Last night I attended the last Property Networking Club (PNC) meeting of the year in Manchester.

After some great networking the evening started as normal with the Grill the Experts Panel and we were lucky to have Glen Ackroyd, from A Quick Sale, Shimon Ruddich, from MS Law, Ian Flemming, from Investment Solutions (UK) and Yulan Yang.

The panel were asked by the chair, Richard Shepherd, what they had been up to over the last week. All had been very busy, but I was very intrigued when Glen talked about maximising the rent on an investment to achieve £900 per month on a £70K property. I believe this was with knowledge from the LHA Network (www.lha-network.co.uk) and will be investigating this much further.

The audience were able to ask general or specific questions regarding property investment or property/tenant problems. Yulan gave some great advice on negotiating building insurance by using a slow approach, getting the broker to spend time helping you and therefore be eager to close the deal. This has been a great help for her in managing a mix of private and LHA tenants. Shimon also highlighted that if an investor had more than 1 property then a block building policy is normally cheaper. I also picked up a great quote from Glen to keep in mind over years to come: Equity is Vanity, Cashflow is Sanity!”

We then had a 30 min break for some power networking and it was great to meet and chat to both brand new investors and some old hands.

After the break we were very lucky to have John Davies, of Hedge Property Investment as the Guest Speaker. The title of his speech was “Below
Market Value – Rest In Peace?” which I assume was a specifically provocative title. John was very informative and interesting and although he did not dwell on the death, or not of BMV, he did make the strong point that through 2009 investors have
found Below Market deals and believes that 2010 will see more distressed properties coming on the market as lenders release more repossessed properties.

The key theme from John’s speech was to make property investing a business and not just an investment:

  • Make sure your properties are assets and the rent is more than the mortage OR you have another income stream. Ensure you have a cashflow and stress test that cashflow (i.e. what happens if interest rates go to 6, 7 or even 8%?
  • Maximise your income and know how to rent profitably
  • Ensure you keep on top of rent payments as soon as they are due, or overdue!
  • Have a strategy planned now to take advantage in 2010

The next Manchester Property Networking Club is now the last Monday in January due to the Christmas break.