Rye dad hoping to make a million in final stages of ‘X Factor-style’ business competition

A Rye dad is hoping to make a million pounds by the end of the year after entering a competition organised by a property wealth education and training company.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 4:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 4:46 pm
Richard (right) with his partner Andrew and their son James

Richard Snell is one of 40 contestants who entered the Millionaire Maker challenge at the start of the year and, after passing an audition, he’s being mentored by judges before facing a public vote in December.

The aim of the contest, organised by Doncaster-based Touchstone Education, is to help as many contestants as possible to generate a turnover of £1million or more.

The first to reach the target will receive a VIP package worth £15,000, including an all-expenses paid trip to a Formula One race weekend with Touchstone.

Richard, 63, who lives in a converted barn on a farm near Hastings with partner Andrew Templeton, 59, and their 17-month-old son James, has been a property investor since 2004.

He has a portfolio of more than 100 properties, equally split between buy-to-let and houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) as well as some commercial projects at locations from London to Edinburgh.

The businessman, who has a London-based office but works from home as much as he can, hopes to top the £1million mark by converting former commercial properties into residential flats as part of a joint venture (JV).

Richard, who let his first property in 1994, said: “Millionaire Maker has already significantly boosted my knowledge and networks, further turbo-charging my property journey. Whether I win or not, I’ll have learnt so much and be so much further ahead in my property business I feel I’ve won a big prize already.”

He added: “I’ll need to raise my game to win but it will give me the financial freedom to start giving back – to my family, to the property community and to causes like conservation and education in South Africa where I grew up.”

In January competitors submitted business plans and each was asked to explain what they wanted from the process and what they hoped to achieve, other than to make money.

A final group of 25 was selected by judges, based on the quality of their submissions and on their determination to succeed.

They have been split into two teams, one mentored by Touchstone’s chief executive Paul Smith and managing director Abi Hookway, and the other by Paul’s wife and business partner Aniko and the company’s commercial director Gordon Dutfield, with each battling to produce the first millionaire.

After visiting judges’ houses for an intensive training weekend, the contestants are now putting their business plans into practice with help and advice from mentors during weekly catch-up sessions. Each contestant is keeping a video diary to provide a record of their investment journey.

Touchstone, which runs courses and seminars across the UK focused on investment in property, launched the competition as a way of bringing investors together to share their experiences and expertise.

Paul said: “We’re always looking for new ways to impart our knowledge and this X-Factor style competition helps to generate some energy and excitement around the process.

“By adding a competitive edge, there’s an added incentive for our investors, with help from our staff, to push themselves further to make their property portfolios worker harder for them.”

He added: “We’ve already seen some early wins for our investors and, even at this early stage, several are on course to reach the £1million mark by the end of the year.”

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