This post started life as a youtube video on my channel, the original video is below, enjoy 😉
I was talking to an investor recently. They are looking to buy a family property, such as a 3 bed and then going through a program of works to turn it into a multi-let or HMO with 5 or 6 bedrooms.
This is quite a common strategy, however, the bigger opportunity (in my opinion) for investors is in targeting existing landlords that want out.
The ones that are tired, have had enough of the added legislation and tax burdens and the government picking on them (as they see it).
The properties that these landlords have (if it’s a multi-let that you’re after) they’ve already spent the money on converting them.
They’ve been operating it as a multi-let for several years.
In some cases you can acquire these properties from certain landlords for less than it would cost you to buy the family home and convert it into a multi-let.
Now you will need to spend some money on these properties because the landlords are tired, the properties might be a bit more tired, and a little bit more run down, and you’ll need to bring them up to current standards.
But you’ll do that anyway converting a property to a multi-let.
Another constant conversation I hear is about saturation in a lot of cities with HMO’s.
There’s a lot of people that are concerned about getting into HMO’s and other things because there’s so many operators in the market and because of this constant talk of saturation.
One point to mention, this talk of “saturation” in the HMO market has been on-going for as long as I can remember & I started in the mid 2000’s.
The reality is, how many HMO’s there are in a market, or how many other operators and businesses in any sector has no impact on the success or failure of your business.
What you need to focus on doing is standing out from everybody else.
The majority of HMO’s in any city are terrible.
They’re in a terrible condition and people don’t want to live in them.
So, you need to focus on making your property stand out.
Make sure that your property is Instagramable!
That is a term that I’m coining. “Instagramable property”
People that live in these properties want to live in an Instagram house.
They want to be able to take photos of their kitchen or whatever it is, but they want to live in these properties that they see on Instagram, that they see on Pintrest and wherever else it is.
If your property is somewhere that has a keen eye for design.
It looks great, and it looks great in a picture, then you’re not gonna have too many problems letting it out.
The other thing you need to focus on marketing-wise is that firstly, if your property is that good, if it is Instagramable, then your tenants are going to do a lot of your marketing for you.
You need to be creating the demand for your properties.
You can do this by being on Instagram with your properties, talking about what makes you and your brand unique – Yes your property business is a brand the sooner people start thinking of it that way and putting in the effort it requires the better for everyone and the better the industry will be.
So you need to be out there talking about what you do, and becoming that personality in your area, in the market that you’re in, whatever it is.
Whether it’s students, or professionals or doctors and stuff like that. Whatever your area of the market is, you need to become seen as the operator for that type of property in that market.
Whether you’ve got one home, or five, or 10, or whatever it is.
The more you can do that, the better your property is, and the more that your tenants will spread the word about you, the better you’re going to be.
You’ll end up with a list of people waiting to go in to your properties, and that’s the best position to be in.
So, basically if you’re in an area, in a market that’s potentially saturated and I don’t really like that word, because there’s no such thing.
You just need to be better than everybody else, and raise the standard.
Focus a little bit more on attention to detail.
Make them that little bit nicer than the rest and you’ll have no problem filling them.
Another focus area of mine in 2019 is going to be estate agents, building relationships with estate agents, helping them to see the value that somebody like me can provide to their business, working with me long term, how that affects their business, and moves properties off their books and stuff like that – the benefits.
For several years I was afraid of working with estate agents. I think it was mainly that I didn’t think that they would want to work with me and to a certain extent I saw them as the enemy.
This was when I was mainly marketing direct to vendor with leaflets.
I was wrong, over the last couple of years I’ve worked almost exclusively with estate agents.
I’ve gone completely the other way.
If you find a good agent that understands what you’re doing, they will bring properties to you without you having to do all the work.
To really smash your goals you should be doing all the other stuff as well.
But for me, as a sourcer that’s providing investment properties to investors, I want as many properties coming to me as possible.
If I’m building relationships with estate agents I can sell multiple properties for them.
They will bring more to me.
I’ve had one recently that we sold one property for as soon as we had a buyer lined up for that one he was bringing me another one.
These are the relationships that I want focus on over the next year.
So, don’t ignore estate agents. They will work with you. They talk to a lot of people, and you have to stand out to get their attention.
Maybe you have to phone up several times or drop in to see them.
Or go on viewings to help them, or make offers – they often need offers regardless of how low they are! This is something to report back to the vendor.
The one thing that does make a difference with agents is that they want to sell properties.
So, if you’re able to sell or buy a property you get their attention.
Then they will bring more to you.
They’ll be more willing to answer your call.
It takes time to build those relationships, but it’s something that I’m going be focusing on over the coming year.
Please keep in touch. I’ll be putting out more videos, podcasts, blog posts, Instagram, and all that kind of stuff.
So be sure to follow me on whatever platform you prefer and get in touch – like, comment etc let me know your thoughts and what is holding you up.
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