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John & Paul are close friends who made the decision to begin investing in property only 18 months ago through their business Cooke Burgess Property.
Since then they’ve gone on the build a sizeable portfolio generating over £12,000 profit per month, and were recognised as top performers on Simon Zutshi’s Mastermind Programme.
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After deciding that the HMO market was where they wanted to focus, they spent their first summer in business setting the business up in the right way for the future scale they were aiming for.
Once they had a strong handle on how things were going to work, the sourcing started and after securing their first rent to rent deal in October, they got their second one in November and the third by December.
Because they spent so much time preparing the business framework before they got started, once the deals started to roll in it didn’t feel like hard work.
The majority of their deals continue to come from landlord letters, targeting HMO owners already on their local HMO register who were fed up with management problems and voids resulting from poorly marketed our poorly maintained houses.
One of their biggest achievements is the first deal they got – a real proof of concept of everything they’d been working on over the previous months.
Despite getting cold feed at the last minute, wondering if everything they thought they knew was going to work out, they pushed on and within a short space of time the rental income started rolling in and gave them the confidence to move on to the next ones.
The landlord of the house was nearing retirement and was fed up with the time it was taking to manage his portfolio. John & Paul were able to offer him a rental figure he was happy with (around 60% of market value, but equal to what the landlord was getting at the time due to high void periods).
Some quick changes to how the property was marketed (opening curtains for photographs, painting feature walls, and dressing the beds) gave them an immediate uplift in value for only a £3,000 investment.
The guys have been through a couple of learning curves when it comes to the renovation works on properties. The first was that their time is definitely better spent elsewhere! Despite getting involved early on in the renovation works, and particularly redecorating their houses, they realised that where they add the most value is in sourcing deals, working with landlords and investors, and leaving the hands-on trade work to the professionals.
Once they made this decision though, they had a further learning curve while they spent time working with unreliable contractors who wouldn’t do what they said they were going to. Experience has taught them that personal recommendations go a long way when it comes to selecting reliable trades, but ultimately like any other element of their business, it’s something that needs to be managed on an ongoing basis to make sure everyone they employ is working efficiently and effectively.
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