‘Everyone I told about property investment thinks I’m mad’ and more…

In this week’s podcast I reflect on being brave, the World Built Environment Forum, renting out my flat and how done really is better than being perfect.

(You want to listen on your podcast platform, here’s the link: https://anchor.fm/the-nc-podcast)

Here’s the video:

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Finally, you prefer to read? Here’s the transcript!

Hello and welcome to the NC podcast. My name is Natasha Collins, the founder of NC real estate, which includes its members club, the landlords and property investors to come and build a profitable for people that completely aligns with their goals the how are you doing this week? I hope you all really well.

It’s just me on my own for a couple of weeks and if you didn’t already go back and listen to my amazing guests that I’ve had over the last two weeks. I really suggest you do. The first one was Adam Vickers who came and talked to me about joint ventures, and investors and how he even used angel investors, which I know that there’s been a lot of discussion about on my Facebook group property investment mastery. Oh, if you haven’t already joined property investment then I suggest you do, I’m going to put the link below it’s a really great place to have those property investment conversations. Secondly, I then had Louise Cartwright last week who came and spoke to me about money blocks and removing money blocks so that you can continue building and that’s so relevant for property investors, because one of the number one things that I hear, is that investors don’t have the money to invest in property.

So if you’re struggling with that, if you’re struggling with the mindset around money, definitely go back to last week’s podcast and listen to it. I was in, or I came away from that podcast recording thinking, yes, I can do anything as literally like dancing down the street, had a, um, la La land moment. Um, so do go and have a listen to this. So this week, what am I going to talk to you about? Well, everything that has been going on, there’s never a dull moment in my life, especially for property investment and all of the different things that are going on.

Now, I wanted to call this podcast. Everyone I told about property investment thinks I’m mad because I saw a comment about that in my Facebook group and it made me chuckle because only people who have got the mindset for investing in property, investing in assets, understand how much you want to do it, get away from the fact that you’re just in this environment where you go to your nine to five, you get a certain salary in your bank account, maybe you put a little bit into savings, but your money’s never growing.

And I think as an investor, all we try to do is make our money, grow into something that will eventually work well for us long term. And the reason I believe that when you’re talking to somebody and they’re like, ‘you’re mad for investing in property at the moment’, especially because, the comment underneath said the UK sucks to own property sucks so bad is because there’s so much in the press right now about the different tax laws that we’ve got coming in. The changes to government regulation, the removal of section 21 notices. And so for a lot of people and they’re just saying the negatives of owning property and not the positives, actually there is still ways that you can make money. There is still going to be capital growth over a longer term. We’re not looking so much at shorter times, especially in the UK right now.

Some areas are having an awful lot of growth, some areas in the UK were up by 20% last year. I’m looking at you Sheffield. There’s still ways of making money in commercial. Even simple buy to lets, it’s just you need to have a look at how you’re structuring your property holdings and also what money you can make out of it.

The emphasis nowadays needs to go on looking after your tenants for the government to get off of our backs. We absolutely have to treat our tenants well. So that could be just your residential tenants. If you’ve got single family occupying your property, it could be your guests. If you’re an air BandB provider, it could be your commercial tenants, whoever it is that is using your property, you need to make sure that you are looking after them, and you’re providing accommodation or a property that really does look after them, keeps them safe, keeps them comfortable.

So regardless of what anybody else thinks about property investment, there are still ways to make money. I’m definitely still making money on property investment. But you have to put that at the first and foremost in your mind. Your tenants come first, they get looked after you, make sure that you are doing the best for them. And then from there you can start growing this portfolio in a way that works for you. So I get it, I see the bad headline lines. I’m not oblivious to it. I’m also not oblivious to the fact that if you go on youtube right now, you’ll see different, property guru’s saying that they’re getting out of vanilla buy to lets, um, great, fantastic. Because they can put whatever they want out there. That’s fine. And they’ve been investing since the 90s and they were part of the 100% mortgage, thing that was going on just before we hit the 2008 recession.

Perfectly fine. But you do, you, if you’ve got goals, there are still ways that you can make money whilst providing top quality accommodation. So make sure that you’re always sitting in that mindset rather than a mindset of panic. Oh my gosh. Like I have no idea what’s going on. I’m going to lose all my money. Or the minute you start thinking that you’re going to lose all your money, that’s probably what it’s going to happen. So start thinking about the fact that. And as my accountant says to me, the fact that you’re making money, you should be proud that you’re being taxed on it, but the tax man is never going to tax you 100% of your profits, otherwise there is no point. So I bear that in mind, and he tells me that every single year that I hand him in my books and he always says to me, ‘Natasha, stop panicking about it’.

There’s no way that you’re being taxed at 100% here. Not all of your profit is going to HMRC. So I want to pass on that sentiment that even sometimes my mindset gets thrown off with it, but still I believe, because my account shows a profit, unless I’ve done huge amounts of maintenance or redevelopment one year that property investment is still viable and you need to start looking at what your goals are and what you need to change in order to make it still a viable proposition for you. So that’s kind of my tip of advice, but also saying, hang in there, don’t listen to the negativity because the negativity will get you down and make you do something that you really shouldn’t be doing. Okay.

That being said, what am I, what have I been doing? I’ve had such a busy couple of weeks as usual.

I don’t think you expect anything less from me. So the first thing that I’ve started last week, which is slightly out of my comfort zone, is that I have a new mentor or coach, whatever you like to call them. He’s a bit of both. He, he mentors me because I can get in contact with him and ask him questions, but also coaches me in the right direction of things to do for the members club because I am ready to, to make that an new improved and better place. And I’ve been asking other member club owners why can do to make it far better and far more streamlined place so that when and property investors come in, they can just maximize exactly what they’re doing immediately. So you can get it from A to B. So where you are now, achieve goals in a quicker timeframe because that’s what we want to do.

And I am so excited for the progress that I’ve been making already. Um, and I’m excited to launch it again next month. So for those of you who have heard about my members club but are like Natasha, it’s always closed. I can never get in there. The 6th of June is the date for your diary is the date that I am going to be releasing all of the details about the new and improved members club.

Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about doing something for a while. This was me choosing to make a decision to invest in my business in a way I’ve been scared to do. I guess scared might not, I’m scared might not be the right word, but for those of you who have followed my newsletter, you’ll live known that way. Way, way back when I started, doing NC real estate, I hired a coach at the time and that coach just was not right for me.

They advised me to spend far too much money on things that just weren’t necessary rather than showing me how to build consistently and spend my time effectively. It was kind of this, hustle Hard and you’ll get everything approach and it just didn’t work. That’s not my mindset. That’s not the way I do things. So, I’m spending time with this new coach and mentor, which yes, it was a scary jump in because I didn’t want that. But I’d been advised from so many other people who run membership club that this guy was honestly the best in the business and he’d helped them and he would help. He’d be able to help me and guide me and make sure that I was offering the best. So my gosh, I’m excited we’re going to be doing a new property investment success path. So how can you get from where you are from your goals?

So what you want to achieve and what you’ve got available right now to the point where you’ve got this property portfolio and you’re now just working on growth and recycling the system. Also building your strategy so you can constantly move in an upwards direction and you would be able to, you are able to get from A to B in a quicker time. So at the moment we’re just working on changing around the packages so that when you come in you can make real huge inroads into working towards your goals. So if you’re excited about that, again, I will let you know about it from the 6th of June.

I’ll put the link for the members club waiting lists underneath here so you can join and be the first person through the doors when we open again. My team and I and are just over the moon at how many leaps and bounds we’ve made and how good it’s looking right now.

I cannot wait to launch it again. So at the moment, oh, working super hard, super, super hard on getting that all together and making it a far better place to be. So I’m very excited to launch that. So that’s one thing that I’m working on.

And the second thing, I’ve spoken about this before, I am doing a teaching qualification for my lecturing. That’s almost come to an end. I’ve got one more assignment due in which is two and a half thousand words that’s doing a couple of weeks time for those people who follow me. And you’re like Natasha, you’re always seem to be over achieving and getting huge amounts of success. Alot of people also think that I’m a straight A student. Can I please be real with you and say that I have never been a straight a student? Never, ever.

When I was doing my GCSEs and a levels, I got a couple of A’s, right? And that was fluke. That’s not me. I’m not sitting down and putting, huge, huge, huge amounts of revision in because I’ve always preferred to work hard rather than study hard because when I work hard at my job or my career, I feel really fulfilled and like a moving in the right direction. I’ve always had a slightly different mindset about education. I just want to know the processes. I want to know everything that’s going on around, the subject that I’m studying because I get so passionate about it. I remember it my undergraduate degree. I loved mountain geomorphology. And you might be thinking, oh my gosh, Natasha, what on earth? I loved it. Going up into the mountains tracking the avalanche path, seeing how far glaciers were moving.

I remember one summer I went to Chamonix and Switzerland and was walking up the glacier seeing how far they had moved or changed since I’ve last looked at the maps. I absolutely loved it.

Was I worried about what mark I was going to get out of it once I submit my assignment? No, as long as I enjoyed the process, I was perfectly happy.

Now it changed slightly when I was doing my masters because I was really in a period of poor mental health, really poor mental health and I felt like I had to be a complete perfectionist over everything I did. And even though I was trying to make everything perfect, it really didn’t go as well as I wanted. I’d never put so much hard work into my master’s and came away with a merit rather than a distinction. By the end I was: get this off my plate because it’s just one step too far.

I can’t work, do my professional qualification plus do my masters. And I’d had to come to the kind of, I don’t know, this frustrating place where I felt like Natasha, I don’t know what’s going to happen to you if you continue at this speed or this pretense that you’re this perfect person.

What I’ve learned from that is that done is always better than perfect. And it might be, you might be thinking, oh, can you say that where you put so much content out and you’re always fact checking and this, that and the other. And yeah, I do fact check everything that we put out and yes, I do. make sure that we’re always on point with how things look. But Hey, life isn’t perfect and I’ve taken that with my teaching qualification and that done is better than perfect.

So whilst last semester I was getting straight distinctions. This semester I’m getting straight merits and I am perfectly happy with it because you know what, my life is full of loads of different projects that I’ve got going on and I’m going to continue with that done as best than perfect. And if I come out of it with a merit or even just a pass, it’s fine. At least I’ve done it. I’ve enjoyed it along the way. Some of it’s been really tough, but I’ve taken things from it that I can give to my students. And do you know what is opened my eyes to the fact that when I’m teaching, because I love teaching. I love being a lecturer. I love sharing my information. As long as you get that enthusiasm from me as a student or one of my clients or somebody that I work with, as long as you have, you get that, you understand the subject.

That for me is all I’m about. I just want you to have a complete understanding. I want you to get it. I want you to ask me questions. I want you to make sure that you understand it. For me, that’s as, that’s as far as it needs to go. Now, the assignments and what have you, that my master’s students, my undergrad students have to hand in. Fantastic. I really do want you all to do well. I’m not discrediting that in any way, shape or form. But what I’m trying to say is yes, this is how I’ve lived my life for the last couple of years. I have a lot going on. So done is better than perfect. And taking that pressure off myself has just been such a relief.

Here’s the thing, no one has ever said to me. And what did you get? As long as I did not fail, nobody cares. No ones asked. I feel like my strongest point is having common sense, being able to be brave and standing up and situations and, and go, okay, well I’m going to look at the situation. I’m going to give it my best shot. And if you can start taking that away, it will stop the fear of the fact that you’ve got to achieve X Y, and Z. But it will keep you moving forward. And actually you’re saying, Oh wow, I did that. Maybe it didn’t look like how I wanted it to, or maybe someone else has done something so much better, blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t matter because you’re moving forward and you’re doing what you have to do.

And also, truth be told, when I was doing my masters, I wasted a lot of time overthinking things and looking back on it now, I could have spend some more evenings enjoying my life. No regrets, never any regrets. Yes. I’m always moving my life forward. Yes, I’m progressing, but I don’t judge myself based upon the marks that someone else has given me because ultimately it’s a little bit subjective. I get my assignment back, someone might thought is awesome and the other person might not have thought this is good. So, I wanted to explain that, especially because I know a lot of people who are putting huge amounts of pressure on themselves to be perfect. Right? If that is you and you’re like, ah, I’m never going to get to this place of perfection where I achieve 100%, remember to set boundaries for yourself.

What else has happened? My London flat, only a couple of weeks ago I was in London, I went and inspected it because that flat, the tenant is moving out. I put it on the market and it let instantly which I was so pleased with because it means that I didn’t have time to really think about it.

One of the big things that I do worry about, and I have to be honest with you, sometimes I do, do worry about it. It’s the fact that the void period would skip over from one mortgage payment to the next, if you know what I mean. So on that flat, the mortgage payment comes out on the 13th of each month. So the tenant is moving out on the 28th, and the new tenant is moving in on the first.

I just like to keep that in line. So long and short of it is I never have more than a month’s void period. Last year, I renovated that flat and I had two months where it was void and I’m paying for renovations. It was just because it desperately needed all the floor coming up, doing all the pipe work, putting in new bathroom, new kitchen, changing around the layout of rooms, slightly.

That took eight weeks. I would normally never have a property off the market for that long. I would be in there helping out doing things myself.

So this year when the tenants served notice, I was like, we’re not having this off the market. We’re not having this void for any longer than four weeks. I’m glad I’ve got two or three day void period.

I’ve also started sitting down and thinking about where we’re going to be investing next. We’re going to be looking at investing one for cashflow. And so I want to invest in something that’s going to generate between 500 to a thousand pounds net per month. And I’m also going to be looking at doing a development. And here’s the thing, I am going to do some of those in the UK, one of those in the US to see how that works over here.

So add to the cashflow then use our money, recycle it, take it back out that should give us a bigger pot. Then as we’ve got the bigger pot, I’ll put half of that back into another rental property for a long term investment. And then I’ll use half of that for a development project project. Again, go through the cycle by something, do it up, sell it, use that money and keep splitting it in half. That’s honestly, that’s a longterm goal for me. But I also like quite like having projects that I can just rent out and they can sit there. I don’t necessarily need to do a redevelopment project.

Let me talk briefly about the world built environment forum. One of the key things that I took away from it was the fact that as we’re building our property portfolios, we need to be looking at hybrid solutions rather than a single solutions. You know, so if you’ve got an office space for example, you need to be able to change around that office space so that every time trends change and different needs for office space change and you’re able to adapt pretty quickly. The larger scale investors were saying was a better way of making money because you can always be adaptable, you can be flexible. And from that We Work were saying, actually, you know what, we always design our offices with each generation in mind.

So they’ve got offices for millennials and they’re starting to put together office space for generation Z. So it’s about figuring out your target audience, but also not being afraid to think, do you know what, if in five years’ time we need to change this because the way people live in or work in office space changes, we can definitely do that. Or we could change this office space into rental accommodation, for example. Or we could change this into the leisure use. And I think that’s interesting. And it goes along the trend of live work play, which is what a lot of investors are trying to do at the moment. Build these all-inclusive buildings. You can live there, you can use their shared office space, you can go to the gym or leisure facilities. And definitely in America this is far more of a trend than in the UK because the American property market doesn’t seem that bothered by tearing a building down and putting it back up with these, these new standards.

The other key takeaway that the day finished with was from the chief advisor for the Bank of England. Apparently the UK are going to start developing mortgage products, which have cheaper interest rates the more sustainable your building is. So, you know, we have EPC’s in the UK and we’ve got the A to G rating. You cannot let a property with an f and g rating. The UK are going to start implementing measures which make it mandatory for landlords, both commercial and residential to improve the sustainability of their properties. And in doing that, what they’re going to do is start giving incentives. Hey, well we’ll get the banks to offer you cheaper interest rates and will support that if you make your buildings more sustainable. So what does this space, I don’t think it’s a 2019 thing, we’re probably looking at 2020, but how interesting is it that we all moving to more towards sustainable buildings in that way? And if we start seeing these incentives, fantastic, you know, cheap interest rates, brilliant. We need that as landlords, especially in the buy to let sector because we have to keep our mortgage interest payments down because of course we’re moving again towards a time when we are unable to deduct any of that from are rental income. So cheaper mortgage rates will be brilliant.