Nick Jones and Craig Morley first met in November 2008 through their wives, who had become friends while attending the same anti-natal classes.
Both men had just taken voluntary redundancies from their roles – Craig had been working in the leisure industry for 15 years, most recently as a health club general manager, and Nick had worked his way up to a line producer at the BBC after working there for 18 years.
Separately, Craig and Nick realised that they didn’t want to go back into the industries they had just left. They wanted to look for opportunities that would give them a better work-life balance, but also some financial security for the future. It was only when their wives suggested they do something together that they started to research some ideas. One of those was property – they thought about buying a couple of investment flats. Another idea was franchising, and when they attended a free seminar being hosted by the British Franchise Association, they realised they could kill two birds with one stone.
“Property and franchising? Great, we thought,” said Nick. “Steve Bolton gave the presentation and we couldn’t stop talking about it all the way home. Our wives were sceptical and so we took them with us for a formal meeting. Even after conducting all of the due diligence and speaking to other Partners, we still couldn’t find any fault.”
They decided to invest together as one franchise and joined in 2009. They invested equally and within two years, they had five Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) up and running in Crawley, generating an income of £14,500 per month.
“We are both joint business owners and each put in the same amount of time and money into running the portfolio,” added Craig. “I do the accounts and Nick usually manages the properties – sometimes it is one week on and one week off for us. Either way, the houses were generating a guaranteed income that we didn’t need to work particularly hard for. So, armed with the support and personal development we’d received from PPP, we decided to pursue other ventures as well.”
The pair now also owns a golf course on Sandown Park Race Course which they’ve had for nearly five years. Their long term plan is to release capital from some of their HMOs to continue building their portfolio, which will provide them with the lifelong income, while running the golf club as what they call their ‘working business.’
Nick said: “You don’t know the value of PPP when you join but the network was fantastic, even at that point when there were very few Partners. We are so glad we done it. It has worked from day one and did exactly what it says on the tin.”
Craig added: “It was a real surprise how much there was to learn about investing in property – more than we thought. The wealth of knowledge and support provided by PPP was amazing and the personal development we received was quite a unique added benefit.”
Nick lives with his wife Sandra and daughter, Hope, 15 and Craig has three children, George (11), Joseph (6) and Jemima (4) and his wife is called Victoria.