350: Chris & Cat of NW Living on HMO investing, leaving the day job and creating a lifestyle business

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Today, I am delighted to be joined by Chris and Cat, a couple we have known for a few years. Originally from London, they moved up to Manchester for work about eight years ago and started investing in property and HMO investing about four years ago. In that time, they’ve built up a portfolio of 50 rooms in HMOs and recently, Cat made the decision to step away from the day job to focus full-time on property while Chris continues to climb the corporate ladder. During today’s interview, we talk about how they work together, their interpretations of co-living versus HMOs, and their preferences for large versus small HMOs.

Listen to this episode below:

 

Here’s what we discussed this time:

4:49 – They talk about their background, how they met, their move from London to Manchester and how they started on their investing journey.

8:41 – Chris talks through his first project and how his journey has developed in property from there.

11:46 – They reflect on their early property journey, and discuss going to networking events, courses and getting a mentor to help scope out a plan for a cashflow target and how they wanted to get there.

13:08 – Mike asks them about how they progressed from doing courses to actually getting started on HMO investing. They discuss the pitfalls of some courses and how they can set you up to think you need infinite returns.

14:52 – They talk about returning to the drawing board and looking at what they really wanted. This essentially led to momentum investing.

15:46 – Chris and Cat discuss the three projects they did in a short period of time. They talk about the logistics that went into these projects and how they juggled it with work. They tell us the importance of being ruthless with time.

18:01 – They discuss the strategy that went into their first three projects and the area in which they invested.

19:05 – Chris crunches the numbers and goes through the details of their return on investment. Cat describes how fondly they look upon their first investments, despite them possibly doing things a bit differently today. It’s all a part of the evolution of becoming property developers.

21:19 – At one point did they realise that property and HMO investing was becoming more than just a side hustle or hobby?

22:35 – They discuss their overall plan and the direction they would like to take the business.

27:56 – Mike asks how they divide the roles and responsibilities within the property business, especially with Chris working full-time and Cat being on the property business full-time. They talk about highlighting the areas they both really enjoy doing.

29:23 – They talk about getting other people involved too, such as a VA.

29:42 – Mike asks about what a typical project looks like for them today. Chris discusses some of the projects that they’ve got on at the moment.

33:46 – They discuss how they are incorporating workspaces into their co-living scenarios. They also talk through the idea of design-led places and finding the balance, as well as understanding the customer.

38:12 – Chris talks through some of the high level numbers on the properties they have going at the moment.

40:06 – Where do they see the business going?

45:58 – The importance of celebrating successes. Chris also talks through how active they are on social media and discusses what people can expect from them at the moment.

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The Links We Mentioned:

Find Chris and Cat at www.nwliving.co.uk and on Instagram @n.w.living

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