Samuel Leeds property videos inspire social media star to sell 30 deals
At the age of just 22 Katie Orr already owns her own sourcing business and is flying high after selling 30 property investment deals in 12 weeks through social media. She had a head start. Her father is a successful property entrepreneur who taught her the ropes. And yet it seemed to Katie that she needed money to get a foothold in the industry herself. It was only started watching Samuel Leeds’ YouTube videos that she realised there were creative ways to overcome this hurdle.
Katie is a huge hit on TikTok and Instagram
The past year has seen Katie become something of a star on sites like Instagram and TikTok. One of her property videos attracted 1.5m hits and she also writes a regular blog.
It means working long days, particularly as she runs her business alongside a job, but it’s all ‘fun and games,’ as she puts it.
Describing how her journey in property began, Katie says: “I was buying my own house to live in. While I was doing the research, I thought I might as well put all this content out on a blog.
“It really grew from there. In lockdown I was a bit bored and didn’t have that much to do, so I started to concentrate more time on it.”
She then saw a need for temporary housing for NHS staff during the pandemic to enable them to self-isolate, if necessary.
“I knew there were a lot of landlords who had empty properties and they were happy to donate them for a good cause. I feel like everyone was trying to do their bit at the time.”
Katie’s first project was ‘match-making’ the vacant accommodation with hospital workers who wanted a house to stay in.
“That’s where I started to grow a network and really build on what I’d built already. It was the starting point of the journey.”
Katie realised she was really enjoying the industry and was encouraged by watching Samuel’s property videos. Her 17-year-old brother had been studying them since he was 13 and sent her the link while they were on holiday.
“My brother said check this guy out he’s so cool. I’d been around my parents who had been in it before, but it always seemed to me that you needed money to then get into property. But seeing those videos I was like, hang on there are creative ways I can get into it at a young age without having big deposits myself [to put down on a house].
“I then started to grow my social pages and blog. I was posting on there every week.”
Around the beginning of 2021 she posted a reel, filmed by her brother in one of her dad’s 60 buy-to-lets, on one of her social media channels. The video explained to her audience how much the property had been bought for, how much it cost to renovate and how much it sold for.
It went ‘nuts,’ she says, and attracted the attention of investors, particularly from the south who could see the higher returns to be had from buying a house in the north.
“It got so many views and then so many people were messaging saying OMG I want one. They could see the prices in the north and the higher yields and rates of return and were just like that’s insane, a property like that would cost half a million pounds where I’m from.
“A lot of people reached out saying please help me find one. That’s where I started deal sourcing and looking for properties to sell on to investors.”
The response to her first video took her by surprise but Katie quickly recognised that she could monetise it and turn it into something she really wanted to do. From that point on, she set out to expand her email list of potential customers and her online platform.
Negotiating knock-down deals
As founder of KO Estates, Katie finds and negotiates the price on rental properties for sale in the North West of England – where she is based – having identified them as good investments. She then packages each deal and offers it to her list of investors.
One investment opportunity she has just sold was for a terraced house. The negotiated price was £77,000 – £13,000 less than a property two doors down which was being advertised at £90,000.
Katie quotes this as an example of why people should use KO Estates. The house was off market when she found it and the price which she agreed was below the market value.
She began advertising her offering in early March and set up an investors club through her social pages for people to sign up to a link to receive news of her latest deals. In that way the young businesswoman built up a client base entirely through social media.
“All our deals at the moment are tenanted so we don’t like to take people into the properties unless they are really serious about it because the tenant is living there,” she explains.
Some customers question why they should pay her a sourcing fee of £2,000. Her reply is that her company has the local knowledge and carries out all the necessary due diligence.
“We add a lot of value to make sure they’re buying right to make sure it’s an investment that’s going to see them through.
“We are charging a fee for our service, but we’re negotiating so hard to get the best deal and rate of returns that often the money we’re saving them well outweighs the sourcing fee. So, it pays for itself.”
She sold another deal on a property after managing to reduce the asking price down from £85,000 to £80,000 and finding a letting agent. The client who bought it put down a deposit of £20,000 and pays around £100 a month on an interest-only mortgage. The rent coming in each month amounts to £520, leaving a profit of about £400.
“It’s a ready-made package. No work needs to be done. The tenant is already in place, so as soon as you complete [the purchase] your rental income is coming in straight away.”
Deal sourcing funds deposit on buy-to-let
It blew her dad’s mind, says Katie, when he saw how much money she was making, especially as he didn’t even know what deal sourcing was until his daughter started doing it.
Ironically, she has now saved up the deposit for her own buy-to-let which she came across on one of her many viewing trips. She couldn’t resist snapping it up instead of advertising it on her website.
It is a two-up two-down in Blackpool which will cost her around £80,000. The deposit of £20,000 will come solely from the money she has earned through deal sourcing. After paying the mortgage, she expects it to bring in about £420 a month.
Her deals continue to ‘fly out,’ says Katie. She asks for half the fee upfront and then once that is paid the property in question is marked as sold on her website.
“We have to do that because you can get weeks down the purchasing process and then they can pull out and you’re back to square one. We do that to protect ourselves and them. As soon as they’ve paid that we will not let anyone else go near that. It’s theirs.
“It’s a non-refundable deposit unless it’s a mistake on our behalf. If it was, we would absolutely give that back. Say if we advertised their property incorrectly then I don’t think that’s unreasonable for them to want their money back. I’d want the same guarantee.”
‘I buy dresses on Instagram – why not a house?’
There has been a mixed response from estate agents when they find out Katie is negotiating for a property on behalf of an investor.
“Some love what we’re doing, especially on social and the advertising side. They can pay thousands on advertising each year and we’ve not paid a penny. They say you need to teach us how to do this to reach more people.
“It’s got to the stage where estate agents are coming to us saying we’ve got these properties we’d like you to help sell.”
The use of social media is key to her business and is changing the sector, she believes.
“I buy dresses on Instagram and anything. So many brands are selling on there, why wouldn’t you buy a house? We need to use social media. It’s a way to get in front of the right people.”
Katie’s ambition now is to build up how own portfolio so that she can be financially free through having a passive income.
She is grateful to both her parents for teaching her so much about property. Nevertheless, she makes the point that she has had to make her own way in life.
“I wasn’t just given money to go and buy and set up my own portfolio. So, I was resourceful with the knowledge I had.”
- You can tell by asking a few questions whether someone is serious about investing in property. If we’re marketing a property at £80,000, I ask if they have got the £20,000 deposit because realistically that is what they will need to get the deal over the line.
- You get good and bad comments on social media. You’ve got to let the people who post the negative ones have their opinions. You can’t please everyone and anyway you wouldn’t want them as clients. Comments also help the algorithms!
- Set yourself up for success by having a winning team around you, such as a mortgage broker, financial advisor, solicitor and agent.
- Take time to celebrate your successes and recognise what you have achieved.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Everybody is born into this world with a different set of cards. You need to take the cards you’ve been dealt with. Life is 90 per cent of what you make it but 10 per cent of how you take what you’ve already got.
“Katie has utilised her situation and gone on to make an active income for herself. She is then going to put the profits into something that will make her a passive income. Then slowly over time she will become financially free. To sell so many deals so quickly at the start of her career is incredible and it’s so good to see her winning.
“I think it’s a great service being a deal sourcer, as long as you do it in an ethical way. You do get some who try to package and sell but get it wrong or try to make a quick buck. Then it gives the industry a bad name. That’s why I put out so many videos saying this is how you do it and you need to have these insurances. I have training programmes so that people do it properly.”
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