In the year of the Platinum Jubilee, the property investment franchise that goes by the same name is celebrating a huge milestone of its own.
June marked the 15th birthday of Platinum Property Partners – and it’s been quite a journey for the franchise’s team and 390+ franchise partners.
“It’s certainly been emotional,” smiles Emma Hayes, Platinum’s Managing Director.
“The amount of change we’ve been through since 2007 is incredible, but I’m really proud that we’re still here and still doing what we set out to do 15 years ago – change people’s lives through property.”
Fifteen years could have been more like 15 months for Platinum when the 2008 Global Financial Crisis hit, however.
“We completed on our first property in February 2008 and were due to complete on the next two in March when Bradford & Bingley followed Northern Rock down the pan,” reflects Mike Dixon, Platinum’s 10th franchise partner.
“Platinum’s head office team and the 10 of us who were the first franchise partners gathered in a small hotel just outside Reading to discuss what we were going to do, and it felt a bit like the war cabinet!
“We were all quite buoyant and upbeat, though, and in some ways, it was exciting because it was a challenge, and we were all in it together.
“We worked together to come out of it, and we did come out of it even stronger than when we went in – that’s the beauty of a network like Platinum.”
Fast forward just over a decade and those 10 franchise partners had grown to become more than 380, who were providing high-quality co-living homes to more than 7,000 housemates across the country.
“We joined in January 2020 and had mapped out a really clear plan for the next 10 years, but by March everything was up in the air to say the least,” reflects franchise partner Dominic Hegan.
“We’d had our purchase mentoring and looked at eight houses on the first day and then another four on day two.
“By the end of day two, we’d decided to buy two houses, went sale agreed and were steaming ahead with our plans.
“But when the lockdown arrived in March, we hadn’t completed on either of them and it was quite a difficult place to be for a while.
“I was thinking, ‘I’ve invested in the franchise, have some really clear plans and know what I’m doing – but can I actually do it now’?
“I had a long chat with Mike Dixon,” he recalls, “because he’d been in a similar situation in 2008.
“He reassured me the Platinum investment model would stand up against Covid-19 even if the bottom did fall out of the market because it’s based on driving an income and people will always need great places to live.
“And because the Platinum team were there to help us consolidate and make sure our tenants were happy and looked after throughout the pandemic, there was much less risk for us than if we’d had to deal with all of that on our own.
“In fact, our business has flourished even more than we’d hoped in the two years we’ve been doing it and we’ve felt completely protected against all those market forces.”
So, what lies ahead for Platinum over the next 15 years?
“Fifteen years is a long time in property,” says Emma, “and that longevity proves that what we do works despite everything that’s been thrown at us.
“It’s a huge achievement, but there’s still a lot for us to do, from continuing to press for better standards in the rental sector to spearheading a sustainable approach to property investment.
“Most importantly, though, we want to continue helping people to improve their lives and secure the freedom to do the things they love – that’s the real benefit of a property business.”