330: Scaling up from Rent to Rent with Stephanie & Nicky Taylor

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Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Stephany and Nicky Taylor, sisters and business partners operating their award-winning HMO management and development company in Newport, South Wales.

As well as building their successful HMO portfolio, they have more recently started investing in multi-unit blocks as well to increase their portfolio growth and bring beautiful, affordable homes to the market.

During this interview, you’ll get a real sense of their personalities filled with a lot of laughs but also some great business advice. Whether you’re thinking about going into business with a family member or going it alone, I’m sure you’ll enjoy everything that they have to share. 

Listen to this episode below:

Here’s a sneak peek at what discussed this time:

5:16 – Going back to the start, discussing why Stephany and Nicky decided to leave their previous jobs and get started in property. 

9:00 – The importance of having defined roles in their business set up, in order to protect their family dynamics and relationship as sisters. 

10:47 – Their first steps into property and how it all initially came about. After reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, they found themselves inspired about the opportunities out there. 

13:11 – Nicky tells us how she was initially thinking of doing flips. 

13:48 – Stephany on why they chose to invest in Newport. 

“I just decided Newport is the place, the land of opportunity. It was a mixture of gut instinct and the facts and figures I could see.”

16:26 – How rent-to-rent was the focus at the start due to the fact they saw it as a great vehicle for cash flow. 

17:24 – Stephany and Nicky discuss whether rent-to-rent is still a viable option for starting out. They discuss the importance of adding care to the property model, as opposed to it only being about the money. 

18:48 – Their focus on showing people how to work in property in an ethical manner and how this can add value to your brand. 

20:11 – The importance of standard and how this underpinned the business from the start. It’s about creating places that people are happy to call home. 

22:20 – How the rent-to-rent model gave them the confidence to take the next step and buy their first property – a commercial property in Newport that could become a HMO. 

25:02 – A discussion on how people often want to run before they walk, but how rent-to-rent allowed Stephany and Nicky 18-months of understanding where the business was going.

27:10 – How the commercial purchase is now in progress to become four one-bed self-contained units, as opposed to a HMO as initially thought. They discuss how they continued the existing tenant in situ while processing their plans. 

“Tenanted property can give you an income while planning the things that take time […] it can be really cost-effective.”

29:44 – Nicky talks about the valuation they’ve had on the building and why they made the decision to change tact from HMO to self-contained units. They stress how the architect helped them to see the potential. 

31:20 – Their advice is to pick apart the details of how a HMO will run, and look to other alternatives too. Nicky tells us how the self-contained units move them closer to the idea of passive income. 

32:14 – The importance of weighing up profitability against hassle. Stephany discusses how some of their multi-unit block units can cost them less than some of their HMO rooms.

34:11 – They talk about their recent purchase of a 12-unit block and a breakdown of the numbers, taking into account the conservation area and Grade-II listing. 

38:39 – Why they love the multi-unit model and the benefits of moving into this market. 

43:00 – The rise in commercial conversions and their current potential. Stephany discusses the niche opportunities in Wales of buying B&B’s and care homes. 

44:45 – Every town and city has opportunity – take time to understand your local market. 

45:40 – They discuss how working together as sisters has benefitted the business. 

46:27 – Conscious thinking is their one bit of advice for starting out in property from scratch. You create everything in your mind, so decide how you think about things and reframe opportunity. It’s important that the first person who believes in your plans is you. 

49:42 – What Stephany and Nicky would do differently if they had their time again. Get out of your own way!

51:49 – They discuss their book, Rent-to-Rent Success, which comes out this month (January 2021).

Show Sponsors

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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 your 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

Links Mentioned

Discover more about their HMO management service at hmoheaven.co.uk and watch their YouTube channel here. For more information on rent-to-rent, to listen to their podcast and where to buy their book, visit renttorentsuccess.com 

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