097: Juswant Rai is the founder of the infamous Berkshire Property Meet, and a successful property investor in his own right focussing on professional HMOs

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Justwant Rai Berkshire Property MeetJuswant is one half of the fantastic property duo that run the infamous Berkshire Property Meet. He began his career in IT, working for the same company in a safe job for 11 and a half years, before eventually discovering Rich Dad, Poor Dad and attending his first property event.

Despite a few reservations in the beginning, he was quickly hooked and since that first event back in 2005 he has gone on to build a successful portfolio, focussing mainly on HMOs, and of course continuing to grow his own monthly networking event which gets an average of 250 attendees every month.

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Investing Strategies

HMOs are Juswant’s main focus, looking for properties they can buy and convert into HMOs and hold on to for the long term. They’ve also looked at rent to rent deals and will start integrating them into their portfolio if the rights deals come along in order to increase their cashflow, as it’s currently limited by how quickly they can get the deposits together for the next deal.

Biggest Success

The biggest success for Juswant is the latest HMO he’s completed (but was also the most challenging!). It was found on Rightmove through an agent, with what seemed like a great discount compared to comparable properties on the street. It needed a lot of work, having not been touched for around 20 years, but Juswant and his wife got a great feeling about turning this 3 bedroom house into a 6 bedroom HMO with 5 en-suites.

The renovations cost almost £70,000 to get it ready to rent, and when the next project comes up they’ll be able to refinance it to get most of their money back out.

Biggest Difficulty

On the same HMO that he’s so proud of, Juswant did face some problems along the way. They decided to use a new group of builders who they vetted in advance and were impressed with their quality of finish, but after a productive first few weeks, things started to slow down on site and fewer trades were showing up every day.

Eventually it got to the stage where the builders were asking for payment for work that hadn’t yet been completed, and the decision was made to fire them and find a new team. Thankfully the work done up to that point had been done to standard, but it transpires that the original builders had taken on far more projects than they could manage and couldn’t deliver on time. It’s a great lesson in making sure not just that your team can do a good job, but also that you have appropriate contracts in place to ensure they deliver on time, or the costs for delays fall to them.

What’s Your Favourite Book?

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Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There – Richard Fenton

Juswant Rai’s Links & Resources

BerkshirePropertyMeet.com – Find out more about the most popular property networking event in the UK

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