Specialist end-to-end property investment company Surrenden Invest has revealed a shift in the nature of its clients, which it believes represents the next phase of the property investment sector’s evolution.
Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director,Surrenden Invest said:
“Clients used to start out by asking us basic questions about property investment. Now, however, investors are coming to us already clued up about the basics. There’s been a notable shift in terms of the average investor’s knowledge base – contemporary investors have done their homework and know what they want. They’ve already taken the time to learn the basics before they speak to an investment company.”
This new trend means that investors are more focused on getting guidance on the opportunities available as soon as they engage with a property investment company. They know the kind of investment that they want and are ready to drill down into the detail of what the market currently has to meet their requirements.
In addition, they’re seeking information on how best to invest and which issues to watch out for with specific projects. They already know, for example, about the merits of investing in Birmingham and the value of a prime city centre location. Now, it’s more a case of advising whether the charms of the apartments at (for example) B5 Southside outweigh those of Moseley Gardens, or vice versa.
Such a shift in investor knowledge has inevitably impacted on the speed at which decisions and investments are made. Investors have picked up the pace, with Surrenden Invest reporting that the average investor now takes just five days to go from an initial enquiry to an investment. Previously, the process could take several weeks, and sometimes even longer.
“The change in investors’ behaviour and the speed at which they now want to invest means that property investment companies need to be at the top of their game in order to satisfy the needs of these seriously savvy investors. There’s little small talk any more – investors want to invest fast and expect the information that they demand to be provided instantly in order to facilitate that. It’s an invigorating time to be involved in property investment!”
A number of factors are behind property investors’ evolving knowledge. The significant media interest in buy-to-let investment over the past few years has played a role, as has media coverage of ‘newer’ types of investment, such as hotel investment. A far broader swathe of information is available online. Property investment used to seem like something of a dark art to the uninitiated, but the proliferation of insightful, information-packed websites and blogs has enabled anyone with an interest to learn the ropes.
The result is that investors want to move faster. They are more decisive and less interested in debating whether or not they might want to invest. Instead, they just need guidance on where the best deals to suit their individual needs are to be found.
“It’s great to be part of the industry’s evolution and to work with investors who are so driven to make property investment work for them. The industry is maturing around us and property investment companies need to keep up with the new pace in order to meet modern client’s demands. Those that find themselves behind the curve have some serious catching up to do.”