Elie Henry was so confident he would make it as a property sourcer he quit his job before even selling a deal to an investor. His gamble paid off. A year after joining Samuel Leeds’ academy, Elie is financially independent at the age of only 27. He also rents out serviced accommodation and has just recorded his first £10,000 profit in a month.
‘I thought I’ve got nothing to lose’
Elie’s goal growing up was to either play football or go into business. As a teenager that was his best subject in school, along with French which he speaks fluently.
He was also a natural entrepreneur, selling sweets and the like to his classmates to make money. But then as he grew older his flair for business got ‘dumbed down’ as he puts it.
Instead, Elie went to university to study economics with the aim of getting a job in finance as an analyst. After two years, however, he dropped out, realising he didn’t need a degree to do that.
Working first in finance and then in IT, it became apparent to him pretty quickly that he had no ambition to progress.
“I saw people working their way up and they became so time poor. They became like slaves to their jobs. So, I just stayed at a steady position,” explains Elie.
It gave him the chance to explore other ways of making a living. “I knew I wanted to do some kind of business, but it was only after trying out other ventures likes clothing and podcasting, when I came across property.”
To him it was a safe, visible asset. He was already a property owner, having saved up for two years with his partner to buy a one-bedroom apartment in Croydon, south London.
Elie had also watched some of Samuel Leeds’ videos on property investing and was struck by how he helped transform people’s lives, particularly through his Financial Freedom Challenges. In these challenges, Samuel helped several individuals to become financially independent in just a week through setting up deals which would cover all their bills.
Impressed by the results he was seeing others achieve, Elie attended a £1 Property Investors Crash Course in July 2022 to find out more.
Afterwards he joined the academy. With no savings to draw on, nor any kind of safety net, he took out a loan to pay for the year-long training programme.
“I thought I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m going to take the risk. I’m going to bet on myself. I’m going to make the plan work.”
He was reassured by hearing how Samuel Leeds became financially free in his early twenties through property and how other entrepreneurs had borrowed funds to get started.
“I thought surely I’m no different if I take the same route and bet on myself.”
The first move Elie made after starting his training was to move out of his flat into a bigger place so that he could turn the apartment into serviced accommodation.
“I renovated it, got a new paint job and fixed the oven. It was still quite risky because I was still very fresh. I didn’t really understand serviced accommodation. But I guessed it’s in a good area. It has to work.”
Elie had another advantage. Even though he was new to the industry, he had support from the academy and could bounce ideas around with mentors.
He and his partner took on the management of the property and got their first booking within 12 hours of it being advertised.
Elie admits he shed a tear or two because he realised there was no need to go from ‘pay cheque to pay cheque,’ waiting to be paid at the end of the month.
“When that money came in, which was about £1,500 for a 10-night booking, it opened my mind.”
Elie’s operation covers London, Brighton and Hartlepool
It was at a Property Investors event, attended by the company’s founder Samuel Leeds, that Elie announced he had left his job. By this time Elie had embarked on trying to become a deal sourcer and everyone clapped until Samuel asked him how many deals he had done.
“I said none, but I knew it was going to work. It’s hard but you just have to believe in yourself.”
His faith in himself proved to be well founded. He sold his first deal after only seven weeks. Again, when he saw the money in the bank he was amazed.
“I thought, how is this possible? In my IT job I made about £2,000 in a month. So how the heck am I making £3,000 in one transaction?”
The answer, as he came to appreciate, was that through the Property Investors Academy he had acquired a valuable skill which was learning how to find and negotiate deals.
Now the full-time property entrepreneur is paid for his worth rather than his time and he is working with big numbers. If, for example, he gets 10 per cent knocked off a house being sold for £300,000 in London, the investor buying it saves £30,000. This is a fraction of his finder’s fee, Elie points out.
On average he sells two deals a month. Mainly, they are buy, refurbish, refinance opportunities where he has found a property that can be improved to push up the value.
His two principal patches in terms of sourcing deals are in Hartlepool and London, where he is based. He chose the two areas because he wanted to offer his clients a choice of high-end properties in the capital and cheaper homes in the north east.
Through calling an agent, Elie was put in touch with a builder who works closely with him on identifying properties which can be done up and rented out.
“We’ve now got a relationship where I can trust him to quote work and carry it out and even do viewings for me. In fact, with my first deal I didn’t even see the property. He viewed it for me.”
Elie adds: “Remote deal selling takes a lot of due diligence because you do need to understand your patch and you need to go there. I go there at least twice a month. It takes also having someone there you can trust to show you the town and to understand what streets work and don’t work.
“When I’m quoting work for my builder, he can tell me if a street is bad. You want to avoid that because when you’re packaging and selling to an investor you don’t want a problem when they have the property. If they’re struggling to rent it out because it’s a bad street or they’re going to get a bad tenant, that will affect your reputation.”
Operating under the umbrella of his property company, Henry Homes Solutions, Elie’s serviced accommodation business is also thriving. The average monthly turnover on his Croydon flat is £2,500, he says, which minus the mortgage leaves a profit of about £1,500.
“I also have a JV (joint venture) Brighton deal. That one is making between £900 to £1,000 a month. It’s a three-bed property.”
In total, he makes around £7,000 a month on average, although he topped that recently. “I just had my first £10,000 profit month. My next goal is to make that consistent.”
He has been surprised by the speed of his success. “We’re normally taught when it comes to business it takes time. You do have to build up the skills, courage and persistence but to make money doesn’t have to take long once you invest in yourself.”
The fact he was mentored by Samuel and had so many peers around him, who were active in property, ‘drastically’ reduced the time it took for him to find success, he believes.
Elie has been rewarded for his bravery but confesses it has been a nerve-wracking journey because for the first three months only his partner knew what he was doing. He avoided telling his parents, or anyone else, he says, because they wouldn’t have understood it.
“When I did tell my parents, ‘By the way I quit my job, I’m working for myself,’ they were quite surprised.”
His life has changed for the better. “One of the things Samuel says is the best things in life are free but they may as well cost the earth if you don’t have time to enjoy them. I have my own time – time to say I can be at an appointment in the afternoon. I can make time for family. I can move things around. It’s just been an amazing experience.”
His Christian faith is hugely important to him, and he wants to be an inspiration to others. It was why he agreed to be interviewed by Samuel for his YouTube Winners on a Wednesday slot.
“It’s like a full circle moment. Last year I was watching people on here saying I’m making this and doing that. Just by being a product again of Samuel’s amazing training and academy, I’m able to say I’ve done it. I’ve invested in myself and it’s working.”
- If you invest in your skill that skill will bring you the income.
- No one can believe in you more than you can.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“I’ve read so many business books which say expect in the first two years to make a loss and in the third and fourth year to break even. I think what kind of business are you running? We have students, like Elie, who make rapid progress, and others who take longer. It depends on the person, but it is quite possible in property to be making £3,000 to £6,000 a month after two or three months.
“I’m so proud of Elie’s success and happy to see him growing. He’s got a nice portfolio and he’s building a great brand in the property community. I know this is just the beginning for him, so I look forward to seeing where Henry Homes goes over the next few years.”