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INTERVIEW: The HMO expert setting up ambitious service for UK landlords

richard nicholls hmo sales expert

An HMO firm has launched with the ambitious aim of becoming the sector’s go-to property platform for sale, purchases, training and compliance.

HMO Sales Expert aims to address current inconsistencies by creating a network of partner HMO managing agents around the country, who will then be able to plug good quality stock into a national network.

“We want to create structure and consistency in HMO valuation and sales by creating a national company with local knowledge along with the expertise to be able to assess each property,” business development manager Richard Nicholls (main image) tells LandlordZONE.

Traditional property sales platforms don’t have a function to search for HMOs while estate agents don’t always understand HMO-specific legislation and how to package them for sale, asserts Nicholls.

Recognising that HMOs will sell for more if they are compliant, the company will also act as an agent, ensure all properties are planning and licensing-compliant and that they achieve a certain standard.

“I’ve valued about 300 HMO so far this year and would only take on about 90 of these because the rest wouldn’t get to the required level,” he explains.

“Plenty of investors buy an HMO with high expectations after going on training courses but some have issues when they refinance too much - due to overzealous lending - which creates a lot of churn in the sector.

“There can also be issues with immature relationships when landlords are encouraged to go into partnerships too early.”

The firm aims to offer partners HMO valuation and sales training and to become a nationally recognised brand and fully operational platform within about 18 months.

HMO Sales Expert has already launched its partnership programme in Plymouth, Doncaster, Leicester, and Peterborough with plans to expand into London, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Manchester, and Stoke-on-Trent later this year.

“We want to manage investors’ expectations and for them to realise that higher yields come with higher risks – that’s about making realistic valuations and knowing the local market,” he adds.