Property Investors students Pluie and Priscilla Buapanga have only been in the academy for 10 months but already their pockets are jingling with keys and cash. The couple control 14 rent-to-rents making them a profit of around £7,500 a month. If that isn’t impressive enough, they spend just 15 hours a week managing their serviced apartments and HMOs after learning how to systemise their business.
‘Samuel Leeds’ Financial Freedom Challenge was inspirational’
Life is looking pretty rosy for Pluie and Priscilla right now, but they had a disastrous start in property before joining the academy. They spent a lot of money on buying a large, old house which turned out to be a bad investment.
Priscilla, who runs a pre-school teaching French to young children, was also renting a property for her staff from France to stay in. However, it was only when she watched one of Samuel Leeds’ Financial Freedom Challenges on YouTube that she realised it was in effect a rent-to-rent.
In the video Samuel was seen helping a man, who had just £23 to his name, to gain financial independence in a week through making shrewd property deals.
“It was so inspirational because Samuel changed that guy’s life just like that,” recalls Priscilla.
Pluie, who has now given up his job as a plumber to concentrate full time on their property company, remembers how his wife encouraged him to study the challenge as well.
“It was playing very loudly, so she made sure that I watched it,” he says.
As a result, Priscilla changed the way the accommodation for her employees was managed and they then enrolled on a Property Investors Crash Course.
The mother-of-three was sceptical initially because the registration fee was only £1, and she wondered what Samuel Leeds was getting out of the event. However, they found it gave so much value they booked themselves onto another course the following month.
Before even finishing that course, Priscilla and Pluie signed up for the Property Investors Academy. By this time the pair were more than ready to soak up the advanced training.
They also made sure they were familiar with the rest of Samuel’s free content, watching about 100 of his videos on making money from real estate.
From the start they opted to make rent-to-rent their strategy for achieving financial freedom.
“Rent-to-rent in simple terms is the ability for someone to rent a property off an owner for a set price and then let that property using different strategies. It could be for short stays, as with serviced accommodation, or it could be a multiple let,” explains Priscilla.
Two months after joining the academy Pluie and Priscilla obtained their first rent-to-rent through another member who was a deal sourcer. They took on a new luxury apartment in Bradford, knowing that they had the support of Property Investors if they needed it.
“We got a couple of bad deals before that, but thankfully we always went through the academy before accepting anything. That deal was the first one where we thought this guy is good. Let’s just have a go with him. There was accountability because he is on the academy,” says Priscilla.
Both she and her husband admit they questioned before that whether they were ever going to find a deal after repeatedly receiving rejections.
“A couple of months may seem like a short amount of time, but it seems really long when you’re getting no after no. You do hundreds of miles in travelling,” adds Priscilla.
The four-bedroom penthouse apartment, which is a ten-minute drive from the city centre, has proved to be a money spinner. They turned one of the bedrooms into an office and now charge guests £200 to £230 per night to stay there. On average it is booked up for 21 to 23 nights in a month, generating a profit of £800 to £1,000 on a turnover of £2,000.
They also secured another property in the same building and then started finding deals themselves in Coventry.
Priscilla says it helped that they were already managing an apartment and had a good relationship with the landlord of their original rent-to-rent in London.
“We had that as a solid reference. Then the building manager in Bradford began to come to us directly when new flats became available there and elsewhere.”
They became used to negotiating deals which made it easier to then go into another patch in Coventry to source more rental properties and ‘play around with the numbers.’
One of their serviced accommodation properties is a four-bedroom house with a detached studio which they rent out to construction workers. They pay the landlord £1,300 a month and rent the studio for £700. Their average letting charge for the rest of the house is £80 to £90 a night, leaving a margin after expenses of £700.
Pluie says they spent more than £1,000 on refurbishing the place, but believes they could have done it cheaper had they had more experience.
‘The Property Investors Academy is a powerhouse’
So far, Pluie and Priscilla have not bought any more houses, although they nearly purchased a piece of land. That was when, as members of the Property Investors Academy, they were able to get an opinion from one of the ‘gurus.’ He advised them against going ahead, based on their explanation of the deal.
Priscilla concedes it was risky. “We didn’t see the land. There were so many things that could have gone wrong that we didn’t see, but we took advice. We said to our ourselves, you are on the academy. Make use of this powerhouse.”
They were disappointed but agree with their mentor Samuel Leeds that it is so important to have someone you can consult when you are about to sign on the dotted line.
With the benefit of their training, they know how to protect themselves these days through having the right contracts in place. As a result, they were able to pull out of the deal on the land ‘quickly and cleanly’ without incurring any financial loss.
It was Pluie who first became interested in property through seeing what was happening on building sites. Together, he and Priscilla decided to give it a try and bought their first and only house.
Priscilla says they have only been able to keep the property because of how well their rent-to-rents are performing. They bought it with cash which she recognises in hindsight ‘makes no sense.’
Pluie also realises they made a mistake: “We could have invested that money somewhere else and made a profit.”
Their training on the Property Investors Academy has helped them recover from that setback and taught them how to systemise their business.
“Right now, we spend about 15 hours a week working on our portfolio, but it started with 50 hours a week. We didn’t sleep. We had to go out and do it,” says Priscilla.
The fact they have been able to reduce their hours through systemisation fills them with pride. The couple employ someone to hand over keys to guests staying in their furnished accommodation. The same person also conducts viewings when prospective tenants come to see their rooms and carries out any maintenance work needed.
It is much cheaper to do it that way, and it saves them valuable time, they point out. They also have an admin assistant who works remotely from the Philippines.
“She’s never been to the UK, but she is a wizard. We’ve got all of our documents and systems already in place,” says Priscilla.
They have adapted contracts and other paperwork provided by the academy to suit their business. This gave them a blueprint to follow.
As a teacher herself, Priscilla has been hugely impressed by the Property Investors Academy, describing it as invaluable.
“From the moment you join someone explains what the system is if you need something. Then you’ve got all of the training that’s online. You can see if there is anything that you can start learning yourself and implement until you go to the actual live event where you have the training.
“You’ve got the network as well with the groups on Facebook and Whatsapp where you can just pop in your question, and you’ve got 100 different people answering you with their experiences.
“Just having that network to bounce ideas off is second to none. There’s nothing like it.”
She also praises Property Investors’ founder. “We wouldn’t have the network if we didn’t have the base which is Samuel Leeds. I’ve not seen anything like it as an educator, the way he delivers his training and breaks down concepts, drawing on his knowledge and experience.”
There are also live demonstrations when Samuel calls landlords or agents and students are encouraged to follow his example so that they learn through doing.
In future, Pluie and Priscilla want to move into property developing and pass on their skills to others to help them become financially free.
They also want to be able to help their families back home. Pluie is originally from the Congo and Priscilla from the Ivory Coast.
“We want to be able to retire our parents fully,” says Priscilla. “That’s the short-term dream but then in the future as an educator I have a pre-school and I want to bring those back home.
“The concept of early years education is very foreign in our part of Africa. There is not a lot of emphasis on it, but often the issue we find with young adults came from early childhood.
“We want to be able to help those with mental health issues and learning disabilities. These are complex things that are not spoken about very well or often in our part of the world. We do want to bring our expertise and whatever we can to try to make someone else’s life a bit easier.”
She concludes: “Property doesn’t have to be your dream. As a little girl it wasn’t mine, but it’s the vehicle we’re taking to get to our dream.”
Pluie and Priscilla’s tips
- Educate yourself and get the right training.
- Follow a strategy that works and get on it. Don’t be afraid of long nights.
- There will be rejections along the way, but if you have a dream never give up. Persevere and eventually it will pay off.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Pluie and Priscilla have worked hard. They joined the academy and have put a lot of time and effort into this. That’s why they’ve been successful. It’s not just something that can happen overnight. It’s something you have to build. You’ve got to set up your company and get the right training. You’ve also got to learn how to speak to landlords and manage the properties.
“Priscilla and Pluie have implemented so well and of course nobody can make anybody else successful. I’ll do my best as a trainer. I will be pushing people, motivating, teaching, inspiring and holding people to account. But ultimately everybody is where they’re at because of the work they put in.”
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