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This is another interesting blog from Seth Godin, who, as many of you know, we are always citing as an influence for his thought leadership. Making a ruckus in your industry.
Bring forward a new idea or technology that disrupts and demands a response
Change pricing dramatically
Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa)
Organize the disorganized, connect the disconnected
Alter the speed to market radically
Change the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information
Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else
Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses
Take the lead on ethics
(Or you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do). These are positive ways to make a ruckus. We'd like to hear from anyone who is "making a ruckus" as per the above, or is doing something within property that is "positively disruptive" or radically different. Please note, this is to generate an interesting discussion about method and the future of business, not a chance to promote your product or service, so please frame your answer around one of more of the above ways to create a ruckus.
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
I would say that most property investors do next to nothing to make a ruckus. It is a very big market and very few of us can change much of anything when we invest.
A few folks can rightfully claim to have created a ruckus when they promoted a strategy from stage. RO when he 'introduced' lease options in the UK is an example. He did not invent them. He was not the first to use them in the UK for residential deals. He did make enough of a splash that many folks started talking, other seminar promoters offered training and some investors started to use them as their primary strategy.
Being a landlord is a pretty traditional industry where little changes quickly. Most of the 'dramatic' changes come from almost outside the sector (MPs change the law, lenders change their rules, a court makes a decision that has a large impact, the economy crashes). I think the lack of major change is because people are not changing that quickly when it comes to how they live. We do shift what we want over decades but not that dramatically from any one year to another.
Landlords might use the Internet to find information and to share discussions on a forum. In that way I would say the tools we use change but what we do to run out business does not as a landlord. Some might run a marketing business where they are not investing as much as they are marketing for BMV. That might be something that could be said to cause a ruckus.
What do others think?
John CoreyFollow me on Twitter-> https://www.twitter.com/john_coreyhttps://www.ChelseaPrivateEquity.com/blogLondon RE meeting, 2nd Tuesday of the month -> meetup.com/real-estate-advice
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Thanks for commenting John. I was thinking of businesses that are changing the game, rather than Landlords, although I am sure there are some who have their own niche strategies.I think Colin Parker's new venture, Open to Offers, is one such business and also Landlord Referencing and Mary Latham's new forum.Hopefully, some of the above will comment and give us an insight into their thought processes.
Thank you for the mention of the new Letting Agents forum Vanessa although we did not set out to "make a ruckus" its seems that we have.
When I came into the business 40 years ago it really was a cottage industry, BtoL had not been heard of and financing purchases of properties to let was difficult, a Tenancy had to be for 363 days and the property needed to be furnished otherwise you had no chance of getting a bad tenant out. I read every piece of legislation and regulation relating to the business of letting and I have continued to do so since.
Over the years, responding to the changes that have taken place, I have changed my MO many times. I have also changed my market and moved into other client groups as the opportunity has arisen. In the Rugg Review it was acknowledged tha the PRS as excellent at moving quickly and providing homes to new client groups. A good example would be when, in 1999, Government decided to disperse people, entering England at the Kent coast to seek asylum, through the UK in order to spread the cost/resources. I was very involved with a NASS contractor in the West Midlands because I was determined that this would not cause racial issues nor displace the original tenant groups, or present landlords with opportunities to rent sub standard properties. It worked very well.
In the early 90's I realised that local authorities in my area were ignoring landlords and saw us as the enemy. I knew that it was time to start talking but, after having many doors slammed in my face, yes they know who they are, I realised that landlords need to be organised and form a group in order to get attention. I co-founded The Association of Midlands Landlords (known to local authorities as the Association of Mary Latham) now I had the authority of members and authorities could not ignore me. The AML became part of the National Federation of Residential Landlords and as their representative I began to play with the grown ups. I was invited to join the Executive Committee of the NFRL and it was in this capacity that I became involved in, what was then known as the Housing Bil,l which became the Housing Act 2004. This was a steep learning curve and I am proud of my part in taking some of the sharp edges of this piece of legislation that change the PRS forever. When the AML merged with the NLA i became the Regional Representative for NLA.and I continue to work with landlord, local authorities and othere partners in my region.
When, in the 90's the 33 London Local authorities realised that they needed the PRS to increase the stock of homes available to those on their homeless lists accreditation through education was born in the form of LLAS. I am proud to say that I delivered the first seminar to these landlords and continued to work with LLAS for some time. During this time I became aware of just how little landlords knew about the business they had chosen to be in and how the one day seminar, delivered through LLAS, was giving them a firm foundation upon which to keep their business and their tenants safe. Through my work with HOMESTAMP the accrediation through education model was brought to the midlands and MLAS was born in 2007. I have delivered around 200 seminars through MLAS, including on going CPD sessions to keep landlords right up to date. When the NLA began their accrediation through education scheme I began delivering the same seminar for them. Over this time I became aware of another issue, Letting Agents were attending my seminars because there were no comparable options open to them at reasonable cost.
I did not set out to get involved with Letting Agents but when I began speaking to Mark Reynolds, a landlord and Letting Agent, the new site evolved. We realised that between us we had the knowledge and skills to support the smaller, independant Agents who had hit the floor running and had neither time nor money to invest in long and expensive courses but needed to keep their landlords, tenants and themselves safe. We also realised that it would be commercial suicide if Letting Agents posted on an open forum where, as Vanessa is always saying, internet is transparent and tenants and landlords can see that their Agents are not as knowledgable as they imagined they were. We decided to make the new site "behind closed doors" and to vet every new member so that only Letting Agents can join. Members are not allowed to use their own or trading names and in this environment they can aks their questions and share their good practice and problems with like minded people.
I guess you could say that I change my game often but fundamentally I am a good landlord and I really care about the business that I have chosen to be in and which has given me a good living for 40 years.
But I never cause a ruckus ask any of my local authorities hahahahahahaha
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Ruckus has a ring Paul Ruckas. What would we be if we didn't have those that get off the fence and do something about what they perceive is lacking in our society to make things better.
All I can say is that if me causing a ruckas by starting landlordrefencing has saved 1 landlord from that disastrous tenant or taking the guy that stabbed me then I will be happy to be know as Paul Ruckas :-).
We could start a club up 75 years in property staring Paul Ruckas & Lairy Mary ha ha ..only having fun before the Glums attack me :-)
Interesting question.I don't actually believe in provocation (e.g. ruckus, in its general sense); but in an approach more like Gandhi's (e.g. positively opting out - and in any event just getting on with what is worth doing). However, I have tried to alert Tribal members from time to time to the possibilities for extending their capital and rental income possibilities into the land they own around their constructed properties.Can this be considered to be 'making waves'?The things I would cause a proper ruckus about if I could see any really likely positive outcomes from doing so would be to strongly advocate several largely unknown forms of land management: permaculture, keylining, chinampas, forest gardens, biodynamics, and aquaponics. But then - who would have a clue what I was talking about in the first place?
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Thanks Mary & Paul. I think you both connect the disconnected!Paul Ruckas and Lairy Mary has a certain ring to it! Good luck to both of you.Brian, thanks for commenting and we have now heard of some of those land management ideas and I like the sound of "aquaponics"!!
Ruckas, Paul and Mary in concert at a Property Show near you hahahahahahaha Paul Routledge said:
Hi All,Ruckus has a ring Paul Ruckas. What would we be if we didn't have those that get off the fence and do something about what they perceive is lacking in our society to make things better.All I can say is that if me causing a ruckas by starting landlordrefencing has saved 1 landlord from that disastrous tenant or taking the guy that stabbed me then I will be happy to be know as Paul Ruckas :-).We could start a club up 75 years in property staring Paul Ruckas & Lairy Mary ha ha ..only having fun before the Glums attack me :-)
:-) ;-)I think I'd better not take us of track........:-) Vanessa said:
Apologies for taking a while to reply Vanessa - I've been busy sorting the ruckus out !Four weeks in to launching Open To Offers - a 'Rightmove' type portal for investors which lists property for sale from motivated sellers where the buyer negotiates a price direct with the seller - the following issues are becoming clear; We list property from estate agents who have identified sellers willing to accept an offer below a realistic market valuation. The offer accepted will be entirely down to how motivated the seller is, what price their equity will allow them to accept and the negotiation skills of the buyer and how quick they can complete. There are other companies with a similar model to Open To Offers. However, a big problem for all of us is getting investors to 'play ball' and pay our reservation/commitment fee - which they only pay once they have viewed, done whatever DD they want to undertake and have had an offer accepted. Our fee is just 1%+vat of the PP with a minimum fee of £1000+vat. But guess what investors try to do? Cut us out and go direct to the agent. All we, and others then do, is provide a free platform to estate agents and investors to market and buy BMV property. Free to agents and investors - but not free to us.One company has solved this problem by tying the agent's sale fee into the buyers fee. They insist that the agent cancels their commission fee agreement with the seller - the seller now pays NO agency sale fee - in return for the seller accepting offers below valuation. This company - wait for it - charges buyers a minimum of 5% of the PP or £5,000 whichever is the greater. This fee is split between the company and the agent. It works, to a degree, but taking a sledge hammer to crack a nut springs to mind. Many agents simply won't cancel their agency agreements - and many buyers won't pay that level of fee unless they get 30%+ BMV. That makes their model 'niche' and I want volume turnover. BUT - at least this company gets the fee they are due when a property sells. They may, or may not be busy, but they aren't busy fools!Companies - of which there are still many - doing option agreements (mostly STILL on NMD) - don't have a problem getting their fees either. An option agreement is little different to an agents sole agency agreement, the sellers details are not given to the buyer until he has paid the reservation fee and more often than not the property isn't listed on Rightmove. Game, set and match to the option holder.The only way any such portal can have 1000s of of properties listed - and give investors a wide choice of property on their doorstep - is to get estate agents involved. But, it won't happen until either a) investors stop trying to cheat (because THAT is what it is - cheating the system) or b) estate agents and the portal owner get a system which stops 90%+ of the cheating.I have a plan to stop the cheating. And boy will it cause a 'ruckus'.But, if the plan works, sellers, estate agents and investors especially will all benefit.And me of course!What's the plan? Well, it might take 3/4 months to put into place. Because as I'm sure Seth Godin would agree, changing the staus quo is never easy. Most give up early, we won't.