Craig Rennolds of Rennolds Surveyors
has a varied understanding of the property industry. From surveying through to investment and development, his experience, along with other experts in the industry, has been shared in a new book: Property Innovators: Successful Property Experts share their Top Tips.
Craig joins us on the blog to talk about the inspiration behind the book and what he hopes it offers readers.
Tell us a bit about yourself - how did you get into surveying and how long have you been in the industry?
My background was originally in the building trade, having started in industry with my father who was a plasterer and floor layer. I spent some years working in the trades, including a spell working with a plumber.
When I was 29 I returned to University to study Building Engineering and later did a part time degree in Building Surveying. During my sandwich year I was sponsored and spent time on large building sites learning how to use a theodolite and level.
When I graduated I worked for WS Atkins before freelancing for the MOD in various locations. I finally settled into a career and set up a business as a residential surveyor in 1999.
You’ve joined together with other property experts to write Property Innovators – how did the book come about?
I was discussing with a publisher about writing and producing a book for investors and first time buyers, and she mentioned writing a chapter to be included in a book she was compiling called Property Innovators. The proceeds of which go to the charity 'Save the Children'.
I remember her saying, 'you never know you could be a number 1 best selling author!'
What is your chapter about?
The chapter is basically an autobiography of my career in surveying and property investment, and how I started up with very little money. I hope that it's seen as motivational, and shows the tips I'm sharing do work.
Have you ever done any writing before and are you working on something new now?
Before this I hadn't written anything other than survey reports! I needed a bit of coaxing from my publisher, who interviewed me over the phone and recorded my thoughts.
In terms of writing something new, I am about three quarters of the way through my own book which we hope to publish in the late autumn. The book is really concerned with highlighting defects in buildings for both first time buyers and potential property investors.
I have also explained how I have built a property portfolio and the pitfalls to avoid with taking on this type of business.
What are you most passionate for people to know about in the property world?
I would like people to know that property can be an adventure, whether you are buying one house or many. I don't want people to be put off by the doubters who say property is no longer a viable way of investing, and I want to comfort those who are nervous about buying their first house.
Property in my view has consistently been a great asset to invest in over the long term. I also would like to help people to understand more about property and what to look for when viewing a property with the view to buying.
Being a surveyor, I hope to clarify building defects and the valuation process within this new book.
Who would benefit from reading your book?
I hope to help and educate investors and buyers. Obviously, someone new to buying property will want the property they are interested in surveyed, but also first time investors or even more experienced investors may find Property Innovators
inspirational. I think my new book will offer a useful insight into the surveying and investment profession.
I hope to clarify why planned maintenance and a budget put aside for this is so important. Other regular questions, like when to walk away from a purchase and how to enhance and add value to a property will also be covered.
What’s your top tip for people buying a property?
If you don't have much experience buying property, take advice from a professional but don’t be daunted by the prospect - do your sums, research the area and note what surrounds the property.
If you are looking at buying a property, we always recommend getting a survey
so you know exactly what you're dealing with. If you're in the viewing stages, we have a great list of questions to ask when viewing a property.