How to scale your Serviced Accommodation business with David Diack

The Boost Hospitality Podcast is back for another season! And we are now in Season 6. And this time, we are currently on the sixth episode of season six! In the sixth episode of season six podcast, I have an exceptional guest who will be talking about scaling a Serviced Accommodation business with us and how to do it properly.

Scaling your Serviced Accommodation Business with David Diack

David DiackDavid Diack is based in Southend on the sea in Essex. He has been involved in serviced accommodation business for a long time.

And he has gone from a standing start, now experienced 65 units to strong pipeline and building the business daily.

Got a strong team in place, and he values where the business is all about, building that business that's built to scale from day one.

So they have implemented systems, they got the team they got operations, got manuals, everything in place.

So that they can build this business, and it's an ability to grow and continue growing at the pace is effective.

What was your background before you got into the world of Serviced Accommodation Business and property?

So I've always been one of the people that wanted to get into the business. Probably when I was 18 or 19, I was trying to think up the next kind of intention, not what can I do next?

Like what business can I start, and I was working at a Family Computer shop, selling, you know, fixing computers, the setting that loads of ink and toner consumables.

And I dislike, you know what, there's a market here for ink cartridges and toner cartridges that people are buying all around the country.

So I could buy him a lot of 35 p to a pound, seven for fibre. So I quit my job, took out a three-year lease in an office. My first member of the staff realised I didn't know anything about setting anything about business, just jumped into the deep end.

And within a year or two, I had five members of staff doing pretty well in terms of turnover in 2000.

Then yell, I mean, the significant learning happens, you know, the big loan was like growing a business too quickly, without any systems or team in place.

And it comes crashing down pretty quick and left me in a bit of a sour situation, and I was like, look do I want to be sitting behind a desk managing people?

Then started getting more involved

And from that point, I got involved in property, and I began to attend a few courses. I think we've all probably done some training here and there.

During that process, I learned how to apply the gap in the market to record it, where people were looking to do these big deals, investing time energy and doing deals, but didn't know how to raise funds for the sales.

So I spent I got work with a mentor who I met along the way.

He taught me like a hell of a lot about how to raise finance, but build relationships.

And we spent a couple of years connecting the two.

So finding investors and finding developers and linking them together.

Now the cool thing with that is that you can learn a fantastic skillset and you can add serious value to people's lives and businesses and change it.

But what they struggle with is cash flow because it's like you know, the significant development takes time to happen.

So a guy who I'm probably event funny enough, and I was attending, so that they will live in the south end about his serviced accommodation business you ever look at?

I have a better look at it. I say that was it. It wasn't it. We started talking about it pondering the idea for a while done a bit of due diligence and research and said: “Well, you know, he's got a great leisure market”.

What was the process? What were the obstacles that came up at that time, and what can you recommend to people?

So I tell everyone, the first deal was your hardest deal. I mean, you know, you don't know what to say to agents, you don't have to position yourself, we don't know, really know you don't feel very confident in what you're doing.

Because you don't know what you're doing or how it works, you just trying to sort of share your vision, I guess.

So we spent a lot of times we're doing like in learning that process. And I always say to my clients, look, wherever you go, whoever you speak, to document it, learn from it.

And next time you go back, handle that objection and turn it into positive and how it benefits them. So that was going on for two or three months.

The first significant mistakes we call or learn was that we found a private land or the properties. I don't even really care about these properties and mobile, and I look we can turn these two bedrooms flat.

How long have you been doing serviced accommodation? Did you coincide it with starting up your essay business?

I'm a very reserved person personally like you probably would say a lot about what we do in business and how the industry works, but very little about me.

And you know, something I've struggled with for quite a long time to sort of put myself out there if you want to call it that, right.

But you know, at the same time, like we were building a serviced accommodation business where like, we were 72 steps in front of the people that started, and there are people that steps ahead of us still.

So we as we started coaching and training company, we said you know what, let's share the highs and the lows, and everything happens and not just be real with it.

Because the more real that we find that we can be like, it's just art. This is what happens in our week. One minute, you've got, you know, a fantastic deal happening and it will spend it.

Maybe the next thing you know, you've got an issue with a guest. It's called a big problem and a kerfuffle. I mean, even today.

So I mean, these things happen. And it's important to share it but not just share the fact that you know, this is what happens, you say this is what I've learned from it if we could share the upside.

What's been your biggest takeaway? And what sort of advice could you pass on to anybody else who's at that stage?

I have a couple of examples, if I select the share, invite. So example number one is, it's all building relationships.

Like however you do it, how we are now with everybody that I meet. Whether it's with our cleaning team, whether it's their maintenance team agents, whoever it might be.

For clients that are on the same of every person, my goal is to reinforce our relationships and always be, improving them, right, because businesses built at the back of that.

So that's been vital for us investors as well, in the sense that we've been able to grow at a good pace because we're very approachable, we've got good relationships, you're transparent, which means that we can have the kind of conversations that enable them to move forward.

And even the difficult conversations, you can still get them on as well, because they're the most important or important ones.

Now, I would say that the main thing, like if you're coming off of training, and you're like, what do I do now, the natural thing is to go out there and say; “Well, I think I can achieve this night, you're right”.

This is what I want to get. And this is what I think will work and I'm going to go and get an apartment and do that and not spend enough time on the planning and analysis side.

To listen to the full episode of this podcast, go to Boostly Hospitality Podcast.

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