Hi, and welcome to an Introduction to Social Property Investment Online Learning with me, Amy Varle. Now thank you so much for joining us on this training course which I am so excited to deliver because it is really the culmination of about ten years worth of work for me. To be able to put this into now a tangible model and lots of different strategies, systems and procedures, and ways of doing things and ways of not doing things. And we're able to band that together now and put that under the bracket of social property investment and move forward, with hopefully with the ability to find new solutions to affordable housing challenges that we're facing in the UK.
So you probably now already what social property investment is all about but just in case you want a little refresh before we kick off with the training. We're going to talk a little bit about what is social property investment and how does it differentiate between from other sections of the housing market. So we have the social market. We have the buy-to-let market. We have housing associations and we've got some new alternative housing models and structures that are coming now, and some quite innovative work that is being done in housing too.
Corporation Housing - Private Development - Social Property Investment - Housing Associations - Buy-To-Let
Social Property investment is about a collaborative strategy and it's about not just working on your own and looking for your own gain and your own projects, doing everything yourself. It's about creating a collaborative model which can benefit numerous parties, and numerous parties can be involved in both putting into the project and taking out of the project too.
So social property investment is about utilizing the strengths, talents and resources, of the public, private and third party sectors.
It is important to differentiate between Buy-To-Let's LHA Strategy and Social Property Investment. So what traditionally landlords who would let to tenants who claiming local housing allowance which is housing benefit for those in receipt of a low household income. So traditionally landlords would work on the local housing allowance strategy or the LHA strategy. For me this was a little confusing because when I entered into the marketplace, as a social entrepreneur and learned about the LHA strategy I found there wasn't actually any strategy, behind the so-called strategy.
There's no manual or guidance, or kind of advice for best practice or how to work to a very good standard in this marketplace and so I found that investors and landlords, and letting agents who were operating within this marketplace and let's not forget it's a huge marketplace. They are doing that without any support and any guidance which I find crazy.
So I decided to use my own experience with working in the public sector. So I am, for my sins, and ex-council employee and I spent about eight years working in the local authority in my hometown.
I worked in a variety of roles ranging from supporting people with learning disabilities towards independence within the local community and their own tenancies, supported people with mental health challenges. To working with asylum seekers and refugees with UK contract for asylum and resettlement. Managing property there which obviously of course is a very diverse portfolio of properties to manage. I've worked within the homeless and housing department too and also spent some time working with trafficked children which was extremely interesting, and working with children who are being resettled from care.
As you can see I've worked in this field for a long long time and it was towards the end of my career with the local authority that I had this brainwave. I thought, "this is crazy" I can see we're really dealing with the repercussions of the global finance crash of 2008.
An early indication of the turbulence which lay ahead was first sensed by front line public service staff.
We were seeing within the local authority offices where we worked a huge increase in a demand for services. Homelessness was spiraling out of control. We could see that early on. I mean I am talking about going back to around 2010/11 and we could see, working in that environment, we could see the increase in homelessness. We could see the increase in people struggling to manage properties, struggling to manage finances.
Increase in Demand for Services + Reductions in Public Resources
We were dealing with those repercussions. We were dealing with a reduction in resources. As we were dealing with cuts in budgets, and reductions in staff members. We were having new duties put upon us and having to do double the amount of work we had to do. I could see it was a crisis just waiting to happen. I couldn't understand why we weren't looking more strongly to work with the private renting sector.
"The most frequently cited reason for loss of the last settled home is now the ending of an assured short-hold tenancy in the private sector."
"In the first quarter of 2016 this reason was behind 41% of all statutory homeless acceptances in London."UK Gov
Fast forward a few years and I've been doing this role for now, just entering in the year 2017. I've been here for about five years in this marketplace. I can understand now there are reservations about working within the private rented sector. We have some huge challenges to overcome as we attempt to bridge the gap. As there are two very different marketplaces.
I set up People's Property Shop up back in 2012. I aimed to bring a bit of my experience from the public sector. Bring this into the private sector and hopefully enable landlords, property agents and investors. Those who were working operationally in this marketplace to have a little bit more assistance in doing it. As they can seemed to feel like they were going for it alone.
I thought why is there not a helpline? Why is there not a designated website for landlords that can help them? We're berating landlords all the time. The press is always berating landlords and we're hearing about bad landlords, and overcrowding. Fines for this and tenants are being evicted.
They're not qualified or trained or experienced at knowing how to resolve a lot of these issues. They are doing so without guidance or support. I decided to bring all that together. You're going to learn the journey we've taken. How we've been able to build this model.
What we've done with this is we've really focused on some key elements with the social property investment model. Our first area of attention that we focus on is maximizing profit and cost effectiveness. Every investment property investment is not going to work if it's not performing. It should be financially viable. That's a real key area for us to look at throughout the course of this training.
Transcript for this course from this point on has been condensed and formatted for ease of learning.
The next area to look at is protecting your risk.
We can do this in a number of ways:
Making a difference:
We can make a difference in the lives of people by providing them with affordable housing. This can help to improve their quality of life and give them a chance to get ahead.
With these tips, we reduce risk. Resulting with making a difference in the lives of others.
This training course is not intended to provide professional financial advice. Participants should consult financial advice when making investment decisions.