Furnishing a corporate-let is a very different process to furnishing other types of buy-to-let. Today Rob and Paul discuss the merits of adaptable furniture packs that will satisfy the changing needs of your clients and mean that you will have to spend less time yourself, choosing what needs to go into your property.
Rob: Hi, it's Rob from Property Investments UK and in today's video we're going to be looking at what kind of furniture pack you should be considering for your serviced accommodation.
When it comes to serviced accommodation, you're going to need to approach it in a slightly different way than what you might do with your vanilla buy to lets. So, if it's a straightforward vanilla buy to let, you're not going to need to provide furniture very often.
It's provided unfurnished, the tenant pays their own bills, that type of stuff. But corporate lets are very different, aren't they?
Rob: You've got a client now that's expecting a lot more quality in terms of when they move into the property. All the bills are going to be kind of covered for them.
They can just literally just rock up with a bag and they're fully furnished, all that kind of stuff.
Rob: What do you typically look at providing? Because you guys can provide furniture packs with your properties, can't you?
Paul: Yes. The apartment is ready to market when you've got everything from the toilet roll, toilet roll holders to knives, forks, the TVs, the settees, blinds etc. All the soft furnishing, all the major furnishings.
We will help orchestrate this happening. We will put you in touch with the furniture company to liaise what furniture you want. Like you say, if you did furnish your own, it's better than that because of the clients we're dealing with.
But, it's at a reasonable price because you know, you're dealing with wholesalers rather than retailers as well. You furnish the apartment better for a lower cost.
Rob: So, the perceived notion of providing a property that's fully furnished is that it's going to maybe cost a fortune. It's going to be hard to try and find those suppliers that are going to provide everything and you've got to maybe rock up on a weekend and go down to Ikea and get all the bits yourself.
It's not necessarily the case, is it?
Paul: No. We will suggest a pack and say this is it, but then you can also, as I say, liaise with the furniture and say 'Can I have a different coloured settee', etc.
You'll have brochures to go through etc. You pick your furniture pack. Pick everything you want. Some of them will be uniform, you know, knives, forks etc. Kettles.
You will pick what you want. We will then organise the installation of all that furniture.
As soon as that furniture's in place, we can start marketing your apartment, even though we will have previously started putting the feelers out, and when the person who comes in for their first appointment, first time in the apartment, they literally put their bags on the bed, feet up, watch a bit of TV, make some food.
Rob: Ready to go.
Paul: Ready to go.
Rob: I think there are a couple of things that certainly makes sense from using a furniture pack, ready to go system, rather than trying to get it yourself. In terms of cost, there's potentially some benefit to that.
Paul: There is.
Rob: You're buying in from wholesalers, or bulk or buying from the right kind of suppliers that will give you the good price. Compared to going out and trying to source every single item. Obviously, time, speed, all that kind of stuff, it's much better ...
Paul: Time, cost of removal. The cost of installation. That's all included.
Let's say you just wanted to furnish your own flat.
Let's say a lot of time involved. The cost involved, getting it from one place, wherever it may be. Getting it installed. All that is covered for you.
Rob: I think the quality's ... we've done some HMOs recently where we've provided them fully furnished and stuff and we've gone out there and physically sourced every single item.
Forgetting the time aspect of it and I suppose the loss of time in trying to do that, it's also quite hard trying to figure out what type of pictures to buy, what type of colours you're gonna go for. Schemes and all that kind of stuff.
So, buying something that's ready to go is, I guess you move away from the personal aspect of, "Oh, I quite like that picture. That might kind of look good", or "that design of sofa might look good".
It just allows you to have somebody who knows what they're doing from the point of view of this definitely works based on our current model. We know what colours make sense. We know what attracts the high ended exactly so if they want to effectively stay in it.
Paul: Yeah. So, modern, chic. If someone wants some ... because we've got also a caterer. If someone's coming here and they're on relocation and they're here for six months, potentially having the family living with them, they're gonna want to personalise it themselves as well, so little photos etc, whatever they may be.
We've got to leave that element there. We will make it look showroom standard because that's the easiest way to put it. Showroom standard. If you go onto any normal branch of red rose, go into their showroom house, we're going to be looking for something like that. Maybe just with a little modern twinge to it.
Rob: Yeah, so it's not just the bed and sofas, but there are other aspects to it. Making sure cutlery, pots and pans, toilet rolls.
Rob: All that kind of normal standard stuff in it.
Paul: Yeah. Because that helps us because we're not getting a call saying, "I've got no kettle".
Rob: Yeah, I've arrived at 11 o'clock at night.
Paul: Yeah, "I want a brew". They can have a brew.
Rob: When it comes to getting your furniture pack, obviously there are things to consider in terms of what's included. We're going to do a walkthrough video as well to show you this particular location right at the moment and what that looks like as a ready to go kind of deal.
There are loads of benefits from just buying a ready to go pack rather than trying to figure out the individual items that go alongside it.
I hope that gives you some context to what you need to provide as a serviced accommodation or corporate let.