Not many landlords can say that they started out in the sector before reaching double figures, but Arsh Ellahi learnt the ropes from his father while still a young child.
“I remember going around with him, collecting coins from meters and I would take calls to set up viewings when I was only about 10 years old,” he remembers.
After leaving university, Arsh soon took on even more responsibility for his family’ property portfolio, then rapidly began to grow his own. Those early lessons obviously paid off because he now has more than 1,000 tenants in and around Wolverhampton in a wide mix of residential properties, from single flats to a 23-bed HMO – the majority of whom are benefit claimants.
“If you understand the sector and the benefits system it can be quite lucrative,” Arsh tells LandlordZONE. “It’s a sustainable strategy over a long period and means I wasn’t really affected by the pandemic and lockdown.”
His success buying and selling properties, first through agents then auctions, led to an interest in deal sourcing – marketing ‘investment ready’ properties to investors that can sometimes have tenants in them and an established income and profit – and went on to develop this into the Property Investor app which boasts 35,000 users.
Arsh also founded a mentorship programme as a platform to share his property knowledge and experience. He insists that he wants to help people become more rounded investors rather than make a quick buck – unlike some training companies operating in the sector.
“The UK needs more regulation in this area,” he says. “However, we also need more protection as landlords because the power has shifted towards tenants which means that landlords can be thousands of pounds in arrears before they get their properties back.”
All those issues are discussed on Arsh’s regular podcast and YouTube videos as he’s happy to share his views and experiences with others. He’s also shared his story in a book, Boom, Bust and Back Again, detailing the good and bad times, and how he recovered from the property crash.
“Now is the perfect time to take advantage of lots of HMOs and blocks of flats coming onto the market as some of the older landlords are leaving the sector,” he advises.
“But the days of wood chip and magnolia are over as we’re seeing HMOs on the market up to the standard of boutique hotels. There are plenty of opportunities if you’re willing to adapt.”
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Pic Credit: Elite Property Tribe