“Property investment is a long-term play. A flash in the pan mentality is not going to cut it. If you are going to be a serious investor, you need a long-term plan.” -- Siva Shanker

Hello everybody. Happy New Year and best wishes to each one of you for a fabulous 2018. I cannot believe that I have been writing this column for a whole year. I mean, where has it gone? It seems like only yesterday that I agreed to do a weekly article for NST Property. And now, the year is over and we have started a new year.

So, as we go into the new year, I am sure we would all have made our resolutions, which we no doubt intend to keep, no matter what. Our determination to succeed will be high, and we refuse to tell ourselves that we can fail.

Although past experiences in all the preceding years will probably point to the fact that we will indeed fail to keep our resolutions, we tell ourselves that this year will be different. This year we will succeed. No matter what.

Losing weight and quitting smoking must be the biggest two resolutions people all over the world make. Following closely must be to get into an exercise programme, spend more time with the family, be nice to your subordinates, eat more healthily, etc, etc, etc.

To really gauge the seriousness of new year resolutions, one only has to pop one’s head into any one of the gymnasiums that dot the city.

During the first week of the month, the gyms would be filled with people working out. Most of these people are the ones who have made new year resolutions and are trying hard to keep them. As the days go by, the crowd becomes smaller and smaller, until by February, the only ones in the gym are the regulars.

So what happens to these resolutions? It gets put into a drawer, to be revisited at the end of the year, as we move towards another new year.

The same thing pretty much happens to the property market as well.

At the beginning of the year, there is always an uncommon flurry of activities, as people keep to their new year resolutions and kick-start their property investment journey.

Estate agents get calls from many potential investors and are generally kept busy conducting viewings of potential purchases. So these estate agents are also lulled into believing that perhaps the market is improving, and this year will be better than the year before.

As these agents meet other fellow agents and compare notes and discover that the others have also been busy with potential clients, they all come to the same conclusion: the market is showing definite signs of improvement.

Within the first few weeks, the flurry of activity slows down, and by February, comes to a grinding halt.

These agents then ask themselves, what is going on? Is the market improving or not? Is sentiment getting positive? Is this just a flash in the pan kind of thing? After another week or so, the estate agents realise and accept that the flurry of activity was merely a whole bunch of people exercising their brand new resolutions.

As I have said before, property investment is a long-term play. A flash in the pan mentality is not going to cut it. If you are going to be a serious investor, you need a long-term plan. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. You will need to do a detailed analysis of your financial situation before you can even purchase your first property.

Happy hunting, and may the force be with you.

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