Are you playing the game or watching from the sidelines?

Property investing can be likened to sport – it takes practice to perfect your skills and achieve winning results.

Recently I attended a rugby match. I was only there as my husband has the misconceived idea that one day the Kiwis will beat the Aussies – alas he was proven wrong again. I don’t understand the game but it doesn’t stop me cheering from the sidelines and I do appreciate the skill of those playing.

This is my take on rugby:

  • There are 30 players, a few water boys, a couple of medics and the refs. In the stands are 30,000 cheering fans.
  • Those 30 players are assigned a goal. Sometimes they make it, sometimes they get close, sometimes they don’t. Some get knocked out and only one is man of the match, however they all play as if they could be.
  • Every player knows the rules of the game, and they know which is their goal and every move they make is to get them closer to the goal.
  • Every player takes days, weeks and sometimes years to prepare themselves, physically and mentally for the 80-minute game.
  • They have mentors, coaches, therapists and medics who are there to assist. These professionals help prepare their attitude and ability so every player can achieve their potential.

Then there are the 30,000 ‘fans’ yelling at the elite professionals, or for want of a better word giving them ‘advice’. These fans are more often then not former elite athletes, many have never played the game and in honesty, looking at the amount of beer and pies consumed, I doubt they ever would.

Property investing is very similar: there are those who play and repeatedly practice the craft and those who commentate from the sidelines. Through my business and workshops I speak to hundreds of property investors.

Without any doubt in my mind I know the successful ones are those with a clear goal, a mentor/coach, the right attitude and a quest to keep trying and perfecting their strategy.

I have a large property portfolio based around a low-risk buy and hold strategy. I spent years learning from practicing and using mentors.

Ten years on I’ve found that once you have the right game plan then the rest is perfecting and tinkering.

Property investing does require an investment in education, experience and practice. However, if you get it right you set yourself on a path to achieve your goals.

I hope that you find my regular blogs part of the education and coaching to get you on the field, playing and perfecting your game.

P.S. My favourite part of the game is watching the kids lining up to run on the field at the end of the match, dreaming that they too could one day be a player.

Jane Slack-Smith is the director of Investors Choice Mortgages, a mortgage broker, property educator and player of the game.