Finally achieving the real buy-to-let dream
BEN GOULD – FRANCHISE PARTNER
Joined PPP: January 2017
Previous career: Family business
Portfolio Location: Bridgwater
Biggest Benefit: Freedom
Ben Gould explains why Platinum Property Partners gave him and his parents, Mike and Jane, a secure way to invest in property that would give them an income in the short-term and security in the long-term…
What did you do before buying your own franchise?
The family business was a mortgage brokerage which we ran until 2008 when we switched to helping businesses who were experiencing financial difficulties or facing insolvency. It was hands on and you were only as good as your last sale, so we were constantly looking for new customers and ways to expand. We wanted to do something different that would benefit us for the long term.
Why did you choose to join Platinum Property Partners?
We were looking at several options and property was one of them. We’ve always had a few properties - I rented out a property that I owned, inherited a property from my grandmother and we bought a couple of houses. The buy-to-let dream was always way into the future though, hoping the properties would be worth a fortune in the long term - because the reality was that they never made any money in the short term.
The Platinum model turned this on its head. It suddenly became important to know how to make money from property today and they had a proven process for it. We’d be able to earn an income that would give us time freedom to focus on other things and create a legacy. I have two children that I want to put through private education and give them financial security when they’re older. I also want to go back to university and this would give me the chance to do that.
I also loved the people, the availability of help and advice and the confidence that their support would give me.
How have you found the past year?
The first year has been a bit of a whirlwind, there’s a lot to learn. Buying a property is complicated - sometimes it feels as if you’re just writing big cheques and it takes time. The guidance from Platinum has been fantastic, especially the mentoring and support from other Partners. What struck me when I went to the Discovery Day was their openness and honesty about the business, so I was in no doubt what the first year would be like and I’m now at a point where I know it works. It’s been a great success.
What have you achieved so far?
I’ve got one fully tenanted 7-bed HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) and another 8-bed HMO currently undergoing refurbishment. I’ve used a builder that has done other Platinum properties. The first is in the town centre and caters for a younger and more flexible type of tenant – those who spend most of their time out of the house or are working in the area as contractors. The second is much more homely and will appeal to people who want to have a sense of belonging somewhere. Through Platinum, I was not only able to learn the rules and regulations around lettings, but how to find the right tenants in order to create a harmonious household.
Has there been a defining moment?
One was certainly when the HMO officer told me that the property was amazing and the best finish of an HMO in the town. Then it was successfully letting the first room and hearing from the tenant how great the property was. Both proved to me that what I was doing was appreciated and would work. I’d never have known how to cost-effectively achieve such high quality without Platinum.
What are your plans and goals for the future?
The plan over the next four years is to gradually grow the portfolio to around 40 rooms and have a mix of style of property, fit and I can already see that is achievable. That will then enable me to have a rental manager to deal with the day-to-day hands on, which has always been the objective - to find a balance between having more time and having a substantial income.