4 Stories, 1 Goal – Introducing Raj: Property Expert
As part of our wider 4 Stories, 1 Goal series, we’re introducing some of the key guests helping us get people thinking about investing for later life. 4 Stories, 1 Goal is a free series designed to encourage people to consider their financial future – with insights from property investors and industry property experts. You can get your free 4 Stories, 1 Goal series here.
At the heart of 4 Stories, 1 Goal is the people. Each of our guests represents a different aspect of the investment journey, from industry property experts that work alongside investors to property investors themselves.
We asked each guest to give us their story – from the first investment to the present day and beyond. We asked them why they started, obstacles they had to overcome and how they measure success. All investors are different and our guests are no exception – everyone considers an investment for different reasons and while goals can be similar, strategies that work for one won’t always work for the other.
Introducing Raj Bedi
Raj has worked in the property industry for just under seven years. In 2012, Raj became a franchisee of Martin & Co and opened an office in Harborne before expanding with a Birmingham city office in 2017. His day-to-day role includes valuing properties for sales and lettings as well as helping investor clients grow their property portfolios. He has previous experience in retail banking, working for both Natwest and Lloyds.
Raj bought his first investment property in 2016 in Quinton, Birmingham and currently has 4 investment properties, all of which are in the Birmingham area. In 2018, he won Best Letting Agent in Birmingham City Centre at the British Property Awards.
As a property professional and investor, Raj has helped many clients decide on and achieve their key objectives, making him an ideal candidate for ‘4 Stories, 1 Goal.’ Below he shares his experiences with a few key answers from the wider interview.
What are the catalysts that make people think about their financial futures?
“I’d say a lot of people decide when they’ve got a large amount of savings, it makes them decide that maybe it’s the time to start investing in property. Sometimes people get a lump sum from their pension, a lot of the time we get people that have got family or friends that have told them about investing in property and I find that’s quite a big catalyst for people to want to get into it as well.”
Where would you advise people to start & where did you start?
“So the first thing someone should do when they are looking to invest in property is to look on the internet, do their research on specific areas and prices in that area. They should speak to anyone they know that has invested in property and the areas they’ve picked. Look at the news and see where the hotspots are. They should do a lot of early research and once they have an understanding of what they want, they should then meet either developers or agents and get feedback from them as well.
“When I started investing in property, it was from seeing my family doing the same. Then working in the industry myself, helping clients make money, it felt natural to me to think ‘I’ve helped that person grow their property portfolio by X amount’, I could do similar to what they’ve done and I’ve advised them to do.”
What advice would you give to investors?
“My main piece of advice to give to a new investor would be, when you’re looking at different types of properties to invest in, always go with your gut instinct. There’s always a lot of different properties out there and a lot of different developments and a lot of people can get confused about which property to invest in because of the wide range of choice. Just go with your gut and pick a property that you feel is right, more often than not it will be the right investment.”
Do your investors have goals?
“Some investors have, in terms of goals, either a goal to get the best yield, best capital appreciation, best type of tenant, some people buy more with emotion so it may be a property they would like to live in themselves.
“We do find that investors’ goals do change over time as they go through the investment journey. A lot of the time they might think they want to buy a flat but then it becomes a house, or they have a certain budget and then they decide they can stretch that budget. It might be down to the area, they might be looking at one area and then invest in another.
“We do get people that have a certain financial goal and then we have some people that are not clear at all on what their goal is and they want advice from us. We then give them that advice and it could be whether they split their money into buying two properties or three, or whether they mortgage or whether they should focus on capital appreciation or rental yield.”