HSPG CEO's Q&A with Property Week
Our CEO Guy Horne sat with Property Week to answer questions on how her joined the housing sector, the barriers he’s overcome and the advice he has for someone starting a career in property.
From his favourite song and book to the best and worst thing he’s spent money on, read the Q&A below.
How did you join the property industry?
I attended school and university with HSPG’s co-founder David. We were entrepreneurs as teenagers and invested our early earnings – £25,000 each – into a property in Manchester. Naturally this property leant itself to social housing. And so, we directed our focus on Affordable and Supported Housing to play our part in helping fight the homelessness crisis.
What does your job entail now?
At HSPG, we partner with housing providers, local authorities & investors; and I enjoy working directly with them to deliver much-needed affordable homes across the whole country. As CEO, I lead on strategy and head up the talented team in London to ensure that we continue developing as a company.
What do you like most about the property industry?
I relish the fact that every project we tackle in the industry has its own unique story. I love that HSPG connects institutional, multi-billion-pound capital to help vulnerable people who can’t afford to pay their rent to enable them to live fulfilled lives in their community
And what do you dislike most about it?
The property sector can sometimes be slow to adapt, and certain processes are unnecessarily complex, lengthy and outdated. Having said that, I believe technology will soon have an impact and reduce time spent on paperwork, especially around property completions.
What would you change about the property industry?
The obvious problem we tackle every day is the lack of Affordable Housing. There are over 1,000,000 people on the housing waiting list. This number is growing every day. Additionally, I would like to see more transparency in the sector, which I believe would lead to more professional and responsible landlords.
What barriers or challenges do you feel you have overcome?
New challenges arise every day in this industry, I think we just get better and more relaxed when dealing with them. When starting out, entering the property sector without any significant experience or capital was probably one the largest challenge but a clear and importantly, flexible plan was key to our success.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Creating a company with an incredibly talented, experienced and exciting team. Going from a two-person operation with David and myself from my mum’s kitchen to a sizeable organisation with multiple offices is a fantastic feeling and I love going in to the office and learning from each and every person.
What do you value in people?
I’m naturally curious and love learning from people. As long as they want to give, and give with good intentions, I really enjoy that connection. A sense of humour is key too. The atmosphere in the office is the same at 10am on a Monday as 5pm on a Friday.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Soak up all the information you can and have fun.
One book and why you like it:
Joe Dispenza – You are the Placebo.
I like to meditate every morning and create how my day will go. If anyone wants a reason to start meditating and creating their future, this book is a great guide.
One song/album and why you like it:
Oasis – Definitely Maybe. It’s what got me into guitar and I now play most days. Their Supersonic documentary detailing their meteoric rise gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.
What are the best and worst things you’ve spent money on? Reasons why?
The best is my guitars. As I get more into them and play more often, I tend to want to buy better guitars which of course means spending more money. But once I start playing them, I get so much enjoyment and I’m never satiated.
The worst is buying Glastonbury tickets 2.5 years ago. Waking up early on a Sunday morning in 2019 only for the festival to be cancelled 2 years on the run! I’m excited to finally go this summer though!
What’s your number 1 travel destination and why? (It could be somewhere you’ve been or somewhere you’d like to go)
Bali. When I travel, I love to mix sightseeing, good weather and activities so Bali ticks every box in abundance. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to travel solo around there for a month and I learnt to surf, scuba and even completed a short yoga teacher training!