Zeeshaan Shah is the CEO of One Investments. We caught up with him on his career journey so far:
1- What was One Investments born out of?
ONE Investments was born out of my desire to offer and deliver innovative property investment solutions to investors so that they can earn and plan for their families’ future through the most secure form of investment known to man. We search out and uncover over-looked areas or in property investment terms, hotspots, where there is good growth potential coupled with desirable rental yields with not a regional or national bias but an international outlook.
We pride ourselves as being an innovator and leader in the market, taking advantage of being the first to spot potential. A great example of this is the Crossrail town of Slough, Crossrail has been a buzzword in property since the project was announced and investors from across the world were investing into Crossrail locations – however Slough (possibly due to it’s reputation as a not so affluent location), had been ignored and was more than 40% cheaper than comparable towns on the Crossrail route. In 2015 I bought a brand new residential building in Slough town centre at £280 Per Square Foot and today the market for these properties is a solid £500 per square foot. This foresight meant that our investors realised almost 80% growth on their capital in five years and it is also that foresight that is the DNA of ONE Investments.
We have also ventured overseas into Dubai and Pakistan and today we are the market leader for Dubai property in the UK, having sold over 250 Million AED worth of property in the last 12 months. Dubai is another location that I feel has been heavily under-valued, today you can buy a 3 bedroom villa in Dubai for £150 – £170 per square foot or a luxury apartment in the Burj Khalifa area for £270 – £290 per square foot. Dubai is no longer a speculators city, it has cemented it’s status in the world as a global capital and is now the fourth most visited city in the world ahead of cities with decades and centuries of history such as New York, Tokyo and Istanbul. If you consider that only 10 years ago, the desert kingdom of Dubai was not even in the top 15 most visited cities in the world, that is a major achievement. I believe the only way for Dubai is up.
2- What sparked your interest in business?
As an adolescent, I was always very independently minded and some might even say, rebellious in the face of authority. This meant that I was never inspired by the prospect of being an investment banker or surgeon, it was all too ‘establishment’ and reflected the status quo. I’ve always been inclined to find my own way or actually create my own way. Even at school, I was trying to do things differently – my maths teachers would always teach us a certain method to solve a mathematical equation and my sole aim would be to find an alternative and quicker way to solve the same equation, (possibly to my teachers annoyance). So in hindsight I don’t think I ever chose being a businessman and my own boss, it was the only option.
3- I understand that you were on the 2013 series of the Apprentice; what did you learn from that experience?
Yes, I was on series 8 of the show which was five years ago now. I can’t say a learned very much from the experience as ultimately, it’s just a television show, produced for entertainment. It did however make me famous for a few months, which was a priceless experience.
4- You seem to lead quite the busy life! What do you do to unwind?
Family time, fitness and travel are my favorite things to do when I’m not working. I have a beautiful wife and a 2 year old son who keep me grounded, so to make sure we get as much quality time as possible, we regularly travel as a family and this gives me the opportunity to unwind and spend entire days with them. Apart from that I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic and enjoy boxing, swimming, weight training and running. Unfortunately, due to my hectic work schedule and frequent business travel, I don’t get to do as much fitness training as I’d like, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.
5- Do you have any predictions regarding trends in the property market? What’s next for the industry?
Aside from people using the net to share and rent rooms and apartments, the property sector has been one of the slowest markets to embrace technology. In the coming decade, technology will play a more important role in the industry. I see it driving efficiency in both the way we buy and use property. The fundamentals however will always remain the same, we all need a roof over our head for the purpose of living or working and this will never change, which makes property in my eyes the most attractive and stable investment
6- What piece of advice would you have for a young person wanting to invest in their first property?
The sooner the better. Property is one of the easiest ways of creating wealth – it is a simple supply and demand business. There is a limited supply of land in this world, the population is growing and everyone needs a home. There are so many examples of savvy millionaires in every community who made their fortune by simply saving some money, investing in property and then watching house prices steadily grow over the medium and long term. This growth trend is set to continue, so start saving today, cut back on those unnecessary expenses and keep it simple, buy a house or any other property close to where you live so you can easily rent and manage it.