Publican finds entrepreneurial spirit after attending Property Investors Academy!
In common with many pub owners across the land, Angelique Cherry was struggling to make a living – even before the Covid pandemic – so she has adapted to changing times by becoming a property investor and entrepreneur. Ange, as she is known to her friends, joined the Property Investors Academy to get advanced training. Now she has set herself up financially for life with a commercial development literally in her back yard and a rental project in the seaside resort of Cleethorpes.
‘Property Investors opened my eyes to new strategies’
For the past decade Ange has run the Broomfield Tavern in Coventry. She gave up a job as a debt collector to take it on with her partner after it had been empty for more than a year.
Friends told her she was crazy, but she was determined to prove them wrong and she did. Working long hours, the two of them transformed it into an award-winning pub.
In nine years, the tavern picked up 16 awards from the Campaign for Real Ale and they extended their range to include ciders.
Ange says: “We had the most ciders in Coventry from as many different cider producers as possible which made it interesting and had people travelling to the pub from all over the country.
“That was good, but we still found it very difficult to make money in the pub trade. It’s a dying business, now more than ever.”
At one point, they themselves had debt collectors on their doorstep and faced being kicked out of the pub because it wasn’t making enough money. They were only saved when a customer lent them the cash to buy the business from the brewery company. That was in 2014, but then the global Covid-19 crisis turned everyone’s lives upside down.
In the first lockdown, when the Government imposed restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus, pubs were closed. The couple, therefore, decided to provide a takeaway service. Ange ordered 200 cartons and started selling pints to customers. Then, in the second lockdown, she decided to offer deliveries.
While other pubs shut, or just served takeaway food, they managed to keep their heads above water. The pub, however, was not making a profit because it was only trading for half the week and they needed to find alternative ways of generating revenue.
Against the backdrop of pubs closing down, Ange attended the Property Investors Crash Course and then joined the academy. As a hobby, she used to flip properties and wanted to learn more about investing in the housing market.
“When I joined the academy, my eyes were suddenly opened to all the other strategies out there and things I’d never even heard of before, like rent-to-rent where you can create something out of nothing with none of your own money. That blew my mind.”
So, when her partner came up with the idea of developing the large derelict garden at the back of their pub as a solution to their financial problems, she jumped at the chance to use her new-found knowledge.
“I thought it’s so obvious, but had I not done the academy I wouldn’t have thought outside the box and looked at how to develop it. I would have just said build a house. Now we were thinking but what’s the maximum profit we can pull from it?”
Two phone calls later Ange had found an architect and quickly secured planning permission for five small commercial units on the land. This will give them a projected rental income of £2,000 to £2,500 a month and will also add value to their property.
The publican turned entrepreneur is now in the throes of completing another deal in Cleethorpes. She was attracted there by the award-winning beach and the town itself. After researching the area, she concluded it was a good place for rental accommodation and other types of investment.
While out on viewings, she discovered a property which had been on the market for 19 months and was split into two flats. It looked dingy on the photographs, but in fact it had just been refurbished with new carpets and kitchens, and a lick of fresh paint on the walls.
She agreed to buy it for £76,000 – a bargain compared to properties on either side which were for sale at £86,000 and £90,000.
The plan is to title split the property, push up the value and then refinance it which will enable her to pull her money back out for other projects. She will also rent out the one and two-bedroom flats, giving her an income stream as well as an asset.
‘Sometimes you have to follow your gut instinct’
Throughout her property journey Ange has had the good fortune to have a supportive partner. Even so, she admits it was hard handing over money for the Property Investors Academy when their pub was struggling – especially when she watched a series of YouTube videos critical of Samuel Leeds and his techniques.
“I watched them before joining the academy and my heart sank. Then I watched a few more after I joined and thought, have I done the right thing, is it a scam?
“I talked about it in depth with my partner. He said if you feel in your gut that it works and it’s right, then do it. My brain was telling me perhaps slow down and my gut was saying just do it.”
A year down the line she wishes that she had taken more action in the past.
“I’ve got a degree, but I haven’t used it. If I had, I could be in a nine-to-five job in Europe somewhere earning lots of money but I didn’t take action and so I did something else. I’m proof that if you take action, you will achieve something.
“I didn’t think in a month of Sundays I’d be sitting in front of Samuel being interviewed for Winners on a Wednesday.”
Academy members are constantly encouraged to take action and Ange has benefited from that message. She felt ‘pumped’ after the academy to go in search of investment deals – first in Grimsby and then in Cleethorpes.
Ange says she too has had her fair share of haters.
“As a company owner it’s tough at the top. You find, whether it’s a tiny company or a multi- million pound company, people love to hate you, and the better you do the more they want to hate you. But if they were as good, they would have their own haters and they would achieve.
“At the end of the day, I’m prepared to be hated. I don’t care, but I know a lot of my customers absolutely love what we do. They love our products from the pub side of things.”
Samuel points out that, whilst his company has its haters, most of his customers are happy and busy doing deals.
Ange is more than satisfied with the service she has received from Property Investors and lead trainer Alasdair Cunningham. She describes him as her ‘new guy on a pedestal’ who will point out her failures without any sugar-coating but tell her what she can do better.
Every week Ange has benefited from talking to professional coaches, as well as getting free advice from other academy members who are further along in their property journey.
This comprehensive support network is backed up by a range of advanced courses designed to give students the theory and practical skills needed to become entrepreneurs.
During one exercise at The Business of Property Investing course Ange experiencing a ‘major lightbulb moment’ when she realised her bar staff were earning more than her per hour.
“I’ve had a few lightbulb moments since I started the academy. Alasdair has made me change my perspective on things which I can apply to the pub and property investing.
“When I looked at the figures, I thought wow for the hours my staff do compared to what I do, I actually earn about 40p less per hour minimum wage and I’m the business owner. It’s thought provoking. You learn a lot of new strategies on the academy but a lot of what you learn is to look at yourself and what can you improve. That’s what the trainers are there for. They pull the best out of you.”
‘My miracle baby motivates me’
When Ange completed the first academy course, she found several deals with returns on investment way over 25 per cent, but rejected them because of her doubts.
“I still had that little voice talking to me saying are you sure you can do it? Are you sure it’s not a scam? I realised after I’d done the co-deal sourcing and deal sourcing [training] that I threw thousands of pounds in the bin which would actually have helped me to progress much faster.”
Nevertheless, property has already brought its rewards. Ange took on the Broomfield Tavern in 2011 just after the recession. Three years later she and her partner were able to buy the pub, thanks to one of their customers who lent them £176,000 over ten years to purchase it. They repaid him six years later in October 2020, despite Covid. Now it is conservatively valued at around £400,000.
Her strongest reason for going into property is her seven-year-old son. She describes him as her miracle baby because at 18 she was told she couldn’t have children.
“He’s going to be growing up after Covid in a completely different world. I didn’t know that at the time but now it’s just a motivating factor. It’s about building up his future and making sure I can retire relatively early so that I can be with him and my partner and just have a good lifestyle.”
- Even if you haven’t got the confidence just take the plunge because the confidence comes and if you do the further training with the academy it comes in buckets.
- If you find a deal you know works on paper because you’ve done all your calculations, the money will come. On the academy you make contacts with people who might not be able to invest in you but might know someone who can.
- Stop listening to your little voice. I listened to that voice before I took on the pub. I should have taken it on years before in the boom time, not in a recession. I should also have taken my hobby of property developing a lot further.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Ange has been adapting in the best way she possibly can to the current situation. She’s a special person and it’s such a pleasure to see her blossom through her property journey.
“The Property Investors Crash Course gives people the foundation and then the academy provides the advanced training. It also introduces you to other academy members who have a wide range of experience and can help and support you, as well as our trainers.”
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