Searching for a way to escape being chained to her corporate desk, Kay Collier-Jeremy wanted to gain the flexibility and variety she craved while using what she knew was a sound investment platform – property.
Frustrated with the insular system of trading time for money day after day working in Human Resources, Kay began looking for other ways to generate income with her husband Nigel. Their goal was to initially be able to replace Kay’s income, but in the long-term, Nigel’s as well.
They trusted property as an asset class, even though they hadn’t yet had the opportunity to invest in any property other than their homes, so after reading about Steve Bolton and Platinum Property Partners in a book bought on Amazon, Kay and Nigel’s interest was piqued. Subsequent internet research led them to believe that this might be the solution to realising their long-term goal of being able to leave the corporate world.
They decided to attend a Discovery Day to find out more, but without any intention of joining as Partners because they thought they’d be able to do this on their own. With Nigel having previously worked in banking, they were also concerned about over-leveraging. However, as the day went on they began to see the strength of the model:
“We weren’t sceptical of whether property could generate great capital returns, it was really about whether we needed to join an organisation and shell out a load of cash – the usual stuff. There was a bit of us that was thinking this seems too good to be true and ‘what’s the catch?’ But we came away excited and with a complete change in attitude towards good debt.”
Shortly after attending the Discovery Day, Kay and Nigel met with existing franchise partners, Andy and Vashti Bedwell, and the final piece of the puzzle was put into place.
“We immediately thought they’re just like us. We could see ourselves in their shoes, which was really important for us. So, we’d done all our numbers, we’d tried to dig the dirt but couldn’t find it, and we went off to see Andy and Vashti and it really just confirmed that all the thinking that we’d been through, all the stuff we had looked at had worked out in practice. Then we said -‘we’re ready to sign up now!’ – and we did.”
That was in 2013 and within 18 months, Kay had successfully replaced her income. The couple now operate a successful portfolio of four Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the Reading area, with a fifth in the refurbishment process. Their initial plan was to purchase 10 properties in order to free Nigel from his corporate job too, but with returns exceeding their expectations at an average of 20%, Kay thinks they will be able to achieve this with just 7 or 8 properties.
But the benefits have not all been financial. Joining Platinum Property Partners has also meant that Kay has been able to work flexible hours and have a more active lifestyle.”
“I think it took me 15 years in corporate life to realise that I’m actually quite an active person. I don’t like sitting at my desk for long periods of time, I find it really frustrating! And actually, particularly on refurbishments, when you’re out and about and on your feet, it’s very dynamic and it fitted with my requirement for flexibility and to be active. I’m happiest when I’m on site, in my jeans and my trainers. It can be hard work physically, but it’s great fun and quite creative.”
In addition, Kay has been able to utilise her existing Human Resources skills by hiring a lettings manager which she shares with other collaborative franchise partners in the Reading area. The extra free time that this allows has given Kay the opportunity to pursue more personal growth than was previously possible. Kay was sworn in as a local Magistrate in 2015, after completing an extensive training programme and now sits in her local courts at least twice a month.
“This is part of my giving back to the local community, which is important to me in much the same way as running my business in the local community is. It’s something I’d wanted to do for years and years, but with a corporate job and a long commute, I’d never been able to commit the time to do it. Work plays a different role in my life now and I have time to focus on making sure my family enjoys life.”