A Question of Property – Ep 9 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard - Nova

A Question of Property – Ep 9 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard

Lucia France:

Hello everybody, and welcome to A Question of Property. I’m your host, Lisa France, and joining me are our usual panel of ever ready experts here today. Now we’ve got John Howard, property expert of over 40 years experience, author of more than three books on the subject. And he is joining us today to give us his expertise in the field. So, welcome to you, John.

John Howard:

Good morning, Lucy. I can’t [inaudible 00:00:33] because you haven’t put groom on there, because the groom hasn’t turned up today, at home. So, I’ve just mucked out five stables before I’ve come on air.

Lucia France:

Wow. That is a busy morning.

John Howard:

Multi-tasker. Multi-tasker.

Stefano Lucatello:

I hope you’ve had a shower.

John Howard:

It’s a hard life, ain’t it?

Lucia France:

Good job we can’t smell anything on Zoom. That’s very handy.

John Howard:

No, I’ve had a quick shower. I’ve had a quick shower.

Lucia France:

Okay. Good, good. We also have Stefano Lucatello, our international experts in terms of property, man of mystery, and also senior partner at Kobalt Law International Property Lawyers. So, welcome to you Stefano. How are you today?

Stefano Lucatello:

Morning. You’ll have to tell me what you mean with man of mystery, afterwards. Not on air.

Lucia France:

That would be give the mystery away, wouldn’t it?

John Howard:

Man of mystery.

Lucia France:

International [crosstalk 00:01:15]

Paul Mahoney:

[inaudible 00:01:14] accidentally sent me his dinner last night.

Stefano Lucatello:

I did. [inaudible 00:01:21] Steak and chips [crosstalk 00:01:21]

Lucia France:

Yes. Everybody, you need to follow Stefano on his Facebook, because there’s some incredible recipes out there.

Paul Mahoney:

It looks brilliant.

Lucia France:

Very delicious.

Stefano Lucatello:

Thank you.

Lucia France:

And we also have Paul Mahoney. Our straight talking Ozzy, and the voice of reason within this panel. Best selling author, award winning property speaker, and head of Nova Financial Group. So, welcome to you Paul.

Paul Mahoney:

Thank you.

Lucia France:

Great. Okay, so we’re going to get started with an overall question to all of you. What has been your maxim or motto in business, and do you have a different motto or maximum for life in general? So, we’ll go to John first, for that one.

John Howard:

Goodness me. That’s a tough question at this time of the morning. What I would say is, I’ve always taught my stepchildren to always treat everyone the same. So, whether it’s the gardener who’s out there somewhere at the moment doing something, or whether it’s Lord someone I know, or whatever. It doesn’t matter. They all get treated the same. They all get spoken to the same way. And when I used to take the kids to school, we’d see Harry, the gardener, and they’d all go, “Good morning, Harry.” And that’s how it should be. And I think if you treat everyone how you want to be treated, that’s the best thing you can do. And I try to do that all my life.

Lucia France:

That’s brilliant. I love that. Thanks, John. Stefano?

Stefano Lucatello:

Work hard, and it’ll sort itself out.

Lucia France:

Brilliant. Short and sweet…

Stefano Lucatello:

That’s me. Short and sweet.

Lucia France:

… like [inaudible 00:02:49] pie.

Stefano Lucatello:

Yeah.

Paul Mahoney:

Like it.

Lucia France:

Paul.

Paul Mahoney:

Well, if we [inaudible 00:02:57] the current situation, I’ve always been very much of the mind that you need to spend money to make money. And I’m the type of person that will spend more money than I need to. And I think in the current situation, I’ve learned that sometimes you don’t have to spend money to make money. We’ve scaled back our costs substantially throughout this COVID-19 situation, and actually done quite well throughout it. So, I think that’s a learning curve for me and for our business.

Lucia France:

Excellent.

John Howard:

Might I just say, I’ve never known him to be too generous in the first place.

Lucia France:

That’s between you two.

Stefano Lucatello:

He’s not a Yorkshire man, is he?

Lucia France:

Sorry?

Stefano Lucatello:

He’s not a Yorkshire man, is he?

John Howard:

Well. Yorkshire stroke Italian, no, he’s not. He might as well be. He might as well be.

Stefano Lucatello:

Hey. There’s not many of us around, we’re a dying breed.

John Howard:

You certainly are. There aren’t many at all.

Lucia France:

Okay. Let’s move on to our sensible questions now, shall we?

John Howard:

Okay.

Lucia France:

Let’s go to you Paul, for our first one. This person is considering buying a flat off-plan as their first buy-to-let. And they’re asking, “Do you think that in the current circumstances, this is a good idea? Or would you buy a property that’s already built, so that they can rent it out immediately?”

Paul Mahoney:

Okay. So, off-plan as a term, is quite a broad term. And I quite often speak with clients about where you fit on that scale. One end of the scale, it’s quite high risk. Developers asking for large deposits, with less of a track record, you’re less funding in place. I’ve seen some developments, where developers are asking for up to 80% of the purchase price over the build period. That’s very high risk. For an investor, you want to avoid that sort of thing. Whereas at the other end of the scale, you’ve got much lower deposits. 10% is the ideal scenario for deposits, where your money is fully protected. In some cases it can be higher than 10%, if there’s some level of protection put in place over and above that, where developments are progressed so far as sales and construction. And in that case, it’s much lower risk. So, for example, in the past six months, I’ve bought four properties off-plan, personally. And I think in the right circumstances, of getting the right locations at the right price, they can work really well regardless of the economic, or property, situation. Like any property investment. So, it just depends on the individual opportunity, I think.

Lucia France:

Okay. And would you advise that that is a better thing to do now, that… Like this person is asking, would you just buy something that you can rent immediately?

Paul Mahoney:

As I said, I think it depends on the opportunity. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s better than buying a completed property right now, but if you’re getting a better deal for buying off-plan, then it could be better.

Lucia France:

Okay.

Paul Mahoney:

Somebody will say, “Well, buy a property now. Get the mortgage in place. Get it latched.” And that might be lower risk, but if you’re getting a better deal for buying off-plan, or if you’re getting the best property in the development, for example, then of course that can be beneficial as well.

Lucia France:

Okay. Great. Thank you very much.

John Howard:

Lucia, may I say something?

Lucia France:

Please.

John Howard:

Perhaps Paul would like to get off the fence sometime. For me, the opportunities are for the moment, you don’t have to take any risks… Going forward in the next six, nine months, buying in the next six, nine months, you’re not going to have to take any silly risks. You don’t have to buy a house with no garden because it was the only thing that was available. You’re going to have lots of choice. You’re going to be able to find properties with discount. Yeah. And you can buy at a discount now, probably, or certainly in the next six, nine months you’ll be able to, and get on and rent it, and get a really good yield. I don’t think you need to take a risk, personally, on buying a property that won’t be ready for two years and you’re not sure what it might be worth when it’s done. That would be my personal opinion. And I know Paul sees it in a much broader way than I do. I’m looking more at a dealer type mentality compared to probably a long term investment mentality, but I think Paul, that has some merit at the moment, don’t you? Or not?

Paul Mahoney:

Yeah. Look, I say… I agree with what you’re saying in some ways, but if you’re getting a better deal for buying off-plan, [crosstalk 00:07:32]

John Howard:

My point is Paul, at the moment, you don’t know whether you’re getting the better deal, because you don’t know what the market’s going to be doing in two years time.

Paul Mahoney:

But also John, you’ve just assumed that you’re going to get some deals in a few months, or now. The property market hasn’t moved up or down since lockdown.

John Howard:

No, but it’s… Paul, It’s going to, because it’s all linked to employment, in my view. So, at the end of the day, if we’re trying to educate people to look at proper sensible deals with decent margins, then I think the opportunities in the next six, nine, 12 months are going to be great. And I’m just concerned that if you’ve got a new build, it’s not going to be ready for a couple of years, then it’s a little bit Russian roulette, isn’t it, really?

Lucia France:

I think one thing I will say here as well is, in this particular question, the person is considering buying a flat off-plan as their first buy-to-let, so maybe-

John Howard:

They could be waiting up to two years, they need to get on with it now.

Lucia France:

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Stefano Lucatello:

Wait, shouldn’t… I’ll put my bit in. If you were faced with that scenario where you had a fistful full of dollars, and you had the choice between an off plan and a readymade second hand existing property, that is either ready to let, or is already letting, you should buy it. Wouldn’t you go for the latter, as opposed to the former, because you’ve got a straight income coming in from day one, and then-

Paul Mahoney:

So, Stefano, it depends on what your goal is. So, if this person being a first time investor, they’ve probably got limited funds, and they’re looking to build a portfolio now. Therefore, their main goal is quite likely growth. In building the portfolio. That’s how you build a portfolio, is through growth, not through income.

Stefano Lucatello:

But he’s not going to have any growth for the next two years, until the property’s built and he can rent it out.

Paul Mahoney:

That’s not true. So, if you reserve a property today, in a good location, that’s growing in value. So, you reserve at 200 grand today, any growth in that asset value over the next two years is yours. You do achieve capital growth when you reserve off-plan

John Howard:

Paul, when the market is going up, I don’t disagree with you. It’s still a little bit like Russian roulette, but you might as well give it a go if the market’s going up. But in a market where we know it can’t possibly go up in the next two years. It cannot possibly go up in the next two years. The best we can hope for, is that it stays as it is. In which case… Because it’s new [crosstalk 00:10:01]

Paul Mahoney:

You’re always talking about microclimates, right? So, [crosstalk 00:10:04] the overall property market. You can’t invest in the overall property market. You can only invest in specific properties, in specific areas. I’ll give you a perfect example. I’ve bought two properties in the past six months in a place called Digbeth in South Birmingham. South Central Birmingham. It’s very central. It’s five minutes walk to central-

John Howard:

Can I just say, I’ve taken your tip on there, and I’ve researched that area. Thank you very much.

Lucia France:

They do get on.

Paul Mahoney:

That’s 20 or 30 percent cheaper than the rest of the city, and there’s literally billions of pounds being spent there. You’ve got Smithfield Market, that’s been bought by Lendlease. You’ve got Curzon Street Station, which is the highest street… Highest street… Sorry. High speed rail [crosstalk 00:10:50]

John Howard:

The only thing that disappoints me, you’ve now told everyone else, as well.

Paul Mahoney:

[inaudible 00:10:57]

Stefano Lucatello:

He told everybody else on his Facebook live the other day. He told [crosstalk 00:11:01]

Lucia France:

We’ll cut this bit out John, don’t worry.

Paul Mahoney:

I suppose what I’m getting at is, when you have billions of pounds being spent on the under-loved area of a city, regardless of the direction of the overall markets, that’s going to have a positive impact.

John Howard:

Yeah. I can see there’s exceptions to every rule, Paul. I can see that.

Paul Mahoney:

It will grow in value regardless of whether the property market goes backwards.

John Howard:

Okay. Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.

Lucia France:

Could I just actually add my two cents worth here, because when we bought an off-plan property, the build time ended up being so much longer. You can’t always go by what they’re saying the build times are going to be, because it’s dependent on funding, and things like that, as well, isn’t it? So…

Stefano Lucatello:

Lucia, that’s the same everywhere. It’s the same whether it’s the U.K property, or a foreign property. And I always say to clients, who want to buy off-plan abroad, that it’s even more Russian roulette abroad, than it is here, depends on which country you go into. But you know, if I had a hundred grand in my pocket, and I had a choice to invest in a readymade property, where I could stick as a family in, or a professional couple, and rent it out immediately, I wouldn’t be waiting two years for growth. I’d be wanting rental yield, a return on my investment, because if I’m borrowing money, then I’m going to pay the loan back in the two years that, that it’s still being built-

Paul Mahoney:

That’s a perfect point, Stefano. When you buy off-plan, you don’t need the loan until the property’s done. So, [crosstalk 00:12:26]

John Howard:

No. You just need a deposit.

Stefano Lucatello:

You need to put some money into it.

Paul Mahoney:

So, if you put down a 10% deposit, on a 200 grand property, you put down 20 grand, and if that property grows in value by 10%, that’s 100% return on your deposit.

Stefano Lucatello:

Yeah.

Paul Mahoney:

And you also get all the warranties. You’ve got a two year builders defect period, you’ve got a 10 year structural warranty. Your dishwasher, your oven, your fridge are all under warranty. And you get to pick and choose from what you’re buying within a development. So, my point is, in some cases it can make a lot of sense, if you’re getting the right-

John Howard:

Bit boring though.

Lucia France:

That’s a question of personal taste.

Paul Mahoney:

Actually, I did a webinar on Wednesday, and somebody asked me, “What is the difference between your approach and John Howard’s approach?” [crosstalk 00:13:11] John Howard’s constantly calling me boring, but probably development [crosstalk 00:13:18]

John Howard:

That’s probably… Paul, that’s probably worked in your favor.

Stefano Lucatello:

I would ignore the English market. I would just go and invest abroad. That’s the best.

Lucia France:

I’m glad you said that, Stefano.

Paul Mahoney:

And you Stefano, are just a listener, of course.

John Howard:

I think you’ve got your next question. Yeah.

Lucia France:

We’re moving on to your next question now, thankfully. Thank you for everybody’s different opinions there. So, for Stefano, I want to buy a brand new purpose-built apartment in Italy, but you hear horror stories regarding this type of property in Spain, and other places. Is Italy similar in that respect?

Stefano Lucatello:

This must be the same chap that went to Paul’s lecture on Wednesday. Buying property abroad is no different from buying property in England [inaudible 00:14:06]. So, buying abroad has that other dimension, which is, you’ve got a different area, a different law, a different language, and the rules are totally different. There are some countries that safeguard investments into a future of planned development, so as to protect the investor, especially Spain, France, and Italy, and to do it in different regards. Spain, you need a bank guarantee. France, you can’t actually start selling to the public, unless the builder has got to foundation stage, and completed the foundation stage. And in Italy, the same as in Spain. The developer has to give a bank guarantee on each of the stage payments. This is because in the early 1990s, and later 1990s, there was a whole raft of Italian builders that were building, especially in the South of Italy, where the mafia was involved, and the other mafia type organizations who were taking money from people, and just disappearing with it.

Stefano Lucatello:

And in fact, what they were doing is, they were marketing half developed buildings that had been left for many, many years. Visually altering the pictures, preparing brochures, issuing it to the public. And I was involved in many cases in the early 2000s in this relation, and getting the money back. So the idea is, that you must get a bank guarantee, and the bank… It’s a fiduciary document. So that, if the developer goes under, or he fails to complete, then you can make a claim against the bank, and the bank will pay you back your stage payment. The problem with buying abroad off-plan, is that you need someone who’s going to continue to look at the development, and keep an eye on it, who needs to be local to it, and make sure that it’s being done in the proper manner and that it’s reaching its stage points, and when. Because there are two types… As the guys will tell you, there are two types of plans.

Stefano Lucatello:

There’s an off-plan, which says you pay four or five stage payments at set points in the building process. And then there’s the other one, which I think is more risky, which is where every so many months the builder comes back to you and say, “I want this payment.” “I want this payment.” But it’s not fixed to any marker on building, and that makes it even more difficult. And especially when you’re abroad, and you’re not there, unless, of course, you live there already and it’s an investment, but if you’re not there, you need someone who’s on the ground. Someone who is an expert, an architect, a surveyor, to actually look and see that it’s being done, and to play your game for you in your absence. They shout when it’s not being done, or if it’s being done wrong or whatever.

Stefano Lucatello:

So, you need to have someone on the ground. You need to make sure that the development contract is sound. And you mentioned, Lucia, about delays. It’s very common everywhere, whether it’s England or abroad. For the builder, for one reason or another either can’t get the market, can’t get some materials, he can’t do the job, or whatever. He has to extend-

John Howard:

Stefano, can you have a backstop, where you can get your money back, should it not be ready by that time?

Stefano Lucatello:

Yes. Absolutely. What happens in most contracts like here, is that there’s force, there’s a force majeure clause. And abroad, in civil law jurisdictions, force majeure is part of their civil law code. In England, as you both know, force majeure doesn’t act, unless you actually put a force majeure clause in, and then there’s a whole series of other hoops you have to jump through, like we’re doing at the moment now for some clients who are saying, “Well, COVID-19 stopping us from doing whatever we need to do.” Or whatever. And other people say, “Well, no. I think you can do it, even though we’ve got COVID-19.” So, yes, the foreign contract must be drafted properly, and that’s where we come in. I always say to clients, “What is the point of being able to buy something off-plan, if that is built, but the rest of the development isn’t built.”

John Howard:

Good point.

Lucia France:

Yeah, that’s true.

Stefano Lucatello:

That is never covered, John. It’s never covered by a contract. I’ve never seen a contract done by a developer abroad where he says, “I will build you flat number whatever, and I also commit to finishing the rest of the development, which is the swimming pools-”

John Howard:

Within a time period.

Stefano Lucatello:

Well, he doesn’t mention it at all. I’ve never seen that. And when I go in, and I say, “Right, hold on a minute. I want a commitment from you, Mr. Builder. You will honor the rest of the development.” They told me to go away. So, that’s very difficult. You’ve got to be very careful this year. It’s not question of just paying you stage payments and knowing you’re getting back. You need to know when it’s going to be finished, how long it’s going to take and what’s your rescue plan if the guy doesn’t do it within a certain time. Can you-

John Howard:

Always have an out, before you have an in.

Stefano Lucatello:

I would say to clients, always look at your exit strategy, before you go into it. It’s important.

John Howard:

Definitely.

Lucia France:

Absolutely. And I think, there, Stefano, would you say that Italy is just as risky as Spain, or less risk?

Stefano Lucatello:

No. It goes back to what I always say. Buying property abroad is no more difficult than buying property through John, or Paul, or whatever, in England, whatever. It’s who is behind it, helping you. If you’ve got an expert… I don’t profess to be in English property, although I used to do conveyancing many years ago, I don’t profess to be an expert like the other two guys in their field, but I am an expert in my field. So, I would say, I can look after you in the countries that we deal with, which is Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, whatever. And I know that we can guarantee that we’ll look after you in a proper manner, so that your contract will reflect what it should do, to protect you in various circumstances.

John Howard:

And Lucia, can I just say, this goes, as always, surround yourself with the best possible advice you can get, and pay for it. And the difference between paying for someone who’s average, and paying someone who’s very good, is not a great deal, but the difference you get in service is massive. So, as always, surround yourself with the best possible advisors.

Lucia France:

Okay.

Stefano Lucatello:

And the final point, Lucia. This is the final point. It is the case that if you don’t surround yourself with an expert team, and you try and do it yourself, or you leave it in the hands of someone that you’re not sure of, then it will cost you a lot more to come backwards and have it put right, than it would if you pay well in the beginning.

Lucia France:

Okay. Thank you very much. I suppose, as well, just one question that I had, that came into my head there is, I suppose you’ve got to look at things like location and everything as well in terms of these things. Because if it’s up on a mountain side somewhere, the golf course never gets finished or things like that, then that can be completely different to being just on the edge of a town or a beach or whatever.

Stefano Lucatello:

Well, it depends on what you’re buying it for. Most people have an agenda. It’s either to move out that permanently, a lifestyle change. It’s either as an investment, or it’s a bit of both. If it’s an investment and your asset has to work, these two guys are the experts on making assets work, and you want it to work and you want to return on investment, irrespective of growth, but you also need to return on your investment. You’ve got to make sure that it’s in right location, it’s in the right place, it’s got all the amenities, it will do what it says on the side of the package. Otherwise you will… If you’re directing yourself to families with kids, and there’s no swimming pool, you’re not going to get a tenant are you? You’re not going to get someone going out there.

John Howard:

No, nobody.

Lucia France:

Right-

Paul Mahoney:

And just a side note. We get asked all the time about buying overseas, and something we need to be very aware of when you’re buying in a foreign country, is foreign exchange. Because as soon as you invest in a different country with a different currency, if that currency moves against you, that can completely wipe out your returns.

Stefano Lucatello:

Yeah, absolutely.

Paul Mahoney:

A perfect example is, if you go back 10 years ago, the Australian dollar was quite strong, 10 years ago. And lots of Chinese buyers bought in Australia. They bought well. They probably did quite well. But the Australian dollar has tanked since then, which has wiped out all of their returns. So you need to be aware of that as well.

Stefano Lucatello:

I’ve got a client at the moment, who’s buying in Nice, and he’s put everything on hold in respective of COVID, for that reason, Paul. The Euro to the pound, it’s gone absolutely ballistic. So, he’s not getting the same… He’s not having to put in the same amount of money as he have done calculated five months ago.

Lucia France:

Thank you very much guys. Okay. That’s a really comprehensive answer to that question there. Okay. So, moving on to John’s first question for today. I understand a number of property educators are pushing HMOs models. So, houses of multiple occupation, as a safer option going forward, post COVID-19. Personally, I’d like to hear what John thinks of this strategy.

John Howard:

I think this person knows me quite well, because they know what I think of HMOs. So, HMOs… Okay. Well, they used to be called… As I always say, in my day, they were called… In my day, bedsits, years ago when I used to do them, and it’s-

Paul Mahoney:

Back when John was young.

John Howard:

Back when John was young. Someone said to me, two days ago, they said, “Oh, now you’ve retired. What you…” I said, “Hang on a minute. I haven’t retired. I’m as busy as ever.” Anyway-

Lucia France:

Lots of years experience, but you obviously started very young.

John Howard:

Exactly, yeah. Absolutely. So, the thing… What they’re saying is, because going forward is uncertainty. So, because of that, what you want is rental income. And the best way to get rental income, is HMOs. Now, I sort of agree with that, in a way, but what their argument is, is if someone’s in a two bedroom flat, they’re going to end up in a HMO, because they won’t be able to afford the rent. So, they go from two bed, one bed down, to an HMO. My argument is, if you’re in a two bedroom flat and you’re struggling with the rent, presumably you’ll just get a mate in. Someone who’s also in the same position as you. So rent to share the rent on the two bedroom flat, or if it’s a one bedroom flat, it might be slightly different. But you’re more likely to go home, these young people are, and save all the money, than they are going into… If they can, and some can’t accept that, than going into an HMO, because actually HMOs aren’t particularly cheap. They’re probably three, 400 pounds a month. If you’ve got a two bedroom flat at 650, plus bills and everything else, I accept that. Then, if you get someone else to help you pay it, you’re better off than being in a bedsit, or HMO.

John Howard:

So, that’s my argument. I don’t see… In certain situations, I’m sure they’re probably right, but not every situation. I think, to buy an HMO on the back of the fact that, “Oh, everyone’s going to move in, because they can’t afford the two bedroom flat.” Is a bit of a dangerous strategy. If you’re doing HMOs, great. But I wouldn’t suddenly go start doing HMOs just because of that strategy. Because I just don’t think when you work it through, it really… And also, there’s a gluts of HMOs as well, don’t forget.

Lucia France:

But don’t you think that post COVID, everyone’s going to want to be really close to each other? Because…

John Howard:

Well, that’s the other thing. Why would you want to move into an HMO? Exactly. If they were really, really cheap, that’s different, but they’re not particularly cheap, these HMOs. And some of them are very nice, and some of these guys do a great job of them. A great job. And I’m not saying they don’t. But like I said, there’s a few options, like moving home, which is very cheap. Much cheaper and much nicer, probably, than going into… And I accept that not everyone can, but I’ve said, if you’ve got a three bedroom house you’re renting, goodness me. You can sublet two rooms out, and you paid it off, probably. You make a profit. That’s called rent-to-rent apparently, now?

Paul Mahoney:

The thing that concerns me about these buzzwords, and given this person’s has mentioned your property educators. These buzz words around HMOs, rent-to-rent, lease options, all of the fancy stuff when it comes to property. It’s very easily solved. When you write the numbers up on a whiteboard and say, “Look, I’ll charge you five grand to teach you how to do this.” It kind of makes sense, when you say it like that, but in reality, that’s not really what property investments about. It’s a mid to longterm investment. It’s not about making quick money. It’s not about making money from nothing. And something that I always say to people is, you can’t invest… You can’t start out in property with no money. And we get asked these questions all the time. How do I start out? I don’t have a deposit. Can I raise money from angel investors. Well, no you can’t, because angel investors aren’t going to give you money, if you have no experience or track record of making money from property. You need to save your own little pot to get started, and anybody who tells you that you don’t need a deposit, or you can use somebody else’s money to get started in property, in my view, is being a bit disingenuous.

Stefano Lucatello:

Isn’t this the topic for another question Lucia?

Lucia France:

Yes. It’s kind of bringing us nicely onto this question. We’ve got six minutes to go, but we wanted to put this question out to everybody, that someone’s asked. I’ve seen a lot of these property seminars and courses cropping up. Do you recommend that I take some money and do a course that might help me? Which ones would you recommend?

Paul Mahoney:

[crosstalk 00:27:06] Look, it’s very easy to toot our own horn here, I think. John and I do a course called Property Summits, that is very cost effective. We did one for free last week via webinar. The previous one, I think, was 150 quid. This isn’t a lot of money for a whole day course, where you will learn quite a lot. I don’t believe that any person starting out in property, should go and spend five to 10 grand, which is probably a big chunk of the money they actually have to get started in property, to learn how to invest in property. Property isn’t rocket science. You can engage with quite a lot of people, and get free advice even, and guidance, to get started in the right way. But I do think that some of the courses and property educators and things out there, are very much about feeling their own coffers than they are about providing value.

Lucia France:

[crosstalk 00:28:05]

John Howard:

Yeah, what I would say is that I think you need to look at the person who’s taking the course. What experience have they got? Have they got a track record? A lot of these guys and girls are very good presenters. They really good at what they do, but they’re not property people. They could be selling diamonds. How to buy and sell diamonds. They could be selling, how to buy and sell on the stock market. They’re very clever presenters, and they wind the situation up, and so on. And I got into this really because I wrote a book, because I didn’t like the advice people were getting. And you know, I do some seminars that are relatively sensibly priced. I wouldn’t say… Someone said to me, “Well, you don’t really teach anything, John. You explain what you’ve done, and the mistakes you’ve made, and how to avoid those mistakes, which is slightly different than sitting down with a…” Which I do, to be fair. But it’s different.

John Howard:

It’s a grownup advice, I think I would say. And it’s different than sitting there and saying… Ticking the box. Do you know what a [inaudible 00:29:08] house is? Do you know what a ground floor flat is? Explain what leasehold is. And they have to fill in all these boxes and forms. I mean, it’s like teaching… Like Paul said, it’s like treating adults like children. Most of the people who get attracted to me, are people who got a little bit of money, maybe already doing it, and want to do more, or want to push on, and want some change. And I think, hopefully, that’s what I tend to do. And the other thing, of course, if it’s not your main income, and you pulled out… Paul and I both to some [inaudible 00:29:45] Property Summits, and things like that, and it’s not our main income.

John Howard:

It’s… I wouldn’t say it’s fun, but… It is fun, but it’s… We want to get paid for what we do, but we’re not looking to make fortunes out of it, because we’ve got our own businesses. And that’s the other thing that… If that’s the only thing they do, then obviously these people are going to be much… They try more ambitious about how they go about it, and how ruthless they are compared to people who are doing it because it’s nice to do. And we’re passing on information, and we want to get paid for what we do, but we’re not looking to… It’s not the only income we have, and I think that’s quite important as well.

Stefano Lucatello:

Guys, there’s people like Martin Roberts, who’s a friend of mine. Known him donkeys years. Worked with him on many TV shows, and all the rest of it. But isn’t it the case that all these people make it look much more simple than it is? They’re almost saying out there, you don’t need lots of money to do it-

John Howard:

Well, what I think-

Lucia France:

All right. We’ve just got a couple of minutes left. Just as a reminder.

John Howard:

Just very briefly. Briefly. The one… The tip I would say is that…. Absolutely, not everyone… They make it if one can do it. Not everyone can do it, and people need to be more honest about that.

Paul Mahoney:

Yeah. And look, I completely agree with you, John, what you said there, about these people could be selling anything, and that’s completely right. I’ve been to some of these courses where they’re trying to create a rush to the back of the room, to sign up to their 10 grand course. [crosstalk 00:31:08] things you want to avoid. Because they could be selling anything. And the crazy thing is, that people do rush to the back of the room and sign up to the 10 grand course.

John Howard:

Yeah.

Stefano Lucatello:

9,997 pounds.

Lucia France:

What was that Stefano? Just quickly.

Stefano Lucatello:

It’s usually 9,997 pounds. To sell something, you always have to end it in a 97. Is that right [inaudible 00:31:31]

Lucia France:

Okay, okay. Good to know. Listen guys, we’re going to have to wrap it up there for today. Thank you very much for all of your input today. And if you do have any questions, please do email us, ask , A-S-K, @aquestionofproperty.co.uk. My name’s Lucia France. Thank you very much for watching, and we’ll see you next time.

 

A Question of Property

A Question of Property – Ep 20 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
A Question of Property – Ep 20 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
read more
A Question of Property – Ep 19 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
A Question of Property – Ep 19 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
read more
A Question of Property – Ep 18 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
A Question of Property – Ep 18 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
read more
A Question of Property – Ep 17 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
A Question of Property – Ep 17 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
read more
A Question of Property – Ep 16 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
A Question of Property – Ep 16 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard
read more
Want to be the first to know what’s going on in the world of property investment? Subscribe to our newsletter below.
The property pension plan book icon

Take Control Of Your Future With Buy To Let Investment, get The Property Pension Plan for Free!

Find Out More
Get in Touch

Book a complimentary property and/or finance consultation

back-to-top