Mish Liyanage has extensive property and financial management experience and is a successful landlord and investor.
He founded Mistoria Investments and MCC Accountants back in 2009 and developed it into The Mistoria Group.
Mistoria specialises in Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) mainly catering to the student and professional market and is currently the largest provider for student accommodation in Salford and Liverpool.
Some of my colleagues thought it was mad to set up an accommodation business in areas where the stocks were so poor. But with careful planning allied to imaginative thinking we got to where we are today. Lack of suitable stock was a big problem at the outset. This was particular acute in Salford, where we have our headquarters. It simply wasn’t possible to provide enough accommodation at the right standard for the talented students at the various universities in the areas we cover. We developed our business around the refurbishment of sound but neglected properties into high quality HMOs to meet demand.
Without a doubt, coronavirus has been the biggest single challenge the business has faced. Naturally, we have to address all the issues of staff and customer safety, but we have an additional challenge in that the universities are considering offering degree courses online. This would mean a reduction in demand for student properties.
We have diversified our revenue streams to include social housing, residential sales and lettings. There are already signs that this has been a good business decision in light of the demand which has accumulated during the lockdown period.
The motto “Work hard and never take anything for granted” has served me well. Another motto that definitely applies is “work hard and you’ll be rewarded”. That’s something I really believe in and something that’s reflected in the values and the practices of The Mistoria Group.
Every day we are doing the important job of providing high quality accommodation at reasonable prices to students and young professionals. We also help to improve the quality of housing stock throughout the North West because our business model involves working with landlords on property improvement.
We are an important part of wealth creation in the region. Due to our high standards and ongoing property management, we aim to achieve combined yields of 13% (8% rental yield and 5% capital growth) for our investors.
My parents and family have been a big influence, aligned with my Buddhist background and beliefs. Buddhist philosophy promotes the concept of good karma and the principle of helping others. Anyone who lives by these principles whether or not they use these words can be an inspiration.
The Mistoria Group’s future is very promising. We are well poised to grow with the right staff, structure, operations and finances. Primarily, we’re looking to expand our scope to include commercial and new-build properties. We’ve set some ambitious targets for ourselves but we are confident that we have the skills, experience and drive to achieve our goals.
This story was first featured on The Business Desk.