This is the story of UOWN's first development: Village Street.
Property prices go up as well as down, so you might not get out what you put in. The same goes for how much rent we collect. Our forecasting tools help with the guesswork but they're not a reliable way to predict the future. Please also note that invested capital is illiquid and is not protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.Ok, got it
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Naveen Ahmed: I’m Naveen Ahmed, MD of the Parklane Group of Companies.
Interviewer: How do you find the right property?
Naveen Ahmed: It’s about knowing your area really, really well, speaking to the agents and knowing your numbers and what you can get out of it, knowing what the cost of conversion is, what sort of rents you can get for the property. You have to be very, very switched on and know your marketplace.
Interviewer: Any advice for working with builders?
Naveen Ahmed: With contractors and builders, I think it’s about agreeing what you want. The specification needs to be right with them. You get the right payment plans with them, so you don’t – you make sure they don’t get ahead of themselves. You know, they suddenly might want some extra money. You have to be very careful of them getting ahead of themselves. But I think once you get into a relationship with a good builder, they’re like gold dust. You keep them. You
get them to the next project and then you are a reliable source of income for them as well.
Interviewer: What are the best ways of adding value to a property?
Naveen Ahmed: There are lots of ways of adding value. So simply a house is looking very drab. It hasn’t been modernised. The kitchen is old. It hasn’t been double-glazed. The bathroom needs doing. So you buy that property. You get in there. You do that makeover, put the new kitchen in, new bathroom in, double-glaze it, make it all look very, very presentable and then you sell it back on the marketplace and you have made – you should usually make a gain on that. That’s a very simple way of adding value to a property. But there are many, many other ways. You can add value property to doing a loft conversion. That has suddenly added you two bedrooms or a bedroom up in the loft or you’re doing a basement conversion. In the old days, we used to go into some of these big Victorian terraced houses. There were massive rooms and split them into two. So you’re adding value to that property straight away.
Interviewer: How do you chose the interiors for your developments?
Naveen Ahmed: We live in an Instagrammable culture where people love taking photographs of really good interiors and showing them with their friends and that’s what you have to try and create. You create an interior that people are really wanting to share with their family and friends. So for me I’m always watching and seeing what the latest trends are, the colours are, the fashion is, furniture, you know, travel around the world to furniture exhibitions, seeing what’s
coming and you don’t have to spend a lot. You need certain pieces that actually look good, that stand out, that people go, “Wow! That’s fantastic.” So that is my strategy when I’m refurbishing a property.
Interviewer: What are your top tips for selling a property?
Naveen Ahmed: My thing with it is first of all, somebody is going to see the property best on your websites, your sales particulars, the images that you use, the floor plans, the visuals, the CGIs. Very, very important you get that right. So that gets them in to ring you up and actually come and have a look at the property.
But if the heating isn’t on, the room is cold, lights, bulb is not working or anything like that, you’ve lost it. You’ve spent a lot of money to get that person to come and have a look at that property. So for me, it’s important that you dress it. It’s like a home. It needs to look lived in. It needs to look absolutely superb and as if it’s a show flat and if you can get that right, you will sell it, you will let it and that’s what we specialise in.
Naveen Ahmed is MD of the Parklane Group of companies, which includes a 50% stake in UOWN.