Meet The PWS Team

Meet The PWS Team

Caroline Claydon

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Invests In: Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow,
Fife, Swindon, Edinburgh, Southport & London

Specialism in: Started out with simple buy to lets and social housing quickly progressing to HMO’s across a number of locations including a mixture of professionals, holiday lets and student tenants. In the middle of a global pandemic we opened an 11 bed Boutique Smart Guesthouse/ Hotel. We continue to add buy to lets and are negotiating on securing a warehouse

Nick Claydon

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Invests In: Central belt of Scotland, Birmingham, Liverpool, Southport

Specialism in: Began with the basics, building a solid base of high cashflowing BTLs in Scotland, before stepping up into student HMOs in Birmingham. These involved developing 3 bed houses into 6/7 bed En-suite student houses, generating high returns. We systemised and rolled out this strategy in multiple locations. Next step was to move into Serviced Accommodation and “Smart Hotels” to focus on high income generation. Currently moving into the commercial/industrial sector.

Sarah Blaney

Location:  Originally from Hertfordshire but now happily living on the South Coast in Lymington
Invests In: My main focus is Merseyside in the North West, but we have held and developed in Bedfordshire and the South Coast also

Specialism in: We started with simple buy to lets and quickly progressed to student and professional HMO’s. My favourite strategy has been multi-unit blocks, one transaction giving lots of front doors, it’s a winner. Throughout the years we have also converted commercial to residential and developed and sold basement flats. In 2019 we combined my love for business with my love of property and refurbed a 13-bed boutique smart Guesthouse. 

Ryan Rogers

Location:  Moved over from South Africa in 2013 and been living in Glasgow ever since.
Invests In: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Manchester and Nuneaton.

Specialism in: The first 12 months were spent purchasing buy to lets in Scotland where I was buying on average one a month due to my ability to raise angel finance quickly. I then started buying HMO’s down in England and I trade property when the right deal comes up. My main focus is still on these three strategies because they are a tried and tested means of adding cash flow to my business. 

Rick Blaney

Location:  Originally a home counties boy, but having spent 6 years living and working overseas I relocated to the seaside in Lymington, Hampshire
Invests In: My main focus is Merseyside in the North West, but we have held and developed in Bedfordshire and the South Coast also

Specialism in: started with simple buy to lets and quickly progressed to HMO’s across a students and professionals. My favourite strategy has been multi-unit blocks, it is the only time I’ll own flats again when I own all of them! Throughout the years we have also converted commercial to residential and developed and sold basement flats. In 2019 we refurbed and built up a 13-bed boutique smart hotel. 

James D'Souza

Location:  South London 
Invests In:  We mainly invest in Lincolnshire and the North East of England with properties in multiple other areas as well.

Specialism in: I started with simple buy to lets and quickly progressed to HMO’s across a students and professionals. My favourite strategy has been multi-unit blocks, it is the only time I’ll own flats again when I own all of them! Throughout the years we have also converted commercial to residential and developed and sold basement flats. In 2019 we refurbed and built up a 13-bed boutique smart hotel. 

Meet The PWS Team

Jordan
Kynoch

Shilleen
Wilson

Donna McCloskey

Gill
Green

Mark
Winship

Andrea Carrington

Chris
O’Hare

Emily
Smith

Alex
Murray

Rob
Ravilious

James
Horgan

Michelle
Wales 

Helena Gyllensward

Paul
Murray

Natalie 
D'Souza

Our Trainers In More Detail

Caroline Claydon

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Invests In: Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow,
Fife, Swindon, Edinburgh, Southport & London

Specialism in: Started out with simple buy to lets and social housing quickly progressing to HMO’s across a number of locations including a mixture of professionals, holiday lets and student tenants. In the middle of a global pandemic we opened an 11 bed Boutique Smart Guesthouse/ Hotel. We continue to add buy to lets and are negotiating on securing a warehouse

Originally from Edinburgh and graduated from Aberdeen University 1998, I worked in corporate recruitment, then set up my own International recruitment company in January 2007 for it to stop generating any money in 2008 due to the global recession.  That recession led to us to accumulate a large sum of debt (£80,000) with no plan to recover from it.

How & when did you get started in property etc: 
We invested in our property education in November 2008 and from there were buying on average 1 property per month. Within 12 months of starting to buy property properly we had created a secure monthly income and then 6 months later the horrible debt had been cleared. You really don't know what you don’t know!

I’m passionate about showing people there is a way to turn even the most dyer situations into an opportunity by adjusting your mindset, surrounding yourself with people who are in a position you’d like to be in and to take action other people are not prepared to take.    

I am an international trainer and speaker who has been the lead trainer for Robert & Kim Kiyosaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Martin Roberts from Homes Under the Hammer, Robbie Fowler’s Property Academy, Steve Backley and Roger Black’s Perform in Property for 10 years.  I have trained hundreds of thousands of people to buy income generating assets in the UK property market during the highs and lows of recessions.  
 
I understand the importance of education in many areas and have been trained by some of the world’s leading financial, mindset and entrepreneurial educators and influencers including Robert Kiyosaki of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, Nick Vujicic of ‘Limitless’, Brendon Burchard of ‘High Performance Habits’, Tom Hopkins of ‘How to Master the Art of Selling’, Blair Singer of ‘Little Voice Mastery’, and Jim Francis of ‘Sales Code’.

I have more than 11 years of experience speaking in front of audiences from intimate gatherings to big stage events with more than 7000 people at the National Achievers Congress and had global training engagements covering Europe, USA and Asia on topics including: 

My ‘Why” are my boys and my Westies (crazy dog lady alert!)

Fun fact about you: I won the Junior Scottish Tennis championships when I was 16 years old

Nick Claydon

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Invests In: Central belt of Scotland, Birmingham, Liverpool, Southport

Specialism in: Began with the basics, building a solid base of high cashflowing BTLs in Scotland, before stepping up into student HMOs in Birmingham. These involved developing 3 bed houses into 6/7 bed En-suite student houses, generating high returns. We systemised and rolled out this strategy in multiple locations. Next step was to move into Serviced Accommodation and “Smart Hotels” to focus on high income generation. Currently moving into the commercial/industrial sector.

Career / Background before property: Traditional route through school/A-levels/University (where the first seed of my future career was sown when I calculated the cashflow my student landlord was earning!) After graduation I had a short-lived career in the television production industry, before finding myself in a career in corporate recruitment for 10 years. This gave me a good background in sales, business operations and development and people management. 

How & when did you get started in property: After becoming bored with the frustrations of corporate life, Caroline and I set up our own “lifestyle” recruitment firm in order to fund our aspirations of property investing. This again was short-lived due to the 2008 recession, and this forced us to get ourselves educated in property and go after our real dream of being full time property investor

Fun fact about you: Once appeared on TV in a gorilla suit…

Sarah Blaney

Location:  Originally from Hertfordshire but now happily living on the South Coast in Lymington
Invests In: My main focus is Merseyside in the North West, but we have held and developed in Bedfordshire and the South Coast also

Specialism in: We started with simple buy to lets and quickly progressed to student and professional HMO’s. My favourite strategy has been multi-unit blocks, one transaction giving lots of front doors, it’s a winner. Throughout the years we have also converted commercial to residential and developed and sold basement flats. In 2019 we combined my love for business with my love of property and refurbed a 13-bed boutique smart Guesthouse. 

Career / Background before property: I am a weird combination of a maths loving marketer, I geek out on tax and analysis as much as I do in marketing strategy and design. That is borne out by the fact that I have a first-class degree in economics as well as distinction in my marketing masters. Life before property was predominately climbing the corporate ladder within FMCG sales and marketing and then recruitment. After living and working in Melbourne for a few years Rick and I returned to the UK and set up a recruitment business which we later happily shelved for a property career! 

How & when did you get started in property etc: Together with hubby Rick we first started investing in property as amateurs in 1999, our first BTL paid out eventually but it was a heavy burden in the early times. Mainly due to us not understanding the property industry, we were all ready to chuck it in auction at a loss when in 2015 we decided to invest in our property education. Within months we then took this problem BTL and solved its lifetime of problems; bought the freehold, sorted out the short leases and management and turned a burden into a cash flowing asset that then gave us huge profit. We would not have done that without the knowledge and guidance that our property education gave us. 

Our why in all of this is simple; time and flexibility; to comfortably enjoy time with family & friends and to have fun in the lovely part of the world we call home. 

Fun fact about you:  I have taken a lion for a walk, starred in a Bollywood movie, and got drunk with Coldplay but not all on the same day.

Ryan Rogers

Location:  Moved over from South Africa in 2013 and been living in Glasgow ever since.
Invests In: Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Manchester and Nuneaton.

Specialism in: The first 12 months were spent purchasing buy to lets in Scotland where I was buying on average one a month due to my ability to raise angel finance quickly. I then started buying HMO’s down in England and I trade property when the right deal comes up. My main focus is still on these three strategies because they are a tried and tested means of adding cash flow to my business. 

Career / Background before property: Studied Industrial Design at the University of Johannesburg before working for a product design studio in Durban for 8 years. I then started a design agency with my best friend in Sweden which brought me over to the UK.
 
How and when did you get started in property: After closing down our design agency I found myself freelancing and realised that I was working ‘hand to mouth’ and that I needed to find a way to add another stream of income to my business. I found myself drawn to property investing and got myself educated in 2015. Within 18 months, I was able to focus solely on property and building my portfolio and business. I was given the opportunity to mentor others and after seeing the impact it had on my career and family life, I want to continue to help others achieve the same success.

Fun fact about you: I have been a medalist in Karate at the South African Championships.Studied Industrial Design at the University of Johannesburg before working for a product design studio in Durban for 8 years. I then started a design agency with my best friend in Sweden which brought me over to the UK.
 

Rick Blaney

Location:  Originally a home counties boy, but having spent 6 years living and working overseas I relocated to the seaside in Lymington, Hampshire
Invests In: My main focus is Merseyside in the North West, but we have held and developed in Bedfordshire and the South Coast also

Specialism in: started with simple buy to lets and quickly progressed to HMO’s across a students and professionals. My favourite strategy has been multi-unit blocks, it is the only time I’ll own flats again when I own all of them! Throughout the years we have also converted commercial to residential and developed and sold basement flats. In 2019 we refurbed and built up a 13-bed boutique smart hotel. 

Career / Background before property: After studying and graduating from Liverpool in 1997 I went straight into a corporate career, working for large global recruitment companies; managing teams of up to 30 recruiters. We then took some time out and travelled the world for 18 months; ending up in Australia which was just too much fun to leave so we stayed for 5 amazing years before returning to the UK to work in London as Recruitment Director.  Frustrated by working long hours for someone else, my wife and I started our own lifestyle recruitment business in 2013 before swopping that out for a property career.  

How & when did you get started in property etc: I am one half of our business, along with my wife Sarah, we have always loved property and bought our first BTL in 1999 as complete amateurs. We carried on like that for many years but when we started our own recruitment business we wanted to de risk and diversify by building a property portfolio, and this time, doing it properly. We invested in our property education in 2015, and quickly developed our skills & experience by following a proven system, and building our team. We exited our recruitment company to focus full time in property.  My desire to build financial security through property was driven by wanting more choice in life, to spend time with my wife Sarah and our two kids.

Fun facts about you: I appeared in a big budget Bollywood movie! I also love to dress up in lycra in my spare time, and have completed 100s of races including Ironman. 

James D'Souza

Location:  South London 
Invests In:  We mainly invest in Lincolnshire and the North East of England with properties in multiple other areas as well.

Specialism in: I started with simple buy to lets and quickly progressed to HMO’s across a students and professionals. My favourite strategy has been multi-unit blocks, it is the only time I’ll own flats again when I own all of them! Throughout the years we have also converted commercial to residential and developed and sold basement flats. In 2019 we refurbed and built up a 13-bed boutique smart hotel. 

Career/Background before property: At the age of 21 upon graduating from the The University of Southampton with a law degree I headed out into the world not really knowing what career path I wanted to take.  I had a job offer from law firm and was applying to city accounting firms for grad schemes but wasn’t passionate about either option.

How & When did you get started in property:
 Just before my graduation my mum and I saw an advert for a 2-hour property seminar; neither of us had any property experience whatsoever but we were very interested in the potential.  The 2 hour seminar led to a 3-day intensive training which in turn led to a programme of advanced training and mentorship and despite it coming with a pretty hefty price tag it was hands down the best investment decision we have ever made.

We had our 1 to 1 mentorship in early 2012 which provided us with the framework and foundation to build a cookie cutter strategy of low-value BTLs, we even had our first offer accepted during our time with our mentor. This was the springboard to building a cash-flowing portfolio that would allow me to become a full-time property investor at just 22 years old and now my portfolio allows me to spend time doing the things I love; helping others, playing golf and travelling around the world.

I remain close to the trainers and mentors who taught me and due to my relatively fast success in property and becoming financially independent in under 12 months (it’s not get rich quick though!) I was invited to assist on the 3-day intensive trainings to share my story and inspire others. I’ve now progressed to leading these trainings which I am extremely passionate about.  Having done this for 7 years now I’m honoured to have spoken in front of tens of thousands of people from all around the world and played a part in them achieving their own personal goals through property, just as I have been able to do. As an investor, I have certainly faced challenges at every step, from having angel finance pulled at the 11 hour on an auction purchase to failed planning applications however one of the biggest things I’ve learnt is that to every problem there is a solution which is why I continuously choose to immerse myself in a property network like PWS to surround myself with other investors who can help with these challenges.

Fun fact about you: I have a Japanese A-level (I’ve forgotten most of it now though) 

Jordan Kynoch

Location live in : Edinburgh
Where I Invest : Glasgow, Dundee, Ayrshire, Liverpool 
What strategies specialise in : I specialise in BTL, Social Housing, Multi let / HMO’s, Flips and Creative Raising Money. I love to follow a simple cookie cutter approach on my projects and properties and I pride myself on always raising the bar and aim to elevate the quality of housing available in my investment area, ensuring that my properties are the most desirable homes on the street.
 
Some recent projects include: a 2 bed terrace house that we converted into a 4 bed all en-suite shared accommodation, which was fully tenanted within 5 days of advertising. I have also recently finished 2 flats in separate locations in Scotland, changing the first from a 1 bedroom into a 2 bedroom flat for young professionals, and the second was a simple 1 bedroom renovation and refurbishment project. All properties hit a specific threshold and comfortable ROI which I have set within my business, producing great cashflow continuously on a monthly basis across my portfolio. 
 
Career/ Background : Before property I was a Personal Trainer owning my own business and private training studio working 6am - 9pm Monday to Friday. I loved what I did and it was successful, however the net income and time commitment wasn’t going to get me to the position and lifestyle I had always wanted and imagined for myself.
 
How & when did you get started in property etc:  I began property at the age of 23 years old after watching t.v shows with other people becoming successful, committing much less time and generating a greater wealth compared to what I was currently doing in my life. From having no knowledge and no money at the beginning, I have now nurtured and scaled to create an extensive property portfolio which gives me a lifestyle I wanted and financial security for myself and family.
 
Some fun facts about me : I ran the London Marathon, skydived (in Australia), and bungee jumped (in New Zealand) all in the same year (some might call me mad, but I just love the rush and excitement). Plus I have personally met and served the Queen. 

Shilleen Wilson

Location you live in: West Midlands
Where do you invest: Midlands & Yorkshire
What Strategies do you specialise in: Buy to Lets, Flips, Multi lets and HMOs are the main strategies I focus on and I am now working on incorporating commercial as a strategy.

Career / Background before property: I am a business graduate who worked in the technical engineering industry as a service delivery manager, prior to getting into property.  The heavy demands of my job, the commute to work and long hours worked are one of the main things that prompted me to get into property.

How & when did you get started in property: I first got into property in 2015 after getting involved in property training and working with a mentor.  Having always had an interest in property I spent a lot of time watching all the property programs on TV growing up.  Although property was something I really wanted to do, before having training and engaging a mentor I simply didn’t know where to start or how to make it possible.


Fun fact: I once performed as an actress in a theatre production.

Donna McCloskey

Location you live in:  Born and raised in Coventry but 2 years ago moved to the rural outskirts of Meriden
Where do you invest:  Coventry and Warwickshire
 
What strategies do you specialise in:  I do BTLs, HMOs - students, professionals and DSS, a little SA, but my favourite is Commercial to Resi Conversions

Career/Background before property:  Have been in the hospitality sector all my life, started young collecting glasses in my uncles pub and went on to run some of the biggest bars and nightclubs in the Midlands over a 30 year career. It came to an abrupt halt when I injured my back at work and found myself on the operating table having spinal surgery. 

How and when did you get started in property:  After my surgery in 2015 I spent a lot of time laid up watching tv, I became quite intrigued with the daytime property shows and this led me to research more. I knew mentally and physically that going back to the pub industry was not going to work so when I found the property education and the system, I knew this was for me. I went on to invest in a full education programme early June 2015 and ran with it as fast as I could lol. I started with btl but got quickly into the bigger strategies using a mentor and never returned to the hospitality industry again.

Fun fact about you: I have summited Kilamanjaro
 
 

Gill Green

Location you live in: I moved to Glasgow for University longer ago than I'd like to remember and I currently stay here with my husband, two kids and dog Mila.

Where do you invest: My main investment areas are across the Central Belt in Scotland for Buy To Lets and FLIP's and The Wirral for HMO's.

What Strategies do you specialise in: I love Buy To Lets, not only because they are great to get started with, but they are in abundance within an hours drive time from my home.  You still need to work hard to get them at the right price though!  I also have experience in Flips and HMO's and I'm a compliant sourcer.  A few years ago my husband and I set up a SSAS Pension and aligned with this we are working on getting into the Commercial space.

Career / Background before property After getting a Marketing Degree at Strathclyde University in Glasgow I went straight into a corporate career, working for two of the biggest UK Energy Companies over the course of 17 years.  I loved a lot of the roles I did over this time which mainly focussed around Account Management, Process Improvement and Product Management.  The best thing about these roles was the experience I gained in working with different types of people with different personalities and objectives - certainly an essential skill to have in property!

How & when did you get started in property etc: I've always been interested in property and have always bought homes to live in that needed work.  I met my husband Darren in the workplace (total cliche as we got together at a work night out!) and when we had our first child in 2016 we quickly realised that we needed to change how we lived our lives.  Long hours and occasional travel meant that we would need to spend loads on childcare (we were already doing this on doggy day care!) and would hardly get to see our daughter during the week.   We saw an ad for a free property event and went along to find out more.  Fast forward two years, with property education, a great network, hard work and resolute determination, I was able to leave my job to do property full time, followed by Darren in 2020.  It's all about the flexibility of time for me, to spend it with my family.

Fun facts about you: Aside from property I also teach baby swimming.  This was my favourite class that I took my kids to when they were babies and when the opportunity came up to teach I said yes.  It was totally outside my comfort zone but if you need to know any swimming related kids songs I'm your girl!  I also ran the Edinburgh Marathon in 2019 mainly because my husband suggested that a Marathon was harder than childbirth.  It isn't!

Mark Winship

Location you live in: Currently live in the East Midlands, originally from Reading in Berkshire  

Where do you invest: North West, Midlands, South Coast 

What Strategies do you specialise in: Professional and student HMO’s in the North West and Midlands. Currently operating award-winning serviced apartments in the Midlands and on the South Coast 

Career / Background before property Played and coached tennis to an international level. Owned and managed the leading high performance tennis academy programme in the UK 2010-2020. Travelled all over the world as personal coach to numerous international junior champions and multiple players who have competed in the junior and senior Grand Slams including Wimbledon. 
 
How & when did you get started in property etc: My wife and I invested in our property education back in 2016 with a view to spending less time on the road and more time with the family. By acting on what we learnt and tapping in to a growing network of mentors and other investors we quickly established a solid portfolio of professional and student HMO’s. I stopped coaching tennis to focus on our property business full-time in 2018 and we launched our serviced accommodation business at the end of that year. We now operate a large portfolio of award-winning serviced apartments in the Midlands.
 
Fun fact about you: Greg Rusedski stole my watch 

Andrea Carrington

Location you live in: I live in the Peak District in a beautiful place called Bakewell.

Career/ Background Before Property: I always wanted to be a hairdresser and have my own hair and beauty salon, I did have 11 salons and a training school at one point but was working 70+ hours per week. 
I have been investing in property since I was 25, very slowly and very clunky. In 2014 I decided to get educated and grew my portfolio. 
Now I have downsized my hair and beauty chain so I could focus on growing my property portfolio and other interests.  I run a women in business group, I’m a property and business mentor and I design business courses for the Hair, Beauty, Nails and Aesthetics industry. It’s my USP. 
 
What Strategies do you specialise I have a broad portfolio of properties ranging from Buy To Lets, Licenced HMOs, commercial conversions, new builds and flips for profit

Chris O’Hare

Location you live in: Currently live in South East London, but am originally from Salford, in Manchester
Where do you invest: North Manchester, North East, Midlands, South East London

What Strategies do you specialise in: Started with buy to lets in the North East, moved up to Professional HMOs in Manchester and Student HMOs in the Midlands. I’m currently on my first commercial to residential conversion, which will be a block of 11 apartments when completed.
Career / Background before property Professional musician/record producer from leaving college until 34. Recorded 4 albums and numerous singles. Various TV appearances - The Word, The Big Breakfast etc. Toured all over Europe with various bands – The Prodigy, Moby, The Shamen, Rammstein, Faith No More etc. Produced several hit records – the last track I worked on went to #3 in the UK charts for The Tamperer.
In 1999 I went to Salford university studying graphic design, achieving a first class honours and moved to London in 2001
In 2007, I founded my first design business which I went on to sell in 2011. I then set up COH Creative Consultants in 2013 and continue to run that alongside my property business.
 
How & when did you get started in property etc: In 2016, I realised that my pension wasn’t going to give me the early retirement that I’d always dreamed of, so was desperately looking for another option. I met someone socially who started telling me about the whole BRRRR model and that there was training available that would enable me to learn the system. I did my original 3 day course in June 2018, and the 2.5 years that followed have been an amazing blur of activity.

Following the system and listening to my mentor throughout, I started with BTLs, including 4 MIMO deals. Then, as I worked through my courses and gained more experience and confidence, I moved up to HMOs and following another mentorship, I again moved up to commercial conversion.
I have been featured in property publications and have presented at numerous events.

I reached financial security in under 12 months, and am now working towards goals I couldn’t have believed possible 3 years ago.
It’s been one massive rollercoaster of a journey so far… and I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring!
 
Fun fact about you: Noel Gallagher used to make me cups of tea!  

Emily Smith

Lives in: Originally from Shetland, moved to Edinburgh to study and been here ever since!

Where do you invest: Central belt Scotland, Fife and Shetland
What Strategies do you specialise in:  BTL, flips, Assisted sales and sourcing.
Career / Background before property: Worked in advertising and marketing agencies after university, specialising in digital project management and client servicing. Lots of my key skills have been transferable to property, but most important being able to talk and communicate with people.

How & when did you get started in property etc: I owned a buy to let in 2009 which we later sold to buy our first family home. My husband and I realised it had been a missed opportunity selling the property so we decided to invest in property education in 2018 to support our family, and quickly started to build a portfolio of BTLs, completed flips and assisted sales. I left my corporate job in 2019 and became compliant in sourcing and I focus heavily on securing deals direct to vendor.

Property has allowed me to focus on family life. We have a 6-year-old and a 6-month-old and being financially secure means I can continue to build for their future while being able to spend quality time with them.
 
Fun fact about you: I played volleyball for the Scottish National Team.

Alex Murray

Location: Born and Bred in Yorkshire, Halifax (apart from the two and a half years spent in New Zealand).
 
Where do you invest: Predominantly in the Yorkshire area. However, I have done a number of developments in Shropshire and North Wales.
 
What strategies do you specialise in: I started out with 3 and 4 bed multi-lets, renting to the professional sector; built a strong base with these before heading into commercial to residential. To date we have converted an old pub which we bought refurbed and sold. Lovingly restored an old school which we converted in 3 separate dwellings – sold 1 kept 2. Most recently we’ve converted a chapel into 11 units, a mix of studios and 1 and 2 bed apartments – my fav development to date! 
 
Background before Property: Working most of my employed life in the Hospitality industry and after spending my time in NZ, where I met my now husband (Paul) we returned to the UK. After having our 2 children I decided to get a job in a local Primary school, with the notion that it would be great for school holidays etc. I quickly realised I wanted to look after my own kids rather than everyone else’s, I wanted to be a mum. 
 
How and when: June 2016 my husband and I started out on our property journey. Paul, a joiner by trade but covered all aspects of building, we knew we wanted to get into property. Having no knowledge (apart from knowing how to build a house) we quickly decided we needed to learn, and invested heavily in our property education. After gaining the knowledge our feet were fully on the throttle! Fast forward to now we (through property) have created that life we desired those years ago. Forever moving those goal posts we are always ready to learn and grow. 
 
Fun fact: Once played tennis with Kriss Akabusi

Rob Ravilious

Lives in: North Norfolk Invests in North Norfolk and South Manchester and South Wales
 
What Strategies do you specialise in: BTL, HMO (but I prefer BTL for return and hands off approach), my focus going forward is very much on Commercial to Residential conversions and flips and reinvesting the profits in BTL holds. Recent projects include a conversion of an ex carehome to 4 houses: the site is circa 6'000 sq ft and has end gross development value of £1.35m and an old Victorian Cottage Hospital which wil be 6 flats with a GDV of £1.8m. I love raising private finance and both these projects are 100% OPM.
 
Career / Background before property Business Development in numerous industries, from Beer to Law to Oil & Gas. I am a mechanical engineer by training since 2014 through OU. My last three roles were Oil & Gas International Business Development. But those days are now behind me as I have been full-time in property since 2018.
 
How & when did you get started in property etc: I became an accidental landlord in 2002 but started in a very amateurish way but it did illustrate that property was a great vehicle for wealth so I attended a 3 day course in April 2017 and within 18 months I was financially secure and exited my corporate career to focus on property.
 
Fun fact about you: I have been known to do some ultra races in the Sahara and Sub Arctic and clearly my wife is equally crazy as she is a housemistress of 72 teenage girls!

James Horgan

Location you live in: I live in Tring, Hertfordshire with my partner Mairead and my two Springier Spaniels, Seamus and Eamonn
Where do you invest: South Wales, Midlands and Leighton Buzzard.
What strategies do you specialise in: Started with simple B2Ls and moved quickly to HMO’s for professional tenants. Looking forward, I am interested in commercial to residential conversions and advanced deal structures including creative use of pension (SASS) and equity release.  
 
Career / Background before property. Graduated University of Hertfordshire and joined Kodak after leaving university.  I am currently a Sales Director for a Japanese technology company. 
 
How & when did you get started in property etc:
I have always been aware and interested in property as an investment.  I bought my first flat while still at University in 1996.  I became stuck because of poor deal structures and I found all my money was getting stuck in my properties.  Very frustrating!  After seeing friends, who invested in professional training, quickly overtake me and achieve much more, I decided enough was enough and I needed professional help!
 
Interesting Fact: Lived & worked in Montenegro for 2 years. It’s beautiful, you must visit Kotor if you haven’t already. 

Michelle Wales

Location you live in: Born and bred in Scotland, spent a small stint living in Australia, but came back home to get married and have a family! 
Where do you invest: At present we invest in central Scotland, luckily there many great investment areas in Scotland.

What Strategies do you specialise in: Started simple with BTL’s, mainly to get some experience and build up a bit of income before getting into anything more complex. It is a great training ground, as I had no prior experience in property! Still building the BTL portfolio, but starting to branch out into SA and Commercial. 
 
Career / Background before property
I studied Computing and Software Engineering at university, mainly as I thought this was a ‘sensible’ career and one that would help me afford a comfortable lifestyle for my family one day. What I found is that having children made me realise how vulnerable I was with only one stream of income, financially, but also in a career that is very time consuming. So the goal was to do something different, that could start to build security for us as a family, but also give me more freedom of choice longer term. 
 
How & when did you get started in property etc: My husband and I always thought about investing in property, but always thought we would buy one or two as a nest egg for our children’s future. In late 2018, we happened to stumble upon a seminar taking place one evening, and were introduced to the concept of building a property business in a professional way. The knowledge we learned from that point through has been invaluable and has helped us scale up and build a portfolio in only a short couple of years. 
We know for a fact if we hadn’t gone down the route of educating ourselves, we wouldn’t have understood how to invest, keep momentum and now move onto bigger things. Investing in our own knowledge, has been hands down the best investment we ever made!
Fun fact about you: I met Will Ferrell in Australia whilst out on a walk, and had a really funny conversation with him, he seemed to be a very nice guy!

Helena Gyllensward

Location you live in: Originally from Sweden, moved to the UK in 2005 and live on the South Coast Where do you invest: Bournemouth, Burnley & South Wales What Strategies do you specialise in: Started out with 7 bed HMO Lease Option to create cash flow as at the time I wasn't eligible for mortgages and had bad credit rating, quickly progressed to Rent to Rent t increase the cash flow. Bought the first BTL 10 months after doing the 3-day intensive course using other people's money.  Currently focusing on trading property and adding BTL to the portfolio.

Career / Background before property: Graduated from catering college in Sweden, worked in the catering industry before having children. I was a stay-at-home mum for 8 years. After becoming a single mum in 2009 I went back to work as a catering manager in a language school. The low income was the incentive to look for an alternative income stream which led me to invest in property.

How & when did you get started in property etc: After struggling for many years making ends meet an opportunity popped up on the internet inviting me to learn investing in property using other peoples' money.  It was very appealing to me as it is known that you can make a lot of money in property if you know what to do. I was eager to get started and was highly motivated to create my financial future using property as a vehicle. The portfolio has paid for my children's private education, travels and living life on my terms. 
Fun fact about you: Travelled around the world as a backpacker for 3 years and worked in a Kiwi factory in New Zealand packing fruit.

Paul Murray

Location you live in: Halifax, West Yorkshire.  Originally from Oswestry, Shropshire.

Where do you invest: Leeds, Halifax, Shropshire and Wales.
What Strategies do you specialise in: Multi-lets and HMOs.  Commercial to residential conversions to either sell or keep as individual BTL. Developing and newbuilds.  Planning gains. 

Career / Background before property: Been involved in construction all my life, dad was a builder and I trained as a joiner from school.  Travelled back and too, to New Zealand over the space of 10yrs (obviously I had fallen in love with the place) where I worked as a joiner.  Injured my back and had to get off the tools so went to Uni to do my degree in Construction and Project Management where I achieved a 1 Class Hons Degree.  

How & when did you get started in property etc: We attended a free preview event in Leeds back in 2016.  Being a builder and having worked in the industry for many years I thought I knew how we could invest in property – It was apparent I didn’t have a clue other than being the builder!  So, we invested heavily in our education and took some massive action.  We started off with multi-lets in Leeds and Wales and moved on to some conversions.  We have converted old schools’ pubs and most recently a chapel.  I love old buildings! Off the back of property, I started a building company based in Leeds which specialised in HMO conversions and more recently commercial conversions and new build schemes.

Natalie D’Souza

LOCATION YOU LIVE IN: South London

WHERE DO YOU INVEST:  The North East of England and South Wales
WHAT STRATEGIES TO YOU SPECIALISE IN:  BTL is my preferred strategy but our portfolio contains HMOs and Commercial Developments as well.   As we were taught in our 3-day intensive training, everything we buy is dirty and smelly (distressed).

CAREER /BACKGROUND BEFORE PROPERTY:  After leaving school at 18, I worked for a high street bank for 3 and a half years (even though I was bored after the first week).  I left in 1986 and lived in Mexico for 6 months.  On returning I realized I wasn’t trained to do anything but work for the bank, so took a crash secretarial course.  I worked for a property developer in the West End for 2 years and left early 1990 to have my son.  I returned to work when James went to school at 4 and worked as a school clerical officer/secretary, so I could have all the holidays with James.  Having suffered a terrible RTA in 1997 I was left unable to work and ended up on Incapacity Benefit, living from hand to mouth.


GET STARTED IN PROPERTY:  James had such a horrible house when he went to Uni, which got me thinking that we could get one and make it so much better, but we needed to know how to go about doing it correctly.  My friend told us about a 2 hour seminar teaching you about property investment, which we attended and went on to complete an intensive training as well because we wanted to learn whatever we could about the subject.  As soon as we attended the training we realized we wanted to build a solid foundation to our portfolio so the student house idea went out of the window and we started to buy BTL houses where we could house people that couldn’t afford to buy their own homes.  I was adamant that our houses would only be ready for rental, if they were done up to a standard that I would be prepared to live in.


FUN FACT ABOUT YOU:  Even though I am 54, I recently got asked for ID when buying alcohol in a supermarket. (This made my day!)

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