I started a new joint venture recently, working with a landlord to turn his (ahem!) slightly tired rental into a sparkling and attractive Serviced Apartment.
Not every flat lends itself to such endeavours, a Serviced Apartment needs some degree of kerb appeal, a location where there may be demand (not necessarily a holiday location, but somewhere with good transport links). A suitable property will have neighbours who are neither anti-social (the guests will complain) or overly interested (the neighbours will complain). A slightly quirky property can work well, rooms need to be generously sized and parking is a huge bonus (but this is Southsea after all).
The landlord, operator or both, need to coordinate works to get the property ready. Artex has to go, sockets often need upgrading, tiling, kitchens and bathrooms have to be damage free and modern. Carpets and flooring will need an upgrade. Everything has to work perfectly.
Internally, a Serviced Apartment needs some resources thrown in to bring it up to the right standard. Speaking as a landlord, this is the bit that is hard to swallow. It takes a substantial cash injection or a series of credit or hire agreements to kit out the apartment to the right standard. People are on holiday and expect good quality appliances, comfortable and spotlessly clean upholstery. Additional spending is needed on nice light fittings and well-made curtains or blinds. The kitchen and household inventory runs to about 150 small items to make the house a home. Not just a financial commitment but a considerable amount of shopping time as well.
When the shopping is done, the unpacking completed and the cardboard packaging disposed of you are ready for the ‘reveal’. It is time to get the cleaners in to polish and dress the apartment ready for the photographer. Your photos are your selling tool so this is the best opportunity to show off the apartment.
Thanks to the landlord in question, his team and my team, the building works have gone smoothly and, 6 weeks in, I am ready to take over with the furnishing and finishing, photography, marketing and sales. The Landlord has secured a long term return on his property, the property has gained in value thanks to the refurb and will be kept immaculate. He can even stop over himself or use the resource to accommodate friends or family. From now on he is back in a 'hands-off' position.