Young deal sourcer trained on Samuel Leeds’ academy makes an amazing £10-15K a month

It took Charlie Mandley six months to get a property deal, but when he finally overcame that hurdle there was no stopping him. Charlie now sells three to five deals a month, making £10,000 to £15,000. The entrepreneur, who trained on Samuel Leeds’ academy, is also in the process of selling a land deal with a £40,000 commission attached to it – and he’s still only 24.

Samuel Leeds Winners on a Wednesday

‘I’ve sold 22 deals in the last 12 months’

Quitting was never an option for Charlie when he was struggling at the beginning of his property voyage. Coming from a background of playing sport for many years, it is not in him to lose, he says. 

Even after ‘hitting a brick wall,’ the Property Investors student was determined to keep going. What changed was his approach to sourcing deals for investors.

“I was just sat at home trying to make money and make this work. I wasn’t in the environment. So, I got myself back in the environment, going to more networking events, asking more questions, and then showing people I’m out here doing it.”

Charlie built relationships with landlords and agents, and it had a snowball effect. In the last 12 months, the full-time property entrepreneur has sold 22 deals, more than making up for his slow start.

His average charge per deal is £3,000, although it can be more. On a buy, refurbish, refinance project, if the investor pulls out all his money, his finder’s fee shoots up to as much as £5,000.

“We’re also in the middle of selling a land deal and that’s normally about two per cent [of the purchase price]. If that goes through, that will be £40,000. That’s split between three people who are involved, but it’s still a good piece of the cake,” he explains.

Charlie had just £2,000 when he started out which was why he chose deal sourcing as his strategy.

“I didn’t have much money to invest into say rent-to serviced accommodations or rent-to-HMOs. I needed some cash behind me. The quickest way for me to do that was to go out, find the investor, find a deal, package it up and sell it.”

He gets paid upfront, with contracts put in place, and then the investor takes the deal on. Seventy per cent of his sales come from other Property Investors Academy members. The rest comes through networking with people looking to put their spare cash into bricks and mortar. 

It may cost £20 to go to a networking event, but if he finds an investor who goes on to buy a property through him, it can earn him £3,000. He might even meet an agent who one day could alert him to something a client is looking for.

His aim at such events is to be a farmer, sowing a seed, rather than a hunter selling a specific deal. He explains that he sources property investment opportunities, and if anyone is interested in his service then they can come and speak to him.

“I talk about what they want and what their needs are and where they’re looking. Then, I take their details and go and find it.”

Estate agents are an obvious port of call because they are on the High Street and easy to find. Charlie checks what is available and if any particular property matches up with his client’s criteria, secures the deal, packages it up and sends it to the investor.

Even if they have nothing that interests him, he always makes sure he has a chat with agents to build a rapport with them.

Lately, he has also been contacting landlords advertising their houses and flats on the OpenRent website. 

“I’ve gained some good relationships on there. I’ve even spoken to them on the phone for about an hour at a time talking about their current properties.”

The first deal Charlie sold last year was for a buy-to-let in King’s Lynn which needed some work doing to it. Despite the market being buoyant at the time, he managed to negotiate £10,000 off the £180,000 asking price as the owner wanted a quick sale. It had an HMO licence with five bedrooms which could be rented out individually, making it an excellent buy.

“I only sold that for £2,000 because it was my first deal and I just wanted to make a bit of money to help someone else who took the deal on.”

The young businessman also finds properties through word of mouth. One landlady gave his number to a friend who was a landlord and he sold a deal in central London. 

The main reason why property investors turn to sourcers like him, says Charlie, is lack of time.

“Some of them might be business owners in other businesses but looking to put their money to work in property because they know it will go up or if they invest into rent-to-rents they’re getting more cash flow.”

Other customers may be busy professionals, such as lawyers on high salaries who also haven’t got the time or appetite to go out on a rainy afternoon viewing properties. Sometimes agents can cancel appointments at the last minute, or there is a risk of being gazumped.

Charlie believes his fee is justified because he finds the investment proposition, negotiates the price and puts together the financial details in a pack. As Samuel Leeds puts it, he presents it on a ‘golden plate with a red ribbon’ for the investor to buy.

“I’m happy to jump on Zoom calls with investors as well to go through the deal,” says Charlie. He shows them his due diligence package and PowerPoint presentation and then they can ‘see and read him as a person.’

‘You might get 100 no’s and five yeses’

Charlie’s parents are proud of him, but there was a degree of scepticism initially surrounding his wanting to become part of the Property Investors community. Samuel spoke to Charlie’s father to reassure him that his son would be in good hands and receive unlimited mentoring. His parents then paid for some of his training. 

When Charlie subsequently found it hard to get any business, there were more doubts. 

“Mum said to me a couple of months ago, to be honest I thought you’d quit because when you’re not making much in six months it’s like, come on what’s going on? But if you keep going, you’ll get over that barrier and I just said, look this is going to work. They believed in me.”

He has since repaid them, although he keeps quiet in general about his income from real estate.

“I’m quite secretive with them. I don’t like to get too excited because if I get too excited, I might mess things up. I don’t want to spend any of it. I want to reinvest it. It’s a business.”

His ‘money thermostat,’ as Samuel Leeds calls it, has changed. Instead of trading his time for money, he now gets paid for his value to the customer. If an investor was buying a deal that could make him £100,000, for example, then Charlie could expect to pick up a commission of £5,000. 

“At the beginning it’s like, is this real? But you’ve just got to be confident in what you’re saying. You’ve got to believe you’re worth that and people buy into that.”

He adds: “Not everyone knows how to do the numbers on rent-to-rents or BRRs (buy, refurbish, refinance projects) and you’re running around doing the dog work. Some people just don’t want to do that.”

Then there are the rejections which students are trained not to take personally. Not all offers are accepted, particularly if they are below the asking price. And the negotiating process itself is hard, no matter what type of deal it is, Samuel points out.

Charlie, who has sold a wide range of deals, agrees: “You might get 100 no’s and five yeses. Some people don’t have the discipline for it. Discipline is huge, especially with rent-to-rents. You’ve got to gain relationships with landlords and agents and know exactly what you’re doing.” 

Recently 10 of his deals on an apartment block fell through in one day through no fault of his own.

“It’s not the end of the world because you just keep moving forwards. It is disheartening even so. It wasn’t because of anything bad. The landlord just wanted tenants. ”

Trainees on the academy are given a script to help them and are told to imagine they have to get 10 rejections before they can earn £10,000. Every time they receive a ‘no’ they are a step closer to a ‘yes.’

Charlie modified the script to make it his own, rather than reading it word for word, and then weaves that into conversations with agents and landlords.

Before learning how to identify lucrative property investments, Charlie went to university, studying sports coaching and then worked for a friend in a rugby club providing marquees. He shares his parents’ pride in what he has managed to achieve so far, crediting the academy for giving him a solid grounding to work as a professional deal sourcer.

It’s been a really good experience, he says, and advice is available not just from the coaches, but other members as well.

“You can talk to anyone on the academy chat and say I need advice and people will just help you. I feel like that’s massive in property on its own. 

“In this business you collaborate a lot. Say if I had the deal and you had the investor, we’d come together, match the deal with the investor and we’d split the fee. I don’t have an investor for every single deal. If I did, I’d make a lot more money. But when you co-deal source it’s an incredible way to make money.”

He often posts information about his deals on the academy Whatsapp group and someone will message him saying they have an investor for it.

The future looks bright for Charlie, and he is thinking big. His next step is to invest his funds into rent-to-serviced accommodation, having already lined up a block of 15 flats to take on.

Charlie’s tips

  • Ask people who are doing well as many questions as possible.
  • The biggest lessons I’ve learnt are to get out there, take action and keep going. Don’t quit when you get no’s.

Samuel Leeds' verdict

“The first deal is the hardest to get. Once you do that, you have the confidence and know-how to do it again. You can also go on the academy groups and say you’ve done this deal. Everyone cheers you on. Now you’ve put yourself on the map and people ask if you can find me a deal. A high percentage of Charlie’s deals come from the academy network where he has also made friends. I look forward to seeing him continue to win.”

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