10 Things I’ve Learnt (Part 7)

Keep on going – no matter what!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learnt over the past 20 years of investing in property for myself, and this week I’d like to share with you this: If you just keep going, everything will usually work out fine in the end.

Regardless of how positive your mindset is today, it’s inevitable that at some point something will come along that will test you. Many believe that the universe tries to trip us up in an attempt to make us aware of just how much we want to achieve our goals. And, whilst this may sound somewhat mumbo jumbo to some, I do believe there is a certain element of truth in this. No matter what the reason may be, at some point something will happen that will derail your plans.

When this happens, you have a choice. You can either let a setback knock you down and hold you back, or you can take a hold of the situation and strive to overcome the challenge that faces you.

Those that take a hold of the situation and work around the problem are those that are most likely to succeed; whereas those that become overwhelmed by the setback will be stopped in their tracks and will set themselves up for a fall.

Regardless of whether you have just started out or have been doing property for some time now, today and everyday going forward you need to resolve to overcome whatever is thrown your way.

In my last blog post, I mentioned a setback that happened to me after my first year of being in business. Despite starting out with no money of my own, I was positive that I could succeed. (I had little choice in the matter, I’d been made redundant and had a family to feed).

I’d outlined my goal to own 50 properties and have £5,000 cash flow per month, and by the end of the first year, I had eight properties in my portfolio. All was going to plan until I was hit by a setback. My lender informed me that they were not going to lend me any more money for another 12 months. They wanted to verify that I was a serious investor and landlord, and wanted to confirm that I was competent. My business was to be placed on hold.

Whilst this may not sound like a setback in this day and age, back then, when lending was far harder to come by, I felt like I had come up against a huge hurdle. Lending products were few and far between and I considered myself lucky to have found a lender that actually wanted to lend to me in the first place.

I spent the first few months sulking – until it dawned on me that I had a choice. I could either let the lender’s decision stop me in my tracks or I could pull myself together; find a solution and carry on.

I did the latter and spent the next 10 months finding a new lender, building new relationships and getting valuations done. I went on to buy some more properties and after this next 12-month period, the new lender could see I was still trading and was happy to lend to me again. However, this lender’s terms were not as good. So, I set about refinancing all of my new properties back to my previous lender.

Now, you may wonder if it was a good move to take the money from this lender on worse terms. The answer is yes – it allowed me to keep the momentum going and my business moving forward.

Was this the last of my challenges? No certainly not, but by then I’d resolved to keep going no matter what was thrown at me – and, over subsequent years, there were certainly a fair few challenges thrown my way.

One particularly frustrating setback, which will happen to you from time to time (and has happened to me many a time), is when valuers down value a property. Or, which happened to me another time, when a valuer takes one look at a property from his car and refuses to get out and even take a look.

What did I do in this situation? I dusted myself down, let off steam with my mortgage broker and had him arrange for another lender to come and take a look. Fortunately, this lender approved my application and although it took six weeks to complete the process, it all worked out in the end. As it happens, I actually still own the property(s) in question and they’ve all turned out to be fantastic rental units.

So, the lesson is to keep going no matter what. There will be setbacks with lenders, valuations, refurbs and sometimes with the actual properties themselves. There might even be setbacks with JV partners – perhaps they don’t perform as promised or perhaps you find that you don’t actually get on with them in the way that you had hoped – but you have to resolve to overcome the hurdles and just keep going. Because, if you keep pushing forward, taking definitive action and resolve to always carry on, then you can become very successful indeed.

Here’s to successful property investing

Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS

By the way, I’ve rewritten and updated my best selling eBook, The Successful Property Investor’s Strategy Workshop, which is an account of how I put together my multi-property portfolio, starting from scratch and with no money of my own, and how you can do the same. For more details please go to ThePropertyTeacher.co.uk

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