This week we’re showing you how to put together a Property Dreamline – and explaining what the heck a dreamline actually is.

The purpose is to use your Dreamline to create a vision of the ideal lifestyle you want, then put together a property plan that will get you there.

Here’s the spreadsheet that accompanies this episode:

Microsoft Excel version

Google Drive version

We discuss:

  • What a dreamline is, and what it’s for
  • Who invented it, and why
  • How it’s broken down into Having, Being and Doing
  • How to decide what to put into your Dreamline
  • How to convert your Dreamline into a property action plan

Further listening:

Further reading:
Tim Ferriss on costing out your ideal life
Tim’s dreamline example

Resource of the week

Our resource this week is Don’t Bet To Let – a new site that allows you to put in any UK postcode and see what the rental yield is in that area. You can also browse a list of the Top 10 yielding areas in the UK.

The data is algorithmically taken from Zoopla and it’s not yet perfect, but it’s a great starting point and we love the idea. If you’re the mystery person behind the site, get in touch – we’d love to help you spread the word!

This week’s news

The press is full of endless analysis about house prices, interest rates and government schemes…so which story have we picked out to feature?

Well, obviously that Britain’s most expensive houseboat has gone on sale. Check out the photos, because it really does look pretty swish…as it should do for £250,000, really.

Mentions this week

Firstly, we’ve crossed the 100 iTunes reviews mark!

This is a huge achievement in its own right, but to do it by Episode 25 is pretty much unheard of. We owe it all to you, so thank you so much for your incredible support!

We also made it two mentions in two weeks for HOMEsure Property up in Liverpool, who Rob D met this week. Check out their blog – it makes for great reading.

Tell us what you thought of the show!

What do you think of the Dreamline concept?

Have you done your own, or do you have another way of setting your property goals?

Just let us know by leaving a comment below!

If you enjoy The Property Podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes

Reviews are really important in helping other people to find the show, so by way of thanks we read out every single review we receive.

If you’d like to hear your name on the show, leave us a review on iTunes here. Not sure how to do it? This video shows you how to review and subscribe.

Full transcript

Rob Bence: It’s time for The Property Podcast where every week tens of thousands of property investors – new and experienced – join together to get news, knowledge and laughs at our expense. With me, Rob Bence.

Rob Dix: And me, Rob Dix. Join us every Thursday morning for your weekly dose of property ideas and motivation. Head over to our website at thepropertypodcast.com to keep the conversation going. Now then, let’s get started!

Rob Bence: Right!

Welcome to The Property Podcast! It’s episode twenty-five, we’re one-quarter of a way to the century. I’m Rob Bence and joining me every week is the splendid and delightful, Rob Dix. How are you?

Rob Dix: I’m very well, thank you Rob. Good morning! This week we are going to be talking about how to create a property dreamline. What is a dreamline? All will be revealed.

It’s a follow-up really, to our episode about goal setting, which is really popular. This is going to be a deeper dive into a framework that you can use to do just that. We’re also going to be talking about a very special property that’s come on to the market in this week’s news story. For the resource of the week at the end of the show, we’re going to be showing you a new website that might help you find some interesting areas to invest in. So stay tuned for that.

Rob Bence: You know we always start with the reviews. But this week is extra special. Now only have we got a great topic lined up for you, not only are we on episode twenty-five, but Rob, we’re gone through one hundred five-star reviews.

Rob Dix: Unbelievable! I mean, we spend more time geeking out over iTunes reviews than the average person so you might not know whether that’s a good thing or not. But it’s a really good thing, getting to a hundred reviews at all is a huge achievement, not many podcast manage it and to do it by episode twenty-five is just unbelievable!

Rob Bence: Yeah! We’re blown away! It’s so special. We read every single review, we really do, and you know we read them out. They mean a lot to us, so whether you’re in the UK or worldwide, thank you for your support! That is incredible! We know iTunes sit up and take notice when the reviews come in. Thanks very much! We appreciate always your support.

This week is no different. We’re going to read a few more out from people who have left reviews recently. The first one is from Genesis Ripples; he says “Interesting and informative, very much look forward to the variety of weekly subjects from two knowledgeable Robs. One of them I’ve spoken to several times in recent weeks and found him to be most helpful.” That must be me, Rob.

Rob Dix: It must be you, yeah.

Rob Bence: “How about the future subject of releasing bills of equity from a main residence by way of re-mortgaging to help finance future buy-to-let deposits. Please shape it to the American guy who did it his way. Keep up the good work, guys!” Thank you very much, Genesis Ripples; we appreciate it.

Mick in Spain says, “Unmissable insights into property investment. Absolutely brilliant podcast, completely up to date with content that could be applied anywhere. The two Robs are born for podcasting! Keep up the good work and thanks for helping me to decide how to direct my finances for the next ten years to ensure a relatively passive income.” Thank you very much, Mick!

Finally, JE143 – I’m sure that person wasn’t born with that name, but thank you anyway. You say, “Great podcast! This is easily the best podcast at the moment. For ages I’ve been searching for one like it; not only do Rob and Rob go into the fundamentals of property but also great literature and apps available to help you achieve a whole more outside your life other than property. I personally contacted Rob Dix who without fail answers any queries promptly. This in itself adds to the value of the podcast. Rob and Rob deliver in a great way, no monotone here but a lively cheer that will keep you gripped. Look forward to each Thursday for a new episode. Please don’t stop guys!” Well, with reviews like that, we will not.

Rob Dix: We won’t! I’m feeling a bit nervous now; we got to live up to all this high praise. Thank you so much! Absolutely love to hear all that. Hopefully with our topic this week we will do you proud and have another great episode for you.

First though, we shall have a little update as always. Rob, you’ve been ticking off some goals this week.

Rob Bence: I have; linked to this episode you’ll soon find out more about – I don’t normally talk about my personal life, what I had for dinner last night and so on – but I went on the Orient Express in the last seven days which is one of my life goals. I listed a hundred life goals as so, and this is one of them so I was delighted to tick that box and it was a great day, a great experience. The expectations were met and probably exceeded. If you have got a mild interest in trains – I probably make myself look like a geek here – but if you got a mild interest in trains, the Orient Express is a fabulous experience. I highly recommend it. Great to tick off one of those big goals I’ve wanted to do for a while.

Rob Dix: Fantastic! That ties really into this episode as you’ll see soon. While you’ve been off gallivanting, I’ve been taking care of the property business. I’ve actually been up in your hometown Liverpool this week. It’s weird, everyone sounds like you. I felt I was recording the podcast permanently! They’d probably say you’ve gone Southern, I imagine.

Rob Bence: Yeah, they ask me where I’m from.

Rob Dix: Yeah. It was fascinating being up in Liverpool looking at a real different range of different types of property in different areas at different prices and really geeking out on all the possibilities up there.

While I was at it, we need to give another shout out – two weeks in a row – for Nick and Mark from HOMEsure who operate up there in Liverpool. I know you met them recently. I went for coffee with them as well and had a little drive around with Nick. They were absolutely fantastic, love what they’re doing, fascinating conversations. Thank you to them.

I also met a listener while I was up there. A shout out to Danny. He came all the way from Manchester to have a chat. It was really great meeting him; we’ve got a lot in common with property and travel and some tech bits as well. It was really great to meet him. Fantastic week all in all.

Rob Bence: Good, good! I’m glad you enjoyed your trip up to Liverpool.

Rob Dix: Yeah!

Rob Bence: Nick and Mark, if you make it three weeks in a row we’d have to give you the podcast. Great!

Let’s have a look at what’s caught our attention in the news this week, Rob. It’s a bit of a fun one. We’re looking at Britain’s most extravagant houseboat has gone on sale.

Rob Dix: It has. It’s gone on sale for two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. I’m not very good on boats so it wouldn’t be just the price making me queasy, it would be every day as well. However luxurious it is, I don’t want to get involved with that, but if that’s your kind of thing we’ll link to the article in the show notes. You need to look at the photos, it does look pretty impressive.

Rob Bence: It does. I don’t want to go overboard on this one. Sorry. But it’s an impressive boat. Have a look at the photos, the pictures for yourself. What’s interesting though, is you still don’t own a mooring space. You have to rent that. The big part of property is that a lot of value is locked into the land, the house itself doesn’t cost that much to build. It’s the land it sits on where the value is. It’s interesting. That boat, that two-fifty is all boat. There’s no land there so every penny of it is going into the boat. Have a look, very nice, well done. I’m not sure I want to movie in myself, but if that’s your cup of tea then go and take a look.

Rob Dix: Any more puns before we move on or is that it? We’ve exhausted it.

Rob Bence: No.

Rob Dix: I was trying to come up with some.

Rob Bence: I was racking my brains on this and what to find, but no. We’ll have to swiftly move on.

Rob Dix: Okay, let’s do that. Let’s move on to our topic of the week. This week it’s creating a property dreamline.

Basically, it’s a particular way of approaching goal setting, which is something that we talked about back in episode fifteen, ten episodes ago now. It was a really popular one; a lot of people liked that.

What we’re going to do in this episode is explore a framework that helps you to set your business goals and your property goals based on your desired lifestyle. We’ve taken this concept to dreamline, which I’ll explain in a minute, we’ve updated it for property and we’ve put together a spreadsheet to help you record some of this stuff. We’re going to talk you through that with examples during this episode.

The spreadsheet you can get from the show notes at thepropertypodcast.com/25. You don’t need to have it in front of you; you don’t have to have seen it for the purposes of this episode. Have listen and maybe go and check out the spreadsheet later if you’re interested.

Let’s start explaining what a dreamline is. Sound good?

Rob Bence: Yeah, sounds good to me. We can’t take the credit of coming up with it, can we, Rob?

Rob Dix: We cannot. The term dreamline first came from Tim Ferriss, into a book which I’m sure a lot of people have read called The Four-Hour Work Week. If you haven’t then I definitely recommend it.

He coined that term. It was updated recently by Dan and Ian from formerly the Last Hour Business podcast, now the Tropical MBA podcast. In their episode forty which we’re going to link to as well, they updated this concept and we’re going to take it even further from there. Dan and Ian, as with most things in our lives were the inspiration for this episode and sort of made us revisit this dreamline concept and realize how relevant it is for property as well.

We should really start to say what it is. Dreamline – I think the definition is – it’s a list of all the things you want and what it would cost you both upfront and per month to have those things. What it does is encourages you to think in terms of monthly cash flow. You’re not thinking about how much money you need in a bank or anything else, you’re thinking about how much money you need each month to have the lifestyle you want. It also forces you to specify in exact detail what this lifestyle is that you want.

When Tim Ferriss came up with this he was using it to show that the dream lifestyle that you want might actually cost less than you think, especially when you break it down to the level of daily spending. In the book there are loads of examples about the kind of life you can have in various parts of the world without having to spend that much money.

For our purposes we can use it to work out how property will help us to get to where we want to be. How this ties into goal setting is if you’re struggling to set what your goals should be in property. Let’s use this dreamline concept to come up with the lifestyle that we want and how much it’s going to cost us then we can come up with our goals to help us end up with that lifestyle that we want. That’s what a dreamline is.

Rob Bence: Now that we understand what a dreamline is we need to put it into practice. The first thing we need to establish is time frames. How long is it going to take for us to achieve our dreamlines?

Tim Ferriss, Dan and Ian talk in very short-term. They’re talking in twelve-months or six months which is great, but when we’re doing a property dreamline we know that the real wealth in property is locked over the long-term.

What we advise is you do two sets of dreamlines: a short-term dreamline which could be twelve months and a long term dreamline. It’s up to you; it could be five, ten, fifteen years, whatever suits you best. But do both because you will be able to achieve a lot in twelve months, but you will also be able to achieve a lot more going forward long-term as well. Make sure that when you go through this process that you set two dreamlines up – one short-term and one long-term. As Rob already said, you’ve got the spreadsheets on the show notes that you can go and use to do this.

Rob Dix: Let’s get into – in each of these time frames – what kind of stuff we’re putting into this dreamline. It’s made up of three different components: it’s having, being and doing.

It’s all quite self-explanatory. Having is things that you want to own, being is how you want to be as a person and tied into that are the things that you need to specify what you need to do to bring that about. If you say “I want to be able to run a marathon” then you’re going to need to do certain things along the way to make that happen within the timeframe you’re talking about. The final one is doing, which is what you want your day-to-day life to be like in terms of the activities you do. Doing could be related to certain hobbies, it could be about the kind of work you do, anything that’s all to do with how you spend your time. Between having, being and doing you kind of cover off everything about your lifestyle that’s important to you.

In the spreadsheet there are five different slots for each of having, being and doing in which you fill in the description of what it is and the cost that it will cost you per month and any kind of upfront cost associated with that as well. That will help you work out how much money you’ll need to have this lifestyle happen. Rob, we should really give some examples to make this more concrete, shouldn’t we?

Rob Bence: Sure! If we look at the short-term dreamline to begin with, although twelve months might not sound a lot in the terms of a property portfolio, there are actually things you can implement quite early on. If you live at home and you currently do all the cleaning, the gardening and the ironing then one of the things that you could have is to have a cleaner.

You can have a cleaner once a week. What you would do is put that in your dreamline. Then what’s the cost? Is it ten pounds an hour? If it’s ten pounds an hour, put that in. Now you know, once a week ten pounds an hour over a month, that’s about forty pounds a month. That’s how much it will cost you if you do it. Two hours a week, that’s eighty pounds, but you get the idea. You could have a cleaner to allow you to free up some of your time; or a gardener, same sort of thing. That’s having.

Then there’s being, as well. There are other things you can achieve in twelve months that you can see yourself doing.

Rob Dix: For example, say that I wanted to be fluent in French. I travel a lot, I always feel really bad that I can’t speak the language so let’s just sort of say I want to be fluent in French.

There are different ways of going about this. You could say I need to get a tutor, I need to get someone to personally tutor me for two hours a week and that’s going to cost me two hundred pounds a month. In that case, I’d put that under being in the spreadsheet. I put “being fluent in French”. To make it happen, get a tutor for two hours a week and the monthly cost which would be two hundred pounds.

Alternatively, I could say a far more effective way of doing that is going to be spending a whole month in France, not working, just doing intensive lessons all day. That wouldn’t have a monthly cost attached to it but it would have a one-time cost so I’d have to add up the cost of my accommodation, my lessons, everything else while I’m in France for that month. Also, include in that the cost of the work I’m missing out because I can’t work during that month. After I do that, then I would put that in into the spreadsheet as a one-time cost.

Those are two different ways of approaching the same thing, but that’s one kind of being goals. This being section is to do with how you want to be as a person. I suppose that’s a self-improvement section.

Rob Bence: Yeah. That’s the short term. In the longer term, throw out some big goals out there. Think about your life. Unless you’re a Buddhist, you only get one crack at this so think about how you want your life to pan out. In ten, fifteen or five years time, whatever; what do you want to be doing? If everything’s worked out well, start listing it. That’s the whole point of dreamline, especially when you have the longer term. Put those big, reaching goals, the things that scare you a little because the whole point of doing it is to track a way of getting there so it doesn’t become a dream, it becomes a process. Don’t worry if your long term goal scares you because you think they’re not reachable. Actually, as humans we tend to overestimate what we do in the short term and underestimate what we can do in the long term.

When you go through your long term goals, throw some stuff out there. It depends on the individual, who you are and what you want. If that’s having a yacht, then have a yacht. Maybe it’s the boat that we talked about earlier in the episode. If you want to have your own boat to live on as well as your home then great, that’s fine. Being; it could be spending six months in a year travelling around the world – Rob does it already. I know that you don’t have to wait ten years to do it but that might be a choice for you further down the line. Doing; maybe everyday you’ve got a personal trainer every single day in your life. It depends. It’s not for Rob or I to tell you what goals to set, it’s just to get you thinking about what’s possible.

If you’re struggling to come up with some dreams – short term and long term – Tim Ferriss really sums it up well on a way of getting rid of that mental block. What he says is, “List up to five things you dream of having included but not limited to material ones – a house, car, clothing, etc. Being, so it could be ‘be a great cook in Chinese, etc’. Doing, it could be visiting Thailand, tracing your overseas roots, racing ostriches, whatever, in that order.”

Go through and list five things, and that’s a good way to start. If you’re really struggling – this could be for the longer term goals – consider the question: What would you do day-to-day if you had a hundred million in the bank? If still blocked, fill in the five doing spots with the following: one place to visit, one thing to do before you die – a memory of a lifetime type of thing – one thing you’d like to do daily, one thing you’d like to do weekly and one thing you’ve always wanted to learn. If you start with that list then that would probably get the creative juices going for you to fill out the other sections.

Rob Dix: I think you should really give yourself permission to go nuts with this, it could be as ambitious as you like and be as selfish as you like as well. The value in this is it really forces you to think about what you want your life to be like and then work back from there. That’s a really, really valuable thing. If you just do this in this exercise you’ll be ahead of ninety-five per cent of everyone else who never think about what they want their life to be like and just lets their life happen to them. The first step really to getting what you want is to specify what you want and that’s what this exercise really helps you to do. Having done that, it’s just a case of working back and figuring out, “That’s the dream, then how do I do it?”

Rob Bence: The next thing to look at is how you’re going to do it. It’s all great having all these goals and aspirations, but you need to then – as it’s called the property dreamline – relate property directly back to it. You need to create a plan to hit those targets.

The short term plans should be pretty easy because if it’s just get a cleaner or a gardener or start taking lessons in French then that amount per month isn’t going to cost you so much. You can look at a property cash flow, realize what it’s going to net you each month, and you may allocate a proportion of that to your life, to enjoying it. Yes, it’s good to re-invest the money you earn, but don’t feel like you can’t start enjoying your life for the hard work you’ve done upfront. If having a cleaner or a gardener or learning French would make a big difference in your life, then do it. The short term goals are pretty easy to plan for because you can see in one or two properties maybe save the money to invest. Once you invested you make sure you get a return of X amounts and that will allow you to achieve the goals, then great. The short term goals should be pretty easy and most people could do that.

In the longer term goals you may need some guidance because if those numbers are quite big and quite reaching – five, ten, fifteen years down the line – then you may need to put a more complex plan together. Rob and myself are more than happy to do that. At RMP Property it’s what we do on a daily basis so if you’re thinking about longer term goals then get in touch. We give our time for free; you can pay us in five-star reviews. We’ll give you our guidance, we’re more than happy to do that. Get in touch and we’ll guide you on your longer term goals.

Why not before doing that, get your goals together so when you come to us you know exactly what your future life is going to cost you and it will be a lot easier to guide you from there.

Rob Dix: That’s something that if you go through the spreadsheet that we put together, it will really help you with because you can put all the different things in there, put the monthly cost and the one-off costs. You can put in your expenses as well. What you’re going to end up with is a target monthly income. It’s like, to have this kind of dream lifestyle this is what it’s going to cost me. If that number looks really scarily high, you can play around with things a little bit or you might be pleasantly surprised. That can guide you as you put together your property goals and work out what you want to do.

There are also some steps in there. Once you’ve got these goals it’s a case of going, “What can I do right now? What can I do tomorrow? What can I do the day after?” and have you working towards these goals.

In the short term it really gives you kicks to get started than longer term, as Rob said. It gets a little bit more complicated. The important thing is it’s working out where you want to be in the long term and why. Having that reason, going “This is the lifestyle I want to have and this is what I need to do in terms of property.” It means that you’re not going to fall into the trap of just acquiring hundreds and hundreds or properties for no reason and not knowing why you’re doing it or you’re not going to give up in six months’ time because it’s hard work. Once you’ve got this vision it becomes much easier to stay focused on that goal and do the things in the short term. It might be pretty difficult because you know that it’s going to be worth it and you know that you’ve worked out the numbers and it’s all going to pay off.

Rob Bence: Definitely! Go and download that spreadsheet, go and get it and start figuring it out. Listen to episode fifteen as well about goals because these two episodes really marry well together. Then, as I said before, goal setting – without trying to sounds dramatic – changed my life, it really did. Go and do this dreamline, go and set some goals. Come back to us if you want some guidance, come back to us and ask us questions. We’re more than happy to help.

That’s creating a property dreamline. I hope you’ve enjoyed that. Let’s give you our resource of the week.

This week it’s a resource that sort of popped out of nowhere and I can’t credit where I came across it but we both like it, Rob. It’s new; it’s fresh so most people probably haven’t heard of this one. Its called dontbettolet.com; dontbettolet.com. You can find it in the show notes, or you can go straight to the URL there as well.

Basically it’s a website and it picks out areas that you can get good returns, properties that offer a good deal. I’m sure it’s a not an exact science because the top ten in the list I would probably counter that it may not be completely accurate, however it’s a very good guide and it’s a brilliant website. It’s one to bookmark and keep an eye on in the future because I messaged the owner via Twitter and he or she – because we don’t know who it is – said please get in touch with any suggestions. We’ll link to this app’s Twitter account as well so you can feedback your suggestions to them.

Rob Dix: It’s something that’s only going to get better with time. The results at the moment aren’t perfect. What it does it take data form Zoopla and runs some clever calculations on it to work all these stuff out. Those algorithms are obviously going to need some tweaking over time to make sure that they are accurate but it is great how you can stick in a post code and you see in the surrounding areas what the deals are. It’s a useful tool already although obviously nothing substitute for actually getting there on the ground and working it out for yourself, but it can help to direct your research at a high level already and as it improves it’s only going to become more and more useful. Hopefully we can be part of that process of helping it to get better.

Rob Bence: Absolutely! If you’re the owner and you’re listening, please do get in touch. Rob and I would love to give you our feedback and talk, find out more about your app as well and see if we can help. If you’d like to speak with our podcast listeners, we can email them and get you suggestions that way too, so please get in touch. We think your app is fantastic!

Rob Dix: Please do. I think that just about wraps it up for this week. The show notes, as ever, is at thepropertypodcast.com/25. It’s really important this week because we’ve got the link to Don’t Bet to Let that we’ve just been talking about. We’ve got the links to some blog post from Tim Ferriss about the concept of dreamlines and the Tropical MBA episode by Dan and Ian that inspired this particular episode and we’ve got pictures of the houseboat as well, if you perceive that might be a lifestyle you want to get involved in or you want to put that in the dreamline. All of that is on the show notes.

While you’re there you can of course sign up for the mailing list as well, if you haven’t done that already.

Rob Bence: That’s another ship-shape episode, Rob!

Rob Dix: Pulled out of the bag at the last minute!

Rob Bence: Sorry! You had to listen that far before you get another bad joke, but I think we better leave it there for the end of the week.

Rob Dix: Yeah, let’s do that. For next week, it’s another sequel episode, actually. If this is the follow up to goal setting, then we’ve got the follow up for an episode we did recently about property investments to avoid and we’ve actually got twenty more property investments to avoid so we’re going to be narrowing down the options for you there.

Rob Bence: Super! Thanks for listening, everyone! Thank you again for the hundred reviews, everyone who has contributed. Thank you so much, it’s made a big difference!

Rob Dix: Thanks for listening to The Property Podcast! Make sure you join our mailing list at thepropertypodcast.com.

Rob Bence: Remember, we love five-star reviews! Rob even loves them more than air miles!