60-Second Interview: Elsie Igbinadolor
Meet Elsie Igbinadolor, one of the organisers of the monthly meet-up, Women in Property & Business Network. She has also carved out a successful career as a property developer and landlord and ...
Meet Elsie Igbinadolor, one of the organisers of the monthly meet-up, Women in Property & Business Network. She has also carved out a successful career as a property developer and landlord and shares her property expertise here.
What is your company name?
My property network group is called Women in Property & Business Network. I also own EA Property Solutions.
What do you specialise in?
My portfolio consists mainly of HMO properties. I have a number of student houses in Kent, which I have owner for a number years. In South East London I buy, develop and rent out five and six bedroomed deluxe HMOs to professionals. Each one of these has either three or four en-suites to give the houses more of a luxury feel. I also have a portfolio of high-value central London apartments, which are aimed at the higher end of the professional market.
Describe your property/investment credentials in one paragraph?
I have been investing in property since 2005 when I first became a landlord. I initially invested in buy-to-lets in Islington and I still have these properties. They’re all within a short walk of where I currently live.
When did you first become interested in property?
When I first starting investing and developing properties it was more of a hobby and something I did for the long term. Over time, I started networking with more and more people and realised there was a large group of people buying property as a profession.
Why were you specifically attracted to property?
As a qualified chartered accountant I knew that property, rather than a job, would give me better security for my pension so my hobby soon became a business.
Where are the best UK property hotspots at the moment?
Anywhere where money is being spent on new local amenities or transport infrastructure.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Be consistent in your actions and persistent in carrying out your goals.
What are your top five tips for anyone thinking of building a property portfolio?
Don’t rush to spend thousands of pounds on a property training course
There are no ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes
Spend time networking and find people who you resonate with
Find a strategy that fits with your lifestyle and values
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
Do you think it’s hard being a woman in the property business?
Yes and No. Yes because the perception and reality is that it is still a very male dominated environment (trades, solicitors, brokers, architects, etc). However, this is changing.
No, because I really do feel that with property there is no ‘glass ceiling’. If you know what you’re doing and work hard you can make it and be taken seriously. Also, I feel that many men prefer working with women, as the perception is that we are more trustworthy.
What is your proudest achievement, either in your personal or professional life?
Getting to where I am today. I am financially free with an expanding property portfolio. My late mother (who was my biggest inspiration) brought up four kids on her own through sheer hard graft and we all did very well.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
At the moment, I am in the midst of expanding my portfolio and more and more people investing with me are asking me to source, refurb and develop HMOs for them. They have seen the quality of my work and know, like and trust me. I feel privileged and take this as a compliment as I don’t market this activity. It has all been word of mouth. In five years time, I will be putting my feet up and will have nearly all of my business systemized and outsourced.
Who or what is your inspiration?
My Mum – looking back, I really appreciate her strong hard work ethic. It has definitely helped me during testing times.
How do you relax?
Hiking, reading and planning my next adventure.
Five words that best describe you?
Where would you choose to live if you could live anywhere in the world?
I have a timeshare in Barbados and although I am not from the Caribbean, whenever I go, it always feels like home. So Barbados, closely followed by Cayman.
What three things couldn’t you live without in your home?
Good wine, good family and friends and anything Apple.