Revealing truth about important mistakes to improve your HMO management

As 2020 is approaching the end, it’s quite natural that we reflect back on it.

I have seen many people posting publicly about all of the things that they feel most grateful for in 2020. I think it’s wonderful as I believe that gratitude is very powerful, especially when practiced on daily basis.

Photo by the blowup

However, I have decided to share my failures instead, in hope that it helps some of you in avoiding the same mistakes. I have certainly learned a lot from them. I believe that the ability to identify your mistakes is just as important as celebrating your triumphs and practising gratitude.

If I could re-live this year again…

Number 1.

I would trust my gut feeling so much more and make better decisions.

This year we were working on a new project where we took on 35 new properties in East London. It felt like a dream come through, this would accomplish our whole goal of 2020 in just the first half of the year. And enable us to grow towards our investing goals much more rapidly.

During the whole negotiation process there were many signs and occasions where I had a gut feeling that this might not be the right fit for us. As our values and the values of this new landlord are completely different. However the excitement was much greater than the caution

We have returned 12 properties over the last 2 years back to the landlords just because of the significant difference in our values.

We want to provide a high quality accommodation. Maintained properties that are always in line with all latest HMO regulations. And treat all our tenants with respect and honor as we expect the same back. However unfortunately not all of the landlords have the same goals and missing the signs for this was a very big mistake.

We decided to start gradually and offer our tenant finding service only. And I am so glad we did it this way. As very quickly it showed how different our values, levels of honesty and how differently we treat our tenants and the quality level of our properties.

We decided to end the partnership.

Photo by William Farlow

Yes, we lost significant amount of funds and time. But this really was one of the biggest reminders to always go with your gut feeling.

Number 2.

If I could re- live this year again (not that I really want to) I would be more focused on my goals. And make small steps towards them every day.

Photo by Alex Wigan

As we worked on the big 35 property deal, we kind of let our daily/weekly marketing for new properties slip by. And it was the worst thing I could have done. I now remind myself, even the smallest action towards growth every day is still growth.

Number 3.

I would make beautiful 3D tours of all our properties straight away after we heard something about this thing called COVID – 19.

Yes, 3D tours really help in renting the properties sooner and find great tenants much quicker. It’s not very straight forward to do a 3D tour at properties where one or two rooms are vacant. But with some extra care, it’s doable.

Number 4.

I would invest my time in talking a bit more to all of our tenants who gave their notice to move, so that I could understand their decision a bit better and see how we could help them with their situation and hopefully avoid having any vacant rooms. This was of course not always possible due to loss of jobs.

Photo by Joshua Ness

Number 5.

I would review the business financial summary more often. With issues that COVID-19 brought some things slipped by unnoticed and only could be visible when the problem had grown much bigger and the loss of funds has become much more noticeable. Now we don’t let little things slip by and allow them to grow into big things.

Number 6.

Photo by Mohau Mannathoko

During the summer, I would spend more time outdoors with my team. Unfortunately this year didn’t allow us to meet up as often as in previous ones and I really hope that we can all catch up soon.

May 2021 bring us new hopes, new dreams to chase and lets us reach the levels of growth that we may have not been able to achieve in 2020!

Photo by Frantisek Duris