Samuel Leeds training changes hospital porter’s life and prospects….
Ten months ago, Sam Gallagher was on depression tablets after splitting up with his girlfriend. On top of that, he was in debt, having spent more than £23,000 on property courses which didn’t work for him. But then the 27-year-old, who was working as a hospital porter, enrolled on one of Samuel Leeds’ training programmes and his fortunes changed dramatically. He is now financially independent from a portfolio of rent-to-rents in Bolton and has found happiness with a new partner.
‘I discovered the right training with Samuel Leeds’
Sam had a succession of jobs when he was younger. He worked in warehouses, as well as McDonald’s before becoming a porter at Bolton Hospital. That fulfilled him to an extent because he was helping people, especially during the Covid period, he says.
At the back of his mind, however, was the thought that he wanted to break free from that type of humdrum existence.
“I’ve always wanted to work for myself. I don’t like having a boss and having to answer to a boss. I was always looking for a way out of the nine-to-five life.”
Property, Sam realised, presented that opportunity for him to gain financial freedom and so he went all out to learn how to make money from bricks and mortar.
After spending over £23,000 on training elsewhere and not landing a single deal, Sam was left feeling disillusioned and angry. Despite this, he never gave up on his dream of becoming a property entrepreneur.
“That initial training, I would say, wasn’t the best but I didn’t want to give up. I’m this person who will just keep going and going until I succeed. So, I had to find another way of getting the right training and making it succeed. That’s when I discovered Samuel Leeds,” he explains.
“I was sceptical because I’d spent all that money and got absolutely nowhere. I said to myself the next decision I make has to be the right decision. I need to be confident that what I do next is going to succeed.”
Having recognised that he needed the right training to succeed, he signed up for the online Deal Finding Extravaganza which also offered him mentoring and support. An added benefit was that it gave him new insights.
“What I loved about it was there were so many tips and how to’s which I picked up from that which wasn’t in the other training. The beauty of it was that it came along with mentoring as well. It was the important first step to me getting my first deal because it gave me that spark again and that light at the end of the tunnel.”
It took Sam months after finishing the DFE to land his first deal. However, this was not to do with the training, he emphasises. As he puts it, ‘life got in the way.’
Two rent-to-rent deals give Sam financial independence
At the time Sam was starting his business, he had a partner who was worried he was going to be ripped off if he spent any more on training. Slowly this eroded their relationship and they parted ways.
“In the first couple of months it was a fairy tale. I was on top of the world. I thought it was a perfect relationship. I’m starting to build my business on the way to my first deal but as we all know fairy tales don’t last.
“It quickly spiralled out of control,” Sam recalls. “I ended up at the doctors on depression tablets. By May last year I was down and out. But the key thing I would say to everybody, whoever you are, is don’t ever give up no matter how bad the situation is.”
With the support of his family and the Property Investors community, he managed to drag himself out of the valley back to the mountaintop again.
Sam credits his training for helping him to secure his first deal – plus being able to get advice from Samuel and his team of coaches who spurred him on to do well. Persistence too played its part in giving him that all-important, long-awaited breakthrough.
He found the deal through an independent agency in Bolton after explaining he was looking for a landlord willing to rent his property to him as a company let. Under this arrangement, the owner would be paid a guaranteed monthly rent. In return, his company would be allowed to rent out the rooms individually at a higher rate and keep the profit.
As a result of this conversation, the agent showed Sam a five-bed HMO which had been occupied for a long time by contractors building a new supermarket in the area. Once the job was finished, they had left, leaving the landlord suddenly with an empty property.
That factor made the landlord more receptive to the idea of a rent-to-rent arrangement, says Sam, because the owner was used to having a long-term, guaranteed rental income.
He agreed to pay the landlord £950 a month and to cover the cost of all the bills – amounting to a monthly liability of about £1,500.
Sam admits it was ‘scary’ signing the contract because he worried he might have problems filling the rooms but told himself the system worked.
“One key thing I’ve heard Samuel say is: walk the a b c. Worry about the x y z later. So, I just did it.”
Nevertheless, it was not a case of walking into the deal blindly. Sam had done his research beforehand to make sure it was viable and was also able to ask his mentors to check it.
As part of the agreement, Sam had to pay a deposit, plus one month’s rent which came to £5,000.
“I had no money to finance the deal, but I was taught you don’t know who’s got money in the bank. Just ask the question. Lo and behold, I asked a friend if he could lend me the money and he said no problem.”
He agreed to pay it back over a year with an interest rate of 10 per cent, using some of the money to paint and furnish the house.
His investor is due to get his money back in July but has agreed to extend the loan by another year
“We’ll pay his interest in July but roll the £5,000 over for another 10 per cent,” says Sam.
The house has a large attic room which is rented out at £500 a month. The monthly charge for a standard room is £400. In both cases, all bills are included. He is left with a profit of just over £600 per month. By comparison, at the end of the loan period, he will have paid out £1,000 in interest, in addition to the £5,000 he borrowed.
His second rent-to-rent agreement was secured on a six-bed property which again was already set up as a house share. It required a ‘light refurb’ which included painting and furnishing the property and doing some odd jobs to get it ready for renting.
Once more he borrowed the cash from an investor to carry out the improvements.
“We quickly got a turnaround on that one. It was a little bit quicker than the first one because we’d learnt lessons from that. So, we got painters to paint the second one, whereas I painted the first one myself. Initially you might need to do it yourself, but you quickly want to get out of that.”
The second HMO makes a profit of just over £1,000, giving him an overall yield of £1,600 per month between the two properties under his control.
Sam has also clinched a third rent-to-rent deal on a property which will be ready for tenants soon. He is expecting to earn just over £800 a month on this one and has also just had an offer accepted on a five-bed house which will net him £1,088 per month.
Sam has experienced no major issues with any of his properties or his tenants, thanks to having had the ‘right training’ and mentoring. He has also been able to fill the rooms quickly.
“Our first one was filled in 21 days and the second one in 10 days. In the back of my mind, I thought I need to get this money in quickly. I don’t want these rooms to be empty. So, with the first property deal I got, I picked up this tip that while you’re trying to get your tenants in as an HMO bang all the rooms on Airbnb and booking.com and rent them out on a nightly basis as a serviced accommodation.
“I never thought Bolton would be like this. Every weekend the rooms were full. We were getting bookings during the week. It got to the point where I was getting too many bookings and not enough rooms available. It was crazy.”
He chose Bolton as his patch to operate from because he lives in the town and it made sense to him to assess the area first for its potential after finishing his training.
While being interviewed for Samuel Leeds’ popular YouTube Winners on a Wednesday show Sam revealed he was about to attend a Property Investors Crash Course to pick up more tips.
“You’ve got to have the training to be successful. It is important as well to have somebody who’s been there and done what you want to do.”
He adds: “The hardest part of the journey for me is to not get bogged down with looking ten steps ahead. Literally take it one step at a time. A lot of people look ten steps ahead and it becomes analysis paralysis. They don’t move forward.”
These days Sam has a new partner Bethany and is on top of the world again after quitting his job last November to go full-time into property. Even so, having endured two failed relationships previously, he says his property business has to be his priority now.
“This is where I’ve become successful. It’s made me happy as a person. So, no matter what’s around me – any relationships, anything, this has to be number one. When I went into the new relationship, I had to make it clear to her that that’s how I am as a person now and she totally understood it. She’s always supporting me, telling me how proud she is of me and how much she wants me to do well. Anything I need, she helps with, like cleaning the HMOs. It’s so nice.”
- Trust in what you’ve been taught. Trust that it works and take it one step at a time.
- Make sure you have a business plan and a strategy before you start buying deals.
- When you’re looking for a patch, start with where you live. Then branch out to surrounding areas if that area doesn’t work.
- Independent agents are a lot more open to creative strategies like rent-to-rent. Go in person and be confident. Say you’re looking for a company let, rather than a rent-to-rent arrangement.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“For whatever reason, Sam just didn’t gel with the training he’d had previously. Then he came on the Deal Finding Extravaganza with me, and I’m glad it helped him to become successful.
“When you’re starting out from scratch, and you’ve got personal issues and debts, you’ve got to look at the long game. That’s what Sam did. He continued investing in himself, even though he was in a really bad situation. He is to be congratulated for doing that.”
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