Join Pete Evans as he speaks to multi-award winning property investor & developer; Alfred Dzadey. Looking towards mindset and motivation, the pair look into the career path of the young entrepreneur through his time with Jaguar Land Rover before starting his own property business following set-back. This episode looks into the ways a leader can develop themselves either through reading, learning from others or being motivated by set-backs before exploring future growth in other business sectors.
About our Guest
Alfred established Real Property Ventures in 2018 with the ambition to provide great accommodation at affordable prices. He has been investing in the UK property market for 2 years and has been involved in multiple projects ranging in complexity.
Alfred has co-authored “Tej Talks Presents: Behind The Bricks: A curated collection of knowledge, insight and experience from the UK property industry”
Outside of property investment, Alfred has a background in Aerospace Engineering and Project Management at Jaguar Land Rover, boasting a proven track record of delivering corporate solutions, managing projects worth in excess of £200 million.
About our Host
Pete Evans has over 20 years sales experience with a successful corporate sales career. If you’re involved in B2B selling, cold calling, sales recruitment, sales training, sales coaching, sales transformation or have a desire to grow your business then this podcast is for you.
Pete is currently MD and Practice Partner of SalesStar UK. SalesStar combines sales training with sales coaching to deliver long term results in line with your sales strategy so you can smash your targets and grow top line revenue. SalesStar works with growth minded CEOs and sales leaders who are frustrated with their sales results and are looking for a proven system to grow sales.
Intro/Outro | Pete Evans | Alfred Dzadey
Welcome to the Creating SalesStars Podcast. Each week, our host, Pete Evans, will be joined by some of the big and upcoming names within the sales industry. This is brought to you by SalesStar UK.
Welcome everybody to this week’s edition of Creating Sales Stars podcast. This week, I’m delighted to welcome our guest, Alfred Dzadey. Alfred’s background; he established real property ventures in 2018 with the ambition to provide great accommodation at affordable prices. He’s been investing in the UK property market for two years and has been involved in multiple projects ranging in complexity.He’s also coauthored Tej Talks, Presents Behind the Bricks, a curated collection of knowledge, insight and experience in the UK, property industry and outside of property management. Alfred also has a background in aerospace engineering and project management at Jaguar Land Rover. Boasting a proven track record of delivering corporate solutions. Managing projects worth in excess of 200 million. So, Alfred, welcome to this week’s edition of the Creating SalesStars Podcast. Great to have you on the show.
Thanks. Thanks for the introduction as well. I appreciate it.
Yeah. So obviously the the main focus of our podcast is to add value to sales leaders and sales managers. And obviously, you’re clearly a successful entrepreneur. And I think on this podcast I’ll really like to explore with you, you know, the impact of having the right mindset. So for the benefit of our listeners, this week; could you tell us a bit more why you got involved in setting up real property ventures and what some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Yeah. So actually the background behind me going into property investment was simply I was in I was in the corporate world working as a project manager, but I wanted to kind of, I guess, increase my earning potential. And I kind of started to research into, okay, what can I do to earn more money as a project manager? And from researching like I’m the senior project manager in that industry and earning potential wasn’t much is like try and get to 120 and 150 grand a year in salary. You’d need to have like 5 to 10 years more, probably more, ten years. And for me, I felt like I was in the wrong vehicle. So I decided to take upon myself to look outside of the corporate world and look at, okay, what can I do outside of this that can generate me, I guess, a high income, very simply. And for me, property was something I always kind of aspired to get involved in when I was back at university and I kind of brought out back forward and said, Okay, cool, let’s look at this. How do I get into this? Now to try and build something out this? So that’s essence, I guess what drove me to look at property and off the back of my investments, medication and mentorship, coaching and not to invest in property and how to do it correctly. That’s what formed the creation of Real Property Ventures, which is a company which we go about acquiring properties in the UK, specifically Coventry, the Midlands, West Midlands. And what we do is we buy these properties, we convert them into mobile units and then we, we retain them for rental income. So this is either rented out to even young professionals or stu- what’s it called-? …student as well and these are down to very high specs. So I’ve documented a lot of this on my YouTube channel, it’s about how we’ve acquired it, how they manage to scale as well. There’s been a lot of lessons in this for sure as journey’s been has been a has been a crazy one for sure in a sense. One I lost my contract due to COVID me working as a project manager on future programs of the company took a direction say look, all contractors to contracts will be terminated until further notice because obviously don’t know what’s happening. So that kind of drove me into having to or had to make a decision. Do I go back, apply for another job in a tough time, or accelerate with this property investment journey and that’s what I decided to do. I said, you know, I’m going to 100% go into this. I had a project going on at the time. We just started to renovate it and I said, you know, rather pick up a CV, tidy up and go out flying, let’s just push and persevere for this. And for me, that’s a long term plan anyway. So let’s just go for it and see what happens. Worst case, I can always come back to Job. If it doesn’t work out, and that was kind of the mindset around that. But yeah, a lot’s happened since then. But yeah, we can, we can kind of go for I guess.
Yeah. I mean I’m interested to explore this. You’ve, you’ve, you’ve just referenced mindsets. So, so how, how have you gone about developing that positive mindset? So obviously you’ve had some challenging times. You know, you talked about the impacts of COVID on your contract. So how do you go about developing a a positive for growth mindset?
One, I think is my net worth people have around me, people that I have around me or like big thinkers always kind of out of the box, aspiring to do more things. I’m a big reader as well. I try and pick up positive books, a bare minimum, and I’m really busy like at least once a month, if not more. I try and read as much as possible because I feel like a lot of the information and a lot of the personal and stuff that we need in books and all it takes for us to pick up that information and start implementing into our lives. So I think for me, I’ve always had having high levels of self-belief about what it is I want to achieve our life. And kind of for me, once I’ve got my mind and I’m kind of committed to achieving this thing, then it’s kind of nothing’s going to stop me. And people can always ask, how do you how do you how do you have that mindset and strong and I don’t know I think is just is a compound of things and obviously to achieving things as you kind of go on. So like even even back at uni go and get into university, getting a degree, secure in a job. These are all like little, little milestones and these are all things I set out to achieve in my life, I visioned it that like it all happens over time. I guess setting a target and achieving it builds your confidence over time, and you start to believe more and more that anything that you do set your mind to that you’re going to go out then and make happen no matter what, what obstacles are in the way? I guess.
So how you know, you you’ve talked about you’ve had some setbacks. How what are the steps you take when you do get a setback to maintain that positivity? You know, what are some of the learnings you’ve had from some of the setbacks you’ve had over the past few years?
Yeah, so I think setbacks is I always see as like a setback as this is like a set out to grow. So these are all challenged by we come across challenges in our lives and I think we should all kind of like even in a way you strangely look for challenges in your life. Because I feel like when things are simple and everything’s great, you’re not evolving as a as a person. And I’m always looking for growth opportunities. So for me, setbacks are great. It puts you into different mode of, okay, yeah, there’s problem. Yes, it’s not great at the moment. But when you look at a wider picture, what’s the what’s the driving force behind what it is we’re trying to achieve and then kind of get back on the pace. So sometimes you need motivation and stuff or at least track or somethings hit groups really hard. And it’s kind of going back on the piece of paper and saying, okay, well, what, what is that which I here to achieve? What is that which what we’re trying to set ourselves up for and then kind of kind of reselling yourself on, on the things that you’re doing all of this for. And that generally helps me to get clarity again and gets me moving forward again sometimes as well. You just sometimes it can be like a lot. So it’s good to take some time out just to think just I tend to like usually when I’m in the mood for like things aren’t going my way as I take time out, do things I enjoy, I like to kind of socialise, I like to have good food and stuff. So I would just kind of, I guess go to the other coping mechanism and kind of take a day to two days out just to get just to get refocused and get back on page again and then go at it again. So yeah, these are kind of ways that I kind of deal with these setbacks and I always, always have a mindset of like, this is always a way. I think being an engineer, we were taught like, we’re all trying to solve problems. So it’s like it’s in my nature to be solution orientated and manage to find a way forward. I feel like if you put enough resource and time, it’s anything you can come up with something. So that’s, that’s kind of my philosophy, my mindset around that.
And how do you cope with people who haven’t got the same growth mindset as yourself? You know what advice might take somebody you practice as a, as a fixed mindset. You know, you says it well, you can’t do that.
Yeah, it’s a it’s a it’s a tricky one to say. Not everyone’s built a certain way or thinks a certain way. And I can say I didn’t always think like this. I always had, I guess some sort of I had something in me that wanted something more. And so I was always kind of seeking that. So I think for people who are on or maybe all kind of fixed mindset right now and are actually wanting to open their mind, I think the main thing is to get in your rooms because I think a lot things that change me, what I think mainly change for me is get into new rooms and kind of exploring our communities. Even traveling around is a massive one. Again, when you if you are stuck in a place and you’re just that’s all, you know, literally and that’s all you ever know. But when you start moving around and and meeting people and finding out, there’s different ways of doing certain things that open your mindset as well. So for me, having exposure to different environments was, was a key to opening my mindset and getting into rooms of people performing higher at a higher level than I was. Because again, another, another way for me to kind of open my mindset, I think, one, you have to have the willingness to want to open your mindset in the first place if you don’t and even you get in these rooms, you probably might. Yeah, do the opposite and just kind of shut it down and not taking anything they’re saying. So I think having that willingness in the first place to want to open your mind, to want to change things. And yeah, that’s the first step in my opinion.
Yeah. You talked about, you know, sort of the discipline of of learning. You talked about, you know, reading inspirational motivational bits or personal development. So at least, at least once, once a month and it’s interesting, I know there’s some stats- you work with some stats producing shows that the the average CEO reads 60 books a year, which is about, you know, which is more which is more than one a week and the average person reads less than one book a year. Do you think there’s a lot of truth in terms of successful people actually do invest a lot of time in in learning. So rather than being sat in front of the television watching reruns of soap operas, you know, a success person is able to devote time to that, time to learning or bettering themselves. Do you think there’s truth in those stats as well that it to way you know the average CEO is reading 60 books are you and you probably think you know if you’re a CEO you haven’t got the time to develop yourself.
No, 100% I like that. For me, it’s a massive thing because I funnily enough, I didn’t start reading books till I was probably the age of 22. So I mean, that person development books is, is very, very wild. And I wish I’d known this as a kid for sure, because I kind of went through the whole education system, came out of uni started the corporate world and maybe the year one into it is when I picked up a book to start work on my first development. And like now I was like, I don’t know how not to do that because I’m quite big. I’ve always, I guess I’ve always kind of been interested in, in business, entrepreneurship and for me, like you say, you spend a lot of time watching soap operas and stuff not adding value to their lives, in terms of personal development, so I’m quite big on watching interviews of business owners that have done really well to the end. Like it’s all out there for you to find out. So people are interviewed all the time to find out how they built their wealth or what they do or their mindset. The blueprints are there. So I spent a lot of time absorbing a lot of business interviews because, one, I want to I want to get to where they are and two I want to find out how they’ve done and see how to impact. If one, if I can relate on how I can implement that into my life as well. So for me, I’m always seeking and these just these pieces of information to help me grow. So I feel like that is definitely true in terms of yeah, people do spend more time in personal development generally have both shown some level of success in their time. And for me I can say, look, my, I, I’ve done okay, I guess in terms of up to the point of where I actually get my first contract as a project manager. And I then from that point, if I look at the level of past, like my personal development journey, I spent tens of thousands of pounds in some parts of development. I’m fully upwards of hundred grand at the moment on the personal development into masterminds coaching programs, mentorship programs, it’s just being in the right rooms, whatever is. And that’s helped me build a portfolio, property portfolio up to 4 million at the moment. I’ve now got what’s called educational business as well, which teach people how to get into property investment and are now looking at buying businesses I’m negotiating on buying a haulage company, doing about £8 million. So all of this has come from me wanting to develop myself and getting to the right rooms.
Yeah, fantastic! I mean, it’s interesting. Yeah. Obviously you’ve got a a, a very diverse business background and obviously you’re into property and now you talk about investing in a, in a haulage business. Well what’s attracted you to invest in a haulage business and what, what do you think you can bring to that? What skill sets do you think you can bring to the haulage business?
Yeah. So is everyone kind of everyone’s surprised when I say because at the moment I’m quite, quite known in the property industry and that’s we’ve known me for so many kind of had me looking at buying businesses is like, why are you doing that? And and for me it’s like I’m not always going to do property properties. I see property as a, as a wealth creation wealth storage vehicle. And for me, true, true, true wealth can be create in the business world. I feel like revenues can, can, can grow relatively quickly in business than you can in property. You have to be doing property deals much larger scale to you kind of see the revenue figures you would see in a business, right? So for me, businesses was something I was always going to go into. And haulage as a sector to start with was just something that I wanted to I guess I wanted the traditional business. I wanted a business that I know has been proven, has proven it at the time. Like I know when to transport goods across the country for four years to come is my entire industry isn’t going anywhere is recession proof as well. So it was just more of a I guess a foundation for me to get into. And then the idea is to gain that add value. So value I’d add into the businesses, we’re going to look to want to see increases is revenue. So I remember the business I negotiating on they at the moment haven’t got a great sales system in place in terms of securing new contracts. They’ve kind of managed to get to where they are through word of mouth recommendations all that stuff and having a sales manager in place who goes out solely just to get new contracts and helps get with the business that way. So for me myself, I’ve worked on personal development around leadership scaling of a business. So I’m very familiar in terms of why I can go in and add value to and help increase the top line of the business and ultimately the bottom line of the business as well.
Okay. So so you’ve talked about many things in terms of increase in the, you know, the bottom line in the top line of the business. And, you know, and when you’ve been talking to the the owner of this haulage business and it was it was attractive, but what may most attractive to them that you should get involved in the business?
I think they’ve just seen me as an individual. So obviously usually what happens happens i the business world, when you apply or request information about a business, they are, you know, going to do a research on you. Yeah. So I think they’ve got to obviously in your organization, your platforms, I’m quite vocal what is I’ve done the awards I’ve won, they’ve just see me as they judge me based on what I’ve achieved so far, the awards I’ve received and stuff. And they just seem as a serious person, someone as- again because I get a vocal vocal about me investing into going to masterminds am I spent £25,000 going to a two day mastermind to be in a room full of multi-millionaires who have got businesses out there and 50-100 million in revenue so that I’ve documented with that stuff and I guess these aren’t as they seem. Yes I’m going to serious and aspiring to do more. And even though haulage isn’t in my current sector, they know based on what I’ve seen in a way they know that I could go and create the right team around me to help me scale with that business. And I guess that’s what they kind of look. They’re confident it will happen, we shall say.
Yeah, I’m just going to in and for the benefit of our listeners then and what are the types of businesses are you going to maybe consider investing in in the future? Because obviously haulage is a you know, like you said, it’s a very traditional business. There’s always going to be the demand and there’s always going to be demand for haulage; moving, you know, moving goods around the UK. But what what are the sorts of businesses, would you consider investing in that and where do you think you could add some additional value?
So for me, I actually look at it from the point of view of like how big of the market market cap of these industries. So if I’m marketing, I always said marketing is such that like you can you can like take £1,000,000,000 in that industry and not even be noticed as the point of view. Like the market size is so huge, everyone in this planet needs some level of marketing. And so marketing has so many verticals as well. And so again, it’s a great like industry to go in and do a roll-up in. And when I say roll-up, I mean going on around acquiring other companies to bolt onto the platform business. So marketing is something that I definitely would want to look into in the future. I’ve also had always had interest and also always, always had interest, but I’m kind of keen to do more. So I’m already from Ghana and agriculture is quite big in Africa at the moment. And again, that’s a huge, huge market opportunity as well. There’s a lot of land in Africa and where is, is, is could be food related, animals, whatever. So agriculture is something that I’ll be keen to do. They’ll get involved in some shape or form in the future as well. Often there’s a whole tech brewing in the background as a that I know that’s kind of if the right opportunity comes and I don’t know, I can build a relationship and make it work then yeah, something out there is also there’s a lot I think I’m very open to exploring other business industries and just see where I feel I can fit in and add value and, and more importantly, where this there’s a big enough opportunity. So yeah, for me I’m aspiring to do stuff in the billions. So is anything I’m doing I want to see where’s that? Where’s the growth opportunity is there is a big enough. Can I take a piece without it being like I might some example I don’t even know market size where I want to have to take 40% of that to try to get to a billion in revenue or even a valuation point of view that makes sense.
So as so I think I think what’s coming across to me is that you are an extremely ambitious individual. You’ve got some clear goals. You know, what you’ve been and what you’ve been mentioning is, you know, you want our businesses that are turning over a billion or billions. So what are the things that you’re doing now to help you achieve those goals? Because, you know, you talk to your property investment company, four million pounds, you know, you’ve got some very clearly articulated goals Alfred. And clearly, you’re you’re ambitious. So what what are the things, the, you know, to share with our listeners that you’re doing currently to make sure you achieve those goals? And, you know, I it’s great to hear enthusiasm as well. What you do and your passion for achieving those goals.
Yeah. So I’m, I think everything is surrounded by my personal growth up positive development. So I’ve been travelling a lot to America at the moment to kind of learn. And so when it comes to like sales marketing and these are these are for me, sales marketing is the lifeblood of a business. You can’t get sales and marketing, right? You know, you’re not going to get anywhere in business pretty much. And so I’ve been on programs around sales, marketing, leadership and people as well. How to get the best out of people, employee retention, employee engagement already. So I’m learning a lot about what it takes to create a great business from finances to marketing to sales to the people in the business. So I’m investing a lot into that at the moment to develop myself. So I know when I take ownership for Business one, I’m a great leader two I know how to scale the business and then three obviously building something that impacts a lot of people. So for me in a moment, I’m very is like I’m going for like a huge learning phase.I guess that’s what’s to being in this year. I’ve kind of been going back and forth between the UK and America to learn from people that have been that are not sold. Businesses in the hundreds of millions business being around business owners that are doing higher revenues than I’ve ever seen. So I’m getting myself involved in those communities and learning from them. And you kind of hear their troubles and what where they currently are, where they know where to go next, how they’ve got to where they are as well. So a lot of learning more closely. I’m always learning, always say like, you don’t know. We don’t know what you don’t know and you truly, truly don’t know. We don’t know.
So so you’ve talked about a lot of learning. You’re doing the sales and marketing leadership. You know, employee employee engagement. Where would you say that your your best skillset lies because, you know, the you can you can lead a business. But one of the things that I’ve learned is, you know, having surrounding yourself with people who are better than you to help you deliver on your commitment so where where would you see your real passion? Is is it is it leading? Is it sales? Is it marketing? Is it creating the team? Were you where’s your real passion?
I think is is kind of come through to project management. So back to the corporate days of corporate is on evoke feel kind of take a dig on 9 to 5 but for me it was working on that company such as Jaguar, Land Rover and such a big organisation. Heart is how they set up. I learned a lot in terms of I knew that I was a project manager, but in the end of the day, They I still have friends, engineers that are going through the actual work in terms of designing and developing the engine and get into manufacturing. So it’s all a team effort. So I think for me my biggest attribute is getting the best out of people, putting a team together to deliver on a mission. So that’s how I spend everything I’ve got into. I’ve not been very bold and like I don’t necessarily need to be the person or knowledge, like I said, having the right people around you that I would employ people better than me. I don’t want to be the best in the room like I want to because again, you don’t know, you don’t know. And so for certain things. So I will always, always, always hire the best because I know that will pay dividends in the long run. So for me, it’s about going around one, being a great enough person to attract great people. And this is another thing is what like people complain about not being able to hire the right staff or find the right staff. And actually you have to look at yourself as an individual. Why you I who why why are you attracted to us? Who would want to work with you? So I think if you can portray yourself as somebody that’s great and it’s got a vision and something big that people want to jump on board, then that generally helps you hire better talent as well. So for me, I would say, you know, putting people together and deliver on a mission has probably been achieved so much. I guess my passion lies.
Right. Okay. I mean, you know, it’s great what you said there about, you know, getting better, surrounding yourself with better people and want somebody want somebody said to me many years ago, if you are the best person in the room, you’re actually in the wrong room. You need to you need to get into a room where actually everybody looks around and says, who’s invited that person through? We’re actually you’ve got an opportunity to to grow and develop yourself as an individual and be challenged. And it sounds from some some of the things you’ve already said Alfred that, you know, that that’s what you’re doing and that’s really, really, really inspiring. So your you’ve got your own business. You’re about to invest in another business. What do you see as some of the challenges in, you know, let’s pick the haulage business. What do you see as some of the challenges that businesses are facing in terms of increasing sales? You know, there’s a lot of talk about I was going into a recession, not just in the UK but globally. Organizations are facing challenges. What do you see as some of the current sales challenges that businesses have?
Yeah, so in the haulage specifically, the main problem we’ve got I guess is one, the fuel prices going up and it’s just just even just prices in general going up due to inflation, all that stuff. And and then the second thing is the drivers. So actually having drivers available is just another challenge as well in terms of obviously if you’re trying to even ramp up in your selves or you need trucks and you more drivers, so is trying to find the best way and to be able to do that. And fortunately, they want to attract business. I’m looking at a moment they’ve they’ve actually got great retention of employees, which is which is good to see as well in that’s because people see the drivers are kind of wanting better salaries and stuff, so they’re kind of moving around more and more. So I guess employee retention is very, very important. And, and I’ve got plans in terms of how I would look to scale. So for example, the issue around not having enough drivers, we could potentially go around and buy smaller companies who are doing lesser volumes than us. Again, that would automatically just increase the top line by buying a smaller, a smaller, not competitor per say but a small business who are doing slightly less revenue than us and automatically would get their client base, would get their drivers, they would get their trucks. Obviously, there’ll be integration problems potentially because these businesses are relatively small businesses as well to start with. But these are all kind of ways and I guess things I’m already kind of analyzing how am I going to fix these problems before taking ownership of this business as well and as well? On top of that, having a network of people that are skilled this similar business in the same industry I’m going into around me to kind of share ideas and kind of get stuck in with the problems I’m going to face in the industry, if that make sense.
So what’s the one nugget of advice that you would give to somebody who’s looking to start up a business and doesn’t have any experience of running a business from your experience of building the property portfolio and you’re looking to invest in other businesses, what is the one nugget of advice that you would give to somebody?
I think is a combination of two things. One is get I think you always said don’t go. And people like to feel that they can figure things on and go in blind to things. And I’m a I’m a big advocate for like get educated on what it is you’re trying to get into because one, you can make better informed decisions. So for me, that’s that’s massive getting educated it has to be you know and still can continue to be done for like once again in the space you’re embedded in it you feel like you know or can only see you. You don’t know. We don’t know. So I always seek for growth, always seek for new information. And I think for me, I would always get into new rooms like you say, like if you feel like you’ve outgrown the room you’re coming in, there’s always another level up. So I think if you can go take upon yourself to find that next room, which can elevate your think and elevate your mindset, elevate your knowledge. So, for me, these are two I think they kind of go together and I feel like people should be seeking and going out for.
Okay, fantastic so Alfred it’s been a great pleasure interviewing on this week’s edition of Creating SalesStars podcast. If people want to contact you, what’s the best way they can contact you and reach out to if they want to connect with you?
Yeah. So you can find me on on the Socials Alfred Dzadey. Surname is spelt like- I’m sure it will be wrote down somewhere but. D Z A D E Y and pretty much I think Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, whichever TikTok even; YouTube, any, any of the platforms I’m available on there so you can reach out on socials.
Okay. So thanks so much again for being a guest on this week’s This week’s podcast.
No, thanks for having me. I hope you gave enough value to the audience as well. I appreciate having me on.
Thanks for listening. This podcast was brought to you by SalesStar and hosted by Pete Evans. For more information about what we can offer you head to our website at salesstar.com/UK. You can also find us on all social media platforms just by searching for SalesStar UK.
Presenter and Producer: Pete Evans
Special Guest: Alfred Dzadey
Producer and Intro/Outro Voiceover: Oliver Eaton
Podcast Editor: Alex Mullen