The mistakes I made with HMOs

It’s easy to think that everyone else has it easy. Especially if you’re looking ahead at someone who has ten times more property than you have. We all have a tendency to compare ourselves with others don’t we? Even though we know it’s not helpful, if we’re completely honest with ourselves we can’t help it!
Although comparing yourself with other people is often unhelpful, it can also propel you to take more action than you would have done alone. I wanted to share with you how I took a lot of risks and made a lot of mistakes to get to the point of having over 150 rooms in ownership or management, a pub, a commercial conversion, and a portfolio of single buy to let properties.
For example, when I decided to invest seriously in HMOs in 2012, I bought a small two-up, two down. It had one shared kitchen and one shared bathroom. It was small but I loved it. I poured hours of my time into that one house. And I spent very little on the refurb – about £7000. Which is about the profit I made in my first year. It was 100% return! But I was still swapping my time for money. That house became a part-time job for me as I tenanted it, managed it and even cleaned it!
On my second HMO, half way through the refurb, my builder mentioned an idea he had to go into the loft and convert it to another lettable room. Despite not having the money, nor knowing where the money would come from I said YES to him. So he started the work and I couldn’t pay him.
When the Council’s Building Regs Control officer came round his jaw opened to the floor. Not because I was doing such a good job project managing it. Quite the opposite! He dropped the bombshell that I would need planning permission for a 7 bed HMO and acoustic insulation. I had NO idea what he was talking about so had to rapidly go home and google it.
If I had known all that beforehand, I would have saved myself thousands of pounds.
I began to see that doing it alone was costing me time, and money. And I wanted a business that saved me time and made me money.
My basic problem was that I was too proud and independent to ask for help. I wanted to show the world I could do it and I wanted to prove that I was as good as anyone else in property. Deep down, I felt second rate. In many parts of my life I had felt a failure (I failed my ‘A’ levels, my first marriage failed, and I didn’t think I had always put other people first as much as I should have). So here I was determined to change it!
Wendy was going to WIN! But my pride was getting in the way of my success.
I bought a flip that flopped.
I failed to properly investigate asbestos in a building which cost many thousands of pounds to put right.
I bought a house with Japanese Knotweed.
I bought an apartment in Portugal and rapidly had to sell it when we realised the market was flooded.
I bought a house with my JV partner which I massively underestimate the refurb costs on and we overspent by £30k (and had to leave it in the deal).
…and many more.
The reason I am listing all these admissions is to say that you too will probably make many mistakes if you are determined to get to financial freedom. But the biggest lesson I learned was not to try to do it on my own.
Once I got involved in a community, listening to experts who had already done it and could help me with my deals and warn me of upcoming likely challenges, and educating myself about property thoroughly, I started to see the impact.
And I got my time back, and I started to make money.
This is not a post to sell you mentoring or training and education. This is a post to help you see that you will probably make mistakes. And you will learn just as I have. But you could avoid many of those mistakes and go faster and better if you align yourself with the right people at the start. Learn from my mistakes, so that you can make money quicker and with far less stress than I did.
Oh and by the way, apart from the Portuguese apartment, we still have all those other properties to this day. So there is always a silver lining to the property cloud of doom.
What mistakes have you made? What is your biggest regret?
Discussing a property deal

If you don’t do this ONE THING, you’ll never succeed in running a property business

What am I talking about?

  • Doing viewings?
  • Managing a bank account?
  • Raising finance?
  • Finding deals?

No, not any of these things. Although these are all valid activities you should be doing regularly if you want to grow your property portfolio, but they’re not what I’m talking about today.

I’m actually talking about something that makes all of these happen, almost without you having to think about them. Almost automatically, without worrying whether it’s happening or it’s not happening and the one thing that makes this happen and it’s this – A BUSINESS ROUTINE.

You see, most investors I meet haven’t established any kind of routine in their week that keeps the business growing. Each week appears and they just react! 

They book viewings, take some photos, do a couple of Facebook posts, and then they forget that they should have contacted their bookkeeper, or called back a vendor or replied to an investor.

They act as if everything is URGENT, and they forget about what’s IMPORTANT. 

Is that YOU? Do you fail plan? If we are honest with ourselves, we often fail to plan. But you know that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail don’t you?

It’s so true isn’t it? By doing the things that are URGENT, we so quickly run out of time to do the things that really matter – the things that will make the MOST difference long term to our income. These are the IMPORTANT things – but the things we often treat as being less important. 

There’s a reason why we behave like this. It’s because we believe that fast action creates fast results. So we do what is immediate. We do what is right in front of us shouting ‘URGENT’. But the truth is that is not what makes you wealthy. 

What makes you wealthy is delayed gratification. Doing what’s hard and feels more difficult. Doing what is NOT yelling ‘Urgent’ takes more determination and strength. The other problem we face is that we are OK doing what we’re currently doing. 

We are not starving, or homeless, or aimless. We keep busy and just about managing. 

But in reality our wealth is not growing, our portfolio is stagnant and our complacency is killing us.

So what’s the solution? 

  1. Plan your week – take out your diary and PLOT into it one of your IMPORTANT tasks. Do just one of your important tasks per day. No more, no less. Just one.
  2. Consider how long that task will take, and if it’s gonna take more time than you have in a day, spread it over two days.(Consecutive days though to maintain momentum).
  3. After you’ve completed it, be pleased and proud. Take a ten minute congratulatory break. Dwell on the great feeling that it feels like when you’ve done something tough, but IMPORTANT.
  4.  At the end of the week, write down all the important things you’ve achieved and WHY they were important and not urgent, and how they could help you more than doing just the urgent stuff.
  5. Now plot your diary for the following week with all the new important tasks that can become a routine, and enable you to know that Tuesday’s are viewings days, or Wednesdays are social media days or Fridays are calling investor days. 
  6. Now do the urgent stuff. 

Why you have to take a leap of faith at times!

In life there are many times when you cannot determine the outcome of your actions. You cannot see the final results that will be achieved by what you decide today to do, or not do. You might be able to guess at your results by looking at other people’s outcomes who have taken the same action, but even then there are so many variables, it’s impossible to determine with certainty that you will get the same results as them.
Where does that leave you? One path of action would be to find out more information. To analyse your potential strategy in more depth. To minimise the risks of failure.
Another action would be to look at people similar to you and see how they got the results you want. How did they overcome some of the same hurdles you might have to jump? Another action is to wait a bit longer, and see whether things will improve by themselves. You might win the lottery after all, and then all this planning and action taking could be a real waste of time couldn’t it?
Or what you could do is make a commitment. A decision. Today. To change what is the BIGGEST issue in your life. Today. Whether that is lack of money, being overweight, a dysfunctional relationship, not getting enough sleep, not reading enough or smoking and drinking. The only thing you need to do is make a PROPER decision. Not a half-hearted ‘maybe’. Not a procrastinator’s ‘Will do that when …..’ But a true, decisive YES.
Today I commit to …… getting out of debt in a year; losing half a stone; stopping seeing x person; going to bed at 10pm; reading a book a month; quitting smoking and drinking. Today I commit to being the best person I can be. I commit to finding deals and finding money so that I can invest in property and in (2, 3) years time (you decide) leave my job.
There. That’s it. You’ve done it. Now you have to just do it. Nuff said.

Taking leap of faith

It’s International Women’s Day today!

But what does that mean?#Balance for better?

Today is not about a battle of the sexes. It’s not about comparing women to men, or proving which is better, stronger or cleverer. Today is not even about asking whose role is more important and whether stay-at-home carers matter more than those who earn money. In my eyes, they are both hard work.

Today is about recognising that despite wishing it were not the case, in many parts across the world, women are still treated as second class citizens. In education, religion, politics, leadership and business, many women who are bright and able are not allowed the choice to be the person they were meant to be.

In the West we probably can’t fully understand this kind of oppression. Despite rumblings of inequality in the UK (and the UK pay gap is but one measure of this), we know nothing compared to our sisters around the world who face much greater opposition.

It’s true that in the UK we continue to have to nag away at ‘accepted norms’ and stereotypes. To reduce the disadvantage that women often face, and the historical beliefs and structural challenges that make pure equality very hard to deliver. But compared to many women we must be grateful that we have role models who have risked their lives to break through those imposed barriers and paved the way for us.

Some of the women I am truly grateful for – Emmeline Pankhurst, the women’s suffragette leader who gave women the right to vote, Mother Teresa, who showed tremendous compassion and humility yet walked on the world’s stage, Laura Ashley and Anita Roddick – both female entrepreneurs who made a difference within a feminine power. Jocelyn Bell Burnell – a female physicist who first discovered pulsars at the end of the 1960s. The discovery was recognised by the award of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics, but despite the fact that she was the first to observe the pulsars, Bell was not one of the recipients of the prize.In 2018, she was awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. She gave the whole of the £2.3m prize money to help women, ethnic minority, and refugee students become physics researchers.

Who are the women who have inspired you? What are their qualities and traits that have driven you forward, helped you feel great about yourself, made you believe in more?

For me these women showed strength in the face of massive challenges and family responsibility. They showed courage in the face of great fear and opposition. They showed humility and prowess. They showed grace and love.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all emulate these qualities. Then, certainly, we would have #balance for better.

#internationalwomensday #women #inspiration #future

From stay-at-home dad to millionaire!

Mick Regan was a stay-at-home dad with a busy schedule when I first met him. He had been made redundant from a well-paid job, and was now able to to spend more time at home with his children, which was great. However, he realised that unless he did something soon, his redundancy money would soon be spent!

While it feels nice to buy all those things you’ve always wanted, Mick knew that he needed to replace his income FAST. His redundancy pot was not massive, and he knew that he could fritter it away if he didn’t have an investment plan.

He didn’t know much about HMOs except that they could make him much more money faster than a single buy to let property. So he joined me on my HMO Magical Mentoring Programme and started to look for his first property. Using the knowledge, information and systems from the programme he found an amazing deal almost straight away.

It was a three storey house that had been neglected, and included the bonus of a basement flat conversion. By this time his confidence had grown enough to put in a cheeky offer, and it was accepted. Here are the figures from this, his very first deal:

£178k purchase price

£82k refurb costs

£300k re-valuation

£35k left in the deal

£2500pcm (5 units @ £500pcm)

£600pcm (basement flat)

£3100pcm Gross income (£37200 pa)

The amazing thing that happened to Mick was that after this experience he just got bolder and bolder. He continued to raise money and do deals and he now has a portfolio worth over £1m.

Here’s what he said about working with me’

I started out knowing nothing about HMOs. Wendy taught me how to find the right ones in the right area, and rinse and repeat it. My first HMO makes me £1600 profit per month (fully managed in Stockport) and I now have a pipeline of deals worth over £600k”

It all started with a small investment pot and a desire to create income with what he had.

Could you do that too? Yes you could…

Contact me NOW if you want to find out how you can achieve the same things that Mick did.  I offer a FREE 30 minute consultation call to explore your options and see if mentoring is right for you.

Here’s the link to book your call: https://fwfozt-free.10to8.com/

The Five Reasons Holding You Back from Progress

Who says you’re not going fast enough? Have you been telling yourself you’re not achieving enough as you seem to be going so slowly? Maybe you feel frustrated because you’re not getting customers, clients, or property deals as fast as other people seem to?

There are often a few reasons why you might feel exacerbated by your apparent lack of progress and I thought I would share the most common ones. When you’ve made that amazing and courageous decision to break out of your current life and start investing in property, or start your own business, you’ll probably be hoping that just your excitement and nervous energy will bring progress! Sadly, it doesn’t. Well, not on a consistent basis. So what is slowing you down, and what can you do to overcome this feeling of frustration?

In the following list of five reasons you might recognise something that you’re doing or believing which resonates with you and which you need to work on first.

You hold the belief that there is an ideal speed at which your business or investing *should* be expanding. You are comparing yourself to that inner belief and find yourself falling short.
You are comparing yourself to other people without knowing the background, education or prior knowledge of those people. They may have a hidden unfair advantage. So the comparison is untrue and unfair.
Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you are also a parent, or currently employed, or in a relationship, or committed to other activities (hobbies, community activities, charitable work) this will have a big effect on how quickly you can accelerate your business.
You have unrealistic expectations of success. This is where having an expert or mentor who can help you ‘keep it real’ but still attain your stretch goals is crucial.
You don’t have a clear plan, with measurable actions and a focus on process.

You know you need to make some changes, so what can you do?

Create a plan that has clear activities that you plot immediately into your calendar. Focus on activities that produce a positive process that will become a habit. Link these clearly to your goals. Include activities related to the other areas of your life that are a priority. If you are really committed to this process, ask someone else for their feedback on your plan. That will make it much more real.
Find someone to whom you are accountable on a VERY regular basis – at least monthly and preferably weekly.
CUT OUT THE RUBBISH! Anything and everything that saps your energy, belief, focus, strength and courage – GET RID OF. Yes it’s dramatic and radical. But if you’re going to achieve what you want AND ensure your children still recognise you, you have to be radical.
Consistency. It’s better to do an hour a day consistently than plan to do 7 hours once a week, but inconsistently. If you plan your time (see point 1 above) you will be amazed how much you can get done simply by getting up one hour earlier per day. It creates momentum, scale and compounding. (Here’s a really useful site if you’d like to have accountability for when you work – check this out https://www.focusmate.com)
Energy management. ‘The world belongs to the energetic’ as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, eating good nutrition and taking daily exercise you will not have the energy to manage your current lifestyle AND accelerate your business growth.
STOP comparing yourself to other people. Like a horse on parade day, you need to wear blinkers to shield yourself from what everyone is doing and how everyone else’s success appears.
Take one day at a time. Plan it carefully, leave some space for emergencies, focus on energy management and remember to breathe!

And finally, you need courage to start something new and carry it through to fruition. Whether that is a plan for financial freedom, doubling the profits of your business, creating a magical marriage, being the very best parent you can be (or all four)! Whatever your path is, dig deep to ensure that your direction is in line with the real you, for that will unleash your bravery. Sounds esoteric but unless you start to figure out who you are in this big wide world, you will never travel a path that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Ultimately that will shape your success as much as implementing the practical steps above.

Have courage, be brave and be bold. I look forward to seeing your accelerated progress!
To your growth

Wendy

Feeling SLOW, STUCK or SCARED ?

If you are feeling like you are going really slowly in your business, or maybe your property portfolio is just not taking off as you wanted it to, or perhaps other areas of your life feel like they are dragging the very life and soul out of you, I’d like to give you some help. I can understand the frustration and energy-sapping feeling that you *could* go so much faster, if a certain problem wasn’t in your way or such-and-such a thing worked better. Know what I mean? Internally we often blame other people, our circumstances or our background. But actually the reason we are going slowly is down to our own perceptions and thoughts, not because of THINGS or PEOPLE or CIRCUMSTANCES.

How can you regain momentum and pace if you feel you are going just TOO slowly?

  1. Write down the 5 steps (or more) that you need to do to make your goal a reality. If it’s to become financially free, then write down the incremental steps that will get you there, and focus on each one, one at a time. Don’t fall into the temptation of looking too far ahead, or dreaming about how it will feel when you get all the five steps completed. Simply work at each step one at a time, do what’s needed to complete that step,  and lo and behold, financial freedom will follow.
  2. Say NO to everything that is not vital for the achievement of your goals. Be RADICAL MAN! DELETE everything in your diary that doesn’t contribute to to a step in the plan to achieve what you want to do. Your daily habits, tasks, behaviours sow seeds in all areas of your life. If those activities are not helping you make DAILY progress towards your goals let them go. You need to commit to an additional 35% of your time per week to get your business from tickover to take off. If you don’t say no to current things, where are you gonna find the time to insert new, important things into your life?
  3. Carve out the time to make what you wanna happen, happen. It won’t happen by magic. You have to decide how much time to give it, write it down and DO It. If it means getting up an hour earlier, going to bed an hour later or ditching TV twice a week – make time – carve this out, and within a fortnight you will start to see a massive difference in your pace.

Finally, I believe that speaking out your goals and declaring them to the world will affirm your message and your mission like nothing else will! Shout it out! Tell the world what you’re gonna be and do. Get behind your own message with powerful words and affirmations and the  momentum will accelerate exponentially!

Stuck

If you’re stuck you simply do not know where to turn or what to do. The first piece of advice I’d give is that LISTENING to others is the key to unlocking being stuck.

 

  1. Talk to 20 people who are doing or have done what you are trying to do and get their advice and guidance. Listen with humility and gratitude. Hear what other people say, listen and listen again.  Record the conversation – listen to yourself and listen to others, and KEEP LISTENING.
  2. Try some brand new education such as investing in some quality coaching, an online learning programme, or some relevant mentoring.
  3. In my experience being stuck is caused by refusal to take a risk. What are you running away from? What area of your life do you need to stop ignoring and start paying attention to? Where are you fleeing the fear?

Scared

Feeling scared when trying something new is a perfectly normal reaction! It is nature’s way of protecting us from harm.  But when fear makes you scared to do take action, you need to address it fast. FEAR stands for False Expectations Appearing Real. In our minds we tend to exaggerate worst-possible outcomes in order to prepare our minds for action. Mostly this just causes procrastination, doubt and more fear!

Three suggestions to overcome fear:

  1. Read ‘Feal the Fear and Do it Anyway’ By Susan Jeffers – a great little book with reasons why we fear and the practices we can habitualise to overcome our fear.
  2. Write down 50 reasons why you need to do the very thing you are fearful of.
  3. Write down all the reasons your fear will HELP you. Will it make you more alert to danger, will it help you determine project risks, will it make you create a Plan B in case things go wrong? Make fear your friend, not your enemy and use its power to help you overcome your challenges.

Fear is feelings based. So to overcome it we can look deep within ourselves to understand why am I feeling this way, or to ask ourselves when have I felt this way before, and how can I change my feelings about this thing.

Slow – SHOUT IT OUT AND AFFIRM YOUR LIFE

Stuck – LISTEN TO OTHERS AND TAKE A RISK

Scared – FEEL THE FEELING AND MAKE IT YOUR FRIEND.

37258529 – woman is feeling confusion and chaos. indecisive, disoriented and bewildered woman with headache over decision making.

Let me know how you get on applying these lessons!

 

To your growth

Wendy

wendywl.uk

For a FREE 30 minute call with Wendy to help unblock your progress – simply book a session here https://10to8.com/book/fwfozt-free/

 

52-week video series – Week 2 Planning – Fail to plan, plan to fail!

Welcome to week 2 of my video series! (Watch week 1 HERE.)

This video addresses the subject of planning!! Watch now for hints and tips on how to plan for success in the year ahead!

 

 

Not the most exciting of subjects but it’s a must for a successful business! Share how you plan for success below!

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?

What school didn’t teach you!

When I was at secondary school it has to be said that if they’d done ‘A’ levels in Boys, Parties and Nightclubs, I would have got three A*s. Unfortunately they didn’t, so I didn’t get those results either. In fact, I really spectacularly failed to achieve what I was capable of in the subjects I chose.

 

School boy

Why was this? Well I wasn’t really interested in them. I had better things to do with my time! I saw little purpose in them long-term and they were mostly theoretical.

 

I think many people who become investors have had similar experiences to me, and find themselves having a hard time breaking through the belief that they are not clever enough, not good enough or not talented enough to do property. I wrestled with that too. Until I realised that education in the property world is very different.

 

For a start it requires you to take RISKS. There is no certainty that you will get the outcome you want. In fact you need to have the mindset of growth and learning at all times to manage this fear of failure. Secondly, it takes COURAGE – you have to put your money, your time, even your reputation on the line. People may scoff, ridicule or undermine you and you have to find the courage to believe in yourself. Thirdly you have to take practical ACTION. The theory is all very well but until you put your learning on the line, you will never become a real investor.

 

Having the right mindset and the right skill set is VITAL so that you do not get upset (as one of my mentors once taught me)! Which is why next Sunday I will be spending time on YOUR mindset AND your skillset! That’s if you will let me ….

 

You see next Sunday I’m launching a BRAND New event – HMO Fast Track LIVE. Not only will you learn exactly how to invest in HMOs – how to find them, plan them out and make them work efficiently, you will also learn how to have the right MINDSET to attract investors, to grow your business and to become financially free.

 

BOOK NOW

 

If you are SCARED, SLOW OR STUCK then you need this event to help you become BRISK, BOLD AND BRAVE!

I look forward to seeing you there – if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!

To your success! 

 

P.S. Look out for my free webinar training on the 20th September:

The 5 Most Powerful Questions you Should Ask an Estate Agent… and Why They Matter!