Michael Primrose | The Property Finance Collective
Starting young in property finance can be difficult. Clients are often understandably reluctant to entrust their hard earned cash and development dreams to someone less experienced, using youth as a byword for incapable. It is a problem Michael Primrose knows only too well. “Being 22 at the point of entering the industry, it was very difficult to be taken seriously,” he remembers, “within the industry and with property developers as well”.
Michael, now owner of The Property Finance Collective and The Property Finance Academy, first got into the sector at the age of 18 when he started in conveyancing straight out of school, went into estate agency, back into conveyancing, before entering broking at the age of 22. Like thousands of younger workers trying to be taken seriously when they first start out, he couldn’t do anything about his age. But different to many others he also couldn’t afford to lose. At 22 Michael had just been made redundant from the estate agency at the worst possible time. “Our first child was on the way, so I had to find something relatively swiftly. I managed to get a role at a commercial brokerage, and rapidly realised I had found my dream career.”
Taking responsibility, stepping up to face a challenge, finding a solution. Those are Diamond traits any profession should welcome with open arms, regardless of how old the person is with them. But that isn’t always the case. Michael knew that from his entrance to property. Some may have waited to build up their years to make it easier to convince doubters before making another big leap. Not Michael. “Starting my own brokerage at 24 was also a challenge as again it was difficult to be taken seriously, and also get clients on board with me,” he says. Knowing something will be hard and doing it anyway is a test of character, which it seems clear Michael has passed, becoming (potentially, no-one really has the data on this) the youngest owner of a commercial finance brokerage in the country. Alongside that, he also has a successful training company, educating investors and developers on how to raise finance, and a successful podcast.
Preparation is everything. Having built the mindset the only way to succeed is to face down life’s obstacles head on is standing Michael in good stead now. “The single biggest challenge at the moment is the length of time transactions are taking,” he says, referring to the huge backlog of cases for lenders, brokers, solicitors and valuers are trying to work through. “It is creating an interesting market where speed really is the winner of cases at the moment. Clients are more bothered about speed than they are rates,” he says. In such an environment even the most experienced nerves can fray but he is taking it in his stride.
Closer to their age, Michael is arguably better placed to tell someone looking to enter the industry today how best to approach the move. His advice is a reflection of his own journey. “Make sure you understand that this is not an easy job. It is a genuine grind on a daily basis to push every single case through from inception to completion,” he says. However, as he adds, the rewards are extremely generous within the industry as well, if you are as good as he is.