333: Creating a successful property development company as a side hustle with Rick Braithwaite

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A successful developer running his property business alongside his nationwide EPC business. His focus is mixed but typically looking for commercial to residential conversions to generate chunks of cash, and reinvesting those profits into building the portfolio.

His properties have spread across the UK, completing projects in Lancashire, Manchester, London and most recently Yorkshire as he’s moved around with work, but despite being happy to retain and manage those properties he’s acquired, he typically focuses on new developments closer to home. 

During the show we have a great chat about sourcing in today’s market, some of his favourite deals including a mixed use conversion in Lancaster, and lots of other great tips about growing a business in today’s market.

Listen to this episode below:

Here’s a sneak peek at what discussed this time:

4:04 – Mike talks about how Rick and himself seem to be in similar positions in regards to their views for the future and what they will be focusing on in their businesses in the next few years. 

4:16 – Rick takes us back to 2004 and talks through his life before property. He tells us how he got into surveying before the credit crunch, then took the time to take a step back and decided to qualify for commercial energy performance certificates. 

6:01 – Rick realised he loved running his own business and saw a shift towards energy sufficiency and sustainability, so decided it could be a long-term business. Now, 12 years in, his EPC business is going from strength to strength. Mike says the nationwide business he has built is incredibly impressive. 

8:23 – How this success came out of redundancy, so perhaps it’s quite timely to listen to Rick’s situation at the moment. 

“They do say that a lot of businesses are born out of recession.”

9:19 – The importance of doing something that you’re passionate about – sometimes you need to be forced into taking the leap. Rick advises you that, if you’ve got an idea, pursue it, as these chances only come about once or twice in a lifetime. 

10:32 – How Rick spends the rest of his time on property investing and how it all came about. He talks over the risks element that he had to overcome. 

12:09 – Rick tells us how ideas such as bridging loans were off the table to him at the beginning of his journey into property through pure fear of the risk involved. Now, he would recommend people get comfortable with those sorts of risks early on. 

13:25 – What was it that brought Rick into property and into thinking that he should do something on the side of the EPC business? 

15:10 – How would Rick define his strategy? He talks of having a mentor and realising that he’s in it for the long-term but wanted to create a medium-term cash flow increase. It’s all about wealth creation, building the portfolio, having a cash flow and selling only when needed. 

18:40 – The importance of living somewhere, getting to know the dynamics of a local area and how this helps. 

20:11 – How it can help to be close to developments for big refurbishments. 

21:01 – Rick talks through where he’s at currently, and what he’s looking at. 

23:39 – People can get stuck looking for the perfect deal, but it’s important to remember there are lots of different variables. Set your own parameters for a deal and focus on that, not what everyone else is doing. 

“Social media shows you lots of people doing great deals, but look for the inspiration in it and don’t try and match it.” 

25:26 – They talk through one of Rick’s projects in Lancaster and why it was a natural place to invest for him. He runs through the numbers.

30:25 – Rick talks through how it was part of a portfolio loan and wasn’t done in a traditional way. 

31:30 – Mike and Rick talk about the difficult market for opportunities at the moment and their pipeline for sourcing. 

34:11 – They discuss the direct to vendor option for commercial properties. 

35:22 – What is Rick’s longer-term plan, and why does he do what he does? He talks of the importance of having options.

38:30 – The idea of working remotely and how changes in the business might need to be made for this – systemisation, processes, and specific roles. 

42:04 – Property certainly requires a lot of time and energy. 

43:44 – The importance of networking. 

44:53 – You don’t have to be an expert in everything, it’s important to remember this when you’re starting out. 

47:25 – Rick says to think about your reputation from day one – personal brand is so important. Be true to yourself.

Show Sponsors

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Links Mentioned

Find Rick on Instagram @the_property_pig and you can get him on email over there. To look over a selection of his portfolio on his website, visit beresfordjamescapital.com

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