My property journey so far…

My property journey so far…

Welcome to my blog. I am Mike Smith, a property investor based in Nottingham. My journey began in 2013, I had just turned 30 and was trapped in a NHS role that was not challenging me. Seven years of writing the small print on contracts, a life sentence of dull office work in Grimsby. My side hustle was DJing which I just loved but the money was always too unreliable to do it full time. After reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I hit on the idea of buying a large house with several rooms in Nottingham where I DJ. My only goal was to become a full time DJ living in a room…

“My only goal was to become a full time DJ living in a room”

That goal soon changed. I soon realised that renting rooms was an extremely lucrative business and was lucky enough to have enough savings to buy another house. In just six months I had two very profitable houses that replaced my NHS income, add in a thriving DJ business that picked up numerous retail clients… I was living the dream! My ambition went to the next level in 2014 when I met a guy who told me about something called “Rent to Rent”. Do landlords really let you rent out their properties? I just couldn’t believe how good an idea this was, I just had to get out there and do it. So I set up Notts Relocate Ltd, focused on housing Professional and Corporate Tenants. By 2015, with a help of a sales coach, I managed to signed 40 rooms, with many satisfied tenants and clients, all of whom are with us to this day.

“I was living the dream”

In early 2016 I noticed a strategy called Serviced Accommodation (SA) that was becoming more fashionable in London. As a total experiment I called a client who was selling her houses and suggested we Short Let them, we did and it was a roaring success in no time we smashed the VAT threshold and was taking 5k a month extra a month out of nowhere! We hit the SA wave just right but just like a wave it came crashing down… Rapid growth without really having the systems and enough staff it inevitably lead to burnout, VAT, exhaustion, staff quitting, accounts being filed late. My dream life had become the biggest most stressful role I had ever had. By early 2017 I was attempting to run a company turning over 250k+ with only part time help. Things had to change…

“My dream life had become the biggest most stressful job I ever had”

Quitting the day job was the easy bit but I now faced a bigger challenge how to handle this huge cashflow. I had to fundamentally change my mind set, it is one of the hardest things in business letting go of your creation. Like all entrepreneurs I thought I was indestructible and I thought I could just work harder and harder. Now I realised I had to work smarter I became obsessed with systemisation, automation, and delegating tasks. By the end of the year I had grown a team of three staff and automated / delegated many of our processes and was back to loving what I do. I was finally working on the business not in the business…

“I had to work smarter not harder”

 With more time away from the day to day from late 2017, I had space to focus upon strategy and analyse past performance and goals of the business. This analysis produced some incredibly interesting results which I will be sharing with you in later blog posts. This analysis also lead to some major changes in the how we operate our properties and a new strategy purchasing Freehold Blocks of Flats, redevelop them and then refinance them. These days, I now spend my time analysing deals, managing the team, speaking with brokers, raising finance,  attending auctions, reading books, and trying to get that elusive life changing deal over the line…. Watch this space!