Student Accommodation Update

New research by CBRE reveals that a record £2 billion was invested in UK student accommodation in the first three quarters of 2012; that is a rise of 145 per cent on the same period in 2011. There is a growing trend for investors to look outside of London; more than 50 per cent of the total investment in 2012 has been in the regions.

Jo Winchester at CBRE says, ‘Total returns remain a key driver for investors as they flock towards the impressive returns given by student accommodation for a second year in a row. Our data shows that student accommodation is outperforming other asset classes by some margin, as it has brought 9.6 per cent returns in the year to September 2012. This compares to 5.4 per cent for all offices and 2.2 per cent for all retail in the year to August 2012.’ Is it time you looked at student accommodation investing; drop us a line if you are interested.  

Shaving Lessons

There are many things I need help with, but until today, I didn’t consider that shaving might be one of them. London based high end grooming shop Geo F Trumper clearly disagree and now run classes in how to shave properly.

The company say that customer demand led them to create classes run by a professional barber who show clients the best way to shave for their own skin type. I’m not sure whether that’s true, but it certainly seems a great way to get people enthusiastic about what is a chore for most. And more importantly, it’s a great way to get them interested in obtaining the best tools for the job – which Geo F Trumper happen to sell!

Might this be something that works in your market? Are there classes you could run which would help?

Customers get the best from your product?, and might they be more inclined to spend more money with you if they had renewed enthusiasm for, and satisfaction from, what you sell as a result?

Wombling Free

In the spirit of bringing you everything and anything that may make you some money, allow me to introduce you to ‘wombling’. Apparently this works very well, but I’d be disappointed if you couldn’t find a more interesting use for your time. Anyway, here goes.

The first thing you need to do is go to your local Asda or Tesco supermarket and find a bin. Look through the bin and dig out as many receipts as you can (I can sense your excitement growing!). Take the receipts home and log on to the supermarkets price check websites., and enter the product codes to see whether the same items are available cheaper at the competitive supermarket. Both Asda and Tesco offer price guarantees, promising to refund the difference in price if the product is being sold cheaper elsewhere. This is usually paid in vouchers.

Tesco pays double the difference in vouchers if a basket of goods you buy there is cheaper at Asda. Asda pays the difference plus 1p if a basket there is not at least 10% cheaper than the nearest rival out of Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

Apparently both Asda and Tesco accept that this is completely legal, and seem pretty relaxed about it all. Hardly surprising really. Even if you’re not a customer, all they’ve given you is vouchers to spend in the store. While you’re there, you’re highly likely to spend the vouchers and a great deal more, meaning any profit they lost from handing out the vouchers is more than recouped

The Fat Bank

I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve said “only in America”, only to see an idea thriving on these shores soon after. With that in mind, I bring you The Fat Bank.

Picture the scene; you’ve just had your liposuction and sitting (looking pretty gruesome) in a jar alongside you, is the fat they’ve just sucked out of your flabby midriff. You might be thinking that it needs flushing down the drain…but no! What you should be doing with it is depositing it in the Fat Bank so that when your face starts to sag in ten years time, you can withdraw it and have it pumped into your wrinkles. Well believe it or not, that’s what’s happening in California.

How long before the first fat bank is started here? I don’t know, but whoever does it will get a huge slug of  free publicity to get things moving. Perhaps something to think about for someone with the right background and contacts.

Wedding Broker

I was speaking to someone recently who is planning a wedding. It seems like it’s a two year process these days. A lot can happen in two years which probably explains the need for US based Bridal Brokerage.

Over 250,000 weddings are called off each year in the United States. What Bridal Brokerage does is resell the wedding to a new couple, enabling the original betrothed to recover deposits and up-front costs, hassle free. Venues and service providers enjoy uninterrupted business and wedding buyers get a pre-planned wedding at a fraction of the regular cost.

I don’t have the figures for cancelled UK weddings, but based on the US figures, it’s probably around 50,000. That’s seems like plenty to make a similar service viable here. Definitely something worth investigating. Start up costs would be minimal, but the middle man profits could be very attractive.