A martial arts expert who has lifted two Thai Boxing titles is punching above his weight again as a property investor.
Dan Bowie, who lives on the Holywell estate in Watford, has been making thousands of pounds a month in his new venture, after he was made redundant from his long-standing job as as postman.
The 44-year-old has been renting out high end properties he does not even own to people, including professional footballers and other celebrities. At the height of the summer season, he was making a clean profit in excess of £12,000 a month.
Dan has adopted an investment strategy which enables him to pay a landlord a fixed monthly rent in exchange for permission to rent out the accommodation at a higher rate.
He said: “I pay the landlords their rent every month. We agree on a three-year term with a 12-month break clause, and I pay all the bills. I’ve got a great maintenance and cleaning team. I run it all on short-term lets, using online travel agencies like Airbnb, booking.com, Trivago and VRBO.
“The guests check themselves in with a key safe and then when they leave the cleaners come in and make it look all nice again.”
Dan, who lifted two WBC Thai Boxing titles in 2013, including in front of 1,000 fans at Watford Colosseum, says it took him three months to land his first deal as a property entrepreneur but, like the true champion he is, he never stopped fighting to secure his first rent-to-rent deal, despite taking some early blows.
Estate agents told Dan he was wasting his time but his big break as a property entrepreneur came on a rainy day when he pushed himself to try to get a deal, despite feeling tempted to stay at home.
Dan said: “It was chucking it down. I was like, man I can’t be bothered to go out. But then I had a proper word with myself. I went to this agent in Windsor I’d built up a relationship with. I said to the lady, I know you were going to call me if anything comes up, but have you got anything?
“She goes, I’ve got this house… I knew straight away it was going to work because of the location. You can see the castle and the Thames. It had just undergone a full refurbishment. It couldn’t not work.”
The property turned out to be a five-bedroom town house, valued at £1.6m, in Eton, on the opposite side of the river to Windsor. He managed to negotiate a discount on the rent from £4,000 to £3,350 a month, only to be told by the council he needed an house of multiple occupancy licence and planning permission. Having successfully challenged this, he then also had to find a guarantor, as well as put the landlady’s mind at rest.
Dan said: “Her main concern was that her house was going to get wrecked. I think she had spent a six-figure sum on having it all done up. Because it’s Eton, cup of cocoa in bed at 10, she was worried there was going to be disturbances. But then when she met us, we explained exactly how we were going to run it.
“We said our cleaners were going to be in there two or three times a week and that if there was any damage our guests would pay for it. We also said we would hand it back to her in the same condition.”
Hollie, Dan’s partner in business and life, furnished the Eton property and built an Instagram page to promote it, and the first guest stayed for five months and paid £7,000 per month.
Dan, a former pupil at Laurance Haines Primary School and Rickmansworth School, previously worked for the Post Office for 21 years before being made redundant. At the time, he was still fighting professionally and supplemented his wages teaching Thai boxing part-time.
After taking redundancy, Dan became a full-time coach and personal trainer, but realised that due to the physical nature of the job this was not something he could do forever.
He said: “I always had a passion for property. After talking to Hollie about what we wanted to do, we decided property was a good vehicle to make money.”
He began reading books and studying YouTube videos on the subject and came across multi-millionaire entrepreneur Samuel Leeds’ property channel. The 30-year-old, who left school a 16 with nothing, bought his first house when he was still a teenager and became a property millionaire by the age of 21 through a series of shrewd investments.
Dan attended a free, two-day Property Investors Crash Course in February 2019 which turned out to be the catalyst for his new life in business.
Hollie accompanied him on the course and the couple learned the fundamentals of property investing before joining the company’s academy. It opened Dan’s eyes to the options open to them, such as being able to refinance his house and get access to funds.
Dan has since taken on a number more properties and said the net profit on three rent-to-rents in his portfolio over July and August amounted to more than £12,000 a month. With more properties on the horizon, his target market is wealthy individuals wanting somewhere to stay for between a month and a year.
Dan’s property guru Samuel Leeds says he is ‘smashing’ it in his new field.
Samuel added: “Normally people make £500 to £1,000 per month per rent-to-rent property. You only need three or four of those and you can replace your income. Dan has got two or three of those and the profits from them are ridiculous.
“He deserves massive congratulations for what he’s achieved so far.”