3 lessons my hilariously awkward dating life taught me about property
This week I reflected upon a series of hilarious and awkward situations, also known as my love life.
Being a natural over-sharer who doesn’t understand social blogging boundaries, this may be dangerous and uncomfortable for us all.
If you love awkward truths, I present to you: three lessons dating taught me about property investing.
1. Silence = they are seeing someone else
I can convince myself he dropped his phone down the toilet or he is being held hostage by a psycho ex. But the truth is, he is seeing someone else. Even if we got on brilliantly and he said all the right things.
Of course, it’s initially upsetting and confusing when he stopped writing paragraph texts and suddenly replaced it with…silence. But then I think “If he really liked me and wanted to see me, he would find a way.”
Then I figure “Why would I give energy to someone who doesn’t want to spend time with me?” That’s an illogical waste of time.
And that’s that. I move on.
Well I do eventually. First I have to do my due diligence (aka stalk Facebook) to confirm suspicions that he’s seeing someone else. Suspicions confirmed.
Second, I practice controlling my emotions, mainly anger. Why did he waste my time and lead me on? Just grow some man balls and tell me the truth! I get that he doesn’t want to hurt my feelings but feelings I can recover, time I cannot.
Third I channel that anger energy into something productive like a late night run. Then I move on.
I used to think there must be something wrong with me and that I should change if a guy doesn’t like me. But that’s a load of bollocks. Never change to try and fit a mould someone else has created.
… I just went off on a tangent and wrote a good few paragraphs about this. Instead of making this blog even longer you can view it here. Please do read it, it is so important for experiencing healthy relationships.
Ok. So back to the analogy about a guy who was said he was super interested and then suddenly went silent. Let’s have a look at what is happening behind the scenes of this scenario.
A guy is on the singles market. He wants to keep his options open until he find the perfect prospect to invest his time in. Fair enough. Everyone wants to get the best bang for their buck (*ahem*).
So this guy and I are having fun doing due diligence on each other. We find out how motivated the other person is to commit to a deal (relationship), and what each other is willing to offer.
We begin to negotiate. It looks like a deal is going to go ahead but unbeknownst to me, another prospect has come on the scene, or perhaps was already there.
This prospect may offer more security, convenience…emotional stability… less awkwardness, less dancing in public. You know, the usual.
This prospect makes an offer which the guy currently finds more attractive than my offer. He wants to accept this other girl’s offer and immediately commit to the deal. However, he already has a strong negotiation going on with me and he gave the impression he was about to close a deal with me.
As human beings, we prefer to avoid these awkward face to face situations as much as possible. Plus our British nature generally means we don’t like confrontation or hurting another person’s feelings. The combination of these points leads this guy to the following action plan: ignore me, hopefully I’ll get the hint.
Cool story bro. Can you explain it in property terms?
Whenever you have a sale agreed and the estate agents or the seller’s solicitors go quiet, the vendor has usually found another buyer with an offer they prefer; or they are withdrawing their property from the market.
Even if you have all your finances in place and are ready to exchange, it is irrelevant.
With a bit of time and research, you’ll find out about the other buyer. You can always make a higher offer but don’t get emotionally involved. You don’t want to end up in an egocentric bidding war. Also, don’t you dare compromise your standards. Ever. For anyone.
Only submit higher offers if the deal still works for you. Do not compromise the minimum amount of profit or return you want to make on a property. Remember, the other buyer may have lower standards/margins than you. If that is the case, be gracious and let them have it. There are loads of better deals out there waiting for you. Different deals suit different people.
Note: If it is a good deal, tell your solicitor to exchange contracts immediately. This locks in the deal as much as possible until completion. If someone pulls out of exchange there is a financial penalty.
But wait! The plot thickens…
Sales fall through all the time. Often you will see your beloved property pop back on the market six months later (usually with a different agent). I subscribe to property alerts on Rightmove. Rightmove email me as soon as a property in my selected area comes on the market.
Plus, the deal will work even better this time. Why? Because during the time the property was with someone else, I evolved.
- I made more offers on other properties (and now have more opportunities).
- I practiced negotiating.
- My number crunching improved.
- I gained a better understanding of development potential in the area.
In summary, I’ve become a better property investor. My standards for the deals I do are higher, such as my minimum RoI on deals used to be 20%, now it’s 33%.
Who knows. When the property returns to the market I might not want it anymore. Having learnt more about the property, I may now realise it was a terrible deal and I was lucky that it filtered itself out my life.
2. Look at their actions, not their words
Because this article gets posted on Linked-In and apparently there are limits on what personal information I should divulge; all juicy gossip relating to my love life will be left in my memoirs. You can purchase my memoirs on Amazon for £9.99 once I have died and can no longer feel shame.
So let’s get straight to it.
Looking at people’s actions helps me figure out if I can trust them. Look at the actions and patterns of behaviour from potential business partners, potential tenants and your power team.
Once I see a pattern in people’s behaviour, that pattern tells me what the person is truly like. Their words become redundant.
Most mortgage brokers tell me they can get me a mortgage and have special relationships with certain lenders. But which ones will appeal and argue my case, should a lender ever decline my application?
Before trying out a new broker, ask them to give you an example of when they have appealed a decision. If they say they have never had to, that’s BS. It is likely they have never tried or don’t know how. If you want a good broker, find one that would fight for your mortgage to be accepted (providing they have a legitimate reason).
Look at their actions. Are they acting morally? Do their valuations match up with your comparables and other agents valuations?
If they are consistently 15 minutes late but this time promise me they will be on time, I don’t believe it. I don’t believe what people say until it coincides with a pattern in their actions. In the meantime, I know to schedule a viewing 15 minutes before I want one.
If a letting agent tells me he can let my property in two weeks and rent for £x, OK. What marketing does he do? How long till my property goes on the mainstream portals? Is it on there when he\she said it would be?
What happens if the letting agent doesn’t let my property in two weeks, will they reduce their letting fee? If he\she is so confident he\she can let it in two weeks then surely he’d be happy to agree to that stipulation.
Did they text you in the morning to confirm their viewing in the afternoon as requested? That allows me to make a general assumption they are organised and like security. This is a sign they will pay their rent on time or even a few days before due date.
- How forthcoming are they when asked to provide references and payslips?
- Did they pay their deposit when they said they will, or did they make excuses?
If someone has the money and truly wants the room, they’ll pay for it ASAP before anyone else takes it.
3. What is DEAL rearranged?
My male friend (also in property) and I were discussing dating last week. Now I am above the ripe age of 16, I was confused as to why I wasn’t living happily ever after with Prince Charming and why birds never sat on my hand when I sang to them. Although Disney may have warped my level of expectations.
He asked, “how many dates do you go on”.
“Like five!…. a year.” I boasted.
“Jess, what is DEAL rearranged? LEAD. You need to generate more leads!”
He laughed as he acknowledged his clever parallel between property and dating (he was the one who inspired this article).
The more dates (leads) you arrange, the more potential partners you find. The more viewings (leads) you go on, the more deals you get.
Face the risk of rejection. Take your leads and make offers that make the deal work for you.
Do the above and you will drastically increase the probability of finding fantastic deals. I also need to practice what I preach and start doing this too.
Here’s the brief of what dating taught me about property
1. Be wary when members of your power team go quiet. Call the appropriate parties immediately to find out what is happening. Do not pay for any more costs until you have been sufficiently reassured the sale is going through.
2. To understand someone more effectively, look at their patterns of behaviour. That tells you more about them than their words.
3. Go on as many property dates (viewings) as possible. Actions to generate leads: view more properties, make more offers.
If you enjoyed my story please share it with a friend, and like our Facebook page.
Here are more stories of my property adventures/mishaps:
- How I was able to raise £250,000 in 7 days
- Here’s what happened when I bought my first property
- What to do when rent arrears a rears it’s ugly head
And if you’ve read these already do check out some of the articles from our other writers.