First contestant on The Eviction to be ousted comes storming back!!
21-year-old Jamal Robinson was the first contestant to be shown the door during The Eviction 2020. Jamal could so easily have walked away, but instead it strengthened his determination to succeed. With training from Property Investors, he has teamed up with his estate agent father to secure multiple serviced accommodation and rent-to-rent deals. Now he is financially free and looking to the future with optimism, having also become a compliant deal sourcer.
Samuel Leeds and his pupil share a similar life story
The similarities between Jamal’s background and that of Property Investors’ founder Samuel Leeds are striking. Both came from single-parent homes, grew up on council estates and left school early before going to work for their dads on low wages.
Significantly, they also showed a flair for business when they were young. Both were always hustling at school to earn some spending money. Samuel had a paper round, while Jamal sold sweets. At one point, Jamal and a friend controlled the supply of confectionery for their entire year, making up to £100 a week.
Jamal, whose parents split up when he was one, says he has always had an entrepreneurial mind.
“I’ve always known that I’m going to do something with my life, have a business similar to my dad’s, but not the same thing.”
It was this realisation that led to Jamal dropping out of school while studying for his A-levels, in spite of the offer of a place at four universities. By this time, he had saved up a few thousand pounds and decided to set up a clothing brand in Sheffield.
The business exceeded his expectations right from the start. He knew a lot of people in the city and got his friends to wear the clothes. His first two releases sold out instantly, but then his supplier went out of business and he had no plan B.
Needing to earn some money, the teenager took a warehouse job, but hated it. So, on his 19th birthday, Jamal approached his dad, who owns an estate agency in Sheffield, and asked to work for him. Within a few months, he was going on viewings, renting out properties and even supervising staff.
“That’s when I realised there’s a lot of money to be made in property. I was meeting landlords and collecting rents from 20 properties at a time.
“At the time I thought the only way in property is to have a lot of money, dump it in one, save up again and dump it in another one. I didn’t know about all these creative ways [of making money from property] but I knew there was a way for me to make it, so I started researching online and looking at different videos on YouTube.”
‘Samuel’s videos are educational and fun to watch’
Samuel Leeds is quite unlike any other property trainer, says Jamal. “I watched other guys before I came across Samuel and it was like a uni seminar. Someone stood in front of a whiteboard and it was so boring. Samuel’s videos were fun to watch. That separated him from everyone else. I was enjoying his videos and learning at the same time.”
Jamal was busy at work and so took no action over the different strategies he was learning about until discovering a Property Investors Crash Course was being held in Birmingham.
“It was £1 for a two-day course and I thought, I have to go. It was amazing. It was the first time I’d been to a networking event and the energy was so high. I loved the fact that Samuel got everyone to interact and find deals together.”
At the time the youngster was being paid £200 a week. He earned double that amount at the warehouse but valued his progress more than money.
After reading Samuel’s Buy Low Rent High, which he describes as the best property book for UK investing, he realised there were parallels between Samuel’s life and his own.
“From that I learned that he started out by pretty much working for nothing and just giving value and learning.”
Samuel too was an estate agent before making his millions in property.
Jamal soon got the opportunity to give value. One day he received a call from a group of investors who had control of an HMO and wanted his father’s estate agency to manage it.
“Before I didn’t know what an HMO was, but now I did, so I said sure. They wanted to let it out to students, but it was in a bad area and in bad condition, with no living room and one small bathroom.”
The sitting room of the three-bed maisonette had been converted to create a fourth bedroom. After no one wanted to let it, Jamal suggested they try renting it out as serviced accommodation.
“I learnt that from Samuel and his videos. I said you can keep the bed in the living room, just put a sofa and TV in there, spice it up a bit and put it on booking.com and Airbnb. They took my advice and started making £500 plus every month.
“I knew the estate agency wasn’t going to benefit from this because we wouldn’t be managing it, but I was just trying to give value to these guys.”
His reward came a couple of months later when the men, who were from Birmingham, contacted him saying the rent-to-rent deal was too much hassle for them and offered it to him.
“I gave value to them. I didn’t expect anything in return and it just came back to me anyway. At the time I didn’t know about sourcing fees. They wanted £3,000 for it and I negotiated it down to £1,800.”
Having seen his son making money from the deal, Jamal’s father decided it was a viable enterprise and together they started a new business.
“I told my dad about what I’d learned from Samuel about serviced accommodation and within a fortnight he had managed to get 10 more units through his connections.”
As Jamal’s father was busy with the estate agency, he asked his son to manage the serviced accommodation business. The 11 units generated a profit of £5,000 to £6,000 a month. And by the end of the year they had obtained another rent-to-rent deal – this time on a £1m property consisting of five luxury apartments.
Covid outbreak leads to cancelled bookings
Everything was going well with the business. His dad was living rent-free in one of the apartments and they were making £700 a month from renting out the others as an HMO. Then, just as they had plans to expand in 2020, Covid came along.
By April last year, Jamal was looking at his phone and seeing thousands of pounds in bookings from the serviced accommodation business being cancelled every day. They came to an arrangement with the landlords to stay afloat but Jamal became depressed, not knowing what to do.
That was when he saw an ad for a discovery day being organised by Samuel and immediately signed up for it.
“I learned so much from that day. It was packed with value, and for the first time in a very long while I was around people on the same mission. Meeting Samuel, and seeing how everyone was happy and well connected, motivated me to get out of the phase I was in.”
After that day Jamal enrolled on a Property Investors’ deal selling course and was subsequently picked from hundreds of applicants to compete in The Eviction.
Samuel set the candidates a buy, refurbish, refinance challenge as homework but Jamal failed to complete it on time because he was still finishing the course and was evicted.
“It was savage,” says Jamal laughing. “I was so shocked because I didn’t see it coming at all but that’s just how it is in business sometimes.”
Jamal stayed on in London, challenging himself to find a deal which he achieved. However, he was unable to attract an investor, so returned to Sheffield where he knew there were more deals to be made.
Working with a friend, Jamal went on viewings and travelled further afield to Lincoln and Hull to build up a list of investors. Through a contact in his dad’s estate agency, they found an 11-bed HMO and two cottages being renovated for the rental market.
When Jamal went to view the accommodation, he realised his father had rented it about ten years ago from the owner and turned it into a bed and breakfast place.
“Seeing it brought back memories for me. I said, we just have to take this deal.”
Initially, Jamal intended to sell the deal and pick up a commission of £5,000, but then he and his father decided to take it on themselves. They pay the landlord £3,500 a month for the furnished properties and make a profit of around £2,000.
As an added bonus, Jamal is living in one of the cottages rent-free. “We could have got an extra £500 but when I saw it, I thought I’ve just got to live here and get into my own space.”
‘If it’s wasn’t for Property Investors, I’d still be on £200 a week’
After attending Property Investors’ Deal Selling Masterclass to complete his education, the young entrepreneur became a compliant deal sourcer and started getting investors.
At first, despite finding some good investment deals, Jamal got no response. He quickly realised that he needed to build trust with his investors and offer a tailor-made service. So now either Jamal or his business partner establishes what each investor’s specific requirements are, their budget and what strategies they wish to pursue.
The change in tactic resulted in them selling a deal straight away to a landlord who owns more than 100 properties in South Yorkshire and was looking for cheap buy-to-lets.
“We found a turnkey investment in Rotherham. It was on for £60,000 and we managed to negotiate it for £54,000. He was happy with that and we took a £2,000 fee.”
Looking to the future, Jamal is planning to systemise the serviced accommodation business by hiring staff so that he can concentrate on deal sourcing. Recently, he and his father agreed to take on four more rent-to-rents with a projected monthly margin of £2,000 once refurbished. They are also looking at taking on eight studio apartments in the centre of Sheffield to add to their portfolio.
His training with Property Investors has been fundamental to his success, he says.
“Yes, I had leverage from my dad’s experience and his connections, but if it wasn’t for the training, I could still be in the estate agency making £200 a week.”
- If you’re looking to get started, you should definitely invest in training because you avoid making costly mistakes and wasting a lot of time.
- Add as much value as you can and just learn as much as possible.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Jamal is a smart, natural entrepreneur who has made some bold moves and become very successful with the knowledge gained from our property courses.
“It was unfortunate that he got thrown out of The Eviction so soon, but that is life. Although Jamal only featured for a minute or two on the show, he got a lot of messages and support off that. Afterwards he did a bunch of deals that resulted in financial freedom. I’m so proud of what he’s achieved.”
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