Course in Managing Refurbs?

Managing Refurbishments - an essential strategy if you want to refinance after 6 months and get your deposit back out.

Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Rich G » Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:35 pm

A friend has been on at me to do an affordable course in managing refurbs. It has become an essential item if you want to refinance after 6 months and get your deposit back out.

My background is I’ve been doing it for over 30 years so I do know what I’m on about! I’m also a landlord and property trader. Here are links to two of my blog series:

http://pimlico-flats.co.uk/blog/propert ... te-series/
http://pimlico-flats.co.uk/blog/propert ... te-series/

Would there be any interest in that?
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Ken E » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:58 pm

Guru Rich has arrived! I bow down before you o'sensei and shall worship the hallowed ground upon which you walk. :D :lol: :D

Oh ok, I wont go that far but I would love to do what sounds like an excellent practical hands-on type course, from someone I know and trust is already doing it and has many years of experience. Do I get any kudos for suggesting (along with Louis Meredith) you did it over a year or so ago??

If its any help I can probably give you a long list of things "I Know I dont really know well enough to do them and price them with confidence" if that will help you work out what some us less experienced with profitable refurbs might need to know?
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Nick » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:03 pm

Rich,

I think that you should do it.

It may not make you much money because there isn't really a market for "Here is how you do the hard work" courses. People don't want to know how to work, what they are prepared to pay top dollar for is courses which show them how to make lots of money without doing any work. However I am being repetitive, and worse - repeating what other people say.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Ken E » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:19 pm

Agree there isn't really a HUGE market for "Here is how you do the hard work" courses BUT a quality course will bring quality participants, and as long as you get a good return of money for the time you input, everyone will be happy, and of course good contacts will be made for the future.

There may be a mass market in GRQ type stuff but there is also IMHO a solid but smaller demand from the more discerning for exactly this type of quality course (and the type that Ant Lyons used to run in Bath for newbie in investors). For every pie in the sky dreamer there will be someoen who wants to learn how to do things for realb
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Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Rob H » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:21 pm

I agree with Nick.

My suggestion, to make it appealing is to charge a low fee and go for volume. Find a room for say £100 or pay for lunches and get the room for free, look to get 10-20 people in at £50 a head.

That's not cheapening your value, it's just economics, people do want the GRQ route. However, there will be loads of the same people wanting 'something for nothing' fifty £50 compared to £497 ( why always £497?) so the take up should be good. Allow for at least one loss leader event, maybe offer a couple of free places in return for guaranteed feedback in as many portals/forums you can provide a list for. It's up to you to make sure they give great feedback then by providing great content (you will)
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Nick » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:44 pm

Ken E wrote:Agree there isn't really a HUGE market for "Here is how you do the hard work" courses BUT a quality course will bring quality participants


Now that in itself might be of value .......
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Jo King » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:20 pm

Rich

Maybe you should start with a course based on your blog 'Be your own surveyor' - there are tonnes of Investors who haven't got a clue what they're looking at or looking for when seeking property to refurb. If you can show them how to identify or illiminate the initial problems when viewing a property I'm sure they'd be very much up for paying a decent amount of money.

You could then go on to do an 'Advanced' course in how to do refurbs and charge on a weekly/monthly basis.

Who knows, if it takes off I might even insist on being a Speaker at some point as this is something I would feel confident to do :D
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Nick » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:26 pm

Jo King wrote:Maybe you should start with a course based on your blog 'Be your own surveyor' - there are tonnes of Investors who haven't got a clue what they're looking at or looking for when seeking property to refurb. If you can show them how to identify or illiminate the initial problems when viewing a property I'm sure they'd be very much up for paying a decent amount of money.


ROFL
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Ken E » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:55 pm

Jo King wrote:Rich - Maybe you should start with a course based on your blog 'Be your own surveyor' - there are tonnes of Investors who haven't got a clue what they're looking at or looking for when seeking property to refurb. If you can show them how to identify or illiminate the initial problems when viewing a property I'm sure they'd be very much up for paying a decent amount of money.


Good idea Jo. I'm sure I have told you before Rich but I have the whole lot of 'Be your own surveyor' printed out and kept it in my car (Scuse the copyright!). Its invaluable and to me has the making of a book. You like to write, you like to teach, and you know what you are on about and can communicate that in terms that anyone can understand and learn from, whether novice or experienced. You can also do that standing up in front of a group oir (I liked Ant's style of doing it) round table style, so less of master / pupil scenario and more the most experienced leading the rest.

At the end of the day you have to do what works for you, but my suggestion would be more intimate than Rob's. The GRQ crowd will tire of you as thats not what you are offering. What about 8 -15 people, paying £50 initially. Thats still c£500 for the day, which is not a bad days work (plus preparation). If it goes well, then maybe up it to £100, but me perosnally I would hesitate at that level without someone serioulsy telling me it the bees knees, I would rather buy a book from Amazon.

I think you will also make money sideways from it from the contacts and credibility you will build up.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Jo King » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:04 pm

I think you should do some 'live' tuition at properties if and when you can, that would be bound to draw the punters in.

It should be relatively easy to get some Investors to put forward their properties if you can show them (and of course the rest of the group) where they might have issues/problems. You don't necessarily have to get internal access as many problems can be identified externally. Maybe you could persuade an Agent to let you access the odd empty property from time to time - especially if you're taking a group of potential buyers :D

If you were to market the first one based on a real live property ready for refurb I bet you'd pull in a large group - and maybe more JV partners :D
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Ken E » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:08 pm

Jo King wrote:I think you should do some 'live' tuition at properties if and when you can, that would be bound to draw the punters in.

It should be relatively easy to get some Investors to put forward their properties if you can show them (and of course the rest of the group) where they might have issues/problems. You don't necessarily have to get internal access as many problems can be identified externally. Maybe you could persuade an Agent to let you access the odd empty property from time to time - especially if you're taking a group of potential buyers :D

If you were to market the first one based on a real live property ready for refurb I bet you'd pull in a large group - and maybe more JV partners :D


Excellent idea! You can use the one I have in Fishponds if it times right :D I agree with Jo, I'd much rather hang around properties for a good part of the day, diagnosing and costing what needs to be done type thing.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Rich G » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:39 am

WOW what a GREAT response, thank you all :D If this actually happens, concessions all round and a freebie for Ken! Jo I think you could offer MASSIVE value on this too, our management styles are poles apart - but so will be the styles of the students and everyone has to find the way that works best for them.

Some FANTASTIC suggestions, I have been frankly astonished at the response so far both here and on BMV. Angela O'Connor suggested it this morning - again - I've never tried before as it's not GRQ and I honestly didn't think anyone much would be interested. It's very telling that all those expressing an interest are already active within the biz - no noobs that I can see. Happy to have noobs too tho of course!

Mark Lloyd has suggested a JV where he does the publicity, arranges venue etc etc and we split the proceeds. He seems very focussed in that direction so it might make sense for me to hand that over to him, it's not something I'd enjoy or be particularly good at.

Sue Elkington has been mentioned as someone also teaching this.

The difficulty for me will be putting myself in the position of the student. I've been doing this more or less FT for over 30 years so I don't know what I do know :lol: Some things I will think are obvious may not be obvious. That's why I need suggestions for *Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Did My First Refurb**
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Lynda » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:53 am

I followed your blog a couple of years ago, Rich, and even after doing DIY for nearly 40 years I picked up loads of tips for refurbishing our current house.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Rich G » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:30 am

Great Lynda I'm glad it was useful.

Nick, there is a suggestion for setting up a refurb forum, is that something we could do here? There certainly seems to be a surprising amount of interest. Is there a way of making it visible to all but only members can post? I don't really like things being closed tho, maybe it would be best fully open-access anyway as it would encourage people to come on any course? What do other people think? Would it be popular?
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Ken E » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:12 am

Can you post a link to the FB thread?

Rich, not sure I have done anything to deserve a free place, thats very generous of you. I will accept it if I can contribute in some way, by helping out on the day or course in some way, maybe helping doing the meet and greet and wearing a 'Rich is Great' badge :lol: and shouting yee-hah as you speak :lol: But seriously make me work for the free place and if not charge me something!

Dont worry too much about being the student as I think you already have that sussed, as Lynda points out, your blogs and be your own surveyor series passed on lots of valuable information in a clear, easy to understand way. I'm not a builder but I dont have soft hands either, your writing / teaching style is easy to learn from and is pitched at a good level, neither too basic or too technical.

I think the best way to find out what students want to know is to allow a lengthy question and answer session, with the premise that no question is too daft and that you dont know everything but can alwasy go away and find out if need be. Its a really good way to find out what each bunch of attendees want from the day. Or you can start the day with a "What do people want to learn today" session, and then add in any bits that you wernt going to cover.

The main things I would want to learn about are spotting problems or faults when looking at a property with a view to purchase, such as what is causing that particular patch of damp / cracking / leaning / funny smell / and is it something to worry about. Also the things that are easy to miss with a less trained eye, such as checking and spotting single skin walls / inadequate sound proofing / damp proofing/ attic firebreaks / breach of building regs, etc. perhaps most importantly what is the ballpark figure to remedy?

How to price a refurb, best places to source materials? And then managing the timing of the trades coming in to a refurb. How to keep a refurb on schedule and in budget. What cann go wrong and how to deal with it? For me a 123 step by step guide of how to run a refurb would be great, from the first picking up the phone to speak to a builder to getting the first tenant in.

From some comments I have seen online, how to get the best out of your builder, plumber, etc. might be useful, as some people cannot talk to or treat builders properly, and in return some builders take the michael.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Jo King » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:01 pm

The main things I would want to learn about are spotting problems or faults when looking at a property with a view to purchase, such as what is causing that particular patch of damp / cracking / leaning / funny smell / and is it something to worry about. Also the things that are easy to miss with a less trained eye, such as checking and spotting single skin walls / inadequate sound proofing / damp proofing/ attic firebreaks / breach of building regs, etc. perhaps most importantly what is the ballpark figure to remedy?


This is the main attraction IMHO - to get things off the ground and get people to subscribe.

Just put lots of pics up on a screen and talk through them Rich - certain other people who shall remain nameless (no one in particular - just a general style) would see this as an excuse to turn up with a luxury leased car, personal reg plate and flip open the iPad :lol: But most of them haven't got a pot to Piddle in and have no real experience of anything other than marketing, so just be yourself Rich and talk about what your know with some pics.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Nick » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:16 pm

Rich G wrote:Nick, there is a suggestion for setting up a refurb forum, is that something we could do here? There certainly seems to be a surprising amount of interest. Is there a way of making it visible to all but only members can post? I don't really like things being closed tho, maybe it would be best fully open-access anyway as it would encourage people to come on any course? What do other people think? Would it be popular?


I'll do exactly what you have specified above immediately & you can see how it works. I'll move this thread to it, and pending instructions from you as to membership for the forum I'll give it the same membership as the Whine Cellar.
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Billy » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:09 pm

Rich

My thoughts for what its worth:

1) Focus on what would add the most value 2 novices - 2 me u should focus on a comination of project mgt skills/requirments and technical solutions to damp, dry rot, moving rooms etc etc..but u need 2 move away from theory 2 practice 4 it 2 make an impact in the attendees.

2) Don't just do a session in a hotel - it needs 2 be hands on - everyone can read ure blog/books - what would be of real value is practical advice/guidance on a site.

3) Set up a course when u have access 2 a refurb - if there is a decent room in the house - do the classroom stuff there and then spend most of the time going through each room and the building preparing the schedule of works and have key discussion points where their r issues e.g damp, electrics, plumbing, insullation etc etc. if you want 2 get fit - u don't sit in a classrom - u go down they gym - if u want 2 learn mamange a refurb, learn on a building site!

4) Still think there is a demand 4 u 2 assist at a distance (probably very personal 2 me) but I would rather pay u a couple of hundred pounds to coach me through a live refurb of mine (eg revieiwing my plan of works, solutions, costing, contracts with trade, weekly phone calls limited to 15 mins to review progress) rather than just tell me what do in the classroom - u learn far much more on the job than u do in class room situations - don't need 2 manage the refurb - thats my job but u need 2 coach me through it...

I'm sure what ever u do will sell - but what I know of u what is more important is making sure the learnings have an impact on the attendees and then the money will flow 4 future sessions - I think!

Good luck!
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Rich G » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:11 pm

Nick wrote:
Rich G wrote:Nick, there is a suggestion for setting up a refurb forum, is that something we could do here? There certainly seems to be a surprising amount of interest. Is there a way of making it visible to all but only members can post? I don't really like things being closed tho, maybe it would be best fully open-access anyway as it would encourage people to come on any course? What do other people think? Would it be popular?


I'll do exactly what you have specified above immediately & you can see how it works. I'll move this thread to it, and pending instructions from you as to membership for the forum I'll give it the same membership as the Whine Cellar.


Thanx!
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Re: Course in Managing Refurbs?

Postby Rich G » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:26 pm

Billy that is the difficulty, matching theory and practice. I’m not sure everyone would be happy huddled in a dusty building site with no where to sit and take notes/ use ipads, set up a Powerpoint OHP, no clean tea-cups and a toilet without a seat :-o

I can see the need for ongoing support through the ‘live’ element of webinar or the Managing Refurbishments Forum.
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