- Company: Hunter Jones
- What it does, in a sentence: We are one of the UK’s leading introducers of Property Bonds
- Founded: 2013
- Founder/s: Reece Mennie
- Size of team: 22
- Your name and role: Reece Mennie, CEO
What problem are you trying to solve?
In recent years, the Government have introduced a number of changes to ‘Landlord Tax’, which has meant many individuals have struggled to make any form of return from buy-to-lets, resulting in the significant reduction of private Landlords.
Hunter Jones works with many ex Private Landlords and other High Net Worth investors to provide them with the opportunity to invest in large-scale property developments, without the hassle and low rates of return associated with being a Landlord. On the flip side, we are also helping developers to raise the capital needed to create vast property developments, which includes the delivery of a million additional homes over the next five years, so desperately needed by the UK.
How big is the market – and how much of it do you think you can own?
Hunter Jones mission is be the UK’s leading Introducer of alternative property investments by 2024. That means controlling 50% to 60% of the market. Unfortunately, there are no official facts and figures regarding the size of the introducer market because it’s so specialised.
The potential for companies within it is huge, as long as they actually understand how it works, have great contacts, and can therefore meet the needs of their clients. Many “cowboy” firms fail because the industry is increasingly regulated by the FCA. It’s only the professional companies that abide by the book, and look after investors, who have stood the test of time and continue to grow.
How do you make money?
We get paid by developers to raise money for them by introducing them to high net worth investors.
The money is raised by issuing property bonds. These enable savvy investors to invest in the development of a property, without the hassle of owning it. Essentially, it’s a loan to a property development company to partially fund a construction project.
Property bonds are a legally binding agreement to pay investors a fixed rate of interest over a fixed period of time, as well as the return of their original investment. In short, they offer the best of both worlds: attractive fixed returns with the peace of mind that comes from the security of ‘bricks and mortar’.
Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this?
In truth, myself. As any successful business owner knows, it’s your own self-belief and drive that ensures you meet your goals and your business healthy. That being said I have a great senior management team. They’ve been in the sector for a long time, know the market and understand the needs of our clients.
Who’s bankrolling you?
Hunter Jones has bankrolled itself from day one and continues to grow organically, so I don’t need any partners, silent or otherwise trying to influence an already winning formula.
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?
If you’re a would-be entrepreneur trying to grow a business, the only thing I will advise is to put your blood, sweat and tears into your work. You’re the only one who can make it successful, and you’d be surprised the mountains you can move if you continue to put in the effort every single day.
What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
Hard work, getting the right team, adopting a can-do attitude and always putting the client first.
What metrics do you look at every day?
Sales figures and enquiries. Fortunately, they’ve always been acceptable even during all the Brexit uncertainty. If they weren’t, I’d be asking my management team why in our weekly meetings, and then implementing a plan to rectify it.
What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Don’t trust everybody, as not everyone’s going to be nice back. Taking people at face value is not going work, especially when you’re trying to initially grow your business.
What’s been your biggest mistake so far?
Starting Hunter Jones as a partnership. One person wanted to take the business in one direction and the other, another. If you’re going to be successful, everyone has to be on the same page in terms of vision and dedication. That’s why I have a successful business and no partner.
What do you think is on the horizon for your industry in the year ahead?
We are looking forward to high growth in countries outside of the UK. There’s a lot of property development taking place across the world and I’m constantly travelling abroad meeting new clients and taking on exciting investment opportunities. I also expect to see a lot more FCA regulation in place. I’m looking forward to this as Hunter Jones already abides by FCA regulations, so it will put us in a strong position.
How would a no-deal Brexit affect your business or others within your industry?
It is the uncertainty that is the problem, but we all need to think about the future and how we are going to adapt and thrive as a country. In terms of Hunter Jones, it hasn’t affected our business in any notable way and I don’t feel it will in the short or long-term.