Samuel Leeds property strategies help mother-of-two more than treble her income

Mother-of-two Sandra Reid has more than trebled her income from property after joining Samuel Leeds’ academy 10 months ago. By changing her approach to investing, Sandra has learnt how to harness creative strategies to quickly grow her portfolio. From starting out with two buy-to-lets, she now has six properties, including four rent-to-rents, which make around £3,800 a month in total. The full-time entrepreneur is also lining up a joint venture overseas, having recently returned from a group business trip with the Property Investors’ founder to the Caribbean. 

‘I was mesmerised by Samuel Leeds’ course’

Property is in Sandra’s blood. Her father was a property investor with a large portfolio in the Brixton area of London. He also helped people to develop their houses in Jamaica, she says. 

When out and about with her children, she proudly points out the houses their grandfather owned. She watched his growth and later became a property owner herself.

“The first house I bought I rented out when I lived abroad. I lived in Bermuda and Jamaica for a time, and that’s how I started renting out that property,” explains Sandra.

That was about 20 years ago, but then she struggled to buy another house after borrowing money to pay off other debts.

“When I wanted to borrow to purchase another property, I had to extend the lease which cost about £50,000. That wiped out trying to buy another property. To go from there, lending from the equity to start purchasing, that slowed me down. It was frustrating.”

Despite this setback, Sandra eventually managed to acquire a second buy-to-let while running a business as a virtual PA. It was at that point that she came across Samuel Leeds.

“I don’t know how, but he popped up on YouTube. I saw the live course he was doing. I thought this is interesting.”

Sandra decided to go along and was instantly absorbed in what she was hearing.

“I thought I was going to be bored and I was mesmerised. It started at 10 o’clock in the morning and went right through till 10 o’clock at night. It was just really interesting. He gave it a lot of energy.

“Although I was in property, I wasn’t concentrating on increasing my portfolio. I was doing other things. Then Covid came and I thought what I need to do now is educate myself – I don’t know what’s going on in the property game at the moment.”

She enrolled on another event at Samuel’s house to get some guidance from him about what she should do. At that point her passive income from her two properties was about £1,000 a month.

Afterwards she attended the HMO Boot Camp in Birmingham. That cemented her resolve to become a fully-fledged property entrepreneur.

“I thought, I’m going to do this. This is going to work. I loved the course. It was amazing.”

She also enjoyed meeting different people, having previously been working from home. Determined to put herself out of her comfort zone and get out about, Sandra then signed up for the year-long Property Investors Academy programme, taking out a loan to pay the fee.

Failure was not an option. “I never worried I wouldn’t be able to pay it back. I don’t think negatively like that. If I’ve taken the time to spend the money, I have to make it work for me.”

‘The academy gives you so much support and connections’

Sandra has thrived in the academy which she describes as ‘fantastic.’ 

“The support has been there, and I’ve learnt such a lot from coming to the courses. It’s important to have the right education because there are dos and don’ts in any business. It’s great to know what you can and can’t do. I like to do things properly.”

Her four rent-to-rents consist of two HMOs and two other properties which are rented out as serviced accommodation. Two are in Liverpool, one is in Canterbury and one in London. Her initial plan was to focus on her local area, but she found that difficult because the capital is so expensive.

“I’m a bit all over the place but I thought if I’m going to sit and wait for London it might never happen. So, I’ve just taken the opportunities and run with it.”

An average day consists of making sure her all properties are running smoothly, checking her emails, bringing in tenants when there are empty rooms to fill, and dealing with the advertising. Another task on her list used to be visiting her furnished accommodation to ensure the sheets were changed for incoming guests. Now she has a manager in place.

A former Property Investors Academy member, who runs his own management company, looks after the SAs for her. Even so, ‘life is very busy,’ says Sandra.

Having a manager to take care of her SA business freed up her time to spend a fortnight in the Caribbean with Samuel Leeds and other members of his team last month. During the trip they scouted for business opportunities. Following on from that, she is now planning a joint venture in Jamaica with her brother.

Also on her agenda is a family project to complete a loft conversion which is due to begin next month.

Sandra says being a problem solver is a key part of being a property entrepreneur. Her mentor Samuel tells his students when they complain they can’t get a deal that that is just the first hurdle. When they find their first deal, that is when their problems really start. They need to stage the property and furnish it. Then they need to find a good manager, and so it goes on. 

She agrees with her guru there are always obstacles to overcome which is why it is so important to have the right training and connections. If she has a problem, she can join the weekly Mastermind call and ask for advice.

“We have a community of people who have different levels of experience. You can lean on them for advice and get support. Also, if you network with other people, they may be able to find you cleaners, or a management company.”

That was how she found her management company, she says, adding:

“You have to let go. You can’t do everything yourself. I’ve done some of the work myself. I know what I need to do. No one can fool me. I look for the link to where the property is being advertised and check for myself how many times it’s been booked. I get a monthly report as well. So, I feel comfortable with that.”

It helps to have a laid-back approach too. She deals with problems when they arise and never gets too anxious.

“I’ve not found anything difficult. Maybe it’s my personality. I just roll with things. I don’t ever think things are going to stop me from moving to the next level. I just get on with it. I don’t moan to people. If I’ve got a challenge, I know I can call the mentors and say this is my issue, what do I need to do? I just don’t worry about things. I do what I need to do.”

One aspect the businesswoman admits she has struggled with is consistency.

“Sometimes life can drag you into doing other things. Trying to be consistent all the time is not always easy [like] making the phone calls to the landlords, doing your research and finding properties.”

Her husband completed the training with her and has become her business partner. She has also made some good friends on the academy.

Deal on rundown house nets Sandra a £6,000 sourcing fee

Aside from the rental properties, Sandra has branched out into deal sourcing, selling her first deal in 2019 on a four-bedroom house in Brixton. She found the dilapidated property through doing a leaflet drop of houses for sale in the area.

“I used brightly coloured paper for the leaflets and just sent them around houses that had for sale signs. Nine times out of ten I got called.”

One of the calls was from a man whose mother had passed away and left the house to him and his siblings. After viewing it, she contacted the estate agent and they ‘hit it off.’

“He said, ‘Yes, Sandra I do have an investor who would be interested in buying because he buys all the properties in that area.’ And that’s how it went. We sold the house for £600,000 and split the £12,000 fee. I got £6,000.”

Her target this year is to complete negotiations for another rent-to-rent and then to start taking on buy, refurbish, refinance projects.

Whilst the rent-to-rent strategy has helped her get off the ground and made her financially free, Sandra says she wants to return to buying properties.

The advantage with rent-to-rents is you get the cashflow coming in from each property, but there are disadvantages, she points out. 

“You might have signed a two or a five-year agreement, but the landlord changes their mind and decides to take the property back.

“Whereas you’ve got this income coming in, they could turn around and say they don’t want to do the deal any more or there’s a limit to what you can do to the house. You don’t want to spend loads of money on a house that isn’t yours.  So, you’re limited to what you can do to put your own ideas into a property.

“Rent-to-rent is great. It’s helped me, but now I just want to focus on a property that I know is mine. I’m going to look at auctions and look in the cheapest areas – maybe JV with somebody so it increases the properties we can purchase together and get two or three by the end of the year.”

It is this collaborative approach to her property investing is what has boosted Sandra’s fortunes.

“It takes years to build up a portfolio in the traditional way through buying and saving, which is what I was attempting to do. What I’ve learnt now is to borrow other people’s money and to work with other people through joint ventures. You can’t do everything on your own.”


Sandra’s tips

  • It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, always get the education and do things the right way.
  • If you work with other people, you can reach your goals a lot faster.
  • Work within your community to help you find a team of people who can help support your business.
  • It’s very important to have a circle of friends who are doing what you’re doing because you have a vested interest in each other.


Samuel Leeds’ verdict

“If you have three or four rent-to-rents, like Sandra has, it gives you the ability to go full-time into property. You don’t have to worry about money. You’ve got your bills covered and it gives you time freedom initially to then scale up your business. Sandra has done an incredible job. I’m looking forward to seeing her continue to prosper, build and win in property.”


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