Our founder, Shiv Haria, was recently interviewed by Adam Goff of the Property Entrepreneur community, about how we’re keeping busy during the coronavirus crisis – and how it has affected our day to day operations.
Read on to see why now is the ideal time for investors to buy property and how Lifestyle Property People has weathered the storm.
How has coronavirus affected business?
Initially, we thought that the virus was going to bring our business to a complete standstill because people don’t like uncertainty and obviously we can’t get out to do property viewings due to the lockdown restrictions. However, it seems that clients are actually more eager to set up their investments now and we’re lining up clients ready for when the market reopens. I think there are 3 main reasons for this:
1. People have realised that their jobs aren’t as secure as they thought they were.
2. People have had time to consider long term investment options.
3. People know that there is a good opportunity in the near future to pick up a good deal… And everyone loves a deal!
Property is still one of the safest places to put your money during this turbulent period, and we’re urging clients to take a strategic approach – to go hard for the long term. Even if property prices drop – as they do during times like this – they will recover, and most analysts think that they will do so pretty quickly. For those with the spare cash, a drop in property prices is great: it’s cheaper to enter the market and you’ve got more potential for greater returns when the market bounces back.
In terms of day to day work, coronavirus hasn’t changed things too drastically: our team has been operating virtually using technologies like Zoom for a number of years – especially as we’re split geographically between London and Leeds – so it’s much the same on that front. We’ve been quite busy chatting to prospective and existing clients about their goals and how we can help them to achieve them. I do believe it is this focus on solving a real problem that has helped us to prosper as a company.
What have been the upsides from the coronavirus crisis?
One of the biggest upsides from our perspective is that potential clients are thinking more wisely about who they invest with. For example, one-man-bands may offer a similar service for a lower price point, but the price is irrelevant if you don’t get the property. A lot of smaller companies who don’t have an enthusiastic and aligned team behind them may go bust at a time like this, and unfortunately, they’ll take their clients’ money with them.
We’re different because not only are we a well-established and fully accredited firm, but we are less in danger of losing our clients’ money as we hold the funds we get paid in a client account and only draw-down the revenue upon achieving set milestones: i.e. on invoice, when the sale is agreed and when the property purchase is complete.
As well as this, we were also worried that it would take slightly longer to rent the properties that we had coming to the market – in fact, we had even told most of our clients to expect a delay in refurbs and lettings. However, although the number of people moving has fallen dramatically, we have already managed to let 4 properties in under a week and the rents were 5-10% higher in each case, increasing clients’ actual returns!
What are you doing to stay mentally and physically fit during lockdown?
I’m making sure I stick to a routine, because I find that really helps. I work in time slots – with ‘deep’ work scheduled for the morning and calls in the afternoon. Outside of that, I stay active by training, taking walks, and drinking at least 3 litres of water every day. I like to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and leave my weekends free to spend time with my wife.
Can you give our community 3 top tips to help them thrive during these times?
1. Mindset is everything – it’s not about what happens to you it’s what you do about it that matters. Think about that carefully!
2. Put in the work early – live a few years of your life like most people won’t, to live the rest of your life like most people can’t…
3. Eat the cake! Life is about swings and roundabouts. Enjoy the ride!