Pop star hits a high note in property with help from Samuel Leeds

Samuel Leeds

Pop star hits a high note in property with help from Samuel Leeds….

Best known as part of the successful boy band RoadTrip, which split last year, Rye Beaumont is not only forging a new musical career he has also branched out into property developing. His latest project to be completed is a conversion of a derelict pub into flats and rooms for rent which has notched up a profit of £250,000 on the revaluation. The 25-year-old singer also has a string of other HMO ventures on the go after being ‘inspired’ by Property Investors’ videos and receiving personal advice from Samuel Leeds.

Singer was broke when he started out in property

Contrary to what most people might expect, Ryan, (Rye is his stage name), wasn’t flushed with cash when he went into property investing. In fact, he was all but broke after being in the music industry for five years.

The money he earned from his time with RoadTrip went back into the business, leaving him in debt when he started out in property 18 months ago. Having sampled a life of glamour that included touring internationally, it would have been easy to sit back and lick his wounds – especially when he couldn’t perform due to the pandemic. 

Instead, 2020 turned out to be his best year yet. 

“I bought a cat as well, possibly the best thing I ever did. I love my cat. But no, I made a lot of serious decisions in 2020. I started off the year by publicly saying I was so fed up with the way things were happening that I was going to be ruthless and not worry so much about the people around me and catering for all their needs – now I needed to do me.

“It just shows if you focus on something, set a ruthless goal and go for it, pretty much anything’s possible.”

Ryan met Samuel in the summer of 2019 after the musician saw his YouTube videos and invited him to a meal. At the time the pop star wanted to secure some rent-to-rent deals as a solution to his money problems.

However, during their meeting Samuel said there were alternative investment strategies which might suit him better, given the time constraints of his career as a singer. 

Ryan heard for the first time about HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) which could bring in a healthy rental income. Having already seen some of the schemes Samuel was engaged in, he also became intrigued by the buy, refurbish, refinance strategy.

“I thought what is this opportunity that you’re opening up to everyone that everyone seems to be reaping so many benefits from?”

He did his own due diligence, reading as much as he could about the subject, and then began pitching to friends and family that this was something that could work financially. 

The first person he had to convince, he says, was his businessman father who came on board with him for his first venture. It would be a test of whether the strategy could deliver good returns. The project was a pub in Bensham, just outside Newcastle upon Tyne, which had been empty for about two years and was being sold at auction for £130,000.

“I knew from watching Samuel’s videos that if you buy commercial property and then convert it to residential accommodation you can uplift the value a lot more than with a standard house.”

lease options

So, when the opportunity came along to purchase the pub, they jumped at the chance.

“The auction price was so dirt cheap [compared] to how big it was, we thought it would be silly not to get it,” Ryan explains.

The pair calculated that they could turn the building into a good-sized HMO and still have space left over to fit in a few flats. They had to act quickly with their feasibility studies to make sure it made sense business-wise as the auction day was fast approaching. 

Having also spoken to local builders and project managers, who assured them they would get planning permission, they then made a pre-auction offer for the full asking price – after their initial bid of £110,000 was rejected. The sale was confirmed just two minutes before the start of the auction. 

A year on and the former Stirling House pub in Saltwell Road has been converted into an eight-bed HMO and five two-bedroom flats with a separate entrance.

Ryan estimates the rooms will rent out for between £400 and £450 per month. With the rent from the flats, this will leave them with a ‘clean profit’ of £35,000 a year.

However, the icing on the cake was when the property was revalued at £700,000 following the redevelopment.

Ryan still shakes his head in disbelief when he relates the story.

“We were expecting maybe £500,000 if we were lucky. We just couldn’t believe it.”

The total cost of the project came to £450,000, including the Stamp Duty and professional fees. It means they will be able to refinance the mortgage and pull out all their money.

“It was fortunate that the value was so high because we overspent our budget by over £40,000 because of the delays we encountered and the effects of corona,” he adds.

Their project manager was out of action for a while after an accident which happened as the work was about to begin. Ryan says they are ‘eternally grateful’ to their builder who stepped into the breach to help out. But then there was a four-month delay before the mains supply could be installed. 

Ryan admits they made a lot of mistakes, but also learnt a lot from the experience.

“Because of the uplift, and the cheap price, it meant we could make those mistakes in a learning curve. We kind of incubated the perfect learning scenario.”

Ryan lines up more HMO projects

Ryan also recruited some of his friends as business partners and has now finished two projects, with five more lined up.

He snapped up another property at auction for £75,000 which was refurbished at the same time that the work on the pub was under way. The house was converted into a five-bed HMO at a cost of £45,000 and has just been refinanced at £145,000.

“That one is now on the market and we will get all of the money back in a year,” he says.

Another of his ventures will see him turning a three-bedroom house just up the road from the former Stirling House pub into an eight-bed HMO. 

“We’ve secured it and that one’s gone in for planning permission. It’s a big, double fronted property and we can get eight beds out of it. It’s in a good location too.”

He has also gained planning permission to convert another disused pub in Wakefield into a seven-bed house share. 

“We’re tendering at the moment for that one. It’s cheap, it’s going to uplift mad and it’s going to be a great project. I’ve already had a builder check it out and discussed terms with an agent. 

“Another project is further south of here, a 9,500 sq. ft. property. We’ve just secured that one at £65,000 below the asking price and that will be maybe twice the size of this pub.”

He rejects the idea that he is a fully-fledged property developer.

“I wouldn’t consider myself anything. I’ve done some projects and I feel like I know what I’m doing now and what my business needs to do. Beyond that I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I’m just excited to keep building and to keep bringing in new projects and trying new strategies.

“Our target by the end of 2022 is to have 25 projects and £35,000 cash flow each month net. That’s our target as a business and personally to give us the freedom we want to move wherever we want in the property realm.”

He adds: “I’m super happy with my lifestyle. As a musician I get to do pretty much what I want on a daily basis. This is about building a business, bringing my mates in and my family and trying to build long-term wealth that doesn’t go anywhere rather than doing a few deals I want hundreds of deals and big projects.”

 

‘I always wanted to do up my own houses’

Ryan caught the property bug at an early age. “I’ve always loved building things. I used to rearrange the furniture in our house and build tree houses and things like that. I just loved putting these physical things together and making something. And I always wanted one day to buy my own houses and do them up. But like any kid I just assumed you couldn’t do that until you were 40 or 50.

“It was only as I started building my own music business, and doing other things, that I started to realise the world doesn’t quite work like that. There are many strategies if you know where to go looking for the answers – like Samuel Leeds’ YouTube channel and just sitting down with him and asking the right questions.

“I realised you can really go far with property if you know what you’re doing and put the right systems in place.”

The star has a strong work ethic. During the past few months, he has been travelling every fortnight to the North East from his home in London for regular site visits. And with three of his projects about to start in June, his journeys up north will increase to once or even twice  a week.

He prefers to complete the 10-hour roundtrip in a day, rather than staying in a hotel. On the music front, he is also extremely busy. After RoadTrip was disbanded, he formed a duo called F.E.A.T.S with ex-band member Sonny Robertson.

property Covid 19

During the Covid period, they set themselves the challenge of writing and releasing one song a week for a year, having never written their own material before. So far, they have created 35 songs.

With such a hectic lifestyle, and his trips to the north, there are sacrifices, he acknowledges.

“You’re having to squeeze time in which means not seeing mates as often and not going to parties and doing social things. It’s been corona, so that’s a bit of a weird blessing in that regard, not that corona is a blessing.

“I just think you can’t build anything worthy without understanding what sacrifice means and knowing you wake up and work until you sleep. You get up the next day and do the same thing. That’s not a complaint that I need time off. I’ve not had time off or a holiday for seven or eight years, but you just build and build till you’ve made something that people enjoy or is interesting.”

 

Ryan’s Tips

 

  • If you want to be a property investor, speak to Samuel. I’ve been inspired by what he says and does.

 

  • Although I’m all about just going for it, don’t start with a pub conversion unless you really know what you’re doing. I don’t know if we got lucky – I don’t really believe in luck, you manifest your own luck – but there are definitely things that could have happened with the pub conversion that didn’t which would have potentially finished the project. Start with a smaller project.

 

  • There are so many things that are going to go wrong. That’s just the nature of it. Don’t be intimidated by that. Put systems in place, manage the downside and just accept that mistakes will happen and find solutions. Then you can sit with a finished pub conversion or whatever it is and be happy about it.

 

Samuel Leeds’ verdict

 

“With music and property, Ryan is a real doer. There are a lot of talkers, but he’s got his head down and has been getting results. What he has achieved in such a short space of time is incredible.

 

“Ryan gave me a tour of the pub conversion and I was really impressed. A video I put out on my TikTok channel got 1.2 million views in the first 24 hours. It’s been really good helping him and watching him grow his portfolio.”

 

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