Joined Platinum Property Partners


Previous careers

Mark: Accounting software sales and marketing. Sue: Commercial vehicle marketing

Portfolio location

Reading, Berkshire

Number of HMOs


Biggest benefit

Secure income stream and a strong asset base, collaboration with fellow franchise partners

Moving on from corporate life

Mark and Sue Davis had never considered investing in property, let alone seen themselves as landlords of an HMO portfolio, until redundancy and a chance encounter at a franchise show made them reconsider. Mark explains:

“Sue’s early career was in training and development and then, when the children were older, she started at a marketing agency which she is still with today. Meanwhile, I had a rewarding, if topsy turvy, corporate career - working my way from tech through marketing to head of UK operations for two European software companies.

But I’d suffered a couple of redundancies from companies who I had thought were going to be a source of long-term wealth and security, and we realised that working for others wasn’t going to provide us with a secure financial future. “

It was this desire to shape their own future which found Mark and Sue attending a Franchise Show in 2012. Although even then Mark admits that they weren’t considering property investment as an option, until they happened to catch a Platinum presentation at the show. The couple were intrigued and, impressed by the low-risk business model, they made the decision to join Platinum that same year.

Building at pace

Once in the network, the Davies quickly set about building their HMO portfolio; purchasing and refurbishing house number 1 in the summer of 2012 and moving on to houses number 2 and 3 just one month apart from each other in 2013! Working at this pace was not without its challenges, but Mark credits Platinum with keeping them on track, especially in the early days:

“Like anyone new to property refurbishments we faced a lot of unknowns, but the support of the mentors, and of the planning and lettings specialists was fundamental to our success. The combination of head office support and talking to those who had trodden the path before us, enabled us to move forward. After only two years not only were we on a sound financial footing, but we had managed to replace my income!

But Mark and Sue quickly found that the benefits of joining the Platinum network extended far beyond their financial success. Mark recalls: “We joined Platinum on May 1st 2012, expecting to have a clear run in Reading for at least six months.  Little did we know that another couple, Alex and Emma, would join on 1st June!  To Alex’s credit, he reached out and the four of us met for lunch.  I remember it well – I’m sure we all do.  It could have been a tricky meeting, but we left with a warm feeling that quickly moved towards friendship and collaboration rather than competition.”

After that, the couples met often to share information, and when the next franchisees - Nigel and Kay, joined Platinum a year later they slotted easily into the group, meeting regularly, and becoming friends as well as colleagues.

The franchise partners continued to work alongside each other whilst managing their portfolios independently, but, by the autumn of 2015, the HMO market in Reading was becoming increasingly competitive. Realising that it would make sense to face the market together, the friends decided to join forces properly and create their own brand….and Snug Shared Living was born! Mark remembers the beginnings of the enterprise:

“Whilst the early days were undeniably hard work, we found our close relationship meant we were able to work through any difficulties as they arose. We recruited a lettings manager, Rebecca, who is still with us today!  Rebecca has been a perfect fit and Snug is as much hers as it is ours.”

A tragic event caused the group to take stock however when, in February 2020, they lost Kay to cancer. This affected everyone as Mark explains:

“We were devastated to lose Kay. She was such a strong part of our team, but her memory lives on, and we still always ask ourselves, ‘What would Kay say?’ when we’re facing a difficult problem.

And as Kay’s legacy lives on, the team have continued to tackle new challenges together:

“Much like being in the wider franchise, working in partnership with our fellow Snuggers makes it easier to deal with unexpected developments.  Covid is a prime example, and the current energy crisis is another.

We don’t meet as often as we used to, but that’s only because Rebecca and her team are so self-sufficient.  The future for the portfolio that Sue and I own is about steady growth and gradually changing to become less involved on a day-to-day basis. 

Our children are grown up with young children of their own, so it’s early days, but we’re proud that one of them has already added a property of their own to the Snug portfolio. 

"There are lots of possibilities and we feel extremely optimistic that we can map our way to a secure and comfortable retirement and provide our family with opportunities - something we would never have dreamt possible if we hadn’t been drawn to PPP at that Franchise Show 10 years ago!”


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.