Meet the co-founder of FJP Investment
You have created a successful business in the property investment sector with your co-founder Lynne Payne. How did you both get into the investment business?
We actually used to work with each other as colleagues in the property investment industry. We knew for a while that we could go it ourselves and we saw an opportunity in the alternative property investment sector. So long as we were able to do things better and with ethics we were sure that our model would be a success.
We knew we could also create a better environment for sales staff, this was the priority for setting up FJP Investment, the need to create better working conditions and encourage a work-life balance!
Why was it important to you to provide an alternative access to property funding?
For years, investors have been shying away from property investments through the need for high initial capital. However, investors have always been aware of the security that property investments provide.
We bridge the gap and introduce investors to alternative property investments, many of which are hugely underfunded, supporting the developers and allowing investors the opportunity to investment in the property sector. Investments can be from as low as £5,000.
What was it like onboarding your first client? It must have been a nerve-racking, yet exhilarating process.
Of course! We actually got off to a strong start, and our experience in sales made the initial process of bringing in early clients easier than it perhaps could have been. There was definitely a collective sigh of relief when we could see investors shared our view on the benefits of alternative property investments.
What is the loan note method of investing and how does it differ to the normal method of investing?
Loan note investments are an alternative method for investing in property. The investment goes a little further than your standard investment in the sense that you act as a bank. You lend money to a property developer in exchange for a fixed rate of interest on your investment over a pre-defined period of time. The popularity of this method of investing is growing rapidly.
What were you doing before launching FJP Investment and how you do think that experience contributed to building a strong brand?
We worked for property investment companies and as such we took the good and forgot the bad. Those experiences have definitely helped us to formulate the plan when launching FJP Investment.
How do you balance the unpredictability of both business and your personal life?
Planning and delegation are essential. Naturally every day is different and some days it really feels like there is too much to do! Planning for it and prioritising areas of work that are most critical is essential – I often have a notepad to hand that I use to jot down what needs doing most urgently.
As FJP Investment has grown, I have (finally!) learnt to delegate work, hiring additional sales, marketing and administrative staff to share the workload.
Did you ever experience moments of doubts as the business grew?
Honestly, not really. We are and always have been very confident in the products we are selling, and this is reflected with our brand that is continually growing.
You have clients in over 70 countries worldwide. What’s your best advice to fellow entrepreneurs thinking about expanding overseas?
If you run a company that has the ability to target an international audience, you should absolutely be looking overseas. The majority of our clients are UK investors, but we are seeing a continued rise in overseas investors looking to invest in alternative UK property. Currently some 40% of our investor base is made up of overseas investors. In addition, our overseas investor is typically investing a higher amount in comparison with a like for like UK based investor. For this reason, we are focussing our efforts on growing our overseas investor base.
How important do you think it is to have a healthy company culture?
As mentioned before, it was one of the major reasons for founding FJP Investment! We were used to working in highly competitive, target driven environments. We both love sales but hated the often-unfair targets that were imposed on us.
Forming FJP Investment and growing a team, we are seeing major benefits in the freedom that we offer our staff. From sales to administration, we focus on creating a highly flexible and positive environment.
Do you have a strategy to keep things moving forward, even on difficult days?
From the offset, we have strived to position ourselves as one of the leading providers of loan note and alternative property investments. Our growth is testament to this drive, and we continue to focus on this goal of becoming the leader in the industry. The whole team share this vision, with plans in place on all fronts to continue this growth.
What plans do you have for FJP Investment over to the coming months?
We have recently opened up our third UK office. Over the coming months, we will be focussing on attracting more overseas investment into UK property.