345: Manoj Varsani on incorporating technology into his property business and creating Hammock for other investors

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Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Manoj Varsani, a part-time property investor and a technology expert who wanted to put his skills to use and create more efficiency in his portfolio and move away from all the spreadsheets and paper notes that he was relying on to manage everything. Now, this is where the idea for Hammock came from, the property finance platform you’ve been hearing about for the past few months as one of our major podcast sponsors. I wanted to get Manoj on the show to hear more about his own portfolio and how he got started with investing. But also how and why he decided to build another business alongside the property portfolio, based on his own frustrations and drive to simplify the processes. I hope, as always, that you get some ideas for your own property investing, but also a glimpse into how a secondary business can become a complimentary, or even main, income stream for you if you’re passionate enough about solving a problem that others are facing as well.

Listen to this episode below:

 

Here’s what we discussed this time:

3:47 – Incorporating tecnhology into his property business. Mike asks Manoj about his passion for property, and how technology has also always been a passion for him. Manoj talks through how he dedicates a lot of time to his three main passions as evenly as possible – property, tech and charity work. Property actually probably gets less time.

5:12 – Property and growing a portfolio doesn’t have to be a burden.

5:30 – Manoj talks through how he got into technology and how is whole career has been focused around that. He tells us all about his career and how he got from where he was in the beginning to where he is today.

7:35 – How did property investing lure him in? How did he go from technology to a property business? Manoj talks through his upbringing and how this left a lasting impression on him and his desires.

9:29 – He talks through his first investments and his strategy for getting started in property investing.

10:15 – He tells us about buying his first property in London and how he had sought advice from other investors and family and friends. He also talks about following his gut instinct.

‘90% of people are trying to call the market all the time… Other people are just cracking on and buying. In the long term, property is only really going to go in one direction in this country.’

13:05 – Mike asks Manoj about how he was awarded with an MBE earlier this year due to his charitable work and congratulates him. Manoj talks through how it was a huge shock for him.

15:47 – Manoj discusses the challenges of juggling multiple projects but touches on how much passion helps to drive him forward.

17:32 – Manoj advises people to use experts for the elements of his businesses that he doesn’t like doing or can’t do. He focuses on quality in all aspects.

19:30 – January 2019 is when he founded Hammock – he talks through the business and how it got started. At the heart of it, it’s about giving landlords their quality of life back, time and a better process for doing things.

21:21 – Mike talks about the fear of letting go and moving into a system where you rely on other people as well.

25:24 – Manoj discusses his property strategy and how his approach all hinged on spreadsheets and the figures within them. He talks through how Hammock provides all that data for you in the click of the button.

26:13 – Mike asks him to give us his elevator pitch for Hammock. He says it’s there to provide banking, bookkeeping, property insights and bank statements – it gives you your time back and allows you time to grow your portfolio.

‘The feedback from landlords is mindblowing.’

27:40 – He tells us how there is a hugely diverse group of landlords using Hammock.

28:18 – Mike talks through the walk-throughs and video demonstrations he has put together to showcase it on Inside Property Investing. Find them here.

34:00 – They talk through the logistics of Hammock and open banking.

38:19 – Mike asks Manoj what his plans are for the future both with Hammock, but also in business and with his portfolio. Manoj discusses the property that he owns in Manchester and his plans for that.

41:28 – He talks through his plans with Hammock and how it will always continue to evolve and grow.

44:57 – Manoj gives us his lasting thoughts, particularly focusing on time being money. Try to focus your priorities on having a better quality of life.

Our Sponsors:

I recently came across a company called Hammock and immediately knew they had a service I had to share with you. At its core, Hammock is a challenger bank that provides current account services designed specifically for landlords and property managers. Hammock combines property management with financial services to automate things like rent collection, simplify your bookkeeping and ultimately save you time and money.

They bridge the gap between your traditional bank account and your financial management system – and the results are awesome. First of all, it tracks your income and expenses, either through your Hammock current account or whichever bank you currently use. It will then automate your rent status, alerting you to any missed payments across your portfolio so you can quickly follow up with tenants. And it also provides live analytics, at a property and portfolio level, so it can show you insights such as profits and loss, arrears, your occupancy rates, yields and much more.

It’s a single app that can replace multiple different tools that you currently use in your business – many of which you’re probably paying monthly fees for. This can reduce your outgoings but the value it provides goes way beyond that with the real-time overview of your portfolio finances. I love what I’ve seen so far! If you’re on the hunt for a new current account for your property business, or if you’d prefer to make the most of open banking and connect your existing bank accounts to Hammock, then check it out with a 30-day free trial at usehammock.com/insidepropertyinvesting.

The Links We Mentioned:

To find more information about Hammock and get a 30-day free trial to see how it can help you and your business, you can find Hammock on their website, Twitter and LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can also reach out to Manoj on his Twitter and LinkedIn.

To watch a demo of Hammock and see how it works, you can find this on our Youtube channel.

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