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Due to the volume of discussions about property training and mentoring, a new Tribe has been launched to curate these.I am taking this opportunity to set out Property Tribes' stance on education, training, and mentoring once and for all and as it has been from "Day One", so please forgive the lengthy post!Property Tribes has always been a massive advocate of authentic education - after all Property Tribes in itself is an educational web-site delivered by seasoned landlords and investors alike who create a "hive mind" databank of knowledge born out of experience.By "authentic education", we mean:> education that provides strategies that work in the current market conditions, using the current financial products available,> that advises of the long-term nature of investing in property, and the pitfalls as well as the upsides. > Authentic education is also that which is transparent - education without a background agenda - such as an up-sell to a more expensive product and service or to invite investment. Transparent education will be education in your best interests, not the interests of the trainer or mentor, unless of course it is made clear from the start that you will be up-sold, in which case, there is nothing wrong as the provider has been open.However, the term ‘caveat emptor’ presides over educational courses and mentoring that do not meet the above criteria.While the names will come and go (bankrupt), the methods remain the same, so understanding these can help you avoid the rogues.In our view, there are 4 stages of ‘Investment Property’ and ‘Landlordism’ - which we call the "Landlord Lifecycle":
1. Pre acquisition
4. Disposal/exitWhen choosing your education or mentoring provider, make sure they are training you in the correct phase that you need.Remember phase 3 - ownership and management - is the longest and the most important (if you are choosing to be a landlord) - this is where you should spend most of your training budget. Most mentoring and training focusses solely on phase 1 & 2 - doing the "deal"- and whilst it is important to buy smartly, if you intend to retain the property over the long term, then during phase 3 is where you would expect to make the most financial gains.Each phase requires very specific knowledge delivered by very specific professionals who have weathered multiple property cycles, a ‘catch all guru’ with little actual experience will not do and IMHO alarm bells should ring when you come across one. They come across as very excitable as to how much money you can make if you go on their course.It would be unfair for us to suggest that every one of this demographic of trainer should be avoided, however, this should not deter from these mini alarm bells being noted.It is worth noting that the property education and mentoring sector - part of the larger billion dollar "wealth creation" industry that includes network marketing and other get rich quick schemes and investments such as bitcoin - is completely unregulated with very few routes of redress if promises and contracted services are not fulfilled.However, redress can possibly be found if you use solicitors who specialise in this aspect of law.For this reason, this sector, as with any sector, you will get "rogues" who seek to take advantage.The low barriers to entry combined with free social media reach makes it very easy to start a training business and start filling rooms with people who want to get into property with no money and little effort. We call it "buying a ticket to see a Unicorn" and you can expect to pay up to £50K for some courses or mentorship programmes.Whilst choosing your training provider you will come across very ’sophisticated' marketing techniques and many beguiling ‘promises of getting rich in a short time frame’ and while these can be, and indeed are, very tempting and compelling, it is vital to ask some questions before parting with large sums of money.
Remember theory and reality are two very different beasts - would you want to fly in a plane with someone who had read a book about how to be a pilot and been on one flying lesson in a simulator, or a pilot who was trained with thousands of hours of flying time and who had landed in some challenging conditions and overcome technical faults while in the air?Your financial starting point also will massively impact the strategy you can implement and how fast you can grow your property business, so bear that in mind when being told you don't need money and its all a breeze, or listening to testimonials from previous mentees. They may have started from a much better financial position than you!If you do not qualify for BTL mortgages, it is likely you will struggle to get anywhere, so your first port of call, BEFORE paying for a course, is to speak to a reputable mortgage broker and check that you have the profile to get BTL finance.You will also typically need acquisition costs like deposits, stamp duty, and legal fees and these can be substantial.If you are struggling to pay the course or mentoring fees, and paying for them on credit cards, then perhaps property is not sustainable for you? As above, there will be on-going costs at some level. There are, at the time of writing (February 2019), over 160 Government statutes and regulations that you need to adhere to in order to be a compliant landlord. Fines for non-compliance can be very severe indeed and we have seen some record penalties in recent times as the government continues on its course of professionalising the sector.By not understanding your legal obligations because you have been sold the "get rich quick" dream (phase 1 and 2), you are building your property portfolio on very shaky and risky foundations (because of a lack of knowledge of phase 3)."Control" (non-ownership) strategies like Rent to Rent and Lease Options are often the courses where people find they cannot move forwards in reality and again you will more than likely need money on a daily basis to run these strategies, even if you do not need deposits and finance.The recent legal outcome of a high profile guru in this arena should make you think twice about the validity of marking claims and therefore the value of taking such courses.However, it would be fair to say you can never learn less, so every day is a "school day" in property and there may be free courses where you can obtain a few nuggets of helpful information for a small investment of your time.However, don't be rushed or seduced into signing up for a more expensive course on the day in the heat of the moment when you are in an emotional state. Those offers will always be there, even if you go home and do some research before deciding - which would be highly advisable and prudent. So leave your wallet at home.Just as getting it right in property investment is wealth generating and life enhancing, remember that getting it wrong can financially corrupt you and negatively impact your life on many levels, including your mental wellbeing, relationships, and the ability to get finance in the future. As mentioned above, the high transactional nature of property breeds questionable practices and attracts the unscrupulous and rogues who will not hesitate to make THEIR dreams come true at your expense, so bear that in mind when someone is on stage selling the wealthy lifestyle possible through property investment. This very often has key triggers of emotive messaging of little/no money needed, little effort needed, and you can be a millionaire in a short time frame by using their secrets and insider tips. The good news is that you can help and protect yourself by doing intense due diligence on who you are thinking of engaging with by using some very simple techniques:How to use Companies House for due diligenceHow to do due diligence on a property mentorSTOP! Don't pay for property education or mentoring until you have watched this! Additionally, if you decide to go ahead with any form of training and mentoring, you can protect yourself by paying for any fees on your credit card. This will give you legal protection under Section 75 and means you can get a refund from your credit card provider if it transpires that you were misled about the training and/or you did not get what you paid for.See - Malouf vs. MBNA - refund for property scamThis new category will feature discussions on property training and mentoring in general and also reviews of trainers and mentors. However, if there is a trainer with dissatisfied mentees or clients, then you will find them in the "Landlords in Distress" tribe.Part of the mission of Property Tribes is to create "smart" landlords and investors by empowering members to undertake their own due diligence on every commercial transaction they will undertake through every part of the landlord lifecycle.Just as you will need to do intense DD on property trainers and mentors, you will also have to understand how to do DD on lettings agents, tenants, JV partners, builders, contractors, suppliers etc. So becoming an expert at research is a very important and valuable skill and will significantly mitigate your risk of encountering someone who relieves you of your hard earned ££££ somewhere along the property trail. I re-iterate again that once that unscrupulous individual has your money, you will find it very hard to get it back, so as ever, "prevention" is far less stressful and financially draining than "cure".There are many different types of networks in property and can these can be categorised as "open" and "closed".Newbies are safer in an open network like Property Tribes and other forums and Facebook groups where there are multiple opinions shared in a transparent manner. Wealth creation trainers and mentors very often run a closed network/closed facebook group where you are only exposed to their opinion and views. Anyone who challenges that is removed from the network, so that should be a red flag if you observe that happening.You should also be wary of trainers and mentors who try to control what you are exposed to or try to discredit other sources of information. You should be allowed to make up your own mind as to what is credible and what isn't. Trainers or mentors who become hostile if asked to justify their claims of wealth and success are also ones to be wary of.One of the safest places to learn is a "eco-system" (open network), not an "ego-system" (closed network) , the former being a healthier place to learn and grow, as illustrated in the chart below:
If you do get your training in an ego-system, then you should come into an eco-system to check what you have been taught. You will get an authentic answer because there are far fewer agendas in an eco-system and you get multiple views, not a singular view.Other inputs include magazines like Property Investor News and the Landlord Investment Show magazine, podcasts and webinars from credible commentators and industry stake-holders, and your support team of your broker, tax advisor, lettings agent, and solicitor.To summarise - Authentic education is worth every penny. It will help mitigate risk and fast-track you to success. You can make others' hindsight your foresight, and avoid the pitfalls. You can network with other people on the same journey as yourself and form business ventures with them.Educated landlords and investors make smarter investment decisions. You will make wise choices to move yourself towards your goals because you have invested in the one thing that can never be taken away from you and will always serve your best interests - and that is authentic education."An investment in education pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin.At Property Tribes, we always advise newcomers to augment any training by joining a landlord association for advice and support, and you can also access templates, legal documents, and niche training courses.Our partner association is the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and PT members can enjoy a 25% discount off RLA membership as well.This Tribe is also powered by the Residential Landlords Association and to celebrate its launch, the RLA are offering PT members 30% off selected courses until 30th April 2019. The code is PROPERTYTRIBES - Please note it excludes the Rent Smart Wales courses and specific council licensing ones.Find out more about RLA Academy Training CoursesThank you for reading this lengthy post and I hope it has brought clarity to the topic of property education and mentoring and how you can get the best from it.SEE ALSO - Buying property with none of your own money UP NEXT - 15 things they WON'T teach you at a property/wealth creation seminar DON'T MISS - In contemplation of the alluring upsellNOW WATCH:
general operations director, site owner and moderator - propertytribes.com