Whilst property has always been a passion for us, it wasn’t until fairly recently that it became a full time business that was able to support us. Once upon a time (not so long ago!) we were both working our way up the career ladder in the corporate world.
We first met in 2010 on the P&G Graduate Scheme in Newcastle. With two good salaries and a very low cost of living we were living a pretty nice life but wanted to find a way out of the 9-5 grind. Having dabbled with property previously, we started renovating properties in our evenings and weekends using any spare cash we had.
After a couple of years (and splashing most of the profit on holidays – a theme we continue to this day) we realised this property thing had serious potential and in 2013 Mike jumped ship from the corporate world to go full time into the property industry, initially starting a letting agency whilst getting our portfolio off the ground.
For twelve months we lived in different cities, and it was during this time that Mike turned to podcasts to entertain himself on the long drives home from Manchester. He noticed there was a real lack of good property related podcasts, but an abundance of successful investors with a great story to tell.
He decided to fill this gap, and in February 2015 “Inside Property Investing” was launched and immediately started to gain traction, jumping into the iTunes top 10 for Investing and staying there ever since. Now with over 250 episodes of the podcast under their belt and a million downloads, the IPI Brand has become an amazing resource for other aspiring property investors featuring written content, videos and online courses, alongside the original podcast episodes.
It was about the same time that we turned our attention from flipping houses to HMOs, with a primary focus on replacing Victoria’s income and allowing her to leave work as well. Progressing from the traditional “mid-terrace HMO” we quickly found a niche in commercial conversions and in 2017 we achieved our income target and Victoria was able to leave the corporate world and join the team full time.
Nowadays, we’re continuing to grow our HMO portfolio, as well as adding single lets and serviced accommodation to the portfolio (nothing beats a bit of diversity!).
The podcast also brought us a lot of attention from people (probably just like you) who also think property might be the answer to escaping the rat race, and so something else we’ve become hugely passionate about is helping others achieve financial freedom through property.
When we started to look at what else was available to help property investors get educated, we were really disappointed with what these ‘gurus’ were charging for mediocre and outdated information.
We’ll always have room to improve our own content as well, but we decided that everything we create to help other property investors has to meet three basic criteria:
Most of the time this doesn’t even need much thought from us as the vast majority of our content is freely available as podcasts or on YouTube.
But even when we put a course together on a specific subject we’re passionate about, we make sure it’s a fraction of the cost of the mainstream courses (taking advantage of technology to deliver them more efficiently); still packed with relevant actionable content from our own decade of experience investing in property; and more than enough information and guidance for you to get out there and take action.
When Victoria was able to leave her job we needed a new goal to focus on, and travelling was high up the list. We knew we couldn’t leave our dogs behind but a long holiday didn’t feel like it was a bold enough target to aim towards, so we needed to make our home mobile and take the dogs with us.
Sailing has been in Victoria’s blood most of her life, so the water became the obvious answer over land, and in early 2019 we picked up a 40ft catamaran in La Rochelle, France and began what will hopefully be a 3 year adventure across the world’s oceans.
We fully intend to keep scaling our business and property portfolio, just doing it from more glamorous locations. Of course this will raise new challenges, but that’s part of the fun, and it will all be documented on the podcast – what works, what doesn’t, and everything in between!