Global property entrepreneur Ben Chai, also known as ‘The Time Lord of Business’, made his debut on the BBC One series, ‘The Week the Landlords Moved In’ by moving in with his student tenants.
On the show, Chai tried living in one of his student properties as a student to ensure he is giving them the best quality of accommodation. This strategy of high quality for minimum rental has ensured that Ben’s properties are consistently rented out (i.e. no voids). This strategy has also allowed him to substantially increase his net worth due to the property appreciation.
“If I rented this property to a family, I can get £1,300 to £1,500 for the house. But if I rent out each single room and use the existing lounge as a bedroom, I can get £1,800 to £2,000,” he said on camera, while inspecting a potential investment.
Chai has 22 properties that provide a monthly rental income of around £20,000. He moved in to a property which was originally a four-bed family home in Egham. Chai converted the garage and lounge into bedrooms, now housing six students, each paying a monthly rent of £433.
While living as an undercover student, Chai experienced the problems with the property first hand, including a noisy water pump and a completely uprooted garden.
According to Chai, he had been under false pretences with the lettings agency at the time, who were held accountable for his property portfolio and tenants. He terminated the contract.
But viewers weren’t bowled over and took to Twitter to share their scepticism, some thinking Chai to be “passing the buck to the letting agents”. Other empathised with him, blaming the market for extortionate prices, and the letting agency for being ethically dubious.
While there, Chai provided guidance on educating the students on how to invest their student loans.
Chai’s monicker, ‘The Time Lord of Business’, comes from his obsession with efficiency and his 30 years’ experience across senior leadership, board and advisory roles in organisations such as Microsoft, IBM, HP, Exxon Corporation, Shell, NATO, Citi, UBS and Natwest.
These efficiencies are due to saved time and space in resource, emotion, finance and other areas of business from the implementation of his non-linear, creative approaches and strategies.
As a mentor, public speaker, author and business coach, Chai has already made an impact to over 100,000 individuals in just under 70 countries.
His recent release, Social Magnetism, talks about how to make friends, develop your network, be authentic, set boundaries, and more important how to be successful in every area of your life due to the strong relationships created.
“All the exercises and lessons in this book are from situations and experiences that I’ve personally been through and I’ve made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to,” he says.