out to get a carpet for said large room.

Did I go for a high-quality, hard-wearing, decently thick and lovely textured carpet?

No: I went purely on price and got a cheap, thin, corduroy-type carpet, at a bargain price of just £39. 💥

And when she saw the utter cheap tat I had bought and brought back, she went absolutely nuts.

“Look how thin this crap is, it’s like bleeding paper, I can cut it with scissors it’s that thin. Don’t buy this sh!t again, we’re not having it.” 🤬✂️

And that was me duly told.

But of course she was right, because not only was it thin and poor quality, it wrinkled and ruffled up once on the floor.

So I never bought cheap crap carpets again! 🙄

That’s why we don’t buy cheap rubbish, ladies and gentlemen, it’s false economy – you get what you pay for 🤷🏻‍♀️

If nowt else, get better quality stuff just to save the earache and stop your mum whining!

Remember… nobody gets everything right first time every time. Mistakes are all part of learning, so embrace them – and learn what those mistakes teach you!

———————————————

Kellyann is a property investment strategist from Leeds. 

In her work she creates wealth for private investors through refurbishing properties. 

Visit her website for more details:

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!! 👊

🤩🤩🤩🤩

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!

🤩🤩🤩

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!

🤩🤩🤩

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!

🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩

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!

🤩🤩

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!

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY TO MY BUSINESS!

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!

On the train home from my first property mentoring session… look how fresh-faced, stress-free and unworried I am! 😄😅

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!

My face when something’s gone wrong again – as often happens in life/business, if we’re all honest!

(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!)

Attempting to garden… see why I need adult supervision?!?

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?!?

Elvis had a favourite phrase:
TCB… Taking Care of Business!!

Can Anyone Do Property?

I used to think that anybody would be able to do property, But now I’ve been in the industry a few years, I’ve changed my mind. 

Hey, it’s ok to change your opinion about anything, based on new information!

So having learnt more and experienced more, I have come to this conclusion.

Being in property is not for everybody.

You need to have a certain set of characteristics and traits in order to do well in property.

When I think of the vast amount of people that I’ve met over the years, who have been all keen and eager to get cracking in property…

…And then I think of the ones that have actually stuck with it and made it work for them, sadly, it is only a fraction of people who have stuck it out.

And that’s because the truth is property is hard – despite what you might have been taught on some educational training course.

It really isn’t for everyone.

It is hard work, stressful, frustrating, and certainly isn’t the ‘get rich quick’ scheme that you were led to believe!

So here’s a few key attributes that I believe you should have if you’re seriously considering investing in property as a long-term career.

Key Attributes Required:

👊 A positive nature.

I’ll be honest with you here, the majority of days in property aren’t that great. You might get up to 10 really good days a year in property (new keys, refurb complete, new tenants), the rest are only average days or bad ones.

Take into account refurbishment problems, tenant or rent problems, and maintenance problems, and then acknowledge that these are all regular problems that occur on a regular basis.

You’ve got to have a naturally positive nature to avoid being dragged down, discouraged and downhearted by these issues.

👊 Resilience.

 It’s very important that you are able to recover quickly from difficult situations. When things go wrong, some people bury their head in the sand and avoid problems, which is not the way to go in property. If you run away and hide from issues in property, you often make the situation worse – such as a accruing rent arrears from a naughty tenant, or a leak which may then get worse and destroy the entire property.

 You’ve also got to have “bounce-back-ability” – the ability to keep going even when things have gone wrong.

👊 A thick skin.

Oh I loved this Dime advert, who remembers it? ARMADILLOES!!!

Things do go wrong in property… often.

You shouldn’t allow yourself to get too upset by them, or take things personally, as that is a sure-fire way to make the situation worse, when emotions get involved.

Try to think logically about problems, even though they may be frustrating and not your fault.

Keep a cool head at all times, and remain impartial. It is pointless to wallow emotionally and be upset thinking “Why has this happened to me? / Why is the tenant behaving in this awful way to me?” It’s nothing personal, as it’s likely to be nothing to do with you!

👊 Tenacity and Determination.

It is crucial that you have a nature that doesn’t give up easily. You must never stop trying to improve or fix things, and you must do whatever is required to fix a goal.

This is especially important if you work for yourself, because you are fully responsible for your property and business – and no one is going to come and save you.

I mean that in the loosest possible terms; obviously maintenance contractors and advisors can help you fix certain things, but you’ve got to bring about those solutions yourself. A touch of personal stubbornness helps here, and an willingness to never give up!

👊 Finally, a couple of other traits that are important as a property investor: an ability to deal effectively with stress, patience, honesty, proactive, decisive, and integrity – if you always want to do the right thing by your tenants and investors, then you won’t go far wrong.

So that’s a little insight into some of the key personality traits needed in property. You should ask yourself honestly if you possess all these traits, because if not you will find it more difficult than most.

And if you don’t, hey, that’s ok too; as I’ve said, property is not for everybody.

Perhaps you could just focus your skills, time and energy on other things that you love, and invest passively with property developers, without being hands-on.

But if you really wish to get involved with bricks and mortar, vendors, agents, keys, properties, refurbishment, contractors, building materials, expensive problem fixes, tenancies, tenants, and all the associated issues, then I wish my very best of luck to you… because I know how hard it is! 😁👍

————————————————————————————————————–

Kellyann is a property investment strategist from Leeds. 

In her work she creates wealth for private investors through refurbishing properties. 

Visit her website for more details:

https://kellyannmartin.co.uk/investment/

DUDE… WHERE’S MY DEAL??!?

Third month into the year, and still my next property deal eludes me.

I have viewed lots of houses, put in many offers, but alas, no deal as yet.

It’s not just any old single let I’m looking for, because if that was the case, there’s hundreds of them locally – but they’re all too dear and all too nice.

Where are all the unloved and ropy dumps?

Where’s my next grimy little grotbox?

There is a real shortage of ‘my type’ of housing stock just now, meaning people are paying too much for them.

Put your purse away love, it’s not even worth that!

Frustration and impatience is kicking in – but do we lower our standards and change our criteria?

NO, we do not!

We wait, stealthily, like a panther ready to pounce, for when the “right deal” appears.

We are a master of hard-core discipline, patience and self-control.

We know that our delightful little 2-3 bedroomed scuzzy grotbox, the brick-built house, with no flat roof, with garden for the kiddies, is just around the corner ready to be transformed into a lovely family haven
– and so we shall wait it out… knowing the payoff will be worthwhile.

Meanwhile, for those like me who are having to sit on their hands…

TOP TIPS FOR THOSE SUFFERING WITH “DUDE, WHERE’S MY DEAL?!?” FEVER

1. I feel your frustration, knowing you’ve got targets you want to hit. Me too. But if in doubt, wait it out!

2. Have your own criteria of what constitutes a ‘deal’ to you as a professional property investor, and do not lower your standards. If it’s not a deal, then you’re just buying a house like Mr & Mrs Normal First-Time-Buyer!

3. Keep yourself detached, and don’t get emotional over any one particular property. I too have been guilty of this (“Aww, I used to live on this street”) but it’s only a house, and unless you’re a brick-licking objectophile, then just walk away, Renée!

There’s plenty more fish in the sea and bricks in the town!

4. Keep viewing houses and making offers. It’s just the Law of Averages. I got three offers bounced last week, but I’ll keep smiling about the ‘NO’s, knowing I’m getting nearer to the ‘YES’

5. Put your bounced offers in a ‘pipeline’ file. Ring and check progress every week, because don’t forget, 1 in 3 house sales in the UK falls through.

One of my favourite phone calls goes like this:
“Hello Mr Lovely Estate Agent, how are you getting on with 666 Cantsellit Street?
Well let them know my offer still stands if they change their mind!”
And this is repeated weekly, forever, until either it sells (i.e. the purchase exchanges), they accept my offer, or I die.

NB – this really works: for one of my houses, I happened to ring on the very morning a pre-agreed sale had just fallen through – and then I was in there like swimwear!

So keep your chin up, keep smiling, and remember what
Mr T says:

Secrets Nobody Tells You About Being In Property

After a few years in property, I have discovered a couple of secrets about the Buy-To-Let property industry… I wish I’d known about them sooner! 

For some reason, nobody ever tells you about these things at the start of your property career… which would make life much easier for you if you knew them!

Luckily for any property newcomers, I’m going to share these secrets… 🤫

Secret Number 1 that nobody tells you about being in property: The £25,000 salary affordability issue. 

Sometimes people new to property investing get a bit keen, quit their job, leave themselves with no salary with the intention of making it big in property. 

This is a bad idea! 

The reason for this is that a lot of mortgage lenders don’t like to provide mortgages for people who have an income of less than £25,000. 

Some lenders do; some have no minimum income requirements… but your chances of getting a decent mortgage are much better if you have a salary to begin with.

So rather than suddenly jacking your job in and plunging your salary to zero immediately, a better way to get into property would be this: 

Gradually build up your income from property over a couple of years, and gradually decrease in the amount of days you work in your normal job, so your property income and your job income eventually balance out together into a decent overall salary.

Then one day, your income will solely come from property, as it will surpass your job salary, and you will no longer be exchanging your time working for somebody else!

Secret Number 2 that nobody tells you about being in property: help by utilising credit cards and building up lines of credit.

Property is expensive. Most projects cost more than you anticipate, and the cost of refurbishment is what puts a lot of people off doing them.

However, you can get some help to pay for them by utilising credit cards. 

Use a low cost credit card to purchase materials: boilers, kitchens, bathrooms and so on. Yes, they might end up costing you a little more over the long run, but it’s better than never doing a project. 

Obviously pay down the credit cards as soon as you are able, usually out of the property rental income once it’s up and running.

Build up a couple of lines of credit, with various suppliers too, and this will also help spread the cost.

I always chuckle about this next bit, but how good would it be if you could pay your contractors using a credit card too?!

Most of them want cold hard cash transferring!

But remember: all materials can be bought using credit. 👍

Secret Number 3 that nobody tells you about being in property: looking after your credit score. 

This is something I’d never even thought about before being in property – but luckily, because I’m of that organised OCD do-things-correctly mindset, I’ve never done things like miss payments or default on bills.

And here’s another fallacy: why should your personal credit record matter if you’re buying property in a limited company? 🤔

Because it does, and that’s all there is to it! 

Mortgage lenders want personal guarantees that they’re going to get paid, and as limited company directors, that guarantee falls to you – so keep your nose (and credit record!) clean!

Makes sure you pay at least minimum pay amounts every month for bills and credit card payments, in full if you can – and here’s the crucial bit: pay them on time; late payments have a detrimental effect on your credit score.

And we want to keep that perfect payment record and score as high as possible – because if lenders think your credit record looks dodgy and you look unreliable, they simply won’t lend you money for mortgages!

I check my credit files a couple of times a month just to ensure all is well – beware other people taking out credit in your name… 😱

I use all three of the Equifax, Experian and Credit Karma credit scoring systems, so get yourselves signed up to one or more of these. The added benefit is they also tell you how to repair and improve your rating. 

And everybody loves a high rating – especially mortgage lenders! 😁🙌

Secret Number 4 that nobody tells you about being in property: investor difficulties!

A lot of people in property, myself included, leverage funds from private investors to purchase property. 

Investors get a great return on their loan investment, and you get help building your portfolio.

Now here’s the secret: raising finance is hard. And what makes it harder is that the majority of people who reckon they want to invest funds… simply don’t.

Sadly, there’s a lot of talkers not walkers, when it comes to investors. I’ve found people who clearly stated they wanted to lend money out, and then when it came to the crunch… they didn’t.

This is for a myriad of reasons, genuine or otherwise: 

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’ve already lent their money out elsewhere

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’ve changed their mind 

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’re nervous and scared of the investment process

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’ve bought property themselves with their funds. 

Or it could be that they simply don’t like you and don’t want to work with you, or they don’t trust you or the deal! 😫

Sometimes, perhaps even they never had the money to begin with and were simply time-wasting tyre kickers. 😤

Asking for proof of funds here helps weed out the hot-air braggers full of bluster!

The point is this: some people are all talk and no action – so don’t just rely on one investor, in case they back out or let you down. 

Have a list of “potential investors” lined up who are ready to invest.  

Because people only become “investors” if they actually lend you money! 

So build those relationships with genuine investors who genuinely want to work with you!

👦🏻 💷 🏚 👩🏻 💷 🏚 👦🏼 💷 🏚

So there you have it… a few inside secrets shared, which hopefully will make your property career much easier for knowing them! 

Best wishes, and happy, safe investing,

Kellyann x x x

DAY FROM HELL…

Do you know when you have those days where everything goes wrong?!

Today was one of those days.

A planned day at the refurbishment project; I was looking forward to burning lots of trash wood outside in my incinerator 🔥 

Woke up… Pissing it down. 

Didn’t even bother taking the incinerator. 😤

Picked up the handyman, drove down to the project; today’s task was for him to rip out the rotten old cellar door and attached window and fit the new door.

It was going well, he set off on his task, and I set off for Toolstation to get the dampproofing course materials he needed before the new doorframe went in. 

However, within a couple of hundred yards of Toolstation Cross Green, whilst on the A63 dual carriageway, the gearbox in my car dangerously decided that it wouldn’t work anymore! 

Delightful! 

I managed to freewheel it safely off the dual carriageway and round into the industrial estate where it was discovered that the gearbox wouldn’t work at all. 

The gearstick could go in the little slots but the gears just wouldn’t engage so therefore the car wouldn’t move. 

Deep joy. 

So now I am stranded several miles away with a broken car. Bear in mind I have a handyman trapped at my project with no car, and a large hole in the side of my house which needs to be filled and secured before daylight ends.

I rang Green Flag, where Susan faffed about wasting half an hour of my time asking 1500 pointless questions that she already knew the answer to. Thus, not really very productive or speedy, and we all know that time is of the essence. It’s not like the gaping hole could have been left overnight!

Eventually a recovery driver was dispatched to pick up me and my piece of shit car. 

Meanwhile a friend came and met me whilst I was abandoned in this industrial park, to do some sort of product swap – like some sort of bizarre DIY drug dealer… whereby I gave him the goods, ie the dampproofing course material. This was so that he could get it to the handyman – who was being held up with the giant-hole-fill-fixing because he couldn’t put the doorframe in without the damp course and obviously it was in my hand in my broken car. So thankfully, needs must, he took that to the project for me, courier-style, bless him!

Meanwhile poor Jack of KD Bros recovery, having gladly allowed me a few more minutes for my “dealer” to turn up, then took both me and my Hearsemobile back to Morley, and dropped us at the garage, which thankfully is within walking distance of my home. 

So I got back home to get… luckily, my new car… First world problems eh?!

Here’s the next issue… My new car is not my battered old trashed car I use for work. It is a very lovely car, the nicest I’ve ever had, and has just been detail cleaned – and I don’t actually know how to drive it properly yet. So it’s been sat on my drive for three weeks whilst I stop being a scaredy-cat.

However, needs must. So I covered every possible surface in the car that I could with mats and blankets, knowing that my dirty dusty muddy handyman would have to get back in it – and then I very slowly and cautiously set off back to my project, pressing various buttons to stop off-putting things happening, like some crazy screen randomly popping up. 

I called at Selco on the way, couldn’t find two of the door products I needed, and the one that I did get was overpriced and very expensive, but needs must.

Back up my project, the handyman told me he was desperate for two lengths of slate lat wood, to board up some of the gap that had been made today. 

Now here is a dilemma… The slate lat needed is 2.1 m long, and I’m not at all keen on throwing long bits of wood through my delightful new car. 

But you guessed it: needs must. 

I needed that wood. 

So off I set walking to Kirkstall Timber, a good 15 minute walk through Holbeck, and joy of joys, through Britain’s first legalised red light sex worker zone. 

Now it is notorious for women being accosted by kerb crawlers in this bit – and because I look rough as shit today, I was dubious about being taken for a drug-riddled prostitute as I walked through. Lovely. 

Glamorous lifestyle I lead in my property work, you know?!!

Luckily, the day’s events so far meant that I was wearing such a face of utter pissed-off fury, which helpfully doubled as a scare tactic, and nobody dared approach me. That’s my story anyway, and I’m sticking to it!

At this point whilst walking, I thought: perhaps I should dictate this story into my phone, ready for you all to chuckle at as a blog later, so that’s how you’ve ended up reading this!

At the timber merchants, I got my long bits of lat, and then decided, what with knowing I would have to carry it all back, that I would also get the door weather rail whilst I was there. 

Why not?! 

Life must not have seemed hard enough at that particular point! 

And obviously with my gormless weak pathetic female frame, I’m built for being a mule for schlepping things about; what’s one more item to traipse?!?

And here is where I made another poor decision… he asked: did I want all three long bits of wood tied together to make it easier to carry? 

“Nay lad”, I said, “I’ll put this weather rail in my back pocket.”

Because that’s obviously the most logical thing to do with a 3-foot chunk of wood you’ve got to walk a mile with, isn’t it?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️ 

So I walked back to my project, laden with wood, like a modern-day ropy female Jesus the Carpenter.

Got back, only to find that not only had a cement mixer randomly appeared in my kitchen, but also to be told he meant TWO lots of 2 x slate lat – BUT HE NEVER BLOODY SAID THAT!! 😤

Anyway, fast forward a while, the job was mostly finished, hole in house secured for the night, and then I drove home gingerly in my good car, wincing every time the handyman moved his mucky feet 😫

Walked back to the garage to pick up my not-good car, luckily, it turned out to be a very minor fix, thankfully. Bless those boys Christian and Danny at Motion Autos Morley, for looking after me and the Hearsemobile again!

And then I immediately drove to Morrisons, bought a load of junk food, and came home and ate my feelings. As you do. 😅

Phew! 

Bad day, but we got through it – and as Winston Churchill famously said “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”

Anyway, now that I’ve cathartically unburdened the events of the day, here’s a couple of pointers of reflection…

😈 First world problems. Things are a lot worse for a lot of people. And I’m grateful for my own mindset, resilience, tenacity, health, and refusal to give up.

😈 Property isn’t easy. Anyone who says it is, is bullshitting you. If it was that easy, everyone would do it, wouldn’t they?

😈 Despite your best efforts and targets, property is very rarely passive either. Sometimes you’ve got to get involved! 😫

😈 Don’t dwell on problems, find solutions. 

😈 Do whatever it takes to make that solution happen. Because…

😈 Nobody is coming to save you. Everything that happens to you in life and business is because of the actions you choose to take.

And yes, I know how hard it is when you see other people on social media, reckoning on that they’re doing awesomely well, being really successful, smashing it, yada yada, blah blah blah…

We all know that one guy locally who continuously brags about how much money he’s making.🥱#yawn

And that can be quite demoralising on the days when you’re struggling.

But we all struggle, even me, as you’ve just read! 

So don’t let comparison be the thief of joy. 

These people will have their own private issues to deal with, probably to do with self-importance and esteem.

Focus on what you’re doing. 

Never mind what other folk are supposedly up to.

Be the type of person who, when the chips are down, and needs must, would walk a mile through a ropy area to carry wood home to fix an urgent problem.

And remember: even the worst days are only 24 hours long! 

😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅

Thanks to all my Heroes of the Day 🤩

  • Moz the handyman
  • Richard the “dealer / courier”
  • KD Bros recovery
  • Motion Autos Ltd
  • Finally, the style of Snoop Dogg… I wanna thank Me!💪😁 …For being tenacious and gerrinonwi’it and finding solutions instead of being a whiny little victim! (Even if many colourful f-bombs were expleted whilst doing so… 🤐💣 )

KEEPING COSTS DOWN DURING A HOUSE RENOVATION

January is traditionally a time when people decide to blitz or redecorate their house – me included, I’ve been doing a few bits and pieces on my own house this month!

Earlier this week a friend asked me for any tips on renovations for her new house, to keep the budget down.

Caught me a little off guard; bizarrely it’s not something I’m asked often!

But I do have some tips for keeping costs down during refurbishment project, what with being a tight Yorkshire lass and that – and here are a couple, just to assist you with your own houses! 👍

KEEPING COSTS DOWN DURING A HOUSE RENOVATION

Make a full list of everything you want to do, and be specific about every job required in every room.

Work out your budget for doing this.

What can be done now, what will have to wait?

What’s the priority?

Get any ‘big / all over the house’ jobs done first, eg electrics, plumbing, plastering. Get quotes for any skilled works you need doing (and ALWAYS qualified people for gas and electric work!)

If you’re living in the house it whilst you do it up, save your sanity and decide which are the priority areas you’ll do first. Don’t try and do more than two areas at once whilst living there, unless you can handle a lot of stress, mess and chaos… because on the other hand, living in chaos usually motivates you to do the decorating work in the evenings to get it finished!

Project manage yourself, rather than hire an ‘all in one’ refurbishment company, who usually charge a premium for this service. Source individual trades and contractors yourself. 

Recommendations of tradespeople are best, from friends that have actually used their services. Read reviews if you’re unsure, see their work, or pictures of it, then invite them around to quote. Be specific in telling them exactly what you want.

👍

And don’t just accept the first and only quote, as some tradesmen sadly still like to try it on and take advantage of people and give them ridiculous overinflated prices because they think they can get away with it…and you can rant and rave and complain at me all you like saying that doesn’t happen – but I can assure you it does!

So get a couple of quotes, and don’t book anyone you get a bad gut feeling about, or anyone who annoys you whilst quoting.

For example, patronising, arrogant, unhelpful misogynists who call me ‘love’ and don’t listen are a big no-no for me. You don’t have to book anyone that you don’t like.

Plenty more tradesmen in the sea, we don’t need to employ wretches!

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Also be aware that the cheapest is not always the greatest.

My electrician is not the cheapest in the area, but that’s ok, because he’s the best! It is ok to pay for quality.

After you’ve had any skilled trades in to do work you’re not skilled or qualified for, work out the DIY and decorating things you can do yourself. 

Obviously doing things yourself is much cheaper in terms of cost, if you can afford the time. YouTube and the internet can be a great help in showing you how to do specific tasks. 

But be aware of your own limitations and safety; no silly, dangerous risks, and use adequate personal protective equipment. If ever in doubt, get a professional in!

Decide what items you want that have to be brand new, non-negotiables – for the rest, a lot of good stuff can be found second-hand on Facebook marketplace.

Be wary when buying anything electrical, but things like furniture, mirrors, decor etc can all be considered – and a lot of time, these things are in good condition and sometimes unopened new surplus items.

For instance, there’s masses and masses of internal doors available locally for collection cheaply or free currently, because landlords are having to replace certain ones for fire doors. Doesn’t mean the old ones are no good, they’re just surplus to that person’s requirements!

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Shop around for products, don’t be scared to use ‘trade’ firms like Selco, Screwfix, Howdens; they’re often not that choosy if you’re ‘trade’ or not.

If you find a particular product you like, get Googling the named product for a better price!

For instance, I’m contemplating a wallpaper myself called ‘Superfresco Glamorous Tweed Charcoal’ at the minute – I’m huffing and puffing because it’s £18 a roll in Wilkos – but a quick Google shows me it’s £12.99 a roll at The Range!

So if I go for it, that’s where I’ll go for it!

And yes, it might only be a fiver difference a roll, but I’ll need 3 – 4 rolls – and I’d rather spend that extra £20 on a steak at Miller & Carter!

Decent undercoat is the future on poor or new woodwork before glossing – gloss is dearer, and sits better once on an undercoat paint.

Ditto white matt paint on walls before your expensive colour. It helps your paint hue get the correct colour on the tin. If walls are a bit rough, but not so bad that they need a full plaster, consider a textured wallpaper, then paint a colour on.

Remember we talked about shopping around for the same product?

Paint varies vastly from store to store, even the exact same brand/type, so keep your eyes peeled! Also look out for offers, deals, coupons and such like.

And just gerronwi’it, don’t put it off and off once you’ve got the stuff, as well as being an annoyance, you run the risk of your materials going off or spoiling.

I once put off wallpapering my bay window wall for aaaages after it had been damp-coursed. Then when finally got round to it, I was very annoyed with myself for putting off for so long a small finishing task that literally took me an hour to do.

You’ll never finish if you don’t start…just gerronwi’it!

So there’s a couple of tips to get you started… and don’t forget to take ‘before and after’ photographs so you can see the transformation, and give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work.

Also follow various DIY / project / refurbishment groups for more tips and ideas, as well as inspiration… my favourite at the minute is a Facebook group called ‘DIY on a Budget’.

Good luck, and happy renovating! 👍

Kellyann x x x

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Kellyann is a property investment strategist from Leeds. 

In her work she creates wealth for private investors through refurbishing properties. 

Visit her website for more details:

https://kellyannmartin.co.uk/investment/