The property developing millionaire and club owner imparts his work-based wisdom

Leverage is king

In pay reviews in particular, you want to get as much leverage as you can. The key is to equip yourself with something your boss wants or can’t live without: back in the day I used to implement ways to make or save the company money and then I’d go into the boss’s office and ask for a pay rise. One time I was on about 50 grand and had the ultimate leverage of another job offer. They offered me a salary of 90 grand to stay.

Don’t let staff walk over you

I had to sack a couple of guys recently. They’d come in promising all sorts, but in the end, it’s all down to results and they just didn’t deliver. I’d set them up in one of my offices and went in one day to see them in hysterics over something. I’d been paying them a fortune, they weren’t getting results and here they were laughing at something on Facebook or YouTube, so I said, “You’re laughing at that on my time, you’re both sacked. Get out.”

Befriend the boss

On my first job I had a boss who was a real bollock and he was giving me such a hard time. The secret is to try and build up a rapport. Sure, he wants results, but even then that doesn’t mean he’ll be your friend, so I’ve found that playing golf or having a few beers is the best way. And if they then find out that you’re good at your job, too, they’ll love you.

Be straight

I’m not into power-games and all that crap. I like to play it with a very straight bat, say what I’m going to do and then do it. I think people can lose respect for you if you’re not on the level.

Know the golden rules

If you’re starting out in any business, make sure you know what you’re doing. My five golden rules for property developing are: buy at the right price – you have to get a bargain; find somewhere in an up-and-coming area; know your market – no point kitting it out it for a family if it’s going to be bought by a young professional; add value with a refurb or an extension; and finally, timing is crucial – you have to get into and out of each deal quickly. It’s all in my book, How To Make A Million From Property.

Get a mentor

It does sound a bit freaky, but they’ve done research which shows how people give out a different frequency, and the super-rich emit a frequency that’s unique. If you spend time with these people or even immerse yourself in their books, your frequency can actually change, too. I got a lot of inspiration from Donald Trump’s books when I was at university.

Take risks

I never worry about losing money because I believe in myself and I know, if I lost it all, I could start again and make it all back. Most people wouldn’t take the kind of risks that entrepreneurs do: it’s nature. But just as important is the fact that you have to work your arse off to succeed.

Believe in yourself

I was listening to Michael Caine the other night and he was talking about how, when he was first starting out, he got told to forget acting. He said that the reason advice is free is because it’s usually worthless – and he’s right. Believe in yourself, stay focused and don’t listen to all the cynics.

www.garymccausland.com; www.propertypower.com; www.richlandgroup.com

CV

Name

Gary McCausland

Born

Belfast, 1968

Education

St Patrick’s intermediate school in Dungannon

Qualifications

12 O-levels, 3 A-levels, degree in Estate Management, one-year post-grad diploma in accountancy

Work

1991

Management accountant job in a sausage factory: “Hell on Earth, but there were no good jobs because the property market had crashed.”

1992

Property manager for Cable & Wireless, Northern Ireland: “I went from six grand a year at the sausage factory to £20k. Couldn’t believe it.”

1993-1996

Property manager for Cable & Wireless, Scotland

1996-1997

Property manager for Cable & Wireless, UK: “I leapfrogged my boss’ boss’ boss because I came up with a way to save the company a fortune.”

1997–2001

International estates manager for MCI.

2001-present day

Founder of property developers, the Richland Group: “My plan is to turn it into a billion-pound company.”

2004-2007

Presenter of Five series How To Be A Property Developer and Property Developing Abroad.