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How To Build Your Property Empire

How To Build Your Property Empire

With a stable and resilient real estate market, a long history of property appreciation, and consistently high levels of demand, it’s no wonder property investment is popular in the UK. However, starting your property portfolio can be a daunting prospect – where do you start, how do you start, and how can you create a portfolio that achieves sustainable growth? Here at Joseph Mews, we’ve been helping investors build their property empires for decades – and with great success- by following a four step plan of starting, scaling, sustaining and selling – here’s how:

The Four Pillars Of A Property Empire

1. Starting A Property Empire

Starting your property empire should be treated like any other investment – it’s all a matter of preparation.

Building a portfolio will largely be dictated by your current finances and financial goals. If you’re looking for long-term returns that can be used to achieve early retirement, for example, this will be a different approach to someone seeking short-term gains. For your research, split it into four key categories: setting your goals, location research, past performance and demand.

SETTING GOALS: The key to a successful start for a property empire is setting your goals and milestones. If you understand where you are and where you want to be, you can more accurately plan out what your empire might look like. This then feeds down into the property types you’ll need, the length of time you’ll be investing for and the tenant demographics you’ll be appealing to. Once all of this is in place, you’ll have a better understanding of what needs to be done at each stage.

LOCATION: Location should always be a major part of your research, especially if you own five or more properties. You’ll want to pick out several potential areas based on three key metrics: future growth, surrounding amenities and potential redevelopment. The idea of regeneration is important as it meshes well with long-term strategies that take advantage of organic growth – ideal for building larger rental returns. For surrounding amenities, you’ll want to identify nearby transport links, restaurants and bars and nearby businesses.

PAST PERFORMANCE: This is fairly self-explanatory but is part of your due diligence regardless. You should understand how locations, developer partners and similar property types have performed in the past. This gives you a better idea of what to expect going forward and can help you make informed decisions throughout your investment. You should also check that you’re working with trusted developers who have completed projects in the past, as this can give you more trust in their potential.

DEMAND: The final thing to consider is tenant demand. This is the driver of your investment and can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome, especially if it leads to multiple void periods occurring at once. Choosing a location based on tenant demand can mean exceptional rental returns. Then, once you have a tenant in place, maintaining a good relationship and communication can mean mitigating issues further down the line. The type of tenant you opt to attract will depend on your investment strategy and property type. 

2. Scaling A Property Empire

Once you have properties within your portfolio, you can start considering scaling upwards. At this point, things can go wrong quickly and issues can arise, making it important to take it at your own pace. Remember, property investment is a long-term process so don’t feel like you’re under pressure to time the market perfectly or rush into things just because it’s the ‘best’ deal. 

The most important resource that any investor has is time. Property is an inherently long-term strategy that thrives on an investor being in the market for as long as possible. The longer you hold on to an investment, the higher the returns.

Ideally, you should have a holding pattern in mind that will be developed during your planning stages. If you know that you’re planning to hold for five, ten or even 15 years, you’ll have a better idea of your next steps. 

If you’re planning to scale, you might find success by investing through a limited company. This is a form of investing that is growing in popularity as it offers unique tax benefits for investors that have multiple properties within their portfolio. It’s important to remember that if you’re building a portfolio through a limited company, this needs to be planned well in advance, as moving properties in and out of a limited company can be difficult.

3. Sustaining A Property Empire

How you manage your properties is largely down to your individual circumstances. Some investors prefer to get their hands dirty and run the entire thing themselves, while others are happy to go hands-free. Whatever option you choose, sustaining a portfolio is important for creating consistent returns and planning for the future.

If you’re an active, hands-on investor, you’ll typically do everything yourself – from sourcing tenants to lettings and maintenance. For an investor that wants full control over the investment or wants to save on overheads that would otherwise go on supporting partners, active management is ideal.

Hands-off investment is the alternative for those that cannot commit to full-time management or may be investing from different countries. In these cases, investors would not be able to do everything themselves, which would mean working with a trusted partner that can be their support over the long-term. It’s this ‘passive management’ that truly highlights the importance of having a trusted network of partners. If you’re working with letting agents, property managers or even financial advisors, you can build a long-term rapport that will carry over multiple investments.

Letting agents can be particularly useful as they can provide local knowledge of a market, especially if you’re investing somewhere new or unfamiliar. This can supplement your own research and help you understand what tenants are looking for.

4. Selling A Property Empire

Property investment inherently suits a long-term strategy and selling over the short-term could mean missing out on chances to maximise returns. If you can, it’s always a good idea to hold on to property as long as possible, especially in key locations that could see growth or increased demand.

That said, you should always have an exit plan in place. If you’re selling a property portfolio, it all depends on the size and structure of the portfolio itself. Initial considerations should include:

  • Why are you selling?
  • Are your properties up to scratch and following current legislation?
  • Is the rent you’re charging competitive?
  • Are you operating through a limited company?
  • For investors that only have a small number of properties, these can generally be converted back into ‘traditional’ residential properties that can be sold through a partner or bought by another investor.

For portfolios that have 10 or more properties, the best idea is to sell to another landlord via a landlord-to-landlord service or a private buyer. You’ll also need to take into account tenants. If you’re selling a tenanted property, then you’ll need to consider the paperwork that goes along with that.

Build Your Property Empire With Joseph Mews

Here at Joseph Mews, we are experts in helping budding and existing property investors create a portfolio that works for them. You can find all our advice, guidance and top tips on creating a property empire in our guide, available to download below – inside you’ll find…

The Five Year Plan

Stuck for time? Find out how you can create a portfolio of successful properties within just five years.

Creating A Portfolio With Limited Funds

Read how you can begin your path to financial freedom via property investment, even if you don’t have an abundance of money.

Insider Guidance

Gain insider knowledge from our very own Andy Foote as he explains his personal tips for property success.

Find our complete How To Build Your Property Empire Guide here.

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