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  • Property-a-holics

    Report from the Wessex Investor Network meeting in Somerset ....

    I've just got back from the above meeting - stayed the night in a beautiful luxury log cabin overlooking a lake!. (http://www.lowerlakesltd.co.uk).
    Just wanted to acknowledge Brian Heath's efforts for putting this group together, as there are not many property networking events outside of the home counties.
    It was just a small group, but the chat was free-flowing and productive.
    I went to support Brian, but also to meet the wonderful Clottie of Singing Pig fame who won't mind you knowing that she is "Suzanne" on Property Tribes!
    Clottie is extremely experienced and generous with sharing her knowledge, and she spoke most expertly on tenant management of HA tenants, something that I have no experience with at all!
    It was also great to meet Rich Greenland, another PT member. What an intelligent and dynamic young man - a great person to have in your network as his energy will enthuse you!
    If you are within driving distance of Bridgwater, get yourself along to Brian's next event. It's a lovely location at the Canalside Center, and Brian offers a warm welcome! I am personally committed to help Brian grow his group and increase his network as he wants to create a group that works in an ethical and transparent fashion, and that delivers real value to delegates. Please spread the word ....
    If anyone has any ideas how Brian can increase the numbers at his meetings, please post them here.
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    Vanessa has invited me to say a few words about the group, its aims and intentions: thanks, I'm really glad of the opportunity. I can be open and frank here, which is so refreshing.
    I am fundamentally and deeply grounded in the belief that the gradual building of good sound relationships in the world of property is of fundamental importance - so I have started this monthly seminar group last November, in a non-descript town (Bridgwater) half an hour's drive south of Bristol. There are investors here, scattered abroad, and few and far between. But they have been converging on the venue I like to use near J24 on the M5 .
    I have been stunned by the calibre of people coming. I'm from a professional background in property myself, so have been looking to invite property professionals - across the whole spectrum, not just investors. So, we've had investors of course, developers, builders, mortgage brokers, IFAs, property sourcers, estate agents, and quality speakers from far and near.
    I care passionately about integrity in property investment. So, for example, I will have no truck with mortgage fraud, tax evasion, and clever ways of hiding the truth from people. The result has been that those to whom this is not alien have stuck with me, and I am truly thankful. Numbers are small - but I'm not after numbers, just quality and integrity. We're in this for the long term - and its a perilous world at times, waiting there ready to catch us out and trip us up. Discernment is greatly needed, and to keep ones wits about one.
    Like many, and probably most, serious minded and motivated property investors, I have travelled far and wide for 'education' - with a great hunger to learn, and with much, thankfully, available. I have learned bucket-loads, which I've needed, and still have many buckets to fill.
    I became conscious late last year that I was drifting into a mind-set of being a passive learner, not an active decision-making doer. I decided to stop the wandering around, and set up my own group, locally, because I understood also that the key to success lay largely in being at the heart of a local network of serious-minded motivated doers - I just needed to find them, and bring them together (realising that they were not together already, other than having been captured and mesmerised by the slick presenters springing up around us), by providing an environment in which we could build through discussion and mutual exchange. I am still, but the way, shy of pitfalls, and still looking to do enough research to feel confident of an investment strategy that is financially sound in every way (not just in instant 'discounts').
    So there are just a few of us, but plenty more in the wings. Most who have fallen away have wanted business rather than business relationships, it seems to me. That's fine. We can build something genuine from a few.
    We have the opportunity to go 'live' in a number of ways, especially by way of a forum route. I think Nick and Vanessa are going to be able to turn keys for us in understanding how to do this - and I'm so thankful for that.
    So, aims, goals and so on for Wessex Investors Network.....
    gently expose unsound investment strategies, not publicly, but just so that we are aware of these, and clear about them.
    advocate really sound understanding, practice and strategies.
    maintain a low-key 'educational' environment.
    avoid going round in circles and re-inventing wheels - if someone knows what they are about, we listen to them.
    encourage everyone who wants to learn, even if knowing nothing to begin with.
    stay low-key and professional.
    bring in related professionals, who are not investment -savvy. This is a particularly important aim.
    let joint-venturing and collaboration,in the broadest sense, develop quite naturally, as it will.
    remain apolitical - we do not have a soap-box, though we will reckon to be pretty candid about most things.
    provide access to educational material.
    keep out of the prevailing BMV greed-and-fear sheep-race.
    go out of our way to invite sound people to be along and speak and to be along.
    That's all I can think of at the moment. All pretty modest, really. This is not a big parliamentary decision or constitution - it's what motivates me.
    I would be so glad if people can add to this - thanks Vanessa for opening up the opportunity. And thanks very much for coming down - you've met us at a threshold, and given us plain direction to focus on. I feel it is quite hopeful now.
    Roll on the serious-minded - I'm really looking forward to hearing from you.
    Brian
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