Normette Homes in Convo with ... Bronwen Vearncombe
Jumping into the property investment pool can be a daunting decision but for our latest feature guest, Bronwen Vearncombe, it's paid off beautifully.
Having been told she’d not be able to retire until aged 67 – Bronwen 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. Not only does she have a great property business, but she also teaches others through her online learning platform established in 2017.
We spoke with the property investor, author and investment coach about her property journey and the importance of education in the property sector.
NH: Can you tell us more about yourself and what you do?
BV: I am a property investor in Hampshire, down in the south of England. I've been investing in property for seven years and it feels like it's going so fast. I was in the rat race before that, I was working long hours in banking and didn’t expect to have any free time until I could retire. So the key thing for me was to find freedom in any way possible and property investing was the best opportunity for me and my husband.
One of the big reasons for getting into property investment was that it gave my family freedom to travel and the time to do the things we wanted to do with our lives.
NH: What’s the main reason you guys choose property?
BV: Well, property is a fantastic asset in the UK. Because the demand is so high for rental, we are an island that has a very large population and the demand for houses and rental is high, plus we have very limited ability to continue building.
Property is not only an asset that can give you a monthly profit but it's also got the potential to give you capital growth in the future. So the asset will grow over time no matter where you are, which also gives you freedom.
NH: What was your first investment?
BV: The first investment was an impulse buy. It was a cute little flat in Winchester. It was a close commute to the train station, so it was a great place to live. After having our meeting with the estate agent I started realising that I didn’t know what being a landlord meant so I decided to educate myself and learn from experts. That's when I felt that one flat was not enough and it showed me the potential of expanding my portfolio.
NH: Would you say that getting into property investment inspired you to develop the Property Investing Foundation? When and why did you start it?
BV: I learnt from Simon Zutshi on the property investment network. I spoke to Simon and stated that there was a gap in the market for learning and that unless you have a lot of money to pay for the courses, there was no other way to learn about the property investment business.
That’s what made me start my online program in 2017 because I wanted to help other people learn but at a more affordable price. I also realised that there weren't enough women in this type of business and I wanted to bring more females on board.
My advice is to find someone you can trust and who you feel can help you along the way. Also, someone who is also clued up on what is happening out there with regards to investments.
NH: Why is it so important that people are educated about the property industry?
BV: It’s very critical to be educated in property investment. There is a lot of information on social media networks but you never are certain as to who is right and who is wrong, and most of the time it is in their own biased opinion and never from an educational background.
My advice is to find someone you can trust and who you feel can help you along the way, also someone who is also clued up on what is happening out there with regards to investments.
NH: Can you describe what it has been like navigating the property investment/development sector as a woman?
BV: It is very intimidating as a woman being in a room full of men or a mastermind group …. Sometimes it can be off-putting and you feel it when you go look for a mortgage or an estate agent may treat you differently. I noticed it, especially when going to these places with John (my husband) where they would speak to him and not me.
Start with finding people you resonate with. Get to network with other people. Join a property investment network or group to learn and grow from and avoid the negative-nancy inside of you that may be telling you that you can't do it.
NH: Any advice for young people wanting to get into or those just getting into property?
BV: Start with finding people you resonate with. Get to network with other people. Join a property investment network or group to learn and grow from and avoid the negative-nancy inside of you that may be telling you that you can't do it.
Make sure to get your hand on a copy of Bronwen's book 'Building Your Dream Live', you can also learn some incredible insights from her website. You can keep up to date with all of Bronwen's ventures on her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
*This interview has been edited and condensed.
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Normette Homes specialises in property investment and tenant sourcing.