There is a quality we need as property investors which I don’t often see discussed. In fact, I don’t think I have seen any videos on this, although maybe there are some out there that I haven’t seen. I certainly haven’t seen any training courses on this.
The quality that I think that we need as property investors, amongst many other qualities by the way, is this: we need to have a fairly decent tolerance towards stress. Why do I say that?
I don’t want to make this gloomy. I think property investing is great, I have been in property for 40 years and I have been investing for myself for the last 20 years. Would I change any of that? No, I wouldn’t. It has given me a fantastic lifestyle and I love it.
But there are times when you can feel a little bit stressed from it. I am just being completely open and honest, a lot of you have said that you like my complete honesty type style and that I am not going to sugar coat it for you. So, I am not going to sugar coat it for you. If you do property, there will be times when you get stressed.
I was thinking about this about 2 weeks ago, because on this one particular Friday afternoon 3 things happened. I have to say this is unusual, most of the time everything is fine, but occasionally these things happen. So, these are the 3 things that happened.
- The first is that the managing agent who looks after my HMOs for me rang me up and said that one of the tenants of one of the rooms had basically done a bunk and they had run off with my furniture, including the bed and the fridge, and there were various repairs that needed to be done to the room. How had they done that? I have no idea. The agent said that I should expect a call from the police because we’ve asked the police to try and find this person. We think we know where they’ve gone, and we are going to see if we can get your stuff back for you. I thought good luck with that, I bet that doesn’t happen. That was event number 1.
- The second thing that happened that afternoon is that I got a call from my agent who is meant to be selling one of my flip properties. This flip has been going through for a while and without going into the longs and shorts of the story, as it is more long than short, basically the legal transaction hadn’t gone as smoothly as I hoped. The buyer’s solicitors in particular had been slightly more awkward about the whole thing. The buyers desperately wanted to buy, I desperately wanted to sell, well not desperately but I was very keen to sell. But unfortunately, in the solicitors doing things solicitors do, put a few spanners in the works which meant at this time that afternoon I thought I was about to sell the property and I was told that property wasn’t selling. The deal hasn’t collapsed completely, we are now about 2 weeks on and we are trying to put it back together in a form that satisfies the buyers solicitors. It is a long story that I won’t go into, it could still happen. But at the time, added to my phone call from the agents about the HMO, it was slightly stressful.
- The third thing that happened that afternoon was that I got a call from somebody about a JV which I am involved in, and where I have put some money into the JV. I was expecting the money to be paid back that afternoon. As so often happens with a JV, things rarely run according to plan. There are quite often things that you can foresee when you go into the JV. It is best to go in with your eyes open, best to go in with an open mind, best to have some kind of agreement with your JV partner which covers the what ifs if that kind of thing happens. But it just happened that on this particular afternoon it all seemed to be going quite smoothly, and I wasn’t anticipating any problems, but that particular point in time there was a hiccup so what I thought was a dead cert in getting the money back didn’t actually happen.
Those were three things that all happened on the same Friday afternoon. The thing about a Friday afternoon is that it is probably the worst time to get any kind of news because then you have got 2 days over the weekend where everything shuts down and you can’t really do anything to put it all right again. You have to wait till Monday morning. If you are anything like me, you will spend the whole weekend thinking that you can’t wait till Monday when everything opens so we can do something about putting all the pieces back in the right place and getting it all sorted.
That’s when I realised, one of the things that I think helps me in property, perhaps more than other people who decide that they don’t really like property, is that I have a reasonable amount of tolerance to stress. I am not the best at it, but I have a reasonable amount of tolerance to stress, which means I can cope.
I try and I try, and I have learnt over the years to educate myself not to take things personally, not to get overemotional about things, not to get sucked in, not to allow my feelings to try and override everything, even though I am a very ‘feelings’ person, because if I ran on my feelings and not on my thoughts in those incidences I probably wouldn’t be able to cope. I’ve had to learn how to do that, it is not the natural way for me.
Although, apparently, I come off as quite calm, I have the odd time when I rant a little bit and I have the times where I have a little emotional explosion. It can happen, but I’ve learnt over the years in property that there is no point.
One of the things that I have learnt in property is no matter how big the problem, it usually gets itself sorted out in time. It is just a matter of taking a deep breath, being patient and not letting it ruin your evening. So, that Friday afternoon I just had to chill, I had to let it all go, I had to wait till Monday before I could start doing anything constructive and really starting to make a difference to try to make sure all these things were resolved
So, there we are, something to think about. If you want to be good at property think about how you deal with stress, because the better you deal with stress the better you are probably going to do in property.
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.Sc FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor
PS. 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: