Property millionaires increase their profits after training with Samuel Leeds….
Despite already being property millionaires Mark and Martin Pow spent £10,000 on training with Samuel Leeds to learn about new ways of making money from real estate. That was around a year ago. Since then, the brothers have secured a lease option agreement on a hotel which they have converted into serviced accommodation. That deal alone is making them over £100,000 a year and they are about to embark on a joint venture project with a projected seven-figure pay-off. The entrepreneurs also have other developments on the go as they look to expand their business which includes a portfolio of HMOs.
Development Mastermind course paves the way for change
It was during lockdown that Mark and Martin started watching Samuel’s YouTube videos and realised there were other strategies they could be using to increase their profits. Soon afterwards they enrolled on the Property Investors Development Mastermind course.
As a result, they have been ‘absolutely smashing it,’ as Mark puts it, because it taught them that they could draw on other people’s assets and resources to build on their success. Up until coming on the course the pair had always used their own cash to invest in property. That was how they became financially free, buying and doing up houses which they then rented out as HMOs.
Each one was refinanced after being refurbished, giving them the funds to reinvest in the next property.
Mark says joining forces with his younger brother worked well.
“We did all the work ourselves and then slowly we’ve been getting bigger and bigger HMOs as we’ve gone on.”
They had a head start in the property business. Martin is a carpenter by trade and Mark also had transferable skills, having worked in car sales previously. With just two of them involved, however, it was a slow process. They were limited too by how much money they had at their disposal.
It took them 12 years to build up their portfolio of six HMOs, five of which are in Newton Abbot in Devon where they grew up. They also have a house share in Torquay which is where they struck their ‘big money’ hotel deal.
Mark and Martin were initially intending to buy it as a commercial building, but then it was down valued. Rather than simply walking away, the brothers decided to look for alternative ways of purchasing the hotel, using the knowledge they had gained from their training.
“That’s when we thought what’s the solution for this? Let’s go down the route of a PLO (Purchase Lease Option),” explains Mark.
The owner had been struggling to sell the hotel, recalls Martin, and they were keen to get hold of the building because they knew they could make ‘good money’ out of it. So the arrangement worked for both parties.
Martin and Mark became aware of the lease option strategy through studying Samuel’s free YouTube content and reading books on the subject.
Defining the concept, Mark says: “A lease option is where you control a building normally with a very small deposit, hopefully £1. You then control that building for x amount of time, generally for approximately five years, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, with the option but not the obligation to purchase it at the end of the agreement.”
Having obtained the PLO agreement, Mark and Martin wanted to turn the hotel into an HMO because it had 13 bedrooms, all with en suites, but couldn’t get planning permission. They therefore converted it into serviced accommodation.
“In the end it was a blessing in disguise. We’re making more money out of it now than we would have done if it was an HMO,” says Martin.
They rent out the rooms through Airbnb or booking.com on a day-by-day basis which has helped boost their takings.
“It’s generating a profit of just over £9,000 a month – £109,000 a year,” Mark says.
Martin adds: “It was a good feeling, after all that hard work, seeing the first few bookings coming in and they then just literally kept coming.”
A lot of people would be tempted to retire on their income from just that one property transaction, but the brothers have no intention of stepping down just yet. In fact, there is no limit to their ambitions to progress even further up the property ladder.
“We’re quite driven people. We haven’t really got an end goal,” Martin admits.
‘Joint ventures will allow us to build our portfolio’
Mark and Martin’s serviced accommodation business in Torquay is not just giving them an excellent rental yield, it will also give them extra capital to invest.
“We’ll get a commercial mortgage on the property, pull all the money out that we invested, plus probably another £100,000 to £110,000,” Mark says.
Fresh from this triumph, they have just had an offer accepted on a three-bed semi-detached house. In spite of the competition for houses currently, they managed to negotiate the price down from £250,000 to £215,000.
Martin believes the fact it was split into three flats meant many people had overlooked it, giving them the chance to put in a ‘cheeky offer.’
Their plan is to spend £30,000 on renovating the property, including changing the kitchen and bathroom to improve the look of it. Once the work is finished, they expect the end valuation to be around £350,000. With refinancing, this will enable them to pull out just over £100,000 and take rents from the three flats.
On top of that, they have secured a Grade II listed building which they plan to convert into nine flats, subject to planning consent. They are also hoping to get the go ahead on another Purchase Lease Option to turn a commercial building into a six-bed HMO.
“It’s a bit smaller than we generally want but we’re just waiting for them to come back and say yay. By the sound of things everything’s a goer,” says Mark.
Going forward, their efforts will be concentrated on land development and commercial to residential conversions. They see this as their natural progression as they scale up and go ‘bigger and bigger.’
Their seven-figure scheme is one such example. They were approached to take it on after Mark gave some advice to a friend who was considering buying a hotel in Torquay.
“I wasn’t trying to jump on the deal. I was just helping him out. It didn’t go through for him sadly. That was about six months ago. Then earlier this month he contacted me and said: ‘I’ve got this. Do you want to jump on and help us out?’ It’s a joint venture.’
The last two projects they have sealed in recent weeks have been joint venture deals. Mark says they will only take 50 per cent of the profit but that is ‘better than zero.’
Martin adds: “The plan is to develop and sell on, take out the profit and then hopefully get a few more projects. We’ve got two on the go now.”
Up until now very few of their deals have come about through them actively picking up the telephone and calling agents. Instead, they have relied on Rightmove and word of mouth to find their properties. That is something they recognise needs to change.
Mark says: “We’ve only just started branding ourselves. We’ve been very quiet about what we do and have done. There are quite a few friends who don’t actually know we’re in property at all. We’re going to have to start doing that [publicising themselves].
“The thing that’s been holding us back is that we’ve only used our own cash to build our property business. The whole idea now is to build with joint venture people so we can scale our business and make both us and our partners a ton of money.”
Their target for this year is to clinch 10 development deals with JV partners. The brothers are particularly keen to find land they can build houses on.
They have already been tramping through fields looking at potential sites and will also be calling estate agents to help them identify plots before they come on the market.
Martin says his training with Property Investors has shown him how to spot a bad deal and avoid wasting time on researching a development prospect which is likely to be refused at the planning stage – because there is no access, for example, or there are protected trees on the land.
He has also benefited from the way Samuel Leeds and his coaches teach their students, giving them practical exercises as well as the theory.
“I find it very motivating. We’ve done training before. In a classroom environment I just struggle and switch off. I’m not very good in that situation but with Samuel’s training I felt I was in the room all the time. It was so easy to soak up the information.
“It’s also been good to be around the same people as yourself. You keep in contact with them and then you’re doing deals and they are. It’s just nice to see what’s going on around us as well.”
Mark agrees: “It is the whole ethos of everybody, the training, the other students on the course. It brings everybody up. It really motivates you.
“I wish I’d known what I do now ten years ago.”
He also feels they have had excellent value for their money.
“It might seem a lot spending £10,000 on the Development Mastermind course but then if you do one deal and make £100,000 that’s 10 per cent of your first deal and you can do lots of deals. It’s nothing.”
They can also call Samuel and his team for advice and bounce ideas off them.
The pair originally went into property to make money but now having time with their families is more important to them.
“When we started no one ever thought Covid would exist and then as time has gone on our plan has changed,” says Mark. “We’ve both got young children. We now value time over money a lot more, to be able to spend time with the kids and family just enjoying life. Part of that is not having to worry about money.”
Mark and Martin’s tips
- Connect with people. We’ve found the bigger we get the less it is about the property and it’s more about the network around you. We’re now heavily focusing on JV’s so that we can build our property portfolio. We’ve also got a good power team.
- It’s best to start small and work your way up. We’ve done that and got a nice cashflow coming in. It gives you that security so that when you want to jump on to the bigger stuff you can.
- Do the training and take action. As Samuel says, you’re either going to pay for your education or your mistakes.
- In property you find there are roadblocks and different routes to get to the end destination. You need to know all the avenues you can take so that if something doesn’t work you can find alternative solutions. You might even be able to make a better profit.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“What Martin and Mark’s experience shows is that if you invest into a deal, you’ve got to wait for that deal to be finished. It could be as long as three years before you can pull your money out which means you’re only working on one deal at a time.
“Whereas if you’re using other people’s money you can do five to 15 deals all in one go and ultimately make a lot more money, as well as help other people do the same thing.
“I’m really pleased with what Mark and Martin have achieved and honoured to have played a part in their journey.”
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