Is it the Midlands air or is entrepreneurship encouraged more within families in the East Midlands? I pose this question after talking with Claire Farrington of Farrington Property after they won the coveted award of HMO Investor of the Year at the 2021 Property Investor Awards. As Claire works alongside her sister Amie in running the day to day operation of their sizeable property portfolio, this means that for the second time in three years, two Midlands based sisters have gained recognition at the prestigious annual industry awards. Readers will recall that Gillian and Ruth Hobbs from Derby also won an award a few years ago.
The award to Amie and Claire was given out recently in recognition of the creation of what has been described as their third ‘Megamo’, basically a very large HMO. Claire explains more about the concept and how they have successfully focused on this strategy in recent years.
“Basically we have a family business that John Farrington, my father, created and my sister Amy and I now run it as he retired some years ago. He started with a single buy to let flat back in 1998 while he was part owner of his family’s business, Farrington Furnishers Ltd. that was set up by his grandfather almost a hundred years ago back in 1925.
“From 2003 John continued to grow the property portfolio buying several more buy to lets and every year since then he purchased at least one property to add to the portfolio or to ‘flip on’ some for profit, and so by 2008 the portfolio had grown to around 50 properties.
“Some thirteen years ago in 2008 I joined the business having previously worked at an estate agency after finishing university. We then went on the ‘HMO Daddy’ course with Jim Halliburton, came back to Burton and with the next deal that came in from our deal sourcing activities, we converted a large three-bed bay fronted Victorian semi detached house into a 6 bed all en-suite HMO. Amie and myself then concentrated on converting much of the existing portfolio stock into HMO’s and also during this time adding more properties to the portfolio.
“Megamo’s has become our core focus and we have created three of them locally since the first one was acquired back in 2015,” said Claire. “I can remember John calling me while I was driving saying he had just agreed to buy an old office building next to the train station in Burton and it was a very large four story approx. 6,000sqft building.