I loved the franchise so much, I bought the company

On Christmas eve 2013, Paul and Carol Watson signed up to a five-year franchise deal with Platinum Property Partners in the hope of controlling their own destiny.

A decade later, the couple were presented with another opportunity they simply couldn’t refuse and now Paul is a Director and equal shareholder of the franchise itself.

Where it all began

Following a long corporate career in various senior marketing roles, Paul was taking voluntary redundancy and decided to take a look at franchises on offer. He was open to all types of businesses, provided he wasn’t ‘buying a job’, and wanted to find something that he and Carol could run together.

After reading about PPP in the bfa magazine, his interest was piqued.

“The property element stood out - property is a solid and safe investment vehicle and I wanted to understand what they could teach me,” said Paul. “We already had three single occupancy buy-to-let properties but we realised, having looked at the figures, that they weren’t going to provide a big enough income for us to live off, which was essentially our goal. So, the curiosity factor for us was how could we achieve such an impressive rental income with PPP?

In November 2013, Paul and Carol attended a Discover Day and on Christmas eve, they’d signed their five-year franchise agreement. Although they knew that one of the biggest benefits of joining PPP was that they’d have a business for as long as they wanted to after the franchise term end, even they couldn’t have foreseen that Paul would one day be an owner of the company that changed their lives.

A flexible and profitable portfolio

With five Houses in Multiple Occupation providing homes for 33 professional tenants in and around Woking, Paul and Carol now enjoy a significant annual gross profit of over £100,000 for a part-time commitment in running the business.

Supported by the PPP experts and Franchise Partner network, they’ve navigated increased lettings legislation, rising interest rates, a changing tax landscape and a recession. Throughout, the portfolio has consistently generated a return on investment in excess of 15%.

Aside from the financial benefit, the couple have achieved time freedom that has given them far more choices in life.

Paul said: “We have significantly more time for ourselves to do what we want, be that travel, spend more time with the family or pursue other business ventures, which we have.”

Carol has chosen to continue to work part time at Waitrose, simply because she loves it. You will probably find her dealing with a customer at the Welcome Desk of their local branch! Carol loves meeting people and is very customer focussed. She handles all the tenant facing administration, viewings, check-ins and check-outs.

Meanwhile, Paul took on a more permanent role at Head Office, supporting prospective Franchise Partners through the joining process as well as working with an Affiliate Franchise Partner to manage their HMO properties. He has also invested in other franchises too.

At the end of their five-year term, Paul and Carol had no desire to leave the franchise and stayed on as Alumni Partners.

The Victor Kiam moment

Then in early 2023, an opportunity to become an owner of the franchise presented itself. Much like Victor Kiam did in 1979 when he bought Remington Products after loving the electric shaver his wife had got for him, Paul loved the business so much, he bought it (along with 4 other colleagues).

“I know I can speak for all of us when I say that becoming a Franchise Partner with PPP changed our lives,” said Paul. “For all of us, we chose to stay on after our initial term because the value and support we get from being part of a like-minded and specialist network is significant – not only for the running and growth of our portfolios, but also on a personal development level. This is an area we want to develop further.”

Paul added: “We’re excited to share our plans with prospective Franchise Partners and look forward to growing the network even more over the next 15 years plus.”