How to start investing in properties
Being a landlord is a tough job. You need to understand over 150 individual pieces of legislation, rules, and safety regulations, which can be overwhelming if you manage your properties by yourself. Therefore, we wanted to hear from one of our landlord’s experience how she started to build her portfolio of properties and what kind of advice she would give to someone who would like to build their portfolio of properties. Read further what Linda has to say about her success in property investing.
Maari from Portfolio: Hello Linda. So lovely to have you here with us, how are you?
Linda: Hello! I am fine. How are you?
Maari: Great thank you and thank you also for doing this interview with us. So let’s get into business. What made you got into property investing?
Linda: We, as in me and my husband, decided about thirty years ago that aside from pensions and other savings, it would be good to diversify into a property.
Maari: Oh, wow. How long have you been landlords in total?
Linda: Since approximately 1994.
Maari: That is impressive. How did you start? What was your first step?
Linda: An Estate Agent contacted us about a potential buy to let student property in the local area. We first tried to enter the property market a couple of years previously, but the market was challenging to enter as prices were high.
Maari: What was then the first property you bought, where did you buy it and why?
Linda: Our first property purchased was Cardigan Road, Winton. We bought it to provide an income for when we retired. It was in the local area and we had local knowledge regarding student letting potential.
Maari: How many properties you have currently?
Linda: We currently have 7 rental properties.
Maari: When you started investing in property, did you used any professional help?
Linda: In the beginning, we managed the properties ourselves and used an Estate Agent for a Tenant Find. Currently, we fully use your (PLE) professional letting services.
Maari: How have we been able to help you the most?
Linda: PLE has provided many services for us, including finding tenants, rent collection and all the associated paperwork such as Tenancy Agreement, references and financial checks, which have saved a lot of our time.
Maari: That is nice to hear. If you would recommend someone to use an agency like us, what would you tell them?
Linda: What we have found useful is the fully managed service, which covers all the essential buy-to-let elements. For example, screening tenants, legal paperwork, and ensuring that the property has all the legally required certificates and is maintained in good condition for both tenants and landlords.
Maari: Would you then say that we been able to grow your portfolio or give you advice that you would not otherwise thought of?
Linda: Yes, we were able to purchase two of our properties after recommendations and advice from PLE.
WORD OF ADVICE
Maari: To give other landlords some useful tips for building their portfolios, how do you find suitable properties to invest in?
Linda: Lettings agents tend to know property developers, so that is a good way to find out property opportunities. Existing landlords also tell lettings agents if they consider selling a property, leading to an investment opportunity. Also, we have been looking for additional buy-to-lets, and PLE has always been able to help us about rental income and viability of the buy-to-let purchase.
Maari: Is there anything you would do differently as a landlord?
Linda: We would have added to our buy-to-let portfolio sooner and as we were managing the properties ourselves, one of us would have needed to do this full time as it can be very time-consuming. Most people we knew with properties were managing it themselves as very few letting or managing agents.
Maari: What has been your highlight of being a landlord?
Linda: The income stream for retirement is why we became landlords, so I suppose that is a highlight as it gives us more financial freedom. Developing relationships with tenants and understanding their requirements is satisfying and, in the beginning, we had that responsibility. However, this is now PLE’s responsibility as managing agents, and we trust them to do that for us.
Maari: For the last question, what kind of tip would you give to someone that is starting to invest in properties or to someone already a landlord?
Linda: To answer both, find a really good letting agency that you can build a trust relationship with to ensure your properties are well managed with good tenants and a reliable income.
If you are interested to start investing in properties, check our website and contact us here.