Five tips to become a better property investor
1) Get savvy with the latest online tools.
Identify the online tools that will add value to either your property investing skill sets, to your portfolio, or both. There are so many little online ‘life hacks’ available to investors. For example, and this is only the tip of the iceberg, but consider tools like DSR walk score calculators, Zillow.com, Real Estate View, RP Data, loan repayment and stamp duty calculators, and so on.
2) Network digitally with your comrades.
Don’t treat them as competitors, but rather allies. In this social media age there is no excuse not to be able to find like-minded people you can learn from. That’s how I started out years ago, by connecting with people on the Somersoft forums (which I still maintain is one of the best online property investment communities in Australia).
You may be able to engage with experienced investors who may have a better understanding of a particular concept or a more specific property investing topic. LinkedIn offers excellent community groups with real-time conversations happening on the daily. Twitter is intelligent too; once you establish a group of investors and influential property people you follow (and a few follow back), Twitter’s engine will go out and find more of those types of people for you.
3) Attend events and talks.
Don’t just rely on online communities, look at attending events such as the Home Buyer and Investor Show, and also local property investment shows and seminars. Just be able to discern between an unbiased third party seminar on a topic and a property development spruiker trying to sell their wares.
There is actually a great online site called Meetup.com, where you can meet like-minded people in life – related to any interest. The idea is you join a group but they regularly meet up in person to share their passion. I’ve done this for things like tennis and surfing, but there are groups that meet up in pubs and cafes – who are also investors like yourself! You can learn so much from each other in this way.
4) Read. A lot.
I know I have previously written about the challenges of ‘analysis paralysis’, however I still think it is so important to read a lot.
Approach every article, book, magazine, or online blog post – no matter the property-related subject of it – with a view of ‘how will this trend/tactic/design style etc. pay off in terms of my overall return? If you don’t think it will – stop reading that content and move on to something else!
Investors, like so many people in life, form bad habits. Read content from more sources – books, magazines, websites, forums – to better inform yourself. Over time you will also find better quality content specific to what you are looking for.
5) Have an open mind and flexible approach
Unlike most things in life where the mantra is ‘it’s not about the destination, but rather the journey’, property investment is the complete opposite.
It’s the other way around. It is entirely about the destination, that being your financial future and security.
Where am I going with this? Have an open mind to property types and locations that, despite your initial distaste when considering them, actually stack well from an ‘end game’ numbers perspective.
Cameron McEvoy is a NSW-based property investor and maintains a blog, Property Correspondent.
This article first appeared on Property Observer.