In 2010 Cathy Colston quit her high-flying job with Boots with a view to replacing her previous salary with income from buy-to-let investments. She recently told the Telegraph about her successful change in career.
In the four years since she gave up her Boots role Ms Colston has built up a property empire of more than a dozen properties – and enjoys an average yield of 15 per cent.
That figure is a lot higher than the 5 or 6 per cent that most UK buy-to-lets receive, and vastly superior to most London lets. One of the key reasons for this larger income is that she manages her lets as HMOs, or ‘houses in multiple occupation’. She also chose locations outside London, including Cardiff and Bristol.
Each of her properties house around six sharers – most of these being young professionals. Ms Colston says HMOs with young professionals produce the highest yield – but that it is not the easiest way to make money from buy to let. The former Boots executive does not recommend the area for part-time investors or those with little time to manage their properties.
Talking about her success in the Telegraph she said that offering high quality accommodation was key to success with young professionals. Such properties are in short supply, she says. Ms Colston also spoke of the importance of finding the right tenants for a particular house, with age group and gender being important considerations.
Ms Colston demands that her margins are over 10 per cent, chiefly due to fears over interest rate rises and the potential for vacant properties.
If you want to find out more about Ms Colston’s success, take a look at the Telegraph article. And if you are planning to rent out a property in the near future, ensure you are fully protected with a specialist let property insurance policy.