FROM INVESTMENT BANKER TO FULL-TIME PROPERTY INVESTOR
While those around her have learned the hard way that successful property investing is more than just guesswork, Helen Chorley has been quietly forging her own slow and steady investment path of tireless due diligence and capital preservation. It’s no wonder she is now in demand by cash-rich investors and developers alike, all keen to have her seal of approval before committing to deals.
A former investment banker who discovered spirituality after the trading floor took its toll on her health, Helen has been on a journey of self-discovery since the financial crash of 2008, surrounding herself with some of the world's most inspirational teachers and dividing her time between London, Malta and Bermuda.
"My dreams of being a 'passive investor’ were soon shattered,’ says Helen. “I may spend my days on a sun-filled terrace with glorious sea views, but I’m busier than ever, with deals to appraise, developers to manage and investors wanting peace of mind. There’s a real hunger for solid analysis of both deals and development teams, and that’s not a quick and easy task.”
'Helen is very straightforward, analytical, sincerely honest and extremely credible. She is a people person, gives great feedback and challenges thinking.'
- Damien Finnegan, Founder & CEO at Square Inch London
WHY THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A PASSIVE INVESTOR
After my intense banking career, working on the trading floor of a major American Investment Bank, I was looking for something lower key that would allow a better work-life balance. I'd heard that property could be "passive" - great I thought! My experience has been anything but - although I wouldn't change that.
My feeling is that if you are handing over your hard-earned money then it is your responsibility to do your own due diligence - and there can rarely be too much DD! I have developed my own robust and holistic approach to due diligence, which takes into consideration the details of the deal, the developer themselves and the platform (if it's a crowd-funded deal).
I am currently involved with number of live projects, diversified across various sectors of the property market, with GDVs ranging from £800,000 to £16 million - that's a lot of due diligence as you can imagine!
'Helen is one of the most insightful, and knowledgeable investors, and thought leaders I've had the pleasure to work with. She's a key reason one of our recent projects succeeded beyond expectations in terms of funds raised and outcome.'
– Shola Adineran, Property Developer and Consultant
Whatever the size of your investment pot, you need to protect yourself like the pros before parting with a penny. Helen has shown me what questions to ask, what red flags to look for, and what constitutes proper security. Ignore her advice at your peril.'
– Claire Norwood, Property Developer and Investor
With over 20 projects completed or in progress, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the SME development sector. Currently I have investments in 10 live development projects. These constitute a whole gamut of projects, from residential to commercial, new build to conversions, across Europe and ranging in GDVs (end values) of £1 million to £16 million.