Wouldn’t it be great if investing money in property were simple? If all you had to do was find a house you liked, give the owner a cheque and move in the next day? In reality, anyone who has bought a home, either for themselves or as an investment, knows that it is often anything but simple. Offers, counter-offers, mortgages-in-principle, proof of income, solicitors, searches, surveys, removals and the inevitable odd jobs– no wonder it has the reputation of being one of life’s most stressful events!
My name is Ross Thompson, and I’ve been investing in property for over 12 years. I’ve been a tenant, a homeowner and a landlord (sometimes simultaneously!), and I now put that experience to use as a professionally trained lettings agent.
Despite that, I love working in the property industry. Buying a house is exciting, and for most people it is the biggest investment they will ever make. Like most things worthwhile, it can be challenging – and rewarding in equal measure when done right. Every problem has a solution, and for every hurdle there is a tip, suggestion and shortcut that can make it easier. I know that because I’m a homeowner, landlord, and letting agent. And if I’m being honest, the reason I became a letting agent is because I know from my own experiences renting and leasing properties just how infuriating it can be when either is done badly. When I was offered a chance to do better, to prove it could be done well, with efficiency, fairness and integrity, I decided to put my money where my mouth was.
‘How hard can it be?’, I asked myself. Find a landlord, find a tenant, introduce the two and then deal with whatever small issues arise from time to time. I even said as much at my interview when Belvoir! were deciding if I was suitable to be one of their franchisees.
Lucky for me, they saw through the hubris, and realised that I wanted the same things – and shared the same values – that they do. So they accepted me, gave me some great training, and at the end of that I even went back and ate humble pie to Andy, who recruited me. I ate my words, and I didn’t mind doing it!
It’s really not as simple as it looked. And yet, I still remember how I felt at the start – this shouldn’t be complex. So I’ve decided to use the skills and knowledge I’ve built up over years in the property industry, honed by one of the best agencies in the UK,to try to make sure that every part of the process is as simple as it can be for at least my landlords and tenants alike.
But to do that, I need to explain a few things first. Just like I did, many of you will be thinking: ‘Do I really need a letting agent?’. That’s up to you. But over the next few months I’m going to share what I know so that you can choose for yourself.
Read my free weekly landlord advice tips!