Teachers turned property entrepreneurs Jeremy Grigg and his partner Ginny Lean are prolific deal sourcers . In just over three years they have sold 54 deals to investors, generating an income of £240,000. The couple, from Cornwall also have rental properties which make them £9,000 to £10,000 a month and have just opened an office hundreds of miles away in Cleethorpes. It was attending one of Samuel Leeds’ crash courses and then joining his academy which set them on the path to success and a complete change of lifestyle.
Portfolio deal scoops £65K profit
Jeremy was in the right place at the right time when he sealed his first major deal. On a trip to Grimsby to view houses he met the owner of the Airbnb he was staying in due to a problem with the TV. During their conversation Jeremy told him he was a property investor, which he had been taught to do whenever he met someone new in case it resulted in a lead.
It led to the men meeting up again and having further discussions. Taking up the story, Ginny says: “Jeremy phoned me and said this guy wants to sell one of his houses. Then, by the end of the weekend, it was he’s got 17 houses he wants me to sell!”
That portfolio, which they packaged and sold for a commission, made a profit of £65,000.
The very first deal which they sold and then profited from came about in equally unusual circumstances. The fee on that one was £3,500 but it fell through the next day. An investor subsequently bought it for £4,000 but again it collapsed when the buyer went to Thailand.
“He still paid us, but that’s not the most bizarre thing about that property,” recalls Jeremy. “The vendor said I’ve had enough of investors. I’m going to put it on the market through an online agent. Ten months later he came back to me and said I still can’t shift this property.
“It’s a five-bedroom HMO with grandfather rights. In our area grandfather rights are worth a fortune. We ended up getting that property on a lease purchase agreement.”
Jeremy and Ginny secured an option to buy the house themselves for £92,000 after four years and are about to exercise that right by using investor finance. The property is now valued at £150,000, giving them an uplift of nearly £60,000, as well as a steady income.
“It cashflows really well. The rents turnover is something like £2,000 to £3,000. It probably earns us £1,100 a month,” explains Jeremy who gave up his teaching job in 2017.
“It was always a means to an end teaching for me,” he explains. “I went to university because my mum really wanted me to go. I went into teaching because everybody else seemed to be going into teaching.
“I taught and there are elements of it I really enjoyed. It’s a buzz. But teaching for me became almost suffocating. It was the system that was the suffocation. You’re expected to go up the ranks and take more on.”
He describes property as something which had been burning inside him for as long as he can remember. When he and Ginny went into business together, they had five flats in Cornwall which were being rented out as single lets. One was acquired in 1992 and the other four in 2008. These properties were providing a basic income, but they were highly leveraged, meaning there was more debt than equity in them.
Looking back, Jeremy says it was a classic case of a landlord who gets a few properties trying to manage his portfolio with ‘no science behind it.’
That changed when he enrolled on a Property Investors Crash Course and urged Ginny to return with him to the event when it was repeated.
“I came along not really sure what to expect. I can honestly remember being completely and utterly gobsmacked about how amazing it was,” says Ginny. “From the minute we walked in the door it was two full days of just thinking this is mind blowing.
“I was so impressed by Samuel. It was massively inspirational and educational. We met some fantastic people and started to develop a good base to increase our property knowledge from.”
They went on to join the Property Investors Academy in 2018 and completed the Deal Finding Extravaganza as part of their training.
Jeremy says: “I didn’t even know what a deal sourcer was until the first session we had in Birmingham. We had a massive negative net worth. We’d both come out of different marriages, and we were really struggling. We’d given up homes and we were renting. Samuel just looked at our figures and said, ‘You need to be deal sourcers.’
‘Property Investors Academy opened our eyes to the possibilities’
After selling multiple deals and loving every second of it, he and Ginny are now both in property full-time.
Ginny realised two years ago she no longer needed her job and handed in her notice after 28 years in the teaching profession. Then Covid hit and her school persuaded her to come back. She stayed for two more years but has now ‘finished forever.’
It will give her the freedom to spend more time with Jeremy in the seaside town of Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire which has become their patch.
Having brought in a fast pound through selling deals, they have now moved on to buying houses which are run down and then refurbishing and remortgaging them to their new value.
Ginny says the academy was a huge eye-opener to the possibilities in property, including the buy, refurbish, refinance strategy which they have used for most of their acquisitions.
Jeremy then spotted the potential to make money from HMOs while they were on the academy. Realising they already had a property in Cornwall which could be rented out per room, they refurbished that one so that it could be let as a house share. That experience gave them the confidence to take on more.
Ginny says: “We’ve just got two that are now up and running in Cleethorpes that were bought with investor finance – high end HMOs, six beds, six en suites.
“When the valuer came round to one of them, he said it was one of the best he’d seen in that area for a long time. It’s really impressive. That’s what I’ve loved, seeing the end result.”
The purchase price was £140,000 and they renovated the Victorian house at a cost of £83,000. It was then refinanced on a commercial valuation of £275,000. It cemented what proved to be an extremely profitable investment.
“The day before the valuation the NHS trust in the local area, which is providing quality housing for overseas nurses and doctors, took on the whole property on a six-month agreement. The rent is £3,700 a month. So that just took it straight off our hands. The valuer couldn’t argue with that,” adds Jeremy.
Their entire portfolio cashflows between £9,000 and £10,000 a month on a turnover of £15,000 and an occupancy rate of 95 per cent.
Whilst it would be easy for Jeremy and Ginny to stop there, they have no intention of retiring just yet. In fact, their business is growing all the time. They have four more properties currently going through the conveyancing process.
One is a three-storey, ex-council office block. They have taken over the ground floor and will own it through the business. The top two floors will be converted into four, two-bed apartments in what will be their first commercial to residential venture.
“We’ve also got two BMV (below market value) flats going through which we picked up at a very nice price,” says Jeremy. “We know we can remortgage in 12 months’ time and we’ll get that money back out.
“There’s also a commercial unit on the back of a four-bed HMO which is sat on the market because uneducated people just don’t understand it. We’ve got a good broker who said we’ll put that on a commercial loan, and we can refinance that further down the line.”
Two family members are now investing in their property too, he adds. One scheme in the pipeline is to convert a garage the size of a sports hall into flats.
“We’ve got a planning application going through now. I want to be able to create some passive income for my mum. At this stage of life for her it would be awesome. One of my brothers was following me on social media checking what we were doing and now he’s involved too.”
Ginny agrees that their business is gathering pace. “I’ve made this leap of faith and I really want to see how far we can go with this. That’s what’s so exciting because it’s something so different to everything that I’ve done before.”
‘Aren’t you that property guy?’
With an office now in Cleethorpes, Jeremy is becoming known in the town.
“We’ve got our base up in our patch. That makes you part of the community. I went out for a drink one evening and people are starting to recognise me. They say, ‘You’re that property guy, aren’t you? Oh yeah, my aunt’s just getting rid of her place.
“If you put yourself out as a presence, people come to you with the deals which is fantastic.”
That connection to the area is reinforced by working closely with the local council. “The housing enforcement team up there love it when people are putting back quality, compliant property. That’s what we want to do and make a name for it,” he says.
Making the transition from being a teacher to becoming self-employed has not been without its challenges. One of the skills Jeremy and Ginny have had to pick up is learning the art of selling deals.
“It didn’t come naturally to me. I had to work hard at that. I’ve got better. I’ve had experience of running a network marketing business, but I think teachers find sales naturally difficult.”
Ginny agrees, describing it as a ‘different world.’ Jeremy admits it has been hard graft as well for the last few years and they live at opposite ends of the country a lot of the time. However, they are looking forward to taking a holiday in September. They have also found time to return to the Property Investors Academy as mentors.
Education remains close to their hearts with the emphasis now on financial literacy. Ginny is keen to share her knowledge with students and to show that someone like her, who had no background in property, could be successful in that field.
They are both full of praise for the academy. Jeremy says that for a year it provided them with exactly what they needed and was ‘formatted in the right way, at the right time.’ It also gave them business associates who they still work with.
Jeremy and Ginny’s tips
- You don’t have to run a business, but if you want to carry on being employed just make your money work for you. Learn what passive income is and what an asset is.
- Don’t get too wrapped up in just the success of the business. Enjoy life as you go along and celebrate the successes.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Jeremy and Ginny have done amazingly well. I’m really pleased with their success but I’m also grateful for them coming back into the Property Investors community. I always say when you hit the mountain tops you’ve got to pull people up with you. That’s exactly what they’re doing.”
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