From 80-90 Hours Weeks Creating Serviced Accommodation Business Success To Stepping Out Of His Comfort Zone To Step Back and Give Back!
Ed Newbold joined Touchstone Education’s Wealth Academy in April 2023 with a leisure property portfolio valuing £3,000,000 and asset managing 60 serviced accommodation properties. Whilst Ed’s business was extremely successful, he wanted to push through his reserved side to maximise his potential and impact on others. Now Ed is challenging his shyness and building his confidence, all while shoring up the tax efficiency of his business!
Touchstone Education supports property investors at every stage of their wealth journey, from those starting out with no money to experienced investors looking for personalised mentoring to reach the next level. With 31 years in the leisure and hospitality industry and over 250,000 guest holidays under his belt, Ed Newbold is firmly under the latter category.
Here’s what Ed had to say...
“I was originally inspired to invest in property as I recognised the need to invest in a commercial cash-generating asset class that can deliver returns and solid capital growth. Hospitality is a field I have a historic skill set in, so I figured why not provide serviced accommodation?
“My first property project was a 35-bedroom end-of-life hotel in Torquay (yes! I was Basil, Cybil and Manuel all rolled into one!) It really was the worst hotel, but the fantastic location made it a great choice. My original purchase was made with hard bridging finance and personal investment. Losing no time, I secured the long-term viability of the business by obtaining fixed contracts with National coach holiday operators to guarantee 12-month occupancy and local all-year-round employment for a team of 15. Because of the rapid recovery of the asset and guaranteed occupancy, I was then able to re-finance through a high street lender (Barclays) after around six months, both paying back the bridging loan and releasing my personal investment back to me (I now use Natwest in my current businesses because they gave me better biscuits!)
“Daring to be different with my occupancy strategy secured me a free hotel using none of my own money and also excellent financial credibility with Barclays. The Hotel was later sold as a going concern.”
“My most recent project has been evidence that even experienced property investors face challenges. It was a vanilla refurbishment of a bar/restaurant using my private funds, with the aim of growing this area of the business and increasing the asset value. There were several issues but one that sticks out is that I forgot that new professional kitchen equipment works on 3-phase electricity and you cannot simply plug it in… £10,000 later and a lot of egg on my face from our sparkies and we have a great space for guests to hang out in, resulting in looser wallets (we love loose wallets!) and a healthy increase in asset value and profit to this area of the business. I also got a better purchasing deal from the brewery because we sell more!”
What does Ed's portfolio look like?
“With my portfolio I have tried to achieve a balanced and educated approach to risk. My portfolio value is circa. £3,000,000 with a low debt LTV Freehold leisure holiday investment that hosts 15,000 guests annually. Additionally, from 2015 – 2023 I have achieved a 68% increase in asset value and 234% return on capital employed in freehold ground rent investment for 124 properties. I also own a fully automated property management agency and asset manager for circa 60 properties providing full letting, housekeeping, keyhold and property management. I own 8 holiday homes from quality apartments to a Grade II Listed 400-year-old property, as well as a fully refurbished bar and restaurant serving great Cornish produce. I am the proud employer of a team of 23 and direct contributor to the economy of Cornwall. Apart from my leisure and serviced accommodation interests, I also own a buy to Let near the Houses of Parliament in London with a blue chip MP tenant and government-backed rent guarantee.
With a portfolio achieving such success already, why has Ed joined Wealth Academy?
“I was brought to Touchstone Education to get out of that comfort zone mindset that I’d fallen into. I needed a network of great people that can push me to the next level. Being a naturally reserved and shy person, I have enlisted Touchstone’s assistance in helping me to smash through this by pushing me to re-install that hunger and fire to maximise what is inside of me.
“I am a delegate of the Wealth Academy and working with my mentor closely to setting granite (not concrete!) plans to expand my business and portfolio. With Touchstone’s help I am conducting a “full system” re-boot of my portfolio to ensure my structure is as tax efficient as possible and cutting any deadwood areas aggressively.
“I am also currently studying the Mindset Mastery module and have begun consistently posting to the Touchstone Education community groups on social media to build my online network and confidence in sharing my property investment tips and tricks with others. I’m also pushing myself to expand my network and develop my confidence in at the regular Deal Clinic and Property Wealth Network events included in the wealth academy package. Socialising comes more easily with good biscuits!”
"Touchstone's support and the investment in myself will allow me to become a multimillionaire and take my exciting property journey to the next step and level and maybe even leave this world a slightly better place."
How has Ed’s life changed since studying with Touchstone Education?
“Touchstone really has been the kick up the …. erm… posterior that I sorely needed. So far I have met some absolutely wonderful people and it really has opened my eyes to the fact that wherever you are, there is absolutely more in the tank and you have to have to confidence to be your best self to achieve it. Every day the wisdom of Touchstone knowledge has helped me, and definitely delivered.”
Why does Ed think that others should invest in property?
“Property has made me a millionaire.”
“I’m extremely lucky that growing my property portfolio has given me the opportunity to do so many things that others are not able to do. I have built a portfolio and a fantastically loyal team that can now be managed remotely. As a lover of travel, setting my businesses up this way allows me the freedom to travel away from the UK 6 – 8 weeks a year.
More importantly, it allowed me the honour and the privilege to be a full-time live-in carer for my elderly mother and father and enrich their final years. I neither had to call a boss for permission to be at my mother’s bedside when she took her last breath nor arrange leave to bring my father home from the hospital and be with him holding his hand during his final moments. Property has allowed me to take care of the most important things in life that we will all face… being with the people that mean the most to us when they leave us.
“Your life clock is ticking. Put in the hard work, challenge yourself, push yourself, scare yourself, get to the edge of chaos, and carve your own fantastic wonderful journey for a peaceful future. It will be fun, it will be scary, but listen, learn, apply, and do it.”
What advice has Ed got for those who want a successful serviced accommodation business?
“The core driver in my business is the customer retention rate which is the real measure of success of any property hospitality business. No guests = no business. It as simple as that. As such, I have implemented and instilled in all my businesses and team a pure focus on “The Guest Journey”. By carefully choreographing and scripting a set of steps that covers the “guest journey” I have created an effective sales funnel with a sales and guest retention results-driven end goal.
“But the guest journey isn’t only about ensuring the smooth day-to-day, you also need to find ways to stand out. I may have built my business with mitigating risk, laser focus to deliver but I am never scared to be different and rip up the rule book and you shouldn’t be either - having fun is just as important!
“Because I love cats, they are the mascots on my marketing materials. All of our guests also get a rubber duck to take with them on their travels. Some may say that’s random. My guests would say it’s memorable, and if you remember a fun touch, you are more likely to return.
“Focus on what you are good at, with passion, and enjoy it. Rinse wash and repeat and keep going…”
What's next for Ed?
“I am at the stage in my career where I want to give back and I have a sincere wish to help other people on their journeys. I’d love to support somebody just getting started to realise their property investment potential.
“I am looking for investment opportunities with clear hold or exit strategies either alone or with joint venture partners to increase my portfolio value to circa £7 500 000 within five years. If you see me on-line (or at an event) – say hello! And if you provide biscuits or chicken nuggets, I am all ears!
“What’s next for me right now? Well, I’m dying for a coffee and I’d better feed the cats.”
What Can Touchstone Education
Do For You?
If you're inspired by Ed's journey and would like to learn more about starting your own Serviced Accommodation portfolio, Paul Smith’s Serviced Accommodation Success Manual includes all the tools you need to start building your serviced accommodation portfolio. And, we’re giving you a copy for nothing!
Don't wait for tomorrow to build the life you've always dreamed of. Start today, and let us guide you every step of the way. Your future self will thank you.
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