In a recent post I put onto my Facebook Group, The Property Collective, I asked members what the most important lesson/s they had learnt from their property endeavours had been so far.
There were a number of really great insights and experiences shared including:
- Always do your own due diligence on any property purchase you make, never just take other people's word for it.
- Focus on building cash flow from your portfolio, capital growth is a bonus!
- Build a trusted and reliable team around you to help you grow, both yourself and your business.
- Find the right tenants! It's better to wait and forego a month's rent than to accept someone you inherently do not trust into your property.
- Always listen to your instincts when it comes to making important decisions relating to your business.
- Do due diligence and research into the companies and people you are looking to work with. Whilst there are many great people in the industry, there are also less scrupulous ones to avoid.
- Trust and integrity are very important.
Whilst these are all fantastic points, one particular comment caught my eye...
It made reference to how helpful and informative a good letting agent can be when doing your research on an area. I always recommend doing exactly that to my clients when narrowing down their search and deciding upon the best area for their purposes.
Now, this may seem obvious, but how often do we really make the most of this fantastic resource we have at our disposal as landlords? Those of us with more experience will inherently know that speaking with a letting agent first is the way to go.
If you are just starting out or are relatively new to this business, why not try out a few conversations to determine where you can find the best potential for your endeavours. After all, I'm sure we know some friendly agents around here!
The best agents will be generous with their knowledge and help you understand their marketplace. They will be able to inform you about the rents you could expect for different property types, the most popular area within a town or city as well as the properties which are most in demand.
Perhaps most importantly, they will be able to give you 'micro information' about certain streets to avoid which may look the same as everywhere else, however have aspects of the neighbourhood which may be less desirable and therefore potentially devalue the properties. Equally, they may have top tips on up-and-coming streets due to regeneration or development happening nearby.
When researching a new area, I like to take in a fold out map of the area to a letting agent (whom I feel knows their business well) and ask them to highlight areas for me. I find it useful to know which areas are popular with families, both expensive and more affordable, which schools are good, where singles, couples or young professionals like to live, where there is the highest propensity for housing benefits, or any student areas, etc.
There may be parts of town with industrial or commercial parks either existing or planned and knowledge of where the best proximity to transport links, local amenities, hospitals, leisure centres, etc, which they can comment on. An agent can turn a black and white map into a fountain of knowledge in a relatively short space of time, therefore saving you hours of research time.
You will see clearly where areas of convergence take place in terms of popularity, affordability and convenience where you can then focus your search for a suitable property to acquire for whichever purpose or strategy you are adopting.
Of course, once you have found a good agent to work with who has proved to be worth their weight in gold (almost literally!), you will then be inclined to give them your business to help you find tenants and potentially manage the property over the longer term.
If you like what you've read above, then come along and join in the conversation! Go across to The Property Collective and request to become a member. It's a great place to share and have your property questions answered in a safe, friendly environment.
'See' you there!
Hazel de Kloe
Property Investor | Property Mentor | Speaker | Author
The contents of this article or for educational purposes only and we make no recommendations of any particular property purchase. The price of property can decrease as well as increase and you make any investments in property at your own risk.
Â© Why Property Works 2017| www.whypropertyworks.co.uk