Questions and Answers for Prospective Investors

1. How long am I prepared to do this for?

Property investment is not property speculation where you take uncalculated risks over a relatively short term; all your decisions must be based on logic, insight and forward planning and with a long term view in mind.

2. How old am I?

Mortgage lenders are often reluctant to lend beyond retirement age; don’t leave it too late.

3. Do I have the time for it?

If you already have a full time job you will not have the time to devote to your rental property business unless your spouse or another trusted person is prepared to take on the commitment of running the business round the clock.

4. Do I have an avid interest in everything and anything property related?

If you don’t, you won’t have the kind of motivation that needs to be permanent. The impetus to make money is not enough – you need to have a knowledgeable background concerning real estate.

5. Do I have any entrepreneurial qualities such as determination, persistence and the desire to do something positive with my life?

These characteristics need to be paramount in your personality for you to build up a successful property portfolio.

6. Can I accept responsibility on a grand scale?

You must have a dedicated and responsible attitude and be willing to comply with current legislation. People will expect you to be a miracle worker at times and you will often get little praise for your efforts. Everyone will always expect you to sort things out even when it is not within your power to do.

7. Am I prepared to plough my profits back into the business?

Spend your profits too early and you could be in for a nasty shock if your business has not yet had the time to establish itself. Don’t even consider giving yourself a hefty pay-cheque for a good number of years.

8. Do I have enough financial resources at my disposal?

You can never have too much spare cash available when it comes to property.

9. Am I fair and honest in all my dealings with others?

You need to be trustworthy and keep your promises but also be prepared for the fact that others may seldom possess the same values and principles.

10. Am I competent in dealing with problems whenever they might arise?

Managerial skills and being organised yourself are a must.

11. Do I have the right people on hand who can assist me at short notice?

You will need to build up a good working relationship with tradesmen such as builders, plumbers, roofers and electricians who you can trust. Not forgetting white-collar workers such as bankers, solicitors and insurance reps.  

12.  Do I have the ability to cope with all the paperwork that owning rental properties involves?

You will need to turn your spare room into an office and keep up to date records of just about everything pertaining to each property you own.

13. Am I a good judge of personality?

You will need to be a social worker one day and private detective or psychiatrist the next to cope with the day to day problems that you will be sure to encounter with your tenants.

14. Am I prepared to learn from my own mistakes?

Not only will you have to learn from your mistakes but you must also have the capability of turning them round and changing then into successes.

15. Do I have at least one exit strategy (other than jumping in the lake) if things go badly wrong?

Selling a house is never as straightforward as buying and you may not be able to release your capital easily once you have turned it into bricks. Always have several contingency plans, be flexible and be prepared to change your strategies if they are clearly not advantageous to the smooth running of your property rental business.