Academy helped us become property millionaires in just eight months!
The Property Investors Academy catapulted Darren Andrews and Ella Attrill into a different mindset, making them property millionaires in just EIGHT months. They even did a deal with Samuel Leeds along the way, acting as angel investors for one of his developments and earning a fat commission.
YouTube video changed our investment strategy
Darren and Ella were already investing in property as a sideline before joining the academy. They had completed three house flips while also running separate businesses.
“I always thought that was the way to do property. Buy a house, renovate it, sell it on and make some money. That’s what we thought was the way to do it,” said Darren.
He owned a sports car dealership, while Ella ran a veterinary physiotherapy practice. Together they were earning more than £150,000 a year and had a comfortable lifestyle.
But then Ella saw one of Samuel’s YouTube videos about refinancing property and using the funds to invest in other projects. At the time the couple had just finished a loft conversion to add an extra two rooms to their three-bedroom house which they were selling on Rightmove.
Instead of going ahead with the sale, she persuaded Darren to refinance it. They pulled all their money out and are now intending to rent it out as a house share.
Buoyed by this success, they watched more of Samuel’s free content and then enrolled on the Property Investors Crash Course in November 2019. Having already done some training before with another company, neither of them intended to take it any further.
Signing up for every single Academy programme on day one
After the first day of the crash course, they were so impressed by the energy and practical nature of the teaching they signed up for every single programme run by the academy.
Ella said: “When we were there, we just thought it was a no brainer because if we could do what we’d done just by watching Samuel’s YouTube videos, what could we do by using all these other strategies we were learning about?”
It was the start of a ‘crazy’ period, as they describe it, which has led them both to become full-time investors with their own company, Della Estates. Darren sold his business and Ella left her job because they saw they could earn more through property.
Deal with Samuel Leeds generated quick return
After joining the Property Investors Academy, Darren and Ella were approached about becoming ‘angel investors’ for a project which Samuel Leeds was undertaking.
Darren said: “The investment being sought was £100,000 and we were told we’d get back £110,000 in three months. We worked out that was a return on investment of 40 per cent per year. At the time the money was sat in the bank not doing anything. We thought what a great way to kickstart us. That’s pretty much the cost of the academy covered.”
Samuel said: “It’s very rare I do this kind of deal with students. They have to be qualified investors and have so much money in the bank. There are strict rules in place. However, sometimes it makes a lot of sense.
“Investors don’t tend to have loads of cash in the bank because, if they have, they should have invested it! However, then you come across an opportunity that’s so good you just need to get funds for it. You think who can I reliably call to get £100,000 from within a few days?
“That’s what happened in this case and it worked out well for us all.”
Ella said the experience taught them how to structure joint venture agreements which they were to put in practice later.
Setting out on a wealth-building route with commercial stock
Early on, Ella secured a rent-to-serviced accommodation deal in Winchester after attending the Rent-to-Rent Revolution course. However, she and Darren passed it on to other academy members when they decided to focus instead on BRRR (buy, refurbish, refinance and rent) and HMO (house in multiple occupancy) projects which would allow them to grow their wealth.
In March 2020, they pulled off their first ‘juicy’ deal. They bought some offices in Blackpool which are being converted into six apartments and two shops. With legal costs and the survey, the building cost them £250,000.
The anticipated profit margin is £400,000, but, despite this high return, they are considering selling it to a deal sourcer who also trained with Property Investors and has a buyer in mind.
“The reason being is that we’ve now got a new deal which is even juicier,” said Darren.
Ella found a second deal which is a joint venture opportunity to turn a care home in Oldham into 24 apartments.
“We’re doing it 50-50 with another JV partner and we’ll make £420,000 out of that one,” he added.
However, as someone who loves property, he is equally excited by another conversion which they started in June 2020. Ella negotiated £10,000 off the £91,000 asking price of a four-bed town house in Barnsley which is to be turned into a six-bed HMO.
Ella said: “It was a leasehold property and we managed to get the council to confirm they would sell us the freehold, but we couldn’t get the document from them during the Covid pandemic because it was locked in the town hall.
“It bought us a little time. My argument was that the market was going to drop, and the property wouldn’t be worth as much as what we were going to buy it for, so I negotiated the price reduction.
“The end valuation will be £180,000, so we will pull all our money out on that one and invest in other projects.”
Their portfolio also includes a buy-to-let in Andover in Hampshire where they live.
Their motivation to become millionaires
Darren and Ella both grew up on a council estate, but they have something else in common. Both of their parents also built houses which they subsequently lost.
That has provided a huge motivation in their drive to become millionaires by 2021, not just on paper, but in the bank as well.
“It’s also the reason we got educated in property because our parents made some really expensive mistakes and we didn’t want to follow in their footsteps. Hopefully we can help them along the way as well,” said Ella.
Darren agrees. “We can put it back in by getting them to do new builds again but by doing it right this time.”
They have complementary skills which are helping them in their property investing business. Ella trained to be an accountant after leaving school but then retrained as a veterinary physiotherapist when she realised she did not want to be ‘cooped up in an office all day.’ She is now looking after ‘the numbers’ once again in her new role.
After he left school, Darren took up a plumbing and heating apprenticeship with his father and then became a gas engineer before becoming a sports car dealer.
“I knew there was more. I’d done so many projects for other developers who had invested in properties and done flips, but it was me going around doing the work. When I saw a guy turn up in a big Range Rover, I always thought I’ve got to be there and I’m going to be. For me that was the turning point, when I thought I don’t need to be doing this with my hands. I need to be working with my head, getting the people round to do the work and making the bigger profits.”
The academy, he said, had taught him to diversify too. He drives a high performance Audi R8 and also has a Range Rover Sport, which he bought as an investment, sitting in his garage.
Darren and Ella’s tips for other would-be investors
Darren: “We’ve been taught from day one on the academy to take action. Once you do that, suddenly things start happening. That’s what we’ve done over the last eight months. Now we sit back and say wow, we’ve actually done quite a lot in that time.”
“Get some training, so you know what you’re doing and go and do it. I was heavily involved with the plumbing in the last flip we did in Andover and Ella was stripping wallpaper. Now we know to use outsourcing and use our time to find the next deal.”
“Have confidence in yourself. I don’t think we had a lot of confidence. We’ve both had a big mindset shift.”
Ella: “There have been days where we’ve just wanted to sit and watch a film, but we haven’t. If you take even one small action, you’re one step closer to meeting your goal. If you put the work in and got people around you will get there. There’s no doubt about it.”
“Confidence is important. Now I speak to agents and negotiate on prices. I would never have done that before without the training when I was dragged on stage to talk about myself. It happened to Darren too. It was the massive kick we needed.”
Pressurised selling? You’re having a laugh!
Ella and Darren laughed when asked if they had been ‘pressure sold’ to:
“We were sitting at the back of the crash course thinking what we could do next,” said Darren.
“It was us who actually went to one of the main trainers and said we want to talk to you about the academy because what we got, just from the crash course and Samuel’s YouTube videos, was enough for us to make money.
“There is no way we were pressurised in any way and it’s paid off. The training has been second to none. It’s got us where we are today.”
Ella and Darren chose to do further training with Property Investors after being inspired by the live deals done on stage during the crash course.
Darren admitted he was less sure about the way people in the audience are encouraged to give each other high fives.
“Five minutes into the crash course I looked at Ella and said this isn’t for me, but then 15 minutes later we were doing it as well because it brings it out in you if you’ve got it.
“During the crash course we were sat on the edge of our seats for two days ready to go. The previous training we’d had with a different company was very textbook. We were drifting off at one point. There wasn’t much involvement in the practical side of it, but at the crash course they got us calling agents and put us in teams trying to find the best deals on buy-to-lets. I had to talk about a deal on stage and I was shaking. I thought, I can’t believe I’m doing this but afterwards I was so enthralled I wanted to do it again.”
Ella said: “Samuel’s training focuses a lot on mindset as well as property education. It has catapulted us into a completely different headspace. We’ve also got a power team through joining the academy and made lots of useful connections. It’s worth it for that alone.”
Darren likens the experience to being like a lion cub but having the pack of lions behind you for support, with coaches on hand to answer their questions.
Samuel Leeds said: “It’s a two-way thing. I see the academy as a toolbox, but you still need somebody to pick the tools up and put the work in. Darren and Ella have utilised that really well.”
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