In our latest interview, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Dannas Sivaneswaran, a seasoned entrepreneur with a diverse portfolio that spans from the barbershop industry to real estate investment. Drawing from his rich experience in multiple ventures, Dannas shares invaluable insights into his entrepreneurial journey and offers a unique perspective on the UK real estate landscape.
With a lineage deeply rooted in construction and a knack for identifying profitable investment opportunities, his tale is one of adaptability, risk management, and the importance of building lasting relationships.
Dannas, can you briefly walk us through your entrepreneurial journey, from starting a barber shop to now venturing into real estate?
My entrepreneurial experience really began with a very simple observation: the barbershop business was a service, sure, but it was also a profitable investment opportunity. Whilst I didn’t possess any barbering skills myself, I was able to see the potential and decided to open a barbershop on my own. After a successful year, I made a strategic decision to sell the business to another entrepreneur at a great price. This sale provided me with the capital I needed to explore what was next.
My next venture led me into the world of tobacco and vaping. I had noticed a steadily growing demand for these products on a global scale. At the same time, I started a transport company, specialising in removals and goods transportation.
Today, this transport business continues to thrive. With the capital I had raised through these ventures, I was able to take the leap into real estate investment and acquired my first buy-to-let property in the UK, which was the tip of the iceberg when it came to my journey as a property investor.
How have your past business experiences shaped your approach to real estate investment?
All of my past business experiences have ultimately provided me with a skill set that translates directly into the world of real estate. First and foremost, I’ve developed strong negotiation skills by making countless business transactions over the years. I’ve learned to take calculated risks, which is a skill you must have when dealing with investments.
Effective time management has also been a big part of my success in real estate, as it has allowed me to juggle multiple ventures at one time. That being said, I feel the most beneficial skill that I’ve acquired throughout the years is my ability to communicate. Forging connections and building relationships is a massive part of real estate success. It’s who you know that can help propel you forward.
What prompted you to focus on property investment as your primary business?
Real estate felt like a natural choice for me, partially due to my family’s involvement in construction. My father owns a successful construction company, Shaan Construction, which specialises in both commercial and residential properties.
Because of this, transitioning into real estate felt completely organic. I had already seen and learned so much from him over the years and absorbed knowledge that you can only gain through being immersed in the field. We collaborate closely to this day as well. While I acquire properties, he transforms them into spaces for either rent or sale.
This synergy between my property investments and his construction expertise has proven to be a winning formula for us.
What sets your real estate business apart from the numerous other investors and agencies in the UK?
What sets my real estate business apart is a deep-seated understanding of the market and the ability to identify properties that cater to both upper-class and working-class tenants. It’s the ability to read between the lines and to see more than what’s in front of me. On top of this, I have a commitment to excellence when it comes to property selection.
This helps me feel confident that my investments will stand out in the market. That’s really the key nowadays – standing out and setting yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Aesthetic flats and homes are a dime a dozen nowadays, you have to offer more than that.
Given the current real estate landscape, what types of properties do you see as the most promising investments?
With the state of the market right now, I see potential in hotels and residential properties that can be strategically converted into flats. Hotels and residential properties offer a uniquely high degree of adaptability because of their existing infrastructure. Hotels, for example, often have spacious common areas, kitchens, and amenities that can be transformed into communal spaces for apartment residents.
Residential properties, on the other hand, can be reconfigured to create multiple individual units. This adaptability reduces the upfront construction costs and allows for a quicker return on investment. It’s a scenario in which buyers can get the most bang for their buck, which ultimately benefits the renters as well.
Where do you see your real estate business in the next 5 years? Any plans for expansion or diversification?
In the short term, I plan to expand my real estate portfolio by acquiring new properties that I feel align with evolving market trends. This is something I am always working on, regardless of market conditions. My goal is to explore opportunities in up-and-coming neighbourhoods and identify properties with the most potential for appreciation. I’d also love to expand and explore investments in different regions of the UK, particularly ones that are new to me.
While I continue to focus on residential properties, I am exploring opportunities in the commercial real estate sector. This includes the potential development or acquisition of commercial spaces suitable for businesses, further expanding my investment portfolio.
For someone looking to venture into real estate investment, what advice would you offer based on your experiences so far?
To those considering venturing into real estate investment, my advice is pretty simple: take your time, conduct thorough research, start with manageable projects, and always take calculated risks. The real estate market is rewarding, but success is built on a foundation of knowledge and careful planning.
Its not something you can master overnight. As tempting as it might be to take a risk right off the bat, I don’t recommend it. Being impulsive without putting adequate thought and research behind it is dangerous in any market, but especially so in real estate. Patience is key – those who are willing to put in the effort will see the payoff at the end.
As we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you, your journey, or the future of the real estate market in the UK?
I would say that my journey exemplifies the power of consistency and adaptability. I look forward to being a part of the continued growth in the real estate sector in any way I can. That’s one of the most exciting aspects of being in this industry; it’s constantly changing. There’s no room for stagnancy. You have to be ready to pivot on a moment’s notice, and that keeps things exciting. As for the UK real estate market, it remains full of opportunities for those willing to embrace change and innovation.
Entrepreneur Dannas Sivaneswaran transitioned from opening a barbershop to venturing into tobacco, vaping, and transportation before settling prominently into real estate investment. Guided by past experiences and a familial connection to construction via his father’s company, Shaan Construction, Dannas has carved a unique niche in the UK real estate market.
He sees transformative potential in hotels and residential properties, and in the near future, he aims to diversify further into commercial real estate. His advice for aspiring investors revolves around patience, diligent research, and the value of calculated risks. Highlighting the ever-evolving nature of the real estate domain, Dannas underscores the importance of adaptability and continuous growth.