Financial Freedom Here We Come, or Not!
I took on a 7-day financial freedom challenge to help make Lawton Hopwood, who you might remember from the Eviction, a rich man. The first day found us in Manchester, where we planned on getting a rent-to-rent or maybe two. “How you feeling?” “Pumped,” Lawton responded. “We’re not coming back to this house … you won’t be back to this house until we have the keys to a rent-to-rent bro,” I confidently told him. And off we went to win the day, or so we thought.
As we drove to our first appointment, Lawton confessed that while he was feeling confident, he was a bit nervous. “But I’m not gonna play on that feeling; I’m just going to go with the confidence,” he added. “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” I agreed. These are words we’d need to remember because shortly after, our rent-to-rent proposal was met with rejection by the first two estate agents we approached. One exchange happened in-person and the other over the phone.
Perhaps my expectations for Manchester were a bit higher than they should have been. But in my defense, I had heard such good things about the city, including its property market. My mom is actually from Manchester city. However, despite my prowess as a property investor and Lawton’s familiarity with Manchester, we didn’t know where to start. I wasn’t familiar with the area, and Lawton hadn’t done any property deals here. But we weren’t about to give up.
Our next stop, where Lawton went in by himself, went something like this. “Did you get chewed and spat out?” I asked him when he came out. “Yeah, onto the next one,” he replied as we laughed. Our next attempt was via call. “… I’m looking for long-term corporate lets,” Lawton said to the estate agent. “We don’t really do that,” he got in response. The manchester agents just weren’t having it when it came to rent-to-rents.
The next estate agencies we visited in person, including Bridgfords and Homes4u, also turned us down. “We don’t do corporate … just residential and students,” one of the agents told us. We tried calling more agencies, but “when you ring, they don’t answer. When you go in, they’re rude.” “I still love manchester, but this is tough,” I said as more of our calls went unanswered. “I did think that we’d probably be a bit further than where we are already,” Lawton said.
None of the agents we met even let us through the door, let alone invite us to view their properties. “If you wanna taste bitter rejection, go and try to find a rent-to-rent deal in Manchester,” I said. “It’s a hard slug, ain’t it?” Lawton replied with a laugh. All the while, our calls were still not getting answered. I expected this kind of response in London, not Manchester, which I was wrong to assume would be easy.
As we headed back, Lawton decided to say a quick hello to an agent located on our way, but he “got rejected very badly.” But my boy was relentless. He made a call to another agent almost immediately, enquiring whether they dealt with HMOs. “We don’t deal with anything like that. Not to my knowledge anyway,” the lady on the other end answered. “I just gotta keep ringing,” Lawton said, more to himself. Talk of willpower.
We had one more meeting with a letting agent. “Feeling good?” I asked Lawton. All I got in response was an “um.” It spoke volumes because “pumped” and “feeling confident” were the responses I got earlier when I asked how he felt. Anyway, we met up with the agent and at least got to view the property. But like we had heard from other estate and letting agents, they didn’t deal with corporate lets.
It was back to the drawing board for Lawton and myself. “I thought you said we weren’t gonna come back today until we got a rent-to-rent? he inquired humorously. “Yeah, well,” it seems it was my turn to be at a loss for words. We made more calls back in the house, but we kept hearing no regarding rent-to-rents. “It’s been hard, man … Lawton has said that if he hasn’t got a rent-to-rent by, tomorrow he’s just gonna quit.”
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