17
Sep 12

Landlords the buck stops with you!

Many thanks to Total Landlord for asking me to contribute a guest blog.

I thought I would take a few moments to talk about how important is it to learn and grow as a Landlord, as this is a topic that is close to my heart, and I know that it is shared by Total Landlord Insurance CEO, Eddie Hooker.

As Landlords, we have to adhere to over 70 government statutes, rules, and regulations and these are constantly changing.  Landlords also need to understand that no one, not even a lettings agent on a fully managed basis, can divest the Landlord of their responsibility.

The buck literally stops with the landlord.

Bearing in mind that ignorance is never an excuse in a court of law, I believe that landlords must ensure that they are fully compliant at all times, and also make a commitment to up-dating their information in order to remain compliant.

One of the best ways to do this is the use of social web tools, most of them being free!

In 2009, my husband Nick and I formed Property Tribes, which, in three short years, has developed into the U.K.’s leading landlord and investment community.

Our forum is unique on several levels:

We do not allow any form of commercial post, as this does not facilitate discussion and learning and it also clouds information with a sales agenda, meaning it may not be authentic.

We also encourage people to use their real names and avatar pictures, as we believe that without transparency there cannot be trust, and without trust, there is little of value.

We also have very strict codes of conduct on the forum and we will not allow any form of personal abuse, “trial by forum”, or defamatory/unsubstantiated comments, meaning that people can post in confidence.

These values were put in place after spending time on other property forums where there was a lot of hostility, personal abuse, selling to novice investors, and defamatory comments that do not add value to any discussion and deter people from sharing and joining in.

Our aim was to create a professional, friendly, and inclusive place where Landlords could learn and grow, and we very much included ourselves in that as we are firm believers that, to quote the great Kevin Kelly, “none of us is as smart as all of us”.

By joining a forum of like-minded committed and professional people, you expose yourself to the latest property intelligence and raise your game as a result.

All the information you need to know is curated in one place, saving you time and effort, as you do not need to go and search the web yourself for it.

Sharing what you know with others is a healthy and generous thing to do as you will learn from the ensuing discussions and become a better and more rounded landlord as a result.

As landlords, we can often feel quite lonely, working in isolation … but the advent of forums such as Property Tribes means that we can reach out to others, connect, share, learn and grow.  And it’s a free platform!

Property Tribes enjoys an unusually high level of community engagement with the average time on site often being around the 25 minute mark, and the average page views per person being in excess of 12.

This success led us, in July 2012, to create a bespoke and state-of-the-art forum platform to better serve the needs of the property community.
The new site is unique in that it is based on the principle of “mass customisation” where each member controls the inputs – people and information –  that they receive, ensuring it is highly relevant to them.  Each member of the site will have an individual experience, suited to them … much like how the iPhone is customised by individuals to suit the needs and inputs they require on a daily basis.

We are gratified that Property Tribes has attracted some of the leading contributors from the professional Landlord community including Landlord of 40 years & NLA Trainer, Mary Latham, Landlord & Editor of “Property Investor News” Richard Bowser, Landlord & Founder of Property118.com Mark Alexander, Landlord and Founder of National Property Group Glenn Ackroyd, and Landlord and Founder of the Castledene Property Group John Paul, to name but a few.

We ourselves have learned so much from the input and support of these people, and indeed every single person who takes the time to be a contributor.

Being a landlord is not a “get rich quick” strategy, but you can short cut some of the mistakes and hurdles by learning from people who have gone before, and that is the real value of Property Tribes (and other social sites) to my mind.

In view of this, I was honoured to be asked to be a guest on the most recent addition of LetYourPropertyTV which is powered by Total Landlord.

I was asked to talk on the topic of Universal Credit, which should be on all Landlord’s minds at the moment.

While at the studio, I took the opportunity to interview Total Landlord CEO Eddie Hooker about his concept for the TV programme, which is very much in line with the philosophy of Property Tribes:

To find out more about how Landlords are going to deal with Universal Credit and rental payments being made to tenants, please visit our discussion here:

http://www.propertytribes.com/breaking-news-universal-credit-paid-direct-tenants-t-6359.html   

So, we’ve talked about Property Tribes, TotalLandlordTV which also includes YouTube, a great source of information.

My final recommendation for Landlord learning is Twitter.

It is a huge source of information, and the fact that it is in “real time” makes it even more valuable and relevant.

Twitter will often be the first to break news.

If you use the #property & #landlord hashtags, you can curate the information that is relevant to you and screen out a lot of the “noise”.

I also call twitter my “serendipity generator”.  It will introduce you to information, ideas, and people that you need, just as you need them!

It’s a brilliant learning and networking tool and one that I enjoy being involved with on a daily basis.

It can take you into networking circles you could not otherwise access, it can take you to events that you could never attend (by following the event hashtag), and it can deliver information to you that you didn’t even know you needed to know!

Brilliant.

So I hope this blog has inspired you to take to the social web, if you are not already doing so, and also become a net contributor.

The people following behind you can learn from you, just as you learned from those who went before.  It closes the karmic loop and rewards you in ways that you could never imagine.

I hope to see you somewhere soon in the property cyber-world.

You’ll recognise me by my name and my picture!

Thanks for reading my guest blog, I appreciate your attention, and hope you got value from it.

Please join me on Property Tribes, Twitter (@4_walls), and LetYourPropertyTV.

Vanessa Warwick
 

About the author

Vanessa  Warwick Photograph

Vanessa Warwick is a former TV presenter, turned professional Landlord, consultant, and speaker. Along with her husband Nick Tadd, she founded Property Tribes, which is now the U.K.’s busiest on-line Landlord and investor community. Nick and Vanessa also developed a new tech product, Yulpa, an on-line “property office/filo-fax” that helps you organise and manage your entire property life in one place. It comes with an iPhone app that does auto due diligence on any property being considered for purchase.

Vanessa and Nick advocate the use of technology and digital and social communications in property, and speak at events all over the U.K. as well as consulting for the BBC on property. They invest mainly in flats London and family houses in the South East and are also big advocates of holiday lets, having two upmarket holiday lets on the South Coast that achieve above-average occupancy thanks to the couple’s web efforts and vertical marketing strategies.

 

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