How to become a property pro in a day

Property investment is a fabulous way to make money, so it’s not surprising there are now some 1.4 million landlords in the UK.

But fabulousness aside, there is a serious side to property investment – because it is a commercial enterprise.

If you want to make money in property, you need to follow some Rules. I call these: The Essential Rules – these are the guiding principles that will help you become a successful property investor (and you can read the book in a day!)

There are four key areas you need to focus on:

Personal Rules: Your success is down to you

Being a successful property investor requires a different way of thinking, acting and living. You don’t get “born” a successful investor – you learn to become one. What that means is making a personal plan for where you are trying to go and what you are trying to achieve. And you have to take action. That means you have to be a little bit brave. You need to take some risks, make some sacrifices and understand things won’t always go according to plan. That’s why you need a plan “b”, and most likely a “c” and “d”!

Resourcefulness is critical. As a property investor you are the boss. The decisions you take will not only impact upon the property you own – but also the life you lead. Successful investment requires you to make sacrifices of time and money – but it also requires effort. And the more you put in, the more you get out!

Property Rules: Properties can be assets AND liabilities

Property is a great way to make money – but it can also be a way to lose money. Not every property is an asset and some can even turn into liabilities and cost you money. That means you need to look for properties which have potential to turn into gold mines rather than buying a property which is a money pit. Unexpected repairs and problem tenants can soon eat into any profits you hoped to make, and so avoiding these mistakes is key.

Understanding and defining the type of property investments you want to make should be planned in advance, and preferably, in line with your future goals. There is no “one-size-fits-all” property, so you should work out what suits you best to ensure your property remains an asset both now and in the future.

Business Rules: Property investment is a business

Investing in property can be a lot of fun and, even if you want to buy property as a hobby, or a side-line, it is important to remember: property investment is a business. That means you need to ensure you treat it as such – otherwise you could just be spending your money on property rather than investing your money in property.

Running the numbers, keeping tabs on cash-flow and calculating yields are all part and parcel of the investment process. You don’t need to be a maths wizard to make money in property – but you do need to ensure you make more than you spend. It’s a deceptively simple rule, but it’s the most important one when it comes to success in business.

Customer Rules: The customer is king

Every business needs customers if they are to succeed and make money – and the same is true with property investment. There’s no point buying a property, even if it looks to be the bargain of the century, if nobody wants to rent or buy it from you!

Customers have needs and wants they require satisfying – and your role as a property investor is to ensure you match people’s desires with your property. That means you need to buy the right property for the right people. If you’re renting a property – the aftersales is just as important. Customer service and tenant management is critical. Customers cost a lot of money to obtain – and a key part of running a successful property investment business is to retain long term, loyal, paying customers.

If you can nail these Rules in your property investment career, then it’s likely you’re onto a winner!

If you’re looking for your next investment keep updated with the latest details of auctions, potential buy-to-let property, house prices and yield data for the areas that interest you with Rightmove’s investment service.

Samantha Collett is the author of Property Investment: The Essential Rules (Constable Robinson), How to Buy Property at Auction (Constable Robinson) and the multi-award winning blog What Sam Saw Today.


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