Listen to this episode below:
Let’s start this journey off by letting me introduce myself. Before we dive into our interviews with awesome guests, I wanted to get to know you all a little bit better. This episode focusses on an introduction to Inside Property Investing – what I did before property investing, how I got started, and what this property podcast is going to bring to you an a regular basis.
Podcasting has been a big part of my life since I left the corporate world behind and found myself driving long distances with nothing for company but the radio or my spotify playlist. I’d be driving around 3 hours to work every Monday morning and Friday evening, and after a few weeks listening to the same presenters play the same songs I knew there had to be a better answer. I’ve always loved reading business books to help inspire me, but obviously reading behind the wheel wasn’t the best idea, so I started scrolling through the podcast app on my iPhone and was amazed at how much content was being produced, on subjects I was genuinely interested in.
The next few drives were spent flicking between dozens of podcasts trying to find ones that resonated with me, and it wasn’t long before my playlist was full of episodes covering marketing, networking, small business advice, and the occasional movie review. Listening to people like Joe Polish & Dean Jackson during my commute felt like they were speaking directly to me, and I’d arrive wherever I was going ready to take on my biggest challenges.
Then I discovered Entrepreneur on Fire, hosted by John Lee Dumas, delivering a daily interview with successful and inspiring entrepreneurs. Anyone who has come across his amazing podcast will know straight away that more than a little bit of my inspiration comes from him and the awesome things he’s doing. It’s definitely a show worth checking out, once you’ve listened to mine of course.
But whilst I loved hearing about how these other entrepreneurs got started and the challenges they faced along the way, alot of the content was focussed on online or digital businesses and the lessons weren’t directly applicable to my life and my own goals.
At the same time, I’d started going along to property networking events to meet other people and to try and promote my property lettings agency, and I realised the speakers at these events were sharing their inspiring stories and they were much closer to the story I wanted to create for myself. The only problem was they were limited to sharing that story with however many people were in the room that night. Then the next night, they drive half way across the country to share the same story with another small group of people.
It was at that moment I knew I could change things. By talking to these great entrepreneurs I could capture their lessons, and by sharing the recordings via a podcast, their message could reach a huge audience by comparison to live events. The idea for the Inside Property Investing podcast was born, and this episode marks the first step on a new journey to bring this knowledge to the masses.
Three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday & Friday, we’ll be releasing a new interview with another inspiring investor who wants to give their time to help others achieve their own success. We’ll start off by finding out a little bit about their background and what they did before property became their life, and also look into the first baby steps they took to making the transition into property as a full time career. Staying with their past for a little longer, we’ll dive into some of their major successes, their biggest failures, and what strategies they choose to focus on.
Then we jump into the present day to find out what their own goals are, as well as where they see the industry going and how they’re preparing themselves to deal with it.
Finally we get into the details of their advice to help you, whether you’re just starting out or are trying to get your property business to the next level – they’ll share their favourite tools and resources, the books they love going back to time and time again, and how they’d get started today if they lost everything.
It’s an awesome format and we’ve got some great guests lined up. I’m really excited to learn from them all, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
But let me tell you a bit about me first, so you know who it is sitting at the other end of the microphone. I was born and grew up in a place called Fife, in Scotland, before moving away to the University of Glasgow where I lasted the impressive total of three months studying law. I realised pretty quickly that a career based on the past didn’t excite me, and I wanted more freedom. I moved back home and spent the next couple of months looking at different options, and finally settled on a business degree at Lancaster University. In the meantime, I’d bought my first property – a 2 bedroom ex-council apartment in my home town that needed a light refurbishment – new kitchen, new carpets, that sort of stuff. I rented it out and forgot about it for the next 3 years whilst I studied, except for the monthly income it generated, giving me some extra beer money in my pocket.
One year of my business degree was spent in Vancouver, Canada where I took a class on real estate investing and one on negotiating, among others, but my primary focus was weekends snowboarding in Whistler. Needless to say, I don’t remember much from those classes, or many of the others during my 3 years studying.
After that I got a graduate job with Procter & Gamble as an IT project manager in Newcastle. Because I technically owned a house that I was selling in order to relocate, they paid my selling and buying costs, and I bought another apartment close to the office. This one was a mess and I spent the next 6 months renovating it whilst living there. I’m pretty sure I can still taste the dirt and dust sometimes, but it taught me a lot about property renovations, specifically never to live in another project again!
Once it was finished, two of my friends moved in with me and their rent covered the mortgage and bills meaning I was earning good money and living for free in my own place. When the apartment downstairs became available, I quickly made an offer on that as well, and before long I was the owner of two properties. Victoria, my girlfriend at the time, helped me renovate this one whilst I still lived upstairs, and when it was done, we moved in together. I rented out the third room upstairs, and now both mortgages were covered. I was getting used to this property thing!
Over the next year we flipped another property which we sold immediately after, in order to start building our cash pot as well as our cash flow. It was round about this time that I met Victoria’s dad, who happened to be the owner of a successful residential lettings agency in the North West of England. The entrepreneurial fire was rekindled and I quit my job to go and expand the family business.
We sold up everything in Newcastle, opened a second lettings office in Stockport, and set about 2 more flips. Now, I’m more committed than ever to making property my primary income, and more motivated than ever because I’ve got our wedding to pay for along with some pretty big plans for the home we’ve just bought together.
Who knows where I’ll be a year from now, but I know property is going to play a huge part in that journey, one way or another.
What strategies do you focus on?
Flipping for 10 years, and now looking to buy and hold some HMOs
What’s Your Favourite Book?
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Small Giants: Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big – Bo Burlingham
Buying my first property at 18 years old
Waiting too long before getting a coach!