22nd February 2024

Thrings Meets… Pro Pods

Thrings meets pro pods

In this new series focusing on the region’s businesses and entrepreneurs, Kate Barber from Thrings talks to man with a plan to revitalise Hampshire’s high streets

Daryn Brewer is on a mission to transform the way young professionals live while breathing life back into Hampshire’s high streets.

His passion for property began in the late 1990s in his home city of Portsmouth, when Daryn, whose father was a builder, bought his first home aged 18 ‘with the help of the bank of mum and dad’.

He founded an estate agency and later expanded into lettings – but it was a string of enquiries about accommodation for young workers moving to the city that sparked his big idea.

“Someone approached me to say they were looking for multi-occupancy, shared living type of property,” he remembers. “I didn’t really want to get into that market so I said no – but I got more enquiries, went out into the market and couldn’t find anything suitable.

“I thought there’s an opportunity here. Young professionals were struggling to get into the market, they move from one job to another, and maybe don’t really settle down until they are in their 30s. Why would they want to rent a flat and furnish it and all that comes with it?”

So, Daryn founded Pro Pods – transforming High Street properties into living spaces tailored for single professionals. Residents known as ‘Propodians’ pay one single monthly fee for all rent and bills, and benefit from communal living spaces with TV sports and movies.

As well as meeting a need, Daryn is also passionate about the positive effect of Pro Pods on embattled high streets.

“I get a real buzz from taking a building that’s not been loved, and giving it love,” he says. “It’s revitalising an empty property and making the commercial units smaller, often allowing an independent business to go into a building once occupied by a national retailer.

“We know that 80% of Propodians travel 100 miles or more from their original location to take a job and it’s key that they don’t take one- or two-bedroom flats in the communities they are moving in to. We are a small part of solving the housing crisis.”

Along the way Daryn, working with MPs Penny Mordaunt and Caroline Dinenage, has even managed to achieve a significant change in council tax rules, successfully campaigning for the government to apply the charge per property rather than for each resident.

Numbering projects ‘like Thunderbirds’, he is now on Pro Pod 12, with a total of around 90 rooms, but has no plans to stop there.

“Pro Pods for me is a 20-year plan,” he says. “We’d like to expand across Hampshire into Southampton, Andover, Aldershot – anywhere where there is a high street. My vision is 500 rooms within an hour of our head office.

“I think every high street needs a Pro Pods – if we build it, they will come.”


Thrings Business growth lawyers

Related Articles