Father-of-two Nabindra Gurung is a member of the world-famous Nepalese brigade of Gurkhas serving in the British Army. He is also a Samuel Leeds academy recruit. Alongside his full-time job in the military, the 35-year-old soldier is making £3,500 to £6,000 a month from a rent-to-rent portfolio. He even finds time to sell property investment deals and owns two properties himself. Such has been his success that his wife, who was working long hours, has now given up her job to become his business partner.
Property gives Nabindra choices
Nabindra came to the UK in 2008 after undergoing a vigorous selection process to join the ranks of the elite Gurkhas. Out of 20,000 young people who applied only 260 were chosen.
“It is everyone’s dream. They train for years to be there, and you get one opportunity every year. That’s why I say Gurkha soldiers are the best in the UK because these soldiers are not normal men. They come here by being selected. I came here and had a firepower from that moment,” says Nabindra.
Focused solely on his busy job, he knew nothing about property investing until there was a lockdown in 2021 to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
“That was when we had the time to sit down at home and I came across Samuel Leeds’ YouTube channel. I watched and watched it and thought, wow, this is probably the next thing I need to do.”
Samuel spoke about how about property gives people a choice. Nabindra thought of his grandfather who also served in the British Army. He retired after 24 years, but then a few months later had to get a security job.
“The reason was he couldn’t survive with the pension he had at that time to cover his living expenses. So, he had no other option but to go and find another job,” Nabindra explains.
“I want to create multiple streams of income so that I can have choice. If I want to leave my job, I can do part time or flexible hours. But if I don’t want to do it, then I can quit and still be living happily.”
He loves being a soldier. The nature of his role, however, is not always conducive to family life. Gurkhas need to be ready round-the-clock to deploy at short notice which can cause practical problems if their partners are also employed.
His wife was working a 12-hour shift in a care home every day to earn some extra money. If he was called into action, she had to look after their children.
Nabindra, who has 38 days paid leave, shares the responsibility of caring for their two growing children. Nevertheless, he questioned why they were living this kind of life.
“I said, there must be something we can do and then we can create a good life, good family time, freedom time. That’s the driving force for us.”
‘If you get a good mentor like Samuel Leeds it makes life easier’
Over the past eight months Nabindra has managed to build a property portfolio which has made him financially independent.
The discipline instilled in him as a soldier, along with the values and standards taught in the army helped him when it came to achieving success as an entrepreneur.
“If you follow that and apply it to the property business, then if you get the right skills and mindset from a good mentor like Samuel Leeds it makes life easier.”
From the moment Nabindra entered the academy he applied himself diligently. He studied every evening and into the early hours and took inspiration from seeing others pull off deals.
He secured his first rent-to-rent in Ipswich, which is his patch, and then obtained two more in Liverpool and three in Wallasey on Merseyside.
Under the umbrella of his company, The Everest Nepal Limited, he rents the properties from the landlords and then rents them out at a higher rate to make a profit.
With no experience initially, it was hard landing that all-important first deal. Nabindra says he received ‘multiple no’s’ but persisted by talking to as many landlords as possible.
“I got one yes after many rejections. After that one it’s all about how you build your reputation.”
The same landlady then offered him another of her properties to manage. Having got his foot in the door, he used these as a ‘weapon’ to obtain more rent-to-rents.
“I said I have everything to prove my reputation and background. I can pass you my current landlady’s telephone number if you want a reference. Also, if I get your property every three months you can come and look at how I’m running it.”
Integrity, he points out, is vital. “If landlords think I’m not giving them a good service that can bring your business down. It’s not about short-term gain and get rich quick.”
Nabindra has shown himself to be a good negotiator. Usually, landlords require five weeks’ rent as a deposit, he says, but none was required with the first rental that he took on.
Instead, Nabindra and his wife spent about £2,500 refurbishing the property. They painted and decorated it themselves and then rented it out.
So far it has exceeded their expectations. “We were nervous with it being the first deal. We got it in October thinking we might have a low occupancy rate in winter, but that property is making a clean profit of £900 a month.
“We kept all the money we made for the second rent-to-rent.”
The contracts on the properties vary. Nabindra agreed to rent the first one for three years and the next two for five years.
“With the fourth one the landlord wanted to see if I was a genuine person or not. So, we took it on for a year, but we’re happy with that because it was already furnished, and we didn’t have to put a deposit down. We just pay a monthly rent and it’s looking like the landlord will give me a long-term contract. He’s really pleased with the service he’s getting.”
Nabindra says the monthly profit from the five rent-to-rents he had last year was £6,000 at its peak during the summertime. But in the winter, even if the occupancy rate is low, he still makes £3,500 to £4,000 a month from his portfolio.
Rent-to-serviced accommodation deal turns into an option to buy
The ‘beauty’ of the Property Investors Academy, Nabindra believes, is that it gives students a comprehensive view of all the strategies for making money out of real estate. He likens it to a ‘toolbox’ from which he can choose different implements to suit a particular situation.
After attending the Lease Option Bootcamp he put this into practice, having learnt how to turn a rent-to-rent into a home that one day he could buy.
During a conversation with the landlady of one of his rentals it emerged that she wanted to sell the property but had been struggling to find a buyer. After further probing on his part, he also established that she didn’t need the money straight away.
This paved the way for him to suggest they draw up a lease option agreement whereby he would pay her asking price of £120,000 but in seven years’ time.
“I said as you know I’m already managing your property, so I’m paying you rent already. On top of that I’ll give you an extra £2,000 deposit and I’ll pay my solicitor’s fees and yours.
“I pay her a rent of £575 a month. In the summer it makes a clean profit of £900 [per month] and sometimes £1,000. That was my first rent-to-SA (serviced accommodation) deal and I turned it into a lease option. It’s still running now as a business.”
If it is worth £200,000 by the end of the agreement, Nabindra will give her 25 per cent of the £80,000 increase in value and keep the rest.
Based on a margin of £900, the rental income will amount to just over £10,000 a year which will give him a pot of around £70,000 to put down as a deposit.
As it is an option but not an obligation to buy the property, he can walk away from it in seven years if it goes down in value.
“This is the power of a lease option agreement. That’s why I’m paying her more money than it’s worth today.”
The Gurkha turned businessman credits Samuel and the academy family for giving him the skills to pull off such a lucrative deal.
“I spent my money to learn these skills and I have that mindset in my head. I think it’s just the beginning.”
He adds: “It’s important to have solicitors. If you don’t have the correct contract in place it can mess up the deal. We have the correct contract in place and both parties are happy.”
Nabindra has also been working with co-deal sourcers, selling one to two deals a month which he couldn’t keep himself, and has used other strategies to his advantage as well.
He became a first-time buyer in 2019 just before joining the Property Investors Academy and then refinanced his house after learning how to take out the equity. With this money, and some of the profit from his rent-to-rents he then purchased a second property.
His wife is now equally enthusiastic about their venture. At first, however she was less than pleased when Nabindra joined the academy after coming along to a crash course.
“She didn’t talk to me for two days because at that time I didn’t have a huge amount of money in my bank. I put most of my money into the course and she thought I’d lost my mind. We were going to use that money to buy a house.”
Nabindra asked himself if he had done the right thing, but as soon as he joined the Monday Mastermind Zoom call and saw everyone doing deals his uncertainty disappeared. The more he studied and trusted in the system the more confident they both felt.
“We both had an ‘employee mindset’ to begin within and then she said, I want to help you. I think you’re right. Now she is my business partner and loves every moment.
“In the past, because of her job and mine, we had to take the kids to the early breakfast club and the kids didn’t like that. Now my wife can spend one or two hours on the laptop and still make more money than she used to earn at the care home. She also has much more time with the children.”
- If you want to make money from property, put yourself in the right environment with good mentors and people who are succeeding.
- Study hard, be persistent and believe in yourself.
- Trust and follow the process
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Nabindra has done amazingly well. He’s still a soldier but now he has put himself in a position whereby he’s got a retirement plan and good cash flow. He’s got a full toolbox of strategies including buy-to-let, lease option, rent-to-rent, serviced accommodation and deal sourcing. It’s incredible. He’s been an asset to the Property Investors Academy. I’m really pleased with his success.”