JOINED PLATINUM
PROPERTY PARTNER

February 2017

PREVIOUS
CAREER

Co-founder of Pet Accessory company

PORTFOLIO
LOCATION

Watford

NUMBER OF
HMOS

6

BIGGEST
BENEFIT

Passive income

Robin's never been a stranger to hard work, but by the end of 2019, he had replaced the regular income he used to be earning from his previous business which typically involved 75-80 hour weeks. Now, when not growing the portfolio, it requires an average of six days per month of work to maintain it.

After 20 years in the import/export industry, having co-founded a pet accessory company in 2005 which he sold in 2012, he’d experienced the blood, sweat and tears needed to build a successful business.

Robin continued to work in the business for the Private Equity owners, which was now turning over more than 100 million Euros, but the early mornings, late nights and lots of time in airports led to him wanting a real change. So, he took the opportunity to explore businesses that he and his wife, Maxine, could do together.

Proven systems and a formulaic path

In late 2016, Robin and Maxine came across Platinum Property Partners at a franchise show. Their initial idea had been to look at fast food franchises as they needed to replace the income lost from Robin’s salary fairly quickly. However, when they heard Founder of Platinum, Steve Bolton, give his presentation, they were excited to learn that they could build their own property portfolio via a franchise system.

Robin added: “It seemed that burger franchises wanted your heart and soul, and whilst you could earn a decent income, you’d still be trading your time for money, with no assets to speak of or any long-term solution. In contrast, Platinum offered all of what we were looking for and more.”

The couple had always been interested in property investment but had never been brave enough. They were fully aware of how easy it could be to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds as a result of just one mistake and were comforted by the fact that joining Platinum would give them the expert guidance they needed.

Whilst many Franchise Partners join Platinum for almost instant time freedom, Robin and Maxine took a full speed ahead approach. By April 2017, just two months after joining, they’d started the refurbishment of their first property. Two months into the refurbishment, they received the keys for their second project. By month three, when the work was finished, they had their first fully tenanted HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) in Watford and the builders moved on to start the second project.

Investment Success

98%

AVERAGE
OCCUPANCY

18%

RETURN ON
INVESTMENT

£28k

ANNUAL PROFIT
PER PROPERTY

I’d already trodden the entrepreneurial path, and decided I wanted a more formulaic path. I’m never going to be the type to sit back and retire early, but we wanted a low-risk business with proven systems in place and that’s why we looked at franchising.

Robin & Maxine

Book a discovery day

For the next two years, they followed the pattern of simultaneously managing tenants whilst managing a new property refurbishment and starting their search for the next purchase, at least five months before the current project was estimated to finish. During this time, they would start actively advertising the unfinished property so it would be ready for tenants to move in the day the builders moved out.

“We never joined the franchise with the view to take it slow as we knew we needed to build our business and earn an income quickly, so we have been aggressive and non-stop since day one,” said Robin.

Most properties have involved large scale refurbishments, including single storey extensions using Neighbourhood Consultation, loft and garage conversions, planning for Change of Use and Build Over applications as well as multiple Party Wall agreements. Thankfully, the extensive training and mentoring received by Platinum’s Power Team and continued support of HMO planning specialists, were invaluable – not to mention the expert advice on managing tenancies post-completion provided by Platinum’s letting manager.

Robin’s original goal on joining Platinum was to have six HMOs with a minimum of 36 rooms up and running by February 2022, which would have been 5 years after his journey started – a goal he has certainly smashed having reached the target number of HMOs with 38 rooms up and running by August 2019, 2.5 years ahead of schedule!

Part-time, relatively passive & exceeding different expectations

It has been full time to grow the portfolio to six within such a relatively short time, whilst currently in conveyancing on the seventh, Robin and Maxine have the freedom to work when they want and are looking forward to the latter part of 2020 when they may not be as aggressively growing the portfolio.

“With the sixth property up and running, it is taking no more than five to six days per month to manage, with it being no more than eight or nine days typically if we have a number of tenant changeovers,” added Robin. “If we were to then outsource the management, this would still give us a relatively passive net income each year similar to what I was earning from my previous business within a much shorter space of time and working a fraction of the time. It’s hard to get used to having so much time back to begin with, but it’s something I’m enjoying getting used to!”

Robin and Maxine are currently underway conveyancing on their seventh HMO, then will decide whether to go on to an eighth or possibly a different property project next. They also want to explore their love of travel; and renovating their own home, plus Robin would also like to focus on a personal ambition of his - of playing tennis at County level again. They will now be able to do so without having to worry about trading time for money running their business.

During their time with Platinum, a lot has changed in the property market, but Robin and Maxine have continued to adapt with the ongoing support available from Platinum and the network.

By being open-minded when it comes to property type, in the main, they haven’t struggled to make a purchase at the right price. They may have spent out more on refurbishment than initially expected, but this has been recouped at revaluation and they are achieving 35% higher room rents than the average of other non-Platinum HMOs in the area due to the quality they provide following the Platinum model and having further adapted it to what they have found works best for them. With a 98% occupancy rate, Robin and Maxine are also ahead of the competition when it comes to finding tenants and keeping them happy.

They credit this to their brand, Pure Homes, and are grateful that Platinum offers that level of autonomy that other franchises don’t: “Building our own brand was always important to us, and the PPP model allows for that. Our fruit logo represents the stylistic approach we take with our houses - clean, fresh and modern - and now we are spending time developing more of a social media presence.”

Robin concluded: “Without a shadow of a doubt, joining Platinum was the best decision we could have made when picking the right franchise for us. They have been crucial, not only to our success, but to going into property at all.”

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.