It's now been three months since Holly joined PPP and she has since been through some extensive training and mentoring as part of her induction programme. Here, she tells us how she has found the learning experience.

"First up was the purchase mentoring with Mike Dixon, which was absolutely fantastic. I had a four week window where I had a call with Mike every week and these were brilliant - they ranged from 30 minutes to two hours and we went through everything from location and property types to how to approach estate agents and what to ask.

Fortunately for me, I had picked really good houses to look at and we ended up with a shortlist of 30. The planning summary from Alison at Head Office then enabled us to whittle this down even further (because Derby has certain room size restrictions) and I arranged viewings for 12 properties for the two days of purchase mentoring. At the end of the two days, we were sale agreed on two properties.

During this time, Mike also took me in to a local estate agent so that we could meet face-to-face. This experience was extremely useful and I've now built up a really good relationship with them - so much so that we've just gone sale-agreed on our third property.

This was closely followed by refurbishment mentoring with Andrew Paris on the first two properties - one four-bedroom detached and one four-bedroom town house. Both houses are fairly new builds, which is quite unusual, but they work. The room sizes are quite big and their age means that we won't have to do a huge amount of cosmetic work. Our plan is to create a fifth bedroom inside the detached house and a sixth bedroom by converting the garage. Because it's fairly new, there are quite a lot of restrictive covenants on the property so we've liaised with Alison at PPP and also the planning officer from the council to make sure we got the green light.

The town house is a much easier project, we hope. We want to move the kitchen to make a kitchen-diner which will create the fifth bedroom. This is as big as we will go. However, because it's a three-storey building, we'll need an HMO licence. This is where meeting another local PPP Partner came in extremely useful as he introduced me to the HMO officer who came along to view the property during my refurbishment mentoring.

It was great to have Andrew there because the HMO officer started off by laying down the law, but once he had explained what we were going to be doing, she warmed to us and is now really excited to see the finished article! She's even said that she expects to give us a five star accreditation. Without Andrew there, I would have been useless! He was excellent and also helped me to work out what we needed to do on the properties, what we should look out for, and how to save money on the refurbishment.

I also attended the two day bootcamp just a couple of weeks ago. By this point, I felt like my brain was going to explode. It covered everything from planning permission to property build regulations and how to market your properties. It was invaluable but also a little overwhelming. I realised that if I hadn't joined PPP and had tried to do it on my own, then I'd very likely end up breaking the law, getting a hefty fine or making some costly mistakes! But, I am confident that there is enough PPP support there from everybody, whether it's Head Office, the power team or other Partners, that I can do this.

We are now in a position where the offer on the third house has just been accepted, so as it stands, we have three sale agreed, with two likely to complete soon! It's an exciting time and I can't wait to get started. I'm most looking forward to finishing my first property and seeing the transformation from it is now to what it is going to become. I want to be able to create that 'wow' factor so that when the tenants see the property, they really want to live there and feel like it could be their home."

View more articles by Holly Yates

More Blogs

Whether you’re keen to find out more about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), or want information on the latest lettings legislation, you’ll find it here on the blog.