A mum has shared her tips on growing your own million-pound business, having overcome adversity to forge a career in property.
Stephanie Taylor used to scrape by as a single mother, living on just £49.80 a week on benefits.
At the same time, her sister Nicky Taylor also found she was struggling with credit card debt before moving to London, in a bid to find a career and sort out her finances.
The sisters, from Great Barr, Birmingham, ended up teaming up and setting up two lucrative property businesses - Rent 2 Rent and HMO Heaven - which take HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) belonging to landlords and give them a makeover before renting them out again to tenants.
Now both millionaires with a string of homes, the sisters have shared their tricks of the trade, having broken it all down into four steps.
Step One: Find Out How
Stephanie said: "I think the first thing is to understand the strategy to a high standard - find out about it.
"You rent a property for usually three to five years. You pay the owner or letting agent a guaranteed rent - usually, you are going to take on paying the bills. You rent the property out to tenants for a higher, yet still affordable rate than you pay the owner.
"The difference is your profit after the running costs of the property - you want something that is a win-win for all three parties.
"Rather than investing £50,000 in deposit and buying costs [on your own home] you can rent an HMO for an average investment of £3,000 and generate a monthly profit of around £700 per month."
Step Two: Set Up Your Business
Stephanie continued: "People can either set up a limited company or a sole trader - we recommend doing it as a limited company but some may want to test the water out as a sole trader.
"Work out websites, names, email addresses and social media. We were lucky because it turns out I have a knack for coming up with these names.
"I came up with HMO Heaven, but people didn't think it was a good idea at the time. HMOs are not seen as a good thing but I like it - now people think it's catchy.
"Brainstorm and think about the value once you know the sort of business you want to be. Having this most important brand name is not the most important thing - provide an incredible service because that is its own marketing.
"Have a clear message of what your business offers, your logo, and business page. Get legal with the things you need [such as] insurance, compliance money protection, or licensing schemes in the area.
"Then go out and start talking to letting agents and landlords - basically attracting the right people who want to work with you."
Step Three: Location
Stephanie explained: "It needs to be near people hubs, transport links, universities, schools, large employers, everything that brings people in. The more people there are in that area of the accommodation, the easier and more resilient that is as an investment for the future.
"If one employer closes down in the city centre that is not going to affect you. But if you are on the outskirts somewhere where that is the only employer, you're more affected."
Step Four: The Property
Stephanie advised keeping it 'simple', saying: "When we first started we were not interior designers even though I thought I was. I look back and the pictures are terrible.
"But now we have a package that works. We know what pictures to buy for the wall, accessories for the room and we already have our bedding in stock. Keep it simple. You might have two pictures on the wall, two accessories plus the bedding, and it actually looks really dressed."
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