Employee laid off during Covid gets new lease of life through Property Investors
Newly fledged property entrepreneur Gemma Edens made £10,000 last month as a deal sourcer and has just taken on her first rent-to-serviced accommodation apartment. She sold her first deal the day after she was laid off from her job as a project manager during the coronavirus pandemic. That was in January and she has never looked back since, thanks to the training she has received from Property Investors, including the online Samuel365 platform.
‘I do like Mondays’
Like a lot of employees, Gemma used to hate Mondays. Now it’s her favourite day of the week.
“I love Mondays. I don’t know why but I seem to sell all my deals then and get everything secured. If you go in hard on the first day of the week, you’re going to get things done.”
Her life has completely changed since she got a call from her bosses saying they would be unable to renew her contract.
Gemma had been working from home since March 2020 when Covid struck. She was on a six-month rolling contractor and felt secure in her job. But then in the autumn her contract was reduced to three months, a measure applied to all contractors working for the firm. Gemma thought nothing of it, assuming it was a move to protect the company as a whole in view of the crisis, but then she got handed her notice out of the blue just after Christmas.
“I was shocked because I didn’t see it coming at all. I cried a lot because I had a difficult time before getting into that job. My marriage broke down and I was on benefits and I thought I don’t want to be in that situation again.
“I’d already had some training with Property Investors by then. I thought if that doesn’t work, I’m going to be on benefits with my little boy. That petrified me. I had my moment for about 12 hours, then I said, no I’m not going to go into that deep hole. I’m going to make this work. The following day I sold my first deal.”
Now she looks back on losing her job as a blessing in disguise because it gave her the opportunity to pursue her passion for property.
Gemma first got on the property ladder when she was 21, buying a house in 2007, a year before the recession. She bought it to live in for £96,500 but then rented it out as she was working in the military at the time and moving around a lot.
It became a massive hassle to her, she says, as the rent only just covered the mortgage and she had to play landlord insurance and Council Tax on top of that. There were also a lot of void periods lasting months at a time, so she eventually sold the house for £60,000.
“I did everything wrong and lost a lot of money. I didn’t have the skills or the knowledge, but when I stumbled across one of Samuel Leeds’ videos, it gave me an opportunity to put it right. I got the buzz for property again and wanted to get into it full time.”
Her friend was purchasing a house under the government Help to Buy scheme. Hoping to buy a property herself, she searched on Google for the pros and cons of the initiative. The first video that came up was Samuel’s.
“He absolutely slated it, but I liked his views and related with how he spoke. Everything that he was saying resounded so much with me that I ended up binge watching his videos.”
Then Gemma saw that Samuel was running a webinar on lease option agreements at the beginning of October 2020.
“I didn’t have a clue what lease options were, but it was free, so I signed up straight away. I remember Samuel and his brother Russell giving this training and going through all the questions.
“I kept on being visible in the chat and getting involved. I remember saying to my partner if I keep being a visible person, he’s going to notice me. I don’t know why I wanted Samuel’s attention, but I did.”
She also enrolled on Samuel365 and immersed herself in Property Investors’ training over the next three months, completing the Deal Finding Extravaganza, Rent-to-Rent Accelerator and HMO Bootcamp.
“It was hard work because I’d got a family. I had to pick up my son William from school and put on my mum hat, girlfriend hat, daughter hat. Then as soon as William was in bed, I was doing whatever training I could do over Zoom calls, going on Rightmove, sending out messages on Gumtree. I was up till 11 o’clock every night just doing what I needed to do to get something set up.”
What kept her going, she says, was an overriding sense that she was destined to do something else with her life, other than the ‘mundane, get up, go to work’ routine.
“My new partner Chris can vouch for this. A couple of years ago I said this is not the life for me. He didn’t get it and I said, look hear me out – and a couple of my old work colleagues can vouch for me as well – I said I’m going to be a millionaire one day. I know it sounds crazy but I am. I feel like this isn’t my destiny.
“That’s why I took a big gamble to give up all my nights to put myself into this because it felt right.”
The fact that the mother-of-one was still working frustrated her because she felt she didn’t have enough time to pursue her love of property.
“I moaned a lot about that before Christmas. After doing the training I got so heavily invested in it. I was really passionate about it and every single morning I woke up and didn’t want to turn on my PC to do work, despite that being what I was getting paid for. I couldn’t wait until 2.30pm every day to go on viewings and get in touch with my investors who I’d started to build up.”
So, when she was let go at the end of January this year, she felt pleased after getting over the initial upset.
Taking action during training reaps rewards
Free at last to devote all her energies to her new role as a property entrepreneur, Gemma launched herself into it with gusto. Even while she was still in her old job, she was implementing what she was learning with Property Investors.
The way the training is set up encourages students to take action as they go along which fits in with Gemma’s personality.
“I’m a see and do person. I’ll watch a bit and then go off and do that. If I come to something where I don’t know the answer it will be in the training, so I’ll go back to that. I’ve gone over modules again and again because I know the answers are in there.
“I’m like a sponge. I do soak up the knowledge. I feel like I’ve taken to this like a duck to water. It just feels comfortable.”
Over Christmas, when she was still in work but had some time off, she was looking on Rightmove for an investment opportunity which she could sell to an investor for a fee. One listing caught her eye because of the floor plan. It was a four-bedroom property with the potential to convert it and add another three rooms.
“I started doing the figures and it showed a minus on my calculator. I’d never seen that before and I didn’t know what it meant, so I texted one of the coaches saying what does this mean? He was buzzing, saying that is a hot deal. It’s infinite return, go for it.”
As part of the deal, the buyer would be able to pull out all of their money and some more by refinancing the house to its new value once the conversion was complete. At the same time, it could generate an ongoing rental income.
Gemma negotiated the price down from £95,000 to £87,500. As she was not yet a compliant sourcer, her coach sent the deal out to his list of investors. Soon afterwards he emailed her a screenshot of people enquiring about it. After some encouragement from him, she picked up the telephone and sold the deal immediately. The investor also asked her to project manage the work.
“In total, I made £6,500 on that deal from the sourcing and project manager’s fee. I couldn’t believe it.”
Gemma was ready to celebrate but her mentor told her to just go out and sell another deal. She took him at his word. Now she has a busy time ahead of her, completing financially on a lot of the deals she has sold over the last couple of months.
“I made just over £10,000 in March 2021. That’s way more than I was making as a project manager. I was on £1,600 in my normal job.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet and I haven’t changed my lifestyle. I’m still living like I lived before but the money I’ve accumulated I’m reinvesting.”
Gemma has since become compliant and has also collected the keys to a two-bed rent-to-serviced accommodation apartment in her home city of Lincoln, close to the centre. She negotiated the rent down from £795 to £625 a month for the first six months and then £650. At an 80 per cent occupancy rate, her anticipated profit after letting it out will be around £1,200 a month.
The landlord, who refurbished the property before she took it on, also wants her to manage two more of his apartments, and to find him a deal which he and five other friends can invest in.
Gemma is excited by her new way of life. “I like the chase and the fast pace of it. I’m really target driven. I can also take my little boy to school and pick him up every day. I can work my work life around my family life and that’s really precious to me.”
- Without Samuel365 I wouldn’t be where I am now. You need the training.
- Have confidence you can do it. If I can do it anybody can.
- You need a support group. The connections I’ve made from Samuel365 have been so important to me, which is why I’m still a member.
- Help other people if you’ve done the training and know the answer to their query because you can get connections that way. I helped someone on the Property Investors Facebook group and got two investors from it.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“The speed of Gemma’s implementation of the training is what is making her win in property. I remember I was running an online training programme when she was on the phone pacing about. I said to everybody I have to find out what’s going on here. I said Gemma share this with us. She said wait one minute. Then, she came on and said I’ve just sold a deal. She shares her successes and people are inspired by her. I’m sure she is destined for great things.”
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