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Building Your Very Own Property Business: A Beginner's Guide

The key issues to consider when setting up in bricks and mortar.

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The key issues to consider when setting up in bricks and mortar.

Opinions

Building Your Very Own Property Business: A Beginner's Guide

The key issues to consider when setting up in bricks and mortar.

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First the good news - owning a property business of any kind can be extremely lucrative. Now the more sobering news – doing so comes with what can feel like burdensome responsibilities for issues such as compliance, legislation and finances.

Finally, more good news – I have done it myself starting with nothing and right here I am going to give you the guidance you need to follow in my footsteps.

Like any other business, property requires hard work, perseverance and a little bit of luck in order to achieve success. Here are the key issues, questions and considerations that you need to take into account.

What’s your Big Why?

What are your financial and personal goals? How do you think property would assist and move you towards your ambitions?

Get clarity

The property industry is a very broad so it’s important to be specific about the niche that you are going to get enter. The various opportunities include:

·         property management

·         running a letting and sales agency

·         commercial property

·         property development

·         investing in property yourself

·         sourcing properties for others

Why does that niche interest you? It’s important to enjoy what you’re doing because, if not, it’ll just become another job. If you are not passionate about what you do, you may lose enthusiasm, drive and ultimately your time and money.

The next question relates to the size of projects you wish to undertake. If you want to be an investor, then consider what type of properties you wish to buy.

Examples include buy-to-lets and HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy), which involves renting out individual rooms. Next think about the type of tenants you wish to have. Will it be families, corporates, social housing tenants or students?

How much time you intend to devote to it?

Think about these sorts of questions:

·         If you are you looking to do this on a part-time basis, what hours are you prepared to commit to this new venture?

·         Are you doing this alone or with a business partner?

·         If so, what will their level of commitment be?

·         What will your roles be and what support would you require from that person?

Research, research, research and do a business plan

Do a thorough internet search to check that nobody else has thought of your great idea. You might need to set up in a different area or offer an extra service to increase your chances of success. Research your competition.

It is important to pull together your thoughts and put all your ideas and research into a properly written business plan. Set objectives, work the numbers and set timescales to measure your progress and to keep yourself focused.

Deepen your knowledge of the industry and your chosen niche

When are new to an industry, you don’t have valuable contacts, relationships and insider knowledge. Make time to attend industry events and read the trade press to get a head start. In some areas, you may need qualifications, which you need to factor into your budget.

Even if you already have experience working in the property industry, there will always be room for more knowledge. That is why you need to do some research and be open to learning new things.

You have to keep in mind that this industry is constantly evolving and that some of the things you already know could become obsolete due to changes in the industry. Your knowledge is your greatest asset in this type of business.

How much money do you have to invest in your business?

Once you have chosen a particular niche for your property business, then you have to secure a certain amount of money in order to jumpstart your business.

The money that you are going to need will depend on the type and size of the property business that you are planning. You need to calculate the costs involved beforehand. This includes the amounts that you are going to spend during the first few weeks of the business when there is no revenue coming in.

Remember that property is not like a retail store where goods are easily sold and bought. It can take time for the money to start coming in.

Your team of experts

The type of experts you will need is dependent on the type of property business you decide to start. Your team of experts need to possess qualities that can make your business efficient and productive.

Who is going to do your accounting, marketing, IT and legal work? If you want to manage your central office functions, research exactly what’s involved. Keeping up with taxes, marketing campaigns and compliance while doing your day job is not easy. Outsourcing this work puts it in expert hands and leaves you to focus on what you’re good at.

Administration

You will need a business name and brand, company registration, domain name and a website. Make a list to ensure nothing gets missed and you give a professional first impression to clients.

You must be ready for change

The property industry is constantly evolving, and it is important for you as a business owner in this industry to embrace change rather than avoid it. There are a lot of factors that can quickly cause change in this industry such as the economy and legislative changes. It is important to adapt in order to stay competitive.

Get yourself a support system

Your network needs to extend beyond talking through your business idea with family and friends. Speak to industry professionals and business owners. Seek out a mentor. If you aren’t sure where to start, try local business networking groups and LinkedIn.

Once that’s all done, you’re ready to go.

My final piece of advice is to always hold your nerve. As the great Warren Buffet once said: “Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it.”

Bindar Dosanjh is author of Power Property Investing for Women and winner of the An Exceptional Book By A Woman category of the Business Book of the Year 2019. Entries for The Business Book Awards 2020 open in June. Find out more at businessbookawards.co.uk.

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Building Your Very Own Property Business: A Beginner's Guide

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