Grocer bags ‘deal of the year’ thanks to Property Investors training

Samuel Leeds

Grocer bags ‘deal of the year’ thanks to Property Investors training…

Property Investors Academy student Kamran Iyyaz is celebrating becoming a millionaire after clinching a deal which will enable him to quit his job. It will mean no more early morning starts for the grocer who plans to become a full-time property developer on the back of his success. Samuel Leeds has described it as the best deal of the year any of his trainees have achieved so far. On top of this, Kamran has tripled his income from his rental portfolio by switching strategies.


‘I was an old school investor’

Kamran says he was a typical old school property investor before joining the academy. He worked hard and used his savings to invest in bricks and mortar. In time, he acquired a portfolio of five buy-to-lets in Glasgow where he runs a grocer’s and delicatessen shop.

His way of operating was to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible and then save up again to expand his portfolio. It was a traditional route to becoming wealthy, but Kamran recognised the need for change.

“It was always the thing if you worked hard and if you buy a property you want to pay it off as quickly as possible. That was the general scenario you were brought up with. But I had to move forward and modernise my way of thinking and my approach towards property because I was told I was very good at what I’d done and that I should be doing it full time.

“That’s why I came to the Property Investors Crash Course in September 2019. I wanted to learn about property and find out how I could maximise what I already had.”

During the crash course Kamran was invited onto the stage after finding a deal on the day which had the highest return and was captivated by the environment.

“I just loved it. It was an amazing atmosphere, really positive. I wanted to take some action straight away and find a deal.”

At the crash course, he joined the Property Investors Academy with a view to becoming properly educated in something he was passionate about and scaling up his business. 

Kamran was confident he could make a go of being a full-time property entrepreneur, having seen others with less experience succeeding. He had trained as a plumber and worked on a lot of Victorian houses in the past. 

Deciding to put himself out of his comfort zone, he headed south to try his hand at investing in England where the rules governing the property market are completely different.

‘I was a wee bit out of my comfort zone’

At the Property Investors Crash Course Kamran learnt about how to research a target area. After carrying out his due diligence, he found a four-bed HMO which was available in Doncaster. It had planning permission to be converted into an eight-bed house share. However, on viewing it he concluded the project was unviable as it would cost too much to do the work.

The agent showing him around said there was another property on the market in the city centre which he could view if he was interested. After travelling all the way from Glasgow, Kamran seized the opportunity and went to see it. 

Instead of a small HMO, it turned out to be a huge, disused council building. Kamran got on well with the vendor and they started to talk figures. The asking price was in the region of £360,000.

“I thought, how am I going to raise that money? I don’t have it. Then there are the obvious refurbishment costs and the conversion. I was a wee bit out of my comfort zone. And yet I had the feeling this is what I should be doing.”

Stalling for time while he pondered how to finance the project, Kamran told the seller he would get back to him. Then something he had learnt at the crash course came back to him. He would refinance his buy-to-lets to raise the cash.

Having solved that issue and promised the owner of the building a quick sale, Kamran applied for the refinancing, only to be declined due to a mistake with the paperwork, he says.

Fortunately, Kamran had the support of the academy behind him and was able to obtain the money he needed through a mortgage adviser attending one of the courses. That one contact alone, he believes, justified the £12,000 academy fee – because it paved the way to securing the deal which would make him a property millionaire.

He bought the building for £320,000 including fees and picked up the keys in April 2020. Work was delayed for two months because he was unhappy with the outline plans. 

“I looked at them and thought I can improve these. Also, I was looking at the development and thinking I’d love to build on top of this. I wanted to add even more value with apartments.”

Work on the ex-council premises, which lie within the curtilage of a listed building, is now largely complete. It has been converted into a 3,000 sq. ft. retail unit, while the building opposite has been turned into a 15-bed HMO. Ten of the rooms are on the first floor and all of them are fitted out with en suites.

Planning consent has also been approved in the last few months for penthouse apartments with a wraparound terrace, in addition to a small car park.

“I’m really excited about doing the penthouse apartments. I’m going to project manage that myself. It’s been amazing.”

It has also tested his skills and broadened his knowledge. As part of the scheme, he has had to learn about planning criteria and the tenancy agreements which exist in England. He has also had to deal with conservation officers and the complexities of a mixed development.

“In one development I’ve completed a commercial project – I’ve got a tenant now for the commercial unit – and I’m doing a new build because I’m building penthouse apartments on an existing building. I’ve also got the HMOs, so it’s been a mix of everything.”

He took on the venture while attending the year-long Property Investors Academy programme. This not only enabled him to train while learning on the job but meant he could ask his coaches any questions that cropped up.

Other academy students also provided him with invaluable advice, including David Taylor, a structural engineer who started his property journey at about the same time.

The final cost of the redevelopment is likely to be about £650,000. This includes the purchase price, all the renovation work, stamp duty and professional fees. It sounds like a high figure until you consider how much Kamran will make on the deal. The estimated end value, once the apartments have been constructed, has surprised even him.

Redevelopment is valued at £1.5m 

Kamran asked one of his trainers how the end value was calculated and was advised that it was based on the anticipated rent from the retail units and the accommodation. Working on his projection of a gross rental income per calendar month of £11,500, the valuation came in at £1.5m, leaving him with equity of £850,000 to reinvest in another scheme.

“That was a conservative valuation. I just couldn’t believe it. I’d done my figures early on and got the trainer to check them. I thought this can’t be right. I couldn’t get my head round it. Basically, I’m getting a free property and I’m getting my money back.”

Once he has refinanced the development and paid the mortgage and bills, he estimates his profit will be £5-5,500 a month which amounts to financial freedom.

“I remember doing the buy, refurbish refinance course on the academy. The whole theory of what we’re taught works. I’ve been very lucky.”

The Property Investors training taught him about another strategy too – serviced accommodation. All his buy-to-lets are in the West End of Glasgow, an area close to the city centre with lots of individual shops, beautiful architecture and a bustling night life.

One of his properties is in a suburb of the West End. It had been doing well as a single let but when the tenants moved out Kamran decided to turn it into short stay accommodation. He refurbished it and brought in furniture which would give it a luxury hotel look. He had been taught about how to achieve this at the academy. 

Students are also shown how to manage serviced accommodation but because he was still very busy with his shop, he employed a management company to run it. Now the property is generating £3,300 per calendar month, compared to £1,100 previously.

“I’ve tripled the rent. I would never have been able to do that without the training.”

Spread over a year, the extra profit will also cover his outlay on the academy, even after deducting his costs.

Kamran still has the Dealing Selling Masterclass and one-to-one mentoring to look forward to before emerging as a fully-fledged property entrepreneur and is keen as ever to keep learning.

He attended the new Property Investors development training module and straight afterwards put in an offer of £37,786 on some land in Glasgow. 

“I’ve always purchased things with odd numbers. It’s a luck thing,” he explains.

There was once a tenement block with a pub on the land. Both were destroyed in a fire. The plan is to reinstate the buildings. His offer is not subject to planning permission, unlike previous offers, he says, which is what the vendor is looking for – quick cash. 

He has already spoken to the council about what he wants to achieve and sought their advice and support. Having received a positive reception, he is hopeful of gaining consent for his scheme.

“It’s worth a punt. At the end of the day, you have to take some risk.”

Asked what his strongest reason for going into property is, he replies:

“It would be nice to be able to get up whenever you want in the morning. I get up at five o’ clock in the morning to open up. Shops are hard work. I own a traditional grocery shop in an inner city scheme. It’s a fantastic place to do business, but it’s tough.” 

Once his Doncaster project is finished and he can see the money coming in, he intends to leave his retail job. There is an added motivation. His five-year-old daughter Amelia has Down’s Syndrome, and he wants to do as much as he can for her.

“I just want to do more to help her. It would be great to have the extra money to do that. There is support out there but there are things you can do privately to help her reach her milestones quicker.”

Kamran’s tips


    • Property developing isn’t easy. Even with the refurbishment project in Doncaster I had so many problems. It’s about finding solutions for those problems and having a network of support and people around you can seek advice from.  
  • People are quick to pass judgement, but I just say come along and see what happens at these training events. I’m very experienced in learning about different things and I think the training is fantastic.


  • I’m a people’s person. I like to meet people face to face and talk to them to put across what I’m hoping to achieve and get their support.


Samuel Leeds’ verdict


“Kamran’s Doncaster investment has got to win the trophy for the best deal of the year so far. It’s the perfect buy, refurbish, refinance scheme. He refinanced his whole portfolio to get the deal. If you add up all of what he’s got now and take away all the debts, then he’s left with £1m easily. But even if someone hadn’t had his equity with five properties, they would have been able to find a joint venture partner on the academy to do the deal and split the profits 50-50. 


“Kamran’s got great energy and I’m really pleased to be part of his journey.”

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