Blog | Commercial Investment | Apprenticeships

Behind the eyes of a junior property investment agent

So, last year in the property market? Total rollercoaster, and not the fun kind. As a not so newbie trying to crack the code, it's been a wild journey. But before I start venting about deals falling through like they just rolled out of the wrong side of the bed, it’s been one great lesson.

This includes the teaching that go beyond the stress of mastering excel formulas. The 2023 property market mess has taught me more than it would’ve in a thriving market. So, grab a virtual seat and let’s chat about the frustrating ups and downs, and the surprising wisdom and patience this rollercoaster ride has dished out.

Starting from the deals I’ve been directly responsible for, from the instruction to completion. The mighty former GP in Beaconsfield sold within a few weeks. Riding high on the success, I felt like the go-to person who could sell just about anything. It was a confidence booster, a validation of my skills… until Southampton happened.

Now, I won't bore you with economic jargon, but let's just say the interest rate rises shook things up big time in the investment market. Suddenly, pricing a property became this head-scratching puzzle. What I learned in the textbooks felt like ancient history. The market, as it turns out, has a mind of its own, and every property we listed seemed to have a mind-boggling 100 basis points difference in the offers.  Being the bridge between vendors and purchasers proved to be quite a challenge. Managing vendors' expectations felt as daunting as taming a lion, as we’ve marketed this property three times! Third time lucky we are under offer at a significantly reduced level from our original quote price.

Let's not even get started on the nightmares that crop up whenever I hear the word 'Luton.' Everyone in the team understands my pain. Who knew being under offer for a whopping seven months could end in a complete disaster on exchange day? With a short and sweet email from the lawyers ‘my client no longer wants to pursue this purchase’… It's a bitter pill to swallow, and I've lost count of the times I've been stranded on the M1.

In today's market, even a viewing request is seen as a victory. It's a lesson in keeping those parties involved close, managing them, and making sure they stick around. Convincing investors to drive to Ipswich for a multi-let office in this climate is no walk in the park - I can assure you. But hey, you take those small wins and you build on them. No room for complaints; you work with what's in front of you.

Above are just a few examples I’ve been dealing with, but learning the ropes in this tough market has been a stroke of luck. It's taught me the art of survival and the importance of crossing the finish line. Selling in this stormy market is not just a transaction; it's a character-building adventure that lays a robust foundation.

Shaking off the challenges of 2023, the property market stands at the brink of a new era, where uncertainties mingle with opportunities. The dawn of 2024 brings forth a spirit of optimism and readiness.

The buzz centres around the potential change in base rates, reflecting the shift in mortgage rates. If this change materialises, the latter half of the year (H2) could see a surge in activity, marked by increased transactions and a dynamic market.

The anticipated timeline for these rate changes is pegged around the new financial year, potentially serving as the catalyst for economic shifts. Altered interest rates may trigger a ripple effect, stimulating economic activities. Lower rates might foster borrowing, encourage investments, and in turn, fortify the property market.

Yet, here's the curveball – if these changes don't materialise, the scenario could flip. Rates might stay the same or take an unexpected turn, introducing a twist into our plans.

In essence, it's a game of adaptability. Whether the anticipated changes unfold as expected or a curveball comes our way, I’ve learnt that staying flexible is key.

Here’s hoping…………….

Nasif Miah

Trainee Surveyor Commercial Investment - National

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