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Lock-In: LNPG Question Time

Lock-In: Series 2 Webinar Library

Series 2, Episode 14

Hosted: 02/12/2020 07:00:00 pm


As we approach our 10th birthday, we thought what better way to end the 2nd Lock-In series than to reflect on the last decade. Usually on the receiving end of questions, this week we put LNPG’s founder Nick Watchorn in the hot seat instead. With an eye on the future as well as the past, it really was a full view of LNPG behind the curtain – metaphorically that is (we don’t want to deter you from watching straight away)!

You can now view the webinar in full above or scroll down to read the key talking points.

Why bother?

LNPG is the first company of its kind, so why did Nick set it up? Because I could – he says.

A perfectly valid answer, maybe, but perhaps not the full story.

Nick started LNPG because he wanted to ensure tenants receive the standard of living they need. As landlords, you have to ask yourselves – if I wouldn’t put something in my own home, why would I put it in my rental properties? That’s why all of our partners provide high quality products, only brought down to the price for a lower quality equivalent – that’s short-term savings and long-term savings in one fell swoop. If you want to skimp on your properties, you’ve come to the wrong place.

It’s all about helping each other. The tenants live in better conditions, landlords buy quality products at a cheaper price whilst driving up their property value, and the manufacturers get an edge in the landlord market – everybody wins.

Growing Pains

From Hinckley to Brighton to Swansea to Glasgow and back to Hinckley: 1,100 miles in only three days. No it’s not the latest in a long line of torturous charity bike races – this is actually an excerpt from Nick’s diary only a few short years ago as he bounced from property meeting to property meeting spreading the good word of LNPG.

To be clear, LNPG to this day still faces major restrictions on where and how we’re allowed to advertise, in fact we only recently were allowed to spread our wings onto social media. By far the most important and most frustrating of all these restrictions, however, is that we cannot openly talk about our prices. A huge stumbling block for a company whose very product is the prices we can access.

The result is that we commonly hear that LNPG sounds too good to be true – it certainly takes a leap of faith to get started with.

But despite everything against us, LNPG’s growth over the past ten years has been steady through presentations, meetings, and good old-fashioned word of mouth – with bags of determination!

The Measure of Success

Dreams without goals are just dreams: Nick said that. Denzel Washington may have said it first but that’s not the point.

Every new business dreams to grow into something stable and profitable – that’s why half of our members got into property in the first place. But when Nick started LNPG, there was a little more to contend with.

With something that’s never been done before, it’s unsurprising that Nick fell flat on his face several times during the early years. With frustration setting in after a slow initial growth of membership, Nick’s friend, property guru, and founder of pin, Simon Zutshi set an early goal of 1,500 members until LNPG would begin to be taken seriously. With that now being smashed three times over, the next big milestone is 5000  – something now within touching distance.

But of course not every goal is measurable by numbers. The initial purpose of a business and goals go hand-in-hand – if an increasing amount of private rental properties are better kitted out because of us, then we’ve been successful. The fact that LNPG members have now spent a grand total of £65 million suggests that this has happened up a fair bit!

Perks of the Job

The range of partners that have appeared on the Lock-In series tells you a lot about the breadth we have – in fact 3 new partners have been introduced in this series alone. With over 40 partners and counting, the key areas in property development have largely been covered, but as always there’s still a bit more to come.

Instead of looking at the bread and butter of being a landlord, we’re looking towards a few little extra perks when choosing which partners to sign up – this is more like a nice dessert!  Desserts like sheds, discounted flight tickets, and hot tubs.

And on the other hand, shedding partners from the membership is always to be considered as a last resort. Naturally, some partners generate a lot more interest from than others, but it’s always worth remembering who was there with you on the way up, because you may need them if you ever fall back down.

Surfing Into The Future

Now we’re putting the brakes on the partner train a bit, the focus is being shifted even more to improving your membership experience.

The number one key is how you’re reading all this now – the LNPG website. To all intents and purposes, the website is good – but it’s not quite the 30 000 smackers worth that Nick spent on it. The website is often your main port of call, so its very important to make your surfing journey as smooth as possible, because no one likes unexpected waves.

To be more specific, we’re talking about making it easier for you to check prices on the website and improving the overall user journey from start to finish. You’ll be well aware though that this isn’t a quick fix but something to look forward to in the new year.

And that’s enough from us for this series and for this year – Merry Christmas everybody and we’ll see you next year!


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