From speaking no English to becoming financially free with Property Investors….
In one week alone in June, Emilia Buiac took £15,000 worth of bookings for her serviced accommodation. She has also earned £16,500 from selling investment deals since jacking in her high-powered job in the automotive industry last March. Her achievement is all the more remarkable considering that up until four years ago the Romanian-born Property Investors Academy student spoke no English.
Paying for training was a ‘no brainer’
When Emilia first arrived in the UK four years ago, she could understand what people around her were saying, but was unable to put a sentence together. Slowly, over the next two years her vocabulary started to grow, and she landed a well-paid job as a systems engineer.
Then, in 2019, Emilia came along to a Property Investors Crash Course in Birmingham, spurred on by her brother who had been to one of the events led by Samuel Leeds.
“He said, you need to go and see this guy because you’re going to love it and get a lot of free information from the crash course, but just make sure you don’t buy the courses,” says Emilia, smiling at the memory.
Preferring to make up her own mind, she signed up for the Deal Finding Extravaganza at the end of the course after being impressed by the energy in the room and the number of people there.
“I’m an energetic person, so I wanted to be in the front row asking questions, paying attention to what everyone was saying. It was a ‘no brainer’ for me to go on the DFE. I wanted the information, the environment and everything that was there was exactly what I was looking for.
“I always say yes to any opportunity that comes along. I review whatever stands in front of me. If it’s for me, I’ll take it on. I looked at all the cards on the table. Is it suitable and going to help me grow? The answer for me was yes, I’m going to take it to the next level.
“It was something I was interested in, and it just made sense for me.”
During the course Emilia met investors looking for people to help them find properties, as well as deal sourcers and others with rent-to-rents, serviced accommodation and HMOs.
“My mind was expanded to new dimensions during the DFE. I just couldn’t go back to another life after that. There was so much business happening in that room that I decided to join the academy.
“I said [to myself] if it’s possible for everyone here, why would it not be possible for me?”
In her previous life, Emilia says she was a very shy person who kept herself to herself. But once she enrolled on the Property Investors Academy, she became part of a family. One member, in particular, whom she met at the DFE, took her under his wing.
“He’s like a big brother to me. He saw I was a very hard-working person who was taking action and going out on viewings, and he started to look after me.
“Every single time I’ve met someone from the academy I’ve given all the information that I have and they the same, so we’re like a family. They’re beautiful people with beautiful hearts – business minded people as well.
“It’s been a journey that has taken me from a very shy person to a businesswoman who can say this is the deal. Do you want it or not?”
She describes joining the academy as the best decision she has ever taken, giving her access to a whole network of fellow students who push each on to complete tasks.
“I don’t think there’s any other place in the UK, or even in Romania, where I’ve met so many good-hearted people with a similar mindset. It just helps us grow to the next level.”
The live courses and the trainers also help academy members to progress, Emilia emphasises.
“With the help of who was in the training and the trainers, I was able to discover things about me that I didn’t know before. From there I grew to the next level.”
She particularly enjoyed the courses on serviced accommodation and the buy, refurbish, refinance strategy.
“You find the best strategies to increase your cashflow and how to recycle money. You also get a feel for development and what you can do more with a house than just a normal buy-to let or a refurb.”
Emilia found herself improving her English too as she went on viewings. On one house tour, double glazing was mentioned which flummoxed her.
“I remember going home and just googling every single word I’d heard or just trying to find all the words in the BRR course to get my head around everything.”
Now she feels comfortable having a conversation on any topic, but if there is anything she doesn’t understand she will ask for an explanation.
“People are so friendly and can’t wait to help you. I don’t think it’s a case of me not being able to understand English. It’s just me going into an area I’ve never been before. I’m pretty sure it’s the same for any other English person who is trying to do the same thing.
“If I take a 20-year-old to a viewing, he probably won’t know the technicality behind the scenes, so it’s a learning curve for everyone wanting to do something new. You just need to embrace the challenge and grow with it.”
Cash comes rolling in from 10 rent-to-rent SAs
Having recently finished the year-long Property Investors Academy programme, Emilia is now a full-time property entrepreneur with a portfolio of 10 rent-to-rent SAs.
It includes six properties which are making her a profit of around £2,300 per month. When she saw that the strategy was working, she handed in her notice.
“That was the plan with them. When I put my resignation in, I wanted something really fast to bring some income in, to make sure it’s paying my bills so I can grow my own SA business. The other four that I have are managed by me with my own SA management company.”
Three of those went live earlier this month (June 2021) and in the first week attracted advance bookings worth £15,000, says Emilia.
All three apartments are close to the Old Trafford stadium and other attractions in Manchester.
“We’ve seen some signs in the market that we can have a very good rate on those apartments. We have bookings for a weekend of £1,100 in July and August when events are on.
“We’re constantly getting bookings worth £600 a weekend on the three bedroom one. It’s been crazy to see if you follow the rules and everything you’ve been taught in the training, it is actually going to work.”
She adds: “With the Manchester deals, it ticked every single box that we learnt about on the course. When you are out there and actually doing it, you have to have confidence to take so much risk and responsibility.
“I’ve had other deals where I’ve said no because it didn’t tick all the boxes. I think it’s very important to do the market research before you take on big projects like I do now.”
Emilia is expecting to make a profit of at least £500 per property on average. She also rents out furnished accommodation in the south of the country.
“For three days we had bookings worth £700 which is crazy money, but at the same time there are others that make less than £500.
“It depends on the area, the time of the year and what kind of people are in the area. It’s very good to have your portfolio spread out because you spread the risk and you can get the best out of the whole UK market.”
Emilia points out that she used none of her own money in securing the properties she controls. She either leveraged funding from previous deals or raised finance for them.
With her deal sourcing and income from rents, she is able not just to cover all her personal expenses but to plough cash back into her business for the next project.
‘I wanted to do something bigger and better’
Emilia found it extremely hard giving up her job as she loved her work and the people she was working with. It gave her the opportunity to work with every department. It was also a secure, well-paid job where she was a key player in the company. That made it all the more difficult to ‘put it aside and jump into the unknown world of property.’
“It felt like I was going through a heartbreak. My notice period was two months long, so it wasn’t something that was going to happen quickly, and I could forget about it. It was two months of, oh god I’m quitting this job and I’m leaving all these people.”
Emilia was offered more money to stay but says that, ultimately, she wanted to do something ‘bigger and better’ with her life which could potentially impact more people.
Her aim is to be able to help others in the way she herself has been helped by the Property Investors’ community and has already started assisting at company events. She credits this environment and the group of people she was with for getting her to where she is now.
During her mid-twenties, Emilia experienced some health issues. She was unable to take a day off to deal with them and also to see friends and family during an intense period.
“It made me realise that if I’m not doing things now to be secure financially, and this happened again, I might not be in a position to take care of all my bills and take time off.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m being so driven to make sure no matter what happens with me I’ll be able to have that time off.”
- Say yes to every single opportunity that comes to you.
- Don’t do things on your own. Make sure you have the right people around you and be open about what the future holds for you.
- Get the training and the support. Samuel 365 is a great platform where you can find these kind of business orientated people with a great heart.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Not only has Emilia been a great student, she’s also been a massive asset to the academy. She’s an open-minded person and a free, critical thinker who’s not afraid to make decisions.
“Emilia’s combined rent-to-rent with the serviced accommodation strategy and is investing the profit from that into doing more deals. That’s smart because she’s scaling her business. I see a great future ahead of her.”