Will keeping a diary make you a better property investor?

UK Property Investor

An investor diary will help you to build good investment habits

The property investor who keeps a diary will build wealth faster than the one who doesn’t. It is one of the lessons my property mentor taught me when I first started out. It’s one of the property investment tips all investors should follow. Let me explain why.

A property investor diary keeps you focused

In my investment diary, I note several things. I write down my medium and longer-term aims, and my daily goals. I review progress on my daily goals at the end of each day, and on my other goals weekly and monthly. I find this helps me to break objectives into smaller milestones. In turn, this helps me to achieve my goals.

Just a few minutes each day helps my focus. It helps me to allot my time more effectively and makes sure I don’t forget an important event.

A property investor diary helps to celebrate success

When I have a win, I make certain I write it in capital letters. When I review a particularly difficult week or month, seeing these wins highlighted as this helps me to remember why I invest in property. Successes that I highlight in this way include things such as time away with my family, successful webinars and seminars that I’ve led, great hires that my companies have made, and so on.

By recording successes, I understand my progress both professionally and personally. And I realise how property investment has liberated my lifestyle (and continues to do so).

A property investor diary helps me learn from my mistakes

Making mistakes is a human quality. Learning from them is a quality of all successful investors. I note down mistakes and bad decisions as well as successes. When I review my diary each week, I take the time to consider my mistakes. What can I learn from them? Could I have done anything differently? Is there education I need to take to avoid making the same mistake again?

I recently read a couple of my early investor diaries. Littered with the red ink of mistakes. Today’s diaries suffer the red pen treatment very rarely. They look much neater! Learning from mistakes is as important as repeating successful actions. A mistake recorded in writing provides multiple opportunities to review, consider, and learn from it. A hard copy record which is available to review and can help in the future, too. It’s surprising how often investment opportunities ‘repeat’ themselves.

A property investor diary is a key tool at review time

We tend to forget a great deal of what we learn. That’s a scientific fact. Our memory lasts just a few days. Therefore, it’s important to review and revise if you want to be successful.

My property investor diary is the perfect tool to prompt my memory when it comes to my annual review. I can see the progress I’ve made, and identify where I need to put the extra focus. It helps me to keep on track with my long-term goals and develop my investment strategy as my circumstances and the property, and economic trend cycle evolves.

What property investment details does my investor diary track?

I keep track of property investment opportunities that I am considering, ones I’ve turned down, and ones I’ve bought.  Here are some of the elements I record:

  • I note the fundamental details of the property (location, price, expected income and return, etc.).
  • I also keep a record of why I was interested in the property, and why I went ahead with the purchase or turned my back on it.
  • If I missed out on the opportunity, I note this as well.
  • I’ll also detail the negotiation process I went through on price.

There are some seriously good lessons I’ve learned from the opportunities I’ve missed out on. For example:

  • Only very rarely will a few thousand pounds of extra discount make a big difference to the return achievable. If you’re too hard when negotiating on price, you could lose out on what would have been a great deal.
  • I’ve also learned that sometimes it pays to move quickly – again, looking back, I’ve missed some fantastic investment opportunities because I procrastinated. Fortunately, there’s always another investment opportunity around the corner (once or twice, ‘around the corner’ has been exactly where I’ve found them!). Today, I find that procrastination has gone. That’s because I invest with the numbers – I’ve learned how to assess whether a property investment will be profitable.

Are you a procrastinator? Do you want to know how to buy the best property in the best location, at the best price? Contact one of our team today on +44 (0)207 923 6100, and discover the benefits of working with property experts and successful property investors.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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