Dipak and Aarti Davé run their franchise in Middlesex and joined PPP in December 2011.

Why did you decide to become a franchisee?

I had a successful career in the city but after 18 years I decided I wanted to branch out on my own and set myself up as an independent consultant working with SME’s (Small Medium Enterprises). Aarti, whose background is in marketing, had been on a career break to bring up our two young children, but now that they were older, she was itching to get back to work, but really didn’t want to return to the corporate rat race.

We both wanted the flexibility that running our own business would bring, but we really didn’t have a concrete business idea to pursue. So, we decided that investing in property might be a good solution and at the same time looked at what was on offer in the wider franchising arena.

Why did you choose PPP over other property investment franchises?

We looked at a number of franchise ideas, from food to services, and had also put down an offer on an investment flat – which luckily for us fell through!

Property investment was always something which attracted us, but we also knew that property deals can be fraught with issues for a novice investor, and so many property investments fail or do not deliver the returns you expect in the first few years of operating.

So, we approached the PPP franchise offering with some healthy skepticism, but knew that by joining a franchise, we would have the benefit of a proven business model for us to follow, so there was less of a chance of us making mistakes or failing.

Aarti carried out some web-based due diligence on PPP and we made some initial enquiries, which led to us being invited along to a Discovery Day in Bournemouth.

We learned that PPP offered us access to investing in property ourselves, whilst maximising income from these properties and enjoying the benefits of the capital growth. At the same time, we would be building a successful property based business of our own that would allow us to earn a substantial income for life. We were making our assets work for us and generating a healthy return as well. It all made sense.

In addition, we really connected with the values of PPP and their approach to doing business. PPP ticked all the right boxes for us.

How did you secure funding?

We were fortunate enough to have sufficient savings and equity in our property to buy into the franchise and fund the purchase and refurbishment of our first few properties.

Has the business been successful so far?

Yes, we think it has. We are achieving above average returns on equity (ROE), together with healthy gross profits, on a portfolio of appreciating assets.

As a result of joining PPP we have also had the opportunity to invest in other property related investments as well.

What kind of training and support have you seen in return for your investment?

The training and support from PPP has been fantastic and we wouldn’t have succeeded without it.

If we consider where we are now, against where would have been had we bought the investment flat and let it out on a single tenancy, we’ve come a very long way forward in a relatively short period.

The support is extensive, from tailored training sessions and bootcamps, to national workshops and regional meetings, webinars, mentoring sessions and, of course, the franchisee network. We are also well supported by Head Office who are always there in case of individual queries and issues.

As a franchisee you’ve also got access to a ‘power team’ of experts on hand to deal with some very specialist support when needed.

Has franchising changed your life? How hands-on are you in the day-to-day operations?

Had we not joined the franchise, I suspect that we would have continued seeking full-time employment opportunities and probably dabbled in property investing (and made some expensive errors along the way)!

Instead, we now have a whole new outlook on self-employment, and life as a whole. We feel more in control of our own destinies and are building a legacy for our children.

Aarti is completely hands-on in the day-to-day and with PPP’s support and the network of franchise partners, she has been able to manage the portfolio herself.

She enjoys the flexibility of planning her work around her day, which is a very fortunate position to be in. She chooses when she works and has the benefit of being there for the children when they need her.

As an added bonus, through PPP we have met many like-minded people, many of whom will be friends for life.

I, myself, have since become a full time Commercial Director for an established and growing privately owned business, and continue to support Aarti as and when she needs.

What are your plans for the future?

Starting your own business is very daunting, but at the same time it’s also very liberating. You’re on your own, but you’re also in control of your own destiny. You learn fast, make some mistakes along the way, and quickly realise that the opportunities are infinite.

Right now, Aarti is busy tenanting our most recent property, and at the same time looking at new properties coming onto the market to get another one under way.

We’re also exploring other investment / business opportunities to see how we can expand and grow our business further.

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Read Paul and Carol Watson's Q&A.

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