194 Video Blog: Visiting In Hot Property’s first commercial to residential deal in Knaresborough, and talking rent-to-rent units in Vauxhall, London

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Rob & Mark HodgkissThis is the audio taken from a recent video we recorded with Mark and Rob Hodgkiss. There’s some great content here that didn’t make the final cut but we didn’t want it going to waste, so forgive the quality of some parts of it, and enjoy this behind the scenes look at their growing property business.

“I was delighted to visit lovely Knaresborough and Vauxhall, London, with Rob and Mark Hodgkiss from In Hot Property. They were on the podcast very recently, and we had a great chat about some of their deals near Harrogate, as well as their rent-to-rent service apartments down in London.

Their property in Knaresborough is a 2-and-a-half-thousand square foot commercial to residential deal. It was the first purchase they made with their In Hot Property brand, and they joined me to show me around the site.”

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The Knaresborough Project

The property used to be an office block, but Rob and Mark managed to secure planning permission after an initial hiccup with the existing plans, to convert it into four, self-contained apartments. One is a spacious one-bed flat, and the others are two-beds, but thanks to the layout, they are able to accommodate up to 22 people across the four apartments.

This is one of the many benefits of temporary living accommodation. Because there’s no need for extensive storage, design work is more about making the space feel comfortable, big, and spacious – somewhere that people can relax. Rob and Mark have achieved this with hardwearing flooring, breakfast bars instead of separate dining rooms, large showers instead of cramped baths, and their own “You’re Welcome” tablets, promoting local businesses and tourist sites to their guests.

Initially, their plan was keep the two smaller flats as service apartments, and sell the two downstairs flats once they’d been renovated. However, because of the seasonality of tourist activities, operating clusters of properties allows them to dovetail bookings, and accommodate various different group dynamics, giving them a far steadier income stream.

Rent to Rent Serviced Apartments

In the centre of Vauxhall in London, Mark and Rob also run a number of rent-to-rent serviced apartment units for tourists and short-stay visitors to the capital. Here, they’re working with two-bed and two-bathroom apartments in clusters, with three in the area and a fourth potentially in the pipeline.

They say the mistake many people make with rent-to-rent units, is that they get into serviced property thinking it’s like other investments, when in actual fact, it’s more like hospitality. For instance, their Vauxhall units make a large profit over the summer, but they have to hold some of it back for the quieter winter months.

Growing with Seasonality

The key to turning a good profit in rent-to-rent property, however, is clever marketing. Rob and Mark are listed on a number of portals, and they make extensive use of Facebook’s targeted advertising to attract new guests. For the Knaresborough property, they’re in the process of engaging with local tourist boards and online travel agents, to ensure they reach and surpass the 40% – 50% occupancy rate which will allow them to breakeven.

In the future, the brothers are looking for more rent-to-rent deals to increase their healthy cash flow, and once Knaresborough has been refinanced, they’re on the lookout for their next big conversion project.

The Video

Rob & Mark Hodgkiss Links & Resources

To find out more about the team, or to make a booking, you can visit In Hot Property at inhotproperty.co.uk

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