Favourite Things: No place like home for property firm’s Russell

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Russell Short, aged 38, is the founder director of Crookes-based Property Partners which he founded 10 years ago, and HomeTeam property maintenance, which he set up five years ago and is franchising nationally this month. Russell moved to Sheffield in 1996 to study at Hallam University and at just 23 launched his own property refurbishment business with two credit cards and the proceeds from selling his beloved Audi TT. Several years later, Russell retains a £6.5m portfolio of 55 properties. His lettings agency ‘Property Partners’ has continued to grow and recently moved into sales. Five years ago, Russell used his experience of actively managing his own property maintenance to launch building and gas business, Home Team. Russell lives in Hillsborough with children Spencer and Lola staying regularly.

Bradfield Brewery

Our microbrewery culture and famous Farmer’s Blonde Pale Ale are something to be justifiably proud of. I love what it represents about the journey of Sheffield pub culture, from smoky industrial-style to gastro pubs. Only a few years ago, our choice was bitter and lager, but now our tremendous pale ales are taking the UK by storm and - rightly - making heads turn Sheffield’s way again. I quite like the taste as well!

Derwent Reservoirs

Living in Wadsley Park on the outskirts of Sheffield, I look out over the fields and trees and the Peak District is right on our doorstep. In just five minutes I can be in the countryside - beautiful in every season of the year - whether it’s sledging and snow fights in the winter on Win Hill or walking and bike riding with my wonderful children around Ladybower. I am proud that both Lola and Spencer were cycling round there by the age of three.

The Ski Village

It is such a shame to see the demise of this brilliant attraction. Skiing is one of my passions and I used to take my children up there - now it costs me an arm and a leg to go to the Alps instead. It was so handy and just needed a bit more money spending on it.

Sarah at Sharrowvale Barber’s Shop

I’ve got to mention Sarah, my hairdresser, because in all honesty she probably knows more about my life than most people. She’s seen my life through its ups and downs from a (scruffy) student to family man and business owner. I still pay a bargain £7 for my haircut! Sarah is a down-to-earth Sheffield lass, who likes motor racing almost as much as I do, so there’s always something we can talk about.

Ecclesall Road

I can’t leave this off my list, as it was my world for five years. I lived on Cowlishaw Road in Sharrow Vale for the three years I was a student, then stayed on once I’d graduated. I loved the vibrant, dynamic atmosphere of places like Champs sports bar. Ecclesall Road is young at heart and ever-changing, with the added attraction of the Botanical Gardens for some relaxation.

Sheffield Hallam

university

What a great university! When my first year of journalism at Leeds didn’t go so well, Hallam took me on a three-year BA in Urban Regeneration, which also had a journalism section - such an interesting course. I made some lifelong friends at Hallam - it was the education of my life. In Leeds I had my first experience of a student home. It was in a shameful state, I really don’t know why I put up with it. We handed the cash to the landlord and never saw him again. At 18, I worked out how much he was making and thought ‘I could do better than this’; two jobs and three years later I started my buy-to-let business in 2002. It didn’t become Property Partners until a few years later, when other landlords started asking me to look after their properties.

Home Team

When I established Property Partners in 2005, I always had an internal maintenance team to refurb homes, kitchens, bathrooms, but quickly became fed up of being let down by sub-contractors all the time for boilers and heating, so we became Gas Safe registered and created the Home Team brand in 2010. We have just taken on our first franchisee in Doncaster and as we start the roll-out across the country this year, we want to take that famed Sheffield brand of quality and value nationwide.

Love and duck

In how many cities can one man call another man that? I rest my case on the genuine warmth and friendliness of Sheffield people. I was born in Derby and grew up in North Wales, but for 20 years I have been proud to call Sheffield home. I can’t remember a single disagreement with anyone in my adopted city, never have I thought about moving away - and now my kids are putting down their own roots here.