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Property Education

Online Real Estate and Property Investing Courses, Seminars and Training

You don’t need a degree or to be a guru to be successful in property investing. You just need to know how real estate investing works and what are the rules. We give you all that. All the information investors would have loved to have before this last downturn.

Campus makes it possible for you to learn about property from the comfort of your office or home computer, anywhere, anytime, at your own pace.

Most property investing courses and workshops are now "Instant Access" and some scheduled throughout the year for your convenience. Seats are though limited for each course due to licensing of software. Make sure you book your courses well in advance to avoid disappointment.

With the purchase of any property investing course you get free one year access to Property Investor Network Forum.

For pricing visit the Property Investor Network Shop .

Are you guilty of these buy-to-let investing mistakes?

If you are a new property investor, there are a couple of key issues you need to be aware of in order to help you avoid some costly mistakes that can take as much as two to three years to fix and could cost you thousands of rands.

Firstly, when searching for properties to buy, investors often come across properties where the rentals are very low. The seller’s agent will generally tell you this is the case because the owner has rented out the property to the tenant for many years and because the tenant is a very good tenant, they hardly ever increased their rent. If you have never heard this line before, it means you are not searching enough for investment properties.

he problem is that many investors are afraid to increase the rent when they have a good tenant that pays on time and gives them no hassles. Though it is a good strategy to keep a good tenant, it is harmful to the bottom line if rents fall below market value. If you are an investor with an interest in making your investments return a fair value, not increasing rents is a bad practice.

Good service

To avoid this happening, make sure that you give a good service to your tenant and keep the property in good order at all times, rather than just never increase the rent.

Also make sure that you have clearly specified increases in your lease agreement and increase the rent when the lease agreement says you should. There is no reason to keep below market value rents with low yields other than your own fear losing tenants. This fear has no basis, because if the rental prices are market related, you will have new tenants if the previous tenant moves out.

The good news is however that most good tenants don’t move out as a result of fair increases. The reason is that they often know that they won’t find cheaper place somewhere else and they often have to factor in the cost of finding a property to rent, payments for ITC and other checks and the costs of moving. To move out every time the rent goes up will cost them more in terms of money and hassle than your yearly rental increase.

Costly pitfalls

Secondly, if you are new to property investing and you buy the property in the belief that the current rentals are below market value, watch out for two very significant and costly pitfalls.

The first one is the most painful: sometimes the rents have increased and are at market value. But if you don’t know how to evaluate market-related rentals in certain areas, you will believe the sellers' agents when they that the rents are low. After you purchase the property, you will try to increase the rents with no success. No one will want to rent from you.

Why? Because the rents are too high for the property and area. This often happens in low and mid-income areas, where the rentals are around the R1500 to R2500 and when the new investor sees such low rentals, they believe the agents that the rents are too low. The rents are capped to the maximum affordability of the people that will want to live in that area.

Ride out rental increases

This mistake is very costly, as the investor will have to ride out two to three years of rental increases at seven percent to 10% percent per annum to reach what the seller's agent claimed is reachable in the first place.

As an example, let's say there is a difference of R400 per month from the current rent to what the investor believed is market related. At a rental of R2000 with a 10 percent per annum increase that is a two-year waiting period. Of course this can be more, as one may not be able to increase rentals by 10 percent every year without losing tenants.

This may not seem much, but if you have to pay a bond and the interest rates increases, as it has in the last year, the rent will not cover that. Then add the levies and the investor has a cash flow shortfall. This minor miscalculation can add up to a big mistake.

Do your homework

In short, if you see low rents, do your research very carefully to determine the rent value in relation to the current market-related value. This will let you know whether the rent can be further increased at present. You can do such research through independent managing agents in the area, newspapers, internet listings, or if you know the areas very well you will probably have the knowledge of what is acceptable rentals and what is not.

The second thing to be aware of is that true lower market value rents with long standing tenants can have other associated problems.

If the seller has never increased the rental in many years and now you buy the property and want to increase rentals dramatically, you may find yourself without tenants at all, with rental increases simply beyond their budget.

This is not such a big problem if you don’t count on keeping those so-called “good long standing tenants”. If you are planning on changing them anyway, this is not an issue.

Evictions?

Lastly, you should be aware that if the rentals are truly low, long standing tenants might not want to move out when you increase the rents and you will have to deal with evictions. This is rare, but no laughing matter.

Some people simply lived in a place for so long, with such good rentals that they just don’t want to move nor pay a much higher rent. In this case, once the property is in your name you should meet the tenants and see what you can do for them, if you want to keep them, maybe make the increases slower, such as a small increase every three to six months, as opposed to a year, to help the budget management of the tenant to accommodate the full increase to market value. You may just be able to keep the good tenants and save yourself the eviction costs.

The moral of the story? Be careful of low rentals. The property may be a bargain because the rentals are not market related, but you have to approach this with research and caution. Once you are sure you know what you are doing, based on solid research, you may just find that you bought yourself a gem. Just make sure you do the research, so that you avoid buying a lemon.

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.





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Student Reviews

As a matter of fact ... of the 3 places where we've used the new contract and new practices that we were taught, we have yet to receive a late payment (or non-payment) on the rent or experience any problems with the tenants. - Eugené L. Pienaar - JHB

My partner and I attended the PIN Investor Letting Workshop in Feb 2008 with no expectations as we already considered ourselves to be rather knowledgeable in the art of letting property.  We have a few properties on our books and have been using standard contracts and 'gut feel' screening to place tenants and manage the properties.  Needless to say, we were in for quite a surprise on the day. 

Within the first 15 minutes, we realized that we had better start taking some notes as we clearly had LOTS to learn.  We started the session going through the legalities of renting properties out ... I was amazed at how many things I did not know pertaining to both landlord as well as tenant privileges.  It was not long into this session that we also found out that the advice we have received from other guru's in the property market would see us lands us in trouble if followed and done in the matter they advocate.

Karen and Sean then shared some 'nuggets of wisdom' on how to find and screen the right tenants, how to manage them and how to evict them legally if they become non-performing tenants.  We received some key contact information and most of all - we were given AND taken through (step-by-step) a legally sound contract for residential letting that favors the landlord and empowers him to deal with all types of issues.

We walked out of the seminar feeling that it was money well spent and have recommended it to our friends that are currently dabbling in property investment.  We then sat down and went through our letting agencies methods, contracts and administration.  We ended up giving them notice as we felt (after discussions with them) that we were better equipped to handle the letting process than they were.  I was, in fact, getting a huge kick informing them of issues that they were not aware of. 

As a matter of fact ... of the 3 places where we've used the new contract and new practices that we were taught, we have yet to receive a late payment (or non-payment) on the rent or experience any problems with the tenants. 

I can recommend this course as the one course you MUST do before renting out your own or someone else's property (rental agents ... take note!).  It is money well spent and the support received from Sean and Karen on the PIN forums after the course rounds off the total package rather nicely.  All queries were answered within 24 hours (or less!).  Well done Sean and Karen.  Keep up the good work and keep the education coming!". Eugené L. Pienaar - JHB

 

Having recently completed the above course at home, I enjoyed being able to do the course at one's own pace. The audio and visual impact of the presentation was effective, improving my concentration. Manipulation of the variables entered as lumpsums and additional monthly payments was most insightful. Generally there were many useful tips and facts given by the tutor and this was also enlightening and helpful. Richard Fouracres - Ladysmith KZN





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I would like to thank you for the Calculating Residential Investment Deals, I have also done the Letting Workshop and now that I think of it, I should have done the Calculating Residential Investment Deals first. For me it was a huge eye opener in residential buy to let. I have attended other seminars and what I found is that this course was the only one that was very helpful and full of actionable information to make the right decision when buying a residential property for investment. Michaela Nubert - JHB




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The calculating residential investment deals were really informative & easy to follow at a time that suites me. Being online meant one could always refer back if you missed anything or need for it to be explained again.  Very good in order to avoid burning you fingers when considering a new deal and making the right financial decisions. Steyn du Plessis - London




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In life you come across all sorts of people offering to help you out, at a fee. Most offers just aren’t worth it and you leave feeling cheated. But once in a while someone comes along with something that’s value for money and exceeds your expectations; I found that in Karen and Sean Wheller when I did their Investor Letting Workshop. Their combined knowledge on the subject is extensive, current and PRACTICAL, they are passionate about property and teaching. I would not dream of getting a tenant in place without using their rental agreement.  - David Shadford

 
I found this online course very helpful. I am now much more comfortabile with terms like balance sheet, etc. The feasibility calculator is a wonderful tool to compare potential deals, and to realise what information is important when evaluating the purchase of a property. I now understand for the first time the relevance of research on certain criteria, what these criteria all are, and the importance of accurate information, before a decision can be made regarding the potential of the property deal. Pierre vd Berg - Heidelberg, Western Cape Province




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