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Virtual Technology and the Holiday Let Boom

By James Enos, Business Development Manager South West, Hodge

It sometimes feels like a lifetime ago that I started my journey with Hodge, in reality, it’s only represented a short part of my 20+ year financial services career but has been both a unique and memorable time for many reasons!

In the past, when I’ve used the phrase “everyday is a school day” I’ve either said it in jest or as a passing comment, well, that certainly can’t be said for the last 15 months. Every day really has been a school day.

I always knew Hodge would be a place where I would learn about the specialist areas of the financial services market that I hadn’t previously connected with. I also knew that later-life lending along with the businesses ambition to enter new markets and grow, was exactly what I was looking for as a next step in my career.

That said, no one could have prepared me for what was coming in 2020 and how I would need to adapt to tackle the new world of the Business Development Manager!

Prior to March 2020 I can honestly say I didn’t know how to use virtual meeting technology, let alone consider it as being a key part of my day-to-day activities for the year(s) ahead. If I had known how useful it was going to be to help maintain and grow broker relationships, I would have probably started using it earlier, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

There is certainly no substitute for face-to-face conversation in my opinion, but virtual technology has certainly helped plug the gap whilst we’ve worked from our homes and will no doubt play its part as an essential tool of the job in future.

Getting to grips with running live virtual sessions from home was a skill which needed some time to fine tune, not only for me, but for my family. I’d challenge anyone to try and keep a household with three children of varying ages, a dog, a cat and two giant rabbits’ quiet! Impossible you might say but somehow, like many others I’m sure, we made it work.

But that said virtual technology has done its job, and from my perspective it has been well received overall, I guess we can take positives from any situation and remind ourselves that everything happens for a reason.

Virtual technology has done its job, and from my perspective it has been well received overall, I guess we can take positives from any situation and remind ourselves that everything happens for a reason.

Moving on from the challenges of virtual technology, the part of my role I’ve really enjoyed over the last year has been my involvement in the Holiday Let mortgage market.

Hodge entered this market late in 2019 and hit the ground running, offering some unique and flexible features which really set the proposition apart from the competition.

I took to this like a duck to water, which was just as well as this business was well suited to my patch (Wales & South West) and I had a feeling there would be plenty of opportunity, and I wasn’t wrong.

If you know me well, you’ll know that I’ll always look for a positive in challenging times. Though the first lockdown impacted most areas of the mortgage market initially, it soon became apparent that the restrictions in travelling abroad and consumer confidence with travelling outside of the UK would only help to drive more interest and activity in holidaying in the UK and in turn the need for Holiday Let lenders.

What I love about the Holiday let market is the variety that comes my way. All mortgages and clients have their unique story, and when you talk to a broker about their enquiry the clients usually have an interesting reason for wanting to purchase a Holiday let property. I’ve heard so many interesting reasons, like a family who have decided to purchase their own “Holiday Hub” which they can use for their own purposes and rent out to cover the costs. An investor looking to diversify their portfolio and take advantage of the excellent potential yields or simply someone who can’t find a property to book a holiday at due to the demand and decides to take control by entering the market themselves.

There has also been a huge variation in properties coming through ranging from a one bed flat in a historic Cornish fishing village overlooking the harbour, a beautiful 6 bed detached property with all the trimmings, hot tub, cinema, vast kitchen/diner with breath-taking views over the Scottish Isles or a snug cottage in the country with is open fire and chocolate box charm. I always look forward to seeing the next property that comes my way, I may even get to buy my own one day!

How long will this market continue to grow? Well the answer is “who knows” I’ve given up second guessing what’s round the corner! But interest continues to grow and with a country as beautiful and diverse as the UK with so much to explore on our doorstep I’ve a feeling that the growing Holiday Let market will continue to surprise us. The bonus of staying in the UK also means we can pack the wellington boots and the swimsuit without worrying about a weight limit, so whatever the weather throws at us, we’ll be prepared!

If you want to know more about our Holiday Let Mortgage just get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

You can call us on 0800 138 9109 or e-mail