UK property investor Bronwen Vearncombe and her husband took just one year to build a profitable portfolio which allowed them to replace their incomes, leave their jobs and set off to travel the world after releasing equity from their family home.
Bronwen attributes their property investment success to the network opportunities and knowledge they gained through property education.
Meanwhile, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the Expat Property Guy and his wife decide on a location for their student HMO and find a UK property partner as they go looking for investment opportunities.
Get in touch at www.expatpropertystory.com with your ideas for the show!
Trailer: Bronwen 00:00
I think networking is relatively easy for expats much easier than it used to be. It's all about network. Who do you know who is able to find sellers either direct or they've got very good relationships with agents.
You're listening to Expat Property Story, a podcast in which I share my story to sleep the wave for you to have your own Expat Property Story.
Expat Property-Guy 00:27
Hello there and welcome to Episode 14 of Expat Property Story the show for expats investing in UK property with me, your host, The Expat Property Guy. That was Bronwen Vearncombe, who, together with her husband, built a portfolio that enabled them both to replace their corporate incomes within one year, allowing them to set off on a round-the-world trip. Bronwen's got some useful advice around networking, so stick around for that later in the show. Subscribers will know that I've been telling my Expat Property Story chapter by chapter since Episode One. New listeners, you're very welcome. And you may want to catch up with the full story on previous episodes, but the short version is that we're now in 2018. And after some false starts and lots of drama, we finally decided on a strategy of student HMOs. At that time, British universities were still in high demand with both domestic and overseas students. We also figured that despite the fact that purpose-built student blocks were on the rise, lots of students prefer to live in a house, not only because it's cheaper, but also because they want to live with their friends. So we released 55% of the equity from the flat we were living in in London before moving to Hong Kong, and also cashed in the majority of our pension. So we had a pot of around 250,000 pounds, I had started to look at potential locations for our new strategy. It needed to be in a town or city where houses were cheap enough to buy while leaving enough money in the pot to extend outwards on the ground floor and upwards into the loft to add bedrooms and therefore increase our rental income. I did some research on the student populations and came up with a list of five potential cities Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Newcastle. I spent a long time focusing on Newcastle and assembled a list of letting agents in the area and also got in touch with the organiser of a Newcastle networking meetup group who told me that the area of Newcastle I thought would be a good place to look was not so popular with students. I started to think more and more about Nottingham where the house prices were still within budget yet also seemed to have good prospects for capital growth. In Monopoly terms. Nottingham felt like the three orange properties Bow Street Vine Street and Marlbrough Street: not too expensive to buy houses and hotels but with a good rental income. And perhaps most important of all, Nottingham is a two-university city with a large student population. I found a student lettings agent in Nottingham who was quite well known in the city. Regular listeners will know that I had been networking by email with various guests on the Inside Property Investing podcast. So I decided to email the host Mike Stenhouse and ask him firstly what he thought about our strategy. And secondly, if he had any recommendations for sourcing and refurbishing the property before handing it over to the letting agent, Mike very generously replied that both the strategy and the agent were good, and also introduced me to a member of his mastermind group who, as well as growing his own portfolio, had been helping a handful of investors each year source renovate and then manage student HMOs. So I did my due diligence on this guy and didn't find any red flags. I asked him for a case study. And after going back and forth with some questions via email, I built a spreadsheet on Excel to enter all the costs and analyse the return on capital employed. There would be a 3% sourcing fee, project management would cost 13% and management would be 10% plus VAT. As an expert on the other side of the world, I'm happy to pay these fees because it effectively makes our investment as passive as possible from day one. So that's one of the few ways in which we have an advantage over UK based investors who may be tempted to do as much as they can themselves to save money, which results in many of them spending all their time working in their business rather than on their business, a concept at the heart of Michael E Gerber's excellent book The E Myth, which I highly recommend. So the next step was to arrange a video call via Skype. Tune in next week to see how the call went. When my guest this week found out that she wouldn't be able to withdraw her corporate pension until she was aged 68, She took matters into her own hands. After reading a book on property, she went looking for a property training course and signed up for a year-long programme alongside her husband. They immediately released 70% of the equity in their family home to invest in property starting with a two-bed ex Council flat in Winchester, which gave them the necessary landlord experience to invest in HMOs. Within a year they had replaced their income left their jobs and set off to travel the world. That was in 2014 and they have since expanded their portfolio to seven HMOs, two single lets ,three holiday lets, 74 short term emergency housing rooms, six new build houses in the UK, and nine apartments in Zanzibar. Her name is Bronwen Vearncombe and she has also written a book called 'Building Your Dream Life'. I asked her if it was fair to say that the central idea behind her book was that anyone could do what she and her husband John did.
Yes, we're nothing special. We didn't have a huge amount of money in the bank. But what we did do was get a really good education and understand the risks and the choices that we had. And I think in understanding risk, then you can manage things according to your needs. You know, we're all different.
Expat Property-Guy 05:44
So I mean, I don't doubt for a minute that all of this is possible. Yeah. But perhaps not everyone is as smart as you. I mean, perhaps not everyone is as driven as you. Isn't it true to say that willpower, grit and determination are qualities that you either have or you don't have?
Well, I think it's a combination of things. You know, you've got to be very aware of what you are good at what your what your strengths are, and aware of the areas that you're not so strong in. So, for me, I knew I could learn and I could learn quite quickly. And being a banker, myself, I thought, well, the numbers aren't going to be difficult. I understand borrowing. And I understand, you know, the banking position. So for me, it was how can I be motivated enough and be able to negotiate really good deals, and also time was a problem. So I was working full time my husband was commuting to London, I was commuting to the Isle of Wight at that time, and who would believe that we would have enough time in our day to try to build a portfolio. So understanding your strengths, knowing where your weaknesses are, is working on, okay, I needed accountability. That's what I needed, I needed to focus on... I need to be accountable to somebody to make sure that I do the important stuff. Now, it's easy at work, because you know, you've got like objectives and your boss wants to see you every month. For me, with the property stuff, it was well will it... will this take second place and actually not give us enough income quickly enough for what we wanted to do. So for me, I needed to find somebody to learn with and I needed accountability. So I needed coaching, coaching or mentoring. So I was out there looking at all the providers of education and thinking, Oh, my goodness, look at all these sharks out there. But eventually, I found someone that I trusted. And I spent a lot on our education. That was right for me. It's not right for everybody. That's how it motivated me, I think was having that accountability and having that regular drumbeat of learning and focus.
Expat Property-Guy 07:51
So guided focus through mentorship and coaching. You said eventually, you found somebody that you trusted. How did you know that you could trust this person?
Yes, good question. A lot of it is about how it feels when you meet them. I did a lot of free one day things and I walked out of most of them before the morning was up because people were telling me oh, you can buy a house with a credit card, no money down. And it was completely not believable.
By contrast, Bronwen was happy with the course she signed up for.
What I got was massive value, I got somebody that I could relate to, that was also an investor himself and a successful investor. So all of these little ticks, where he's got knowledge, I spoke to a lot of people who learnt with him and why they were successful. And it ticked the boxes for me in terms of coaching, regular focus, and dedicated, you know, understanding. So I did a lot of research, as we all do. And I was confident. Also, he gave a money back guarantee. And I thought okay, I can get my money back on the course
Bronwen was taught five golden rules.
Expat Property-Guy 09:02
Can you tell us what the five golden rules are?
Well, I think we would be a very long time to go through all of them.
Expat Property-Guy 09:08
Just a couple of headlines, maybe?
Yeah, I think the most important one is always buy in an area of high rental demand. So you know, when we're looking at prices of property, if you're thinking of your return on investment, oh, if I can buy as cheaply as possible, I'll get the highest return. Well, not if you can't rent it. So it's often it's often a bone of contention, oh, well, I you know, I can buy in that area, but no one wants to rent there. And it's not on any bus bus routes and things. You know, that's when it's not going to work for you. So that's that's one of the most important I think one of the other ones that I use a lot is always have a cash buffer in case of need. So people come to me or they talk about oh, I've only got X amount to invest, which isn't probably isn't enough. And they're looking at paying for a course and they're also looking that they're going to spend all their money on their first purchase, which again, I don't think works. So I'm, you know, very, very upfront with people with people about not spending all their money on on their first deal, and certainly not borrowing for your education. So I do know people have done that, and they're already in debt before they started.
Expat Property-Guy 10:25
So you've mentioned having a cash buffer and making sure that you've got demand. One of the other ones I believe, is buying below market value from a motivated seller. Is that Is that correct? How is that possible? Is it possible for an expat?
Yes, of course, it's possible. It's all about network and who do you know who is able to find sellers either direct or they've got very good relationships with agents. Again, this is something that's just so important because you can look on Rightmove and assume that the price on Rightmove is what they're going to sell for. Well, we know that that's not the case. And especially in a very buoyant market, as we're in at the moment. Everyone's like, Oh, it's too expensive. But there are still motivated sellers out there. So let me give you an example. Only two weeks ago, somebody is going through a divorce, they need to sell quickly. They've been head in the sand for a long time. And they've got into a situation where they need to sell, they don't want to pay agents’ fees. They've come through friends to say who do you know who can help, and I need to sell quickly. And I'm happy to sell below market value. So that happens as an expat. Yeah. And I live in Africa, a lot of the time, I've actually had people go view properties on my behalf. But somebody I know and trust, then they will come back and they will come back with the answers to the questions that I've asked. And then for me, it's about either working through the agent, if it's an agent, or if it's direct to vendor, Zoom, Skype, all works really well, everyone's really happy and comfortable now to actually speak on video. So I can still negotiate from afar. It's about knowledge, knowledge and network.
Expat Property-Guy 12:06
Have you actually done that then you've actually got through on a deal and a deal has all gone through that you've negotiated with the seller via zoom?
Yes, I bought properties I've never, never seen but I do know the area really well. And that's really critical. You know, I'm not going to buy in an area I don't know at all. When I started out. We were in Hampshire, got to know two cities, Southampton and Portsmouth really well, I started with houses of multiple occupation. So multi let's and I've got holiday let's and we're doing guest house business as well now. But over those first couple of years, I knew every street and still do, to a point. I'm not as up to date as I was. But you know, you do need to know the area and know the little streets and the little goldmine areas that that you're familiar with. And target those
Expat Property-Guy 12:54
Right. I asked Bronwen how expats could build their network from the other side of the world?
Well, a lot of the network meetings have been online. That's where I started, actually. We went along to our local one in Southampton. It was literally the first place I went that I thought, oh, there's lots of people here. They're normal people like you and me. And they're really enthusiastic. So I sort of got the buzz of, you know, property investing is not an elite sport. These are places to meet other people who are doing this stuff so that I could understand and learn and meet people now that obviously the last few years they've not been face to face. So it's a massive opportunity for expats. And I joined a few meetings myself from Africa. No one knows where you're from. And it's great. You can get to chat to people, but you can then follow up. And that's the important thing about networking, is then following up with people. It saves a huge amount of time doing it remotely, doing it using technology. And I think more and more people are comfortable with that. So I think networking is still going to be relatively easy to do for expats much easier than it used to be. But there is some good Facebook groups, some not not all of them. Yeah, there are more groups, supportive groups coming up all the time.
One of the unexpected benefits of COVID Was that network meetings moved online, and although many of them have resumed physical meetings, there are still opportunities for expat networking.
Yeah, some are online and some are not some are going back to face to face. Some are doing both. So that's really interesting. So you can have a camera and you can be just recording it live. It's not the same but I think there's going to be a bit of experimenting going on but you know if you're if you're coming back from time to time as expats do, you know I'm in the UK at the moment, right, but only for a couple of months, but during that time, that's the chance isn't it? That's the chance to be going out and you know, meeting people and going along to those meetings and following up.
I asked Bronwen if she and her husband had different attitudes towards risk.
Yeah, no, we're different. I'm a big fan of Wealth Dynamics. Wealth Dynamics is a way of assessing your entrepreneurial skills if you like. So, I've got a chapter in my book about that, if anyone's interested. Wealth Dynamics... happy to talk a bit more about it. But what Wealth Dynamics gives you is an understanding as to your entrepreneurial preference. You know, I'm a real people person. And I like negotiating. I like doing the deal, John, is he's a mechanic on the wealth dynamics spectrum.
Expat Property-Guy 15:31
I'm guessing that you're a star.
I'm a star. I'm over and over on the right, yes, I'm in the blaze dynamic. So what I tend to do is I understand when I'm talking to people, I understand roughly where they are on that Wealth Dynamics. So I know what their preferences are. And it's not about working on your… on the things that you're not so good at, this is making the most of what you are good at. So in terms of me, well, as a banker, obviously, I understand risk, I can take risk, but I'm still thoughtful about it. Risk is all about knowledge and education, really. But in terms of my preference, I'm out there doing deals, finding motivated sellers, finding people finding opportunities, working out what good could look like. Now having someone else to talk that through is of course, fantastic. And John is really good at the details. So he will be putting the numbers into the ROI spreadsheet, making sure that we've got all the costs listed out and then doing the what if scenarios, and we always look at worst case, of course, you always look at interest rates really, really high. You always look at voids. And you always look at if it's maybe a house or multi-let house, what's the worst case? What would it rent out? If it was a single let? And does it still create a profit? So between the two of us, it works really well. And you don't have to have a partner to work with it can be somebody else? But to answer your question. Yes, I do like risk, but I like calculated risk. So hence, I want to do that education, I do want to understand, and then I can take action, because I understand you know what the risk might be. That's why I'm not so keen on using sourcers myself. It's a topic that's come up quite recently with a few of my clients where they want to use sourcers to find properties. And I thought that might be topical for this conversation because expats you know, do tend to or sometimes you do use sources to find the right deals. But for me, I'm all about I want to get to know the owner, I want to understand what's motivating the owner, what, you know how I can negotiate something. So for me, it doesn't work if I'm not at the front of that negotiation. But of course, being now fairly remote, I probably know more about what good looks like from afar. Because I've been on the ground and I've done it,
Expat Property-Guy 17:51
I think if you have boots on the ground in your chosen area, or you come from that area, you can mitigate for those risks. But for expats, who perhaps don't have boots on the ground in their chosen area, and they don't have family or friends or they're not from that area, they don't really have much choice but to look for someone that they can trust and to work with that person in that area. Or would you argue otherwise?
No, they can, you know, you can find that person, but it takes a long time, you've got to do your due diligence, you know, I would I would argue you do need to go see them. So and certainly for the first deal that you might do with them, I would want to just go and kick the tyres, you know, to see the bricks are there, the property is standing. Yeah, the second, the one after that, fine, you've tested them, they've done you a deal. And you see it's working, then the second, third, fourth, whatever. But I would certainly also say go talk to somebody who's worked with them in the past. So that could be you ask them, Can I speak to a couple of your clients, I want to have two or three people. So I just choose them at random, you're not going to have the client that you know, always does the referrals. And then I would use a lot of technology. It's really easy to research people and just check them out. What is their background? What's their current portfolio looking like? If they've just done a course, there's a lot of them have. I've done a sourcing course I'm now able to source properties, but they've got no experience themselves at all, doesn't work for me.
Expat Property-Guy 19:22
I love the idea of asking your prospective UK property partner if you like for 2, 3, 4 names and then you're gonna pick a random one, so that you're just not being spoon fed the one that he or she wants you to contact. This is a question that I asked all my guests and that is and we've talked a little bit about it today, which is about risk and the what ifs and things like that. And you've talked about mitigating the risks, but what does the word risk mean to you?
This is about what's the worst thing that can happen. It's what I say. We've done a lot of work with other people's money. So we use investors we've got joint ventures, this is where risk starts to happen because you're actually working with somebody else's money, you may have agreed to pay them a fixed rate of interest for a period of time. And that is huge, huge responsibility. But from the other person's point of view, it's risky as well, because they've got to rely on us. As a banker risk is about reward and downside, you know, your valuation, is it bricks and mortar fire sale valuation? Or is it you know, all done up beautifully working as a commercial property? Risk for me is about knowledge. Do I understand the different choices of strategy or different exits for a particular deal? Do I know enough about the finance that I'm taking on? And what the consequences of that finance are? So for example, straightforward, buy to let mortgage? Do I take interest only and maintain that debt on the knowledge that capital growth will happen during a period of time? And that's okay, depending on your strategy. So risk is dependent on knowledge, what your aim is? So is your aim long term growth? Is it income now? Do I need it now. So risk is about understanding all of those elements and making some decisions based on your overall aim, and your level of comfort, around risk? Don't go beyond what you're comfortable with. But if you're not comfortable, make sure you understand why other people do something. And if you're not comfortable, is it just because you don't understand it? Or is it because generations gone by say, like my dad told me, Oh, don't ever be in debt. Always pay back your mortgage as quickly as you can? Because that's a generational lesson.
Expat Property-Guy 22:01
So you talked a little bit about capital growth there... you started your property story relatively late. Would you say that cashflow was more important to you than capital growth in choosing your strategy?
Yes, it was very clear that once we'd started to understand that you could create an income quickly with the right strategy, then for us, it was very clear that we wanted to use debt to get the income the cash flow in, so that we could then create more time because we could step back from our day jobs. So for us, it was get the income as quickly as possible leverage debt, especially whilst we were working, it was so much easier to get mortgages, and of course, to refinance our home. So whilst you've got a good income, get those mortgages quickly and build your portfolios so that we could then step back from our jobs. So John gave up his job, I then went down part time, three days a week. So I then have two days a week just dedicated on property, and John was full time on property. So you can see how that could then accelerate a our knowledge, but also, you know, start to do some more interesting strategies, that would diversify our portfolio a little bit. So for us cash flow initially, but of course, then after a number of years, it was how do we pay down debt? The perfect scenario is that you do that in a seamless way, and you start doing developments and you do freehold to leasehold, and then you pay down those mortgages. So of course, we know that it's not that easy. And certainly during COVID, we were doing developments. We've lost quite a lot of money by paying it to a bank, because we couldn't sell the houses during that 12-month period. So it's not so easy. When you get when you start to grow, your portfolio starts to get a little bit more interesting with different strategies. I'm just wondering if there's any other tips that you can give for expats? Yeah, the most important thing when you do find a property is that you find somebody really good to manage the property because obviously you're not going to be around which is a good thing. So John and myself, our aim was to create time and to have a relatively passive income so we could go travel. So we've done it the flip way, we stayed in the UK whilst we built, we were building the strategy. So you've got to find really good people to manage it because that takes the time off you and the stress off you. And that's not necessarily a high street agent either. So whilst we've got some single lets and HMOs we've got HMO specialists managing our our HMOs. So that's really important technology, use technology, a great accountant really important for if you're building a portfolio that's property based, then a property tax accountant's, I would say is essential. Obviously expats should understand their tax situation anyway. But you'd be surprised. And you do need to look ahead when with your tax as well, because people say, Oh, you've got to have a limited company. And again, there's pros and cons. So a really good tax accountant, and then your little sort of power team, as we call it around you. So when things happen, or you know, you want to have an expert on hands, we've got a really good builder. And we know that he can go in and solve problems out if they occur, and you know, he's on the ball, and we can trust him. So you know, over time, as you're building your knowledge, and you're building your portfolio, you will, you'll find trusted people, but you will go through others that weren't so good. So just be aware of that. It's a bit of a risk. We've had people do some of our refurbishments that we completely trusted, but then they change and then their plumber goes and then trying to find a good plumber is like a nightmare in Hampshire. So finding good people around you that you can trust that if you're not physically on the ground, you can call them in and they can help you, you know, we sort of almost have people on a retainer. And we've got really good administration, we use LastPass, talking about technology for passwords, so we can share passwords securely with other people. And so it goes on you know, there's a lot more to the property investing game than just buying a property and letting it it is your business.
Expat Property-Guy 26:35
So do you have a joke for our listeners Bronwen? I do have a joke.
Yes. My joke is: How does a blind parachutist know he's landed?
Expat Property-Guy 26:44
I don't know. How does a blind parachutist know that He's landed?
The lead goes slack.
Expat Property-Guy 26:50
Ha ha. The lead goes slack! Very good. Okay. Thank you.
Expat Property-Guy 26:56
So your chosen postcode is SO32 2PU I've got three questions here. Are you feeling confident?
Of course, it's where I live. It's my home. So yeah, of course I am.
Expat Property-Guy 27:07
Question number one. How many crimes were committed within a one-mile radius of your postcode in January 2022.
Well, my son is a police officer so I could phone a friend.
Expat Property-Guy 27:21
That option is not available! Is your son a policeman for that postcode? (Skype rings) Oh there he is now! Is that him now?
That's it. Giving me the answer! Ha ha! Let me just turn Skype off.
Expat Property-Guy 27:34
No problem. Is it A zero? B five, or C 12.
I'll go zero.
Expat Property-Guy 27:44
Well done. Congratulations.
Expat Property-Guy 27:46
No crimes committed in your postcode in January 2022. Very safe. Okay, here. It's only one more to win. Okay. Question number two. What are there more of A flats B semi-detached houses? Or C terraced houses
Err... semi detached
Expat Property-Guy 28:04
You know your postcode very well. Congratulations. You've already won but we'll go on to question number three anyway. What are there more of? Is it A properties that are owned outright. B owned with a mortgage or C rented?
Err not rented, I would say I would say owned with a mortgage.
Expat Property-Guy 28:22
Lucky you got the first two correct because that is in fact wrong.
Oh, is it unencumbered?
Expat Property-Guy 28:26
Yes. owned outright unencumbered?
Yes. Yeah. Okay. It is quite a wealthy area. People maybe don't have as much knowledge we have about leverage... ha ha
Expat Property-Guy 28:43
If expats listening wanted to take up your services with your mentorship or your coaching, what do you have to say to them?
Yes, I have. I have a free 30-minute consultation. So if you want to have a chat with me, you know, find me on social media, in the show notes will be my contact details as well. There's some free training if you know nothing about property. One of the big advantages of myself I think in Hampshire is I know a lot of people so people do learn from me down in the south because they use my network. I don't get paid commission for anything but but I am more than happy to share my experts and people that helped me so I have an expert panel as well once a month that's free. And that's all online. So all you expats out there come and listen to that come and join us come and ask some questions. Again, I can give you a link to that. That's the first Monday of every month 7pm UK time so to get in touch with you. The best way is via Facebook Messenger or email. I will always come and answer if you find me and just send me a message. Great.
Expat Property-Guy 29:55
So thank you very much for your time today Bronwen and forward to following your story as it continues,
Thank you very much.
Expat Property-Guy 30:04
So that was Bronwen Vearncombe And she's giving away a free download of her top tips for property investing. So if you leave me a message at the podcast website expat property story.com I'll send you the link. As usual, I'd like to pick out three things to highlight from today's episode. The first one revolves around the idea of using your family home as the springboard to fund your property portfolio. This is particularly relevant if you're starting to build your portfolio in middle age, at which point you may well have built up significant equity in your family home. The second golden nugget from today's interview was around due diligence. When you're looking for references on potential property partners, ask them for several different people they've worked with in the past, and then select one or two randomly, rather than just the one chosen by the person you're doing due diligence on. And the final point of interest is the significance of networking and how with technology this is getting easier and easier for us expats. Bronwen talked about the importance of following up with networking. And just to add to that, I would suggest keeping in touch from time to time with people in your network. If you come across something that you know someone would relate to, or be interested in, then send it to them in order to try and give something back as it doesn't look too good if you only reach out to people when you want something from them. And while we're on the subject of networking, I received an email from a listener suggesting we set up a WhatsApp group for expat UK property investors to support each other. I think this is a great idea, but I'm not sure how it would work in practice. So if anyone has any ideas on this message me at expatpropertystory.com You can also message me if you'd like details of those Facebook groups Bronwen mentioned in our chat. Last week I introduced a new feature where I highlight some of the exotic parts of the world our listeners are located this week's featured location and sorry if I mispronounce it is Irbid in Jordan, which is the country my wife and I have wanted to visit for a long time. I must confess I've not heard of Irbid. But it turns out it's the second largest city in Jordan after Amman and used to be called Arabella. Now travel is one of my biggest passions and the Middle East is still pretty much unknown territory for me, apart from a 24-hour stopover in Qatar on the way to Bangladesh many years ago, and our trip to Lebanon just before COVID. So hopefully one day we'll get to Jordan. Anyway, if you're our listener from Jordan, leave us a message at expatpropertystory.com and tell us how you ended up there, and how your Expat Property Story is going and if there's anything in particular you'd like covered on the podcast. Thank you for choosing this podcast to listen to and for listening to the end. Reviews and follows help our community to grow. So if you haven't already done so please rate, review and subscribe. Next week’s show is unmissable because it’s about the one topic that gives rise to the most questions for UK expat property investors. Mortgages. Expat mortgage specialist, Simon Allen of Searchlight Finance will be giving us a comprehensive guide to expat mortgages. So join me for that. And as usual, if you know of anyone who would benefit from the information on today's show, then share the show to spread the word you've been listening to. Expat Property Story.
Investor, Author & Coach
Property Investor, #1 best-selling author and coach, Bronwen Vearncombe, has built a successful business over the last seven years and been able to give up her full time corporate banking job and find freedom.
Having been told she’d not be able to retire until aged 67 – she knew there must be a way to escape and to spend more time with her husband and two children, and maybe even be her own boss! In just two years she and her husband replaced their corporate income with property rental and left their jobs.
Just two years later they set out to follow their dreams and specific adventures: John circumnavigated the globe with the 17/18 Clipper Round the World yacht race, and Bronwen followed working in the business on laptops and volunteering along the way. Travelling the world proved that they could balance a property business and have time to have fun!
In 2019 they spent 6 months working from The Whitsunday Islands in Northern Queensland, where Bronwen wrote her book Building Your Dream Life which published in 2020.
Featured in national property media, Bronwen loves to share her knowledge and to help others get onto the investor ladder of success. Her programme of pre-recorded webinars and coaching enables easy, but supported, learning of the essential steps to investing and uses examples from her own Hampshire portfolio too.
HMOs, holiday lets, guest houses, development and a SSAS pension trustee, her experience of working with investors and joint ventures, and never managing a property, has been her route to time freedom.
Bronwen is currently in Africa after spending 6months volunteering in Namibia at her favourite wildlife conservation group (a great place to escape the UK lockdown) and then imported their car to continue travelling though Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania! Now in Zanzibar Bronwen and John are planning a development project in ‘paradise’.
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