Saturation, Supply and Shifting Sands

If anyone tells you that the laws of supply and demand don’t apply to property, be very careful to analyse their motivation! Whilst property prices are much more linked to the supply of mortgage lending rather than the supply of properties, when it comes to rental availability there is a clear correlation between supply and demand.  In any market place, where there is an over-supply of product there will be an impact on the strategies used to sell that product. This might result in lowered prices, or better deals, or an improvement in quality. HMO rooms are no exception to this rule. If you are investing in HMOs you might have seen some changes to local supply. The fact is that in some areas of the UK there are more rooms than demand at present, and landlords are struggling to fill their HMOs. Why is this?

  1. The first reason is that investors have realised that the only way to maximise their portfolio income has been to invest in HMOs a) to counteract the pernicious new tax laws that are being introduced b) to benefit from higher monthly cashflow c) to leverage commercial finance and d) to protect against potential voids. With access to better information, training and support, more and more investors are recognising the power of HMOs for long term wealth and immediate profits.
  2. Secondly, the introduction of stamp duty on second properties over the price of £40,000 has meant that smaller, single buy to let properties are proportionately more expensive to buy. Coupled with the minimum mortgage or purchase price requirement from lenders where investors are investing via a limited company has lessened the appetite for cheaper properties, and increased the need for a higher return linked to a higher purchase price. HMOs make the perfect foil to these prerequisites.
  3. Brexit and immigration. Certain parts of the UK have already felt the negative effects of Brexit, with many Eastern Europeans migrating back to their home countries. According to Migration Watch UK ‘Although we have seen a fall in net migration of EU8 citizens there have been continued increases in immigration from Romania and Bulgaria, so it is too early to say what effect the referendum result has had on long-term international migration’. In other parts of the UK there is a growing immigrant population. Predictions are that immigration will stay steady in terms of net figures, but that certain immigrant communities may change substantially in terms of culture and mix.
  4. Student housing impacts. In many traditional University towns, an enterprising landlord could make a good living from students renting rooms in the locality. Recently there has been an explosion of high quality, contemporary purpose-built student accommodation wiping out the demand for individual HMO housing, necessitating a shift in market offering from landlords still wanting a profitable return. In many instances, they have adapted and upgraded their HMOs to attract the professional market, and this has in turn impacted the current professional HMO stock.  

These factors have created excess provision in some areas especially where investors have failed to understand the forces at work in the local economy and the necessity to adapt and change to the marketplace. So what can an investor do who is facing competition and wants to resist the lure of price reductions just to fill rooms?

  1. Ensure that you are creating a product that not only offers great value but also has a niche offering. Whether you offer personal service with a smile, have wonderfully designed interiors, or make HMOs great communities, you need to identify what it is you are good at and tell your market place about it. In this day and age, unique and niche brands get people talking and sharing, and your HMO business is no exception.
  2. Tell everyone what you do. Use social media like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to share your message and learn how to create advertising copy that sells your rooms (linked to the ideas above).
  3. Work with local businesses and estate agents to create win-win referral deals that benefit them too. Incentivise your tenants to give you referrals and ensure you get plenty of feedback that you either act upon or share!
  4. Respond fast and flexibly. If you cannot respond to a viewing or request quickly, in a competitive market place you will probably wait much longer to fill your rooms.
  5. If you are unsure about consistent supply of tenants, always have a plan B. What else might you do with an HMO that you just can’t fill? Might this present another opportunity that you have missed?

The ebb and flow of supply and demand in HMO rooms is constantly shifting. As investors we not only have to adapt to survive but also to thrive. In this changing landscape of rooms and provision, the creative, savvy and determined investor has the edge. Make sure you’re one of them!


The Five Reasons Holding You Back from Progress

Who says you’re not going fast enough? Have you been telling yourself you’re not achieving enough as you seem to be going so slowly? Maybe you feel frustrated because you’re not getting customers, clients, or property deals as fast as other people seem to?

There are often a few reasons why you might feel exacerbated by your apparent lack of progress and I thought I would share the most common ones. When you’ve made that amazing and courageous decision to break out of your current life and start investing in property, or start your own business, you’ll probably be hoping that just your excitement and nervous energy will bring progress! Sadly, it doesn’t. Well, not on a consistent basis. So what is slowing you down, and what can you do to overcome this feeling of frustration?

In the following list of five reasons you might recognise something that you’re doing or believing which resonates with you and which you need to work on first.

You hold the belief that there is an ideal speed at which your business or investing *should* be expanding. You are comparing yourself to that inner belief and find yourself falling short.
You are comparing yourself to other people without knowing the background, education or prior knowledge of those people. They may have a hidden unfair advantage. So the comparison is untrue and unfair.
Your business doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If you are also a parent, or currently employed, or in a relationship, or committed to other activities (hobbies, community activities, charitable work) this will have a big effect on how quickly you can accelerate your business.
You have unrealistic expectations of success. This is where having an expert or mentor who can help you ‘keep it real’ but still attain your stretch goals is crucial.
You don’t have a clear plan, with measurable actions and a focus on process.

You know you need to make some changes, so what can you do?

Create a plan that has clear activities that you plot immediately into your calendar. Focus on activities that produce a positive process that will become a habit. Link these clearly to your goals. Include activities related to the other areas of your life that are a priority. If you are really committed to this process, ask someone else for their feedback on your plan. That will make it much more real.
Find someone to whom you are accountable on a VERY regular basis – at least monthly and preferably weekly.
CUT OUT THE RUBBISH! Anything and everything that saps your energy, belief, focus, strength and courage – GET RID OF. Yes it’s dramatic and radical. But if you’re going to achieve what you want AND ensure your children still recognise you, you have to be radical.
Consistency. It’s better to do an hour a day consistently than plan to do 7 hours once a week, but inconsistently. If you plan your time (see point 1 above) you will be amazed how much you can get done simply by getting up one hour earlier per day. It creates momentum, scale and compounding. (Here’s a really useful site if you’d like to have accountability for when you work – check this out
Energy management. ‘The world belongs to the energetic’ as Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep, eating good nutrition and taking daily exercise you will not have the energy to manage your current lifestyle AND accelerate your business growth.
STOP comparing yourself to other people. Like a horse on parade day, you need to wear blinkers to shield yourself from what everyone is doing and how everyone else’s success appears.
Take one day at a time. Plan it carefully, leave some space for emergencies, focus on energy management and remember to breathe!

And finally, you need courage to start something new and carry it through to fruition. Whether that is a plan for financial freedom, doubling the profits of your business, creating a magical marriage, being the very best parent you can be (or all four)! Whatever your path is, dig deep to ensure that your direction is in line with the real you, for that will unleash your bravery. Sounds esoteric but unless you start to figure out who you are in this big wide world, you will never travel a path that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Ultimately that will shape your success as much as implementing the practical steps above.

Have courage, be brave and be bold. I look forward to seeing your accelerated progress!
To your growth


Goals, Plans and Exponential Growth!

However BIG our goals are, if we don’t have a plan to achieve them, it is highly unlikely we’ll succeed. And if we don’t persist in them, we’ll never reap the rewards of our early investment.plan

I would like to share with you some thoughts and reflections I have had on WHY we don’t achieve our goals and HOW to ensure we do.


  • Know your reason WHY.

You decided have decided to invest in property to succeed! To create £5k, £10k or even more in passive income per month. Maybe so you could replace your job, your partner’s job, or to give yourself another income stream. It might have been to provide income for your retirement, or capital for your children’s future. Do you know what it is, and have you set this out where you can see it daily? What about a vision board to remind you of your reasons why?

  • Set a MEASURABLE income figure as your initial goal.

Whatever your reason WHY, you will have set yourself a goal in terms of a monthly FIGURE to achieve. This is the first obstacle to achievement that I see with a lot of people. They don’t set a NET INCOME figure that is easy to measure. Unless you set a goal that is CLEAR and measurable, how do you know if (and when) you have achieved it? If you don’t already track your net income, this needs to be one of your first actions to complete.

  • Set yourself a deadline to get to your first goal.

With no fixed income goal and no deadline, there is no point just being ACTIVE. Some people confuse ACTION with ACHIEVEMENT. Yes, you need to take massive action, but not if that is chasing your tail doing things that waste your time and are irrelevant to your goal. What are the key activities that will make you the most money in the shortest amount of time? Answer this question with truth and honesty and you are on the first very big step to making a shed more money immediately!

  • ASSESS where you are now and how far away you are from your goal.

If you’re currently achieving £1000 per month in passive income from property, and you want to get to £5k per month, the next step to identify is to agree how long you are going to give yourself to achieve another £4k per month.. This is often the hardest step to estimate as it may have taken you many years to get to £1000 net profit per month. Getting 5 times that amount may seem insurmountable! However, if you persist in taking action, and keep pushing forward you’ll experience EXPONENTIAL growth.

  • Write out a PLAN of action.

HOW will you achieve your goal of an additional £4k per month – will it be by doing 4 HMOs each giving you £1k. Or 10 mini HMOs giving you £500 per month (or maybe a Joint Venture with another investor). What will you do each month? What will you do each week? What will you do each day? I use the Darren Hardy materials to keep me clear and focused. However, I limit myself to focusing on three goals at a time which makes me much more focused and much more accountable! Ensure that your actions relate to your goals and stay focused on achieving them.

  • Remember the law of exponential growth.

Exponential growth is one of the most powerful principles in the universe. Having an intimate understanding of how it works can make you a master of money and success. On the most basic level, the principle states that the bigger something is, the faster it grows. So as you get bigger, the faster you will be able to implement and grow.

  • Stay accountable.

I recommend the Darren Hardy plan as an excellent tool for tracking your activity and progress. Only by doing this regularly, with discipline and focus will you get to your goal. I believe YOU can do it. But you need to believe that too, really believe it. For only then will you take the massive steps needed to achieve it.


To your growth!

Can you really future-proof your HMO?

You will have heard me talk about ‘Future Proofing’ your investment as the fifth part of the process of creating a high income-producing HMO. Can you really do this though? Quality HMO


What about all the CHANGES that Government makes continually to legislation, policy, rules? How can you protect yourself against these changes and ensure that you are investing for NOW and in the FUTURE? It’s easy to look back and think how fortunate investors were years ago. No limits to the amount of interest they could claim on their mortgage; few limits on mortgage borrowing (even the riskiest of investors could borrow up to 95% LTV back then); limited HMO legislation and much more relaxed rules about housing standards. Ah, the rose-tinted specs of property investing.


True? Yes! But was that the shiny penny we all think it was? NO! In those days it was far easier to get into insurmountable debt and repossession was rife! You could own masses of property but not be making any real income as interest rates were far higher. Spareroom, RightMove etc were all in their infancy so you would spend FAR more on advertising (I remember lots of weekly ads in the local paper for example), and HMO rooms were badly thought of back then so it was not a great strategy (unless you were in the student market).


So we can all look and think that THEN was better than NOW. The truth is it was DIFFERENT! Not better, not worse!


With that in mind, how CAN you future-proof your investment and ensure your HMO continues to produce cash each month for you (and your investors)? Here are my 7 tips –


1) Always do a quality refurb to start with. If you scrimp and save on this part, you will regret it later! Ensure you do a detailed specification of works, have a clear project plan for your builder and stick to time and budget.

2)  Make sure the acoustic and fire requirements are met on your HMO before you finish it and snag it. Councils are bringing in more and more safety regulation so you need to be at the front of the curve here.

3) Keep up with the trends in technology and interior design. We fitted CAT6 cabling to many of our HMOs – not a great extra cost, but it is a massive benefit to tenants trying to log on to the wifi. Buy ‘Homes and Gardens’ once in a while and see what other people are doing in design trends. Borrow their ideas and use them to upgrade and cheaply furnish your rooms.

4) Schedule an annual Spring Clean to replace old cutlery, glassware, doormats. All the things that get grubby and soiled and make the place look a mess! It doesn’t cost much but it helps to keep the place updated, clean and tidy.

5) Develop a brand – what are you known for? What is your speciality? What is your USP? Even if you are using an agent, what is it about YOUR HMO that people particularly like? Ensure you highlight these things in your advertising.

6) Stay up to date with legislation changes so you can implement them when the time is right – the best way is to be a member of the RLA or NLA. They produce regular updates and you can go to their websites to find out more. Also, you can register with your local council to be an accredited landlord and go to their (boring but useful) meetings. You never know you might meet a tired landlord with whom you can do business there!

7) Understand the needs of your tenants and get to know them – what are the changes they are responding to in the marketplace and how can you meet those changes? Can you add in additional services or offers that will help them to stay and pay?


I would LOVE to know what your ideas are! Please share them here in the comments below!


To your growth



My Top 5 Success Tips For The HMO Property Investor

7 Bed HMO in Stoke on TrentIf you have just started in HMOs you need to get off on the right footing! Here are some key tips on making you HMO work for you:


  1. Make sure you know the complete cost of the project before you begin. Always add in a contingency figure (5% on anything over 120k).
  2. Calculate the predicted ROI (Return on Investment) and if it’s likely to be less than 15% DON’T DO IT. You can get faster, cheaper returns by investing in other assets.
  3. Do the Spareroom numbers: if there are any more than 3:1 rooms available to tenants looking, NOW is NOT the time to buy in that area. Too much supply.
  4. Create your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at the start, middle and end of the project. You will invariably change what you want to measure but your KPIs will probably include: monthly rental (predicted); monthly rental (actual); occupancy, advertising costs; length of voids; maintenance spend; time spent on business.
  5. Ensure you  (or your accountant) create a Profit and Loss statement that you analyse monthly.  Even if you just have one HMO this will keep you on track and get you to drill down into minimising costs and maximising income.


If you implement these first five steps in your first project you’ll start off brilliantly well! You now have the foundation to scale and grow.

To your success!


To take your knowledge to the next level, join my new 1-day Fast Track Course on the 14th October! Learn more.

Buy to let is dead. Right?

Well, maybe Buy to Let in its traditional form is dead! Certainly buying in your own name, putting down a reasonable deposit and then a few months or years later refinancing all of your money out is something fewer and fewer investors want to do now. We have George Osborne to thank for that.

Investing in Buy to Let has seen a huge amount of change in the last few years, with new legislation that impacts financing, as well as property tax changes which, has left many landlords questioning if Buy to Let is still a viable investment strategy. With that said there is still a huge demand for rental property and with ever increasing ‘transient’ lifestyles people want flexibility, gone are the days when people what to live in the same house for 40 years!

Our first HMOIf you have been wondering what is the alternative, and how you can make your money work for you, I’d like to suggest House of Multiple Occupation are one way you can address this problem. We hold a number of personal B-T-L properties but a few years ago realised that there were other strategies we could use. When I discovered HMOs I raved on and on about them (in only the way a demanding wife knows how to do) and eventually Andy said ‘OK, let’s give it a go’. That was our very first 4-bed Mini-Mo and since then we have not looked back!

If you don’t have much money to invest, or you are concerned about whether this strategy will work for you, then I’d like to invite you to my NEW and IMPROVED HMO Fast-Track Live Event on 14th October in Birmingham. I’ll be sharing with you how to get started with very little of your own money and LOADS of case studies about how you can make huge profits and BEAT THE TAXMAN!

In this jam-packed and interactive workshop, you will learn how to:

  • ANALYSE an area to invest in for long-term cash flow and growth
  • UNDERSTAND the process of a refurb to create a wonderful HMO home
  • SELL rooms effectively so you avoid voids!
  • MANAGE the investment so it becomes HANDS-FREE
  • LEVERAGE your time so you can rinse and repeat!


With a mixture of fun, interactive exercises & relevant examples of REAL HMOs, I will share my tried and tested systems to ensure you grow your flow with HMOs. So are you ready to go on your own HMO adventure?



What school didn’t teach you!

When I was at secondary school it has to be said that if they’d done ‘A’ levels in Boys, Parties and Nightclubs, I would have got three A*s. Unfortunately they didn’t, so I didn’t get those results either. In fact, I really spectacularly failed to achieve what I was capable of in the subjects I chose.


School boy

Why was this? Well I wasn’t really interested in them. I had better things to do with my time! I saw little purpose in them long-term and they were mostly theoretical.


I think many people who become investors have had similar experiences to me, and find themselves having a hard time breaking through the belief that they are not clever enough, not good enough or not talented enough to do property. I wrestled with that too. Until I realised that education in the property world is very different.


For a start it requires you to take RISKS. There is no certainty that you will get the outcome you want. In fact you need to have the mindset of growth and learning at all times to manage this fear of failure. Secondly, it takes COURAGE – you have to put your money, your time, even your reputation on the line. People may scoff, ridicule or undermine you and you have to find the courage to believe in yourself. Thirdly you have to take practical ACTION. The theory is all very well but until you put your learning on the line, you will never become a real investor.


Having the right mindset and the right skill set is VITAL so that you do not get upset (as one of my mentors once taught me)! Which is why next Sunday I will be spending time on YOUR mindset AND your skillset! That’s if you will let me ….


You see next Sunday I’m launching a BRAND New event – HMO Fast Track LIVE. Not only will you learn exactly how to invest in HMOs – how to find them, plan them out and make them work efficiently, you will also learn how to have the right MINDSET to attract investors, to grow your business and to become financially free.




If you are SCARED, SLOW OR STUCK then you need this event to help you become BRISK, BOLD AND BRAVE!

I look forward to seeing you there – if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!

To your success! 


P.S. Look out for my free webinar training on the 20th September:

The 5 Most Powerful Questions you Should Ask an Estate Agent… and Why They Matter!


What is MY why?

When I first started investing in property (in 1996  – yes I was only 3 years old – lol!) my aim was to create a pension. I was a stay-at-home mum with two boys and knew that I needed to start thinking about the long-term, even though retirement was a long way off. I had no idea whether I would buy other properties or not, but after the success of the first one, I really wanted at least one more so each of my sons would inherit one property.

After I had about six single buy-to-let properties I began to ask whether I really did want or need anymore. After all, I had more than enough for the boys (and by then my children had doubled in number), and  I stood back and realised I had achieved my goal – to provide something for my retirement and also a legacy for my children.

Why you do what you do

So why carry on?

The real question I was asking myself was ‘WHY carry on investing’? ‘What is the REAL reason to invest’? Was it for a future legacy as I had first imagined? Or had my WHY changed?

I came to acknowledge that I wanted more from property. I saw others who had made a living from it – a lifestyle not just a legacy. And the benefits of that kind of life seemed obvious to me: more time with the family, more flexibility to spend my time as I wanted to, and fulfillment knowing I was giving back to society.

So in effect I started again in 2012. But this time with HMOs. And this time, for cashflow not just capital growth. And in two and a half short years, we as a family were financially free!


I’m sure you know your WHY too. Just as I did, if you want to change your life, create cashflow and be financially free you need to do what others won’t to have what others can’t.

Therefore, I would like to give you the opportunity to make that happen. It won’t always be easy, it won’t always be plain sailing and I’m sure you will hit obstacles along the way. To save you time and money it’s so important that you learn the fast way, the short-cuts, the tricks of the trade. You need to learn from someone who’s done it and can show you each step of the way how to make it happen.

You need to see how possible it is for YOU no matter what your situation.

I’d like to invite you a very special one-day event called ‘HMO FAST TRACK LIVE’. It’s my brand new event focused on learning all about HMOs, but where you’ll also have a mindset shift to realise this is not just a dream – this is possible – and it’s possible for YOU!


I’m thrilled to be working with Adam Cooper – an investor, Joint Venture partner, and HMO expert based in Peterborough, and together we’ll be hosting the event. You’ll be able to ask us lots of questions, learn all about the deals we’ve done, and best of all find out how just FOUR HMOs can make you financially free.

Find out more below and reserve your space now!


Taro Nabetani, professional investor

Do it, Delegate it or Ditch it!

Boring, dull, monotonous – these are often how we think of the small aspects of our lives and business aren’t they?  Many of these small things are SO important though, as like breathing, drinking water, and sleeping they create a rhythm which keeps our businesses healthy and infection-free.

I’m talking here about phonecalls (to agents, investors, contacts, leads)

And  viewings.

and replying to emails and managing paperwork.

and office organisation

or money management

and closing deals and negotiating

and managing projects and builders

Maybe room dressings and photos

and  advertising, agents, tenanting

I’m talking about maintenance and spreadsheets and tradesmen.

I’m NOT talking about MONEY IN YOUR POCKET. I’m NOT talking about PASSIVE INCOME.

[WHY? Because those things are easy and we all LOVE those benefits!!]


In other words, you know they NEED to be done, so that you can MANAGE, SCALE and GROW. But you cannot face doing them?

Well in that case your small things need to be –

  • Ditched (not a choice if you are going to create passive long-term income)
  • Done by you (but only those you are GOOD at and you ENJOY)
  • Or Delegated. THIS IS THE ANSWER.

If not you will end up DEFERRING your results, DELAYING your financial freedom and DESTROYING your hope.

NONE of which I want for you.

“BUT WENDY” ( I can hear you say)” I CAN’T AFFORD TO EMPLOY SOMEONE TO DO THE THINGS I HATE” . Ok well find some other way to reward those who help you. You are an entrepreneur – draw on your creative skills and utilise those around you (and in this group) effectively!

You could

  • Pay an overseas VA such as one of these:
  • Swap an hour of your expertise with an hour of someone else’s office organisation skills
  • Use one of your practical skills to swap for someone else’s time
  • Share a percentage of your profits for three months with someone who helps you find a great deal

Solve someone else’s pain and in doing so, you will find your pain is solved.

Luke 6: 38 “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”


How you make people feel really matters

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

So how do you make people feel? In different transactions and relationships we probably want to make people feel a variety of emotions – desire, anticipation, regret, loyalty, empathy, fear, longing, even love. This is not manipulation, this is interaction – all humans have an amazing ability to create feelings in other people without even realising it.

How often on Facebook have you felt sad, envious, pitiful, happy, delighted or worried? Just by reading other people’s posts about their lives and seeing what they’re up to! As someone who generally likes to get along with others and have harmonious relationships, I have often struggled when I have created pain in others. Well you could say that the pain was already there and I brought it to the surface by something I said or did. I think many of us don’t want to cause pain in others so shy away from those interactions which bring it to the surface.

However, in becoming a speaker I have realised that bringing pain, fear, loss, regret, longing to the surface is my job. It enables people to look at their lives and take action to make changes. In fact if I DON’T do this then I am doing them a disservice. I am not there to make them feel content and happy, or they won’t commit to change, and the key reason I am speaking to them is to create the environment for change.

I am still not terribly comfortable making people feel uncomfortable, but I believe that if I can connect to the deep love which I feel for them underneath it all, and serve them with all my heart, then I can both hold them and stretch them at the same time.