60-Second Interview: Robert Jones
This month we speak to Robert Jones of Property Investments UK to discuss his predictions for the next big property hotspots, find out what makes him tick, uncover the key to his property success&n...
This month we speak to Robert Jones of Property Investments UK to discuss his predictions for the next big property hotspots, find out what makes him tick, uncover the key to his property success and hear all about his plans for his business.
What is your company name?
Property Investments UK.
What do you specialise in?
Property training and growing our property portfolio. Over the years I have been involved with vanilla buy-to-lets, flips and HMOs. Currently we're focusing on HMOs and conversions as our main purchasing strategy to keep our yields across the portfolio as high as possible.
Describe your property/investment credentials in one paragraph?
I have over 10 years experience in UK property, acting as a property sourcer, investor and mentor, as well as a background in estate agency.
When did you first become interested in property?
I purchased my first property in 2005 as an investment and it was always my intention to rent it out straight away. I’ve been fascinated by property ever since I was a child and I loved architecture more than anything, with gothic and Tudor buildings being a bit of a passion.
Why were you specifically attracted to property?
It was always about my pension plan when I started. I knew I would struggle to retire early on an average salary and I saw property as an opportunity for a different route and life.
Where are the best UK property hotspots at the moment?
My personal favourites are Manchester, Salford and Warrington. Growth has been steady for a few years and prices are affordable. Yields are still workable and, importantly, growth in population, investment and employment is all on the up so the long-term future looks good.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
These are quotes more than pieces of advice, but memorable all the same. 1. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest – for me this has been true for everything I have learned (post-school years). 2. You often over estimate what can be done in one year but under estimate what you can achieve in 10 years – ultimately property is about the long game so this is very true.
Worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Buy on discount. This is a popular mantra that is enticing to new investors as who wouldn’t want to buy discounted property? But it’s not always about the discount. Value is much more important.
What are your top five tips for anyone thinking of building a property portfolio?
Focus on cash flow
Start now, not tomorrow
Work with others, don’t do it alone
Leverage the use of experts – letting agents, mortgage brokers, mentors, and refurbishment teams
If you want to do scale in your portfolio, start as early as you can with joint ventures. This is the quickest way I have seen investors grow large portfolios.
What is your proudest achievement, either in your personal or professional life?
My children and family.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
Focused on two core elements: property training and joint ventures. This is where our core beliefs have been for the past two years and it’s the most enjoyable part of my property business to date.
Who or what is your inspiration?
How do you relax?
Cycling and walking the dog. When your day-to-day is spent glued to the phone, emails, visiting properties and refurb projects, it’s nice to get out in the middle of nowhere and disconnect.
Five words that best describe you?
Where would you choose to live if you could live anywhere in the world?
Close to all my siblings, but with such a large family that’s not possible, so instead it means lots of travelling and holidays!
What three things couldn’t you live without in your home?
Our dog Toby, my bike, our family.