Platinum Property Partners is the world’s first property investment franchise and a full member of the British Franchise Association (bfa). Our franchise model gives you unique training and support to start and grow your own eCommerce business to the size and level of income you want.
Most of us were brought up to believe that, come adulthood, paying off the mortgage on your home is a good idea – right up there with eating your five-a-day and paying your bills on time. At least this way, you’ll have a roof over your head or something tangible to fall back on if you hit financial turbulence.
There is undoubtedly a sense of security that comes with having no mortgage on the house you live in, and it is a very sensible goal for retirement. However, the downside is that it means a significant amount of capital, and probably your net worth, is being used in an unproductive way. It’s not generating any revenue, earning zero interest as a totally sterile asset and, basically, not working for you at all.
If you’ve owned your home for many years, it’s likely you’ve got a mortgage that either represents a small percentage of the value of your property, or you have no mortgage at all. If you’ve ever considered investing in property, whether that’s to supplement/replace your income, or generate a boost to your pension, the equity in your home is the single biggest opportunity for many people to raise the finances (ruling out robbing a bank or winning the lottery).
Releasing a percentage of the value of your property can provide the funding to use on other more productive investments. Now here comes the ‘but’. Nobody is suggesting (and if they are, don’t listen) that it’s a good idea to release as much equity as possible from your existing property to fund a more extravagant lifestyle. Nor should you put this money into other investments where there is either a medium or high degree of risk.
However, if you’re taking money out to invest in property that will generate more income than the cost of borrowing, this is ‘good debt’ – debt that produces an income over and above the cost of borrowing.
It’s generally possible to release capital from existing property at a cost of between 3.5% and 5%. If that same capital can be put to work in a relatively safe way and generate a return of, let’s say, 15% or more (as is the case with a PPP property franchise), then for every £100,000 reinvested, you could be making an additional £10,000 extra annual income. This is a strategy that over 300 other intelligent, like-minded people are doing right now.
If you take a specialist buy-to-let (BTL) investment model where 75% of the BTL property is mortgaged, you have to find 25% for the deposit, legal fees and any refurbishment you do. Done properly– a specialist BTL investment can be a secure, low-risk investment and a great way to generate both income and capital growth.
All the evidence says that over the long-term, property is a good investment, but the key issue to really improve both the returns and reduce the risk is to ensure that you’re getting a high level of income, with the potential of capital growth as an added bonus.
That’s the trickiest thing to achieve, but it can be done: Platinum Property Partners (PPP) will add value to your property and help you maximise your gross rental income by using a tried, tested and proven system.
Releasing equity, if you have it, can be a great way of giving you financial options that may otherwise not be open to you.
For more information about how PPP could help you reinvest your equity to maximise its potential, please contact us.
In many professional Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), rooms are rented at an all-inclusive rate with landlords footing most, if not all, of the household bills. With the relatively new legislation requiring all rented properties to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’, this could increase landlords’ outgoings in the short-term. They may need to, for example, install a new boiler, insulate the loft, invest in double glazing or introduce draught-proofing.
This being the case, it’s never been more important to be energy-efficient. Even making a few tweaks around your property could save you a lot of money – as the old adage goes: ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’. Here are some of our Partners’ top tips on saving energy.
1. Energy Efficiency Grants
First and foremost, check out what grants and subsidies might be freely available to you in your area. You could be saving money on tons of things, from loft and cavity wall insulation to combi boilers and new windows. This website is a good place to start: www.gov.uk/energy-grants-calculator.
2. Heat Settings
There are many wild and wonderful gadgets out there now for controlling your heating and hot-water systems. Aside from pre-setting the times and temperatures on boilers and heaters, you can get a range of devices (including downloading an app to your smartphone) that will not only allow you to manage the settings from wherever you may be, but will allow for tenants to have some control, too. If you have the settings too low, they may take it upon themselves to buy an electric heater, which will push costs right up. Plus, you want to maintain a good relationship with tenants – telling them to “wear a jumper” may not go down too well.
It’s also important to remember the thermostats and set them to an appropriate temperature. You’ll find them on boilers and immersion heaters, and if they’re not fitted to your radiators, that’s something else to consider.
It seems like the simplest of things but choosing the right light bulbs is a minefield. There are so many different types, energy consumptions and brightness levels. A halogen light will use up to 30% less energy than a regular light bulb and they are very cheap. They’re not great for permanent use, but if they are switched on and off for short times, such as in a cupboard or downstairs toilet, they’ll do the job.
The compact fluorescent light will use up to 80% less energy. They take a while to come on and can’t be dimmed normally, and there is an environmental impact as they contain a lot of mercury. LED lights save the most energy – using up to 90% less than a traditional bulb. You can get cool white, warm white and daylight, depending on the strength of light you want emitted. They are more expensive but have a long life (some lasting up to 15 years) and save you on maintenance.
It’s worth thinking about fitting occupancy sensors, which automatically control lights when someone enters a room. It’s been estimated that these devices can reduce electricity use by around 30%.
Never go for the most expensive or the fanciest! When you buy white goods, you should always think about the running costs – and the noise. Check the energy-efficiency label and look out for the Energy Saving Trust logo. A handy website for finding out how much an appliance will cost you to run per year is www.sust-it.net
At the end of the day, if your energy bills go up, so will the rent you have to charge your tenants. Therefore, it’s also in their best interests to keep costs down. You’re not asking them to share showers or eat by candlelight (unless romance has blossomed, of course!), but just to be energy conscious. Remind them to switch off the lights when they’re not in the room, turn off appliances once they’ve finished using them, and not to leave windows open unnecessarily – especially if the heating is on. You could try putting some posters/notes up around the house as gentle reminders.
What top tips do you have for saving energy around the house?
Let’s face it, there’s still a certain level of uncertainty as Brexit negotiations continue. A third of companies have a higher than average risk of insolvency, according to trade body R3, and starting your own franchise could be the only way to take back control and secure your financial future.
The franchising industry has grown 10% in the UK over the last four years* and success rates for franchising still significantly outperform start-up businesses.
However, this is not the case for every franchising opportunity. Every sector is different and can fall victim to changes in industry legislation, operational costs and consumer demand that impacts the profitability and sustainability of the business.
By joining a property franchise, you can reduce the risks of starting your own business and increase your returns from investing in property. No company knows how to help you build your own low risk property business that generates a significant income for life better than Platinum Property Partners.
Robust or bust?
Founded in 2007 when the property market was booming, the tide soon went out, and as Warren Buffett famously said: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”
Fortunately, our model hadn’t been built on the assumption that the market would always rise. All potential risks, such as a crash, falling rents, increasing costs and tighter regulation, were all considered.
This is why our robust model not only survived during the financial crisis, but prospered. Generating 40% more income when compared to a single tenancy buy-to-let property and understanding tenant needs for more affordable rental accommodation, our high-quality HMOs (House in Multiple Occupation) withstood such severe market fluctuations.
Even now, with increasing legislation for landlords and amendments to tax policies, our proven business model outperforms all other asset classes and puts to bed all of the concerns surrounding the property market…
Brexit has INCREASED the demand for this specialist buy-to-let model
House price stagnation is IRRELEVANT because the model focuses on INCOME
You can achieve yields of 15% ON AVERAGE, which was the highest recorded in 2017
LTD company models NOT AFFECTED by recent changes in mortgage interest tax relief
The ‘keys’ to our success
Sustainability is what gives you and your business long-term security and we know that people will always need places to live. More than that, these properties need to be high-quality and affordable to cater for the growing population of a young and mobile workforce who aren’t yet prepared, or ready to commit to one location or the responsibility of a mortgage.
From an investor point of view, we have adopted a long-term strategy that focuses on achieving a high level of cash flow by maximising rental income for our franchise partners. The model is not reliant on short-term capital growth or development profit, which is an added bonus.
Finally, we are different to many traditional franchise models. Yes, our franchise partners are part of a supportive and like-minded network of professionals which provides the training and support to overcome any daunting industry changes, much like other franchises, but there’s also an added level of security.
It’s a business for life, because franchise partners own the properties in their portfolios from day one, and for however long they want to keep them. Even after their franchise term ends, they can continue to operate their specialist buy-to-let business, retaining 100% of the income and capital growth.
Time to combine certainty and security?
Still the fastest growing premium franchise in the UK, and the world’s first property investment franchise, we can help you build a profitable and sustainable specialist buy-to-let business, which will give you an income for life, security in retirement and a legacy for your loved ones.
You’ll be joining a network of more than 340 people who earn an average of £50,000 to £150,000 net annual income from their property portfolios, which combined are worth £300 million.
Find out exactly why 2018 is the year of the property investment franchise. Join us on one of our upcoming Discovery Days to find out more.
Last month UK Finance produced their mortgage market forecast for 2018, which is produced annually and represents UK banks. The content of the report directly affects the whole property market, including the Platinum Property Partners specialised HMO business model.
There is a lot of important information within the report, but several points rise to the top as the key highlights:
In general, there is more optimism about the next two years than there was twelve months ago
There is a buoyant, active and competitive market for accessing funding with 36,200 mortgages advanced to existing homeowners. This is a rise of 17% – much higher than anticipated and great news for Platinum Franchise Partners and potential future partners who are growing, or starting, their portfolios by refinancing residential properties.
Statistics support market observations that Buy-to-Let activity has been weaker and is back at levels from 2012
With little indication that this will recover in the next couple of years, it suggests that accidental/amateur landlords are going to be increasingly less prevalent – the market is less attractive to those without training and ongoing support – and subsequently there are increased opportunities for the professional landlord.
Most positively, rents being paid to private landlords in Britain rose by 1.2% during 2017
Whilst landlords are experiencing more challenges through legislative and tax changes, the market continues to rise and with the support of Platinum Property Partners, those challenges can be understood, overcome and potential risks mitigated.
These key highlights demonstrate that overall there is a positive outlook for the professional specialist buy-to-let market for 2018. Partnered with the right training and support, it could still prove to be a very profitable and sustainable business model.
If you would like to know more about starting your own specialist buy-to-let property portfolio, please feel free to get in touch and we can discuss your circumstances with you in more detail, just call us on 01202 652 101.
Investing in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) has proven to be the most profitable specialist buy-to-let strategy over the years, with the asset class outperforming single-tenancy rental properties by 40%.
By effectively and tastefully maximising the number of lettable rooms in a single property and renting them individually, landlords can achieve average gross yields of 15%. The additional rental income generated can ensure better profit margins and provide a sufficient buffer against fluctuating costs, including tax and interest rate rises, therefore reducing risk.
However, higher returns can come with increased time investment, as well as the cost involved in managing multiple tenants in multiple properties. There is also additional planning, licensing and building regulations to consider, so it is essential investors do their homework.
When building an HMO portfolio, there are lots of key areas to cover including:
• Location and property – Deciding where to invest can be just as important as the type of property you buy.
• Rules and regulations – Complying with all planning, licensing and building control legislation is crucial or you could face hefty fines.
• Conversion and refurbishment – Making sure you focus on the practical elements first and aesthetic second, remembering that your target tenant may not share your own tastes.
• Tenancy and property management – Creating harmonious households is about finding the right tenants for your properties and managing them effectively.
Our ‘Combining Franchising with Property – 7 Steps to success in 2018’ guide details our top tips and best practices for building a profitable and compliant HMO portfolio – download it here.
Investing in property is a business
Most importantly, you need to understand that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, and this saying is just as prevalent in the HMO sector as it is in any other business – because investors must remember that this is a business.
You need to decide why you are investing in property at the beginning in order to adopt the right strategy. Is it for an immediate income, long-term capital growth or inheritance planning for the future for example?
Your available capital, potential sources of future funding, individual circumstances and long-term goals will be factors to consider when deciding whether or not to invest in HMOs.
Managing HMOs can also be very time-intensive and if you don’t have the free time to be actively involved in the day-to-day running of your portfolio, then the cost of outsourcing this work has to be considered when analysing potential returns.
Once you have clarified what you want to achieve by investing in property, you need to set up the most appropriate business structure.
Help from ethical and professional tax advisors is a crucial first step in building your property portfolio and could limit your tax bill and maximise your profits.
Alternatively, follow a tried-and-tested specialist HMO property investment model established by Platinum Property Partners, where help and guidance are always at hand and for way beyond these 7 steps. Call us today to see how we can help you in your property investment journey.
During 2017, at PPP we have been celebrating our milestone tenth year in business and it’s been an awesome year! BUT we have something more to celebrate! We are proud to announce that the Platinum franchise network has now collectively purchased 1,000 properties!
We feel that this is a phenomenal achievement! It means our Partners have made a difference to over 6,000 people; Providing high quality, safe, affordable accommodation to young professionals up and down the country.
The purchase of these properties have allowed people to build profitable and sustainable businesses that have quite simply changed lives. There are so many success stories from our Partners; from achieving financial stability, to being there to tuck in a child and read bedtime stories, to the first family holiday in 7 years!
We thrive on the power of our network – every one of our Partners make up a valuable part of our network and as Steve Bolton (PPP founder) often says “none of us are smarter (or stronger) than all of us” and it is so very true.
Steve Bolton, founder of Platinum Property Partners commented, “A huge thank you to the Head office team, shareholders, supply partners, supporters and of course our Franchise Partners – past and present, it’s been the best decade of my life so far! Here’s to the Be More – Do More – Have More – Give More philosophy continuing to grow over the next decade and beyond”.
Do you want to change your life and be part of the next 1,000? Get in touch to find out how you can secure your financial future through a smart property investment model – just like our amazing Partners did!
Houses in Multiple Occupation, or HMOs as they are more commonly referred to in the property investment sector, remain one of the most profitable buy-to-let models around. The last time we checked, Platinum Property Partners HMOs achieved 40% more rental income than single tenancy buy-to-let properties.
Such high returns do come at a price though. Namely, a higher level of complexity surrounding legislation, sometimes a higher price tag and usually a lot more time investment on the landlord’s part.
One of the most critical steps in ensuring HMO investment success is buying the right property in the first place, but we have some bad news…
There is no such thing as the perfect property for an HMO
While we’d like to tell you that there is an exact specification to look for when sourcing your first or next HMO investment, the truth is that almost any type of property can be made to work as an HMO.
Of course, the location of the property is a key consideration, but physically, the world is your oyster. Within the Platinum Property Partners network, our landlords have purchased everything from Victorian terraced houses and new build properties to bungalows and commercial buildings and anything in between. The one and only type of property you should probably steer clear of is a leasehold apartment.
The shape and size of the property is far less important than first determining what you’re trying to achieve by investing in an HMO.
HMO Top Tips – Where to invest and what property to buy with Mike Dixon - YouTube
What are your HMO goals?
Every property investor is different and even though investing in HMOs is predominantly an income strategy, this might not be important to you with every property.
Some people might be focussed on the return on capital employed, because if they have too much money tied up in the house and therefore can’t use it to invest in additional HMOs, then the income potential becomes less relevant. Or perhaps you’re comfortable with the long game as is the case usually with the single tenancy buy-to-let model – capital growth.
The type of property you buy will ultimately depend on your goals. If income is your goal then you’ll need to look at properties where you can maximise the number of rentable rooms. You’ll also need to consider the size of the bedrooms as different tenants have different needs. You might think squeezing and en-suite bathroom in is a good idea, but second or third generation sharers have a lot of stuff and value space.
And maybe it’s not just the amount of income you can achieve, but the speed at which you’ll be able to draw that income. In this scenario, you may not want to buy a property that will take months to convert into an HMO.
If value for money is the aim of the game, you might need to look at something that needs a lot of work but that will achieve a great uplift in development profits. Likewise, if property is expensive in your investment location and houses that would comfortably be home to six or seven tenants are hard to come by, then you may have to settle at four or five bedrooms.
Knowing your HMO goals will make it so much easier to come up with a shortlist of properties to view. And so here comes our final lesson for the day…
Book block viewings of potential HMO properties
The biggest challenge when it comes to sourcing a potential HMO investment property is speed and momentum. If you spend too long looking for what you think is the perfect property, you’ll quickly find that it’s no longer available.
Broaden your horizons and never disregard a property’s potential as an HMO without physically viewing it. You can’t see from a simple property listing where the drainage is or whether a wall could be knocked down to make a room bigger.
Book as many viewings as you can for one day and take note of price, number of reception rooms, current room and plot sizes, existing covenants, extension potential and available parking. Then do the numbers and make an offer.
Having said that, there are a number of other factors to consider when investing in HMOs.To find out what they are, download your free guide here.
For more than a decade, Platinum Property Partners has understood that there is a burning need for affordable shared accommodation post-university. Platinum Property Partners proudly now own more high-quality HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) than Britain’s largest provider of private student houses.
Kexgill, a Hull-based company that has been operating since 1978, has 900 student HMOs up and down the country compared to Platinum’s 973 professional HMOs, which are all privately owned by our franchise partners and located in 200 towns and cities across England and Wales.
This lack of investment in student HMOs could be down to the fact that not long ago, it was predicted that the rise in the development of modern student tower blocks would lead to the death of the traditional student let. Yet time has proven that second and third year students value the experience of playing house with a group of friends, and this thirst for social living does not end after university.
As a result, Platinum’s premium properties, which are currently worth more than £300 million combined, are specifically design for post-graduates and young professionals who want first-class yet affordable and all-inclusive living.
As an investment, Platinum’s HMOs produce annual returns in excess of 15% and make efficient use of existing housing stock. As a home, they cost 31% less to rent when compared to a one-bedroom flat (excluding bills).
The majority of the 5,800+ rooms in Platinum properties are double en-suites and all properties are fully furnished and benefit from inclusive bills, weekly professional cleaners, high speed internet connection and high specification throughout as standard.
Steve Bolton, Founder and Chairman of Platinum Property Partners, commented: “HMOs have always been one of the best performing buy-to-let models around and for years, they were associated with just student lets. However, there was clearly a demand from post-graduates who liked this way of social and affordable living and who were willing to pay a little extra for quality and service.”
“The Platinum portfolio of HMOs, which is growing by an average of one property a week, fills a huge gap in the market for young professionals and Kexgill is accommodating the growing number of students who now also demand a higher level of quality in their shared houses. So, it’s good news all-round.”
For more information on building your own HMO property portfolio, just get in touch on 01202 652100.
The average person in this country spends 20 hours a week watching television, but I don’t know any entrepreneur or successful property investor that spends anywhere near that amount of time on their sofa.
If you have been considering investing in property for some time, then it’s important that you’re under no illusions about the amount of time you’ll need to build a successful buy-to-let portfolio.
Making the time
What time you have available and are willing to commit will drive whether you’re an active or passive property investor, because with just a couple of hours a week there’s no way you can be an active investor and build a property business yourself in a hands-on way.
My basic rule of thumb is if you can’t or aren’t willing to commit at least 10 hours a week to property investing, then you would be better suited as a passive investor. Put your money into investments that will still deliver a good return on your capital, but require none, or very little of your time.
So you’ve established that you probably have the time, but do you have the money?
If you have less than £100k of capital available to invest, either in equity or liquid funds, then building your own property portfolio will be pretty tough. My guidance to anyone in that situation would be to start with another investment opportunity, perhaps a passive property option, that requires a much lower cash input to begin with and use that to build up your capital.
You can make investments in property with £100k or less, but it would be difficult to build a successful property portfolio of your own because recycling capital is a key principle to getting the best return on investment.
In order to be able to keep building your property business and taking advantage of opportunities that will give good cash flow and be solid medium and long-term investments, you do need a decent amount of operating capital.
While it’s possible for professional investors to buy property using very little of their own money, that’s certainly not something you should be considering if you’re just starting out. You need to consider how you are going to fund your portfolio, what assets you have that you can borrow against, how much cash you have and how much risk you want to take.
Don’t believe the hype…
It’s so hard to get everything right in the beginning and property is very high-risk if you’re putting all your eggs into one basket in a business that’s new to you. And whatever you do, don’t believe the ‘no money down property millionaire’ hype, because that’s all it is, hype. I strongly disagree with the ‘get rich quick’ merchants in the property game, who profit from selling false hope to aspiring investors who have little or no cash.
The more money you’ve got, the easier it is to invest in property, particularly in times of major market correction and threatening economic recession. Buying a property is all about timing, knowing your market and your area and understanding what you want to achieve with your investment.
Putting a value on your time is also something that is key, but also something that most people forget to do. In many property shows, the financial summary at the end misses out two critical factors:
1. The opportunity/interest cost of the money used for deposit, refurbishment and fees.
Firstly, if someone invests, say, £50,000 into a project, there is a cost related to that money. If it is being borrowed from equity then there is interest incurred on the funds, e.g. £50,000 borrowed for 12 months at 5% interest costs £2,500. If the money is coming from savings then there is an opportunity cost of whatever interest rate would have been earned. Professional investors always factor this into their calculations.
2. The time invested by the so-called ‘investors’ doing the work.
Secondly, there is never any allowance for the investors’ time. If an investor earns £20,000 on a project over a 12 month period, then that is a loss-making venture in my eyes and it should be in yours also. If you are investing your time and money into your property business make sure you pay yourself a rate that makes sense.
Houses in Multiple Occupation, or HMOs, are generally defined as properties with a minimum of three unconnected tenants sharing kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities. Unconnected means not part of the same household, therefore unrelated.
Depending on the type of HMO and its location, licensing may be required from your local authority, rooms may be subject to minimum size guidelines or additional fire safety measures put in place.
The term can refer to hostels, bedsits and refuges for vulnerable adults, but most commonly are perceived as poor quality accommodation for numerous tenants on low incomes, such as student housing.
Residents living near HMOs often complain about higher levels of noise, overflowing bins and parking requirements of multiple tenants. But occupants of HMOs also complain about substandard living conditions, unkempt communal areas and unresponsive landlords.
More recently, a new breed of HMOs has emerged as the demand for affordable, yet high quality, shared housing increases. This type has become especially popular with young professionals saving for a place of their own, as data suggests they are able to save considerably more than renting alone.
Investing in HMOs
As an investment, HMOs are easier to manage than several single-occupancy buy-to-let properties and provide landlords with the opportunity to maximise rental income from multiple rooms, while minimising the impact of voids and non-payment.
If you’re considering investing in HMOs, then it is important to commit yourself to producing high quality, fully compliant accommodation that attracts professional tenants who enjoy living in your properties.
You’ll need to think about:
Location – Most importantly, you’ll need to find out what legislation your local authority has in place for HMOs. It is also crucial to invest in a location that your ideal tenants would want to live in. Access to good transport links and local amenities will probably be important to them.
Type of property – If you’re not buying an existing HMO, you will need to look for properties that have the potential to be cost-effectively converted and accommodate the right amount of rooms and bathrooms at the right size. There are different advantages to being on the smaller and larger ends of the HMO scale, you can read about them here. Having local planning knowledge prior to a purchase is also essential, so do your research.
Management – You should decide whether you would like to manage your HMO(s) yourself or employ an agent to do so. If it’s the former, you need to think about what kind of landlord you want to be, how much time you have and whether it is enough to effectively manage the property(ies). This can be the difference between you having loyal, long-term tenants and unhappy ones.
However, HMOs are very complex buy-to-let models and there are many risks involved. Without the right guidance and knowledge, you could easily purchase the wrong property for the wrong price, attract undesirable tenants and face fines if the right licensing isn’t in place. There is also limited advice available for inexperienced HMO investors.
If you’d like to know more about how we at Platinum Property Partners can help you to build your own portfolio of profitable HMO properties, please get in touch.
SpareRoom.co.uk also offers a handy guide for on HMOs here.
Interested in investing in property. Find out the 7 Steps to Successful HMO investment and see if a property business is something you’d be interested in building.