Whether you are a property investor, a property service provider or a property investment broker, our mission is the same: that your investment decision-making process is made easier with the thorough investment research we provide.
This will give you the insight you need to help make deeply informed investment choices . You simply tell us the investment(s) you’re considering and we’ll give you all the help you need to make your choices with added confidence and insight. With our unique experience as both highly-experienced property investors and research analysts we talk your language and the results we provide will help you make choices with renewed calm and confidence.
We don’t sell investments – but we’re here to make sure investments are sold well: with integrity, honesty and transparency.
We do this by painstaking deep-dive research into the investments you are considering. We delve into the business model, track record and personal history of the property developers providing your prospective investments. We apply rigorous due diligence systems built and developed over many years in debt and equity property investments.
The world of property investment is a varied one. There are many opportunities to enjoy sustained returns, but in a unregulated world, our 15 years of experience in due diligence on property investments gives us a unique insight that few can match to help you quickly and efficiently avoid unpleasant surprises and identify the likely winners and losers.
We know that property investment can be highly rewarding, and our aim is to help you succeed in your choices armed with our expert knowledge and the insight you need to make the right investment decisions.
Graham Charles Turrell, BSc, CENG. CITP, MBCS
Founder and business consultant
JAMES MARSHALL, BA
MARKETING & STRATEGY
damien pilat, MSc
user experience Consultant
(NB. All identities are changed and are for illustration purposes only.)
Georgina, 46, from Dunstable, is someone who has had an interest in property investment for a few years now. She inherited her mother’s 3 bed house 4 years ago and has let it out since then, with the help of her local lettings agent. It brings in some income which is all to the good, and there is an emotional attachment to keeping the flat.
Georgina is a qualified accountant working in a senior role for a firm of around 20 people in Peterborough. She earns £120k p/a and has a net worth of around £900k excluding her £800k home. Georgina lives with her partner and 2 teenage children in their good-sized modern 5 bedroom house. During lockdown she had been able to work from home quite successfully. She has a good contributory company pension and has some cash in the bank. She was planning to make a lump payment towards their outstanding mortgage.
She has some stocks & shares but finds these a little dull and unhelpful. He is not a fan of IFA’s and feels they are neither independent nor cheap, and in his experience do not have much to say about more adventurous investments.
Georgina plays tennis at the weekends at the local tennis club. Her partner works freelance for herself at home as a social media consultant.
So Georgina has been on a few investment mailing lists, for investments like art, gold, fine wines and new-build property. Some offers do seem improbable, and promising too much. She recently found a fixed-term investment (property bond) she liked. She duly downloaded a brochure and received a follow-up call from an agent who explained a little about how mini-bonds work.
Being cautiously-adventurous, she asked about what if things go wrong? Was she protected, what were the risks, what sort of things could go wrong?
The sales representative answered these very good questions reasonably well and was moving Georgina on the phone towards signing up for a £40k investment in this 5-year term investment.
As an inexperienced investor, however, there were many even better questions that she could have also asked, had she been aware of them, and how crucial the answers to these questions might be.
Georgina had some doubts. She felt it seemed a little too good to be true. Both she and the consultant felt all her questions were answered but her inexperience made her nervous about going any further. She decided to do some Internet research on this investment and mini-bonds in general. The investment seemed acceptable on the Internet, but there were some horror stories about failed investments involving mini-bonds and property.
Aware that things can go wrong with investments, she looked further for some independent guidance. She came across Diligent Eye in her Internet searches and decided to contact us for our help.
We provided Georgina with a thorough investigative report on the security and safety of the investment as well as an incisive review of the development company and its directors offering the bond. This report asked and answered many of the questions she wished she’d asked to begin with.
Armed with our report she went back to the sales representative for their comments but this time really wasn’t satisfied with the answers. Georgina decided against this particular investment, but is now armed with a greater knowledge of what to look out for when considering future investments of this kind.
Sam, 57, is married to Nadine (a retired doctor) with two adult children (Alex, 32, living in Sydney Australia and Peter, 26, an NHS Doctor based in Peterborough) .They are an empty nester, which has given Sam a new focus on building his business back. With Nadine’s pension they are basically financially independent but Sam is driven by loyalty to his client base, running a successful business and funding his family treats such as holidays to Australia and the Far East. He loves his work, is a real people person and trusts people implicitly when he chooses to do so. However he has the wisdom of years and when that trust is broken with business partnerships he takes no prisoners!
Socially he is a sun worshipper and a warm socialite, and with his modest childhood background, very much a family man. he keeps fit at the local gym.
He is a former Regulated Financial Advisor who had his own IFA practice with 3 staff. He decided to leave the regulated world and to semi-retire when a new additional set of exams were needed to be able to stay regulated. When deregulating he kept many of his High Net Worth (HNW) clients with him and referred others to a regulated IFA firm he knows and trusts, via a mutual referral arrangement. Some clients he still shares with the IFA, as these like the best of both worlds – regulated advice for some investments and Sam for the other more adventurous alternative investments such as luxury items, direct investments into startups, and property bonds. He has always had an interest in offering direct property investments, but does this through strategic partnerships with property agents.
Sam is very careful to try to select safe products to offer directly or through his agent partners. He recognises that reputation is everything for his client relationships. Safe products are in short supply so he struggles with finding a sufficient variety of the right investments to offer his clients. He is constantly on the look-out for these. In assessing new product he tends to use his own gut feel (from years of experience).
His chief professional concern is nurturing his long term relationship with clients.
Sam is a consummate networker and gets considerable business from his breakfast meetings. He first encountered Diligent Eye at a London-based networking event for investors in which the latter was presenting on the topic of property due diligence. Following the event Diligent Eye and Sam discussed how their investment reports could reassure clients looking at his investment products. One report was commissioned which proved illuminating and also a successful marketing tool for Sam’s company, and Sam considers Diligent Eye an important component for business growth and client retention.
James (49) is married to Julia (42) and they have 1 daughter Megan (22). They live in a 6 bed manse-type cottage with 3 acres of land including paddock in a picturesque village just outside Cheltenham, whilst Megan is working on her PhD at the University of Warwick.
He is the co-founder (18 years ago) and Operations Director of BuzzCo Ltd, a successful medium-sized hospitality services company, used by Events Planning companies and hotel venues.
James is a keen golfer and was once at semi-professional level in his 20’s. He is a committee member at the Cheltenham club and has been a member at St Andrews for the last 3 years.
He currently has £1.2m of personal funds invested £800k of which is under management: he uses wealth managers at one of the UK’s major investment banks for most of his traditional investments and a few more adventurous ones. He has invested in Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)-qualified companies and now does all his investing through his own separate limited company for further tax efficiency.
With his bread-and-butter investments taken care of, James now finds average levels of return “boring” and likes to invest in what he knows: Property (BuzzCo has purchased offices and warehouses), Hotels and Hospitality innovation companies. He has a further interest in companies that focus on energy efficiency. Anything under 10% annual return is of no interest to him, as he tends to invest 6-figure sums and therefore expects higher returns.
The family holiday in Scotland, Greece (when Golf is not allowed to be a holiday distraction!) and southern Spain.
James is friendly and approachable and fully understands the nature of risk in investments. He thoroughly researches his investments, using a gut instinct which has had generally though not always, served him well.
James was browsing his investment bank’s online platform for ideas and inspiration and realised one of his EIS investments in a tech start-up was drawing to end of term. It had performed fairly well however the returns were somewhat less than he had hoped for. James was looking to reinvest some of the capital, £75,000, into a more interesting and “unpredictable” tech start- up company, qualifying for Startup EIS (SEIS) funding, that he had been introduced to by City-based financier called Intelligent Capital (IC).
He liked what he saw, but was aware that the financiers are not a neutral party. He would have liked some form of truly independent opinion on the prospects of the start-up based on track record, directors’ and other key staff’s backgrounds and experience. He is pretty happy with the business model which has been explained to him in detail by Intelligent Capital. While browsing for Tech SEIS ideas on Google, he came across Diligent Eye. who apparently offered Investment Analysis on just such a type of tech start-up company. He checked out their website and requested some further information via the website and gave them a call to see if and how they could help.
David (Dave) Underdown (71) and his wife Jean (62) have both been involved in property in various ways for decades. Dave and Jean built and ran an SME property maintenance company in Ilford, East London for 35 years.
In 2015 they passed the business on to their eldest daughter Lucy, when the couple retired and moved to a modern apartment block where they now live. David & Jean have been married for 45 years. They met and lived in Ilford for the first 40 of those.
They have 3 children, Lucy (32, property manager), Chris (42, accountant in own London practice) and Charlotte, 21, taking a masters in Journalism, Media and Communications at Newcastle University.
Dave and Jean are keen sailors, and still have a boat that they moor near their docklands , since retiring this has become a renewed passion.
Dave and Jean have been Buy-to-let (BTL) property investors since 1986, latterly buying the properties through their Special Purpose Limited Co, all in the Ilford area. At the peak they had 8 properties, 4 owned outright, the rest mortgaged at 80% loans. They had a mixture of 3 bed houses and 2-bed flats. Four of the 8 are in personal names. Over the last 7 years they’ve been gradually selling them off: firstly because they are tired of the hassle and are also aware of the increasingly severe tax increases now levied on landlord businesses. They also predicted more expensive legislation coming the landlords’ way and this proved to be the case with the tax climate getting progressively tougher over the last 7 years, new legislation on electrical safety, and post-Grenfell cladding levies.
As Dave started to dispose of his properties, he needed somewhere else to invest the proceeds. He does his own research, does not like the constraints and expense of Financial Advisors and has the view that property is always a good bet. He wanted to get involved with passive, Joint Venture partnerships but with zero hassle. He found two Property Crowdsourcing online platforms he liked and started investing there, a few £1,000 loan investments on a range of property developer projects. The couple are keen attenders of property networking events and since COVID still tune into several Zoom events a month to keep up to speed with news. So in short, they plan to stay “hands-off” (no property ownership) and keep a close eye on trends in property so that they are ready to invest passively when there is a good opportunity.
They are tax-conscious, but do their own tax-planning with the occasional piece of advice from their company accountants with whom they’ve been for many years.
Dave has a good relationship with the Principal of the crowdfunding platform they use. He’s a substantial investor so he gets the personal touch. He works with those he likes but is beholden to no-one. He has also lent capital to two medium-sized UK property developers via Loan Notes. One is going well, the other has shown signs of cash-flow problems and delayed two interest payments, leaving him more than a little nervous.
Dave and Jean were invited to a property networking event that Diligent Eye also attended, and had a chat during the networking. Dave became interested in the idea of getting some independent advice on potential new property-related alternative investments, which were still a relatively new area to him.
At our invitation, Dave agreed to send us product details of the two investments he was considering, and Diligent Eye in turn provided a generic report example and a quote for two report options on each investment.
Reach out to us today and get a complimentary review and consultation.