Homebear – Setting up & keeping a subletting business afloat through business structuring, CBILS & more

Overview
Homebear is managed by Mr. Roberto Locci and Mrs. Yuko Locci, both of whom are property market veterans having a combined experience of more than three decades.

Being immigrants into the UK, not only do they understand the pain points of tenants wishing to buy a well furnished dwelling with all amenities included, but also know what landlords look for when they give their properties off for subletting. Based on these insights, Homebear was envisioned as a property subletting business in 2013.

Challenge
After identifying a market gap for this business, Roberto and Yuko were unsure about how to go about forming and structuring a company that would optimally serve the business purpose while providing maximum returns to the entrepreneurs. That is when they approached Lanop.

Since Lanop had provided business, financial and accounting advice to several subletting businesses before, Roberto and Yuko sought Zaib’s help in tackling these issues.

A pertinent issue in the property market was aggressive trading of properties. Usually, tenant’s deposits provided upfront cash flow to these companies which was invested into new properties without estimating the demand of their customers. These companies relied heavily on ‘build it and they will come’ approach and seldom used modern marketing techniques to entice customers into using their services.

Moreover, they were unaware of their variable and fixed costs at each individual property level which led to negative margins in some properties resulting in overall decline in profitability. On top of it, Roberto and Yuko were unsure about whether they should register for VAT or not.

How Lanop Helped
Lanop’s experience with firms operating in this sector helped Roberto and Yuko set direction for Homebear and avoid the pitfalls of countless other firms who went under in the property subletting business.

By helping them with company formation, Homebear was structured in a manner that maximized the wealth of its shareholders. Lanop then carried out market analysis for them and apprised them of their VAT exempted status after its correspondence with HMRC.  Afterwards, Lanop transferred all of their tenants and landlords records on cloud based accounting software – XERO which helps them monitor each property as a separate business unit.

Additionally, Lanop advised them to ensure the safety of tenant’s deposits through a deposit protection scheme called ‘Client Money Protect’. This helped them list and monitor their fixed and variable expenses and set subletting prices accordingly – while setting caps on utility usages to maintain margins.

Furthermore, Lanop also suggested setting up concurrent revenue streams by providing property maintenance services e.g. plumbers, electricians, locksmith etc. to tenants at market competitive rates.

Recently, we witnessed Homebear’s cash flow position deteriorate after completion of their annual accounts. It was then that Lanop recommended them on getting funding through Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and assisted them in the end to end process of receiving a CBILS loan facility.

Client remarks:

We know Zaib for so long now that he seems like a family member to us. He is someone you can call up at any time and ask for advice on anything. His advice on business is spot on and he also connects you with the right people. We take Zaib’s input on all important business decisions. Even if he is not the expert on something, he’ll usually connect you to one or take us along to meet him. That’s how interested he is in your business and your success.

Expressing their satisfaction over getting CBILS application approved, the client further remarked:

Recently, we were having cash flow problems during the coronavirus outbreak and Zaib not only told us about CBILS but also helped us through the cumbersome process to get our loan application approved. He surely is one of a kind business advisor and accountant in London who is very proactive in helping businesses.”

 

 

 

 

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Client:

Homebear

Country:

United Kingdom

Sector:

Real Estate/Property

Services Provided:

Company Formation, Accounting, XERO, Payroll, Tax Returns, Market Analysis, Business and Financial Advice, CBILS

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