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10 Things I’ve Learnt (Part 1)
This is the first in a new series of blog posts in which I’m going to share with you ten things that I’ve learned over the past twenty years of investing for myself.
The very first thing on the list is this: “There’s Rarely Just One Way of Doing Things”.
Over the past two decades, I’ve done quite a lot of training with other professionals and something that stuck me quite early on is that we all have slightly different ways of doing things. Even today when I surround myself with other successful investors so I can ‘listen and learn’, it’s clear that our approaches to property are not always the same.
I regularly keep an eye on the property forums and Facebook groups, and find it quite interesting to see other’s viewpoints. What strikes me most though, is when individuals adamantly state that there’s only one way to do a particular thing in property. I often look at these posts with a raised eyebrow because in my experience, this is just not true.
I tend to find that it’s those who know the least that shout the loudest, so it might be the case that these comments are posted by those that are relatively new to investing. More than likely, these individuals don’t really know how property works. Perhaps they’ve read something in a book or have attended a training session and have then latched on to an idea or concept before walking away with the erroneous view that THIS is the only way to do it.
In some respects it might be self-evident that there’s going to be more than one way to do things. When we think about becoming successful in property per se today, we have to consider that there’s so many different strategies that we could follow to achieve this success. Back in the day, most of us would have probably thought about buying to let, but nowadays there are many other strategies that we could consider. HMOs, commercial conversions, serviced accommodation, rent to rent… to name just a few.
So, in that respect, there’s always going to be more than one way of doing some things. However, in my experience, there’s rarely JUST one route to get to a particular point that you may want to get to in property.
What’s more, if you’re in property for long enough then over time you’ll probably find your own shortcuts. You’ll find your own field techniques and make your own little tweaks to make things happen. You may do it in a in a ‘similar but different’ way to other people, or you may do something completely different – and you may find that you end up at the same point.
So never, ever think that there’s only one way to do property.
In my humble opinion, the best way to do anything in property is the way that suits you. You should be suspicious of those that come up to you and say, “Don’t do it that way, you’ve got to do it this way”. You should instead investigate and find the way that works for you.
Whilst it is good to be guided by others and to model yourself on those that are more successful than you, it doesn’t mean that you that have to be led by their every word. Use the good bits; the bits that resonate with you, but tweak them to make them actually work for you. My advice is to “adopt” and “adapt” so that it’s right for you, your goals and your strategy.
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: