Dear Friend and Fellow Property Investor,
Many thanks for visiting me at my website, and many, many thanks for taking the time to find out a little more about me. I guess you are here because you are interested in property investing and making money in property but before we get into that let me tell you a little bit about myself. In this day and age, when anyone can post absolutely anything on the internet, it’s wise to know a little about who you are listening to.
So Who Am I?
I guess this is really the story of how I went from ‘broke’ to living on my ‘passive income from property’, and how I did it.
But let’s start at the beginning.
I come from an unremarkable back ground. My parents weren’t rich, but they were comfortable, although I’m sure they had their own struggles along the way to get to that point.
I had a good education and you could say that I have been in property all of my working life because I went to university to study property and then, a few years later, I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor.
By the way, that was a really mixed blessing and not as helpful as you might first think – I’ll explain why a little later.
During my twenties and thirties I went through a number of jobs, both in the private sector and the public sector until, in 1995, I reached the pinnacle of my career. I was a Salaried Partner in a well known and respected firm of Chartered Surveyors in London, dealing with large corporate and multi-national clients, mainly advising them about their commercial property investments.
I was on a good salary, in a pension scheme and had a reasonably generous allowance for a car.
I Hated My Job!
But there was a problem, in fact two major problems.
Firstly, I was bored. I was actually surprisingly good at my job, but I didn’t like it. I didn’t like what I did, and I didn’t like the ‘culture ’within which I did it. I felt like I was being suffocated. Despite having the label ‘partner’ I was really just a glorified employee and was over-worked and felt under appreciated.
Despite that, because I was (and still am) married with 3 children (I now have 4) I felt that I couldn’t chuck it all in and leave. That would be ‘irresponsible’.
I Was Made Redundant a Month Before Christmas!
But here’s where the second major problem kicked-in. Because of the recession of the early 1990’s commercial property took a hammering and my specialisation was no longer required. That meant that I, also, was no longer required. So I was made redundant, a month before Christmas, and with just enough redundancy money to keep us afloat for around 6 months, and only then if we were careful and cuts costs to the bone.
I needed to do something and to do it fast!
Now I’m Financially Free Through Property (and you can be too)
Fast-forward to today and I’ve been ‘self-employed’ ever since. I now own a substantial portfolio of residential property investments and can live entirely on the passive income it generates. I realise that I’m ‘living the dream’ many other people aspire to, and I’m very grateful for that.
I’m not saying that to boast, but you give you encouragement that if I can do it, the chances are that you can do it too.
When I was made redundant I had nothing in the way of savings and no regular income, just the redundancy package, but that was set aside and ear-marked for living expenses so that my young family would be OK.
So I really started with nothing except with a need to make something happen.
OK, you might be thinking, “What about your training and years of experience as a Chartered Surveyor? That must have given you a clear advantage?”
Well actually, I’d argue that it didn’t . You see, at that point I was dealing with commercial property and my knowledge and expertise was totally irrelevant for what I ended up doing – putting together a portfolio of residential investment properties to rent out, what we’d now call ‘buy to lets’.
My experience and knowledge of residential property investing was severely limited, and purely academic as I had no practical hands–on experience.
In fact, I’d say my training as a Chartered Surveyor had actually encouraged me to be overly cautious, and that was definitely a hindrance I had to overcome before I could take any meaningful action.
How Did it Happen? I Found ‘The System’
So what happened between then and now? How did I manage to go from being almost broke (and living off the last few pounds of my redundancy package) to now living off the (almost) passive income from a substantial residential property portfolio?
Well, I’ll be honest, there was a lot of hard work, and some, if not many, sleepless nights.
But the hard work was focussed into what became my ‘system’ and that gave me the results I wanted.
I didn’t have this system when I started. Back then, property information we take for granted today, like ‘How to do property’ books and courses, just didn’t exist – in fact, that’s one of the reasons I started writing and as far as I know I wrote the first book for ordinary investors like us back in year 2000.
The system evolved over time, by trial and error, with me making a lot of mistakes on the way, and at times losing money, until it finally all fell into place and allowed me to ‘scale up’ to where I am today.
Looking back I can see that the three crucial ingredients of my success were ‘Need’, ‘Belief’ and ‘The System’.
I really needed to make something happen, failure wasn’t an option. The belief wavered from time to time and there were times when I wondered if I should pack it all in, but I didn’t.
And ‘the System’ is the system which was refined and tweaked over time until it worked.
Now this wasn’t an overnight process, I wasn’t an ‘overnight success’, not by any means. To get to where I am now took several years, with lots of ups and downs along the way.
You Can Do It Even More Quickly
The good news is, because I’ve already done it, you can learn from what I did, both right and wrong, and hopefully get even better results, more quickly. Certainly if I were to start again now, knowing what I now know, I think I’d be able to get to ‘living the dream’ far more quickly.
This is the kind of thing I had to deal with.
My First Proper Rental Property Was a Nightmare.
For reasons I won’t go into now (I have covered it in some of my other material) I lost a lot of time pursuing a property deal which didn’t happen, so I got frustrated and anxious to get started, and ended up buying a really stupid property.
It was a pair of flats in one of the worst parts of town. After I bought it I found out that the upstairs flat was vacant because the tenant was in prison and, as soon as I completed, the tenant of the ground floor flat ‘did a runner’ and took most of the kitchen units with her. (Why would any one do that?!)
But I dusted myself down, found new and better tenants, and determined to ‘do’ property investing better from then on. (Actually, there was a happy ending as I sold the property a couple of years later at a good profit, but that’s a story for another time).
So, slightly more street wise, and slightly more focused, I started to build my portfolio, this time making sure I didn’t make buying decisions based on emotion.
The Bank Refused to Give Me Anymore Money!
That was fine until one day my bank told me that they weren’t going to lend me any more money for a year. As a ‘new landlord’ they wanted to see how I did with the properties I already had before they lent me money to buy more.
That stopped me in my tracks just as I’d got some momentum going. The obvious thing was to try different banks but each time, for different reasons, the answer came back ‘No. Not interested’. They just didn’t see me, or my properties, as being worthy of lending.
This went on for about 6 months until finally, 3 banks later, I found one who would lend. Not on great terms, but at least I could get some money and move on again. The trouble was that by the time I had applied to them, and we had gone through the formalities and red tape, my year’s sabbatical with my main bank was almost over, so in the event I hardly saved any time at all.
That episode cost me a years worth of progress and taught me a valuable lesson about banks – they really aren’t interested in whether you succeed or not (that might seem obvious now we are post credit crunch and have all seen the way they behave, but at that time I naively thought banks had fairly honourable intentions).
So I had to quickly build up momentum again and make up for all that lost time and missed opportunities. I’m glad to say that through practice and fine tuning, my system was now up and running and by applying the principles and techniques I had learned along the way I was able to put together a substantial property portfolio which now cash-flows more than enough to allow me to be financially free.
I started Writing About My Experiences, and Other People Started to Do It Too!
As I mentioned earlier, along the way I started writing about my experiences and helping others to take steps towards their property goals as well. This all started by accident, and at first was nothing more than an enjoyable hobby. But as more and more people heard of me and started buying my books and taking action to apply the principles, I had more and more feed-back about their success, and more requests for help.
That led me to write more books, to write for property magazines and blog sites (I contribute regularly to Property Auction News, I’ve written for Property Investor News, and I am also a guest blogger for Property Secrets) and I went on to produce one of the UK’s most successful home study courses for property investors.
By these means I’ve helped others reach their property goals, and many of them have gone on to put together their own profitable, cash-flowing property investment portfolios, and they either are financially free, or are on the way to financial freedom.
My Twin Goals in Property
So my twin goals now are to continue in property, and I still actively buy and sell, and to continue to help others to achieve their property goals.
My aim is to make profitable property investing accessible to everyone.
I’m not saying it will be easy but I’m sure that if you have the desire you, too, develop positive cash-flow and passive income whilst at the same time the value of your properties increase.
If you haven’t already done so why not enter your name and email details in the box below to receive my free special report “What You Need to Know About Buy to Let Finance“. I promise not to bombard you with spam but I will keep you updated with good quality property information, advice and offers which will help you.
Here’s to successful property investing.
Peter Jones B.SC FRICS
Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor
For full details of my books, DVDs and mentoring services please visit me at www.ThePropertyTeacher.co.uk