Spotlight on Robin Pilley, HMO investor – Part four of a four part storyMake Text Bigger
Robin Pilley invests into HMO’s (Houses in multiple occupation) in the Haverhill area and regularly achieves up to 16% yields, he is also a Director of CXG Property Services, which is a Letting Agents and Property Sourcing Company. As these yields are so good we’ve asked Robin to share his story in a four part series. This is the fourth article in that series.
In my first article I explained how my brother and I got into property. In my second article I explained how we grew the business but how our model was challenged by the self styled “experts”, “mentors”, “gurus” and we faced the question of whether to change our model. In my third article I explained how we developed a niche market in managing HMO’s for Eastern European tenants.
So how would we adjust our business if all these people returned home?
Well thinking like investors means that you must always be reading the market to find new ways to maintain high yielding properties.
An example of such an opportunity is that we are also the only Letting Agency in our area that offers properties to LHA (Local Housing Association) tenants. We ensure that the rent is ring-fenced so that we do not have a problem with arrears. We assist and advise prospective tenants to complete their paperwork and have established a good working relationship with our local council. There is a desperate need for such social housing and again the yields can be very attractive.
We are still the only Letting Agency in our area that offers HMO properties which are extremely high yielding but do require a lot of management. As a result of our experience over the past 5 years, we believe that we have also become experts in this field.
We have effective license agreements and also a reciprocal agreement with the police which means we can email them details of any prospective tenant and literally within a couple of hours they advise if we should be wary. This is a powerful tool in our armoury and avoids a lot of the problems that other agencies and landlords have experienced when offering HMO properties. It is something we are proud to have negotiated at a local level and the police have been very pleased with the fact our lettings company can co-operate so successfully with them.
We now have a very active database of investors which we have built up by attending networking events, having stands at property shows, personal recommendations and by positive press coverage. The CXG name and reputation have grown in equal measure over the past 5 years, which has meant that we now have more investors than we can source properties for and more tenants than we have houses for.
We won the Property Sourcing Award at the Landlord and Letting Awards 2010 and came 2nd in the “Best of” awards in the whole of the UK based on testimonials.
At CXG we enjoy what we do and have a passion for property. We like to share our knowledge and experience with existing and prospective landlords. CXG can help investors make informed investment decisions and avoid some of the pitfalls and mistakes that are made when getting started. Successful property investment is not as easy as some ‘marketers’ suggest, but once solid foundations are laid your aspirations and dreams can be realised.
I hope you have all enjoyed reading our story, it is a work in progress and I hope there are many more chapters to come and the next 5 years will prove to be just as exciting as the last 5 years.
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