Stay-At-Home Mum Builds £120m Property Development Portfolio In Five Years

A stay-at-home mum became a successful London property developer with a portfolio worth more than £120 million in just five years.

Former banker Nicole Bremner tried several ventures, including baking, photography and knitting, in an attempt to earn a decent income while still looking after her children.

But these ventures didn’t allow her to contribute as much as she wanted to the family finances.

The 39 year-old Australian, who moved to London in 2000, then tried her hand at property development.

Wildwood Lodge, Hampstead was bought for £5.3 million and sold for £13 million
Source: East Eight

 

Bremner bought her first property in 2012 and set up a development and construction company called East Eight.

Just 12 months later she sold the £1.1 million home in Hackney for £1.9 million.

She now runs a property business that has 11 projects currently on the go, worth over £120 million in gross development value.

East Eight has evolved to become the funds management partner for London Central Developments.

The epitome of a supermum, Bremner still has time to raise two sons, aged nine and eight, and a six-year-old daughter with her partner in Hackney.

In her new book BRICKING IT, Bremner reveals that after a friend pulled out of investing in a project, an architect introduced her to Avi Dodi, an experienced property developer.

In 2013 the duo went into business on their first property in Islington. They bought the property for £1.4 million, spent £600,000 on development and went on to sell it for £3.3 million.

This property on Englefield Road in Islington was the first Bremner developed with Avi Dodi
Source: East Eight

 

Bremner’s property development tips include visiting estate agents in person rather than relying on phone calls.

She writes in her book: “Tell the agent what you’re looking for, the exact area, the budget and how quickly you’re able to move. Drop in a development CV or company brochure too. This shows the agent you’re serious and puts you at the top of their list if something new comes in.”

Her other tips include thinking about budgeting as an art, rather than a science, because even the simplest sums can soon spiral.

Regardless of how you sell a property, you should always “stage” it so that it is ready for buyers, Bremner advises.

This involves stripping out personal effects and making the house look like something out of a magazine. So no pictures of your kids on the beach or shopping lists on the fridge.

A tastefully decorated kitchen at Parkholme Road in Hackney
Source: East Eight

 

Bremner writes that outsourcing to people like nannies, cooks and bookkeepers is important when juggling a busy career with a hectic family life.

The book highlights that developers have to deal with lows as well as highs.

“I think the property journey is a bit like childbirth: if you remembered in detail the emotional rollercoaster you went on, you wouldn’t do it again. Or perhaps it’s what separates those who are suited to this career from those who are not,” Bremner writes.

“Many people renovate a property once and never want to do it again. It is difficult; I won’t sugar-coat it. Things don’t go to plan and you need to rely on so many external parties that it’s hard to keep things to a schedule.”

DealMakerz applauds anyone who manages to navigate the London property market and build such a big portfolio.

To do this when you have three children to take care of is truly impressive.

The book seems to be going down a storm – it has featured as a bestseller in Amazon’s “Entrepreneurship” category – so there are clearly more property moguls-in-the-making out there.

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