Childhood sweethearts tie up a lucrative holiday property business…

Childhood sweethearts tie up a lucrative holiday property business…..

Childhood sweethearts Destiny Smith-Brown and Jake Carswell are loving property. The couple went into business two years ago and now have a portfolio of six rent-to-SAs. Destiny and Jake secured their first deal on an apartment, a stone’s throw from Bournemouth Pier when they were just 18 after attending the Property Investors Crash Course. That flat alone makes them a profit of around £2,000 a month, with their total income set to rise fivefold as the summer tourist season kicks in.

‘Landlords didn’t take us seriously at first’

Destiny and Jake met at school when they were 16. A year later Destiny, who was working as an apprentice in an estate agency, came across Samuel Leeds’ YouTube channel. Seeing there was a crash course coming up in London, she ‘dragged’ Jake along for moral support.

That was when the teenagers discovered they could make money from renting out properties owned by other people to holidaymakers.

It made a lot of sense to them as they live in the seaside resort of Bournemouth which attracts millions of tourists every year.

As Destiny puts it: “A holiday is essential, isn’t it?”

With a lucrative market waiting to be captured, they decided to put their savings of about £1,000 each into finding a property they could rent out as serviced accommodation.

The odds were stacked against them because of their youth and lack of experience.

“Landlords didn’t take us seriously at all,” explains Destiny. “We were basically saying, ‘Oh hi. We’re 17. Can we rent your property and rent it out please? They would ask what our credentials were, and we had none.

“But Samuel told us we were going to be told no a lot, so we thought, right we’ll keep going. Then we finally had a really chilled landlord who said yes, take it for three years. We’ve still got that one now.”

“It’s in a perfect location. It’s literally a minute’s walk from Bournemouth Pier round the corner from nightclubs,” says Jake.

winners on a wednesdaywinners on a wednesdaywinners on a wednesdayThe pair found the apartment in a new block of flats on Rightmove and agreed a rent of £750 a month with the agent who accepted references from their employers. At the time Jake was working at J D Sports and Destiny was still serving her apprenticeship. 

Having used their income to show that they could afford the rent, they then got permission from the landlord to rent it out as furnished accommodation for short stays.

“At lunchtimes we were meeting and going to clean the property. We were saying to each other, let’s make as much money as possible,” recalls Destiny.

 

These days they have cleaners, and the rent has gone up to £775 per month, but the returns on their investment are still high.

“We make about £2,000 a month profit off that property. It’s our best performing one even now. That’s after all bills as well,” adds Destiny.

‘One of our rent-to-rents has a pool’

Within two years of setting up their property business, Destiny and Jake had two rental units under their control. They also managed to secure a cabin in the New Forest.

Then at the start of 2022 they added another four rent-to-rents to their portfolio – including one with a pool.

During lockdown Destiny was put on furlough for eight months which gave her the time to try to expand their business. Then in August last year Destiny became a full-time property entrepreneur. Jake followed suit at the beginning of this year.

They both admit they got lucky with their first rent-to-rent. Now they feel they know their trade ‘inside out.’

Destiny’s parents are both entrepreneurs. This motivated her to attend the Property investors Crash Course.

“They’ve got businesses and I’ve always thought I’m not working for someone else,” she says.

Jake decided to accompany his girlfriend knowing it was a free event and he had nothing to lose. That was their attitude too when they went into business together.

“I feel, at 17 it was the best time because you don’t have a house to lose. You’re still living at home. You can put everything you’ve got into it, starting with £1,000, and you can just make that back,” Destiny says.

And their partnership has worked well. “We thought we’d be fighting like cats and dogs but actually not,” she adds.

Recently, they began working with a landlord/developer who owns multiple properties. He has told them they can have as many of his units as they want. In time they plan to take him up on the offer. 

Destiny messaged Property Investors’ founder on Instagram to thank him for his help after the deal was agreed on the four properties and they had paid the first month’s rent.

“I thought I’m going to message Samuel because I didn’t even know what the structure of this business was until we went to the crash course. It is all down to Samuel.”

The most challenging part of their journey so far has been having to rely purely on the business for an income after they quit their jobs, says Jake.

“Then with four more properties you’re having to put rent and a deposit down. We were pretty much doing it by the skin of our teeth.”

Now Jake and Destiny accept they have no choice but to ‘make it work.’

It will take them a few months to see how much they are making from their latest properties, but already they are anticipating excellent returns.

“From the entire portfolio we expect to make around £10,000 a month. In the summer it will be more because we up our prices. It will be about £10,000 to £12,000 in July I believe. August will probably be about the same,” predicts Jake.

In the quieter months the projected figure is about £7,000 a month. 

Being in property has given them so much more freedom, says Destiny, although Jake points out that they don’t get a day off as they are ‘messaging guests 24/7.”

Destiny acknowledges it is a full-time job but says that when they take on a few more rent-to-rents they will look at hiring someone to help them run their enterprise.

The couple are also considering enrolling on advanced training with Property Investors to educate themselves in other strategies, such as deal sourcing and buy, refurbish, refinance.

Whilst Destiny comes from a business background, she says neither her parents nor Jake’s have contributed financially to their success.

“We haven’t had a penny. It’s all been our own money that started it. My parents are quite big on if you really need us then we’re here, but you need to make your own money.”

Jake agrees: “My parents have always been supportive, but I haven’t seen one penny. I don’t want to. I want to make it myself.”

When they made the leap into property, he admits friends and family didn’t really ‘get’ what they were doing.

“Because a lot of them are nine to five that’s all they live for. They just look for the pay cheque at the end of the month. There’s nothing wrong with that but we like to work for ourselves. We like to get our own money.”

Destiny also maintains her belief that what she is doing is right for them, despite what some friends say sometimes.

“When we’re up at three in the morning dealing with guests who maybe aren’t happy with something they’re a bit like is it worth it? Is it worth that £100 a night? I reply, ‘Yes, it is in the long run.’

“Also, I think with SA what’s good is that if you have a bad guest, it’s a stress for maybe a week, but if you’ve got a bad tenant, it’s a stress for months. So, it’s a good return almost.”

Samuel Leeds

The two-day Property Investors Crash Course left a lasting impression on them, although initially it put them out of their comfort zone.

Jake remembers that after arriving they sat at the back of the room. “We were quite nervous and didn’t want to get involved. We just wanted to watch and not do anything but then Samuel made us go into teams and find deals.”

Destiny says the fact they were 17 and had never done anything like it before made it hard. However, working with strangers helped them to learn how to build relationships.

“We learned by the end and were creeping towards the front.”

With six deals under their belt, Jake and Destiny, who are still only 20, want to find out more about the art of making money from real estate. That is why they believe advanced training would be beneficial.

Destiny sums up where they are: “We want to get more SAs and eventually start buying our own and look into other avenues as well, like deal sourcing.

 

“If we had done the paid training, we would have probably fast forwarded our success, but we’ve still got here with just the free training.”

 

Destiny and Jake’s tips

  • Jake: Don’t be scared. Just give it a go. We wouldn’t be in the situation we are now if we’d never come to the crash course and tried out serviced accommodation.
  • Destiny: What is there to lose coming out of school? You may as well put your all into something rather than going the safe route of I’ve got to get a full-time job. Give it a crack, especially if you can start with no money.

 

Samuel Leeds’ verdict

“The first rent-to-rent Destiny and Jake secured is an absolute gem. It just shows that when you go out, knock on doors, call agents and say the right scripts, you will be rewarded. They’ve gone on to build a nice rent-to-rent portfolio. They’re financially free, full time in property and doing incredibly well.

“I’ve got huge respect for what they’ve achieved. I know we’ll see them on the advanced training later on and we can start scaling and doing different things. But the fact they’ve done this from the crash course is absolutely amazing.

“I really appreciated Destiny’s message on Instagram. I get similar messages regularly. That’s what gives me the drive and the energy to keep putting out content and running property training even if some of it is free.”

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