Property Investors Academy student finds financial freedom after family business folde
For years Alex Price tried to turn around his family’s food business until finally it became untenable and he decided to join the Property Investors Academy instead. Now he has three rent-to-serviced accommodation apartments in Berkshire which are giving him the financial freedom that eluded him for so long – even when faced with a global pandemic.
“It felt like I had been in a recession for the past decade’
When Alex Price first met Property Investors’ founder Samuel Leeds, he was in a good place in every important aspect of his life bar one. He was physically, emotionally and spiritually in tune with himself and the world. Financially, however, it was as if Alex had been living in an economic slump for the past 10 years.
Having worked seven days a week for five of those years trying to help his father achieve his dream of owning a successful food company, they finally decided to shut it down in 2018. It was a painful decision, but the business had barely been covering their bills and the debts were piling up.
After helping a friend run his events company for a while, Alex decided he wanted to be his own boss again by becoming a property entrepreneur.
“I left my day job on October 30, 2019, took the next day off with my girlfriend and then said from tomorrow I’m going to be fully focused on property.”
On that day he attended the Property Investors Crash Course and subsequently enrolled on Samuel Leeds’ academy.
Alex benefited from being full-time in property after his father, who was in receipt of a pension and a lump sum, agreed to support him for the first few months.
“I told him I should be able to get a deal together in that time and I would only need about £400 a month to live on. I was living with my girlfriend, so I had a roof over my head and clothes and food, but I genuinely would have sacrificed that if I’d needed to.
“People come into this country with less and make it happen, sometimes through watching Samuel’s videos or reading his books. I knew it was possible.”
When Alex began his property journey, he discovered unemployment was at a record low. It took him by surprise.
“I thought crumbs the economy has been doing really well but for the last ten years it feels like I’ve been in a recession because it was such a struggle to make ends meet with the food business. We had some great months but the most holiday we ever took was three days in the summer to see my aunty on the south coast.”
Alex quickly found himself in a world of expansion, where anything was possible with hard work and the right knowledge behind him to make money from the housing market.
After the crash course he travelled to London for Property Investors’ Infinite Returns course and was able to network with other would-be entrepreneurs. Alex also attended the company’s Deal Finding Extravaganza in Birmingham, where he volunteered to take part in a role-playing exercise in front of 500 people.
Alex was playing someone who had sent Samuel a letter to a landlord enquiring about the availability of his property for a potential deal. Samuel was the landlord asking the questions. Alex had absorbed the lessons on the course word-for-word and got cheered by the crowd.
Buoyed by this encouragement, he again volunteered for a role-playing session on the Property Investors Rent-to-Rent Revolution course. This time he was ringing an estate agent to say he was interested in a property for a corporate let but couldn’t quite get the script right.
“I got it wrong three or four times and everyone was shouting at me saying which bit I wasn’t getting right. When 200 people are shouting at you, it’s hard to hear what they’re saying!”
Samuel came to the rescue by going through the process again and Alex is now accomplished in getting his message across.
Lockdown threatens to scupper Alex’s first rent-to-rent deal
The high energy in the room which the 29-year-old says he has experienced at all Property Investors’ training courses has given him the momentum to build his new business.
He decided to concentrate on the R2R strategy after finding a business partner through a property Facebook group. The partner agreed to invest £10,000 to kick-start their joint venture.
Alex set himself a goal of viewing 100 properties before he would even dare ‘moan’ about not having a deal. In the event, he only had to go on four viewings before clinching a rent-to-rent agreement.
Through an alert, which he had set up on RightMove, he found a modern apartment which had just been vacated by the tenants. It was ‘ready to go,’ apart from a few touches here and there.
One sentence in the script, which Alex had learnt on the Rent-to-Revolution module, proved crucial in helping him to secure the deal when he rang the estate agent.
“The sentence was: it’s not going to be me living here. It’s going to be a corporate let.”
Alex has become practised at explaining what a corporate let is to estate agents who he describes as naturally cautious. “I say that I’ve got people in the area who will need accommodation and that I will advertise the property on booking.com and Airbnb.
“I also explain that I pitch my properties at the high end of market, that we furnish them to a high level and that we take a deposit. We also do other checks to make sure we get the right guests and then our cleaners go in. I say it’s my business model to look after the landlord’s property. If it’s not in A1 condition, then I don’t have a business.”
Despite this assurance, Alex’s offer was initially rejected because the landlord’s wife was unsure that the guests would know how to use the dishwasher. But then he received a missed call from the estate agent on a Saturday at 5pm while attending another property training event.
“I thought, what estate agent calls you at that time? It was a recorded message saying, Alex, offer accepted. I was in a room with about a dozen other property people. I told them, they just said yes! I was literally crying. I’d stacked so much on this after quitting my job and borrowing money from my family.”
It turned out the landlord was actually a dishwasher engineer and after showing Alex how the appliance and the filters worked was satisfied that the arrangement could work. They have since formed an excellent business relationship.
“The owner’s been great. Every time something needs doing, he’s got it fixed very quickly. There were a few problems with the boiler, and he footed the bill for that.”
Under the agreement, Alex pays the landlord a guaranteed amount every month and then rents out the accommodation at a higher rate to make a profit from it. In normal times, it’s a tried and tested way of creating cash flow without actually owning a property. However, his timing couldn’t have been worse.
He picked up the keys towards the end of February and spent a couple of weeks moving in furniture before having the flat photographed.
“By then the coronavirus pandemic was kicking off big time and there were rumours of lockdown in the air. I’d staked my whole life on this, but I chose to laugh rather than cry.”
The property was already being advertised on booking.com and Alex quickly put together a listing for Airbnb. “I messed up because it asks you if you want to give a 20 per cent discount to the first three guests as it’s a new listing. I ended up giving a 60 per cent discount to the first guest, but they wanted it for at least five weeks. I thought it wouldn’t make us a profit, but it would at least cover the bills.”
Alex softened the blow by negotiating a deferred rent with the landlord and a £200 reduction on his payment for the next three months.
“It was a family with grandparents, parents and kids all living in one house. They just wanted to move the parents and children out, away from the grandparents, because they were key workers at Sainsbury’s. They had a property they could stay in which was safe. Their enquiry came just five days before lockdown.”
When the restrictions were eased and the family left for permanent accommodation, a couple of contractors moved in, including one who stayed for three weeks at a higher rate. From breaking even, Alex and his business partner made £1,000 from the accommodation in June 2020.
Alex added another two rent-to-rent apartments to their portfolio the following month. His partner pays for the furniture and the initial rent required before they start making money.
Property has changed my life twice
Their second rent-to-rent unit in Maidenhead needed much more work than the first apartment. It also had to be turned around quickly to accommodate an American couple who wanted to stay for about a month while house hunting in the area.
It was one of the most expensive flats in the town, but the furniture and walls were damaged. Despite this, Alex knew he could make it work because he knew the location as a friend lived in the same development.
The landlord paid for the repairs, but with two days to go before his tenants moved in it had still not been painted.
“The husband was already in. That was a mistake because I could have moved him in to my other unit, but he insisted he needed the extra space. Ten minutes before the painter was due I was waiting with my guest when I got a Whatsapp message from the painter saying he’d taken on too much and couldn’t do it.”
That was when his determination to make things happen was a game changer. Alex told the painter the ceilings and one of the bedrooms didn’t need decorating and persuaded him to do the job.
“It was one of those moments of just not letting it go and having that vision. And saying this property is going to be painted!”
Now all three of his rent-to-rents are making him a full-time income.
Property has changed his life twice, he says, as his father was also an investor at one point, and they enjoyed a ‘fantastic lifestyle, going on lots of holidays.’
“I also feel good that I’m providing a service that’s in demand.”
- Focus is key. You should be unmoveable on that. Despite this horrendous pandemic, I’m still making progress towards my goals.
If you know your reason why there’s no problem getting out of bed. You’ve got to account for every pound that you want to make and plan how it will be spent.
Get some education. Get yourself around the right people and make it happen. I’m so thankful to Samuel for what I have achieved.
When you go the Property Investors Crash Course, find out who you are attracted to and create connections. Set yourself a goal afterwards and find someone on the same wavelength as you to keep you accountable.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“One of the reasons Alex has become successful is because of how focused he has been with property. He is a natural entrepreneur. As part of the academy, he has learnt how to put together a clear business plan and proved that you only need two or three rent-to-rent deals to become financially free.”
Alexander’s contact: https://www.instagram.com/alexander7p…
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