Professional Rugby Players Secure 12 Unit Apartment Block | Rent To Rent
Samuel Leeds here. I recently had a two-night stay in a serviced apartment in Pontefract, which two of my students, Jesse Sene-Lefao and Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e, secured on a rent-to-rent basis. They are also two of my favourite rugby players on the planet. Jesse plays for the Castleford Tigers, while Q plays for the Keighley Cougars.
I first met Jesse and Q two years ago, when they attended the crash course. And it's there they learnt about serviced apartments, which saw them begin building their property portfolio by acquiring several rent-to-rent serviced apartments. They're now directors of Tryline Property, a company that offers serviced accommodations.
Recently, Jesse and Q decided to go big by going straight to a developer and renting an entire building! And that's how The Cube came to be. The Cube has 12 apartments, consisting of 11 1-bedroom apartments and one 2-bedroom apartment. My videographer and I stayed in one of the apartments for two nights. And during our visit, only two of the 12 apartments were vacant. Keep in mind this was just three weeks since they opened their doors.
What Makes the Cube Stand Out From an Average Hotel
The Cube's biggest competitor is hotels. And from my own experience staying at The Cube, feedback from other guests in the property, and what I learned from Jesse and Q as they showed me around, here's why The Cube is like a hotel, but better:
- The apartments are notably spacious.
- Every apartment is fully furnished. Each has a washing machine and a fully equipped kitchen so you can cook your own meals. It's a home away from home.
- The main door entrance has a punch code door lock for security purposes.
- Have a mesh WiFi system to provide uninterrupted access to a strong WiFi signal strength wherever you are on the property. And I can attest The Cube's internet is fast.
- You don't have to go through the sometimes tedious check-in process thanks to a key lock box system that simplifies the issuing of room keys to guests. Like Jesse explained, “You put in your code. You get your key. And then you're in.” Q then added that in future, they would look into installing smart door locks, allowing their guests to unlock their doors using their phones.
- The furniture in the apartments, courtesy of TMT Furniture Solutions, is quite comfortable. Most bedrooms have a zip & link bed, which can be attached or separated, depending on the guests' preferences. And there's also a sofa bed in the living room, so whether one or three guests, there's enough room for a comfortable stay. “It's flexible. So when people are booking it, you can advertise it in multiple ways,” I remarked, adding that it was a clever strategy. “We use that strategy because a lot of our guests are contractors,” Jesse explained.
- It's close to the centre, or as Jesse put it, it's just a “20-second walk. So it was such a short walk to breakfast.
What Is the Average Length of Stay (ALOS)?
“It's a two night minimum,” Q told me, but they have had guests who have stayed for weeks, including one that's been staying there for three weeks. And another of their guests, who had been there for five days, recently extended their stay for another week. So the ALOS varied.
Where Did They Obtain Financing for the Serviced Apartments?
Jesse and Q, who was initially hesitant to do serviced apartments on such a big scale, pulled in seven investors on this project. So it's a joint venture property investment. What I wanted to know, however, is how much did they personally invest? “Zero,” Q responded.
How Much Profit Are They Expecting to Make Per Month?
Per apartment, as Q explained, they're currently making £600 to £800 a month per apartment. “Oh wow,” I remarked, reaching for my phone to calculate their estimated monthly profit, which was as follows:
- Average monthly profit per apartment: £700
- Number of apartments: 12
- Total estimated monthly profit: £8,400
What Role, If Any, Do Their Wives Play in Their Property Business?
Jesse and Q's wives were at first unsure about property investment. But they now work full-time for Tryline Property, and they basically run the show. “We'll still go out and get deals and view properties while they look after all the management side of things,” Q explained. He also revealed that if they think a property has the potential of being a serviced apartment, they'll bring along their wives for confirmation.
Jesse agreed, saying that while they're good at getting deals, talking to developers, and the like, they're other stuff they wouldn't know where to begin. For instance, systemizing check-ins, using Uplisting, taking deposits, and much more. So they're very much partners in life and business with their wives, just like Amanda and I.
How Did They Advertise the Serviced Apartments
Jesse explained that they advertised The Cube on Booking.com and Airbnb. But they also had some direct bookings thanks to word of mouth. No surprise there because I noticed Jesse and Q were quite popular in the area.
“His nickname is the people's champ,” Q revealed, pointing at Jesse. “You even look a bit like The Rock,” I said in response. They went on to kid that Dwane Johnson was Q's uncle, which I had genuinely believed because they look similar. The reason being Jesse and Q, like The Rock, are Samoans.
Learning From Past Mistakes
The Cube is classy and inviting, which is the exact opposite of Jesse and Q's first serviced apartment. “The quality was poor man,” I revealed about the latter, “You tried to copy me in Sheffield, but you didn't quite get the X factor right,” I added.
“We tried to cut corners … and we thought we could make it work,” Q explained, saying how they decided not to go all out as far as furnishing was concerned in their first serviced apartment. But it came back to bite them. “That's why all our stuff is brand new now,” Jesse cut in.
“I love it, guys. You did a great, great job. I'll be staying more often for sure,” I told them proudly.
“Experience is perfect. Exactly what we need for the four-day stay. Absolutely fantastic,” one of the guests told us when I asked what their experience staying at The Cube was so far.
“Thank you everyone. This is Tryline property. I'm Jesse. This is Q. That's Samuel. Let's go. See the next clip,” Jesse said excitedly, signing off.
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