Consulting advice – a case study
Some months ago I was contacted by someone who wanted some advice on his very small landlord and property investment business. He told me he had just one property and was not sure what to do with it – whether to do it up and let it or do it up and sell it instead.
Currently, he was also interested in buying a large, old run down pub on a very big space too. That would be a big project and he needed investors for it, but was not sure how to go about getting them.
So, he bought a half days’ consultancy with me and we set to work looking at things like the area it was in – what was the potential for letting and sale longer term, and so on. He explained his background in some detail. He had left school with very few qualifications, but he had later trained as an electrician, becoming a qualified at this, in due course. He was now in his mid 30s.
A lot of his early emails to me and his conversation too was peppered with things like “adding value”, no money down”, “cash on cash yield” and “breaking free of paradigms”. So it was clear to me from this that he had been to a lot of the property “meets” that take place around the country. And in doing so, he had picked up plenty of the vernacular and buzzwords that you often hear at such places. He admitted he often felt overawed by the people he saw speaking at these events. They all seemed so confident, so well educated, such fluent speakers and they had achieved so much too.
But it was obvious to me that by going to the property events he had become more confused, unsure of himself. Then, suddenly about 25 minutes into our session, he mentioned that he had done up a property before. Then, he added, he had done others too over the years.
So I asked if he had any pictures. He had – but only of one property showing various “Before and After” pictures.
He had not thought to take any of the other places before he sold them. Well, when I saw the pictures, I was very taken aback. This was a really good example of work done well. He had achieved a superb transformation of a run-down property – and all in a very quick time, making a very tidy profit on the sale. And then he had repeated the exercise four more times. And he had done it all himself.
So where did it go from there?
Our Consulting Solution
Well, I told him to prepare a portfolio listing the properties where he had done refurbs and then sold – buying prices, costs of works and selling prices plus timescales. And to also take lots of end-pictures of his current project too. Then to take that to meets where he could meet investors.
But the main thing I could give him was the assurance that he was in fact, very good at what he did – and to feel confident about his abilities, which were really exceptional.
What I found fascinating is that there must be lots of people who go to property meets, who are like him, who are perhaps a bit shy and who feel a little overwhelmed by what they feel are smart, clever people, who perhaps, have the gift of the gab.
So, next time you are at a property meet, take time to talk to the shy man or lady who has not spoken to anyone. They may just be hidden geniuses with whom you can make a lot of money.
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We advise a range of organisations too to help them develop and improve their services and products for private landlords. David Lawrenson, founder of LettingFocus, also writes for property portals, speaks at property events and is regularly quoted by the media.
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