Rosie and Allan Charles of Arch Investments property business – I’ll be totally honest, I’ve spent the past two years thinking of them as Ark Investments every time I see them on social media, thinking it was some abbreviation for architecture. But, of course, after asking the question I now know that it stands for Allan & Rosie Charles – but at least now you’ll remember to look for them next time you’re on Instagram.
Anyway, getting back to what this phenomenal couple have achieved in a few short years… They started investing by breaking all the property rules – sourcing deals hours away from home and focussing on the humble single let instead of being distracted by shiny objects and new-fangled strategies. It’s clearly worked for them, replacing Rosie’s income and allowing her to step into property full time whilst Allan focuses on the strategy for the business and making sure that all of his toys were constantly being tossed from his pram.
You’ll hear more in today’s interview about how they’ve built a successful portfolio through consistent efforts and constantly putting themselves in challenging situations that they were forced to find solutions to, as well as the numbers behind their best and worst deals, how they split the responsibility of their business, and why investing in education gave them the accountability they needed to succeed.
Listen to this episode below:
Here’s what we discussed this time:
5:10 – They discuss the community of Instagram and how that has helped.
6:10 – Rosie and Allan discuss life before property four years ago, and their life in Gravesend. They talk about how they went to a property seminar and how it snowballed from then.
7:30 – Was the purchase of their first home an investment decision?
8:20 – They discuss the careers they had before property, and the job that Allan still does now.
10:25 – How Rosie watched her mum and dad invest in student properties and how well they had done from that.
11:22 – How the seminar made them look at a property strategy more seriously. They viewed it as a vehicle for replacing one of our incomes.
12:12 – Buy to lets were their main focus because they wanted the cash flow. The course showed them that they didn’t need to buy in Kent where they couldn’t afford – it opened their eyes to looking further afield.
13:19 – How they focused on single-lets at first.
15:39 – How they have managed to get to 25% return on cash.
16:38 – Mike and Allan discuss the education you get from your first deals, even though your first deal often turns out to be your worst.
17:56 – They talk about using angel property finance. Finding the deals is much harder than finding the finance. It’s all about balance trying to get them both going at the same time.
19:39 – Mike discusses the savings you can make on private finance.
20:32 – They discuss the hoops you have to jump through sometimes for bridging finance.
22:48 – How have they made it work investing far away from home? They use their Gravesend home as a comparable investment property to one in the North West.
23:44 – How have they found the challenges of managing properties remotely? They talk through problems with build teams etc. Every two weeks Rosie is physically on-site.
27:26 – They talk through their detailed build specs and how they can be used going forward?
28:01 – Was there a moment when they realised that property could be a full-time career for them?
29:16 – They talk about the negativity in property education and the industry, but there are a significant number of people who have gone through some form of education and it has worked for them.
33:21 – Allan discusses their strategy of buying run-down properties and doing a comprehensive refurb. He discusses a particular project of three flats and how they went direct to vendor.
37:49 – They discuss building the social media brand and how that content helps to boost their credibility in the property community.
42:05 – Rosie and Allan share figures from their most recent project. They bought for £172,000 purchase price, and are spending around £170,000 on the refurbishment. Other fees come to around £30,000, so total spend is sitting at close to £340/350,000. They anticipate the GDV to be in the region of £470-500,000. So they are pretty close to getting all their money out of it – they would need £502,000 GDV.
45:30 – The importance of really enhancing and improving to see your end values the best they can be.
47:28 – Rosie discusses leaving her day job in January and big of a step this is.
51:39 – They discuss where they want to take the business and how they want it to pan out in the future. They talk about the different routes they will explore to triple their monthly property income.
54:15 – How self-build could be on the horizon and how your own home has the potential to boost your own wealth.
56:47 – Mike does a quick-fire round of questions for Rosie and Allan. He asks what their business looks like, do they have a team and how it all works – a VA will be the first member of the team.
58:03 – How do Rosie and Allan split the roles and responsibilities working together as a couple? Allan focuses on forward-thinking, bigger picture and where they are going to take the business – Rosie makes it all happen.
59:30 – They discuss the biggest obstacle they have faced.
1:00:03 – What has the biggest change in their mind-set been that has helped them to achieve more?
1:01:35 – What advice would they give to people starting out?
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They bridge the gap between your traditional bank account and your financial management system – and the results are awesome. First of all, it tracks your income and expenses, either through your Hammock current account or whichever bank you currently use. It will then automate your rent status, alerting you to any missed payments across your portfolio so you can quickly follow up with tenants. And it also provides live analytics, at a property and portfolio level, so it can show you insights such as profits and loss, arrears, your occupancy rates, yields and much more.
It’s a single app that can replace multiple different tools that you currently use in your business – many of which you’re probably paying monthly fees for. This can reduce your outgoings but the value it provides goes way beyond that with the real-time overview of your portfolio finances. I love what I’ve seen so far! If you’re on the hunt for a new current account for your property business, or if you’d prefer to make the most of open banking and connect your existing bank accounts to Hammock, then check it out with a 30-day free trial at usehammock.com/insidepropertyinvesting.
The Links We Mentioned:
Find Rosie and Allan on Instagram @archinvestments, Facebook, and their website for Arch Investments here.