Kelly and Simon Merry craved business ownership and found the answer to their entrepreneurial dreams when they discovered Platinum Property Partners
Kelly and Simon Merry were caught in the trap that so many working families are forced to endure. “We were working too hard,” says Kelly. “You just go in, don’t you, every morning at seven? Come home, feed the kids, put them to bed and then later, go to bed yourself. It’s like Groundhog Day and you’re exhausted all the time.”
Previously, she and Simon worked in a school: she as a teacher, he as a systems manager.
But they knew something had to change. “We had some savings, a bit of equity in our home,” she adds. “We’d also become accidental landlords with some single lets. We weren’t happy in our jobs and wanted to be our own bosses. In the end, we said: ‘We don’t mind working hard, but we need to know that there’s going to be a change’.”
The Merrys set off to a franchise show, not really knowing what to expect, but with the bit firmly between their teeth. It was there they discovered Platinum Property Partners. Platinum’s franchise model sees franchise partners invest in professional let shared living homes – known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) – with expert support at every stage of growing their property portfolios.
After four years with the franchise, and two shared living properties in their portfolio, Kelly and Simon now have a business that works for them and the flexibility their family was craving. “Simon now works solely for our business. And being with Platinum has allowed me financially to go back to my love of teaching very part-time: just six hours a week. It’s also given me the time to pursue a new hobby: piano playing!”
“The older the children get the more they need you,” adds Kelly. “We definitely now have the flexibility to respond to the children’s needs.” In addition to managing their own portfolio, the Merrys are building and managing HMOs for a silent franchise partner and are also regional coaches. “The longer we’ve been with Platinum, the more we appreciate being with them. The people are amazing. They’re so ambitious, positive, highly motivated – you just want to be a part of that.”
As well as the income their property business drives, the pair are also creating a legacy for their children, with Platinum’s franchise partners keeping their assets even after their term expires. “The assets are part of your estate and that’s quite unusual in a franchising sense,” says Platinum managing director Emma Hayes. “At the end of the term, you keep your business, so the income keeps coming in, too. You can stay on as part of our Alumni programme if you wish, and many do because they want to stay connected to our network.
“We’ve helped more than 400 people over 14 years, we’ve been through a global financial crisis and recession and the COVID-19 pandemic – and we’ve come out of it stronger,” she adds. “It’s a very robust and proven model.”
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets:
400-plus franchise partners
Location of units:
1,200-plus properties across England
£350,000 - £700,000
Minimum required capital:
Natalie Windsor (firstname.lastname@example.org)