The Eviction 2020 – 500 hopefuls, three winners and a jaw-dropping ending!!
It was a mouth-watering, life-changing peach of a prize that attracted 500 hopefuls from around the UK – the chance to become financially free in a week under the wings of top property entrepreneur, Samuel Leeds.
The contestants had been whittled down to ten and the stage was set for The Eviction 2020. But just days before battle commenced in the Apprentice-style contest, the second national lockdown threatened to sink the event before it had got underway.
The contestants and even Property Investors staff presumed the first challenge would be cancelled. However, Samuel sprung a last-minute surprise – the ‘Buy, Refurbish, Refinance’ (BRR) round which traditionally kicks off the competition would happen, and it would happen fast. In fact the newbies had barely sat down to introduce themselves, when they were plunged into action, scouring the country for their first deals. They thought they would have a week to do it – they got one night!
And by then there had even been three evictions! One rookie who had arrived from the Midlands was sent packing soon after she arrived for turning up late. She protested all the way to the hotel exit door.
With Samuel in full head teacher mode, another entrant was ordered home for not doing their homework. The naughty investor had failed to complete the free BRR online masterclass.
“That training was worth £1,000 and everyone was given a week to do it,” said Samuel. There are no excuses for not completing the course and no excuses for people being late.”
“The Eviction is only for people who are serious about becoming financially free and go about it in a professional manner.”
But cometh the hour…cometh the men and women! By the end of the evening each candidate had identified and presented a potential BRR project. They were then subjected to a Spanish Inquisition by Samuel and his right-hand man, Alasdair Cunningham.
One of the deals presented turned out to be so good, it became the focus of the ‘Deal Selling’ second round.
Lawton Hopwood, from Manchester, presented a strong case for a two-bed end terrace in Warrington. It could be purchased for around £80,000 and needed £25,000 tops to bring it up to a good standard. Lawton, who was made redundant during lockdown, had certainly done his research and had even consulted with builders regarding refurbishment estimates. Estate agents advised the former senior account manager that he could expect a monthly rental of £750-£800 – and sold prices for similar properties in the area pointed towards it being worth £135,00-£140,000 once the facelift was complete.
It was a deal that put 30-year-old Lawton on his way to being announced as the winner of The Eviction 2020.
The contest which started with a surprise – also ended with one. In fact this one could be measured on the Richter scale. This year there was going to be more than one winner!
David Eccles, from Donegal in Ireland, got the best belated 30th birthday present he could ever have wished for when he joined Lawton on the winners’ rostrum.
There had been fireworks between the final three combatants during the latter stages of The Eviction, but now there were tears and cheers. With one exception. As the announcements were made, the third finalist sat with a face like thunder.
Evans Willie, from London, had given his all to land the top prize. He thought he’d missed out at the final hurdle and was going to be the only one of the last three to miss out. It was too much to bear.
Earlier tears had run down his face as his business plan was torn to shreds by Property Investors CEO Russell Leeds, Alasdair, lead trainer and business partner, and Samuel’s first ever pupil, Jael Spooner. All three finalists received the full Rottweiler treatment – but Evans had taken it particularly badly. He was resigned to failure.
His tears of anguish soon turned to rivers of joy, though, when Samuel named him as the third joint winner of The Eviction 2020.
“This is an unprecedented situation, but all three contestants deserved it,” explained the Property Investors founder.
“Last year, it was a winner-takes-all situation with Anthony Wilmott taking the entire £20,000 cash prize. This time I will be travelling to three people’s homes in London, Manchester and Ireland to help each of them to become financially free in a week.”
Just as the initial shock was beginning to wear off, Samuel revealed that there still would be an ultimate winner – and there would be an ultimate prize to go with it too!
“I’m raising the bar now,” said Samuel in a massive understatement.
“After helping each of these three people with their own individual Financial Freedom Challenges, I will be in a position to choose who I would most like to work with. I will then work alongside that person for three years and help them become a property millionaire.
“This is the mother of all Financial Freedom Challenges – and the mother of all Financial Freedom Challenge prizes!”
After quaffing Moet champagne the three elated candidates gave their reaction.
“I’m on top of the world and nothing can tear me down right now,” said Lawton. “I’m overwhelmed. There is just massive relief. This isn’t something I just feel I need, I’ve got a different level of hunger for it. Oh my God, I cannot believe this. I’m still shaking. I’m over the moon. I’m on cloud nine.”
David Eccles summed up how he felt in one word – ‘speechless.’
“All I can do is thank everybody – this is my next chapter in life,” added the unemployed Irishman. “There’s no stopping me now!”
Unemployed Evans, who had swung from the depths of despair to outright ecstasy in a matter of minutes, was still struggling to convey how much it meant to him.
“Words can’t explain,” he said. “I’ve been grafting, and I’ve been praying for this moment and now I can feel it coming to fruition. You have no idea what this means to me and my entire family. It changes everything.”
Samuel said the three winners truly deserved their rewards for performing ‘incredibly well’ across five rounds of the competition.
In the deal sourcing round both David and Lawton led teams attempting to sell the BRR opportunity in Warrington. Along the way they were helped by 2019 Eviction winner Anthony Wilmott and runner-up Hannah Mills – plus ‘super deal sourcers’ Alasdair Cunningham, James Armstrong and Ricci Mandal.
Both teams sold the deal for good money, but it was David’s team who banked the highest sourcing fee of £4,000. A 20-year-old sales assistant was then evicted from the losing team, but his departure was sweetened by being gifted £2,500 worth of rent-to-rent training.
The contestants were again split into two teams for the third challenge. This time they were given 50 hours to find and secure a lease option agreement. This challenge saw the three eventual winners of the competition competing alongside Endrit, a 29-year-old property sourcer, and Faz, a former electrician from Coventry with a ‘shocking’ back story.
Through no fault of his own, 30-year-old Faz suffered an horrific accident while carrying out a wiring job on ladders. He suffered a huge electric shock, tumbled off a ladder and injured his back so badly he was out of work for four years. The financial fall-out hit him hard, but he eventually identified property investing as the best way to get back on his feet
Before diving into the challenge, the remaining challengers were inspired by a mini Samuel Leeds LOA boot camp providing some short, sharp training on securing properties without any money.
The aim was to tie up a property which they could take on immediately and have the option to buy in a set number of years. While waiting for it to gain in value, the ideal property would also reap a healthy monthly rental profit.
Lease option agreements can be genuine win-win situations where the seller can also benefit, especially if they are in a negative equity situation. The property is taken off their hands, improved at the investor’s expense, and in some cases they can even get a share of the spoils down the line if it has increased in value.
This year’s LOA challenge saw the participants travelling to Stoke, Blackpool, Liverpool and Telford.
Although not chosen as a team leader, Evans came to the fore during the round, clinching a tasty agreement for his team. Samuel was impressed that the two teams had signed up multiple deals, but there were honourable discharges for two contestants judged to have contributed the least. Endrit and Faz were both shown the door. Soon after leaving Faz announced he was financially free, with Endrit now in touching distance of following suit.
Only the three eventual winners remained to take on the penultimate challenge and it was one which would test them to the limit. They were sent to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and given £2,000 to transform Samuel’s worst property, which was notoriously featured in the BBC’s The Week the Landlords Moved In series.
The empty house was in a dire state of repair, having had problems with some tenants. The long list of issues included a filthy oven and a faulty boiler. Estimates to bring the accommodation back to a good rental standard averaged £4,000 – but the contestants had to get the place shipshape with half the amount. They were also tasked with finding a tenant in five days, and instead of having the luxury of a hotel, they all had to sleep in the property too. It was freezing.
The three men bonded well – almost killed each other at one point – then bonded again. They repainted the entire house from skirting board to ceiling, got a great deal on new carpets (apart from Evans not knowing what colour he had ordered!) and found a plumber and an electrician to do jobs within the budget. They tidied up the outdoor yard, brought the cooker back to life and improved the kitchen so well that Samuel and his wife Amanda almost mistook it for new. The bathroom was also unrecognisable.
When they ran out of money, they had the nous to beg and borrow cleaning products from the neighbours.
The trio also formed a strong relationship with local estate agents and got a tenant signed up even before the second coat of paint had dried on the walls! One of the agents who viewed it was stunned by the transformation.
Samuel’s wife Amanda, an interior design expert and qualified quantity surveyor, told them they had done an ‘amazing’ job. Samuel was also stunned by the end result.
“Wow – I’m not going to lie, they’ve done wonders,” he said. “The most amazing thing is the timescale they’ve achieved it in. They’ve done every single room. Not so sure about the new black carpet – but the place has gone from a bomb site to a nice family home in the space of five days.”
It might have been filmed during a global pandemic, but not even Covid could stop The
Eviction 2020 from being an outstanding success. Whoever goes on to win the next
challenge will have a million reasons to thank Samuel and a cool million pounds in their
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