On November 2nd 2022, VICE published an article by Hayden Vernon – about our CEO, Ryan Luke.
There is nothing better than reading comedic material over a morning coffee, so we’d like to take this opportunity to thank Vernon for making the insides of our ribcage ache with laughter.
While the majority of the content in Vernon’s article is based on inaptly researched material (and possibly some deep-seated resentment towards society) – it is always a pleasure to read an alternative view about Ryan Luke and Luke Capital Group, as this gives us the opportunity to respond; and express why we are so deeply proud of our company.
We must admit, our business models have never been referred to as “parasitic” before (that is certainly a new one). However, we are willing to give Vernon the benefit of the doubt, as he remains largely inexperienced in the property and serviced accommodation industry – and was in no place to propose an educated argument.
Before reading our accurate side of the story, please swing over to Vernon’s article on VICE and show this young writer some love. We are sure he spent a long time thinking of his creative adjectives, even if they did try and spite our entire brand.
A Poor Choice of Words (from the start)
The title of Vernon’s article is:
TikTok’s Latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme? Renting Out Flats You Don’t Own.
Perhaps not the most accurate choice of words, as our proven business models (and their specific Ts & Cs) are exclusive to Luke Capital Group, and therefore do not belong to TikTok, or any other social media platform.
However, we suspect that the writer had tapped into a journalistic frame of mind at this point, and thought this title would be the most clickbaity out of the others that he might have angrily brainstormed.
The TikTok reference is perhaps an easy mistake to make, given Ryan Luke’s large following on the platform (and Vernon himself is most likely accustomed to millennial and Gen Z culture).
However, what’s most startling is the mention of a “Get-Rich-Quick Scheme” – a term which is mostly associated with shady investments and dodgy businessmen. (Although, if you find a money-making model that’s 100% ethical, we certainly won’t knock you down).
Unfortunately for the writer, not only has his research been lazy and heavily manipulated for the sake of social media Likes, but he has written about a brand that is the exact opposite of lazy and manipulative.
So, it should come as no surprise as we categorically begin to rip Vernon’s untrue points apart – one by one.
Let’s start with this misleading title. If dear Vernon had done his bedtime reading correctly, he would have realised that Ryan Luke frequently writes about the importance of consistency, hard work over a long-term process, and good old-fashioned resilience. Therefore disproving the reference in the article’s title – as well as everything it is based on.
We strongly recommend Hayden Vernon read the many thought-leadership pieces, in Ryan Luke’s LinkedIn newsletter, titled “The Property Powerhouse” to support this. Particularly:
- Diving Deep
- How to Royally Screw Up as a Business Owner
- I Learned Twice, to Teach
- You Get What You Give
If, for any reason, Vernon is unable to use LinkedIn because he is banned for publishing untrue claims that threaten to tear up businesses and business people who have built their empires from the ground up, then these articles are available to read on www.lukecapitalgroup.com, as well.
And if you too, prefer to use the website to read our content, please do scroll back to our articles from a few months ago (to find the ones we’ve listed), as we share many new write-ups on a daily basis.
As you start reading Vernon’s article, (beyond the laughable title) it becomes clear that this journalist has been writing with some kind of unresolved rage, and a clear personal dislike towards Ryan Luke – who quite happily volunteered his free time to speak with Vernon, while on business in Dubai.
Vernon describes Luke Capital Group’s short-term rental business model, as below:
“Introducing: rent-to-rent, also known as rental arbitrage, the parasitic investment strategy that is being touted across social media as a way for the growing number of people who can’t afford to buy their own home to invest in property.
Videos on arbitrage and rent-to-rent are racking up hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, where rise-and-grind entrepreneurs are selling it as a money-spinning hack that can lead to “passive income” and “financial freedom”.
The weight of certain words surely is fascinating. Because by using the phrase “touted across social media” rather than “shared across social media”, Vernon has maliciously tried to create the impression that our CEO’s helpful content is being forced down everyone’s throats.
Obviously, such is not the case.
Take a deeper look into Ryan Luke’s engagement and comments (on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn) and you’ll find that his audience is inspired and thoroughly grateful that the entrepreneur is giving away such actionable ideas for free; and empowering thousands of aspiring business owners literally along the way.
Call us crazy but providing free value seems a lot less “parasitic” than making up lies about a business owner who has dedicated the last few years to helping others grow their empires and supporting their families.
Hypocrisy, much? Or is that just how journalism goes these days?
The saddest part about Vernon’s hateful article is that it is determined to present Ryan Luke as a money-grabbing entrepreneur, who spares no consideration for the working class and those who are struggling during the current housing crisis.
Our CEO has revealed that during his interview, Vernon actively shared that he himself was struggling to purchase a property of his own in London (due to the housing crisis); and we wonder if the writer’s personal issues have seeped into his professional work here?
However, we do not wish to throw around harmful accusations (this is just a ponder) – as we have been in business long enough to understand what counts as harmless criticism and what counts as shameless lies.
Vernon tries to claw onto some one-sided data to support his accusations by stating:
“For one, you might wonder how responsible it is to encourage people to convert rental properties into short-term holiday lets right in the middle of a housing crisis.
Back in May, Zoopla reported that rents in the UK are rising at their fastest rate in 14 years and have gone up by 11 per cent over the last year, driven by a shortage of rental properties and soaring demand as people return to cities after the pandemic. Throw in the ever-worsening cost of living crisis and rent-to-rent starts looking pretty predatory”.
Unsurprisingly, Vernon has failed to give VICE readers an educated and well-rounded scope of what’s really happening here.
Short-term rental accommodation is a Godsend for remote workers, contractors, and those who have to move frequently for the purpose of business. Statistics from standout-cv.com clearly state that in 2021 alone “20 million people prefer to work remotely in the UK” and this includes them renting out STR accommodation.
This corporate, contractor, and freelancer market (which helps carry an enormous part of the UK economy) benefits greatly from the short-term rental sector, while traditional hotel options could charge them up to 30% times more than the nightly rate.
Nearly every news story and media outlet will tell you that freelance and flexible working is the future of our economy, of which STR is an integral part.
Not only this, but quite recently, Luke Stays (part of Luke Capital Group) provided short-term rental accommodation for a woman and her young child, who were trying to escape an abusive situation.
To Vernon, who has claimed that LCG is “irresponsible” for turning traditional rented accommodation into a short-term rental model, we take enormous gratitude in sharing that had it not been for our franchisee’s STR property, this woman and her child would have been at serious risk. And for that, we are willing to take any name-calling and spiteful accusations on the chin.
Is Bettering People’s Lives “Grotesque?”
In his article, Vernon quotes the Deputy Director of Generation Rent, who says:
“… property ownership has become more lucrative than jobs that actually benefit society. Because of that, it is grotesque, but somewhat inevitable, to see these entrepreneurs feeding off this desperation.”
Naturally, Vernon agrees with the Deputy Director’s sentiments and goes on to claim that Ryan Luke is not concerned with the ethics behind rental arbitrage.
To put into context for those who are new to Luke Capital Group’s trusted business models for property landlords – the goal is to allow landlords to rent their properties out to us, rather than rent them to traditional tenants.
In return, we offer them either a Guaranteed Rent solution or a Short-Term Rental Management solution, so that the landlords ultimately generate a higher income over a prolonged period of time.
Read more on the difference between Guaranteed Rent and Short Term Rental Property Management.
Vernon’s accusation of our business practices being unethical actually gives us an excellent opportunity to coherently outline how we benefit people, the economy, and society at large.
> According to a 2022 report from The Guardian, property landlords are twice as likely to develop anxiety, symptoms of depression, and insomnia – as a result of unpaid rent and bad tenants (which is rarely spotlighted in the media). LCG’s rental solutions grant these landlords peace of mind and protect them from getting into serious debt.
> Through our company’s franchise model (where we support aspiring business owners to follow Ryan Luke’s path to success), we have already helped hundreds of people leave their unfulfilling jobs and build a legacy for themselves. This has, without a shadow of a doubt, vastly improved their emotional and mental health. What good are these jobs that “benefit society” as Vernon claims, if they’re making people sick?
> Some of our most successful franchisees are earning enough money to place their children into private schools or send them travelling, therefore creating a stronger, more educated generation of future business leaders. And, in turn, enormously helping society and our economy.
> Luke Capital Group employs hundreds of team members across its UK and UAE offices, as well as a number of remote workers- and continues to invest time and money in training, personal development, and creating more job opportunities for the public (including those who are inexperienced).
One cannot help but ask Vernon and the readers of VICE once again: are the above practices really “unethical” – or is trying to twist an entrepreneur’s efforts into something ugly, the real offence?
It truly makes you wonder how many lives journalists like Vernon are actually adding value to, with their clumsy and borderline stroppy articles.
Click Bait Culture
While Vernon has made numerous untrue and scathing statements, we question whether we can hold him fully accountable for his actions.
It is not unusual for journalists to sink their teeth into the idea of a clickbaity article to progress their own career (even at the cost of another’s) – because this is the culture they are being conditioned to.
Unfortunately, it is easy to place blame for all the screw-ups in society onto an entrepreneur who enjoys sunbathing in Dubai and looking as though he has no care in the world.
Had Vernon behaved like an ethical journalist and not tricked Ryan Luke into thinking that the two of them were having a fair, business-related conversation, he might have learned that our CEO’s life has hardly been all sunshine and rainbows. And the working class population that Vernon claims Ryan Luke seems to “dismiss” – well, Ryan Luke has lived and breathed that life, too.
Very rarely do people care to look behind a CEO’s designer sunglasses and uncover the real story – and this is what disappoints us most about Hayden Vernon’s approach. Not only was his attack spiteful and calculated, but it was also poorly researched and therefore reeked of poor journalistic practice.
Funnily enough, it is actually today that Luke Capital Group is up for two awards (among others in the shortlist category) at the prestigious STAA Property Management Awards in London. The company has also recently been recognised as the industry’s official “Most Trusted Brand” by I-PRAC.
We struggle to believe how this supports Vernon’s distorted ideas of Ryan Luke being money-grabbing, unethical, and parasitic.
We can only hope that he does not choose another innocent and self-made entrepreneur to berate (although we are sure he won’t be successful in doing so, as he failed to do this with us).
Those who would like to learn more about Ryan Luke’s work are invited to connect with him on LinkedIn and also visit www.lukecapitalgroup.com
Remember, not all journalism is good journalism.
~Written By: Neely Khan