5 Questions With… Elsie Igbinadolor

As many of you already know, we started a new campaign to promote business owners/entrepreneurs in Islington, called “5 questions with…”. The aim is to gain knowledge, understanding and motivation in business through learning about another person’s career journey. We’ve even added a bonus question in this edition to get you inspired about your 2018 goals, too! Our sixth business owner is Elsie IgbinadolorProperty Investor, Property Mentor & Award Winning Speaker.

How did you start out?
I originally trained with KPMG as a Chartered Accountant, after graduating from Kent University with a degree in Maths & Accounting. So you could say that I have an aptitude for numbers.

I moved to the banking industry soon after obtaining my ACA qualification and I have been fortunate to have worked for a number of prestigious Investment Banks such as UBS, Barclays and JP Morgan.

My interest in property came at an early age as I was always the one who helped my mother make decisions on wallpaper, buy tiles, choose the bathroom suite, etc. I also once persuaded my mother to change her kitchen and I selected the units, appliances, project managed and paid for the whole thing. I guess the family home was my workshop!

I soon realised that my love for property stemmed from being passionate about taking a distressed property and making it into something beautiful – turning an ugly duckling into a swan.

I started out in property for myself, initially as a hobby and then for my pension pot by buying flats in Islington, refurbing them and then letting them out to professionals. Later, I moved into development projects and HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) to increase my cash flow after I left the city.

What is one pitfall you faced when starting out in business and how did you overcome it? 
I wished I had treated my property business as a business long before it became one – if that makes sense. As noted above, it was initially a hobby and something I just did because I had exceptional project management skills gained from my city days managing people, projects and processes. However, it was much later that I discovered the power of networking and collaborating with others.

Partnering with others is key, however it has to be with the right person and to ensure that your skills compliment each other.

What motivates you every day?
I founded my own property and business network 2 ½ years ago (Women In Property & Business Network) to motivate, empower and inspire women. We meet monthly and we have female speakers for a female audience. Some speakers are established whilst others are new, however I believe everyone has a voice and has something important to say. We were all beginners once!

So I would say hosting my own network makes me accountable and motivates me to do the best that I can in my business.

What changes have you made in the past year that has allowed you to grow/expand your business?
Due to recent changes in legislation affecting the property industry, I am looking at different strategies to future proof the investments I have made. Coincidentally, I have been approached by new investors who want invest with me on a joint venture basis which will allow me to expand my business and move faster. With current market conditions, this is both exciting and challenging, however working with partners is essential to grow and so I look forward to and welcome the challenge.

What one tip would you give your younger self starting out in business?
Get a business mentor!

Don’t believe everything that you hear in property – people tend to exaggerate!

Due Diligence is your friend! Do your due diligence on everything – on people, on property on courses, etc.,

If it looks too good to be true, it usually is!

Start with the end in mind!

Okay that’s five….!

What goals have you made this year and how do you plan to achieve them? 
I set my goals for 2018 before the end of 2017 and then continually review them throughout 2018. As well as written goals, I use vision boards to set my intentions and I ensure there is a sufficient time spread across work, rest and play with a strong focus on health.

In 2017 I managed to lose 40lbs and I want to continue on the fitness train.

In terms of my business, I have already mentioned collaborating more with others and also growing my network.

Giving back to the community (property through my network and to Islington via being an ICC Board member and helping to organise events that support local businesses).

Do you want to be featured in our campaign? Drop us an email and let us know why you should be featured. 

Reminder: We’ve had great responses from this campaign, and whilst we appreciate the support, we’d like to remind you that our members take priority in being featured. If you have emailed us to be featured in this campaign, you are on our waiting list. Thank you.

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