Patricia Russell’s talk at May’s PIM was a fascinating “real life” story of her property journey.
Patricia is a proud Bristolian and one of Property Options’ successful Mentees!
Despite growing up in an environment where low educational and employment expectations were the norm, Patricia has overcome many obstacles and personal challenges to create the lucrative HMO business she has today, as she explained.
Patricia always had a determined outlook, and developed her entrepreneurial skills when she found herself struggling as a single parent on low income. Working for the local authority for over 30 years, she decided to take up a post graduate University diploma in her 40’s.
With her successful savings strategies and careful planning, Patricia was able to buy her first dream holiday home earlier than expected – in Egypt.
In 2010 having been made unexpectedly redundant in her 50’s, Patricia reached another turning point in her life and career. She decided to retrain again in Property and after some interesting false starts (first going to auctions and then signing up for an expensive course, with an even more expensive upsell – yes, we’ve all been there!) she found herself sitting across the desk from Property Options founder and mentor Del Brown.
The first property they looked at was too big a project for Patricia at the time, but as she explained, it opened her eyes to the possibilities and gave her the confidence to buy her first property – a 3 floor, 6 bedroom property in Fishponds, with potential for yet more development, for £300k. She funded the deposit through a remortgage on her own property, her redundancy money and a loan from an uncle. The property was converted into a 10 bedroom HMO.
Patricia’s account of the development work was indeed a frank and honest appraisal of her experiences of setting up her HMO business. The challenges she faced at the outset included –
- Raising finance
- Selling her ideas to others
- Negotiation skills
- Finding and dealing with tradesmen (especially as a woman) including understanding estimates and knowing whether the work was being done correctly
- Insurance and utility services issues
- Timetables and planning
- Dealing with building regulations and planning issues
- Information overload!
All these will be familiar to anyone who has started investing in property without experience – and Patricia has learned a huge amount about what’s involved, including all the things she had never thought of, because she simply didn’t know enough – but throughout she was able to ask Del for advice and support, which made all the difference and kept her on track – along with her own determination.
Patricia shared her top tips for managing a major renovation and conversion:
- Be clear what the tradesmen are doing and when
- Have a written timetable and rates of pay
- Clarify who is responsible for purchasing materials
- Source deals for materials – she got some great deals
- Collect trade cards – she saved herself a small fortune
- Check out credentials eg Gas safety certificates
- Remember about Health and Safety on the site – such as hard hats
- See examples of other developments
- Find a support group – Patrica also met up with other mentees to swap ideas
Plus several more invaluable inside tips from her “Don’t Do” list:
- Don’t leave workmen to their own devices
- Don’t pay people in advance
- Don’t forget legislation changes
- Don’t assume partnerships with run smoothly, especially in families
- Don’t leave yourself too short financially
- Don’t think you are superwoman (or superman) and can do it all yourself!
Patricia’s project took a year and the work cost £100k. It was extremely demanding, both physically and stressful – but she now has a large 10 bedroom studio HMO, worth approximately £700k and generating £2500 net profit per month.
When it was all over, she rewarded herself with her lifelong dream trip – to Rwanda to see the gorillas in the mountains.
She now plans to develop a new build HMO, with 4 flats, on spare land at the back of the property, which should end up worth approx £550k.
Patricia loves to share her knowledge and expertise with others, believing that anyone can change their life and create income with the right mindset, determination – and working with the right people – exactly as she has.
Her talk was truly heartfelt and real. If you missed Patricia’s inspiring story, you missed a chance to discover exactly what’s involved and how much determination it takes – but also how well you can do, in quite a short time, even starting with no knowledge, but with the right help, support and advice.
So do make sure you join us next month – on 30 June 2016 at Holiday Inn, Bristol City Centre, 6-9 pm
For more info and to reserve your place CLICK BELOW!
We look forward to seeing you on the night.
Del Brown and the team at Property Options