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About 4 weeks ago 47
Yesterday (Friday 2nd September 2011) I attended a buy to let investors workshop at the Holiday Inn Kensington, London which was organised by Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action.
I had been invited as a special guest of Paul Shamplina, the founder of Landlord Action to review the event and provide constructive feedback. Landlord Action is a legal practice specialising in tenant evictions and litigation on behalf of landlords.
What a refreshing change is was too! There was no hype to suggest that property investment provides passive income (if anybody tells you it does they are lying by the way) nor was it a Get Rich Quick scheme presented by guru’s who’s goal is to sell packaged investment property deals.
A course that teaches buy to let ‘due diligence’ at last!
This course was seven hours crammed with hard facts on how to carry out ‘due diligence’ when buying a property, refurbishing, letting, financing and considering long term strategies such as exit. Many of the Get Rich Quick guru’s suggest this can be outsourced at a premium but my advice, and that of the course, is that when investing into something as expensive as property do you own ‘due diligence’ whether you intend to outsource or not. Far too many people are conned into believing the hype suggesting that property investment is an easy way to create a passive income for retirement and that all the hard work and due diligence can be fully outsourced. It isn’t and it can’t!
Who will let or buy your investment property 20 years from now?
The course taught people to consider demographics of locations they consider to be good places to invest in and to take both a short term view of the market for tenants/buyers and a long term view of who is likely to want to rent or buy certain types of property 15 or even 20 years from now. Course content also included practical sessions on how to evaluate properties and check their true worth. This is something all buy to let landlords need to know, especially if they are buying packaged investments. Far too many newcomers to the market are too quick to trust others selling ‘deals’. The truth is, many such ‘deal sellers’ have manipulated valuations and comparables to make the properties they are marketing look attractive. We have all seen the adverts promoting properties at 25% or more Below Market Value haven’t we? Well this course will teach you how to see through the BS and be able to evaluate any property’s true value now and over the past fifteen years within minutes. If you don’t know how to check when a property was purchased and when every property in the vicinity was last purchased/sold then this hour of the course alone is worth the entire course fee.
My only constructive criticism was that too much content was packed into too short a time period. In my opinion the course should be run over two or three days to allow delegates more time to practice what they had learnt. That said, it was without doubt the best buy to let property course I have ever attended in my 22 years of being a property investor and I would recommend every landlord, no matter how experienced they are, to attend it. I’ve been in the business for 22 years and whilst there wasn’t much that I didn’t know, it was useful to consolidate and support my own views. I still learnt a few things though and the ability to network and share stories with other landlords, both newcomers and seasoned pro’s, is always an added bonus at these sorts of courses.
Landlord Action got the buy to let workshop course structure spot on
I particularly liked how the course was structured. Most courses only talk about how to buy properties cheaply. It only takes a few weeks to buy a property but after that, for better or for worse, they could be with you for a very long time or end up making or losing you a fortune. That’s why I particularly enjoyed the section on managing and maintaining property. Anybody with the right financial profile can buy a property but managing and maintaining it for 10, 20, 30 or more years requires many different skill sets. The course is obviously not going to teach you everything you need to know about DIY or landlord and tenant law within a day but what it will do is give you a solid understanding of what you may never have previously considered. It will also teach you how to reduce the risks of employing the wrong property manager, mortgage broker or trades people.
My summary of the Landlord Action buy to let workshop
Excellent value for money, hard facts, valuable ‘due diligence’ techniques, packed with content, perhaps a bit too much for one day but certainly the best value buy to let course available in my opinion.
I have invited Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action to publish details of future courses in the comments section below.
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