Property Networking Events – Are They Really Worth The Effort?
There seems to be no noticeable decrease in the number of “networking events” for all sorts of trades and businesses these days, and property is no exception.
The boom of the mid-2000s led to an explosion of people wanting to get a foot on the property ladder particularly with a view to buying-to-let. It didn’t take long for someone to realise that generally the only way to buy a property was through an estate agent and that very same agent was working for the owner rather than the buyer.
Companies started to spring up offering advice on such things as surveys, mortgages, tenancy agreements, etc., to buyers, helping them to take that first step or indeed increase existing portfolios. In many cases these very same companies were hyping up the market and often encouraged people to borrow, borrow and borrow again, increasing debt on existing properties in order to finance new purchases.
This was all very well because property would never get cheaper would it?
Well, with the credit crunch of 2008, it did and this left many buy-to-let investors over-geared.
In other words, borrowing was too high on their property to make the investment worthwhile. 2009 saw a quick influx of repossession properties as these over-geared landlords simply gave up and threw back the keys. This fortunately eased as interest rates reduced and rents increased meaning that landlords were able to make even over-priced properties pay their way.
In the subsequent years there has been a gradual increase in property prices and fortunately no repeat of the mass repossession of the last dip back in the 1990′s.
These more difficult times led to different types of property networking events
Cashing in on the credit crunch seemed to be the theme with creative schemes dreamt up to allow people with minimal funds to purchase, to save money on such things as stamp duty with unusual avoidance techniques(!) and generally quite a lot of mutual back-slapping and those who had done quite well shared their stories of success.
So what have these property networking events achieved over the years?
There is no doubt that by helping to hype up the market these mass sales events helped at least in a small way to bring us to the bust that has inevitably followed the boom.
Having been to a few of these events myself, purely as a spectator, there seemed to be many people there who hoped that property is their golden ticket to a better life and attend event after event without actually buying a property. Quite why they do this I do not know but I suspect it is to feel that they are at least progressing their financial life even if they are not yet doing anything about it.
Frankly I find this saddening as I believe that if the amount of effort put by these people into such events was directed at their own main source of income, ie their job, they would probably do very well.
Rather like the owners of a casino, it seems that the only people sure to profit from these mass networking events are the organisers themselves and perhaps very few lucky individuals.
Leave your thoughts about property network meetings below.