Laura O’Connell first came across Platinum Property Partners when her PR and Communications business was commissioned to conduct some research within the Private Rented Sector.
While fascinated and impressed by the proposition and the people, Laura wasn’t in a position to invest in building a property portfolio at the time and it wasn’t until a couple of years later, she had a watershed moment.
“It was actually Brexit that propelled me into moving forward,” said Laura. “It made me want to accelerate planning my future because it made me realise that you didn’t know what was around the corner. I needed to take control and generate an additional income stream that would give me the option of an early retirement and I had never doubted the strength of property and Platinum’s proven model.”
At the same time, a couple of Laura’s friends had fallen ill, which motivated her even more to find a way to enjoy life and be stress-free. Having already learned so much about Platinum in a work capacity, Laura was confident that joining the franchise was the right move. She’d also sold a stake in her business and organised her workload which gave her the capital and ability to balance her career with building a new business.
Proof you can build a property business alongside a full-time career
“It was the right time for me,” added Laura. “My children had finished their A-levels and work settled down which gave me the time and energy to focus on securing my future without sacrificing my career.”
Using her annual leave entitlement and evenings and weekends, Laura started her training and mentoring with Platinum, which she describes as ‘a thoroughly professional, valuable and enjoyable process’.
For some people, the challenge of juggling a full-time job with building a business could be stressful, but not for Laura.
“The key is to be organised and not compare yourselves to other Franchise Partners who might be building their portfolio faster because they have more time,” said Laura. “The process you go through with Platinum is staged and sequential so it’s easily manageable and what I found so great was that every little thing you do is progress. No time is wasted and they are always getting you closer to the end goal.”
By July 2017, Laura had purchased, refurbished and fully let her first House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) just north of Gatwick Airport. With the help of an experienced builder who had already worked on seven Platinum properties, she converted what was once a 3-bedroom end of terrace house into a 6-bedroom and 5-bathroom HMO for professional tenants. Laura is also achieving the highest rent per room in the area and a 16% yield overall.
Unlike many Partners, Laura found the endless shopping for getting the property ready to rent the least enjoyable experience, but is loving being a landlord and seeing the appreciation her tenants have for the quality of the property and service.
Laura completed on her second property in February 2018, with her long-term goal to grow her portfolio by one property a year while she continues to work.
Laura concluded: “The whole experience has been amazing and I have learnt so much. It’s proven to me that there is no way I could have done this on my own and having the network of Franchise Partners and Power Team members to call upon for their expertise and support is where the real value in the franchise fee lies.”
“I know I am creating something of value, not just for myself, but for tenants too. They will always need somewhere warm, safe, comfortable and affordable to live no matter what happens.”