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Interview of Harvey Raybould
Written by the Property Investor Today team
Harvey Raybould, Creative Development Services

Who are you?

Harvey Raybould

What does it say on your business card?

Building Dreams and Empowering Lives

What is Creative Development Services (CDS)?

We are a property development company based in Ashford, Kent and we specialise in boutique style properties for young professionals as well as new build developments and commercial to residential conversions. We also love to help busy, ambitious people increase their wealth through high yielding property investment tactics. 

How do you help landlords and property investors?

We help them invest in property in a more educated, compliant and professional way. Partnering with us, brings higher returns faster, compared to traditional go it alone solutions.

What services do you provide?

- Boutique style properties for young professionals

- New build development projects

- Commercial to Residential Conversions

- Property Consultancy

We aim to provide customers with their dream home and peace of mind and help investors build wealth and security.

Does CDS benefit tenants, too?

Yes, by providing high quality accommodation at affordable prices, properties that our customers love to call home.

Why is it important for tenants to have rental payments contribute towards their credit score?

To build up a favourable credit rating in modern life is vitally important. Without it, they will struggle to get car or bank loans, and mortgages. During any good referencing process, their credit history will be checked, if it is bad they may well be refused the property, or require a guarantor. 

However, if they have a good rental payment record, this will help to build a positive credit score, making referencing for later properties easier and giving them access to loans or mortgages.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?

On 23 December 2014, I got diagnosed with cancer, I was in Bangkok at the time and was in a huge dilemma what to do. It came as a massive shock, as I’d never really been ill all my life and just hearing that C word is enough to scare you to death. 

I could have had the operation in Bangkok, as some of their hospitals are absolutely world class, but decided to come back to the UK, however it was Christmas and I didn’t want to spoil my family’s festive time, so I didn’t tell them straight away. 

I was supposed to stay out there for another couple of months, but I rearranged my flight and flew back unannounced on the 28th. Telling my family wasn’t easy, it came as a huge blow to them as well, and strangely, well for me anyway, I think it was harder on my family than it was on me, and I think that was solely to do with my mindset. I never really tried to think or worry about it, I never believed I was ill, and I definitely never thought something like that would beat me. 

I had been relatively successful in my life, up to that point, but looking back now I think I had been drawn into a comfort zone, I didn’t have any money worries, no debt apart from the mortgages on my properties, travelling seven months or so of the year, and having a good comfortable life. 

Finding out I had cancer made me realise I didn’t want a comfortable life, there were things I wanted to achieve and experience and I needed to get off my backside if these were going to happen. 

On 25 March 2015, I had an operation to remove a tennis ball sized tumour but in the end, they had to remove my right kidney as well. I couldn’t have asked for better care in the NHS hospital I went in, and cannot thank the nurses and doctors enough for all the help and care they gave me. 

However, I was only in there for two nights, I hardly used any morphine, two hours after the operation, I was reading “Influence” by Robert Cialdini and answering emails on my phone. 

The nurses were quite amazed at my recovery speed, and when the consultant saw me on the third morning he agreed I could be discharged. I was thankful to be going home, not because of the food or bad care but if you have ever tried to sleep properly in a hospital it is impossible, with all the noise and activity going on, so I was really looking forward to a great night’s sleep.

So, what is the moral of this story? I’m not physically stronger or fitter than most people, but I do believe I have a fitter and stronger mental attitude than a lot of people I know. 

In 2015 despite having my operation and a few months of recovery, I was able to buy and sell over £1 million worth of property, started expanding my team, I’d set out new visions and goals for my property business, increased turnover and profitability, read thirty plus books, all whilst spending four months outside of the UK, in SE Asia. 

I can promise you that I am not telling you this to brag, as I really think I should have actually achieved more in that time, but just to let you know that despite anything that life throws at you, you can, with the right attitude, accomplish anything you truly desire. 

And just so you know, you don’t have to be born with the right attitude, it is definitely something you can learn if you take action and apply yourself.

So, I think being able to beat my cancer and not only take on the daily challenges of running a property development business but by thriving and expanding as well, is my greatest achievement.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

I love to help other investors to improve and gain more success by sharing my knowledge in a mentoring type role. I also love to inspire my employees and see them grow and flourish. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing landlords at the moment?

The government and Brexit. Over the last couple of years, the government has definitely had a swipe at landlords, through the abolition of mortgage relief and also the increase in stamp duty land taxes.

Hopefully, they have stopped now, but more legislation against landlords might be on its way in the form of compulsory licensing. 

As an accredited and responsible landlord, this doesn’t really worry me, as our properties are all high end and compliant, but it may worry other landlords that may have let the quality of their portfolios slip.

Brexit is going to cause uncertainty in the whole British economy and this will probably have an effect on house prices. Personally, I invest for the long-term so any short-term dips won’t really affect me, but others doing flip strategies etc. may need to reconsider their strategy.

What is your property prediction for the remainder of 2017?

I think overall 2017 is going to be a good year for property, interest rates are still incredibly low. House prices increases may slow, but I don’t think prices will drop much, apart from some over inflated places in London.

As long as people look at the long-term picture, (5 – 10 years) there is nothing to worry about, and I’m certain if they don’t buy now, in ten years’ time they will wish they had!

*Harvey Raybould is the founder of Creative Development Services

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