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I've got a confession to make

I have been investing in property in South Africa since 2003 and in the UK since 2015. On paper, that makes me somewhat of an expert.

And yet, recently, I made a fascinating discovery. Turns out I am a theoretical property investor, not a hands on, get your hands dirty kinda investor.

I know all about how to find a property that works as an investment, how to arrange the right team to fix it up, how to arrange the finance – you name it, I’ll arrange it. After all, I have a PHD in GSD (getting stuff done)

My husband, on the other hand, avoids admin like the plague and focuses on doing the actual building work with his team.

Which is why it was discombobulating when I found myself at a loss recently after my husband went away for month and the renovations we are doing at home fell onto me. I scoffed at his insistence that it waits for his return. “Hah!” I said. “How hard can it be? After all, I wrote the book!”

My sister, who project manages turnkey corporate building from the ground up arranges a team of stellar painters. My Dad, who lives with us, offers to help manage the builders on the days he is free. Boom!

3 builders, 3 painters and 3 handymen arrive at our property, and I am ready, in it to win it. Until they all need supplies, guidance, direction. Like ALL the time! What!?

Off I race to the hardware in between school lifts and meetings to get cement.

The shop assistant needs more detail – what kind of cement do I need?

Umm…the kind that keeps walls up!?

We figure it out and I race back only to discover the painters also need more supplies.

Thankfully my fabulous parents live with us, Dad takes over the supplies shopping. Our amazing architect pops in once a day to make sure the builders are on track according to the plans.

And even so, it rages on, hour after relentless hour. Tiny details we hadn’t thought of now needed to be resolved. Now, this red hot minute!

Paint colours choices / we’ll need just a bit more varnish / don’t forget the ladder hire /- oh and now we need a skip refuse bin.

Rain stops play. Often. We scramble to figure out what work can be done internally so we don’t waste time – and money!

Was my husband right? Well…maybe a teeny bit right.

OK OK! I confess that managing a building project is way more effort than I thought it would be. Turns out theory and practice are quite different. The devil lurks within the details and unless you have the time and head space to figure it all out, it can easily overwhelm you.

Having the right team around you is the only way through.

Does this signal the start of me wearing a hard hat and safety boots? Unlikely, but the universe is full of surprises!






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