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How to carry out a mid-year portfolio review

Friday, July 01, 2016

Can you believe that we are already half way through 2016? Before you know it Christmas will roll around, and you will find yourself diving right into 2017. So what say we talk a bit about a mid-year portfolio review?

Why now? Well, why not? Usually right about now is when motivation starts to flag, and most of us find ourselves losing a bit of steam. The weather certainly doesn’t help; it is getting cold and the nights are drawing in fast. You have survived the last six months and will certainly be forgiven for feeling a bit fatigued.

Having a proper review session at this point keeps you accountable to your goals and perhaps, more importantly, it keeps you motivated. If you are new to a mid-year business review, here is a 10-step process to help you get started:

Step 1: Plan the review

You don’t need to spend long on your review session, but you do need to treat it seriously. Don’t do it on a whim just to tick off the box. Schedule a proper meeting in your diary a week or two out. Set up an agenda and gather enough information beforehand to help you get the most out of the session.

Step 2: Buddy up

A portfolio review for a property investor is essentially an exercise in self-assessment. Self-assessments are only valuable if you are being completely honest and hold you to a high level of accountability. Having a review partner helps you stay accountable.  If you are investing with a business partner, then both of your should attend the review. If you are a solo investor, then consider involving a significant other, a mentor, a confidant or someone with whom you have an open and trusting relationship. The key here is to have someone who can hold you accountable for your words and plans, who thinks critically and isn’t afraid to call you out and challenge you constructively.

Step 3: Focus on the strategy

Ever heard of the saying to not mistake the forest for the trees? You’ve spent six months bogged down with the day-to-day running of your portfolio, so let's put that aside for now. A mid-year review is an excellent opportunity for you to step back and look at your business from afar to critically assess how it has been performing overall and more importantly what is holding it back from its full potential.

Step 4: Celebrate the wins

Energy is essential. You are reviewing yourself for a bigger, and brighter future.  This is not a trip to the principal’s office so get the tone of the meeting right from the off. Take some time at the start to recount the positives and celebrate the victories so far. Feeling good? Right, let's continue!

Step 5: Review your 2016 goals

Pull out your 2016 goals and critically assess how you have been tracking in relation to these goals. Are you making real progress or have you deviated from the original plan? How have your actions been serving your goals? Now that you have had six months under your belt you should have enough actual performance data to work off. What has been the average vacancy rate across all of your rentals? How often do rent arrears occur and how quickly had you been able to recover them? Don't sugarcoat things. Use actual performance figures to guide your self-assessment. Get your review partner involved. Not only should you assess yourself critically, but you should also furnish enough proof so that your partner gives you the same assessment.

Step 6: Assess key strengths and weaknesses

Now that you have had a chance to look back to the last six months you should have a good idea about what your key strengths and weaknesses are. Are you handy or analytical? Are you a negotiator or a marketer? Start focusing more on what you are good at and delegating other tasks to those who are far more capable and efficient. Remember, the idea is to work on not in your business.

Step 7: Update and refresh your 2016 goals

So, we’ve been looking back so far and not it is time to look forward. You have six months left to reach your 2016 goals but are they still the right goals for you? You have an opportunity now to reassess the validity of the goals you set yourself six months ago. Are they still applicable and appropriate to your current situation? Have your views on your future changed in the last six months making some of these goals redundant? If so, take the opportunity to refresh and reaffirm your goals for the remaining half of 2016.

Step 8: Do you like?

All sounding far too serious? Why don’t we stop a play a little game of Like and Don’t Like? This is the part of the review where you get in touch with your core values and recalibrate your business practices. At the end of the day, it is not able reaching your goals at any cost. You want to be able to look back on your achievements and hold your head up high. Think of it as not losing your soul to the devil. So look back to the highs and lows of the year so far and complete the following sentences about yourself:

I like…

I don’t like…

Had there been moments that made you particularly proud of ashamed? Recount these moments and learn from them.

Step 9: Action plan for the rest of 2016

You’ve looked critically at your strategy, tracked your progress so far, refreshed your goals and refocused yourself on your strengths, weaknesses, and ethics. Congratulations, all the components are now in place to help you wrap up 2016 on a strong note. Take the learnings from the last few steps and map out an action plan for the rest of the year. Time mark each action point and share them with your review partner so that you can stay accountable for the next six months.

Step 10: Share key lessons

End the review on a high note by sharing with each other the biggest take home lesson for you from this session.

 

Have you completed your 2016 mid-year portfolio review?  What have you learnt from it?  Share your lessons below!

 

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