IT consultant quits his job to become a ‘big thinking’ property entrepreneur with Samuel Leeds’ Academy

Indian IT consultant Samuel Johnson came to England for his job and ended up becoming a property entrepreneur after joining Samuel Leeds’ academy. His first property was a seven-bed rent-to-rent. Then he went one better and took control of an 11-bed house. Between them the two properties are making him a profit of around £3,000 a month, with four more due to come on stream soon which are set to more than double his income. His strategy is converting rundown student lets into HMOs for professionals working in the tech industry. 

‘The academy mentoring calls got me over the line’

When Samuel came to England in 2017, he never dreamt of starting a property business in the UK.

He had thought of investing in real estate for a long time but originally planned to save up his money to buy some properties in India. Then, after moving to this country, the IT engineer came across Samuel Leeds’ YouTube videos.

Realising there were many other ways of making money from property, Samuel went along to a £1 Property Investors Crash Course in June 2022. Unlike similar events, which he had previously attended, he felt the crash course gave him so much value.

Subsequently, Samuel joined the academy and is now a full-time property entrepreneur with a growing portfolio of HMOs in the Warwickshire town of Leamington Spa. 

His starting point was to approach the letting agency which had rented a room to him in a house share when he first came to the UK. As he describes it, he found a reason to get involved with the agency.

“I said I stayed in one of your properties if you remember. They said yes, we have seen you before. I said I want to take it on completely as a lease agreement and then I want to run it as a professional HMO [with] all bills inclusive.”

Initially, the agency rejected his pitch because of a bad experience with one company. Samuel, however, was persistent, having been encouraged to be so on his training.

“I kept going there once a week and telling them what I was trying to do.”

Eventually, having built up a relationship of trust, he got a viewing and made an offer on a property. Then the agent convinced the landlord to agree to him taking it on as a company let.

“Their target was the student market whereas I was focusing on the professional market. For them it was one less property to worry about.”

The fact he was a professional himself and knew of other potential tenants who were moving to England helped his cause, as well as being known to the agency itself. 

“Luckily, they didn’t do any referencing for me, and they didn’t do any affordability checks because they knew the company I was working for at that time.”

Samuel admits he was scared when he signed the contract to take on the property that it wouldn’t work out but had the backing of the academy to give him guidance.

“I kept on booking mentoring calls and asking how I should go about it and how I could find tenants. That’s what got me over the line. I had the skills to convince the agency.”

He spent around £2,500 on refurbishing the house, using his credit cards to borrow the money, and then sent before and after pictures to the agency. 

“It turned out nicely. They sent the pictures to the directors and the landlord, and everyone was happy. I was able to fill those rooms within two weeks. Then they understood what I was trying to do and asked me to do the other one.”

It costs him £2,200 a month to rent the seven-bed HMO. He then rents out each room for between £575 and £600. After paying the gas, electricity, Council Tax and other expenses, it leaves him with a profit of about £1,000.

“For the 11-bed I’m paying £2,000 in rent [per month]. That’s making me around £2,200 profit. I spent around £6,000 on that one because it was in a very rundown state.”

‘I will have 49 rooms making around £7,000 a month’

Samuel was earning £45,000 a year working in the IT sector. Right from the moment he joined the Property Investors Academy his target was to leave his job within six months. 

It was not something he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he says, and as soon as the rental money started rolling in, he decided to resign.

The appeal of having an income which not only replaced his salary but was virtually passive proved irresistible. On top of that, there was the prospect of securing more deals.

“I said to myself I can still make more because I had a consistent pipeline, so why not spend my time efficiently in my business.”

After leaving his job, Samuel took a break for a month and visited India. Meanwhile, he was still making a profit from his rentals and had minimal work to do.

“I just had two calls when I was in India from my tenants saying that one of the switchboards was broken. I sent my electrician to fix it. It was completely passive.” 

As a strategy, it’s really working, he adds, because he spends so little time on managing them in a week. “I work one hour on both the properties. I just visit them and do the numbers.”

His next two properties are expected to make a similar profit. He has signed the contracts to take on an eight-bed and a ten-bed HMO and is also working on two others which were student lets for many years. One has six bedrooms and the other one seven, giving him a total of 49 rooms to rent out once all the projects are completed. 

“The cash flow is good. When whey all become available, I’m going to make around £7,000 a month.” 

His patch is in an Article 4 area where there are a lot of HMOs and plenty of opportunities. He goes to networking events to find deals, but most of his landlords so far have come from the agency which gave him his initial break.

In some cases, they don’t want the hassle of renting out the property or they have struggled to find tenants. He offers them a guaranteed rent and a hands-off experience. 

The properties are also improved and then remarketed, targeting clients from a tech background. Some of the houses are more dilapidated than others. The two HMOs he is about to take on will require only a light refurbishment. 

“I’m refurbing the HMOs and investing some money and then I’m specifically focusing only on professionals rather than students.”

The leases on his rent-to-rents are for a minimum of three years and extendable up to five years. On two of the properties, he is negotiating lease options to buy them at a fixed price in seven years which will allow him to rent them out in the meantime – and benefit from the potential capital appreciation.

The advantages of being a property investor are such that Samuel has no regrets about leaving his previous employment.

“I don’t miss it. I’m happier now working for myself. I’m getting to meet people in a more strategic way in terms of having a focus on what I want to be achieved and where I want to go.”

Even if he had a job, it would only give him a small increase in pay every year, whereas being self-employed gives him the chance to make much more and grow his business, he also points out.

It’s also an asset for the family, says Samuel who is married. He hasn’t told all his relatives yet about his property dealings. Only his mother and brother, and immediate circle know. 

His other relatives are in India, and he doesn’t want them to worry about what he is doing. He hopes to help them in some way when he goes back there.

Samuel’s long-term plan is to move into buying properties and then converting them into HMOs which he can also refinance to raise funds. He is also looking at other strategies.

“Now that I know the agents and some landlords, I’m flooded with deals which I cannot take on. So, I’m in talks with investors to joint venture and deal source.”

Working with Samuel Leeds has changed his life completely, he says. “I crew at events and whenever I meet people who have doubts about whether they can achieve it, I say take me as an example. I came to this country five years before with no contacts.

“It’s like a second family to me now being in the academy. I meet so many people and everyone just pulls each other up. It’s life changing.”

Samuel’s tips

  • You need knowledge and support. That’s why I joined the academy. Then you need to push yourself to the limit. If you take action and you are in the circle, then obviously you’re going to win.
  • Be persistent. It’s fine to keep going back to an agent to try to get some deals because they want to work with someone they can get to know and trust.

Samuel Leeds’ verdict

“When you come to the Property Investors Crash Course, as Samuel did, you’re going to have your mind blown because you see what’s possible in this market this year. What you can achieve is incredible.

“The great thing about Samuel is he’s a big thinker. He’s taken on some massive properties and done extremely well. He’s also part of the furniture on the academy. Everyone knows who he is. He’s at all the Property Investors events. He also takes part in the Mastermind

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