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SkyTV’s Star Investor: A Story of Reinvention and Success – Helen Chorley

From JPMorgan to SkyTV’s “Property Elevator,” Helen Chorley has reinvented herself, creating waves in property investing and championing female recognition through her inspiring work. After years of navigating the intricate financial landscapes at JPMorgan, she discovered a new passion for property investment, bringing her analytical skills and keen eye for opportunity to the forefront. Helen co-founded the Property Sisters community, shaping investments and fostering a spirit of support among female investors. As a judge for prestigious awards like the Women In Construction Awards and the Inspirational Women Awards, Helen promotes and celebrates the achievements of women in the property sector. This year, she received the Inspirational Women Fundraiser Award 2024, underscoring her commitment to making a positive impact. On SkyTV’s “Property Elevator,” her expertise and approachable nature make her a beloved figure among viewers and aspiring investors alike. Helen’s journey is a testament to her resilience, vision, and dedication to fostering female recognition and success in the industry.


You transitioned from a successful career in investment banking at JPMorgan to becoming a prominent angel investor and a familiar face on SkyTV’s “Property Elevator.” What inspired this shift, and how has your background in banking influenced your approach to property investing?

My body made that decision for me! After 11 years on the trading floor, my body hit the brakes and said, “Enough!”. That burnout was my not-so-subtle nudge to rethink my life choices. So, I took a deep breath, did a 180, and set my sights on a more sustainable and fulfilling path.

Property investing was an obvious choice as I’d been dabbling in it since my early 20s, nurturing a not so secret love affair with numbers, spreadsheets, and the joy of transforming spaces. It’s like financial Lego—numbers, blocks, and creativity all rolled into one. But more than just building wealth, it was about creating something real, something that could improve people’s lives.

Coming from the world of finance, I’ve got this hyper-alert risk radar. Years of dodging financial pitfalls on the trading floor gave me an innate ability to sniff out potential problems in property deals. Some might call it being overcautious; I call it being smart. It’s like having a spidey-sense that keeps me one step ahead, ensuring that every investment is as solid as the bricks and mortar I’m so passionate about.

Co-founding the Property Sisters community is a significant accomplishment. Can you share the vision behind this initiative and how it has impacted the property investment landscape, particularly for women?

Our vision was to foster a community where women could thrive together, and seeing that come to life has been incredibly rewarding. It’s a safe space for female developers to ask questions, connect and to know they are not alone. It’s no exaggeration to say that during the lockdown, our community became more than just a network; it was a lifeline for many, providing not just professional guidance but a sense of connection and belonging when it was needed most. The mutual support here is truly heartwarming. It’s amazing to see members gain the confidence to achieve great things—many have gone on to win awards and become role models themselves.

As a judge for industry awards like the Women In Construction Awards and the Inspirational Women Awards, what qualities do you look for in nominees, and how do these awards contribute to advancing female recognition in the industry?

What I really look for are those shining beacons of authenticity and vulnerability. It’s not just about ticking boxes or showcasing a spotless resume. I want to know what truly ignites their passion—what makes them jump out of bed in the morning and keep going in the face of inevitable adversity.

Awards aren’t about the cold, hard data; they’re about the human stories that make us laugh, cry, and feel inspired. Imagine a tale of a woman who runs 5 businesses, whilst juggling a family, managing a chronic health condition and dedicating time to charitable causes. That’s a real life example and made me cry when I read her application. That’s what captures my heart and the essence of many of the  awards I’m honoured to be part of.

In recognising these extraordinary women, we’re not just handing out trophies. We’re painting a vibrant picture for others to see, saying, “Look at what’s possible! Your dreams aren’t just fantasies—they’re the blueprints for the future!” Through these stories, we create a ripple effect, encouraging more women to step into the spotlight and dare to dream big!

Congratulations on receiving the Inspirational Women Fundraiser Award 2024! Can you tell us more about the initiatives or projects that led to this recognition and what it means to you personally?

Thank you! It was a delightful surprise, I am truly honoured. I’m a judge for 7 national awards and have been for a number of years now. Many of these support wonderful, much needed charities so this was in recognition of my contribution to all those causes. But no award is a solo achievement, the support I’ve received from many networks, especially my own and the Women In Construction community, was fundamental in this. So while I might be the one holding this shiny award, it’s really a reflection of the collective spirit, tenacity, and heart of all those amazing people. This award is more like a giant group hug for all of us!

You’ve been featured in national press and media sharing your insights and cautionary tales. What do you consider some of the most important lessons or warnings you’ve conveyed to aspiring property investors?

Property investment is like dating. You wouldn’t marry someone after the first date, right? So, my number one lesson is to keep doing your due diligence – not just once, but continuously. Think of it as swiping right on your financial future. 

I try to be like a lighthouse, steering people away from financial Titanic moments and towards treasure islands of profit! But there’s more to it than just crunching numbers. It’s about really knowing yourself – your risk tolerance is your true North Star in this investment voyage. Forget about what everyone else is doing; if you understand your own compass, you won’t get lost in the storm of conventional wisdom.

And for my fellow women out there, let’s talk about embracing our unique power. When I started out, I thought I had to mimic the guys in the room. But guess what? There’s immense strength in our femininity! We don’t have to play the game like the men do; our intuition and instincts can be our greatest assets. So, let’s rewrite the rulebook and invest by harnessing our own superpowers.

In your Board Advisory roles, you guide a select group of companies and startups. What criteria do you use to select these companies, and what unique strategies do you bring to the table in these advisory positions?

These roles feel like being the wise old owl perched on a branch, dispensing nuggets of wisdom—and occasionally a shoulder to cry on. When I choose companies, it’s a mix of spotting the next big thing and finding those underdogs with a heart of gold. It’s like being a talent scout for a reality TV show, but with fewer sequins and more spreadsheets.

In terms of strategies, think of me as a blend of Gandalf and Oprah. Sure, I come in with investor insights and sprinkle in some tactical magic about fundraising and scaling. But often, I end up being the one they call when the sky seems to be falling. Picture this: it’s 11 pm on a Sunday, the founder is on the edge of a meltdown, and there I am, the calm in their storm. I listen, I reassure, and I remind them why they embarked on this wild ride in the first place. 

It’s about giving them that nudge they need—sometimes a gentle push, sometimes a swift kick—wrapped in compassion and a dash of humour. I help them see that not only is the struggle worth it, but they’re also more than capable of conquering it. It’s part strategy, part therapy, and all heart.

Emotional intelligence and feminine energy are central to your investing philosophy. How do these principles influence your decision-making process and interactions within the investment community?

Ah, the “be one of the boys” phase—been there, done that, and got the T-shirt! It was quite the rollercoaster, but at some point, you realise that chasing the adrenaline can leave you with a severe case of burnout. Now, I’m on a mission to rewrite the script with a different kind of energy.

In my world, feminine energy is the secret sauce that’s shaking up the investment game. It’s about collaboration instead of the old-school competition. It’s more “Come with me!” instead of “Get out of my way!” 

We’re talking about a paradigm shift where compassion and connection become the currency. Feminine leadership brings a breath of fresh air to a world suffocating from stress and high stakes. It’s like adding a touch of warmth to the cold, hard numbers. And let’s be real, with everything going on in the world, a bit more empathy could go a long way.

Embracing these principles isn’t just a strategy—it’s a revolution. It means making decisions with a heart as much as a head, and that’s where the real magic happens.

As a sought-after speaker, Non-Exec director, and consultant to UHNWIs, what are some of the key trends and challenges you see emerging in the property investment sector over the next few years?

First up, we’ve got the institutionalisation of the rental sector in the UK. Think of it as the corporate takeover of your friendly neighbourhood landlord. This trend is pushing us toward a more professionalised approach, which is as necessary as a good cup of coffee on a Monday morning. It’s something I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand through the many awards I judge. Imagine if your landlord came with a business suit and a PowerPoint deck—both terrifying and thrilling, right?

Then there’s ESG—Environmental, Social, and Governance principles. This is the industry’s way of saying, “We care about the planet and people!” (And not just because it’s trendy.) The construction industry, in particular, is rolling up its sleeves to tackle sustainability, making sure every brick and beam leaves a smaller carbon footprint and wastage is minimised.

And let’s not forget social housing, the Cinderella of sectors, often overlooked but full of potential if handled with the right blend of care and ambition. This sector needs more fairy godmothers who understand the immense responsibility it carries. Investing in social housing isn’t just about bricks and mortar—it’s about safeguarding the most vulnerable in society, building communities and futures.

In short, the property investment landscape is becoming more sophisticated and nuanced. It’s not just about buying, selling, and making a quick profit anymore thankfully. It’s about doing it with conscience, responsibility, and maybe a dash of eco-friendly glitter.

Your podcast, The SHE Word Women In Business, is highly popular in Malta. What inspired you to start this podcast, and what are some of the most memorable conversations you’ve had on the show?

This series was a spin off from the original The SHE Word show to open up “conversations that women rarely have but really should” to working women and entrepreneurs… we need a voice too! 

Its the guests that have provided the real magic, from a MasterChef judge to a social media influencer, a bra specialist to a the first and only female helicopter pilot in the Maltese Armed Forces, it’s been a delight to hold the space for such incredible stories.

Every episode feels like unwrapping a gift of raw, unfiltered stories. There was one episode about burnout that hit so close to home, I felt like I was hearing my own story retold. I still remember one guest, who, with tears streaming down her face, said it was the first time she truly felt “seen” — and let me tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the studio. It was as if her words had a heartbeat, resonating deeply with everyone who listened.

The most beautiful part? The outpouring of responses from both women and men, who shared that the podcast helped them feel acknowledged in their own struggles. It’s like we built a bridge of empathy, connecting people who had been feeling like islands. Creating this series has been a heartwarming journey, a reaffirmation that we all crave connection and understanding.

Living in Malta and being a prominent figure in both the UK and Maltese property markets, how do you navigate the different investment landscapes, and what opportunities do you see for cross-border property investments?

Navigating the property scenes in Malta and the UK is like conducting a symphony where the instruments speak different dialects but play the same tune. Brits and Maltese alike have a passion for property, though their dance with regulations and economic climates waltz to different beats. It’s not just about bricks and mortar; it’s about decoding the cultural cues—Brits are like tea and crumpets, while Maltese charm with Mediterranean zest.

But amidst these cultural nuances, the real skill lies in understanding investors’ hearts. It’s not just about numbers and spreadsheets; it’s about uncovering their dreams, fears, and the timelines they’re willing to tango with. So, while the landscapes may change, the melody of wise investment and fruitful partnerships plays on, bridging seas and borders with every deal struck

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