224: Exploring the Co-Living philosophy with HiggiHaus founder Luke Spikes

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HiggiHaus SwanseaLast week I sat down with Luke Spikes at his latest Higgihaus project in Swansea to understand more about his property and business plans around the co-living market.

He has a fascinating view on the philosophy around co-living, and an exception attention to detail. We discuss his philosophy during the interview, but obviously that design focus is difficult to convey via audio, so I recorded a short video tour whilst I was there which you can check on our youtube channel as well.

Goal Development

When was last spoke with Luke in October 2017, he had grand ambitions to have 60 rooms up and running by the end of 2018 and 1,000 by the end of 2025. It sounded a little crazy at the time, but 9 months on Luke says his goals have got even bigger.

In terms of deals signed, there are 59 rooms either complete or in the pipeline. And the reason these goals have expanded is because Luke feels there’s a real gap in the market to provide high quality shared living opportunities to a growing young professional market.

Looking beyond that niche, the way of living in in a shared setting seems to have potential to move into older market segments as well.

Team Development

Building the team has been critically important to Luke in enabling him to deliver on this long term plan.

He has several people around the senior management table already with one or two more slots to fill, and firmly believes that if he is not able to achieve the goals he’s set himself in the long term or complete the tasks he has to in the short term, then that’s a direct result of not having enough of the right people working alongside him.

The 5 Fs of Property

We discussed this in the last interview with Luke, but it’s such a simple yet valuable summary that I think it’s worth revisiting:

  • Find
  • Fund
  • Fix
  • Fit
  • Fill

Not only do these five Fs define the processes that make up any property business, but they also give Luke a clear map of the areas he needs to hire for.

During the interview we break down each one of these five Fs in more detail, as well as exploring the emphasis Luke places on brand building, how they’re breaking rent records, and how the financials work when you need to invest more heavily in the renovation of buildings.

Luke Spikes’ Links & Resources

HiggiHaus Website

Instagram

Original Interview with Luke

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