Your Property Network: Book Review March 2014
When Matthew Moody’s book lands on your doormat it will do so with a thump. It’s quite a weighty tome, coming in at over 300 pages. Do not let that put you off – they might well be 300 of the most valuable pages you ever read in property.
For some reason, before I looked inside I expected it to be full of facts, figures and calculations. I also expected a lot about HMO’s as I was aware of Matthew’s Your HMO Expert branding. I was (happily) completely wrong. In fact there is so much here, it almost leaves me at a loss for words (rare), unsure where to start.
A Bit of Everything
With a focus on property, this self-help style book is partly about life planning, partly about strategies, partly about starting a business and partly about running an efficient business. Consider it, if you like, as an atlas. You can see at a glance where different routes might lead, though you may not have travelled along them before. The atlas’ key gives you an idea of scale, distance and timing to get to your destination, but it is up to you to choose the vehicle according to your budget for the trip.
Let’s get the downside out of the way before we start. There are a few typos, a small number of layout hiccups, and I did have to re-read one or two sentences early on to understand the meaning. Whether the author gets into his stride or I got used to the style as it went on, I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter.
The style, though, is entertaining. Despite its size, this book for the most part is easy to read, well-spaced and flows well. Matthew is quite frequently blunt and to the point when explaining things and there are times, I warn you, if are tempted to try to skip over something, that you will get the written equivalent of a rap across the knuckles and are told to go back and do it again. It made me chuckle.
Day by Day
The book is divided into 33 short chapters or Days, with Matthew suggesting that you read and take action on one chapter a day. Galloping through for the purpose of the review, I was not able to do this justice, and will definitely be starting again at a more leisurely pace. Even so, I did linger over some of the exercises.
If you are not already aware, I’m a sucker for self-help books so given the format of this book, I was hooked by Day 3: Your Map to Success. You may have read or done this sort of planning work already but it can still be useful, whatever stage you are at, to revisit plans to check they are still valid, if nothing else. What really stood out for me though was the list of 45 Sure-Fire Strategies to Succeed. They straddle a few chapters/days, but the added value here is they are coded (remember the title?) to help you determine what is and what is not right for you. Matthew then talks you through a process of elimination until you get to a short list of strategies that could suit you. Now, The Other Half and I being at a stage where we want to adopt a new property strategy to move forward, this was one of the places I paused. Could it really be that simple to work it out? Apparently, it might be …
The list of 45 may not be fully comprehensive, but you will most likely find the vast majority of strategies for making money in property there. As well as landlord/tenant strategies, and he makes it clear on Day 2 what being a landlord involves, this list includes businesses around property for those who want a venture to kick start or support their investment income.
The last few Days are then dedicated to property-based business, including rentals. It seems that Matthew has a lot of experience in setting up and structuring a business, and there is enough here to help you set up and start marketing, selling and systemising.
Who Is It For?
I think this is for just about anyone at any level. Put it this way. If you …
- … haven’t started in property, it will help you plan and find a suitable strategy
- … have a bit of experience, a few properties and are looking for another strategy, it’s worth a read
- … are considering starting a property-based business, it’s definitely worth a read
- … want new challenges, it might give you some ideas
- … have run out of money, there are suggestions for strategies with a low start cost
- … are struggling with your property direction, it might help you get back on track.
Cracking the Property Code, overall, is a bit of a cracker!