While property investment can be the key to a worry-free retirement in the UK, Brits ROB DIX and ROB BENCE (“Rob D” and “Rob B”) found that much of the advice around people’s financial future was delivered in a boring or intimidating way. So they launched The Property Podcast to get the message across differently. A decade on, it’s still going strong – and with a big HK-based audience.
How did you come to meet and start working together?
We met when Rob D interviewed Rob B for a different podcast, 10 years ago! We were both big podcast listeners but they weren’t at all popular in the UK back then, so we bonded over that and quickly became friends.
When did you start The Property Podcast, and why?
Soon after we met, we decided to start our own show together because there were lots of US “real estate” podcasts but nothing for a UK property audience. It felt like a gap that needed to be filled. Luckily, it gained a following very quickly – probably because we were people’s only option!
How often are the podcasts released, how long do they go for, and what’s an example of typical content that might be featured?
In the decade since then, we’ve released an episode every single Thursday without fail – including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day!
We know people’s time is valuable, so each episode is less than 25 minutes long and focuses on a single topic. Sometimes these are general topics like how to research an investment, developing your strategy and understanding your mortgage options. Recently, there’s been so much going on that we’ve tended to focus on explaining the impact of the week’s economic news for property investors – such as tax changes, rising interest rates, and what’s happening in the UK economy in general.
A popular concept we come back to frequently is the 18-year property cycle: a model that promises to tell you where the property market is heading next. It’s been spookily accurate over the last 10 years, and provided our listeners with a helpful blueprint for navigating events like Brexit and COVID.
Where do your listeners tune in from around the world, and is there a typical type of listener in Hong Kong?
We have listeners in 127 different countries, with Hong Kong regularly in the top five. That’s mainly driven by British expats who are naturally attracted to investing in a market they’re familiar with, and often want to build an asset base for when they eventually return to the UK.
In our experience, expats are aware that they have an opportunity to earn well that won’t last forever – so they’re focused on making long-term investments that will support their eventual retirement or return home. The style of property investment we talk about is perfect for that.
What’s the key to delivering a good podcast?
People listen to podcasts to be entertained while learning something that will improve their lives – so our aim is to deliver that in as short a time as possible. We hear from plenty of people who listen every week as part of their Thursday morning routine, so consistency is everything.
There are lots of other ways you help people with their property investments and financial planning; could you highlight some of those for us?
Alongside the podcast, we have a YouTube channel (youtube.com/propertyhubuk) which is perfect for explaining concepts that are more visual. We also publish a free weekly newsletter (propertyhub.net/pulse) summarising all the weekly news investors need to understand in less than five minutes.
For people who want more help building their portfolio, we have a service called Property Hub Invest (propertyhub.net/invest). Firstly, we work with investors to develop their strategy, then use our relationship with developers to source suitable properties at a discount. We make the whole process completely hands-off, which is why a sizeable minority of our clients are expats.
Are you on the ground in Hong Kong very often yourselves? Got any team members here?
Our podcast producer is based in Hong Kong, but sadly we don’t get there much ourselves! When we do get the chance to visit, we love the food and the buzz. There’s something special about the feeling of walking around Hong Kong that you only get in a handful of other major global cities.
What’s your take on the current state of the property market?
The global property market is having to adjust to the sudden and dramatic shift in interest rates and the after-effects of COVID, as are all other asset markets. The attractive thing about the UK property market that’s as true now as ever is that there’s a fundamental supply/ demand imbalance, which means rental demand is always strong and there’s upward pressure on property values.
Naturally, we spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what’s happening in the market right now, but the real magic of property is what it can achieve for you as a long-term investment. There’s always something seemingly dramatic or worrying happening, but when you zoom out and approach property as an investment over a decade or more, you realise none of it matters that much.
What’s the easiest way for an Expat Living reader to start tapping into your advice?
Search “The Property Podcast” on any podcast app, or visit propertyhub.net/podcast-welcome to find our most popular episodes. And sign up for the free newsletter at propertyhub.net/pulse.
If you’re interested in having us help you build a portfolio for you in the UK, you can learn more and book a free strategy meeting at propertyhub.net/invest. You get to have an hour one-on-one with an experienced investor for free, so there’s not much to lose!
Some popular episodes of The Property Podcast
Here are the titles of just a few recent podcasts by Rob and Rob, to give you an idea of the subject matter they cover:
- Inflation: Understand it and win big
- 18-year property cycle: When will the market crash?
- Can I buy properties without viewing them?
- Mistakes investors make every day
- How do you handle the stress of being a landlord?
This article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.