Confessing biggest failures as a property manager and short term rental owner

“Vulnerability is the source of meaningful connection”

One of my favourite journalists, Elizabeth Day (who hosts a podcast by the name of ‘How to Fail’ ) has gone some way in normalizing failure as part of one’s life journey. The reflection that failure provides is so valuable when lessons are learnt and implemented.

It’s great to share failures so that anyone entering the property or STR business can realise there is generally always a flip side to each challenge.

So, here I’m sharing what I see as my three biggest failures in property and what I learned from them…

I tried to cut corners by using a sourcing company to buy several properties at once…. I went into property after a 20 year career in the food publishing industry and I impatiently thought a sourcing company would give me a ready-made portfolio. They turned out to be at worst a complete scam and at best a clever sales team. In any case, I found myself talked into several purchases that on basic due diligence were problematic. I then spent many hours extricating myself from most of them and then taking the company to the property ombudsmen for mis-selling.

What I learned…. That there is always a silver-lining because through the difficulties I had during sorting out situation I met lots of helpful people and one became a good friend as we navigated the challenges together. The tenacity to keep going in the face of in-just circumstances taught me I’m much more tough and strategic than I thought.

Trying to do everything myself… well this is an on-going one if I’m honest! I feel that because I’m doing every type of job in the business I both get an innate understanding of every small detail but I am prone to feeling overwhelm. I think with every small business owner this is the most common thread. With small businesses like mine, it doesn’t take a linear growth trajectory and tends more to grow organically.

What I learned…Its small steps but I am sharing the load more and more as I expand Living-Away Stays and am the better for it. Eight months ago I took on a VA who is based in the Philippines. Gyle is such a great support. He helps with organisation tasks, spreadsheets and help with the software and the property listings. I have a couple of JV’s (Joint-Ventures) on properties with Daniel and Angela which I really enjoy as working collaboratively is extremely rewarding. My husband, Spk is also making many appearance on the road with me on maintenance days and I massively value his input and my step-dad John helps out with the granular accounting needed to ensure correct strategy and profitability. I still have some way to go in establishing boundaries but on the flip side working for yourself is the ultimate freedom as nothing is off the cards really.

Failure to find a reliable power team and software …. in property your power team is defined as the professionals and contractors who help you run your business. Especially important in expanding a property business are excellent mortgage brokers, conveyancing lawyers, surveyors and accountants. On all of these I have been let down on more than two occasions apiece and to the detriment of my overall growth and encompassing a whole lot of wasted time and emotional energy. Software-wise I onboarded with the most expensive PMS system (Property Management System) imagining that they would be the answer to my challenges of managing guests and properties and lost a lot of money over it.

What I learned… just because certain software, companies and professionals work for some they don’t necessarily work for everyone. I’m reflective as to why certain professional relationships have not worked out for me and I conclude that a lot is down to expectations and not following up consistently. I think this one is very much work in progress actually. When failure and disappointment crop up repeatedly, you have to just pick yourself up and crack on- reframing situations as appropriate.

Final Thoughts – .. my failures have meant opportunity costs. However, I can appreciate how far I’ve come in 3 yrs. since changing careers and I do have exacting long-term targets to meet so I will keep failing and learning but ultimately moving forwards.

Failure is a Requirement for Learning and Growth
#lifecoach#failure#learning#flipside#property investment#hospitality

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