Starting a serviced accommodation business – at the age of 19!

Serviced accommodation property

Harry Williams shows what you can achieve in just 5 months

by Julie Whitmore, YPN writer and property investor.

Serviced accommodation bedroom

Growing up with a dad who had invested in property, at the age of 19 Harry Williams was motivated by the idea of passive income and wanted to get into property himself.

He started watching YouTube videos to develop his knowledge then during lockdown he got a job because he couldn’t attend college. That helped him to fund property and mentorship training courses.

In an article in the October 2021 issue, Harry shares how he found his current business partner through attending his first formal training course, and has since gone on to grow a serviced accommodation (SA) and management company.

As he didn’t yet have the capital to buy, he focussed on a rent-to-rent (R2R) strategy. He made the decision to go into serviced accommodation because he had been put off HMOs after seeing the state that his father’s student properties had been left in – and having the experience of cleaning them afterwards.

Due to his age, however, Harry felt that he needed to bring more value to what he could offer. He therefore started a podcast called “I know nothing about property” with a co-host who was experienced in R2R, who then became his business partner. He set himself a challenge to find his first R2R in a week and made 156 calls in two days without success, an achievement that would have put off even the most determined of us!

Rent to rent for serviced accommodation

Not to be defeated, he contacted one of his mentors, Dave Goodfellow of the Ikonic Training Academy and following Dave’s advice, he went onto close his first deal a few days later.

Harry also shares the importance of persistence and follow up with landlords – this was how he secured his first deal. Through building the relationship, the landlord went on to offer him three other properties; persistence pays!

Through Ikonic, he learned the systems required and how to implement these to be able to run the business from his phone, in addition to identifying and implementing processes and the use of VAs (virtual assistants). Taking the time and effort to do this eventually enabled Harry and his partner to stand back from the day-to-day operations.  He also explains how important it was having the right mentor to guide him.  

With three R2R serviced accommodation units, they recognised how much capital they needed to set up their properties. To grow their business therefore, they took on the management of other serviced accommodation properties to help them build further equity to re-invest and grow. Any experienced investor will confirm how quickly equity can be consumed, and the importance of cashflow generating strategies.

Within five months the portfolio has reached three R2R and sixteen managed serviced accommodation units and is still growing. An incredible achievement in such a short space of time, particularly considering this was in the midst of Covid-19. It’s an inspiration to anyone who thinks they don’t have the knowledge or experience to get started. This article is a MUST read.

To read the full article and the details of the case study, subscribe to YPN magazine.

Harry Williams: Bedroom in serviced accommodation property

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