By Paul Mahoney, Managing Director of Nova Financial
When you’re sick, you go to the doctor. To do your taxes, you go to an accountant. When investing in property, you should seek advice.
Property is often the largest purchase you will ever make in your life, with the current average property price of circa £225,000. Most people don’t spend that sort of money every day and it therefore shouldn’t be taken lightly. Despite this, property investment tends to be a very do-it-yourself (DIY) activity, which, for me, is difficult to understand. I include myself in this; I would like to think that my level of understanding of property and investments is slightly higher than your average person through years advising others, investing myself and over a decade of study, but I would not make such a large decision without seeking the advice of others who know what they are talking about and are independent in their advice. We, as humans, are emotional creatures and I’ve been saved from many bad decisions simply by using a trusted advisor as a sounding board, which allowed me to see reason.
Ensure that, when seeking advice, you meet with a company that is independent and not just selling products or investments. I am a strong believer that prescription without diagnosis is malpractice and, by this, I mean you need to seek the advice of a company or person who takes the time to very clearly understand your situation, goals and preference prior to providing advice. Avoid those that advertise specific investment options or products as, more often than not, that is what you are going to end up with.
Also, be wary of those that try to convince you of investment options that are completely outside your comfort zone. It really doesn’t matter how much sense an investment makes on a spreadsheet; if you’re not comfortable with it, then you’re going to awake at night worrying about it then isn’t right for you.
Although some advisors will show you fancy graphs and stats to back up their advice, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still, so don’t let the hype fool you into something you’re not okay with.
The property industry unfortunately tends to be very sales focused, which means, when it comes to making a purchase, you are often dealing with a salesperson in the form of an estate agent or property marketer. The difference between sales and advice is that, in the right circumstances, advice focuses on benefits, whereas sales focuses on features. When dealing with an estate agent, they will often tell you how great the property is because it has a southwest facing garden and a period fireplace, but do those things really matter? In some cases, they do if that is what your target market wants, but how does that relate to you? That’s where advice becomes very useful, as good advice focuses on benefits specific to you and your goals. Benefits being what the property can do for you and how it relates to you. Another way of putting it is focusing on the outcomes rather than the offering.
For independent advice, feel free to contact Nova Financial on 0203 8000 600 or firstname.lastname@example.org