These days it is more important than ever to give your HMO the WOW factor, something to make it stand out from the crowd. But this doesn’t have to represent a large investment. Making sure the property is clean, modern and containing the right kinds of electronics is often all you have to do.
Property Expert Series: Dale Wild from Pegasus Property Investments & Landlord Co.
- Part 1: Introducing Dale Wild from Pegasus Investments and Landlord Furniture Co.
- Part 2: What Projects Are Pegasus Investments Working On and Why?
- Part 3: What Is An HMO?
- Part 4: What Furniture Should You be Providing in an HMO?
- Part 5: What Colour Schemes Work Best for HMOs?
- Part 6: Is it Better to Put Up Blinds or Curtains in an HMO?
- Part 7: What Type of Beds Should Investors Use in Their HMOs?
- Part 8: How Much Should a Landlord Budget to Furnish an HMO?
- Part 9: How to Give Your HMOs the WOW Factor
- Part 10: How To Invest in HMOs
- Part 11: What Do Landlords Need to Know About HMO Licensing?
- Part 12: What Has Been Your Biggest Mistake in Property Investment?
- Part 13: What Has Been Your Biggest Win in Property?
- Part 14: How Does the Cashflow from HMOs Compare to Buy-to-Lets?
Giving Your HMOs The WOW Factor
Amy: Dale, in your experience, how do you get the wow factor in your HMO? We’ve had other landlords and investors talk about gadgets and gimmicks but is there anything standout that can suggest, to make a property stand out on Spareroom or similar?
Don’t Forget The Outside Space
Dale: Certainly, in the HMO scene, a lot of landlords forget about the outside of the property.
So, you just turn up and it just looks like a bog-standard house. I know a house is a house but obviously make sure it’s clean, maybe put up some hanging baskets, something a little bit nice.
On the inside, we always put up what I’d call non-generic pictures in the communal hallway, something that no one has seen before.
We’ve got some ‘cow art’. Pictures of cows drawn in crayon. They look really smart, really bright.
Amy: I’ve seen that type of artwork.
Dale: Yeah they look great.
Dale: In the bedrooms, it’s a bit so last year now, USB ports on the plugs is a big one.
Amy: It still attracts people though, doesn’t it? You say it’s last year for investors but it’s still attracting the tenants, these little gadgets.
I read that a Netflix subscription can be more attractive than an en-suite bathroom. Thinking outside the box, being creative and something like that. A Netflix subscription is something like £7 a month and that can be enough to seal the deal for a tenancy.
Dale: Of course it can, especially for the younger tenants.
A lot of the time they ask about the WiFi so what we’ve started to do now is to hard-wire – I don’t know the official term – but hardware the broadband into each room so they can just plug their laptops into it.
What I have seen, from another landlord, is that they hardwired an HDMI cable. So, if you imagine that they download Netflix on the bed, they plug in the HMDI cable at the side of the bed and that just goes round to the other side of the room, hidden behind the walls, onto the TV.
I suppose it’s aimed more at the… I wouldn’t say the techie people, everyone’s got laptops these days. But just to make your life easier within the space that you’ve got.
Amy: I do really feel that those types of gadgets and gimmicks and trends and things like that, I do think they rent properties, ultimately.
If you’ve got the property, that’s got the feature wall, it’s got the cushions and it’s got the lamps and the USB ports and you scroll through and you see this box that’s not got anything done to it, which one are you going to go and view and which one are you going to sign up for?
Dale: And it’s not a huge expense, especially if you’re doing a back-to-brick refurb.
If you’re doing a light one then maybe it is a bit off a mess-around to put those kinds of things in.
But certainly where the Internet is concerned, doing the hard-wiring stuff is really, really easy. It’s just another couple of cables and the tenants… There’s no WiFi router hanging around anywhere.
It looks really, really nice.
Keeping The House Clean
And a final one is just to make it bright and airy and keep it clean. We always have a cleaner for the communal areas. Well, she cleans the rooms at an additional cost.
With one of our latest HMOs, just finished, most of the tenants, in fact, all of the tenants in there now, are doctors so they leave the room when she comes round on Sunday.
And they are happy with the services being provided. They’ve got everything that they could ever need. And it’s nice and the feedback from them is great.
So if it works for people and on a professional level such as a doctor then I’m pretty sure it can work its way back down the ranks.
Amy: Absolutely, thank you.
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