Bespoke is a term that has become more common over recent years.
In essence, it means something that is made for a particular customer or user and, in the beginning, was often used when someone had clothing, especially suits, made especially for them.
Back then, “bespoke” probably had connotations that implied that such an activity was only available for the moneyed few.
However, the term has become more commonplace over the years and really should be viewed as anything that has been tailored to suit an individual rather than the masses.
To continue on with this metaphor, then, just think of how any piece of clothing that has been made, or fitted, for you personally looks and feels, compared to something that you would buy off the rack?
Well, it’s the same with property investment.
Unfortunately, there has been a long-held (mis)belief that successful property investment simply involves buying any old property, anywhere, then holding onto it for a few years in a set-and-forget type of way.
Then, seemingly, after a relatively short period of time, you just need to sell it, and ride off in the sunset to enjoy an easy, and an early, retirement.
Well, that’s just not reality – sorry to burst your bubble!
Even more so, strategic property investment has always required a bespoke approach rather than an “off-the-rack” one.
Superior property investment must start with a tailored strategy that is built around your personal circumstances, including your unique financial goals and capabilities,
including your risk profile.
That’s why when I’m building a property investment plan for clients, I always take into consideration a number of variables that are bespoke to them, including:
- Age – Especially their age to retirement, which will fundamentally inform the type of investment strategy we implement.
- Employment – Including their industry/ tenure/experience to best understand their current and future financial opportunities.
- Income – Including now and into future, as well as career trajectory and scope for salary increases, to develop achievable goals for the years ahead.
- Borrowing capacity – As well as income, it’s vital to understand what other elements might increase or decrease a person’s borrowing capacity (such as existing bad debt).
- Required cash flow – What cash flow do they have available to assist with the ongoing costs of investment property ownership?
- Goals – What is it that they want to achieve? That is, is it income for retirement, to build a wealth base, or even retire by a certain age and be self-funded?
- Investing experience – Is this their first or their fifth investment property? This will make a big difference on the strategies we may implement due to a number of factors, including current equity position. Likewise, is it time to diversify into different locations or away from residential into commercial?
- Risk tolerance – What is their tolerance for risk? While property investment is generally a low-risk wealth creation strategy, commercial property, for example, is not a good fit for people who are financially conservative.
- Passive vs active – What sort of strategy suits them the best? Is it passive by set and forget (although never completely forgetting of course), or is active by undertaking renovation or development?
- Geography – Are they open to borderless investing? That is, how comfortable are they investing in a market that they might not understand or even in a location they may never actually visit?
- Property plans – Do they have a plan to build a portfolio over time or are they just looking for a single property purchase?
These are just a few of the questions that I will ask potential clients to create a bespoke property investment plan for them.
This tailored approach will help to ensure that there is nothing “mainstream” about their future financial results.