Continuing education is vital in every pursuit and profession, and property is no exception. As an author myself, you may be surprised to know that not only have I read (and listened to) literally hundreds of books/audio books about property and property investing, but that on a daily basis I still turn pages and strive to learn from others.
Many often think that an “expert” should know all there is to know – but this is nonsense. Property is constantly changing. New laws are passed almost daily (or so it seems), economic conditions change overnight, property market conditions shift (with new markets opening up in the blink of an eye, and old one’s closing), and the only way to adapt and manage this change is to stay on top of our knowledge.
However, reading isn’t just a way of keeping up with changing facts and conditions. It’s also a way of gaining knowledge about other investor’s perceptions and insights, and learning about their way of doing things.
To give an example, let’s take two professionals. Two investors may look at the same property or situation and yet envisage two completely different outcomes or opportunities. One sees a bargain and a potential profit, but the other sees a disaster and potential loss.
Reading – or rather continuing to educate ourselves by learning from others – helps us refrain from adopting a “my way is the only way” attitude and approach, which can ultimately prevent us from spotting a potentially lucrative opportunity.
It’s not easy to move out of our comfort zone, to try to do things in a different or (dare I say) better way, but we have to be open to the possibility that yes, there may just be other strategies and approaches that could lead us to achieve even greater results.
It’s for this reason that continuing our education is vital to our growth as property investors. There’s a lot to be learnt from seeing how others think and from how others do it – and that’s me included.
Even today there are times when I pick up a book and think, “I wish I’d written that first”. But there are other times I reach the end of a chapter and reflect, “I wish I’d known that back when I was starting out”, or “If only I’d known this before I’d bought such and such a property”.
And then there are the times when it hits me. I become so overwhelmed by an immense feeling of gratification for the information that is put in front of me that I take on a “must apply” attitude – I suddenly realise that I have stumbled upon yet another fantastic path to property success.
Over the years there have been a number of books that have inspired me to change; books that have exposed me to untapped markets and strategies that I wouldn’t have previously considered. (I only wish these authors had been around when I was taking my first steps into the investment world – oh how many pitfalls could have been avoided). And although today I have a pretty healthy portfolio of 70 buy to lets and HMOs, I’ll never believe that this is the end of my education. Nor should you.
Laws, markets and economic conditions do change, and although the prime fundamentals of property investing stay the same, to remain successful you need to continually acquire new knowledge and strategies to guard yourself against the unforeseen…
Keep learning, because education is the key to achievement and financial freedom.
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, Author & Property Investor
PS. By the way, I’ve rewritten and updated my best selling ebook, 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 www.ThePropertyTeacher.co.uk/PSStrat