To succeed at in investing in property it's important, first and foremost, to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. However tempting it may be, tying yourself to one strategy, or client could spell disaster. You must also persevere and you must adapt. As is true for all endeavours, slow and steady wins the race.
Property Expert Series: Pamela O'Brien from Redbird Conveyancing
- Part 1: Introducing Pam O'Brien from Redbird Conveyancing
- Part 2: What is Conveyancing?
- Part 3: The Difference Between a First and Second Charge
- Part 4: Where will Property Investors be Putting their Money in 2018?
- Part 5: How is Conveyancing Changing?
- Part 6: The Impact of Proptech on Conveyancing Solicitors
- Part 7: Property Investment Advice from a Licensed Conveyancer
- Part 8: What Should an Investor Expect from their Conveyancing Solicitor
- Part 9: How an Investor can Help Move the Conveyancing Process Along
- Part 10: The Do's and Don'ts of Investing in Property
Amy: What's been your single biggest mistake or what's the..? What are the learning curves that you've been through that maybe one of our viewers can learn from and take advice from and lead from?
Pam: Too many eggs in one basket. And I think that everybody does that.
Amy: I can identify with that, big time.
Pam: You get a great client or you get one great idea that you're going to pursue and it's great for a little while and it works really well and you are clicking along and it's great and then the bottom falls out from under you.
And I've seen that a number of times with people who don't diversify their portfolios, who invest, like, say, only in one place.
I've had clients who have bought 10 properties on 2 streets. That's fine until the warehouse down the street that was employing all the people who lived on those streets goes out of business. And then nobody wants to live there anymore. And then you'd have 5 properties that are vacant.
That's a disaster.
And I've had the same experience. I've had a single client that I worked with extensively and was giving me 3 quarters of my business and it went out of business. They lost £30,000 on a bad investment and that was the end.
So, I think to put too many of your eggs in one basket, not diversifying your strategy or your portfolio, is a mistake. And we all do it and we all shouldn't.
Amy: Thank you.
Likewise. What's your biggest win, biggest success and what can..? What is some good advice that our viewers can learn from, from your perspective?
Pam: I have a client who came from another country, so it is tremendously difficult to get financing if you don't have a credit history in the UK.
He had a pot of money. He had a strategy that he was going to use to buy 60 properties in 2 years, which he did, successfully, by taking that money and recycling it through the properties that he was purchasing. It was a really great strategy and he did it against absolutely all-odds.
When he first came and said to me, 'This is what I want to do and this is my strategy and my idea', I was like, 'Okay, but you are going to face a lot of hurdles and the first hurdle is going to be banking. How do we get your money into the country without you paying a lot of tax on it?'.
And so that was the first strategy and the next strategy was setting him up as a serious investor. Estate agents didn't take him seriously. They had never met him before. They had never heard of him. So, we partnered with a local agent who gave him some credibility and some chops and got him the first couple of houses and then he can say, 'Well, I've got eight houses under my belt. This is what I'm doing'.
The next thing was to find a government agency that he could work with, to make sure that the properties were always tenanted so there weren't any void periods pictures, and make sure his cash-flow is really strong.
And then the next thing was to change his strategy over time when we really realised that Manchester was becoming topped-out for HMOs and moved to other places and that was a lot of research.
Again, it felt like starting over but as long as you stick with it I think almost anything is possible.
And that's true of Redbird too. When we started on April Fool's Day, 2010, people were like, 'Are you crazy? We're in the middle of a property-based recession. Law firms are going out of business right and left. You're switching over from being a solicitor to being a licensed conveyancer. No one's ever heard of licensed conveyancers. Who are they? What do they do? Why would you want to be a specialist at a time when everybody is saying, 'No, No. You need to be generalists at a big firm''.
And you know what? Seven years later we're still here and we're going strong. We've got too much work.
Amy: Yes. Fantastic. Thank you so much, Pam, It's been fantastic.
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