Property Investment - Do You Need A Day Job?
Last updated 5th November 2019 • JaeVee Marketing • JaeVee
One of the biggest goals for property investment is to eventually cast off your full time job and make your own money.
But can the majority of investors really do this?
Do they want to?
How would they?
We’ve created this complete guide to find out whether it’s right for you.
Why invest in property part time
According to a survey a few years ago, only 40% of landlords have rent as their main source of income.
While there are many more ways to invest in property without being a landlord, this stat does highlight the fact that many people decide to carry on their day job.
But this isn’t only from necessity.
Sometimes, it’s the smart way to maximise both income and skills and power up your property portfolio.
The biggest reasons that property investors cite for wanting to go full time are:
Time and energy
Most investors are scared to juggle their time between investment and the day job.
What if putting their energy into both their job and their property investments means that neither are up to scratch?
But look at it from another perspective.
Property investors who’ve done ‘the juggle’ recommend that you think about your time in the same way that you think about money from investment - you’re making a short term sacrifice for long term satisfaction.
While you’ll have to put in long hours at the beginning of your career, once you invest in property full time you can scale down your schedule, especially if you invest in property managers or letting agents to do most of the leg work for you.
And there’s another added bonus.
If you’ve only got your property investment income and you’ve had a down period, you may feel financially compelled to agree to deals you might otherwise have been sceptical of because of the time pressure on your finances.
If you have a day job, however, you can afford to take the time to ensure you’re only investing in the best properties.
The major reason for continuing to work alongside property investing is:
Using your extra income
The extra income of a regular salary can come in handy for many reasons:
- It’s much easier to obtain finance for your property if you already have a day job.
Bank loans require proof of income and receipts. While there are ways to get around this, having a regular income offers you the greatest amount of choice when it comes to financing your property investment deals.
- Use your income to propel an investment circle.
Put some of your salary into savings and then invest those savings into property. Then once you’ve made money on your property, you can put a little into your lifestyle, whilst using your savings for property purposes.
- If there are any downtimes where your property simply won’t sell, values go down or tenants don’t pay, you’re better insulated from financial pain.
There’s also less to lose if your loans are secured against your property - if you have to repay a debt early, or in a larger amount than anticipated, you can cushion it with your regular income rather than needing to move home.
- Tied in with this, an income gives you some protection to be able to take risks.
For example, you can invest in a property that will give you little in the way of rental yield, in order to focus on great capital gain in the future.
How to invest part time
Some aspiring investors fall at the first hurdle and believe the only way to invest in property is to become a landlord.
We’ve covered this before, but the easiest ways to start investing part time are to:
- Use a REIT to invest in a share of a property fund without having to do anything yourself.
These are a good way of dipping your toe in as they require no work after your initial investment, but they don’t offer you much in the way of education and the returns might be small.
- Invest in a property crowdfunding platform like ours.
This is a great first step if you only have a small amount to invest and are still learning about the industry. Depending on the platform and your initial investment, you might only see small returns - but if you invest a respectable amount into a verified platform, then you’ll get more sizeable profits, and potentially education and networking, in the mix.
- If and when you’ve decided you’re itching to get more involved in bricks and mortar, you can try short term property methods like buying at auction to flip, which give you instant capital from sales (if you do them well), instead of making you wait on the long term profits from rental yields or capital appreciation.
- If you’re investing part time, you’re almost always going to have to use a property manager or letting agent - to make sure your inbox isn’t filled up with tenant woes, and you actually have time to work and invest!
Why invest full-time?
You probably don’t need us to tell you why you’d want to invest full time. It means that you have more financial freedom, generate your own income without having to worry about the whims of the job market. You can put more time into your property investment business and substantially scale up your property portfolio.
When you know it’s time
So when will you know it’s time to go into business full time?
Attitude & insight
- You’ve done the research, networked with full time investor contacts, and understand the work that becoming a full time investor will mean.
Crucially, you’ll be genuinely prepared to do that work. You’ll know that you’re fully prepared if you know you’ll persevere through the hard work during the bad times and the good, and not just because you think you’ll get a big lump of cash immediately out of it.
- You’ve got the basics nailed.
You’re great at researching the market, you don’t rely on scary headlines and you have the ability to confidently place your bet on future trends. You’re able to negotiate and compromise with many different professionals, from tradespeople and mortgage brokers to property managers.
You can manage your time effectively - after practise at juggling the day job - and get through the paperwork.
- You’ve educated yourself properly - from reading up to networking with professionals, you’ve got the groundwork covered.
You have all the tools at your disposal, having made a detailed business plan and set realistic, measurable goals for your business.
- You can’t concentrate on both your job and your property investment business, and find that one is suffering for you having to juggle them.
- You’ve calculated how much income you need to generate to live comfortably, and figured out a way to earn it from your property investment business.
- And/or your income from property matches or exceeds the income you had coming in from your salary.
- You’ve made a good risk profile of how much you can afford in terms of things like: unexpected expenses, e.g. repairs, voids, arrears, interest rate rises on mortgage payments, LTV amount you’re comfortable with and a good idea of what you’d do a) to mitigate these risks & b) to deal with them if they become reality.
How to go full time
You might think that any one of those ‘whens’ are far beyond your reach.
That’s why it’s important to think about any ways to ease the transition.
Some ways to gradually go full time are:
- Scale down your work.
If you have some but not all of the essential elements to start investing full time, then you might want to consider going part time in your day job instead of quitting it altogether.
- To become a sourcer, introducer or other consultant instead of only investing in your own properties.
This could give you an additional, and perhaps more secure source of income alongside your investment strategies, while still letting you work within the industry you love.
- To build in some ‘studied flexibility’ into your investment strategies.
While it’s always good to follow a niche and have some key criteria, record and justify instances where you’ll be prepared to be flexible. Having a degree of flexibility to your investments could take your business in a direction you’d never have imagined - but recording it and making sure there’s still some strict criteria means that you’ll only change strategies when it’s wise to do so.
- Give yourself a deadline to leave the day job.
This should be calculated in months or years, and be somewhere in the middle of where you’d be in an ideal world and the longest you think you can take in your job. Then make a step by step action plan of how you’ll get there.
Basically, you need to get some facts and figures down before you even think about investing full time.
Make sure that property investment full time is really what you want - you may prefer investing when it doesn't take up your daily life - and then give yourself a road map of when and how you’ll get there.
Just don’t expect to do it instantly unless you have mountains of money stashed away.
For more comprehensive content, read our regularly updated blog.
Please note, this blog post is not to be considered as investment advice. We recommend you seek independent financial advice and conduct your own due diligence before making any investment.