Corporate Sales and Freelance Marketing


Swindon and Andover




A ‘can do’ attitude, Retirement and helping both children to get onto the property ladder.

From Anxiety to Action

In 2017, Julia Matthews and her husband Phil, were experiencing growing anxiety about their retirement plans. Despite both having successful careers and no mortgage, they were concerned that their retirement pot would not allow them to continue with the lifestyle they enjoyed, and that Phil would be working full time for years to come.

"Being in our late 50s at the time, we just had anxiety about when we could retire and whether there would be a pot big enough to give us the income we wanted," Julia recalls. “We’d been thinking this way for a couple of years, doing all the calculations and dreaming about spending more time at our ski chalet in Austria and supporting our sons more.”

The turning point came when Julia reconnected with a long-time friend, who she’d actually bought a property with in her 20s, who revealed that their financial success was due to being part of PPP. Intrigued, Julia and Phil went to visit their friends’ portfolio and quickly arranged to meet with Paul Watson, another current franchise partner, who introduced them to the PPP model. "We were impressed and had no idea anything like this existed. We signed up within a week, the fastest people to do so, I believe," Julia says.

Building the Portfolio

With Phil remaining in full time work, Julia took the lead in building their new property business. They leveraged the equity from their home to pay the franchise fee and fund their first investments, which were two back-to-brick projects in Swindon.

“Doing the build was hard work,” explains Julia. “Developing an HMO is not a standard project, so many builders were put off, and when I was eventually recommended one, I realised I was a woman in a man’s world, but the level of support I received from the network was fantastic.

“From speaking with the refurbishment mentor, Kim, and calling on the planning department to resolve an historic issue, everyone was approachable. There’s no hierarchy or red tape and no request for help is off the table.”

Their efforts quickly expanded in 2020 when they bought three existing PPP properties in Andover, taking their portfolio to five properties and 30 tenants.

“But learning all these new skills later in life has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of joining PPP, and for me personally, I have been exposed to people from all walks of life that I may never have encountered. It’s been incredible.”

Julia Matthews

Hands-on and High Returns

Although the pair have now been in the franchise almost seven years, they have chosen not to bring in property managers, instead handling the whole portfolio themselves.

From weeding the garden and learning how to put up shower bars, to doing the books and all the tenancy check-ins and outs, Julia is a self-confessed micro manager.

"We are very, very hands-on and never wanted to be the pipe and slippers type, Julia explains. “I do everything from end-of-tenancy cleans to maintenance and decorating, and only get in tradespeople when the job is above my skillset.

“But learning all these new skills later in life has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of joining PPP, and for me personally, I have been exposed to people from all walks of life that I may never have encountered. It’s been incredible.”

Julia and Phil’s meticulous approach and management style has not only maintained but enhanced the quality of their properties, as well as attracted loyal tenants. "Our properties still look as good as they did on day one. We have an average occupancy rate of 97%, with tenants staying for years," Julia says proudly. “Having followed the high-standard process taught by PPP, we have only ever had three problematic tenants and in fact, six love stories in our houses too!”

Taking on a lot of the day-to-day tasks themselves has also enabled Julia and Phil to maintain high returns too. Regardless of the higher mortgage interest rates, the properties generate on average 18% return on investment and allow the couple to take an £80,000 income each year.

With Phil now fully retired too and £100k equity in each HMO, the couple plan to continue as they are for at least two years before reviewing their long-term plans.

Julia adds: “The franchise has certainly met our expectations, both financially and personally. We have a healthy income and probably work no more than two days per week. Our youngest son is now 25 and has shown an interest in the business, so we may consider passing it on or selling part of the portfolio, but not for a while.”

Regardless, they are committed to keeping their management within the PPP network due to its robust support and shared values. "The great ethos within PPP is something we value highly. Unless we find someone with a similar mindset, we wouldn’t hand over management," Julia says.

Freedom, Flexibility and Paying it Forward

As a result of the portfolio they have built and income they have generated, Julia and Phil have helped get their two sons onto the property ladder and achieved a healthy work-life balance, being able to travel to their holiday home, as well as have the confidence to build a second business in automated storage solutions.

Reflecting on their journey, Julia and Phil have no regrets and wish they had done it sooner. "It was a fantastic choice to make. It has given us the life we want and the income we need," Julia concludes. “We now have a can-do attitude to everything in life and have joined a community of positive people who are all so giving of their time, knowledge, and experience in a way that is very rare."

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.