Business & Professional Services, Lettings & Property
Paul and Linda Cronin - choosing a franchise that offers a better quality of life
After many years spent building an impressive corporate career in the IT world, Paul Cronin felt the urge to get out of the rat race and run his own business.
His 30-year career culminated in the role of Vice President of Sales for a telecommunication software company. Having reached this position and with his three children now young adults, Paul began to reassess his options. Paul and his wife Linda decided they wanted a business they could run together and, having already bought, developed and sold investment properties during the boom years, property presented an attractive option.
Paul explains their thinking at the time: “When we first ventured into the world of property investment, the benefits were fairly intangible. Buying and selling was risky because we were assuming there would be short term captial growth. Before setting out on our own again, we recognised that we needed a more certain return on investment in respect to both our time and money.”
“I was struggling to choose between six excellent franchises, until I realised that Platinum Property Partners had two features that set it apart. Firstly, the other franchises required continuous selling - fail to sell sufficiently and the business fails to exist. PPP offers the attraction of passive income after some initial hard work, without the sales slog I was trying to get away from.
“Secondly, where most other franchises leave you with just goodwill, with PPP I am accumulating tangible, appreciating assets in bricks and mortar. These were the key reasons I selected PPP.”
Paul and Linda joined the PPP franchise in April 2010, through which they are building a highly cash positive property portfolio in Berkshire and Surrey. They now have four houses in multiple occupation (HMO) up and running, a fifth in refurbishment and a sixth in the pipeline. The four properties produce £66,711 annual gross profit. That’s after paying all costs, including mortgage, bills and maintenance, and allowing for voids and PPP’s management service fees.
“A large part of our decision to join PPP was down to the integrity of founder Steve Bolton and quality of the network - both professional advisers and the other franchise partners,” says Paul. “We are now working with some truly great people who approach life with a very giving attitude and a philosophy of sharing their time and skills freely. The focus is on achieving financial freedom and thus being able to choose how and with whom we spend our time.
“Being part of such a community has already
had an incredibly positive impact on our lives.
Linda and I are enjoying more time together while
giving something back; we’ve found a way to
address the balance between input and return and
are enjoying all the personal and financial rewards
of running our own business.”
Paul and Linda observed the pressures associated with sales dominated franchises, which can shatter attempts at a profitable work-life balance and leave you with little to show for your efforts. Platinum Property Partners offers a different solution to standard franchise options, one founded on support, not dependent on selling and which offers a valuable and tangible asset base as well as a regular income.
Market leading profits
PPP’s franchise partners quickly, safely and successfully build UK buy to let property portfolios, delivering reliable, long term and market leading profits from rental income alone.
Through PPP you can build a property business that gives you more money, more time, less stress and, ultimately, more choices and freedom in life. A superb side benefit of the tried, tested and proven business model is that it also produces a substantial asset base, which provides for future pension provision and creates a long term legacy that can be passed on to future generations.
The PPP business model has been developed and refined over the last decade by founder Steve Bolton. Franchised in 2007, PPP is the fastest growing premium franchise in UK history. There are 135 franchise partners operating in 85 towns and cities across the UK. The company is an award winning landlord, a full member of the British Franchise Association and the market leading provider of high quality, low cost shared accommodation for working professionals in the UK.
The business model enables franchise partners to build property portfolios that achieve an average return on investment of 15 per cent. After paying all costs (mortgage, bills, maintenance and voids), an average PPP property will generate £15,000 gross profit per annum from rental income alone. A portfolio of five PPP properties typically achieves a net profit of £40,000 to £50,000 per annum in a tax efficient manner. A larger portfolio of 10 to 12 PPP properties can consistently achieve a net profit of £125,000 to £150,000 per annum.
PPP helps people who are frustrated with their current income and/or pension provision. The proven business model has enabled many people to supplement, and often replace, their existing income and build a legacy business. The culture within the PPP franchise network is unique and inspiring and the ‘Be More - Do More - Have More - Give More’ mission of the business is an approach shared by all franchise partners.
PPP franchise partners have purchased over £60 million of investment property since 2007. The business model has been strong enough to not only withstand the global financial downturn, but to prosper throughout this period. The franchise is unique because it combines high trading profits with appreciating underlying property assets that also provide for future capital growth.
Gertie Owen from south London, Platinum Property Partners (PPP) franchise partner, recently appeared on BBC One’s Homes Under the Hammer.
She joined PPP in 2011 after spending 20 years looking after her children and being, in her own words: “A lady of leisure”. Since joining PPP, she has purchased and converted three properties in south London into PPP houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
Gertie is featured on the flagship daytime show buying a four-bedroom semi-detached Victorian house in Penge, south London at auction. She bought the house for £285,000. Using the tried, tested and proven PPP investment model and with support from PPP every step of the way, she developed the property into a six-bedroom HMO with four double en-suite rooms and two single en-suite rooms.
On the show she explained that although the property would normally rent for £1,600 per month as a standard family residential let, following the PPP model means this figure increases to at least £3,500 per month, providing high standard rented accommodation for young professionals.
Since the show was aired, Gertie is now letting a sixth bedroom, which has increased the gross monthly rental income to £4,200 per month. This means that by following the PPP system Gertie is receiving £2,600 more rental income per month - £31,200 per annum - than would be achievable on a single occupancy basis. After allowing for additional costs like utility bills, council tax and cleaning, Gertie still makes £2,100 per month - £25,200 per annum - more than renting the house as a single unit.
The budget for the refurbishment of the Penge property was £80,000, which was expected to take six-seven months to complete. Gertie says: “Due to the support of the PPP system and, in particular, amazing ongoing assistance from one of PPP’s refurbishment mentors, the project came in on time and on budget. I have watched so many property TV shows where this is simply not the case.”
Homes Under the Hammer co-presenter Lucy Alexander was sceptical of PPP’s involvement and told Gertie several times she should “go it alone”. However, Gertie explains the key reasons why she joined PPP: “The thought of undertaking a project of this type without support is extremely frightening. What the show doesn’t cover is just how safe and profitable the PPP investment strategy is.
“I am currently on my third property, which I bought in July, and this is now being refurbished. In addition to the fantastic cash flow, PPP has also helped me to recover some of my cash invested in the property. I paid £285,000 and spent £80,000 on refurbishment, so I was in for £365,000 before stamp duty and completion costs. The estate agents on the show believed that as a family home the property would be worth £350,000, but as a PPP HMO I would get £400,000. This proved to be 100 per cent correct.
“It was surveyed after refurbishment by my mortgage company and this allowed me to recycle a good percentage of the cash I invested. The enhanced capital uplift - or forced appreciation, as PPP calls it - is just one of many less obvious benefits of the PPP investment strategy.”
Even Lucy Alexander warmed to the concept of PPP once she revisited the property after the works had been completed. She said: “I can see why people would find joining a franchise appealing due to the help, advice and contacts and the ability to maximise potential as far as rental income was concerned.”
An estate agent who viewed the property after the refurbishment was astonished at the standard and quality of the property, saying: “It doesn’t feel like the same house…the attention to detail is similar to a hotel…very impressive.”
Gertie is clearly looking to the future. She explains: “Having spent 20 years being a stay at home mum, I was looking for a new challenge once my children left home. Through PPP I have found a new purpose in my life. I am really excited by the future and have made some lifelong new friends through this business.”
Earn £100,000 a year passive income within three-five years, says Platinum Property Partners in its marketing headlines. As it approaches its third birthday, this unique franchise proposition is proving to live up to its claims
When Platinum Property Partners (PPP) launched in July 2007, it had just 10 foundation franchise partners (PPP’s term for franchisees). Today there are almost 60, with nearly 100 highly cash-positive buy-to-let investment properties in the combined portfolio, each producing an average of over £12,500 pre-tax profit per annum.
When they join the franchise, prospects commit to making a minimum of two of this type of investment each year, and can be virtually assured that if they do, and follow PPP ’s systems and strategies to acquire, refurbish, tenant and manage the properties, they will see pre-tax profits of £100,000 within five years.
Simon and Anna Mackaness are PPP franchise partners based in Northampton. Since they joined in July 2007, the couple have bought seven UK buy-to-let properties, with 43 rental units, which generate a gross yield of over 15 per cent, an industry leading level for residential buy-to-let. The annual gross profit from this portfolio - after they have paid the mortgage, all utility and other bills, and allowing for maintenance and void periods - is around £100,000. The gross return on their own capital invested is over 33 per cent.
Their motivation for joining PPP was a desire to find a business they could run together and one that would generate enough cash flow to pay for their children’s education. They had looked at a number of franchise opportunities, but found most of the businesses uninspiring.
"Most of the opportunities we looked at seemed to involve huge numbers, but a relatively tiny profit," says Simon, a former insurance broking director. "I just couldn’t see a long-term future that I’d be happy with. PPP’s was the only one we looked at that really caught our interest. Most of my family are involved in property in some way, and it seems a very logical, sensible basis for a business, with tangible short and long-term profitability and excellent pension provision."
Their plan for the next 12 months is to consolidate their portfolio and make it more efficient. Says Simon: "I know we’re making good profit, but I also know there are areas where we can still minimise the outgoings. Running this business properly takes time and effort and Anna and I are aware that with our busy lives we haven’t been doing everything we could to really maximise the profitability. By following the franchise system, and with PPP’s ongoing support, I have no doubt we will see increased profits this year.
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