From being deployed by the military to support the Ukraine crisis to returning to civvy street, Ross Orrock’s life has changed beyond recognition in the past year. Ross gave up a huge pension to become a property entrepreneur, joining Samuel Leeds’ academy to learn the ropes. Now he is making money hand over fist from selling deals to investors. In just 30 days alone, he has made a profit of £12,000 from sourcing mainly buy, refurbish, refinance opportunities. He has also bought his own house and is branching out into other strategies including supplying accommodation for social housing tenants.
‘I felt underpaid and undervalued’
Ross loved his job in the military, but after 17 years he was struggling to progress. He felt underpaid and undervalued, as well as frustrated that he couldn’t have the life he wanted.
“I was always trying to live a life that I couldn’t afford. My mother said champagne lifestyle, lemonade wages. It was a running joke in the family,” he recalls.
Rather than just complaining about his lot, Ross attempted to make money in various ways, including drop shipping. He even tried importing geodesic domes during the Covid pandemic for guests attending corporate events to keep apart by having their own bubble.
“I invested quite heavily into that. My dad and I used to travel around the North East setting up these domes.”
Neither venture ended well. In fact, Ross lost a lot of money on both. Then the father-of-one was deployed in support of the war in Ukraine. In his downtime, he started watching YouTube videos and discovered Samuel Leeds.
Ross was hooked by one video in which the Property Investors founder was accused of being a ‘fake guru.’ What impressed Ross was the way Samuel Leeds dismantled his accuser’s arguments.
“It was why I chose Samuel as a mentor. I remember watching that and thinking what a difficult position to be in. The way that he responded to that I thought was inspiring.”
Ross attended the £1 Crash Course and decided there and then that he was ‘all in’ and prepared to make sacrifices for success.
At the time he was desperate to leave the military after being passed over for promotion for so many years, even though he only had three years left to serve before receiving a full pension.
“I would have left with a huge lump sum of money and been paid for the rest of my life, but I couldn’t do it. When you’re undervalued it squashes you. I couldn’t stand it any longer.”
Instead, he threw himself into the Samuel Leeds Academy and quickly found he had an aptitude for it. He picked things up easily, and felt he was doing everything right.
“I became compliant, started a website – everything I did was professional. I was working for free in many regards, making hundreds of phone calls, connecting with people and networking.”
After the training, however, Ross struggled to get results. So, he called the academy for advice.
“I had some motivational words and things did start to improve. Sometimes it’s about not over analysing what you’re doing. It’s just a time thing. If you can gain people’s trust in the industry, then you’re on for a winner, but sometimes it’s a little bit of just serve your time.”
The rookie entrepreneur also had the support of the hundreds of new friends he had made on the academy.
“Together you end up finding what works. Ultimately, the key is finding a niche in the market – becoming a specialist and having that real understanding of what you’re doing.”
Despite all this backup, he came close to quitting and asking for his money back until he had a call with one of the coaches who gave him the kick he needed.
“He asked me if I knew everything about property. It was a rhetorical question. I said no, of course not. He said, ‘Well get a grip of yourself and push on.’ That’s exactly what I needed to hear, and I really have grinded.”
‘I’ve sold 22 deals in the last year’
In the last year, Ross has sold 22 deals, including four last month. He charges £3,000 to £4,000 for each one on average and has bought a house with his earnings.
His plan is to live in it while doing it up and then either sell it at a profit or take out a mortgage based on the new value of the property once the work is finished.
“If it’s a flip, I’ll save on the capital gains [tax] if I’ve lived in the property. If not, with the equity I’ve built in the property I can refinance it on a buy to let.”
The deposit was 10 per cent of the purchase price of £158,000, and he intends to spend around £25,000 on the renovation. With the end value estimated at £220,000, that will allow him to get back his deposit and have more cash left over to reinvest in similar projects.
He has also placed his investment on a tracker mortgage to give himself flexibility.
“A tracker mortgage is where you’re not fixed into a term. So, if for example I chose a two-year fixed term, if I completed the refurb after six months and refinanced at that point, I would be charged quite heavily for exiting the mortgage during that term. With a tracker there are no early repayment charges.”
Ross sells 75 per cent of his deals to fellow academy members who consult him regularly on such matters as mortgages. The rest of his business comes from investors who find him online.
He attributes this achievement to being dedicated. “I’m quite OCD in some ways in my approach and I don’t ever help or advise on matters that I have no understanding of. I’ve spent a lot of time with a commercial broker, agents and law firms to understand the market.”
The risk factors involved in property investing obsess him too, he says. “When I’m showing a client a deal, I’ll say here are some pinch points we need to address. We need to get our ducks in a row before we progress to purchase. You’ve got to understand what you’re getting into.
“I’ve got the respect for the client in that they’re the ones investing hundreds of thousands of pounds and it’s my duty and responsibility to make sure that’s been done with limited risk.”
He is also registered with the Property Investors Mediation Service should any issues arise that need to be resolved.
Making the transition from being in the military to earning his living from property was tough, admits Ross, especially as his parents couldn’t understand the logic of relinquishing his pension. Despite that, they supported him.
Friends, however, still had concerns. One instructed him to get a refund, telling him he was ‘being had.’ Ross was wary but was reassured by Samuel saying at a meeting that 95 per cent of academy members attained financial independence.
“I was thinking surely he can’t lie about that, and I really wanted financial freedom.”
It took him three months to sell his first deal as he was still juggling his job with sourcing investment properties, but then quickly sold another deal. He left the military on January 1st this year to pursue property full time.
Ross says he had mixed feelings because it was a massive risk. “I don’t necessarily like living on the edge. I’m quite a safe person really. I’m quite risk averse and to do that was a big deal for me.”
‘The Academy has changed my life’
Ross’ company, Orrock Property, offers a deal sourcing and project management service in the North East of England, where he is based. It is designed to be hands-off for the client and he takes pride in ensuring they get a good deal.
“I want to set someone up with an investment which is a success. I don’t just want to sell you a deal and walk away. Every single deal I sell I’m involved with for six months because of the refurb and I want to fill it with tenants.
“The vast majority of my deals are BRRR (buy, refurbish, refinance, rent). I’ll introduce them to the build team. We’ll go through the whole design and implementation phase and the project management service I offer. I’m involved throughout the refurb and then on the back end I’m also helping with refinance and tenant management.”
Ross has found his niche in connecting investors with housing associations providing accommodation for people on low incomes.
His expertise in this sector was noticed by angel investors who are funding his latest project involving the conversion of two, five-bed properties into social housing HMOs.
Explaining how it will work, Ross says: “We’re buying them on a joint venture agreement. There’s a unique element to this in that once we’ve refurbed each property to the right compliance level for social housing and got a HMO licence, we move the tenants in and have the lease signed.
“We can then sell the property based on a yield to a cash investor.”
Ross is hoping to attract overseas investors looking for a fixed yield. He adds: “We can get into one of these deals for £110,000 approximately and sell at £168,000.”
The former serviceman says he could never have imagined making so much money when he started out in property. Previously his take-home pay was £2,500 a month and there were other drawbacks that came with the job.
“I missed 800 days of my daughter’s life. In terms of sacrifice, I was so committed. I was a loyal serviceman and I wanted to stay in full term. But when you’re feeling squashed, for your own sanity you need to do something where you’ve got that self-worth.”
His family has benefited too from his new-found knowledge. Ross has drawn up a pension plan for his parents which would allow them to use their equity to invest in property. He has also helped his sister, who lives in London, to secure a rent-to-rent in Chelsea. They spent a week together, making hundreds of calls to get the deal, while he was in the capital doing some advanced training.
Now they are looking to collaborate again as his business goes from strength to strength. He has just launched a serviced accommodation management company and is already filling properties with contractors.
Ross says he owes his entire success to the Samuel Leeds Academy. “The academy has changed my life. There’s no other way of saying it. I’m a much happier person. I’ve got a much more flexible life now. I see my daughter much more and I earn more.”
- Become a master of your craft and find a niche.
- Social media is so powerful. Use it to tell people what you’re doing.
- You have to be relentless and keep going.
Samuel Leeds Verdict
“Ross is one of the most hardworking people you’ll ever find. He’s mastered deal sourcing, BRR, and how to build relationships with estate agents. That’s why he’s so successful. He’s become one of the most trusted deal sourcers in the Property Investors Academy, even though he’s only been in the game for a year and now we’re doing deals together. I’m so glad to see him grow as a person and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”