Goals, Plans and Exponential Growth!

However BIG our goals are, if we don’t have a plan to achieve them, it is highly unlikely we’ll succeed. And if we don’t persist in them, we’ll never reap the rewards of our early investment.plan

I would like to share with you some thoughts and reflections I have had on WHY we don’t achieve our goals and HOW to ensure we do.

 

  • Know your reason WHY.

You decided have decided to invest in property to succeed! To create £5k, £10k or even more in passive income per month. Maybe so you could replace your job, your partner’s job, or to give yourself another income stream. It might have been to provide income for your retirement, or capital for your children’s future. Do you know what it is, and have you set this out where you can see it daily? What about a vision board to remind you of your reasons why?

  • Set a MEASURABLE income figure as your initial goal.

Whatever your reason WHY, you will have set yourself a goal in terms of a monthly FIGURE to achieve. This is the first obstacle to achievement that I see with a lot of people. They don’t set a NET INCOME figure that is easy to measure. Unless you set a goal that is CLEAR and measurable, how do you know if (and when) you have achieved it? If you don’t already track your net income, this needs to be one of your first actions to complete.

  • Set yourself a deadline to get to your first goal.

With no fixed income goal and no deadline, there is no point just being ACTIVE. Some people confuse ACTION with ACHIEVEMENT. Yes, you need to take massive action, but not if that is chasing your tail doing things that waste your time and are irrelevant to your goal. What are the key activities that will make you the most money in the shortest amount of time? Answer this question with truth and honesty and you are on the first very big step to making a shed more money immediately!

  • ASSESS where you are now and how far away you are from your goal.

If you’re currently achieving £1000 per month in passive income from property, and you want to get to £5k per month, the next step to identify is to agree how long you are going to give yourself to achieve another £4k per month.. This is often the hardest step to estimate as it may have taken you many years to get to £1000 net profit per month. Getting 5 times that amount may seem insurmountable! However, if you persist in taking action, and keep pushing forward you’ll experience EXPONENTIAL growth.

  • Write out a PLAN of action.

HOW will you achieve your goal of an additional £4k per month – will it be by doing 4 HMOs each giving you £1k. Or 10 mini HMOs giving you £500 per month (or maybe a Joint Venture with another investor). What will you do each month? What will you do each week? What will you do each day? I use the Darren Hardy materials to keep me clear and focused. However, I limit myself to focusing on three goals at a time which makes me much more focused and much more accountable! Ensure that your actions relate to your goals and stay focused on achieving them.

  • Remember the law of exponential growth.

Exponential growth is one of the most powerful principles in the universe. Having an intimate understanding of how it works can make you a master of money and success. On the most basic level, the principle states that the bigger something is, the faster it grows. So as you get bigger, the faster you will be able to implement and grow.

  • Stay accountable.

I recommend the Darren Hardy plan as an excellent tool for tracking your activity and progress. Only by doing this regularly, with discipline and focus will you get to your goal. I believe YOU can do it. But you need to believe that too, really believe it. For only then will you take the massive steps needed to achieve it.

 

To your growth!

Too busy to systemise your business? Or maybe you are scared of the cost of it?

Busy deskIt was a cold, rainy day – the kind of rain that drips over your nose and down your clothes and makes you sopping wet even before you’ve stepped outside. You know the kind I mean. A fairly typical summer’s day in England!

I was sitting in our home office, when Andy walked in, cup of coffee in hand. As he sat down, I glanced across at his desk. The contrast between his desk and mine was stark. Mine – covered in all sorts of paper documents – bills, mortgage statements, letters, post-it notes of to-dos that hadn’t been done and should have been done last Friday. His – a monitor, wireless keyboard, mouse and speakers. No paper, no mess, no distraction.

He sat down and put his wireless headphones on, and I started to hear the muted ‘thud, thud’ of The Gorillaz latest album. I muttered under my breath ‘GEEK’ .. and proceeded to wade through the paper on my desk, deciding the quickest way to deal with the pile was to push it all onto the floor and use it as a new form of carpet tiles. At least that way I didn’t have to look at it. And my desk was then as clear as my darling nerdy husband’s.

‘Do you have the mortgage offer for Gainsborough Road somewhere?’’ Andy asked as he moved one earpiece to hear my response.

‘Um, yes, er, definitely, I saw it this morning’ I said, knowing that it was definitely here, somewhere. The only thing was which foot was it under?

After a search of about 10 minutes I enthusiastically pulled it out from underneath the pile and placed it ceremonially on top of his keyboard.

‘Wendy we need to talk’, Andy turned to me with a serious look on his face.

‘Oh, is the offer not what you hoped for?’ I replied.

‘No, it’s not that’ he said.

‘Ah so is it that we need to buy more coffee when we’re out?’

‘No, we’re fine for coffee.’

‘So what’s bothering you babe?’ I prodded.

‘Well, you know I love you very much Wendy, but there is one thing that is starting to drive me crazy’ he said.

‘Well I know I have that effect on a lot of people’ I said, with a cheeky grin. ‘What’s the matter babe?’’

He took a deep breath, and looked me straight in the eyes, ‘the truth is, unless we sort out our systems, this office and all this paper we simply will not be able to scale up. Your desk is a tip, you can never find where anything is and you are wasting not only your own time but mine too’.

I sat in my chair, feeling totally deflated. I had worked so hard to create a portfolio of HMOs that had given us financial freedom. We now had a regular passive income of £6k per month. The last three years had been nothing but hard work and I had the evidence to show that taking massive action, managing risks that many other people wouldn’t have the courage to do, and using other people’s money could create financial freedom. I had left my job and wound down my other business to focus on this one. Andy had also been able to leave his well-paid role as a contractor.

We were supposed to be happy.

But right now, at this point in time, the last thing I was was happy. I felt annoyed at myself, annoyed at him, and annoyed with the business.

The thing is I realised that Andy was right. Deep down, I absolutely KNEW that my entrepreneurial skills were great when it came to new ideas, growth, and creating income. But on the other hand, creating a system that someone else could pick up and use and freeing up my side of the office from all that paper that I had grown to know and love – well that was NOT within my gift.

I knew I had to change, I knew the business had to change and I knew that the only answer was to systemise.

So over the next 12 weeks, Andy and I set about looking at ways that we could create a leaner, more automated, systematic and ultimately leveraged business. We wanted to employ staff, or outsource the things we didn’t like doing. But to do this we had to start moving our erratic business practices onto a much better platform.

RESULTS

Immediately we began to notice a difference. First in the time we had. We had much more of it! The little jobs, the things that I would have had to write on a post-it note and stick on the edge of my monitor just to remember them, were gone. They were contained within a system. As long as I remembered to go to the appropriate tool, I could find exactly what I wanted when I wanted it.

Soon, this impacted our profits. We had more time so we had more time to do better deals, and more deals, and find more investment. In fact in that year alone we raised over £500,000 for further HMO projects. We bought another 9 properties, and added another £3,700 to our monthly income. There was no way we could have done that if we had been stuck behind our screens or on our phones managing refurbs, tenants or payments.

Our quality of life started to improve as we had more time to exercise, to do more with our family and to R-E-L-A-X.

This was all because we had systems.

Then the best part began as we realised that with the systems we had implemented, we could create a team to manage our properties, with marginal involvement from us. So we began to recruit – first a Lettings Manager who would run the lettings side of the business, then an Operations Manager who would run the day to day aspects of the business. This then, in turn, freed up mine and Andy’s time to do other deals and to speak with investors and to pursue some of our other passions.

So HOW EXACTLY did we do this?

In systemising our business, we both agreed that the key principles we needed in a system were that it had to be

  • Simple
  • Scalable
  • Shareable
  • Suitable
  • Secure

What were the tools that we needed and how would we decide?

We realised that the process would be a three-step process. First we had to SCOPE the business and decide how to breakdown each area, then we had to SPECIFY what our business did in each of these areas, then we had to SYSTEMISE. Most of all it had to be LOW-COST or NO-COST so that we could free up our time without taking up all of our profits.

Although I can happily use a computer and mobile phone, I am not the most technical person in the world so our system had to be easy to learn and implement. The last thing I wanted was anything that needed multiple log-ins or a computer science degree to operate.

After a few weeks of searching and analysis, Andy suddenly rose up one day from his computer chair and shouted ‘Eureka’! I’ve found the exact tool that will work to help us

  • Find properties
  • Fund projects
  • Finish refurbs
  • Find Tenants
  • Future-Proof our portfolio

And that tool is…. ? If you’d like to know EXACTLY what that tool was and HOW we used it to run and grow our business (and still do to this day) and how YOU can too ….
Click here to find out more

To your success!

Wendy

Foundations for success!

Like buildings, your business is built on foundations. If these are solid and continue to be solid, you can grow a phenomenal business. If they are not and always a bit shaky, you will never be able to build a sustainable and developing business that produces regular income and long-term wealth. I have been really trying to ascertain what attributes have made a difference in my life (and I am far from perfect as you know) and also what I see around me in my network of successful entrepreneurs. What makes them different? What makes them standout?

Life and Business Success

I believe there are four corners of personal, business and life success. They form the foundations for your life AND business. If you make these four your cornerstones and remind yourself of them every day you will make wise decisions, good choices, have high energy and be able to do all you set out to.

 

Here they are:

1) Personal responsibility. If you do not take FULL and COMPLETE personal responsibility for everything that you do (in the past, in the present and in the future) then you will always BLAME others for your failures, and fail to take action in the areas that will become great habits for your growth. You MUST absolutely MUST realise that YOU are the key to your own success – nobody else. You may need to forgive and let go, you may need to STOP unhealthy thought patterns about others. Don’t compare yourself to others – recognise you are responsible for yourself and yourself alone. Be excellent in who YOU are.

 

2) Focus. Follow One Course Until Successful. Don’t give up until you have achieved your goal. Perseverance and persistence are central to the behaviour and thinking of anyone who grew a successful business. This requires commitment and discipline. Saying NO to distractions and areas that draw you away from your core values.

 

3) Control. You need to learn to control your emotions primarily so that you can create control and balance in your business and also in your life. Don’t let your inner chimp ruin your life (For more on this read Steve Peter’s ‘The Chimp Paradox’). If you allow fear, worry, anxiety, excitement, passion or elation to be in control, you will not be able to make sensible decisions that rely on logic and sound principles. A good rule of thumb is to wait 24 hours before you buy anything that you REALLY want. So that you can sleep on it and think about whether this purchase is really right for you. If you make purchases based on emotion, you will find that you won’t have enough money to invest with and lengthen the time that you become financially free.

 

4) Vision. What is the vision – the REAL vision you want for your life? Do you really want financial freedom? Or do you really want just to spend, spend, spend? (The two are quite different). You may want an opulent lifestyle which is fine, but are you prepared to be frugal in the meantime, invest and wait, be patient before you achieve financial freedom? Are you really prepared to SLOG to make it happen, or do you ideally want an easy life? The two are not compatible. Your EGO is incompatible with your GROWTH. Your ego will tell you to do one thing, which may actually work against your long-term wellbeing.

 

To identify your values a book I recommend is ‘The Values Factor’ by John DiMartini. If you are interested in learning more about how your ego works against you, try ‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle.

 

I’d love to know what you make of these four foundations – do they ring true in your life?

What has helped you the most to get to where you are today?

Can you really future-proof your HMO?

You will have heard me talk about ‘Future Proofing’ your investment as the fifth part of the process of creating a high income-producing HMO. Can you really do this though? Quality HMO

 

What about all the CHANGES that Government makes continually to legislation, policy, rules? How can you protect yourself against these changes and ensure that you are investing for NOW and in the FUTURE? It’s easy to look back and think how fortunate investors were years ago. No limits to the amount of interest they could claim on their mortgage; few limits on mortgage borrowing (even the riskiest of investors could borrow up to 95% LTV back then); limited HMO legislation and much more relaxed rules about housing standards. Ah, the rose-tinted specs of property investing.

 

True? Yes! But was that the shiny penny we all think it was? NO! In those days it was far easier to get into insurmountable debt and repossession was rife! You could own masses of property but not be making any real income as interest rates were far higher. Spareroom, RightMove etc were all in their infancy so you would spend FAR more on advertising (I remember lots of weekly ads in the local paper for example), and HMO rooms were badly thought of back then so it was not a great strategy (unless you were in the student market).

 

So we can all look and think that THEN was better than NOW. The truth is it was DIFFERENT! Not better, not worse!

 

With that in mind, how CAN you future-proof your investment and ensure your HMO continues to produce cash each month for you (and your investors)? Here are my 7 tips –

 

1) Always do a quality refurb to start with. If you scrimp and save on this part, you will regret it later! Ensure you do a detailed specification of works, have a clear project plan for your builder and stick to time and budget.

2)  Make sure the acoustic and fire requirements are met on your HMO before you finish it and snag it. Councils are bringing in more and more safety regulation so you need to be at the front of the curve here.

3) Keep up with the trends in technology and interior design. We fitted CAT6 cabling to many of our HMOs – not a great extra cost, but it is a massive benefit to tenants trying to log on to the wifi. Buy ‘Homes and Gardens’ once in a while and see what other people are doing in design trends. Borrow their ideas and use them to upgrade and cheaply furnish your rooms.

4) Schedule an annual Spring Clean to replace old cutlery, glassware, doormats. All the things that get grubby and soiled and make the place look a mess! It doesn’t cost much but it helps to keep the place updated, clean and tidy.

5) Develop a brand – what are you known for? What is your speciality? What is your USP? Even if you are using an agent, what is it about YOUR HMO that people particularly like? Ensure you highlight these things in your advertising.

6) Stay up to date with legislation changes so you can implement them when the time is right – the best way is to be a member of the RLA or NLA. They produce regular updates and you can go to their websites to find out more. Also, you can register with your local council to be an accredited landlord and go to their (boring but useful) meetings. You never know you might meet a tired landlord with whom you can do business there!

7) Understand the needs of your tenants and get to know them – what are the changes they are responding to in the marketplace and how can you meet those changes? Can you add in additional services or offers that will help them to stay and pay?

 

I would LOVE to know what your ideas are! Please share them here in the comments below!

 

To your growth

 

Wendy

How are you going to make the remaining weeks of 2017 count?

Where did 2017 go? Do you realise there aren’t many weeks left? 

 

Have you got goals that you haven’t reached? Ideas that didn’t formulate into a plan? Strategies that never took off?

 

Is it too late to do anything about this? Am I asking too many questions? (lol)

 

Now is your time to SPRINT into 2018 by making this last sixth of 2017 really count – if you haven’t got a PLAN – write one. If you haven’t found a STRATEGY – decide to go for it anyway. If you haven’t clarified your GOALS – do it NOW. Do you want to raise £100k for 2 HMOs? Do you want to find 6 cash-flowing deals that you can source and sell on? Do you want to lose 6lbs in weight? Do you want to increase your income by £2k per month? Don’t start by thinking these things are impossible. Start by writing your goals and making a plan. Then you need to activate those things on your plan by assigning times to them, deadlines and how you will stay accountable.

 

Take 30 minutes TODAY (even if it has to be at 10pm tonight) and sort out the last few weeks of this year to be BIG.

 

Yes it will require you to give up lots of things – TV, socialising, shopping, drifting, wasting time! Instead, you will need discipline, focus, commitment, determination. You will need to take MASSIVE action. But not only will it pay off this year, you will SPRINT into 2018 ready to go for it! So what are you going to do? What are you waiting for?

 

 

A great idea that I found online: Deep-clean your social media.

Over the remaining weeks, focus on upgrading the quality—not always the quantity—of your online communities. Strive to fill your screens only with content that inspires and motivates you to become a better version of yourself. Follow people and companies who post positive, encouraging messages, and unfollow any individuals or groups that aren’t conducive to your goals. Over the two-month period, you should start to notice a more constructive and motivating online environment.

 

To your growth!

Wendy

Look after the pennies ….

You’ve heard it said ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ and it’s true that small amounts can compound into big amounts if you are consistent.

Look after the pennies

In Best Nest, we hold dear a phrase that has served us well – ‘Low-cost, no-cost ’ which we use as a yardstick to test and assess new ideas, tools and concepts. The other useful question is to ask ‘Is this action/ tool scalable?’. We want to build a big business that is profitable and operates with as little as possible of our time and energy! But as we all know, profit can easily be eroded by spending too much money on fripperies, doodahs or tat. (Technical terms which Andy applies to any spending that is not in the budget). Watch out Wendy.

 

As well as investing for your future, you need to think about measuring your return on investment, time and energy. If you are better served by outsourcing an activity, and leveraging that person’s time to do something you are better at, do it! As long as they can help generate income or reduce costs long term, they’re worth having.

 

Although you will have to invest in staff (or contractor) costs, as long as you don’t utilise that time for catching up on Loose Women, you’ll soon realise the power and efficiency of other people’s time and skills. There are some great websites out there to help you too –

www.peopleperhour.com

www.workable.com

www.timeetc.co.uk

 

So make sure you measure what you treasure – that is your time, income, profit and energy – and learn how you can employ them wisely in your business to grow and fulfil your lifestyle and income plans!

 

To your growth!

Wendy

 

Buy to let is dead. Right?

Well, maybe Buy to Let in its traditional form is dead! Certainly buying in your own name, putting down a reasonable deposit and then a few months or years later refinancing all of your money out is something fewer and fewer investors want to do now. We have George Osborne to thank for that.

Investing in Buy to Let has seen a huge amount of change in the last few years, with new legislation that impacts financing, as well as property tax changes which, has left many landlords questioning if Buy to Let is still a viable investment strategy. With that said there is still a huge demand for rental property and with ever increasing ‘transient’ lifestyles people want flexibility, gone are the days when people what to live in the same house for 40 years!

Our first HMOIf you have been wondering what is the alternative, and how you can make your money work for you, I’d like to suggest House of Multiple Occupation are one way you can address this problem. We hold a number of personal B-T-L properties but a few years ago realised that there were other strategies we could use. When I discovered HMOs I raved on and on about them (in only the way a demanding wife knows how to do) and eventually Andy said ‘OK, let’s give it a go’. That was our very first 4-bed Mini-Mo and since then we have not looked back!

If you don’t have much money to invest, or you are concerned about whether this strategy will work for you, then I’d like to invite you to my NEW and IMPROVED HMO Fast-Track Live Event on 14th October in Birmingham. I’ll be sharing with you how to get started with very little of your own money and LOADS of case studies about how you can make huge profits and BEAT THE TAXMAN!

In this jam-packed and interactive workshop, you will learn how to:

  • ANALYSE an area to invest in for long-term cash flow and growth
  • UNDERSTAND the process of a refurb to create a wonderful HMO home
  • SELL rooms effectively so you avoid voids!
  • MANAGE the investment so it becomes HANDS-FREE
  • LEVERAGE your time so you can rinse and repeat!

 

With a mixture of fun, interactive exercises & relevant examples of REAL HMOs, I will share my tried and tested systems to ensure you grow your flow with HMOs. So are you ready to go on your own HMO adventure?

YES PLEASE RESERVE ME PLACE!

 

Using Google To Scale Your Business

Is it possible to grow a business for low-cost or even no-cost?Google systems

Well, that’s our mantra! For many years I bought simple, single buy-to-let properties and self-managed them. After all they were really no hassle. Once they were ready, we advertised them locally, rented them with few problems and when the tenant moved out, repeated the process. It wasn’t hard nor was it time-consuming.

Fast forward a  few years though how things changed! We started to invest in Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) and were catapulted into the delights of all-inclusive rents (which meant we had to manage and pay the bills), 3 or more unrelated tenants sharing a house, with all the disagreements and problems that can raise, and a whole cupboard full of keys! Suddenly one house could create 5 tenancies starting and ending at different times, rents coming in on different days, and a lot more maintenance issues being reported (as now it was down to us to fix it).

 

I soon realised that I was in danger of creating another full-time job for myself unless I was careful. We needed to find a way of releasing time, without spending masses on systems or staff. Carefully and methodically we analysed a lot of the so-called ‘technical solutions’ out there for landlords and found that although they were good-looking and very easy to use, were expensive, not scalable and not very flexible. If we adopted one of these systems the chances were that in time we would still need a spreadsheet to oversee other aspects of the business like key tracking, regular and customised maintenance inspections and pin codes for any locking devices.

 

We couldn’t find a system that included all the necessities AND allowed us to customise it to our preferences, without spending an arm and a leg on design, programming and implementation.

 

We were using many of Google’s tools already such as sheets, forms and drive, to store, share and scale our business. Why not see if we could use Google as our main form of data collection and integrate that into our accountancy system? So without spending an extra penny, we started to load up our business onto Google. Three systems all with separate KPIs and processes (Development, Tenancies, Management and Financials). All integrated and managed. All with the ability to scale, systemise, simplify and suit our needs. And above all, totally secure!  And the best part – FREE!

 

Lifestyle property networking event ManchesterIf you would like to know more about how you can use Google to Supercharge your growth please come along to the inaugural Lifestyle Property Network meeting on Monday 18th September at 7pm. Tickets are just £15 and include a glass of champagne and canapes!  You can buy your tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lifestyle-property-network-property-network-manchester-tickets-37753791607

 

I look forward to meeting you and sharing how you too can Supercharge Your Growth Using Google!

Comment below if you will be coming along!