Samuel Leeds trained entrepreneur who grew up on a council estate now has £2.3m property portfolio.

Before joining the Samuel Leeds Academy Scott Lyons had no experience of property. Four years on his portfolio is worth £2.3m and he is financially free. In one record month, he turned over £18,000 from providing emergency social housing accommodation and has completed no less than 16 lease option deals.

‘Samuel’s book, Buy Low Rent High, transformed my thinking’

Scott is living proof that you don’t need to be rich to succeed as a property entrepreneur. He grew up on a council estate and is proud of his roots. “I started from Eyres Monsell in Leicester. That’s where I was raised and lived for the first 26 years of my life. I still love the place now. Most of my family still live there.” He was 30 when he acquired his first house. “I always knew I wanted to get into property. It’s just I didn’t know how,” he recalls.

“I’d always had the notion that you would save up a deposit and buy a house. Then I read Samuel Leeds book, Buy Low Rent High, and it completely transformed my thinking. I thought well actually you can put a little money down and make a lot of money rent wise.

“So, I enrolled on the academy. It changed my life and my mindset. I never looked back from that.”

His favourite property investment strategy is the lease option agreement. Scott describes it as being ‘exactly what it says on the tin.’

“You rent a property from a landlord with the option of buying the property in the future. I love BRRs {buy, refurbish, refinance) as well. I see a lease option as a better version of that because you’re putting less money in but you’re still getting all the benefits of a BRR.”

His guru Samuel likens it to buying a car on a personal contract purchase, where you pay a monthly fee and then have access to the vehicle. At the end of the agreement you have the option to either return the keys or pay an outstanding amount to own it.

It works in a similar way with a property. The advantage to an investor like Scott is that he benefits from the capital appreciation, as well as being able to rent it out at a profit.

“You’re agreeing a price, let’s say £100,000 now. Based on past performances with property prices they normally double every ten years. In ten years that property should theoretically be [worth] £200,000 but you’re securing it for today’s price at £100,000.

“If we take that analogy, in seven years’ time it should be worth £170,000. You’re getting a £170,000 house in seven years’ time for £100,000, and you’re getting the rent in the meantime.”

The 34-year-old entrepreneur has paid as little as £1 for the deposit to make the lease option agreement legally binding. For the past few deals, however, he has paid £3,000 for the option following negotiations.

Most of his deals have come through one ‘tired’ landlord. “This landlord just wanted out of the game with taxes going up for property in your own name. They’ve got all their properties in their own name. They’re just about breaking even because the interest rates have gone up now as well. It’s causing them a lot of stress.

“We’ve come in and said we’ll pay you the rent every month and take the stress off your hands with an agreed purchase price down the line. That’s an ideal situation for that landlord.

“A lot of people would think I get all the benefit, but these properties are causing a massive stress for them.”

It means the landlord also doesn’t have to deal with tenants. Scott’s profit comes from using the super rent strategies of HMO (house in multiple occupation) and serviced accommodation to boost his earnings. Both methods are taught on the academy to maximise the yield from a property. Scott gives the example of a house for rent at £500 a month. He will pay the landlord that amount for the whole property and then let each room for £500.  Alternatively, he will rent it out as an SA for £100 a night.

“It only needs to be occupied 20 nights of the month and I’ll make £2,000 off that property rather than £500. The landlord is happy because they get the guaranteed rent. They have no voids, no management and no maintenance, while I get the benefit of making profit on the property.”

One serviced accommodation booking brings in over £10,000

It was a bed and breakfast establishment in Cleethorpes which gave Scott what he regards as his best purchase. He bought it for £152,000 with the intention of doing it up and renting it out as an eight-bed HMO. That changed when the seller revealed she used to provide some emergency social housing accommodation for the local council and gave him the name of a person to contact.

“We spoke to them, and they came out and had a look and said they would be willing to take it on again,” says Scott.

“We knew the room rates of what the old owner used to charge and just added £5 on top. We get between £50 and £140 a night per room. It makes us on average £12,000 turnover per month. Our record month on that is £18,000. It’s a great deal.

“We got that amount in one month from the council from one property.”

He adds: “We put a 20 per cent deposit down, so we put about £30,000 into it. The mortgage is £416 a month and the bills are about £500 to £600 a month.”

The plan is to refinance the mortgage in September (2024) to release further investment funds. Scott says the building shot up in value on the day the purchase was completed.

“At the time we bought it there was a big boom after Covid. We agreed the purchase price and it took about a year to go through. By the time we got to buying it, the value was boosted.

“The day we bought it we got it valued again and it was £250,000. That was 18 months ago. It’s probably worth £300,000 now.”

Working with a business partner, Scott mainly targets the social housing market but also has HMOs, SAs, BRRs and lease options. His first BRR project was renovating a house in Grimsby which he bought for £29,500 around the same time that he joined the year-long academy programme. It was on the market for £50,000 during the pandemic. Having negotiated the price down to £35,500, Scott managed to obtain a further reduction. After having a damp survey carried out, one of the academy mentors advised him to speak to the surveyor about the report and he consequently got another £6,000 knocked off.

“Just joining the academy and having access to the mentors saved me £6,000 on that purchase. The end value on that was £85,000.”

The businessman undertook a challenge via his social media to set up the house ready for renting out as serviced accommodation in four days. As a result, he secured a booking for 12 weeks which was worth more than £10,000.

“I’m getting £840 a week for the next 12 weeks on that property.”

There was another bonus. The refurbishment cost just under £30,000 and there was no stamp duty to pay because the purchase price was below £40,000. That meant he could pull out all his money by refinancing the mortgage to the new value of the house. There is a massive demand for temporary furnished accommodation in Grimsby from contractors working on one of the country’s biggest wind farms just off the coast, says Scott.

“It’s also got a freeport and there’s a lot of development in Cleethorpes which is right next to Grimsby. It is a popping area.”

The house has four separate bedrooms and there is a nightly charge of £30 per room producing a maximum revenue of £120.

Samuel Leeds Academy is ‘the best property education platform’

The moment Scott realised property was going to make him rich was when he began to see the money roll in from the former bed and breakfast.

“As soon as the money started coming in from that a couple of years ago, I thought this is life changing now. Most people work all month for that, and I’m just sat back here and the money’s coming in.”

Since then, his company, Leonum Property Ltd, has continued to prosper and grow. His portfolio includes a block of four flats in Hartlepool. He also has another B&B going through, along with a three-bedroom property in the Grimsby/Cleethorpes area and two lease options in Scunthorpe. Scott compares this activity to constantly ‘adding fuel to the fire.’

Whilst Grimsby is his preferred patch, it does not follow that every property investor should choose it as their area.

“It’s got to be relatively close to you,” advises Scott who lives in Leicester. “I can get to Grimsby in just under two hours. There are cheaper places nearer, but I found the first house there and I’ve got agents, builders and a power team there now.

“I did the first BRR in Grimsby and pretty much lived there for four months doing work on it myself. I got to know the area well and built up a good team.”

He agrees with Samuel Leeds who says that there is ‘no magic area.’ The investor has to work out their strategy and what their goals are.

“Everything’s supply and demand. You don’t want to buy a house in an area, and no one wants to live there or there’s no demand for SAs or HMOs.”

Students on the academy are helped when it comes to choosing a patch and a strategy to focus on, and then drawing up a business plan. Scott praises the academy for enabling him to amass a multi-million-pound portfolio in just a few years.

“The academy is a programme which will completely transform the way you think about property and yourself. It’s a personal development programme as much as it is a property education programme.”

He describes the environment as ‘insane’ with so many students clinching multiple deals and mentors on hand to offer advice and access to online training. “It’s just an incredible society that Samuel has built and hats off to him for that. It’s even better than when I first joined. There are so many tools to help you succeed. “It’s the best educational platform that you could go to. If you want to go into property, then hands down the academy is the one for you.”

He concludes: “I don’t look back now. I’ve got the magic formula: BRRs and lease options. That’s the magic formula to be a millionaire. What else do I need? That’s it. Done.”

Scott’s tips

  • Go to a Crash Course. That will transform how you think about property. If you go on to more advanced courses, you’re going to learn some massive strategies and pick up tips.
  • You’ve got to go all in. No one ever succeeded at anything unless they went head on into it. That’s what I did.
  • If you’re confident and put the money in, you’ve got all the tools around you on the academy to succeed.
  • Before choosing a patch, you need to make sure the demand is there for the strategy you want to pursue.
  • You’re only one connection or one deal away from financial freedom and a completely different life.

Samuel Leeds verdict

“Scott has found his goldmine area and done so well. His deals are astonishing. He also spends a lot of time mentoring and helping other people within the academy. It’s not just me teaching, it’s all the mentors and the whole community. I appreciate what Scott brings to the table now after he’s been successful.”

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