Who are you?
My name is Benjamin Hall and I’m the Founder and Managing Director of LOFT.
What services does LOFT provide?
LOFT delivers value to property professionals, through service and design.
We provide a “one stop” furnishing solution, specialising in interior design, procurement, project management and replenishment - benefitting property developers and operators, landlords and investors, agents and property managers.
LOFT operates nationwide, with expert advisors and distribution centres in London and Manchester. From a single apartment, to an entire development, LOFT has the scale and infrastructure to manage any size of project across the UK.
How do you help landlords and property investors?
LOFT helps landlords and investors maximise rental yields, minimise void periods and boost retention through intelligent interior design and quality furnishings. Quality furnishings often result in quality residents.
All our furniture comes delivered, fully assembled and installed, we also offer a removal, replacement and recycling solution for old, unwanted items. Our purpose is to add fluidity to the property management sector.
Does LOFT benefit tenants, too?
LOFT designs spaces that reflect modern life. We have a deep understanding of today’s transient lifestyle and the impact of design upon human behaviour. We are continually adapting, with community, co-living and human well-being at the heart of our philosophy.
Our “Next Day” replenishment service also ensures high quality customer service for residents, saving them time and money when purchasing and maintaining interiors themselves.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?
I started the business in 2003 with a £15k student loan, so achieving £17.5m revenue in FY20 felt quite special. Our recent growth has seen LOFT become one of the fastest growing design-led interior specialists in the UK. It’s very exciting for everybody involved.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
It’s two-fold and both of those things involve people.
Firstly, the LOFT team – I enjoy seeing people benefit from the platform we have created and watching them realise their true potential. Our focus is collaboration, bringing the right people together for the right project and making great things happen.
Secondly, our partners. We have a 17-year proven track record of maintaining excellent customer and supply chain relationships, with best-in-class operations and service. LOFT is a family business and we maintain family values when working alongside our employees, clients and suppliers. These relationships ensure we’re involved with projects from concept to completion. It’s very rewarding to be involved from the planning stage, helping to ensure our clients reflect their brand values through interior design upon completion. Our maintenance solution ensures this vision remains for long term.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing landlords and property investors at the moment?
Overseas property investors are facing an additional 2% stamp duty surcharge from April 2021, which could dampen the appetite for investing in the UK. However, this could be counter-balanced by a volatile GBP and a slight drop in house prices caused by the impending recession.
Institutional investors post Covid-19 lockdown will remain focused upon creating a sense of safety and community within residential developments in urban areas. LOFT can help by advising on social and amenity spaces for large-scale developers and professional investors alike.
What is your property prediction for the remainder of 2020?
The BTR market is set to grow even further this year and into 2021 as it will represent a low risk proposition for investors in comparison to other prospects currently. Property investors will be seeking furnishing and interior design solutions that suit a growing desire amongst tenants to live and work from home, with shared living spaces being a focal part of this.
As we enter a recession, it will be incumbent on property investors to present their property interiors in the best possible light, in order to attract the right tenants or potential buyers. More than ever, a strong property staging solution will be the key to success.