Listen to this episode below:
I’m was delighted to be joined by Luke Spikes, who grew up moving house every 6 months or so with his property developer parents. Whilst he continued with a few projects of his own in his adult life, it was always secondary to his other business interests, primarily growing 6 international technology start-ups over the last 27 years, each employing around 50 – 200 people.
After selling the last one he promised that it would be his last business, until he picked up a property book, and realised that his side-passion could in fact be a real business as well. His focus now is on serviced apartments and truly bespoke co-living across the south-west, with a project pipeline with a GDV in excess of £3 million, and a goal to get 60 rooms up and running within the next 12 months.
This is just the start of what will be an amazing 7th chapter in Luke’s business journey.
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Finding a Gap in the Market
As a successful businessman, Luke came into property via an unusual route; namely, he began by identifying his target market, and not the type of property he wanted to invest in. The market he’s particularly focused on is Millennials, and it’s because of them that HiggiHaus has been developed.
With a focus on the Millennial lifestyle, and paying particular attention to providing a good location and a beautiful environment for young people to rent short- or long-term in, Luke has created a unique fusion of elements that appeal to this misunderstood 25% of the population. Combining Danish design, with New York loft-living, and a dash of Tokyo space-management, HiggiHaus is high-end, urban living, for aspirational young professionals.
The Importance of Design
Underpinning all of the work that’s gone into creating the ambitious HMO project, is a simple, three-part philosophy. The first is Comfort. For Luke, the way a space feels is just as important as what you’ve got in it, and he wants his tenants to feel at home. To this end, Higgi Haus uses artisans and creatives to build and source their furniture and fabrics, giving the properties a unique appeal to young renters.
The second notion is of Community. Within the design, Luke looks for ways to create the opportunity for people living in the properties to engage with each other. This is why design is so important to the company – becoming much more than feature walls and a good wardrobe!
The final notion is Culture, which Luke is particularly interested in cultivating. His drive is to create a space in which renters are surrounded by beautiful things, including original artworks, interesting objects, and words designed to inspire. The overall aesthetic is one of aspiration and comfort for a generation which looks to be renting well beyond the years of those that went before them.
Luke has set an ambitious target of acquiring 60 Higgi rooms over the next 12 months, but as a successful businessman, this is part of a larger, and far more impressive goal. Choosing a frightening but achievable objective, Luke is aiming for 1,000 Higgi rooms by March 2025, which has forced him to think creatively in the short term.
By considering a myriad of factors, including how much capital he’s able to invest initially, and what notional income he’s trying to reach, the 60 rooms will be the first-step in creating a brand and franchise which promises to be as successful as his previous business ventures.
What’s Your Favourite Book?
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Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcolm Gladwell
Luke Spikes Links & Resources
To find out more about Higgi Haus, you can visit their Facebook page here.
Their website, coming soon, can be found at www.HiggiHaus.com.