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Regenerating The High Street

Daryn Brewer talks with Richard Bowser

Do you have a vision of what your property business should be? Do you have a clear and simple mission statement, which matches the product that you are creating for your customers? Of course you want to make money from rents, and/or profits from sales of properties, but how carefully have you thought it all through?

These were my immediate thoughts as I listened to Daryn Brewer’s replies to my questions about what and how he is doing on the south coast of England with multiple property projects underway in the local area. Having already created 10 co-living schemes in Portsmouth he and his team are expanding into Gosport and beyond with a very clear vision as to what and how they can create a much larger portfolio. Daryn explains more regarding how he has got to this stage.

“I have been a property agent for almost 20 years but in 2017 I decided to enter the emerging co-living market by launching a brand, which we called Pro Pods, a specialist in co-living. In the last six years we have scaled up the business and learned many lessons along the way. An abiding principle is that I would only create rental properties that I would be happy to live in myself.”

I ask Daryn about their typical customer-tenant and he explains more about the ProPodians who rent rooms in their properties, which he describes as being a co-living community.

“They are typically aged 21-35, single and are working professionals, often having moved to the area on employment contracts, and they stay for three months up to three years or more. We provide good quality accommodation with access to an increasingly thriving community in locations with good transport links in a vibrant city.“

The concept of co-living is often misunderstood, particularly by old-school landlords whose idea of customer service is sometimes lacking, and so Daryn explains what it means to him and his team.

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