How I successfully set up my property business (And why I didn’t rush out and buy…)
Ever wondered what it takes to build a successful property business? From learning the tricks of the trade and finding the ideal investors to collaborate with, to purchasing your first property and renovating it to a standard you’re proud of; there’s a lot of hard work that goes into making things work.
Having taken my first steps into property investment just a year ago, I wanted to share my journey so far, and the steps I’ve taken to get where I am today.
Step 1: I got educated
If I’ve learnt anything as a project manager, it’s that things take careful planning and time. You’ve got to sit back and analyse the landscape in order to make the right decision and achieve the best possible results. For that reason, I didn’t just jump into ‘solution mode’ and rush to buy my first property. Instead, I got educated.
I know it’s possible to get into property and start buying without education, however, I wanted to be as savvy as possible, ensuring I made all the right moves for my future. So, I took part in the Progressive Property Masterclass and enrolled in the Progressive Property VIP Mentorship Programme to get me on my way. With longevity in mind, I know that properly educating myself will set me on my path to having the freedom to travel, maybe have a family, enjoy life and focus on my health and wellbeing, all while successfully running my property business.
Step 2: I tackled the hard stuff
Numbers have never been my strong point and even the sight of a spreadsheet used to make me shudder, causing me to avoid them at all costs. Well, if I was going to be a successful property investor and avoid landing myself in any financial difficulties, I knew I needed to get over this. Therefore, getting to grips with numbers became my number one priority.
At the Progressive Properties Masterclass, I’d been given a deal analyser, which is a spreadsheet to do all my numbers on. I’ve never been one to learn just from being spoken to. Instead, I need practical and hands-on examples. So, the following week I called up my business development manager from Progressive, and asked him to talk me through the spreadsheet step-by-step, giving me actual examples as we went. Seeing exactly how it worked is what made things properly fall into place for me. If you’re ever not sure about something, just ask!
Step 3: I found my ‘Why?’
Any entrepreneur will tell you that, in order to achieve your goals, you need to have a ‘why?’. Why are you driven to get where you want to be? What’s going to keep you going day in, day out? What do you want more than anything else?
For me, as much as I love the freedom and variation that comes with being a contract project manager, I never actually get to see the output of my hard work in practise. The projects I work on aren’t tangible. I’ll enter the business, change the culture and processes for the better, create a new framework, then send my clients on their way to carry out the work more effectively, without ever getting to see the outcome. And, honestly? I need more.
That’s when my lightbulb moment came; I wanted to flip properties. By buying properties and renovating them from start to finish, I’d get all the satisfaction that I was lacking. I’d finally get to reap the benefits of my own hard work. That was my ‘why?’.
Here's a few pictures of the drivers behind why I push myself day in and day out... Friends, family, holidays, the dream house in my favourite village and of course, I love an adventure!
Step 4: I got a strategy in place
So, I’d got my education, I’d tackled my fear of numbers, I’d figured out exactly why I wanted to do this… It was now time to put a strategy in place. Similar to what we’ve already spoken about, I didn’t want to rush things, so I set my goals not just for the next 10 months, but for the next 10 years. I wanted to be clear on the direction I was heading in and how I was going to create the freedom and results that I desire.
I created the systemisation that I needed to allow me to be hands-free with the business in the long-run. So many organisations forget to build processes, methods and step-by-step guides as to how each role is carried out, always to the detriment of the business. It creates a key man dependency if only one person has all the knowledge, preventing any efficiency, outsourcing or expansion. By documenting a process, I’m able to follow the mantra ‘practise what you preach’.
Step 5: Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Finally, the thing I’ve found most useful for getting my property business up and running is mastering the art of delegation. Once my strategy was in place, I wanted to concentrate my efforts on gettin Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. g out there, going to viewings and finding the perfect first property to flip. And in order to manage that, keep the business ticking over and stay on top of my project management contracts too, I enlisted the help of experienced people I can trust.
My wonderful (retired) dad assists me with online property search; a dear friend and business partner has attended house viewings for me when I was caught up in a high profile project; my friend who’s a freelance writer turns all my ideas into blog posts, web copy and social media content; and I’ve even hired a virtual assistant to pick up all the admin that so often falls by the wayside when you get snowed under.
Before outsourcing, I was trying to do everything myself, which would have taken me forever. Many people are afraid of delegating their own work, for fear of feeling lazy or the work not getting done to a standard you’re happy with. But delegation is key to the success of a business.
I might still be in the early stages of my property career, but I’ve already secured my first buy-to-let property and have a target of purchasing at least four properties per year with my investors. These first steps I’ve taken mean I’m armed with the confidence, skills and support network that I need to smash my goals and run a thriving property business for years to come
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