126: Mark Stokes is a 25 year veteran of the corporate world, running some major international businesses. Now he’s turning his ‘big business’ approach to the property world.



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Mark StokesMark has spent a long and successful career managing multiple domestic and international businesses across the construction, energy and telecoms industries. His passion and biggest achievements lay in establishing and expanding companies, leading large teams and mentoring others to help them exceed their own expectations.

In 2015, he took his 25 years of experience and his drive to create successful businesses and entered into the property world by establishing not just one but a whole group of companies with his business partners as well as amassing a sizeable personal property portfolio.

With 4 children of his own, he’s looking to create not only personal success but also a legacy for his family and future generations.

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Investing Strategies

Mark has his own personal property portfolio (which started with the purchase 14 properties in quick succession!), but his main focus is on growing the ‘Equa’ group of companies:

EquaGen focuses on the regeneration of old and tired properties, bringing them back into use and providing homes within communities. They look at converting commercial property to residential as well as renovating large homes into HMOs, with a target of 60 HMOs by the end of this year, increasing to 100 by the end of 2017.

EquaStay is the serviced accommodation pillar of the business, with a target of 200 units by the end of 2017, predominantly on a rent to rent basis.

EquaSource is the 3rd pillar which services both EquaGen and EquaStay, finding properties suitable for both the HMO and Serviced Accommodation markets.

Finally, EquaLife is the newest business which aims to deliver mentoring and training to other who want to start and expand their own portfolios.

Biggest Success

The first deal that Mark did stands out in his mind as it taught him so much about the property investment process. He purchased it for £31,000, refurbished it for £23,000 giving a total investment of £54,000 and is currently being revalued at £80,000-£85,000.

One of his real moments of pride in this deal was being able to complete on it in only 8 days. This was helped, in part, by Mark creating a £750 pot that would be given to the vendor’s chosen charity if they could complete on it in time. As such, the vendor’s solicitor was motivated to work with Mark’s, and for a relatively small financial sum Mark was able to ensure it remained a priority for everyone through the conveyancing process.

Biggest Difficulty

When you’re operating at the scale that Mark is, it becomes less about the individual projects and more about the overall success of the portfolio, but of course problems do still arise that need special attention.

One particular case was when he was purchasing the block of 10 apartments for his own portfolio, failing to employ a full mechanical and electrical survey of the building. He saved a few thousand pounds on the cost of the survey but realised with hindsight that it would have been a worthwhile investment, saving him significantly more than that by being able to negotiate harder on the purchase price, and by giving him a clearer idea of the cost, scope and schedule of works required prior to purchasing.

What’s Your Favourite Book?

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The Values Factor – Dr John Demartini

The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy

Mark Stoke’s Links & Resources

Kids In Property – Find out about Mark’s ‘reason why’ – creating a legacy for today’s children and future generations
Evernote – This is Mark’s favourite resource, used to manage and keep track of all the elements of his business
Mark on Facebook – Connect with Mark to find out more about his property journey, and how the Equa group of businesses can help you

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