Foster child from Africa who became financially free from property – with help from Samuel Leeds
Former Property Investors student Rahim Bah has gone on to do great things since attending our crash course and Deal Finding Extravaganza. He now owns a successful lettings and sales agency in Cardiff. The entrepreneur also has a sourcing business with over 500 active investors on his list. It is an extraordinary change of fortunes for Rahim who arrived alone in Britain aged 15 with not a penny to his name.
‘Samuel Leeds’ energy motivated me to get a rent-to-rent deal in 24 hours’
When Property Investors’ founder Samuel Leeds caught up in Cardiff with Rahim Bah, his one-time student took him on a drive around the city to show him his properties.
Samuel was impressed. Every other house they came across, it seemed, was either owned or let out by Rahim – either on a rent-to-rent basis or on a lease option agreement.
Nevertheless, it’s not something the 29-year-old businessman, who is originally from Sierra Leone, likes to brag about.
“it’s not about what you have, it’s about how many people you have impacted positively,” he says. “That’s something I’ve learned from Samuel. I believe in adding value in whatever I do in life. If I’m not adding value, there’s no point in me doing it.
“I’d rather talk about the value I’ve added to the landlords I’ve worked with, as well as the tenants I’ve helped occupy these houses.
“One of my joyous moments is when I see a tenant move into a house. I know I have provided them with a place they can call home. That’s why, when most of my tenants are moving in, I tend to go with them because that’s the pleasure I get from it.”
Rahim has come a long way since being ‘dumped’ in London as a teenager with no money and unable to speak a word of English. He was picked up by the local authority and put into a foster home.
For anyone who has endured such an experience, it would be intimidating. But for Rahim it was doubly challenging, and not just because he came to this country without his parents.
“It was difficult when I migrated to this country. I had to learn English and London was really tough then, with so much crime going on. However, I was lucky enough to have a foster mum who was able to guide and advise me.”
Against the odds, he went to college and then university, subsequently qualifying as an accountant, a remarkable achievement in itself considering his background. It was his dream job, but he quickly became disenchanted with it.
“I soon realised it wasn’t a job for me because of all the politics that came with it and having to be answerable to people. I hated taking instructions.”
Rahim says he also saw that his manager was stressed out by having to travel abroad frequently which left her with not enough time for her family.
“I looked at myself and thought I don’t want to live like this in the next 10 years. I want to make sure I do something better with my life. Then I started thinking about what I could do to get myself out of this rat race.”
He alighted on property as the solution and started researching the subject every day. As part of his studies, he watched one of Samuel’s YouTube videos and then read his best-selling book, Buy Low Rent High.
“After I read the book, I couldn’t wait to meet Samuel and so I went to the Property Investors Crash Course. There were lots of people there and the energy in the room was amazing.
“I really connected with Samuel because of the charity work he does. That drew me to him, as well as the way he encourages and motivates people. It really inspired me.”
Rahim was so fired up that within 24 hours of attending the crash course, he had secured a rent-to-rent deal. He agreed to pay the landlord a guaranteed monthly rent in return for being allowed to rent the rooms out at a profit.
“When I went home, I didn’t sleep. I was literally searching for deals. As soon as I woke up in the morning, I arranged some viewings and went to see properties. I basically executed all the strategies I had learned on that course. That then enabled me to get six properties within a month (four rent-to-rents and two buy-to-lets)
He also enrolled on the Deal Finding Extravaganza which hastened his journey to becoming a successful property investor and entrepreneur. Again, he implemented exactly what he had been taught on the programme.
“I still use those strategies and skills I learnt from there to even get my own estate agency. So, I’m really thankful for Property Investors giving me that knowledge.”
Swapping a well-paid job for zero money was tough
Rahim had already completed one similar deal with a joint venture partner when he arrived at the Property Investors Crash Course.
After Rahim did the training, his partner agreed to invest in a second property. “That’s how we built the portfolio. I didn’t have any money for those first six houses. Once I got cash flow from those properties, I started doing it myself and got more deals.”
A key tactic, which has enabled him to grow his business, has been to persuade property owners to give him a rent-free period for a few months. He has then used the rent from tenants to pay the landlords their monthly rent.
“That allowed me to raise the cash flow to do some of the deals,” he explains.
However, he admits that the rent-to-rent agreement he clinched after the crash course was not his best transaction as he realised when it was too late that it was not profitable.
“It was a mistake, but I’d come to an agreement with the landlord and decided to stick to it because I’d given my word. I fell in love with the kitchen and went with my heart, instead of my head.”
When the coronavirus pandemic came along, however, he told the landlord he might not be able to subsidise that property any longer and handed it back.
By then Rahim had obtained other properties to manage from the same landlord. This time he negotiated much harder and got some ‘amazing’ deals.
Rahim thrives on his new-found career. He sees it as a hobby. “I really love it. My wife thinks I’m crazy. She says why is it always about properties. You watch TV, it’s about properties, you listen to the news or podcasts, it’s to do with properties, even your music has to do with business. But I just love it. You are always learning and you’re always progressing.
His world is filled with positivity now, but it wasn’t always so. Growing up in London, where crime was rife, he was surrounded by negativity. As a result, he moved away, losing some close friends in the process.
That hurt, but he knew the only way to progress was to separate himself from the people who were not thinking like him.
“The people I surrounded myself with were asking, ‘When is the next party? When is the football game on? Where do we want to go on holiday? They weren’t thinking about what they could do to add value, and to make themselves better for their kids, or family.”
With perseverance and guidance, he was able to extract himself from that environment and make a better life for himself elsewhere.
The other tough decision Rahim made was to quit his £35,000 a year job as an accountant. It was a courageous move. He had just got married and his African-born wife was pregnant. On top of that, they were living in a shared house which he owned and rented out. When the baby came along and started crying, the tenants threatened to move out, forcing the young family to find a new home.
He had an income from his rent-to-rents and had bought a house in a village near Port Talbot for £50,000. He thought it was a bargain, but it turned out to be the wrong price and location. He spent £25,000 on having it renovated, only for the valuation to come back at around £60,000. From that costly mistake, Rahim realised he needed to invest in more property training. He went on to increase his portfolio of rent-to-rents, as a result, and has been able to open his own ‘property shop’ in the south of Cardiff.
From a bad to a good deal in Cardiff’s ‘millionaires’ row’
Rahim cherishes his new life for the freedom it gives him, with a wife at his side who has supported him from the outset.
“I’m able to contribute now. I can give back to charity. I can go where I want. I can literally dictate my way of life.
One way he has been able to give back is by employing a man who was sleeping rough in a car. He came into Rahim’s estate agency and explained his situation. Rahim asked him what his skills were and then offered him a desk in his office.
I said, I’ve got a funnel of deals coming through my office. you try to qualify them and negotiate the deals. I can close them and whatever deals we sell you, you get a commission out of it.”
A fortnight later, Rahim’s new employee moved into one of his rent-to-rent houses. He now closes deals himself and is destined to do ‘great things,’ following his boss’ example.
Rahim continues to prosper. He has just negotiated another ‘R2R’ in Cyncoed, an affluent suburb of Cardiff, where most of the houses are worth £1m plus. He has agreed to pay the landlady a guaranteed monthly rental of £1,350 (half that amount until the end of 2021). She will pay all the bills and he will rent out the five bedrooms, making him a minimum predicted net profit of £800 to £1,000 per month.
“I was able to use the energy I got from Samuel. I went there with excitement and happiness and tried to understand what the landlady’s position was and how I could help her. I would rather walk away from a deal if I’m not going to add value.”
He hopes to buy the property down the line on a lease option agreement, using the knowledge gained from Samuel’s training, book and informative videos to structure the deal.
One of his LOAs is near Samuel’s home in Beaconsfield. Rahim plans to turn it into a rent-to-serviced accommodation which he expects will make him an average of £1,500 a month.
His next move is to mount a large marketing campaign to make his shop, Bah Properties, the ‘go to estate agency’ in Cardiff. He plans to advertise it on billboards and shopping centres and on the radio. He is also developing his sourcing business and intends to branch into property developing.
- If you educate yourself in property you can do a lot better. You may not always get instant success, but in the long run you will have infinite return on your investment because you can repeat the valuable strategies you learn over and over again.
- When I learn something new, I implement it straight away. I don’t procrastinate. I used to, but I don’t any more. You need to do that to secure lots of deals.
- Judge a guy by his behaviour to you and not by someone else’s perception. That’s how I have judged Samuel Leeds too.
- Surround yourself with like-minded individuals, ideally people who are doing better than you, so you can learn.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Business doesn’t have to be greedy. Business should be about creating value, helping landlords, moving tenants in, giving people jobs.
“Rahim is the prime example of why I do what I do and why I teach people. He became financially free two years ago and has done incredibly well. He is a massive inspiration to me.”
Please check out Bah Properties: https://www.bahproperties.co.uk
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