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Finding my special niche


Shiny pennies in the property world…I am by nature discontent and fidgety. Having a property business fits this very well as all manner of things get thrown at you, but the latest idea to take my attention is a keeper for me.

Unexpected Opportunities 

My background is in teaching children with Special Needs, both learning and behaviour difficulties. Although this have given me confidence to deal with any misbehaviour in my holiday lets, I didn't feel that my skills or approach were particularly useful in the shark-infested waters of the property world. The bullish behaviour, cut-throat deals and tussles of the property developer hold little excitement for me. Holiday lets are great, the properties look terrific, the majority of guests are very nice and if not, they are soon gone.

An online connection with a certain Sylvia Mahal (follow her on facebook, an amazing lady) has been an eye opener. Sylvie has fostered disabled children and always struggled to find decent, well equipped holiday accommodation. There is, in particular, very little in Portsmouth even though we have a relatively accessible City and these guests would love to visit. Could this be an opportunity?

At last, we are getting things off the ground with our new venture. Sylvia has a similar work background to myself, she is a social worker and foster parent, she also has a rebellious twinkle in her eye and a stubborn streak. We immediately bonded. Our new mission is to provide disabled-adapted holiday homes in the local area.

Our current challenge is finding suitable properties. We have been gazumped, found x3 bungalows in Portsmouth that were all sold within 24 hours and 1 adapted property that wasn't suitable as it needed a massive overhaul and was beyond our budget. Perhaps this is where you could keep your eyes open for us? Do any landlords out there have a disability-adapted property that they may consider repurposing for holiday use? Or a ground floor/bungalow, with parking, that could have doors widened and a wet room put in? We are open to rent, buy or manage any such property on the South Coast. I am viewing in Devon this week so we are prepared to travel but, of course, would love to find suitable places in Sunny Portsmouth. If you can help please drop me a line, the figures are as attractive as the notion of doing something helpful!

With the local sales and rental market on fire at the moment, do holiday lets still look attractive? The volatility of the market over the last year has certainly given food for thought, we had empty weeks in the Winter and the numbers have not looked so great in 2020/21. Will this Winter bring more Covid misery to travellers? Would returning to the ease of AST make sense for me? I have just booked in my team for a new renovation (only 4 flats to go now before the portfolio is as bright as a new penny), the first of the holiday lets are now 5 years old and in need of refreshing too. I have to decide how to pay for it….looks like the holiday lets are here to stay for at least a few more years to complete my mission to have properties that I can be proud of and potentially sell for their best value, or else be free of major repair worries for many years to come.

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