579: High Performance Property Investors – Key Fundamental Principles
High Performance Property Investors – Key Fundamental Principles
Lifestyle: If you want to make serious money and have a wealthy sustainable lifestyle, you have to start from the fundamentals and follow the correct principle ad traits. It’s possible to be fabulously wealthy from being in business in any sector, but there are few things that really help – that might seem obvious but are worth mentioning all the same.
If you want a successful business – it’s highly advantageous that:
You are obsessed by it, are passionate about it and love it
You have a natural affinity to it – are skilled and knowledgeable in it
You like working hard in the chosen area of business
You are good at your chosen business
You stay healthy
You are focussed, efficient and effective – good at managing yourself and others
You have an affinity for people and people like working with and for you
You enjoy spending your time working on it
Obsession: This can sound rather negative but in business it definitely isn’t. You need drive, passion and hard work – in doing so – you need to have a form of obsession with your business. In property – it’s focus on property deals or managing or converting and/or developing and/or building properties. You need to love it and be skilled at it – if you are both you will almost certainly be good at it – regardless of what “it” is. You’ll notice this - if you meet property investors – they are normally very enthusiastic about what they do, they love properties, and making money from properties – they get a kick out of this. That’s why when you get the bug, it’s so easy to work hard and be enthusiastic – and normally the wealth follows just behind. Going through the motions just wanting to make money is probably not good enough – the most successful property investors are obsessed with property.
Discipline: It’s important of course to be very disciplined – to manage your time very effectively and efficiently. If you are good at paperwork, finance and have a good eye for properties where value can easily be added, you’ll normally be a good and successful property investor. If you pride yourself in not wasting money, making high returns and providing an honest service to tenants and fellow investors, you’ll probably also do very well. Especially these day, you need to be good at paperwork – making sure all your contractual and legal work is top notch – so you don’t expose yourself to problems like bad tenants or fire-damage-cost.
Financial Acumen: Its important to understand the basics of economics – and financial management. That is to say, income, expenses, capital expenditure and return on investment. Every activity you spend your money should “add value” – either through capital value increase to your asset, or income increase. For example, if you replace a bathroom for £5000, it might add £10,000 to the value of the property and make it more marketable at the same time, and also lead to a £50 per month additional rental value – or incomes. This would mean a 100% return in investment from a “paper capital value standpoint” – before any capital gains tax reductions.
Healthy: It’s absolutely critical to be and stay healthy. This sounds like motherhood and apple pie, but if you have poor health, it’s very difficult to make money – you’ll end up losing it. No health means no wealth - when it comes to property investing. If you are healthy both physically and mentally – then you will be more robust, have more energy, do more actions that will generate income and capital value increase. Issues will be more easily tackled without panic or mini-breakdowns. Most people are not capable of being property investors because they simply can’t handle the stress of things going wrong and feeling responsible – probably 25% of the population are capable and only about 10% practicing proactively. Many people will freak out if a boiler goes wrong – seasoned property investors know how to take things in their stride – including battles with planning departments and negotiating with councils on licencing, works in compliance to regulations. Its equally important to be mentally healthy as well as physically healthy. If you think your mental health is rather instable – its probably best to avoid the stress of owning and operating a buy-to-let business in relation to all the problems one gets with tenants and maintenance issues.
Exercise: We have this theory that – if you exercise 60 mins a day – it will add 3 hours to your life for every hour spent exercising. So it creates a lot of life and extra value – as long as you don’t injure yourself or have an accident. Fit healthy (normally) slim people live long. If you are unfit, smoke, drink, don’t get exercise and are overweight/obese, you’ll probably live 15-20 years less long. That’s a heck of a lot of life – time and in that time you can be making serious money of course and spending it and enjoying it. If you stay healthy when you are 80 years old, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot continue to make serious money – look at Warren Buffett for example – he’s 86. Old age has not slowed his returns.
Muscles: We have another theory – that longevity has a lot to do with muscles. The more active you are, the bigger-stronger your muscles will be. The is a strong correlation between how quickly older people can walk and years to fatality. The minute you slow or can’t walk any longer, mortality is often not far off. Why would this be? It might be because muscle process toxic substances in the body out and help flush your system – improve your blood supply-circulation. Having big strong muscles, healthy ligaments, joints and bones all go a long way to meaning you can walk-run and be very active. As you get older – you should nurture your muscles, ligaments, joints and bones with regular but not high impact exercise. This will also build heart muscle strength and keep your blood vessels flexible and active – reducing the chance of heart attack and cancer. Lets just take active football players as an example – have you ever heard of one dying of cancer? Our theory is that their well developed muscles and lean build makes them almost immune from getting cancer. And very few die of heart attacks and we have never heard of one getting a stroke.
Dump the Car: It’s important to try and lead a healthy lifestyle. Consider this – the average person spends about 2 hours a day in the car – in a very stressful and very dangerous and polluting environment. Bombing around in a one ton car at speeds up to 70 mph – no wander people that drive a lot feel stressed out, tired and their performance suffers – work wise and financially. Best to try and dump the car as much as possible. Walk, cycle, catch the train, bus or tube, run – try and get away from the crazy car – and you might all of a sudden find you save masses of money, get very fit, save lots of time (no traffic jams, you can work or relax on the train) and your overall quality of life will improve. For some strange reason, many people choose to travel colossal distances to work – it’s almost like a daily challenge on top of everything else – it’s crazy. Everyone bombing around busy roads risking their lives and getting totally polluted and stressed out – then spending all weekend recovering (or jumping in the car to visit relatives and friends to make matters worse).
No to travel: So consider say – NO – to trips to see family and friends that involve huge car travel distances. Ask people to come and visit you instead. Try and go on holiday on the train hire some bikes, get some fresh air and enjoy life. Dump the car! It’s so much easier these days now that the internet and mobile phones allow remote communications. You can do business almost anywhere – and contact people remotely – you don’t need to bomb around in the car anymore – and try and avoid all those supposedly important face-to-face meetings. It’s probably better using your time to making phone calls and sending emails – far healthier as well.
Walk: Try and take any opportunity to walk, jog or cycle somewhere – it’s often a lot faster. As an example, if you live in West London, it normally takes ten minutes to find a car parking slot, costs huge amounts and is stressful. Better to walk to the tube get away from the road pollution.
Stay Married: Consider this – probably the single biggest wealth destroyer is divorce. The problem is, before most people have a fling then file for divorce, it never even crosses their minds. Until the divorce lawyers come out of the woodwork – if you cheat (if you are a dishonest cheat), then are caught – you will be taken to the cleaners. You’ll lose your house, then half your wealth or more on top, then have to pay maintenance – a large part of your future cash-flow. With tax, legal costs and other cost like getting another house to live in – you will almost certainly lose 65+% of your wealth overnight. It will be very difficult for you to recover from this – it’s quite possible this will tip you into bankruptcy or close to it – end up on social support or living in a bed-sit. No kidding, just do the calculations – everyone will want to take you to the cleaners – ex-partner, kids, family, government, schools, lawyers – you will be the cheat that was caught. Don’t do it! It’s not worth it! It’s stupid! On the whole, most millionaires are happily married (or single and have never been divorced). If you are a divorcee of cause it’s possible to rebound especially if you are fabulously wealthy already, but it will be so much more difficult after being shot down. It will likely lead to huge amounts of stress, time wasted, lack of focus, poorer health both physical and mental and set you back a lot. You might lose your new partner – they won’t like this losing streak. If you are happily married – best stay that way. If you are divorced, you may have got away lightly or you may recognise some or all of these risks above. You need to try and treat your life like a business – use you time effectively, be disciplined, make sure you enjoy life but don’t throw everything away by destructive elements – e.g. drink, drugs, smoking, divorce or cheating on your partner. Try and stay in control of your life. If you’re not convinced, then try and find examples of:
an exceptionally wealthy alcoholic whose business is doing remarkably well
a business person with fabulous wealth that has a double digit growth company a few years after a divorce
Drugs and Destruction: Okay, there are a few drug taking alcoholic rocks stars and artists around – but they don’t normally last very long, and the most successful have been clean for years (Mick Jagger, Sting, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Bon Jovi, Bono, Bob Geldof). The ones that died early generally took drugs – Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Keith Moon, Kurt Kobain, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Jim Morrison.
If you want to halve your expected life, then drugs are a pretty good way to make it happen. It seems that trying to come off them then overdosing at age 27 is a common way for these stars to go. Very sad indeed. Its also worth noting the drugs will give you a big kick, but the down known to be severe – and most drugs users suffer from depression – the drugs will often cause this or amplify it. This is true of both recreational and prescribed drugs – heavy drugs use will dramatically increase your chance if committing suicide.
If you want to destroy a business, alcohol is a pretty easy way of doing it – most people can’t think straight after drinking – they have the illusion they are doing great things – delusional thoughts – when in fact, it’s normally far from the case particularly if money, relationships, negotiations and money are involved. Deluded grandeur. Drugs are even more dangerous – they alter your mind and not just temporarily – for good. This is why people that have taken drugs will always be fighting to stay off them and their minds are altered and challenged for ever. This is particularly true with people who have taken drugs before the age of 25 – in that your brain and mind is still developing up to this age – particularly in men. “Mind bending drugs” – a phrase used decades ago – is actually an accurate reflection of what drugs do – they will make you mentally ill.
Think Positive: If you want to succeed in business, it’s critically important to have a positive frame of mind. It will reduce your stress levels, embolden you to action tricky things and give your motivation a boost. It will boost for self confidence and self esteem. Try and avoid negative people and commentary – try to gravitate towards positive people, images and thoughts. Try and not watch too much TV and news – its mostly negative – scare stories. The news is full on fear stories that are designed to keep you captured, returning to watch adverts and more fear and shock. Not good for yourself or your family/children. Best to concentrate if you do watch TV on positive programmes and films or programmes that you can learn from and that will help you in your business, lifestyle and management of these. Whenever you get worried about an issue – try and tackle it head-on – action it. Don’t leave it to fester. It will only get worse. Try and be pro-active at all times and look to manage your risks but continue to think positive and be positive to people around you. As they say, its amazing the positive outcomes that will come from giving and helping other people with a good service – and having a positive outlook. If you always sound worried and stressed out and negative – people simply won’t want to do business with you. They will go somewhere else – whether this is a tenant, supplier, customer, letting agent or building/handy-man – if you treat people badly with lack of respect or are negative to people, you’ll struggle with business.
Privacy: Finally – if you are a Landlord and use a letting agent to manage your properties – you can be remarkable “private” about your business. You don’t need to have tenants contacting you, and you can stay very much behind the scenes – and let marketing people deal with your properties and tenants. There are very few business that allow you to make a considerable amount of money through selling/letting rooms, flats or houses and stay almost totally private. In fact, if you have a good maintenance person and a good letting agent that you trust, you don’t need to live or be anywhere near your properties – you can live or holiday in different countries whilst still managing your properties through others – albeit you will need to pay the full management letting fees of around 15% of income.
We hope this Special Report is helpful as part of your property investing toolkit and provides some interesting perspective - has helped stimulate some positive thoughts on how to improve your business. If you have any queried, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org .