A podcast for expat UK property investors
March 23, 2022




This special episode features an appeal by Vanessa Warwick and her husband Nick from Property Tribes for donations to support refugees (people and pets) from Ukraine. 

The appeal gives rise to a discussion about the importance of having a why for investing in property, which may help shape your investment decisions in the here and now.

A thought provoking episode!

Rate, Review, subscribe and give your ideas for the show at www.expatpropertystory.com

To find out more about more about Nick and Vanessa’s pet rescue mission and donate:https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ukrainemissionnick

To contact Vanessa or Nick from Property Tribes
Vanessa is on Twitter: @4_Walls


Vanessa  00:00

Nik and I decided that we wanted to do something for the Ukrainian refugees. Nick decided to drive over to Ukraine in his SUV with a trailer stuffed fully loaded of human refugee supplies. I came across an email from an organisation I support called network for animals. And they were crying out for pet refugee supplies. And I thought, Well, yes. What about the pets? So, we are raising the money for a new animal ambulance.


Expat Property-Guy  00:39

You're listening to Expat Property Story, a podcast in which I share my story to smooth the wave for you to have your own Expat Property. Story. Hello there, and welcome to episode 10. Many of you will recognise the voice of Vanessa Warwick from property tribes, they're talking about an appeal that she and her husband Nick have started in light of the terrible events unfolding in Ukraine as we record this episode in mid-March 2022. So if you tuned in for the interview I promised you last week, please accept my apologies. But hopefully you'll understand that I'm inserting this special episode into the schedule to maximise the response to Vanessa and Nick's appeal for an animal ambulance to help rescue pets left behind as refugees pour out of Ukraine over the border into Poland. If this is an appeal that resonates with you, Nick and Vanessa have set up a just giving page and you can find a link to that in the show notes. Or you can search for UkraineMissionNick with no spaces. That's UkraineMissionNick, all one word, and you can donate there. While doing my research for my interview with Vanessa, I came across a piece of advice she offered quite a few years ago now. She said, "Being of service to others can often create a dynamic shift in feeling more positive. Find your purpose in life. What were you put on this planet for?" I asked Vanessa, about her 'why'...


Vanessa  02:12

Gosh, I can't believe that must have been ages ago, I wrote that! I don't remember writing that at all, I must have been in a philosophical mood. It's interesting, because I do think that when you get into any kind of business, including property, it is so much about personal development, and really putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. There's a wonderful saying that the comfort zone is a very nice place, but nothing ever grows there. And I've certainly been pushed outside my comfort zone through this whole process. And it's been good for me as a human being. What is my why...it changes all the time. It's just fascinating. I've recently been talking to somebody who is a genuine, multi, multi-millionaire. And he's changed my view. Again, most property investors think about 20 years ahead. This guy doesn't. He thinks 50, 200 years ahead, because he wants to leave a legacy not only for his children, and his grandchildren, but his grandchildren's children and their children and their children after that. So, he's wanting to leave a legacy that resonates in hundreds of years' time. He does a lot of work with homeless people, he sponsors homeless people to get back into work. He does many, many really positive things that impact on many different levels. And he's really changed my kind of view on things. And I guess my why is I can hopefully leave this planet having made a positive difference on people and indeed animals because I'm a very big animal advocate. I don't have any children. I have three Bengal tiger cats, who are my absolute most precious, precious fur babies. And I hope that Nick and I can hand over Property Tribes to new stewards new Guardians, when we're no longer around, and they will carry it on and, you know, run it with the same ethics and standards that Nick and I have tried to embed into its DNA. So yes, that's probably a long-winded answer to what you're asked. But it's a difficult question because it changes all the time. But I think definitely, one thing I've come to realise is that, you know, whatever you believe in, whether it's God, the universe, if you have a spiritual kind of feeling that there's most definitely something that's much greater than ourselves, right? Most definitely. And I call it the universe. I see the universe in action every single day actually, helping me be a better person and helping me achieve What I want to achieve and all these amazing, you know, synergies coming together and making things happen.


Expat Property-Guy  05:09

Talking of synergy, you are bringing together some people in the property world to help out in Ukraine at the moment. Could you tell us about that?


Vanessa  05:17

Yes, two weeks ago tomorrow, Nick and I decided that we wanted to do something for the Ukrainian refugees. And just completely on the spur of the moment. Nick decided to drive over to Ukraine in his SUV with a trailer stuffed fully loaded of human refugee supplies. So, baby milk, water, warm clothing, non-perishable food, hygiene products, sanitary towels, things like that. So, we went out to a local cash and carry loaded up next, SUV and trailer with all of this stuff. And he drove 23 hours to the Polish  / Ukraine border, and dropped off all his supplies there. And he sort of hung around for a little while and tried to see if there was anything else he could do. But it was absolute Bedlam and chaos. It was in the quite early days of the invasion. So, he started to come home. And he reached Krakow, in Poland, when I came across an email from an organisation I support called network for animals. And they were crying out for pet refugee supplies. And I thought, Well, yes. What about the pets? Because, you know, the refugees have been fleeing Ukraine, and many have had to leave their pets behind, which is utterly unthinkable as a pet owner myself. So, I rang Nick and said, "Nick, you need to change your mission to pet refugee supplies." And it was a Sunday and we did a lot of research as best we could to find, you know, the equivalent of Pets At Home and in Poland, but there wasn't anywhere. So, the nearest pet supplier we could find was a big, massive pet superstore in Dresden in Germany. So Nick drove another, I think it was five and a half hours to Dresden, loaded up his trailer and SUV with cat cages, dog cages, dog food, cat food bowls, leads, everything he could think of, and drove another, I think it was 12 hours back to a little place called Fredropol, which is near the border where there's a big collection point for pet refugee supplies set up by a local clinic called the foundation ADA. So Nick dropped off all his supplies there. And then he got talking to the FADA team. And they kind of took him under their wing. And he's been helping out. And he had his first trip into Ukraine yesterday, where he drove to Lviv with pet supplies, and he went to a number of clinics and sanctuaries and the vets were chipping the animals and checking that they were fit to travel. And then he brought back around 20 dogs and five cats. And he didn't get back till about 1am this morning. And he had to help unload all the animals at the other end when he got back to the clinic in Poland. So he's up again this morning. And he's gone over to the clinic today to help out and I believe he's going back into Ukraine tomorrow, but it's a very, very fluid, fast changing situation quite difficult to, you know, get a handle on how best to help because it's just bedlam. But he's at the clinic now. And he'll hopefully be doing another run into Ukraine tomorrow. But when he was in Lviv yesterday evening, the air raid sirens went off. And he's posted it on his Facebook page. If anybody wants to have a look, then it was quite eerie. So he's going off. Yeah.


Expat Property-Guy  09:06

So what if people want to help? What can they do? 


Vanessa  09:09

Well, we've set up a JustGiving page. And if you just search on UkraineMissionNick all one word it should take you straight there. Essentially the foundation ADA, they desperately need another animal ambulance. And they can only buy one from within Poland because vehicles have to have special dispensation to get over the border. And they need a relatively new vehicle because it's far too risky to go into Ukraine with a vehicle that might break down because obviously you would be stranded there. There's no parts as you know, it's very difficult so they want to buy a relatively new vehicle they have identified one it's £20,000. So, we are raising the money for a new animal ambulance for foundation ADA, and you can see that Nick is genuinely involved. with them, he's driving one of their existing animal ambulances. And I do say that because there's many instances of Ukraine being used for fraud, trying to get money off people,


Expat Property-Guy  10:10

it's a fantastic thing that you and Nick are doing. I'd like to add, if I may, that, you know, when something is in the news, and everyone's talking about it, it's fantastic how everyone rallies around and does what they can. But when the news moves on, those problems don't really go away. And my wife and I are very clear about our why. And it's in a blog post called The Secret podcaster on the podcast website, I mean, we also want to help refugees once we become financially independent. In fact, the last time that we were able to travel, which was quite a long time ago now, which is Christmas 2019. We actually spent a couple of days staying in Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, which was set up for Palestinian refugees fleeing the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. And they were never able to go home. And that camp now has like 40,000 residents living on a one-kilometre square piece of land. So, speaking for ourselves, I mean, we want to be comfortable and have a nice home and everything, but you know, sometimes when I see people spending huge amounts of money on things that they don't really need, and showing it off on Instagram, and you see the looks on the faces of people at the border of Poland, like I saw from when I watched Nick's video, it does make you think…


Vanessa  11:28

Well, it's very laudable, what you've just said, I agree. 100%, we are so fortunate here in the UK with the quality of life that we have. And you know, for Nick, it's been such a massive eye opener to go and see this firsthand It's a once in a lifetime experience. And it's a privilege. And we're very grateful that our property situation has meant that he is in a position where he can just take off for 2, 3, 4 weeks and go and do this humanitarian and pet rescue work without fear of his own financial situation. He said, It's like being in a film, I know what he means. Because if you go to the cinema and you see a really, really good film, you're totally immersed in the film. And when the film ends, it's almost like you're jerked back into your real life and your everyday existence. I think it's the same for Nick. But it's very interesting what you said also about how the news moves on. And I think what's so positive about buying an animal ambulance is that it's it will continue to be needed, even when this crisis is over. And it will continue to serve animals and help them get veterinary attention or help them be moved to a new sanctuary. And I have to say the vets that foundation ADA are doing incredible work, they're working 23 hour shifts, there's eight of them, they are doing everything they can for these displaced animal companions, and Nick and I just totally take our, our hat off to them. They're the real heroes in all of this, what we've been fortunate enough to do is have Nick out there gathering footage that we can help tell their story. So that's been part of Nick's mission to create content that we can help tell their story and whether people donate to our fund or to any of the other brilliant charities like network for animals, or Humane Society, international or for paws. All of those charities and organisations are doing incredible work right on the frontline in extremely challenging circumstances. So if we can play a little bit of a part in helping pets be remembered in this crisis, as well as humans, then we'll feel that we've been very privileged to be able to have done that.


Expat Property-Guy  13:56

Yeah. It just shows you that property can be used in a really good way. Because once you sort yourself out financially, you've got that passive income coming in. And then you can do good things like you and Nick are doing.


Vanessa  14:07

Exactly. And this is why, you know, with the wealth creation industry, they're using their huge mansions and their Ferraris and their flashy watches, for marketing purposes, and they're selling wealth and riches. And, yes, of course, wealth and riches is good. But you've got to think about what are you going to use those wealth and riches for because if you can use them to enrich other people's lives, not just your own. When you go to see your maker, you know, you're going to realise that you've actually done some good for others, not just yourself. So going back to your your ‘why’ question. It is very, very important to have a y and that why should be about helping family, friends, the things that you care about, not just somebody living the Instagram lifestyle with a flashy car, you know, and flashy house. Those are all such shallow things to be honest and so shallow. They don't actually bring contentment or the feeling of being a decent human being that's worth more to me than any of those trinkets if you like.


Expat Property-Guy  15:20

Now, visitors to my website, www.expatpropertystory.com will know that refugees is a subject close to my wife's heart and mine. You can find a blog there called The Secret Podcaster which explains why we invest in property and why I started this podcast. So if you'd like to know more about our why, go to expatpropertystory.com and take a look. And, just as a reminder, if you want to learn more about Nick and Vanessa's pet rescue mission, and to donate, search for UkraineMissionNick, with no spaces, and you should find all the information you need. So, today's episode was part of a longer interview with Vanessa, which will be released in a few weeks' time, and it's well worth keeping an eye out for so if you haven't already subscribed to the show, you might want to do that now so that you don't miss it. Thank you for all the emails you've been sending me with your ideas for future episodes. Please keep them coming. As I said last week, we'll be having an episode on mortgages for expats in about three weeks' time. So, if you have a specific question for Expat Property Story's favourite mortgage broker, and I've already received a couple, leave it with me at expatpropertystory.com by Wednesday, the 23rd of March and I'll get it answered for you. Last week, I told you that we will be hearing from an expat who chose to invest in an area where he had no family or friends, but didn't let that stop him. He booked into a local hotel for a couple of weeks, and together with his business partner, they hit the streets until they knew the area like the back of their hands. His name is Steven Pardoe from Domo Developments, and his story is another inspiring one you won't want to miss. So, join me for that next week. One last reminder to rate, review and subscribe or leave a message at expatpropertystory.com And if you can think of someone who might be interested in Nick and Vanessa's pet rescue mission, then, share the show to spread the word. You've been listening to... Expat Property Story.


Vanessa Warwick Profile Photo

Vanessa Warwick

Co-Founder & Community Manager, Property Tribes

Former MTV presenter, now professional landlord, entrepreneur, property consultant/speaker, founder of Property Tribes forum & Community Management Consultant.