A chance encounter on a train with Samuel Leeds led kitchen porter Otman Oustadi in a completely different direction. These days Otman is a property entrepreneur earning around £8,000 a month – ten times what he was making washing dishes while studying for a business law degree. Otman learnt his skills through watching the YouTube videos of the Property Investors founder and enrolling on his advanced training.
‘Samuel Leeds gives so much back to the community.’
A couple of years ago Otman was on his way to work, having a nap on the train journey into London when he was woken by a group of people entering his carriage.
One man was pointing to buildings and talking about which ones he had bought and was about to buy.
“I was like, arrogant billionaire maybe. Inherited it from his father,” recalls Otman who was irritated by the disruption and then tried to go back to sleep.
But when he got to work, he found his head chef watching a YouTube video featuring the man he had just come across on the train.
“I said, wait a second I just saw this guy on the train. Who is he? Then he introduced me to Samuel Leeds.”
Otman went home after his shift and watched a couple of his videos. The following week he attended a Property Investors Crash Course, keen to find out more. It was the start of getting his life on track.
He was unhappy in his job because he wanted to be working for himself. He was also not enjoying his university course.
“I went to university to make my parents proud because of all the sacrifices they made to raise me. They wanted me to go, but I knew that I wasn’t going to become a lawyer. It was not something I wanted to do.”
Looking back now, Otman recognises that first impressions can be misleading: “When I first saw Samuel, I thought he was an arrogant guy. But once I met him and started listening to him, I have to admit that I was wrong. He’s actually a great person and he gives so much back to the community and helping people.”
The moment Otman stepped into the room at the crash course, he knew it was ‘meant to be.’
“Samuel literally became my virtual best friend. I started watching him day and night. I wasn’t doing anything other than sleep and watching his videos the whole day for about two or three months.”
At the time he didn’t have much money, so after finishing the advanced training he rented a car and started looking for property deals he could pass on to investors for a commission. After selling a couple of deals, he decided to switch to the rent-to-rent strategy.
Samuel Leeds’ free content on YouTube again contained useful advice.
“I tweaked it a little bit. I was approaching landlords asking them if they wanted me to manage their properties in exchange for 10 per cent of their rental income. Once I got about four properties, I had a bit more money and then from that I started getting rent-to-rents.”
The Moroccan-born businessman, who grew up in Italy, remembers the day he walked into his first viewing: “There were so many people pulling up with big cars. I thought I was never going to get this property. I did not have any money at all, but the deal sounded great. After all my calculations I was going to make about £1,500 per month.”
Otman submitted his offer to the agents, only to be informed the next day that the owner had decided to hand over the management of the house to somebody else. Refusing to give up, he offered to pay six months’ rent in advance, amounting to about £17,000. In return, he would be allowed to rent out the rooms at a higher rate and keep the profit.
His tactic worked. The landlord agreed to rent it out to him, even though he had no references, nor the means to pay the rent at that point. His solution was to reach out to all his friends and in less than 12 hours he had raised the cash, he says.
“I was willing to do whatever it took to make it. It was a rent-to-HMO. I rented it out for £3,000 and after all expenses I was netting £1,500 per month. The second one is netting £2,000 a month.”
He adds: “Ever since then those agents are ringing me every other day bringing me properties. They gave me four properties and now I’m in the process of getting a fifth one with them.”
The properties under his control are mainly in north London. He pays an average of £3,000 to rent each one and is then permitted to let the accommodation. His role involves dealing with tenants, which is one reason he believes the strategy appeals to many landlords.
“They could obviously rent out their properties themselves, but they don’t want to be dealing with tenants. They would rather get a middleman and receive that passive income.”
‘You can’t have the rewards without the risks.’
Samuel Leeds makes the point that many people starting out in property with no funds want to secure a rent-to-rent arrangement to build up their cashflow. However, even if he were to present them with a rent-to-rent they would be too frightened to sign an agreement.
Otman agrees that it is a big commitment to be paying so much money in rent each month, plus bills, but says you cannot have the rewards without risks being involved.
“Life is a risk itself, so you have to be willing to put yourself out there and make some sacrifices in order to get the rewards. With my last property now my monthly profit from my portfolio is £8,300.”
As a result, Otman no longer washes dishes. Those days are gone, although he is still in debt, having also borrowed money to pay for his training with Property Investors. This is good debt, he says, because every one of his properties provides an infinite return on investment.
He is paying his lenders interest of 20 per cent. “For every £1,000 they gave me I give them £200 back. So, once it’s paid back, everything that the properties make is mine. I was generous because it’s an infinite return on investment and I’m not putting anything down.
“They’re helping me. Let me help them as well. It’s a win-win situation.”
His approach is to be ‘honest and transparent’ when raising finance. It also helps that his backers are longtime friends.
“I happen to be surrounded by good people. If I ask anybody who is around me, they’ll just give me money without hesitation because they know they will get their money back.”
The London-based entrepreneur prefers not to focus on how much he owes because that would make him think negatively.
“I have no idea how much debt I have. It’s a lot of money but I really don’t want to think about it. Every time I have some money, I just pay them back. I have everything written down.”
And every time an agent calls him with the offer of a new property, he will accept it, calling his friends once more to lend him the capital.
As a business model rent-to-rent is fail-safe in his opinion because there is always a demand for rental properties. He also has a break clause so that he can hand back the keys after six months if for any reason a particular property is not meeting his expectations.
Through getting to know his area well, and the type of market he is targeting, Otman can walk into a room and instantly work out how much rent to charge. His training has also taught him how to negotiate deals and calculate margins.
Whilst most of Otman’s portfolio consists of rent-to-rents, his latest property could be one he owns down the line. He is in the process of finalising a lease option agreement on a five-bedroom house, which has the potential to be extended at the front, side and back – and in the loft. There is also a garage which could be converted into a two-bedroom house.
“It’s a great house. It is up for sale for £515,000. If it’s done up as it is, it will be worth £850,000.”
The option will enable Otman to buy the property for £535,000 in five years’ time whilst paying the owner a monthly rent of £2,200. His intention is to then rent it out room by room.
“If everything goes to plan and we sign the lease option and go ahead with it, there will be a profit on that one as well.”
His ambition for the future is to join the Property Investors Academy and learn the skills of becoming a developer. His brother has also been inspired by his successes to follow the same path.
“As soon as I started getting a couple of properties he wanted to do it as well. I didn’t teach him anything. I said go on YouTube, search Samuel Leeds and watch all his videos. That’s all you need to get your property.
“He asked me again and again and I kept saying the same thing. Go on YouTube and watch his videos. That’s all you need. He started watching Samuel’s videos and then, all of a sudden, he called me within two days of setting up a company and said, ‘I found the property.
“We went and viewed it and he secured it. A month later he’s making £1,400 a month just out of one property.”
When Otman was a kitchen porter, he was earning £700 to £800 a month. Now his income has increased tenfold. Through having systemised his business, he has also been able to travel the world.
He insists this is ‘just the beginning’ and is relishing his new-found freedom. Although there has been no major challenge along the way, he says being surrounded by negativity amongst his colleagues and university acquaintances was a problem.
“Everyone told me to stop playing games, to get a real job and stop dreaming. I guess they were wrong.”
To counteract that, every time he saw somebody with a nice car, he would ask the driver what they did for a living to gain some positivity. Otman also booked himself onto Samuel Leeds’ online Freedom Formula Intensive where he found himself surrounded by like-minded people.
Otman graduated about a year ago, but regrets going to university because it left him with a debt of £96,000.
“I guess it was worth it just to see my parents smile, but I would rather send them some money from my properties every month. That would make them smile even more!”
- Never judge a book by its cover. I shouldn’t have made the assumptions I did when I first saw Samuel Leeds.
- Watch Samuel’s videos if you want to become a property investor. They will help you to set up your business and become successful.
- You have to invest in yourself to get the knowledge that you need to succeed in whatever field you want to get into.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“I hope people will be inspired and enlightened by Otman’s story. Part of what we teach is how to be creative and get around problems. Everybody can find a problem and say I’ve not got any money or references. I’ve not got a company. But rather than saying I haven’t got, and I can’t do, you’ve got to say how can I do this? You’ve got to be a problem solver. That’s what Otman has done, and he has achieved a lot of success because of that. I’m so glad I woke him up that day on the train.”
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