10 Things I’ve Learnt (Part 10)
This is the final instalment of 10 things that I’ve learned over the last 20 years of investing in property for myself, and the last on the list is this: You have to get started now.
Although it sounds rather ironic, when I started out on my own two decades back I was in a fairly fortunate position because I had to start there and then. I had to start straight away because I had just been made redundant. If I had simply done nothing, then I would have probably gone broke and I wouldn’t have been able to feed my family. So, looking back with hindsight, being made redundant was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. It pushed me into taking action!
As such, my advice to you this week is not to wait. To get started now – and this means not tomorrow, next week, next month or next year… but today. What’s more, I urge you to stop procrastinating. You might be wondering what you can do to get started and you might be getting into the trap of trying to make the perfect plan before you begin – but here’s the thing, there probably isn’t a perfect plan anyway.
If you’re just getting started then it’s likely that your knowledge is incomplete. This doesn’t matter, because we don’t know what the future holds – and if we don’t know what the future holds, then how can we plan for it?
As it happens, I actually think it’s better to go and do a few imperfect deals now and take some action rather than wait for the perfect deal to come along. After all, the perfect deal may not exist.
I also think you should refrain from getting bogged down by the numerous concerns that will almost certainly be consuming your thoughts. For example, should I find my first property or should I find my first JV partner? Should I find the property and then raise the money, or should I raise the money and then find the property? Quandaries such as these are little more than “mental quicksand”.
What is important however, is that you keep educating yourself – but don’t wait until you’ve got all of the education before you start. It’s impossible to know everything – I’ve been in property for over 35 years (20 years doing it for myself), but I certainly don’t know all there is to know about property.
Things are changing all the time, from the market to the laws, techniques and strategies. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow, so start taking action whilst getting educated at the same time.
Not so long back, I stumbled upon an interesting observation which I’d love to share with you. “The greatest investors are those that can make quick decisions using incomplete or imperfect information”.
These individuals know that their information is incomplete or imperfect, but they make a decision anyway. They know the probabilities and are aware of the risks, and they use their “imperfect” information to make an informed decision – and most of the time, it’s the right decision.
So, stop procrastinating. Take action, get started and keep going no matter what!
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor
By the way, I’ve rewritten and updated my best-selling e-book, The Successful Property Investor’s Strategy Workshop, which is an account of how I put together my multi-property portfolio, starting from scratch and with no money of my own, and how you can do the same. For more details please go to: