Meet Richard Hodgson, someone who always had an interest in property but took a little while to find the way that he could become involved in an affordable way thereby creating a flexible lifestyle for himself. Several turning points are revealed, all resulting from finding out what you don’t know. (Sometimes you do know it, or most of it and it’s much easier to find out rather than stop taking action because of a lack of information)
Q. Describe what it is you actually do?
A. I help people to solve their property problems. The traditional route to sell, or to let a property is to employ an agent to do this for you. In some instances property owners or landlords need to sell, or to let their property quickly. For example, they may be relocating to the other side of the world at short notice; getting divorced; moving in with a partner; facing a repossession or have a portfolio to sell.
In all these situations I work with the property owners to create a solution to help them to move on in their life but allowing me to make a profit too. For example, I lease flats from landlords and property developers, for a period of between 3 and 5 years. I cover their monthly rental whether the properties are occupied, or not. This saves them the expense incurred during void periods, so they are able to maximize their rental income over the long term.
Controlling their properties in this way enables me to operate a serviced accommodation business close to Heathrow and Gatwick airports, so whether my guests are travelling for business or pleasure, they have a flat or house to stay in where they can enjoy a home life, rather than be subjected to living within 4 walls in a hotel room without the facility to do routine activities like cook their own meals or do their washing when away from home, for weeks at a time.
Q. How and why did you get started in this?
A. I have always had a passion for property. My parents used to take the family house hunting, spending a day out on a road trip, sightseeing and eating out in the country. These days out would always include a visit to estate agents; new housing developments; and private estates to view properties. I would often pick up brochures to seek ideas before spending the rest of the weekend designing houses or ways to extend our own property, drawing plans including layouts and elevations.
One of the first business books to make an impression on me, was Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. This taught me how to manage money by investing in income-producing assets. For example, invest in property to be paid for by tenants which has become a lesson that all property investors learn very quickly.
Q. Was it an obvious step or did it feel like a challenge?
A. It was an obvious step because I felt that investing in property was congruent with my values. However, I was challenged because I needed to discover an effective way to acquire property without having to use my own money. Like many people starting off, I had little money to spare while working for an employer.
I therefore made the decision to educate myself, by learning how to use other people’s money to achieve a much greater return on their money than they would gain from leaving their money in the bank, at today’s low interest rates and then to have this eroded by inflation. I have now achieved this for several friends.
Investing in property is not without its challenges. It will test the courage of anybody however strong their resolve to succeed. There will always be a monkey sitting on your shoulder saying why you should not do things. This is how the body is designed to keep you safe. They say that dealing with fear is 80% mindset and 20% knowledge so one can overcome these challenges and the fear of failure by constantly reading and listening to motivational and positive material to constantly strengthen one’s mindset so long as your mind is open to new ideas. Having a support network comprising like-minded individuals to discuss one’s successes and challenges with has been most helpful and rewarding too.
Q. What is the best part about doing what you do?
A. The personal satisfaction gained from working with others to create a win-win solution for all parties concerned; and having this provide a lifestyle that offers me the freedom to do as I please, when I choose.
Q. What tips or advice do you have for anyone wanting to work in property?
A. The first tip is to get educated and the second is to take continuous action, focusing on one course until successful. The journey will have its challenges and there will be road blocks but so long as the action is persistent you will overcome these.
On a more practical level it is wise to work with somebody that has been on the journey already so that you can either learn from them, in exchange for offering your skills and resource; or remain seated by becoming an armchair investor with them to achieve a higher rate of return on your money, if you do not want to participate in the day to day activities of being a property magnate.
Q. What is your next challenge?
A. The next challenge will always be bigger, and more exciting than the last so with this in mind I want to employ the knowledge and experience gained on my journey so far, to operate a holiday lets business down in Cornwall.
Having brought in the appropriate skills regarding funding, hotel management, planning and development I shall be free to work on the business and to manage my own life to include more activities in Cornwall, holidays abroad and pursuing goals to challenge me physically, to improve my quality of life.
For more inspirational people who are doing their dreams, take a look at the rest of the blog. If you are stuck on how to start doing your dreams, get in touch and find out how I can help you.