Stephan van Niekerk - Platinum Property Partners – South West
- Joined Platinum Property Partners: 2013
- Previous Career: Armed forces
- Portfolio Location: South West
- Number Of HMOs: 4
- Biggest Benefit: More time with his young family
After suffering life-changing injuries while in the armed forces, Stephan bounced back by creating his own property business.
October 22, 2009 was the day that changed L-Cpl Stephan van Niekerk’s life.
Three years into his military career and on a second tour of Afghanistan, Stephan stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED); his injuries were serious!
Stephan lost both his legs, as well as suffering a broken arm and losing, or seriously damaging, five fingers.
“I spent the next five years at Headley Court in Surrey, the recovery centre for military personnel,” says Stephan.
“It was a bit of a roller coaster ride at the time. I’d also just married, so after I was injured, my wife and I really had to think about what we were going to do.”
While he was rehabilitating, Stephan got talking to a friend who shared his interest in property.
“He’d seen Platinum Property Partners at a show he’d attended,” adds Stephan.
“My first reaction was ‘Why would you want to pay someone to tell you how to invest in property? You buy a house and renovate it – it’s simple!’
“But I was intrigued enough to go along to a Platinum Discovery Day with him and that’s when I realised where the real value of the franchise is.
“My wife and I had been through so much, so we wanted to make sure that what we did next was de-risked and that’s exactly what joining Platinum does.
“I didn’t know what I didn’t know – everyone thinks it’s easy to buy a property, renovate it and rent it out.
“But I learned so much that I thought I knew, but didn’t, just during the Discovery Day. I’m the kind of person who if there’s an expert in something, I’d much rather get advice from them and learn than try something and learn from a major, costly mistake.”
“Being part of Platinum has given us so many options as a family – and certainly me as an individual”
Stephan joined Platinum in 2013 and quickly built up a portfolio of four shared living properties in Taunton, Somerset.
That portfolio has meant both Stephan and wife Sadie are able to spend more time with their four children, with the business fully supplementing their previous household income.
“Doing what we have done with Platinum has given me the ability to spend a lot more time at home, watching the kids grow up and being able to have a much bigger influence in their upbringing,” adds Stephan.
“We often say we don’t know where we’d be if it weren’t for the support of the Platinum team and their amazing knowledge.
“I’m resourceful, so I’m sure I could have created a property business myself, but it would have taken me much longer, would have required much more effort and a lot more stress trying to learn everything on my own.
“The support has been phenomenal, especially throughout the pandemic.
TIME FOR GROWTH
“It’s been a testing time, but Platinum have really managed to stay ahead of the curve and make sure all of us as Franchise Partners are equipped with everything we need and the knowledge we need to deal with it all.
“Being part of Platinum has given us so many options as a family – and certainly me as an individual.
“I do a lot of cycling now, mainly for charity events, but also I haven’t closed the door on sport. I got on to the transition programme for wheelchair fencing and there’s the possibility of doing something with skiing.
“We're also actually now at the stage where we’re looking to grow the business again. So, my next target is to get to eight properties.
“It’s a tried and tested model that works and the support from Platinum is huge, so I’ve got no doubt we’ll get there.”