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Berkshire and London




Financial security and leveraging more from their money

A wise head on young shoulders?

“I’m not sure about that,” laughs James Tucker, “but certainly we’ve taken advantage of being in the fortunate position to be able to invest in property at a young age.”

James turned 30 in October 2023 and his younger brother and business partner Harry is 18 months younger than his elder sibling at 28.

Aged just 26 and 24 when they joined Platinum Property Partners back in 2019, however, it’s fair to say the Tucker brothers don’t necessarily fit the ‘standard’ franchise partner demographic.

But having received some early inheritance and those wise heads dominating the brothers’ thoughts on what to do with it, property was their chosen investment path - albeit, initially at least, on their own.

'We wanted to use our position to grow the pot of money we had'

“Being blunt, there’s no doubt that our aims were purely financially driven,” admits James.

“We’re very different from what you might describe as the ‘average’ Platinum franchise partner in that we hadn’t been working in a long corporate career for 30+ years and wanted an exit strategy for both financial and lifestyle reasons.

“We just wanted to utilise our fortunate position as much as we could and grow the pot of money we had as much as we could.

“We tried to get everything off the ground on our own and although we live in the south, we were trekking up the M1 and M6 every weekend trying to find properties in the north and north west.

“We were basically ‘online’ property investors and had been drawn to those areas because generally properties are cheaper and give you better returns – but after looking at properties for probably a year or so, we eventually realised we didn’t have a clue what we were actually looking for.”

'It didn't take long for we could see what joining was going to do for us'

Stuck on what to do next, James’ natural scepticism came to the fore when Harry “stumbled” across Platinum Property Partners.

“We had no idea anything like Platinum existed,” admits James.

“At first I was thinking ‘why would you want to spend a pretty hefty chunk of money to join the franchise and then obviously continue paying every month when surely you can just do it on your own’.

“But I went along to a Discovery Day and I was hooked from that point - we knew joining was probably going to be a great decision for us.”

James’s natural scepticism, though, comes across in the word ‘probably’ and his next step was to balance Harry’s analytical side with a deep dive into the experience of existing franchise partners.

“Everyone I spoke to, including dozens of existing franchise partners, didn’t have a bad word to say – and that almost made me more sceptical,” laughs James.

“It sounded too good to be true and I think that’s probably a feeling most people go through early on when they’re doing their due diligence.

“But it didn’t take long at all before we could both clearly see what joining was going to do for us.”

'Safety net is always the word I use to describe what Platinum is'

Within weeks of signing up as Platinum’s youngest franchise partners and with their full location report produced by the franchise’s planning team as a guide, the brothers decided on their Berkshire investment location.

Days later, they found themselves alongside their buying mentor viewing dozens of properties over two days.

“It was pretty intense,” says James with a smile, “but it’s the best way to do it, otherwise it’s easy to find yourself going backwards and forwards and not getting anywhere - similar to how we’d found ourselves when we’d initially gone it alone.

“I can't quite remember precisely how many properties we viewed, but it was a pretty hefty amount over the two days.

“Around lunchtime on the second day, we viewed one particular property with our mentor and quickly realised it could be a solid investment for us.

“Having that support and safety net there in our mentor was fantastic. ‘Safety net’ is always the word I use when anyone asks me what Platinum is and having our mentor there to show us what to look for in each property was amazing.

“Without them there, there’s absolutely no chance we’d have found that first property and got our business off the ground.”

With their first property fully renovated and converted into a co-living HMO, with the guidance of their refurbishment mentor and the franchise’s planning and lettings teams, James and Harry had successfully let all their rooms by the end of 2019 – just as the stories of a new virus were starting to dominate the news agenda.

“We finished our first property around four months before the first Covid-19 lockdown,” reflects James.

“So, very quickly we were hugely reliant on the franchise’s support team and the network of more experienced franchise partners.

“We had tenants going on furlough leave and some were struggling to pay their rent, so we were having to deal with those issues as new landlords and we couldn’t have done it without the lettings team’s backing.

“The support from Platinum throughout the pandemic was phenomenal and just the legality of everything during that period would have been a minefield for us if we were doing it alone.”

Fast forward to the present day and the Tuckers have added two more properties to their portfolio, backed again by Platinum’s mentors, power team of suppliers and experienced head office team.

“Over the first couple of years we built up a really good relationship with an estate agent who then moved from Berkshire to a London office,” says James.

“They knew us well and knew what kinds of properties we liked to convert so recommended one to us in Hanwell, which became our second HMO.

“Another agent we knew in Clapham then suggested a further property and that one, as I speak, is about to be finished, too.

“If anything, we’d have liked to grow a little bit faster than three properties but the property market went crazy after Covid-19 and there’s also been rising interest rates and refurbishment costs to consider since then as well.

“To be able to even complete three properties throughout all that really shows how resilient the HMO market and the Platinum business model are – and having Platinum’s external power team behind us has made a huge difference, particularly the mortgage guys, whose advice and guidance has been invaluable in a market where rates are rising.

“Not only that, but our fellow franchise partners are always there to help as well – it’s a hugely collaborative network. It’s honestly invaluable and it’s something you just don’t get with other, traditional franchises, where there’s more of a competitive edge.”

If a year is a long time in politics then four years is an age in the world of property and franchising and James admits both he and his brother have developed and grown as individuals throughout their time with Platinum.

“We’ve learned a huge amount about ourselves,” he admits.

“But we’re always looking to grow and improve as people and as business owners and being part of this really gives us the opportunity to do that.

“Our aim now is to keep growing the business as much as we can, be it through the capital which we've got left, money we'll make on the projects going forward, finding external investments or joint venture partners – another unique thing that being part of the Platinum network gives us.”

Franchise partner stories

Our Franchise Partners come from all walks of life. Some have a lot of property experience and others have very little, or none. But all of them are now enjoying the income and freedom that come from partnering with Platinum.