Entrepreneur (29) who spent £1 on Property Investors Crash Course now owns 10 homes
29-year-old Claudio Carmeli says spending just £1 on attending a Property Investors Crash Course set him off on the path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. In just two years, Claudio has built up a portfolio of 10, mainly buy-to-lets, alongside running a thriving software company. By applying the knowledge gained from his training to both businesses, his turnover is already into six figures. Five of his properties are in England and the rest in his native Italy where prices have plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Confidence comes with knowledge – Samuel Leeds’ training gave me that’
Claudio Carmeli’s property journey began in 2018 when he began watching Samuel Leeds’ YouTube videos and then read his best-selling book, Buy Low Rent High.
Claudio says he was looking for ways to get out of the rat race and invest his money, and a lot of what he watched and read resonated with him, opening up new territory for him.
“It showed me the clear steps I needed to take to become a property investor which I’d decided to do. I had the will to succeed but I didn’t have the knowledge and not even the right mindset.
“Samuel’s books and videos, and attending the Property Investors Crash Course, which I’ve done twice now, were pivotal to acquiring both of those things.
“In fact, the training has not only helped with my investments, and choosing the right properties, but with my business as well.”
However, one of the hurdles he had to overcome was building up the courage to send a large sum of money to a ‘faceless’ legal team to complete the purchase of his first property.
Again, Samuel’s teachings proved hugely important in helping him to do that.
“One of the things that makes Samuel’s content different is the fact that he explains the steps you need to take in such fine detail. That makes it easy, even for someone like me who had no previous experience in property, to get that confidence.
“For me, confidence comes from knowing exactly what it is that you should be doing.”The company director says he chose to invest his money in property because on the spectrum of risk he was looking for something that fell in the middle.
“I didn’t want to just keep my money in the bank or go to the other extreme and invest aggressively in say cryptocurrency. Property is very safe in the sense that it’s not going anywhere.”
Claudio’s first deal
Having learnt the basics of property investing and how to gain the best yields, Claudio set out with a determination to establish a passive income for himself.
One important lesson which Property Investors’ founder Samuel Leeds taught him, he says, was that you don’t necessarily have to invest in your local area.
Claudio ruled out London, where he lives, because house prices are so high. Instead he focused on securing a better deal elsewhere which would give him greater returns.
Samuel had mentioned Stoke-on-Trent in one of his videos and so the fledgling investor set his sights on buying a property in the city which would get him off the mark.
He admits he was ‘a bit of a copycat’ because he had no experience of investing in the housing market, but it ticked a lot of the boxes for a good property investment.
“I picked the buy-to-let strategy because it doesn’t involve a lot of risk and it’s fairly simple. I could make sense of it, so I thought let’s start with that,” he explains.
“I met a very nice property manager in Stoke-on-Trent who sourced a deal for me. I then viewed a few other properties, doing all my due diligence and applying everything that I’d learned on the crash course.”
After completing his research, Claudio paid £54,000 for a terraced house which was in good condition and already had tenants. He rents it out for over £400 a month and pays the property manager a monthly fee of 10 per cent.
Having seen the strategy work, Claudio then acquired four more similar properties in Stoke-on-Trent with comparable rents, using his own money and mortgages.
At that point, the young company director could have sat back and enjoyed seeing the money rolling in, but it turned out be just the beginning of his new venture.
From Stoke-on-Trent to Genoa
Claudio spent the first 18 years of his life in Northern Italy where he was born and grew up, living by the sea in the beautiful city of Genoa.
So, when he heard Samuel tell an international audience at one of his crash courses that what he taught could be applied anywhere, Claudio immediately thought of his homeland.
“I remember there were people at the course from Australia, India and Canada and Samuel said he was from the UK and invested in the UK. He knew about the law and regulations here but that didn’t mean that what he taught couldn’t be applied elsewhere.
“In my head I was thinking I have this great connection to Italy, with my family and lots of friends, and it’s not even two hours away. Why don’t I take a look there and see if this buy-to-let technique, and everything I’ve learnt from Samuel’s books and videos, can be implemented in Italy?
Claudio discovered that, in contrast to the UK, property prices had hit a low during the Covid-19 crisis. With money coming in from his existing portfolio, he took a risk and bought his first property with cash for around £25,000 in Genoa. He rents out the flat for £400 a month and has since purchased four more which he can only see going up in value because prices are so low.
He also believes he is tapping into an unsaturated market.
“I’ve only been investing in Italy for less than a year, but as far as I can see nobody else is doing what I’m doing. There is no concept of a professional landlord, as far as I can tell. Landlords may own a couple of properties personally, but they don’t see it as a business –they don’t have companies.
“When I bought my first one through a company, I remember the Italian accountant said: are you sure you want to do this? I said yes, I’m sure!”
Claudio is also having to get used to different ways of working, getting to grips with Italian bureaucracy and gaining the trust of the banks which are the main lenders.
“In Italy, it’s mainly the banks that lend you money for a house and you have to build a relationship with them. You don’t just turn up on their website and make an application. It’s through relationships that you acquire trust and then money, so I’ve had to open an account with an established bank in the city.
“So far, it’s been a sole venture in Italy, and everything has to come from you, unlike in the UK where there’s lots of help and the systems are in place to do the kind of deals that I’m doing. However, I’m looking forward to getting into partnership with banks and leveraging other people’s money for bigger projects. It’s very exciting and I’m learning so much.”
- If you are a foreign investor, focus on what you can do in your home country that you can’t do here in the UK. If there isn’t much opportunity in property, consider investing in other countries where you feel you have what you need.
Go to the Property Investors Crash Course, even if you’re not interested in property. You’ll get so much value out of it in terms of learning about mindset and business in
- general, such as risk assessment. It cost me £1 which was a great investment.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Claudio is the ultimate example of a passive investor. His business is doing well, and he is making good profits. Then he’s using that money by strategically investing it to give him an automatic income which is why he’s got a management team in place.
“The thing that he’s done so successfully over the last couple of years with his business and his properties is that he’s taken massive action.”
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