Immanuel Ezekiel talks skillsets, transparency & legacy (2)

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14 August, 2018

In Part 2 of our interview with Immanuel Ezekiel of St. James Properties, we discuss his authorial experience and his views on change within the property development industry.


You are a published author, tell us a bit more about that.

I have written a book, yes, and I’m about to write my second book. I have written a book called The 6 Steps to Financial Freedom and that was based around when I had my mortgage business; I had about 50 brokers working for me at the time. That was before the big crash in 2008. I developed a system, in fact, a formula, to show anybody how to get out of debt, including their mortgage, in a fraction of the time just using their existing money.


Funnily enough, people don’t consider their mortgage a debt, the banks have been very good at disguising what people think as a mortgage as something that you have around your neck like a noose for 25 years, and people seem happy about that.


What should we expect from your second book?

Well the book is going to be all about a drug that I’ve used quite consistently over the last few years, and it’s called opium. Have you heard of opium?



It’s called Other People’s Money.
It is showing people how real property developers, people in property, use other people’s money. Most people realise that a bank is other people’s money, and that is just one form of using other people’s money to leverage and gear through 


There are lots of different ways that people can accelerate their growth because there is a fallacy that in property you always need money, and the truth is you don’t always need your money. You just need to know how to access that money, and there are lots of people out there that are either time or knowledge poor, but have the actual cash resources and would like to pay and invest through property, and through people that they know have the expertise. So that’s the area I’ll be writing on in a lot more depth.


If you were to then write another book about a change you would make in the property development space, what would that focus on?

Wow, a change in the property/development industry? I guess it’s the expectation between the buyer and the seller. Most sellers always feel that their land is worth a lot more than what it is and the buyers always feel that it’s worth less. Having something more transparent, industry wide, where people can actually attain what the true value of a property is to make it commercially viable.


And also for educating with agents, most agents’ work on behalf of the seller, by managing their expectations of what prices may be. This just makes it much more fluid. The market needs to be a lot more fluid, and it’s…I think it’s through less greed, and more through education.


At TrustedLand, we encourage the notion of building a legacy through your land, do you have a project or development that you’ve worked on that you would consider a part of your legacy?

I have two sides to what I call my legacy. One is my buy-to-let portfolio, which is a legacy that I’m going to leave for my children and my loved ones. But each development that I do, I do with the expectation that they are going to last hundreds of years; the builds are high quality and high specification. Quite often, what I will do, which not a lot of people do, is when I am negotiating with a landowner, for example if I’m building a block of flats, I’ll name the block of flats after their family.


So they have a continued use of their name, and their property doesn’t just die. Effectively, when you’re developing the land you continue with that name, and a lot of landowners like that. So it’s more of their legacy, rather than my legacy. Mine is just building quality property, for the housing market, I tend to build very – what I call middle of the road – properties, anything sort of 700-800k.


What do you feel is the most interesting aspect of the work you do, or the industry itself?

I think what’s interesting is that we know very little. And the industry is always evolving, always changing. Without expert help from professionals like architects, agents, lawyers, it’s easy to fall over very quickly. People don’t invest in professionals’ property, and without that, it’s easy to get lost. There’s a saying that says "if you think the cost of good advice is expensive, try the cost of poor or bad advice".


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