Arden Hanley is a property investor, business owner, consultant and trainer. Having experience across multiple property investment strategies and related businesses such as lettings management, sourcing and property consultancy. A landlord and business owner for 20 years, trainer, mentor and coach to the property industry for 12 years, member of the Property Educators Accreditation scheme and a CPD trainer, Arden has not only extensive experience in the industry, but also a track record of using that experience to train others to achieve their property goals.
Buy To Let & Social Housing
With previous buy-to-let experience in Australia, Arden was immediately drawn to this as a primary strategy. Today, Arden has an extensive buy to let portfolio in the UK that he has built in Northampton, Nottingham and Hull. He has a range of houses for family lets, rented to both working tenants and within the social housing sector, and flats serving the young professional market. Arden says, “I think buy to let is the foundation of any successful property portfolio and this part of my portfolio was what allowed me to first achieve financial freedom. I think every investor needs to learn the fundamentals of buy to let, even if they ultimately choose to focus on other strategies within their portfolio because there are so many simple but important lessons to learn around being a good landlord and managing tenants effectively that you get from understanding this core strategy.”
HMO & Rent To Rent
HMO was a natural progression from initial Buy to Let purchases to “increase my cash flow and take advantage of market conditions in my target area at that time being Nottingham.” With an extensive HMO portfolio, his preference are a larger number of smaller HMOs i.e. 4-6 tenants rather than a smaller number of large HMOs, although he has experience of both. How can an investor make this strategy work for them? “I believe HMO provides an excellent income stream and if done correctly can be a very stable income stream as well. I think the key to a successful HMO is setting it up correctly from the outset to make it as attractive and user friendly for tenants, and identify potential cost centres or savings before tenants go in and empowering my lettings agents to put together the right tenant mix to create a harmonious environment.”
Distressed Property & Adding Value
Every property that Arden has purchased has been distressed to some degree, as he says “I believe this is the one true route to make money out of property.” He has applied the lessons he has learnt on smaller projects as he has moved on to larger more complex investment properties. It’s also given him the opportunity to work with distressed sellers which he regards as a core skill in a property investor’s arsenal. As Arden says, “With a distressed seller, you are a solution provider trying to create a win/win situation where you can offer a route for the seller to sell the property that removes their financial burden, while at the same time offering an opportunity for you as an investor to make a fair profit.”
Commercial to Residential & Development
As his confidence has grown, so has Arden’s willingness to commit to more complicated projects and he has successfully adopted commercial to residential conversions as a strategy since 2013 primarily working with either disused retail or office space which is in abundance in the UK. It’s not hard to see the appeal, as Arden says, “I find that there is a huge opportunity for value uplift in this strategy as the closer you get to effectively a shell, the more opportunities you have to make money.’
There are a number of options for approaching the acquisition of a portfolio, whether it’s title splitting a block of flats, via a freehold/leasehold strategy, organising a share buyout of a property company, or structuring a staggered sale to maximise buyer and seller value and tax savings. Arden has experience dealing with the simple acquisition of a portfolio to the complex and sometimes challenging world of dealing with portfolios in trouble, direct to owners, via agents, liquidators or administrators.
Complimentary businesses and deal structuring
Having an interest in a lettings agency, experience running a sourcing business/property consultancy for 7 years and working with multiple business partners has taught Arden the value of building business clusters to support each other and working with business partners and private investors to make business happen. ‘Property deals can come together from your own resources, time and effort, but as your ambitions grow and the opportunities get bigger, it’s important to think about how private finance and joint ventures can create profit for you and your partners. I’d rather have a cut of something than the whole of nothing.’
Mentorship & Training
For Arden, it’s an honour to be invited to mentor to share his knowledge with others which provides enormous, personal satisfaction. Even though he’s not naturally outgoing, Arden admits that “As a self-confessed property geek, if you ask me questions about property, I’m happy to talk for days.” He encourages his mentees to “Soak up as much as you can from people who have done it before and been successful. Soak up the knowledge for sure, but also the motivation and mindset.” He concludes, “I don't think there is any better way to start in property than to work side by side with someone who has been where you are starting from and has proved how to make it work.”