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Jane Gillate, an ex-paediatric nurse who has spent the last 22 years focusing on family life, and her husband Simon, a project risk consultant in the construction industry, shared a passion for property.

When Simon was made redundant in 2009, the Gillates felt the time was right to research building a passive income from property, both as an appreciating asset and as a ‘nest-egg’ for their children. Their concerns were the diminishing returns held in savings and the liquidation of various assets in order to sustain an adequate income.

While attending The British Franchise Exhibition, in Manchester, Jane visited the Platinum Property Partners (PPP) stand, to discover the brand’s business model and opportunities available to franchise owners.

Jane and Simon decided to attend a Discovery Day, where they met the PPP team and were told by existing franchise owners how they had succeeded using the business model to create and manage successful property portfolios.

Suitably impressed, Jane and Simon subsequently attended a Directors’ Meeting, during which they decided to become franchise owners in the South East London area.

“We had seen the proof and met the people. We knew we were making the right decision, so we just went for it,” explains Jane.

Within six months, the couple had bought three properties and were managing the redevelopment to turn the detached houses into luxury accommodation for professional sharers.

Jane concludes: “We wanted to find something that would use both our skill sets – I have a real interest in interior design and I’d like to think I’m really good with people, while Simon is very organised and methodical. The franchise opportunity with PPP suited us both, and has given us something to focus on and work at together, while also providing us with a good level of income.”
Jane and Simon Gillate,
Platinum Property Partners, South East London

Adrian Burton had worked for 22 years in the IT industry in a variety of roles including project and sales management. Then, at 46, Adrian was told his job had been made redundant.

He had to decide whether to go back into employment or find his own business opportunity. Luckily, his breadth of experience provided him with an extensive background for managing costs.

“I quickly reached the decision in January 2008 that I wanted to find a business that provided some independence, was going to be fun, provided a reasonable income, and allowed me to spend more time around the family. Could I launch a business on my own or seek support possibly through a franchise?

“I discovered Auditel via the internet. Following a meeting, I realised the best opportunity for success would be with the support of a franchisor. Auditel appealed to me as it shared many of my values.

Adrian continues: “What Auditel provides is a really good grounding and support that allows franchise owners to create a successful business. This support was invaluable in the early days and continues to be a key component of my success – just talking to other franchise owners to sort out issues as and when they arise.

“Running your own business could be a lonely experience, particularly if you have moved from working in a team. I really enjoy events that bring franchise owners together such as conferences and meetings.

“My business has been built heavily around partnerships, which provides for a great deal of variety in terms of the industry sectors we are working with and the size of the businesses we are able to engage with.

“As I really enjoy what I do in terms of the freedom and variety that it offers, I plan to carry on and build the business. During the first year, I employed my son Elliott. This allowed me faster growth and more joint venture projects. These partnerships have been very successful in terms of expansion and I shall continue to nurture these relationships.

He sums up: “It has been a great first four years in Auditel. The plan is to keep doing what I do as it seems to work, but a few more games of golf might have to be fitted in somewhere!”
Adrian Burton (pictured),
Auditel, West Midlands