Friday 29 November 2019

I never wanted to run a business again!

Well not a "proper" one at least... I have my investment properties largely in a limited company, which I guess, is a business. One that gives me a semi-passive, recurring income without requiring a heap of my time. Well having taken over an existing management portfolio has been everything but passive. Daniel and I have been working very hard to sort out the problems the previous managing agent had left behind for us - just a brief overview of some of the problems we've dealt with in the last few weeks:

  • Tenants locked the WC door from the inside
  • Dripping tap
  • Radiator not working
  • Broken washing machines
  • Blocked shower drains (and the tenants kept on showering causing flooding and collapsed ceilings below 😱)
  • No internet because the previous utility company had cut it off rather than waiting for us to switch it over.

So why the sudden change? Well there's opportunity. Daniel and I have been great working together on our WeSourceLondon.Properties brand and we've sourced a good half a dozen investment properties for clients over 2018. Our efforts didn't go unnoticed with plenty of investors contacting us to source for them too, so most of our business came from referrals and repeat business. Sourcing is however far from passive and even further from recurring. Management is a far less time intensive business for us (with the right team), so we decided to focus on that. With great success, we've been very luck finding this portfolio, and as the owner wanted to exit completely we've taken over his existing team and even his office. Once the teething issues are out the way and the properties are up to our high standards it should be a lot less time intensive.

This leads me right in to something that I did want to focus my time on - expansion. Standing still is the same as stepping backwards (because everyone else is moving forward of course). The best way to expand is together, so we set out to acquire further properties in Central London to manage on a short let basis. I'll dive in to this further in the next post as it requires some explaining, but in essence other investors are now able to hire us for property management for properties that we source for them, all packaged up, investors just sign on the dotted line and put the money in to the deal. The yields are great as we are letting the properties on a short let basis (both holiday letting and short letting in order to stay on the right side of the 90 day rule). More on this later.

If you'd like to know more in the interim by all means drop me a line. Also, if you are interested in more information on property letting and investments do head over to my youtube channel.

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Busy with Management - in a good way!

A good month has gone by without a blog post; you can certainly tell I've been busy! Over the next week I'll release a few articles on my latest acquisitions, but thought I'd just release a brief overview to start with and then dive into a bit more details over the coming articles.

  • Acquisition of an existing management portfolio in Southwest London
  • Taken on 2 more managed properties since the beginning of this month
  • Taken on a permanent office with staff
  • Taken on 3 further units to manage on short-let basis
So firstly about the brand - WeManageLondon.Properties - does what it says on the tin, really. Why the "."? well the name serves as a website address at the same time, so more for convenience.

The existing portfolio is a combination of managed properties for landlords who just want us to manage the tenancies for them and those that prefer a "guaranteed rent" solution, so invariably I will be letting by the room. The area lends itself very well to that because the rents are such that there is a reasonable margin between the total of the room rents and the rents payable to the landlords. I'm sceptical this model would work as well closer in to London, but zones 4 - 6 seem to be the ideal area for this model. Great!

So all in all I've been busy together with my business partner Daniel getting the properties up to scratch; taking over the management always brings issues such as hidden repairs that needed doing and things like regular cleaning to manage. The properties were dirty as the previous managing agent had failed to bring in systems such as regular cleaning and maintenance reporting, so a lot of tenants simply didn't know what to do when a repair needed to take place, or worse - repairs were reported and nothing was done! Among the repairs were two building insurance claims for collapsed ceilings due to bathroom leaks, repairs to a bathroom refurbishment gone wrong, sound proofing a stud wall that hadn't been built correctly, leaking shower valves and a plethora of broken appliances to repair! Thankfully I have been blessed with some good members of staff as part of the acquisition that know the portfolio and have been superb in getting the transition done smoothly.

I'm looking forward to expanding a bit more in future updates, but for now if you'd like to know more about the management services I offer in SW London do drop me a line: I'll go into more detail in future posts.

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