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Article > Property Renovations

Article kindly provided by Jeff Bell
Property Renovations Ely

We’ve been investing in property since 2006, predominantly in the BTS area in Lincoln. In this article we’ll provide valuable content regarding the overview process of marketing for opportunities through to the sale of the refurbished property.

Marketing to buy property deals

Online - There are many different areas to find property deals in this current climate and with investors willing to work together more than ever before, relying solely on agents and private marketing for deals is no longer the only avenue to obtain property deals.

With the rise in social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs etc.) activity these days, there are opportunities to be in direct contact with potential clients who wish to sell their properties, simply by using keyword search terms to find, communicate and build relationships and ultimately help as many vendors we can by either purchasing, passing onto agents to sell. The beauty of social media is that it allows you to get your message out to prospective clients from anywhere providing you have a smart phone or internet access.

Offline - Of course there is the traditional method of obtaining deals through your estate agent. Personal we tend to deal mainly with local agents rather than national agents with a local presence, as this works well for us in our location.

Relationships with agents do take time to build, as you can imagine they get a lot of investors walking into their offices saying we are “CASH Buyers looking for discounted deals from motivated sellers”, but ultimately the agent wants to get paid, so all they really want to know is “can you actually complete on deals we do put your way and how quickly”. If you can run through this process a successfully then you’ll be placed on their “investor to call list” as opposed to the bin list!

Clearly agents are not the only offline method of obtaining deals. Personal contacts you meet networking are also a great source for deals, lead sellers who market nationally, other investors who get deals in areas they just don’t operate in… But to be even considered for these deals you need to be remembered! The most common way for this to happen is stay in touch with your contact database reminding them of your location and the types of deals you are doing and are of interest. This is the power of “recency”, an investor or even agent will call you first if you have interacted in some way for them to say “Ah this deal in Lincoln, I’ll contact Jeff at Property Renovations he operates there…”

Local tradesman are a great way to get deals, they are in and out of houses day in day out and as much as they work on houses for a living we find they don’t tend to buy properties to sell or even let, so once they know you’re in the business of BTS (or even BTL) they would much rather pass on deals knowing they’ll be looked after via a one of fee or be in a position to carry out works if appropriate. The traditional method to investors of using leaflets can be fruitful, but this depends on your area, your message and of course getting reliable individuals / companies to deliver them!

Negotiation and Purchase
Once you get details or direct contact with a vendor who needs to sell for whatever reason, the next task to is come up with an amicable solution, that doesn’t leave the vendor feeling like they’ve been hard done by, but also leaves you feeling like you’ve got a good deal you can add value to via refurbishment. Letting & Estate Agents can provide ideas of what the vendor will accept for a property, but is unlikely to allow you direct access to negotiate even with a long standing relationship.

Once a deal has been agreed between you and the seller the next task is financing the deal. Now this could be through a true CASH purchase using your own cash or JV partner or with banks money.

With mortgages more difficult to obtain, approaching the bank with a well-defined business plan has been one of our methods to finance purchases, but you need to jump through a few hoops and LTVs don’t tend be favourable for refurbishment deals. It’s important to be confident of the property value.

CASH purchases using your own cash are much quicker and so long as you’re happy with the value there is no reliance a surveyor! You can also use a JV partner or private investor, but it’s likely they’ll want a valuation to protect their investment. Also, this method can mean passing on a larger chunk of profit to partner, depending how deal is structured.

Renovation works
There is a trade-off between using contractors and doing the work yourself (assuming you have the necessary skills).

Projects we undertake vary from a lick of paint, change of flooring with maybe a kitchen and bathroom spruce through to taking a property back to a shell to carry out works.
We tend to get tradesman in to do the work on projects, this is much quicker and frees you up to setup other projects. This kind of leverage is very powerful in our business! We find it best to pull in a team of individual tradesman to do works for our projects as it enables us to break down costs for plumbing, electricians, plasterers and builders etc.

Doing to the work yourself can be cheaper with regards to labour, but will tend to take longer. Another advantage is not having the reliance of dealing with unknown entity of tradesman (reliability, workmanship etc.) if it is new to you.

Marketing to sell property
Once the property refurbishment is complete we either sell the property through a local estate agent in conjunction with our own marketing or simply let the property if more appropriate to do so. The decision to sell or let is taken before the property is purchased based on area and market conditions.

Be active, ensure contacts and agents are kept aware of your activity. Renovation can be a very enjoyable process if you do your homework before hand and be upfront with agents, tradesman etc. Otherwise it can be an extremely stressful experience and very costly.


Jeff Bell

Property Renovations Ely


About the Author Jeff Bell

Jeff Bell is a property investor in Lincoln and founder of a business dedicated to finding refurbishment deals and motivated sellers for the past 5 years. He also offers the service of assisted sales to vendors who wish to sell their property without dealing with all the hassle!

For more details, please contact Jeff on 01522 510310 / 07773 123187 or info@



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