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Lockdown Hell & Making Quick Decisions

It’s been rubbish to be honest. And don’t worry this is not a post about my politics or my personal views on the current social unrest sweeping the world. 2020 started with a bang. The best since I’d started the company and begun to blaze my own trail. The first few years in business are a monster of highs and lows. And blows are crushing. My experience, not everybody’s though. Self development has played a huge role, and every New Year the focus is strong. Momentum is the goal, but so far it had been tough to come by. Yes it’s easy to look back and see the small wins along the way. I’m an optimist but also a realist and they didn’t quite look so big at the time. However this year was going to be different. I’d been planing a good start since November. Our speakers at Ayrshire Property Connect were specifically chosen to give a renewed fire in the belly. It worked. Timeframes where set, goals to be met and only a few minor decisions which were out of my hands could derail things. We swiftly moved out of the New Year and seemed everybody was in the same place, I guess a start to the decade and surrounding myself with excellent influences was working a charm. January was as good a month for business enthusiasm as I’ve known.

Refinance done, offer accepted. Oh wait a minute the property I want to purchase has a problem. 3 weeks of negotiation which actually ended with me offering a little over what I wanted took a turn. A final drive by of the property lead to me asking a few local questions about why there were now no windows in the property below. A little coaxing from the William Hill staff not far away and the story came out. Drug wars are still a thing in suburban towns. I hadn’t invested in the area before but we had recently done a refurb for a client on the street next door. It was a change for me, more of a cashflow investment than and equity one but I felt the value and where we were in the market were sound. Slight drama, say no thank you and move on. There is always another deal/opportunity and actually as it happens the next one had a little side deal as well. Out of February and into March and things were flying.

NEXT WTF. A hundred year event. Offers from lenders pulled, stay at home, schools closed, high streets closed, PROPERTY MARKET CLOSED there is a virus which kills people.

I don’t fecking believe it.

I’d be lying if I told you the next 6 weeks were fun. Yes, I’ve had a blast with the kids. But I did before, have done during and will do again afterwards. I know playing monopoly and watching homes under the hammer are not on the school curriculum. But they have been part of the home front for a number of weeks now. Psychology is a big part of business and I’m sure I’ll make and have made good decisions over the last few years. Business is built on good quick decisions. Your ability to side step off either leg, and react to what’s in front of you will ultimately decide your longevity. Some decisions really are out with your control though, and changing course over the last few weeks has been a stomach punch. However I’m healthy, my kids are healthy and my friends & family have so far seem to be unaffected by the virus if the economics. Many families have been touched/scared by this virus and my thoughts and sympathy are with them.

What point am I getting at? I’ve made countless crucial decisions over my working life. In my corporate career and since starting my own company. Procrastination / dithering or any kind of delay doesn’t work in my eyes. One of my mentors always said in a crisis do nothing. Yes there is some truth in that but I’m sure he meant, wait 12-24 hours not weeks & months. Do what needs to be done. Even when its a once in every hundred year event. BE DECISIVE.   

Where are we now? We’re making tentative steps in the Scottish property market. The market in England has been open for about four weeks and the signs are good. Record numbers of Rightmove searches, offers made and offered accepted via solicitors. I honestly hope Scotland will enjoy the same boost and we haven’t left it too late. In summary, a good time to sell but perhaps not buy for the moment.

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