‘Sister’ Melissa is doing it for herself!
Samuel Leeds’ ‘sister,’ Melissa Machekanyanga, has been making her own waves in the property world after enrolling on the Property Investors’ Deal Finding Extravaganza. In one month alone, Melissa secured four deals which have paid for the course twice over. However, it has not all been plain sailing after a skiing accident delayed the start of her entrepreneurial journey.
Standing on her own two feet
Melissa is the younger sister of Samuel’s Zimbabwe-born wife Amanda. However, in African culture a sister-in-law is referred to as just ‘sister,’ a description Samuel readily uses.
The 22-year-old is equally happy to be called his little sister. “He’s family and we’re siblings,” she says.
Despite their close family connection, however, she was insistent on paying the full price for the Deal Finding Extravaganza after attending the Property Investors Crash Course and ‘loving it.’
“People might think because I’m Samuel’s sister, I might get a free pass but in life you don’t get a free pass. He never said to me you need to pay for it. I just thought of course it’s worth the money. I don’t want to rip him off if he’s spending time putting all this training together and his team. I never even thought of asking for it for free because that’s not me.
“I paid £2,500 for the course and loved it. I mingled with everyone else and no one knew we were related. I was there to learn, meet people and network. If I’d had it for free, I might have switched off because I might have thought I can always come again if I miss this bit, but it wasn’t like that at all. I was fully immersed in it and it was amazing. I wish I could do it all again.
“I made my investment back and then made it back again, so it was well worth it.”
Samuel and his wife have been married for six years and he has been running free crash courses for four years. However, it wasn’t until February 2019 that Melissa decided to attend one. Her father had been to several of the events, but she had never thought of property investing as a career.
It was only later that she became interested and is now a co-deal sourcer, in between holding a job down as a quantity surveyor and studying part-time for a degree in quantity surveying.
Strong work ethic was in evidence from the start
Melissa came to her second crash course in June and then in November enrolled on the DFE. Unfortunately, when the dates came through, she realised it clashed with a university exam. So, she got up at the crack of dawn, attended the DFE in Birmingham in the morning, drove to Leeds to take the test and then returned for the afternoon property training session.
“I was so nervous and flustered. I didn’t even have time to eat. I could so easily have thought I’m not going to go to the DFE but that wouldn’t have helped me at all. Even though I did miss a bit, I still learnt so, so much.”
Armed with detailed knowledge of how to find lucrative property deals which could be sold to investors, she couldn’t wait to get started. But a month later she broke her leg on the first day of a skiing holiday.
When Melissa returned home, she was on heavy medication because of the pain and couldn’t work.
“I’d lost the use of my leg and I was down in the dumps crying all the time, but then I thought the accident could have been so much worse.
“It really gave me a kick. I thought god forbid, if I ever were to lose my job, I’d want to be in a position where I feel comfortable and independent. It made me think I need to start being productive with my free time. That gave me the drive to find deals.”
Success followed swiftly. Melissa sourced four deals in January 2020. She found out her first offer on a single let had been accepted while she was still lying in bed recovering from her injury.
“I was over the moon when the offer was accepted. I had a brace on my leg. My crutches were by my side. My hair was a mess, but it felt so good. It spurred me on to find more deals.”
At the DFE course, she had learnt how to research the market value of a property, and she knew this one was being sold at 20 per cent below its worth. Unable to view it herself, she employed the Viewber agency to produce a report and video. She then passed the deal to James Armstrong, a fully compliant deal sourcer, who gave her a cut of the fee he earned from selling it. He is her boyfriend and also trained with Property Investors.
Melissa’s tips on negotiating a good deal
Before finding success, Melissa experienced many rejections. The one that really ‘hit her in the gut’ was a lease option agreement which she offered to a couple selling their house in Rotherham.
She felt the agreement was ‘perfect’ for them because the property had gone down in value and they were in negative equity. She proposed to cover their monthly mortgage payments and make a profit from renting the house out herself. The deal would also have given her the option to buy it for a set price down the line. However, they rejected the idea and she drove away disappointed.
Six weeks later her hopes were raised when the agent rang to say they had changed their minds, but the couple eventually decided to take the property off the market.
Despite the setback, Melissa resolved to remain positive and never to become frustrated by the people she does business with.
“I learned that even when you’re negotiating, always be nice. Just be a good person. If I’d not been so understanding when they rejected my offer, they would never have called me back. It didn’t go through, but I just feel everything you do should be underpinned with a good heart and good intentions.”
Melissa even got the couple’s permission to record the negotiations so that she could learn from the experience.
Her advice for getting a bargain, even in these difficult times is:
- Make sure the sale price is in line with your expectations or you could end up paying above the true market value. Before putting in your offer, do your research and find out how much comparable properties have sold for. Melissa uses Mouseprice and Rightmove.
- Your first offer should never be your final one. In fact, you should almost be embarrassed by it, because if they accept your first offer you have done something wrong.
- If you pass on a deal to a compliant sourcer make sure they have a good track record in selling deals.
Lessons learnt on her journey so far
- Don’t make excuses for yourself. A lot of people say they haven’t got the time. We’ve just been through a period where we’ve had more time than ever before. If you haven’t done productive things in the past three months during lockdown, time isn’t your problem. Your problem is discipline. When you create excuses for yourself the only person who is going to suffer is you.
- Time management is the key – even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can still get things done.
- Do everything with good intentions and to the best of your ability. If you’re rude to agents or other people, you can find yourself being blacklisted in an area. Having a good patch is really valuable and you need to have good connections. Be nice and build good relationships with people.
- Get the best property education you can afford. If you do, I believe you’ll make it back tenfold. Be prepared to put the work in though. Going on a property course doesn’t mean deals will miraculously happen in your sleep. When I paid my money, it was the most I’d ever spent, aside from cars. The training has been so, so valuable.
Samuel Leeds’ verdict on Melissa Machekanyanga
“Melissa is not waiting to finish uni or just watching box sets in her spare time. She’s a property entrepreneur right now. She’s doing it alongside building her career as a quantity surveyor and plans to do lots more deals. That’s really admirable.”
Melissa posts videos of her property experiences on her Instagram account mellyandco_ and also has a website Click Here which includes return on investment spreadsheets.
Sign up for Samuel365 – current* offer includes Deal Finding Extravaganza
Would-be property investors can try out Property Investors’ online training programme Samuel365 for seven days for JUST £1. After this period the monthly subscription costs £95. It covers the crash course and, for a limited time, the Deal Finding Extravaganza. *June 2020
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