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The Business of Property

Author: The Business of Property

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The Business of Property follows the journey of two entrepreneurs working in the property world.
Stuart is a property investor with a focus on HMOs, mostly for the student market. He prefers a hands-off approach with most of his investment properties being remote.
Simon has a small portfolio of vanilla buy-to-let properties that he mostly self-manages. To make his property management easier he created Property and Tenant Manager (
Simon and Stuart, along with guests, discuss the ups and downs they're experiencing in their property businesses. Along the way they share property news, business tips and anything else that happens to crop up their weekly chats.
Popular episodes include:
Property investment terms ( - great if you're just getting started in property and need some help understanding the common jargon.
Property strategy terms ( - another jargon busting episode that's great if you're early in your property journey or considering changing your property strategy.
Changes for landlords in 2020 ( - every year brings new regulations to the property sector and 2020 is no different, listen to this episode to hear some of the major changes and check the show notes for details on others.
Other great (property) podcasts ( - what have Stuart and Simon been listening to recently and recommend in the podcast world, not just property related.
Less property but relevant to everyone is a discussion on time management (
Last but not least are a couple of episodes that talk about angel investing ( and property finance ( more widely.
35 Episodes
Stuart and Simon talk stats. Comparing the property market in 2020, with all it's ups and downs, to the much more steady 2019. Included in this weeks discussion (and see below for the graphs): * Three interesting graphs based on data collected by PaTMa's price history browser extension ( * 30% fewer properties currently on the market. * Three key phases of 2020 are clearly visible: * "Boris bounce" * Covid19 era * Lockdown easing * 90% fewer properties being brought onto the market. * Can school holidays be seen in the data. * The total number of properties compared to 2019 has still been falling. * Nearly 50% more properties leaving the market in January 2020. * Nearly 40% higher (than 2019) leaving rate as lockdown eases. * Are all properties "on the market" really available. Graphs being discussed: Marketed properties year-on-year change 2020 Properties joining the market, year-on-year change 2020 Properties leaving the market, year-on-year change 2020 If you can't see the graph images above, you can click these links to view each graph: * Marketed properties year-on-year change 2020 ( * Properties joining the market, year-on-year change 2020 ( * Properties leaving the market, year-on-year change 2020 ( Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Simon and Stuart talk over Stuart's updates and recent experiences with estate agents, banks and more. The discussion this week included: * Agent experiences and choices getting ready to sell. * Capital Gains Tax and possible off-sets. * Purple Bricks vs local agents. * Successful valuation. * Bounce Back Loan gets raised (again) by a bank - Stuart manages not to swear! Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Stuart and Simon chat about their thinking as they approach a changing property market outlook, and how they could approach it better. Recorded on Tuesday 7th July - before the Summer Statement! The discussion this week included: * Stuart's words ( linger in Simon's thoughts! * Cash reserves make for a stronger position to offer from. * Possible implications of a stamp duty "holiday". * Simon is wrong about the stamp duty reduction applying to investors (! * Should you try to "time the market". * Property paperwork can take a long time. * "When you're inside the bottle, it's hard to read the label." * Anecdotal property market stats from PaTMa's price history extension ( * When will people start talking about the recession. * Should predicted price drops stop you from buying. * Choosing mortgage products to fit market forecasts. * "So what if it drops 20%!" Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Simon and Stuart would like to know what you always "accidentally" pick up when visiting IKEA? They also talk a bit about property, especially student HMOs. Some of topics and links from this week: * Remortgages. * Spending on a young professional refurb. * Solicitors involved in title splitting. * Why split a 13-bed freehold title. * Trends in student accommodation - occupancy rates in larger HMOs. * Cinema rooms, art rooms and gyms. * PBSA - Purpose Built Student Accommodation. * How Stuart's flip project has been reconfigured to gain a bedroom (or two). * Random IKEA purchases - bamboo, kitchen utensils or something else? Please let us know! * Croydon selective licensing. * Council licensing data is available on PaTMa ( * IKEA Vegetable balls (! Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show. Or let us know what you always manage to pick up unexpectedly when visiting IKEA?
Stuart and Simon revisit the goals they set for 2020 and reflect on their progress, including how Covid-19 has impacted them. Some of topics and links from this week: * Our 2020 goals episode ( * Our property investment terms ( episode. * Remortgaging with loan to value (, rental cover ( and stress tests ( being mentioned. * Risk of having a higher mortgage vs the risk of having less cash in the bank. * Students vs young professionals for HMO rooms. * Managing HMO heating with Time:o:stat ( Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Simon and Stuart chat about some of the recent enhancements in Simon's property software (PaTMa ( before the conversation wanders onto "property porn"! Some of the topics from this week: * The new investor focussed Property search ( from PaTMa. * Using re-listed properties to find motivated sellers ( * Have median house prices really gone up during lockdown. * Are relationship "changes" driving rental demand. * Number 1, The Thames ( * Quirky properties and those for idle curiosity. * Underground farming ( * Royal Mail underground museum ( * Searching and monitoring planning applications ( Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Stuart shares his ongoing experience with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and how it's now interacting with his latest mortgage application. Some of the topics from this week: * TMW ( use a bounce back loan to turn down an application. * Are lenders being over cautious. * Missing tenants. * Is there, will there ever be, a cap on the price small properties can reach. * Universal Credit tenants as an investment strategy. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
HMOs are dead! Or are they? Simon and Stuart explore the topic. No spoilers this week, you'll have to listen to find out what Stuart and Simon think the future may hold for houses of multiple occupation. CBILS and Bounce Back Loans also get a mention. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Emma once again joins Stuart and Simon to chat about the current state of the property market now that estate agents are opening up again. This weeks chatter includes: * Emma has been reading lots of government guidance to make sure that Estate Agents Hub ( is ready to function while keeping everyone as safe as possible. * Virtual viewings come in a few flavours, some with music! * Property transactions put on hold by Covid-19 have rapidly sprung back to life. * People earlier in the process seem to be more mixed. * What are prices doing right now. * Will more people be wanting to move to the countryside. * Working from home being a long-term change will affect home priorities. * Fun and games in the property portal space. Note: this episode was recorded on the 22nd May. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show. Special Guest: Emma Halliwell Marks.
Stuart and Simon discuss their rent receipt situations, shaky airport futures, along with the delights and risks of furlough. Some of the topics in the chat this week: * Pro-active rent reductions. * The short term future for Gatwick is looking uncertain. * Tenant job losses. * Student rent payments seem better than they could be! * Tenant communication (and difficulties with it). * What will September bring for students. * Is furlough just redundancy in waiting. * Will more people be saving for the future. * Do we actually have more time. * Stuart's flip project is nearly ready, really! * Snagging by paper aeroplane. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Simon and Stuart chat about things getting going again in the property world along with their thoughts on CBILS and BBLS borrowing. Some of the topics discussed this week: * Stuart's refinances seem to be coming back to life. * Will mortgage payment holidays damage your ability to borrow in the future. * The first rule is "Survive!". * When a lender doesn't want to lend, they'll find a way. * Applying for CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) ( * Could BBLS (Bounce Back Loan Scheme) ( be available for landlords. * Why would a property business take CBILS or BBLS. * What would/should a property business use a government loan for. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
Stuart and Simon set out to chat about some positive actions that can be taken to improve your property business during lockdown and end up talking about the power of multiplication. Some of the topics discussed this week: * Catching up on paperwork and thanks to PaTMa (, having property tax return figures are ready to go. * Having a very pleasant chat with HMRC. * Review your mortgages, don't let them languish on standard variable rates (SVR) - PaTMa ( can help with automated reminders. * 1% is not a small number! * Getting a handle on all the other records, certificates, etc that a property business needs to function properly. * Investing a long day on utility bills to help take control of costs. * Can companies like Look After my Bills ( be useful to make life, staying on top of utility costs, easier. * The Big Deal ( also gets a mention for finding cheaper utility supplies. * The profit comes from the final room. * Multiplication is deceptively powerful. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
In this update episode, Stuart and Simon chat about what's been changing in their property businesses in recent weeks. Some of the topics covered in the chat: * Stuart has experienced finance options being withdrawn. * Building works have stopped - due to isolation needs! * Trying to get up-valuations from a "desktop valuation" is tricky. * Simon's experiences with rent payments during lockdown. * PaTMa ( is still making improvements, now supporting Scottish and Welsh stamp duty. Complete with automatic detection from the postcode for the property browser extension. * An experience with the great people working in the NHS. Please leave us a rating and review if you're enjoying the show.
The second, and final, part of Simon and Stuart's property back-story, continuing their "how" from part 1 ( Some of the topics in the chat covered: * Were things planned? * Making crazy goals. * A lot of property learning is actually business learning. * Dealing with a student non-payer. * A buying-with-tenants experience.
The first part of Stuart and Simon's property back-story, starting with "Why?". Why? Why was property the business that they each chose? Simon and Stuart have very different answers! Stuart gets in a mention that some of his story is also available on Executive Juice ( - another excellent business podcast! When? Simon discusses the difference between being "just" a landlord and being a deliberate property investor. Simon's property journey began in 2002. Stuart's property journey began in 2007. Both of them stepped up to being an investor a few years later. How? For Stuart he started with a studio flat before officially starting investment with a 1-bed flat. He then switched strategy and continued with a 5-bed HMO (and then some more). Simon's route started with lodgers in his own house, expanding to an initial single-let a couple of years later.
Stuart and Simon are joined by mortgage expert Lee to discuss more of the impacts of COVID-19 on the property world, this time with a focus around financing and mortgages. We chat about all sorts of changes and impacts including: * Mortgage holidays and how lenders are adapting to cope with the demand. * Desktop valuations and their increased role. * Looking for new approaches, maybe with drones! * Enquiries are down, but those that remain are more serious. * All the talk about mortgages is spurring some landlords to use the idle time for remortgaging. * The recent base rate reductions ( Lee's business has been built with home working in mind from the start and he provides some tips on helping to keep your company communications working well with a remote team. Could this crisis lead to unexpected improvements for business and maybe even the world? Lee is a director of OnPoint Mortgages ( Note: this episode was recorded on the 31st March. Thanks to Simon's son for the audio version of the pre-episode reminder of this! Special Guest: Lee Langley.
Emma returns to join Simon and Stuart, chatting about why and how she got started in her property business. Discussion topics include: * Emma's two businesses - speech therapy and Estate Agents Hub ( * Getting to know your customers, being open and honest, always putting them first. * The science and non-science of property valuations. * Being super flexible for the benefit of customers while balancing family with work. * Taking children on viewings! Note: this episode was recorded before the COVID-19 lockdown. Special Guest: Emma Halliwell Marks.
Simon and Stuart are settling into the new lock-down normal, struggling to keep track of the days, but otherwise still moving forwards with their property businesses. Following the supposed shutdown of the property market, Stuart still seems extremely busy. With valuations, refinancing, building works and title splits there's a lot going on! And it's almost all continuing at almost full steam! Stuart and Simon discuss how current technology is allowing many to continue with life and work despite the social distancing requirements. It is a shame about all the zombie mailing lists being resurrected though. The world is changing but it's still spinning. Property, business and life all continue to move forwards. Please do get in touch (/contact) and share your experiences of the property business in the these strange times. For video conference technology we recommend Jitsi ( which is completely free and based on open source software, and Zoom ( This episode was recorded (remotely) on the 27th of March 2020.
Stuart and Simon chat about updates in their property businesses, especially in light of the rapidly and drastically changing world we currently live in! (Please accept our apologies for slightly more background noise than normal on this episode.) Note this episode was recorded several days before release and before the most dramatic "lockdown" imposed early this week! What does the current world situation mean for Stuart's flip project that's just been finished and is now ready to be marketed. Do you have an emergency fund? How safe or strong is it looking now? Simon's update is more virus-free - an exciting update to the free PaTMa Property Tools browser extension (
Simon and Stuart are joined this week by Emma! Given everyone is talking about the current virus outbreak, we thought we'd join in. The conversation covers what's happening already in the property world as well as what might be coming. Sales transactions are being cancelled, viewings are down and those that do happen are more difficult. But there are video tours! Stuart's flip project is nearly ready to come to market and he's refusing to be down-beat about his future with the property. The property market started really well in 2020 - with a significant increase in the number of buyers around, especially those looking to move out of London. How do you move house if you're in lock-down? Those who've recently exchanged with a set completion date coming up might have to find out! What can a landlord do if/when their tenants simply don't have money to pay rent due to COVID-19? Could we handle it like we normally would or does it have to be different because it's happening en-masse? Can the impact on the future of the property market be predicted? Can we even predict how long it will be before life gets back to normal? Everyone should be planning now, prepare your business while there's time - to both weather the storm and be ready to make the most of the recovery afterwards. Emma's property business is The Estate Agents Hub ( The official Government information on COVID-19 is here ( Special Guest: Emma Halliwell Marks.
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