The property landscape in the U.K. has changed drastically in the last few years. Traditionally, many real estate investors would look at a buy-to-let strategy as a way to take advantage of a booming housing and rental sector. However, in recent years we have seen significant changes in the regulations around how landlords have to manage their properties eroding some of the profits they once made and increasing the administrative burden. Other investments such as investing in shares of companies attached to real estate or investing in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) do offer a hands-off way to get exposure to the market but returns can be very volatile. An entrepreneur who has launched a business offering an alternative investment in ‘property bonds’ which offer a hands-off way to invest in property whilst being offered a fixed return is Reece Mennie, founder of Hunter Jones.
Reece grew up in Cheshunt in the U.K. From an early age, Reece was convinced that a conventional 9-to-5 was not something he wanted to spend his life doing. At the age of 15 he left school with zero qualifications to help his Dad in his business full time. He moved into a sales role assisting other businesses that were purchasing stationary. Within 2 years they had doubled the turnover of the business. It became fairly obvious to Reece that he had a natural flair for sales and customer service. After a few years as the business continued to grow the family decided it made sense to sell the business. Seeking a new role Reece ended up in sales for an investment introducing firm that focused on alternative property investments. He started very junior but through hard work and an authentic interest in the space managed to work his way up to head of the sales team at that company. However, his entrepreneurial nature had never left him, and eventually, he started making plans to launch his firm that would offer alternative property investments and have a culture that would suit him.
Launching Hunter Jones
The business model behind Hunter Jones is one many individual investors are not aware of. What they do is help developers raise financing for projects through property bonds. These property bonds are essentially loan notes where a high net worth or sophisticated investor loans the property developer money and receives a fixed interest payment in return and at the end of an agreed term receives their full investment similar to traditional bonds. Hunter Jones matches these high net worth and sophisticated investors to projects and collects a fee from the developer. The properties that they have worked on span both residential and commercial real estate and whilst there was a period of setting things up which was tough since inception they have raised over £50m for property developers.
In addition to growing the property bonds introduction side of the business over the coming years, Reece has ambitions to expand HJ Collection which is the internal development arm of the business. Over the years they have worked with several property developers and construction companies and can identify which ones are good and which aren’t so will be utilizing this knowledge to build their own properties and attract investment for those.
Whilst Reece has achieved great success with his real estate business a big part of his mission is giving back to the types of communities he grew up in. He has been doing this through helping to build affordable housing for many years however during the COVID-19 pandemic finding himself with slightly more downtime he launched a digital marketing agency, Bigas Marketing, to help businesses and brands develop successful cost-effective marketing strategies. Additionally, he teamed up with established boxing coaches, Marc Dennis and Liam Dyer, to launch Dennis & Dyer Boxing Academy, dedicated to training aspiring boxing professionals, whilst offering accessible fitness sessions to members of the community. Outside of this he also runs a top 25 podcast series, Mennie Talks, where he interviews proven and renowned business leaders to provide insight into their journey to success, whilst offering guidance and advice for listeners and followers across the globe.
It’s unorthodox for someone who left school with no qualifications to be as successful as Reece has been in financial services. His commitment to hard work and passion for the sector has been largely responsible for his success and he wants to ensure he can pass that on to as many people both through developing their communities and imparting knowledge.