Ten years ago, Sukbhir Singh owned a successful photocopying company in Newcastle employing almost 20 people. But the demands of running his own business and lack of long-term security made him realise he needed a change.
Having sold the business and armed with the funds from the sale, he took some time out to look for a new venture, but one that was right for him.
“I was in the business of selling and maintaining telephone and computer systems and photocopying equipment. I was managing several employees and found myself forever chasing invoices and bogged down with administrative nightmares,” said Sukbhir, or Suky as he likes to be called. “After five years, I decided I wanted to get out. With a bit of money behind me, I knew I didn’t have to rush into any old opportunity and wanted to make sure my next step would be good for me.”
While at a franchise show in Birmingham, where he was planning on finding out more about fast food franchises such as McDonalds, Suky saw the Platinum Property Partners (PPP) stand. Having ‘dabbled’ in property investment alongside running his own business, he was curious to find out what it was all about.
Suky said: “I already had a portfolio of about seven buy-to-let properties in Newcastle and North Shields – a couple of flats, small houses and one three-bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). When I first saw the PPP stand I went over mainly because I was being nosy. I had been investing in property for a while and wasn’t achieving anywhere near those kind of returns that PPP was claiming.”
Suspicious, Suky listened to a presentation from PPP Founder and Chairman, Steve Bolton. In that short time, he realise he could be missing a trick when it came to property. Within five months, Suky had joined PPP and the handful of other Partners that had joined since the franchise launched earlier in the year (2007).
Suky added: “I’ve always dealt with property, I’d always understood it and I’d always been pretty happy with it. My parents had also always been involved in property so I knew, in that respect,and pension-wise, it was a good thing. What I didn’t know, income-wise, was the possibilities.
“What PPP was promising initially seemed too good to be true, but I’ve learnt that property isn’t just a capital appreciation strategy and that there is a way of maximising rental income, which not only provides a great pension, but also income now.
“For me, joining PPP and paying the fee was an insurance policy. I was buying into trust and confidence – confidence in the model and the proof that other people had done it and confidence in myself that I could do it.”
Eight years on and Suky has a profitable portfolio of HMOs for young working professionals in addition to his portfolio of single tenancy buy-to-lets. He has also used the teachings from PPP to explore other property investment avenues such as passive investment and a holiday home project that generated a 100% return on investment.
He is PPP’s lifestyle events Ambassador and credits the people in the network as a ‘massive’ benefit. “I love the social aspect of being a Partner. Some of the things I have done over the past eight years, I never would have dreamt of before joining PPP. It’s not just about the actual events, like Ascot or skiing, but what being part of the network opens doors to. I’ve stayed places I never would have stayed and I’ve met people I never would have had the honour of meeting – just the other day I got to shake hands with Prince Charles just because of the other people I had met through PPP and their connections.”
Suky is also an Alumni Partner who has decided to renew his franchise agreement under new terms so that he can continue to benefit from all of the knowledge and experience that PPP has to offer.
Suky concluded: “One of the key benefits of joining PPP is the power of the network. I have built a business for life and made friends for life, some of whom have also helped me on a personal level, which is why I have renewed my agreement with PPP as an Alumni Partner.
“It’s OK to say that after your initial term you know how to run an HMO and a successful business, but you lose so much more than that by leaving and you’re on your own again. You can only benefit from the wealth of knowledge in the network by remaining part of it.
“There are so many changes in the property market and you never know what’s going to happen from one month to the next. If I left PPP and there were significant planning or licensing changes for example, what would I do? I probably wouldn’t be able to cope as well or alter my strategy if I was on my own. It’s back to that insurance and confidence thing – it’s more than just me.”