I’ve been involved in property and business for a long time now and I wouldn’t give up the freedom or joy that I get when I see my clients or students succeed for anything.
My name is Matthew Moody and I guess you landed here because you wanted to learn more about me and more about how to make more money in your business. But before we get to that, I’d like to share a bit about me if that’s OK?
I wrote this short biography for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, I wanted to document my journey from living as a wage slave to being successful in business. It is all too easy to forget how you got started, how far you have come and what accomplishments you’ve already achieved because we generally all spend most of our time looking towards the future.
Secondly, I wanted to make sure that you understood who I was and that when you receive my emails, you’ll look forward to opening them and seeing what I have to say because I’m all about looking out for you and ensuring that what I am talking about and sharing is going to inspire you, make you chuckle, make you reflect and even sometimes question what you are doing. If I feel that you know me and my story, I think you will get a lot more from my emails than just subscribing to “yet another email list”.
There is nothing worse in my opinion than a stranger hitting your inbox with information or even offers that you have no interest in! And I bet you are getting emails from people all the time that fit into that category. And yes, I will hold up my hand and say I am interested in getting to know you, to work together with you and to help you achieve your dreams and this may mean money exchanging hands – but also, I want to ensure that you have enough valuable content to know that when the time is right, you’ll know that in your heart that this is the right path for you.
And if it isn’t, its really no sweat for me because I know that every time I sent out an email, every time I speak at an event, every time I meet someone, I give great content and valuable take-aways that anybody can use.
Listen. Information alone won’t help you succeed with your business.
Well, there is far too much of it for starters and there are so many people proclaiming this, that and the other that you can become confused and not know what to do nor who to trust.
And this is why it is so important to make sure to get that information from a reliable source.
In other words…
Someone You Trust!
Let me tell how I got to where I am now.
You see, I wasn’t always living the life of my dreams; there was a time when I was working for major European and American corporations that sucked out every ounce of your energy
But that’s not the start of the story; that’s somewhere in the middle.
The early beginnings and college
My early beginnings began back in the East Ridings of Yorkshire in a place called Kingston-Upon-Hull. Much maligned by many who have never been to it; it’s a city that has to make its local economy work because it is really the only major city within 50 miles of anywhere that has the ability to provide employment, infrastructure, entertainment and amenities to its burgeoning population of workers and a growing student market.
Life for me was growing up in a middle-class type of family where my father was a policeman and my mother a mixture of clerical, sales, receptionist and looking after everybody else roles. Most Yorkshire people are understated, often misunderstood and don’t always expect much from life about from get some qualifications, get a job, then leave 30 years later and enjoy retirement.
The old adage “its grim up north” always brings a wry smile to my face because its both true and false at the same time. It’s the same kind of statement that all unemployed people are bums living off the state. It’s the few that it applies to – not the many.
For my part spending my formative years growing up in Yorkshire; most people are hard-working and wish to better themselves if they can. But who is there to teach them?
The government – no, they just want to keep you in the worker-bee mentality.
The schools – no, they just implement government policy and have you heard of many “entrepreneurial” schools?
The local business support organizations – no, they are more interested in either generating subscriptions or meeting their government imposed quote for contacts than helping people break free.
So, how did I become the businessman I am today?
Firstly, because nothing much was expected from me, I was determined to succeed and because of that I gained good enough grades to allow me to go to Oxford to study Theology.
For those that aren’t familiar with Theology, it’s the study of religion, the bible, doctrine, philosophy, ethics etc. Its not the most common path to becoming a businessman but back then my goal was to become a priest.
As I experienced the wider world and came into contact with things I’d never experienced in Yorkshire, the reality of whether I really wanted to become a priest or not became more and more apparent to me and in the end, whilst I was offered a parish assistant role in Bedford that would have led to me becoming ordained, I ultimately decided on another path.
I’d been involved in various business ventures along the way including a yard sale at the age of 8 that my mother quickly shut down (!), Young Enterprise where we set up a business selling promotional items to our fellow students, a European Society who raised money to support events and at college, I was employed by the conference office on a variety of roles; one of which was selling college merchandise to the visiting European summer students.
It was an interesting exercise for me to understand how people bought goods based on promotions, word of mouth and referrals. I actually made my best set of sales by selling in bulk to a student who was either getting them for his family or selling them on. It didn’t matter too much as for me it was the experience of being involved in commerce that lit me up to want to get more involved in the business world.
Working Life to Leaving
From college, I would up working as an Trainee Business Analyst at Europcar – the car hire firm at their head office in Bushey, Watford. I remember that I won the place from 600 applicants that they had received and it wasn’t long before my entrepreneurial skills kicked in and I had worked out various ways of making my role more efficient so I could spend more time on the internet researching different ways of making money and also suggesting new ways in which we could do things that made sense to me if not to my manager at the time. However, I did learn quite quickly which departments actually made the decisions and which departments where “support” departments. My department was in charge of Pricing and Revenue Management (essentially the art of extracting more money from a sale based on supply and demand) and it was clear to me that this was the lynch pin in the organization in order to generate the most amount of cash for the company.
Needless to say, change was at work and within 18 months of being a “trainee”, I was heading up the department after suggesting to my boss that he apply for a role at another company paying £10,000 that he was earning at the time. He applied, he got it, I got his job. It probably helped that we’d had 3 other trainee analysts in the space of 6 months (one of whom was one of my best friends) who had all been and gone within 3-6 weeks of being employed to other better paying jobs in the city!
I figured out that it was a good strategy to ingratiate myself into the senior echelons of management wherever possible and through some astute steps managed to talk myself and another manager into the weekly board meeting. Being able to listen in and then share our opinions on the pricing, revenue and forecasts of the company proved very useful and illuminating for me and helped prove my worth to the board.
However, I forget to mention an important point that very shortly into my tenure at Europcar, I got married and moved 67.5 miles away. Now doing a 135 commute every day isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but I did do this for nearly 4 years but was getting to the stage where I was literally getting up at 6am and getting back at 730-8pm every day – sometimes driving half-falling asleep because I hadn’t got enough sleep the night before.
The crux for me to move on came when a new marketing director was put in charge and I’d organized for 100 Mercedes A-Class cars to be moved to Blenhiem Palace for a 3 day international finance conference. The exact figures escape me but we generated something like £25,000 profit from that one deal and I remember him having a go at me because I was out of the office for three hours sorting it out.
I found new job a few months later and it was ironic that my board courted me for three days to stay with them including offering me a lot more money, a better car and better working conditions. I was touched that the Managing Director said I was family but in the end, I turned them down as I had been making noises for some time and I didn’t really see how the overall culture was going to change that much for me to continue to make a difference. Maybe if I stayed, I’d be the MD now J …
The new job was 10 miles down the road for a major international corporation based out of Indianapolis, USA called RCI – the leading provider of timeshare exchange in the world.
I was brought into manage European pricing and landed headfirst into a company that was already going through its own change having recently being bought out from its founder and sold to a major American conglomerate called Cendant. Based on my looking-in on the political situation, when an opportunity came up to head up and manage a European Business Management Initiative, I jumped at the change and organized a worldwide emergency conference in the UK for about 40 staff to kickstart the European recovery of our business.
SIDE NOTE –as you get involved more and more in business, you’ll get to understand a lot about shareholder value. Personally because of where I am right now, I completely get it but I don’t really like it very much. The European business I was in at the time was making MILLIONS but because of aggressive completely unrealistic targets, it was not behind budget and thus deemed to be failing … I wonder sometimes
Anyway, probably because of the maverick side of me and the position I was in, I wrote a paper about how we could REALLY turn around the business and go to the next level and sent it to the MD. To say I had an interesting , volatile and forthright chat with my boss shortly after was an understatement to say the least J
Anyway, to cut things short else I’ll carry on writing for sometime and that should really be in a book 20 years from now; due to the catalysm, I became Head of Revenue Management for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) with a department of 11 spread over four locations and built up revenues across several products line by $20 million over a 3 year period.
I enjoyed for some an enviable life of creating products, spearheading growth, negotiating huge contracts and travelling the world. But the hours were long, the pressures were immense and the stress sometimes overcoming. Sometimes you wouldn’t really know where you were as it was just another hotel room and let me tell you that whether its in New York, Cancun, Munich or Orlando – a hotel room is a hotel room.
It was here though that I really found out about politics and how this can damage a company and damage a person’s reputation and future prospects. I’d become more disenchanted with the organizational tendencies to essentially cull a large amount of staff every December because essentially this balances the balance sheet and allows you to improve your on-paper performance (as the redundancy payments don’t then hit until the next financial year if you time it right) and the internal politics that everyday I had become embroiled in because of my departments central pivotal role in the business.
It’s also interesting how a person can make or break a career and I had been very lucky to date working with some great bosses and bosses of bosses to make my mark. After having reported into the Chief Operations Officer and the Chief Executive Officer at RCI, it was when I was handed back to a new Chief Marketing Officer that things began to untangle. People who know me well will know that I don’t suffer fools gladly, I don’t do people who speak bull, and the fake laugh brigade are not on my Christmas list. This new guy was all of the above and worse, he had the most awful over the top fake orange tan you’ve ever seen and he thought he was a charmer with the women…
It was truly awful and within the space of 30 seconds, I knew we were going to have trouble
I won’t go into details but let’s say within 18 months of him joining, I left of mutual accord with a payment for my troubles. I sometimes wish I had a tape recording of some of those conversations I had – it would have been interested reviewing the trite I had to put up with many years later.
I remember clearly giving my leaving speech in our department (knowing that there were about to become even more redundancies) and saying, when you don’t feel the passion anymore, its time to move on.
And for me, it was well past time.
I got seriously started with my property business back in 2003 (whilst I was still at RCI ) but have been involved with property in both my career and as a participant since 1993. I had always been interested in the dynamics and opportunities that capital appreciation could make but never really understood just how powerful an asset class property was until 2003.
It was on yet another trip to America when I was stood in the Staples store in JFK Airport browsing the business books (even then I had a keen interest on bettering myself anyway I could) when I spotted a strange lurid coloured bright book called “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. I started reading the first chapter and was hooked. I devoured it on the flight and immediately spoke to a good friend and colleague at work when I got back about the concepts I had been exposed too. Needless to say “Mind Your Own Business” or MYOB as we shortened it too became our favourite phrase and still is today.
We took a one day course with an American called Chris Szabo. The day was interesting because it talked about more than just property but businesses, investments and property. It really helped to open up our eyes and help us to understand how some of the concepts Kiyosaki talks about in his book come together.
Further encounters were not as promising and at one event where Dolf De Roos was meant to attend, he never showed. However, this is where I met the charismatic Sunil Jaiswal who went onto become my mentor and at the event described how it was possibly to double, triple or even quadruple the amount of money you could make from just one property.
This was of course through Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO’s for short) where a property is rented out by the room to young professionals, students or key workers. After many hours of reading, a few more low-cost events and lots of research, I decided to bite the bullet and invest £3,500 into a 2-day residential workshop in Milton Keynes.
The weekend changed my life for ever. I remember thinking halfway through the day that it isn’t what you don’t know, it’s what you don’t even know to ask about things that you thought could be impossible.
But as my mentor said “impossible is only an opinion” and how true he was.
I went on from that course to build up a £3.5 million pound property portfolio which was gained in just over 18 months through trial, tribulation, sweat, tears, blood, stressful times, tenacity and sheer dogged passion to succeed. There is no magic pill but in other areas of my site and in live events, I share some of my strategies to achieve the goals I set myself.
Through the this time period, I was picking up a house every 2-3 months or so, then moving onto the next one and it was a completely crazy time with the market being on the up, solicitors being able to work within creative boundaries and the banks bending backwards over themselves to lend you money.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though and I probably lost out on c £6-8 million pounds worth of deals through not acting quickly enough, brokers messing up, solicitors being dilatory and vendors and sales agents disappearing. But throughout this journey, I was driven to succeed through the support of my colleagues, my mentors and my family.
However, what I found is that once I had my portfolio; I had essentially done what Kiyosaki warns will happen and I had essentially become a Self-Employed person. I didn’t really have a business per se that could be operated without me or had systems and processes in place to allow me to hand over responsibilities to another person. I had become a victim of my own success and I know from speaking to a lot of business and property owners that many of you will identify with this.
I then undertook a process that took me the best part of 2.5 years to create an operational platform upon which I could essentially handover control (if I wanted) to another person to run my business for me, I spent hours on creating systems and processes that were fool-proof and essentially created a McProperty empire which to this date takes me less than a few hours per week to keep on top off (in fact probably less than one hour).
Once I had invested my time and energy into this, I emerged with a sustainable business model that ensured my financial security whilst allowing me to replicate what I had done.
Subsequent to establishing my portfolio, my base and my financial security, I then dabbled in various areas including a networking group (PSG any old links on way back then?), a sourcing company for UK and USA properties, a packaged furniture company, various online ventures and more things than I care to mention.
Through all of this, I realised that actually I knew a hell of a lot more than I thought I did and this was probably through working on and in my businesses with over 24,940 hours to date of direct experience that I believe that I could help people who had been in my position to build up their own profitable portfolios and allow business owners to escape from their businesses through setting up processes and marketing systems that work for you and not control you.
I was encouraged to share my experiences with others and did my first talk back in 2006 at an event in Milton Keynes and from then started to talk at various events around the country sharing stages with Parmdeep Vadesha, Vanish Patel, Rhett Lewis, Glenn Armstrong, Ranjan Bhatacharya, Simon Zutshi, Jim Halliburton, John Lee, Juswant Rai, Anthony Lyons and more.
I developed the first and still the largest HMO authority site in the UK www.yourhmoexpert.com which even today receives over 2,000 visitors a month even though of late in the last few years, I have been very remiss at keeping it updated. (But that all changes this year). This website gives tons of free information, advice, articles, video logs and audios that you can read, listen and watch to make you a better investor.
It was when I was on the main speaking circuit speaking at events up and down the country that I then met the two guys who would become my business partners in a new venture; Millennia Property. The idea around this was simple – based on my operational and marketing experience and my brand exposure coupled with sales and financial experience, we would build a new company that educated people, built portfolios and grew a national chain of lettings offices.
Unfortunately this was just as the major slump hit and we were unable to secure the right type of funding so we ended up growing the business organically.
Within 18 months, we had over 500 units under management in five offices (Northampton, Leeds, Colchester, Lincoln and Hemel Hempstead), we had educated over 600 investors across the UK, we had taken over £16.5 million pounds worth of stock on instalment contracts, lease options and delayed exchanges and we had completed building projects worth £1.8 million in Northampton.
It was all heading in the right direction but it just wasn’t to be. We had disagreements about the go-forward, the way the business was run and the accountability of directors, so I had to make the very painful decision to consciously break up this company and go back to the drawing board.
Many lessons were learned and it’s an experience that I will always remember but for now, that was the past and now is the future.
Moving On and Where Am I Going With All Of This?!
I am on a lot of forums, groups and email lists and I often hear people spout lyrically about how you can learn everything you need to know on a forum and you don’t need to spend any money on courses. In my opinion, its utter nonsense and either these people have already spent thousands on poor courses and felt ripped off or they have 1, 2 or 0 properties and shouldn’t be somebody you take a lot of advice from anyway.
I consider myself successful, I consider myself financially free yet I still pay thousands every year to mentors, coaches, home study courses and to attend workshops so that I may learn more and better myself.
I guess it’s a way of living and for me, I relish the interaction, shared learning experiences and access that you cannot get via a digital online medium.
I wholeheartedly believe that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear – and for some of you, the time may be now. For others, you may need more time or need somebody different that you resonate more with.
For me, its all about giving enormous value and I take great care to ensure that I am working with like-minded people who will follow the advice I give them and take action against it.
As of today, I run the following businesses:
Stanford Knights Letting – a bespoke letting and management agency that manages properties across Northamptonshire, west Cambridgeshire, north Bedfordshire and Lincoln.
We manage everything from studios through to large executive houses. We specialise in houseshares and can advise on the necessary regulations required to make your house safe.
We charge reasonable but not cheap fees. We deliver great value and are there for you to make your business successful for you.
Wealth Success Alliance – the go-to exclusive club for high net worth individuals and business owners who want to make even more money, play even more and have even more fun! We reinvigorate your business so you can enjoy it more.
Landlord Furniture Packages –a national firm that works with landlord to furnish any particular type of property from studio flats right through to boutique hotels.
Our focus is upon quality furniture at reasonable prices that lasts.
Sometimes people fail to “get” my humor and my methods. Maybe some personal background will help.
Guitar, Music, The Great Outdoors, Family
I’m a big time music fanatic. Since secondary school I’ve been listening to the likes of Bryan Adams, The Beatles, Bon Jovi, The Mavericks, Diana Krall, The Travelling Wilburys, Kate Rusby, The Bushburys, to name a few.
I’m a guitarist and singer-songwriter. Yes, I’ve been playing guitar since the age of 16 and learnt to play in the long summer after my GCSE’s whilst I was waiting to start my A-Levels. I’ve been writing songs for over 22 years and I love playing and singing.
I’ve played in bands, been recorded, and even shared the stage with luminaries such as Waterson Carthy, Martin Simpson and The Paperboys. I currently am active on my local music scene and gig 1-2 times a week in a variety of bars, clubs and hotels.
I love the outdoors and have walked many of our great long distance footpaths including The Cleveland Way, Coast to Coast and the Pennine Way (at least most of it as north of the English border has always alluded me on this walk). I enjoy nothing more than an invigorating stroll around my local area and although I yearn for the hills of Yorkshire, its possible to find a few nice walks in the southern counties (Sywell, Oxfordshire Downs, Exmoor to name a few come to mind). I also relish reliving our history and exploring old houses and castles – the work of organizations such as English Heritage and National Trust is second to none and if you’ve never been to one of their places, you should put it on your list to do this year!
My humour has always leant toward sarcasm to the point of being serious, and has been used all my life to weed out a few good friends from among 6 billion other people of Earth.
Favourite movies are the ones where revenge and vigilante justice is doled out by unlikely heroes coupled with classic sci-fi and fantasy movies and action movies – roll Maverick, Jack Bauer and Frodo Baggins into one and I’m made up.
I have two gorgeous children, Callum (8) and Amelia (5) who are the light of my life and keep me on my toes. Home for me is somewhere in Northamptonshire although the hills of Yorkshire will forever call me (unless a nice boutique villa comes up in the French Riviera or New England).
I am a big big fan of travelling and exploring new places. Key highlights for me are the Americas, continental Europe and the Carribean (although a trip to the Indian Ocean before it disappears is high on my agenda). I like to find those little places that are just off the beaten trail so whether it’s a local bars in Madrid serving 5 bottles of Corona for 3 euros (yes 3 euros – isn’t it crazy) or a idyllic quiet little park in Cancun 2 minutes from the strip or a martini and cigar bar in downtown Indaniapolis; I’m for it.
Food and drink play a big part in my life and I am a keen fan of the finer wines and cooking a la carte whenever I can.
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