Building an HMO business in challenging times

A journey from pharmacy to property during the pandemic

By Angharad Owen, Co-editor

Just before the pandemic, Makrand (Mak) Gore left his job as an NHS pharmacist to pursue a career in property investment. In his article in the November 2021 issue, he speaks openly about his experience of starting a business in one of the most commercially difficult years we have experienced, what he’s learned along the way and being nominated top performer in Simon Zutshi’s Mastermind 28.

After deciding to go into property, Mak signed up to the Accelerator course, and quit his job to concentrate on property full time. Despite having the option of becoming a locum if it didn’t work out, he was hesitant to revert to this as he hadn’t been in a patient-facing role for several years. 

Investing in HMOs

He focused on HMOs in and around Manchester. Having grown up in Salford, he knew the city well, and has since expanded into Liverpool. HMOs offered the best way to replace his income in a short space of time. Now he’s quite comfortable with the strategy but is hoping to pursue some other property endeavours, such as developments, to diversify. 

Pandemic property challenges

Mak had just finished the refurb on his first HMO when the pandemic hit and the stay-at-home mandate was imposed. The very next day, the house was burgled and everything taken. Due to the lockdown, they couldn’t get anyone out to help remedy the situation as only blue-light emergency services and key workers were allowed to work at the time. 

He had a few other properties in the pipeline as well, so there was a lot of money going out but little coming in. At the time, he was convinced that the pandemic was going to be a three-month ordeal before everything went back to normal. He had no choice but to remain stoic and believe it would all work out. 

Fortunately, having the support system of the other Masterminders proved invaluable. He was surrounded by people who are ambitious, driven and positive, and believes that being immersed in this environment creates a lot of drive and happiness. 

After two of the toughest years on record, he is getting to a point where he can see a future with the business. Surviving the pandemic has changed his perspective and he realises that some of the day-to-day problems are trivial in the grand scheme of things. 

Mak is looking forward to growing his business, identity and brand. His life is now entirely on his terms, and it’s been a wonderful adventure so far. 

Read Mak’s full story, with case studies, in the November 2021 issue of YPN. 

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