How active or passive do I want to be in my (buy to let) property investing business?
Many of us want to be passive. After all we didn’t go into property to create another job.
But whether we are going to be active or passive will often depend upon practical considerations like whether we buy near home or farther afield; whether we are prepared to delegate responsibility for finding or sourcing our properties to a third party like a JV partner or an agent; and how much we want to manage our own properties.
Making the decision to be more passive opens up the opportunity to invest away from home, and therefore gives more choice.
I live 150 miles from most of my investments and actually enjoy the idea that they are at a distance – it means I can’t interfere, and I have to leave the day to day running of the portfolio, including dealing with my tenants (which I have never been very good at) to others who are better qualified and better able to do it.
I consider myself to be an investor (passive) and not a landlord (active).
But the downside of being at a distance (and more passive) is that I have also given up control to others, who may or may not care as much as I do.
Because my goal was to be passive, so that property could provide the lifestyle I wanted, and particularly the freedom I craved, I consider this to be a price worth paying. If you are a control freak you may not be able to be as passive so easily.
So how passive you choose to be will partly depend on your goals and what you want to achieve from property. And it will partly depend on your flow, what fits with the way you work and your character.