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Diane is a property investor with a portfolio of single lets and HMOs, as well as being co-owner of a specialist HMO property management company.
She’s also the owner of Freshly Maid, one of the biggest non-franchised domestic cleaning companies in the UK, and is the host of the Harrogate Property Investors Network.
With all of this going on, she loves and relies on systems so that these business work for her rather than the other way around. It’s all part of her major goal of having the freedom to move to France in 2018, and having the time to travel Europe on her motorbike.
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Diane is all about the HMOs! She has multiple streams of income from this single property investment strategy, including offering sourcing and project management for investor clients, a property management business for managing her own and other landlords’ properties, and of course her own portfolio of HMOs.
She predominantly invests in West Yorkshire, and targets blue collar tenants (purely because there’s an abundance of them in her area – although she does let rooms to anyone who is working). She’s a firm believer though that her tenants should get the best service and the highest standards of properties regardless of what category they fit into.
She keeps her rooms full by delivering rooms that are better than the competition, and has some great systems in place to make sure the tenants are well looked after (and to make sure she can disappear in 2018 on her motorbike in full confidence that her portfolio is still being looked after).
Diane purchased a property with the intention of converting it to a 5 bedroom HMO, including her first loft conversion. Unfortunately though the measurements were wrong and they ended up spending £15,000 on a loft conversion which they couldn’t use as a bedroom.
Despite her initial anger and frustration almost leading her to selling the house, she took a breath, reviewed the figures and realised that despite this (rather major) issue, it’s actually one of her best performing properties. She got a great valuation on it due to the added floor space, and only had to leave £3,000 invested, so it wasn’t all bad!
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Email Diane – Get in touch with Diane if you’re looking for any advice on your HMO investing, or if you want a handy checklist for your HMO cleaners to follow