Top sprinter who became a Property Investors’ student fast-tracks himself to success!
Emmanuel Stephens was a top athlete, representing the GB and England teams, until a serious injury put a stop to his career last year. Bedridden for months and unable to walk, the 28-year-old sprinter reassessed his life and decided to go into property. He got himself back on his feet and joined one of Samuel Leeds’ intensive training programmes. Despite being homeless at one stage, Emmanuel became financially free in just FIVE days with two rent-to-rent HMOs which he funded by selling two more deals.
‘The energy at the Property Investors Crash Course was inspiring’
When Emmanuel first took up running, he kept coming last. Instead of giving up, he made up his mind to be the best by working hard to improve his performance.
“I turned round and said after today I’m going to put in that work and I’m going to win that gold medal next year.”
His effort and sheer determination to succeed paid off. Emmanuel started winning races and before long he was invited to events and picked to run for his country. He broke a few records along the way until injury forced him to miss out on a European championship.
Undaunted, he recovered to come back the following year and was ranked one of the top four sprinters in the country. He was also selected to go to Barcelona for the World Junior Championships.
Looking back, Emmanuel says it was about having the belief, as well as the discipline and mentality to keep going.
“I won the nationals in 2011 and I went back the next day because I doubled up at two events and got a bronze medal as well. The fact that physically and mentally you can perform two days back-to-back and achieve two medals, a gold and a bronze, shows your character.”
The former Thurrock Harriers runner achieved a personal best over 60m on New Year’s Day 2017 to beat Dwaine Chambers, one of the all-time greats in British sprinting.
In July that year, he got the call to compete for England in the 4x100m relay to bring the baton home at the Olympic Stadium in London. Competing against teams from Portugal and the USA, he was just pipped on the line by Australia. It was a thrilling race and a great finale to his season.
But then three years later the athlete sustained the injury which was to end his career. It came at a time when he was ‘in the best shape of his life’ and aiming to run the 100m event in nine seconds.
“I was being successful running for England at the Olympic stadium in Stratford thinking yes I’m achieving and then I got injured.”
He tore his muscle in his leg and a knee tendon, which left him unable to walk. Confined to his bed, it took him an hour to crawl to the toilet, he says.
“When you get injured, you feel like your dreams are shattered. I was bedbound for three months, feeling very depressed. There’s no funding. You’re hurt, you’re down and out. It was just like everything’s come to an end. You just think what am I going to do with myself?
“You’re putting on weight. You’re not training. You’re not eating and on top of that I was also homeless, and a lot of people don’t know that.
“I’ve literally gone from representing the country to rock bottom.”
“Then I just thought, no I need to be better than this. I can be better than this. I knew I couldn’t run forever, so step by step I learnt how to walk and jog.”
When he was homeless, he was walking an hour and a half to training sessions, without anyone being aware of his plight.
“The council put me in shelters on different nights. I had a couple of suitcases I was dragging around. People didn’t even know this, but I just kept going. I was smiling. Things will change.”
And they did. Searching on the internet the runner came across Samuel Leeds. Initially, he was sceptical of the Property Investors’ founder.
“He was offering a free event and I thought who’s this scammer?! But then I thought I wasn’t doing anything else, so I might as well go along and see what he was about.”
Emmanuel laughs when he recalls his outrage at having to pay £1 to attend the Property Investors Crash Course.
“When I got to the checkout and had to pay £1, I thought what! It’s supposed to be a free event, but then I realised it was the booking fee which was fair enough. I went to the event, and I loved it. I sat right at the front, taking notes.”
Inspired by Samuel’s energy at the crash course, he signed up for four days of further, paid-for training in making money from rent-to-rents, HMOs and serviced accommodation.
With his customary drive and determination, Emmanuel sprang into action and found success in record time.
“Within five days, I had four deals and sold two of them to pay for the first two which were rent-to-HMO deals.”
‘I followed the training to the letter’
Many people on social media claim rent-to-rents are a scam but Emmanuel agrees with his mentor that they ‘haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about.’
“Samuel says every hotel you see is a rent-to-rent. That’s right because the hotel doesn’t own the building and neither do I.
“I agree a deal with the landlord which allows me to take a property and give the landlord a fixed, guaranteed rent for a fixed term, so I’ve got it for three years. I put it as a corporate let through my company which allows me to rent it out room by room for a super rent. I’ll give the landlord their portion and the rest, that’s mine.”
The advantage for the landlord is that they have no hassle and have peace of mind that their property is being looked after, he points out.
Emmanuel found his first HMO deal on Gumtree, while attending the Property Investors’ training and being encouraged to make calls.
After booking a viewing of the house in Edmonton, north London, he discovered the owner was keen to rent it out but didn’t want estate agents involved.
“I said it will be a corporate let. I’ll be managing it and looking after it for you. He just said brilliant, come take a look. I went there – everything was brand new, fully furnished, with new beds and wardrobes.”
The sportsman-turned-entrepreneur wasted no time getting the deal over the line. He negotiated the rent down from £3,200 to £2,400 per month after realising he was dealing with a motivated landlord.
“I said to the landlord, how come you don’t do it yourself? [He said] I want to spend time with the wife, the kids, the grandkids. I want to travel. I said perfect. I’m going to go back and work out some numbers and I’ll get back to you tomorrow. I followed to the letter what we do on the training.”
The house had been vacant for six months and the landlord was losing money on it which strengthened his negotiating arm. It also needed some work. As part of the arrangement, Emmanuel said he would cover anything which cost up to £100.
He then used his negotiating skills again to get carpets fitted in two double rooms for just £250, as well as a boiler for £1,050 including labour.
“I said to the landlord, the boiler is the best you can get with a five-year guarantee. Tell me if you can get better. I told him the price and he gave me a round of applause.”
Emmanuel also arranged for the gas and electricity to be reconnected and carried out a deep clean as there were cobwebs everywhere.
“I got everything done in four days, including the carpet.”
Once more drawing on what he had learnt on his course, Emmanuel advertised the accommodation on SpareRoom and on his first viewing someone took four rooms.
“I’m working with a company now to help them house their staff. I agreed a fixed contract with them,” he explains.
Emmanuel made sure he asked for proof from the landlord that he owned the property and there was an HMO licence in place before going ahead with the arrangement.
His second deal came from the landlord’s brother who was so impressed by his quick work he entrusted him with his property which also had an HMO licence. He took it over in November and says the two houses are now making him £2,570 per month.
He also attended the Deal Selling Masterclass and went on to source two deals, selling each one for £3,000 after posting them on Facebook.
Having reached his goal of financial freedom, Emmanuel now wants to join the Property Investors Academy to increase his knowledge so that he can do bigger deals.
He has two more in the pipeline to provide supported living accommodation which he expects will multiply his income ‘by ten.’ Long-term his aim is to move into property developing.
“I want to get a couple of BRR deals. Then towards the end of next year I’m looking to raise finance and get into development.”
‘I transferred my disciple from athletics into property’
It has taken a lot of hard work for Emmanuel to get where he is in property. He received 70 rejections before being given a ‘yes.’ But it never occurred to him to give up.
“I had that burning desire, plus my discipline from athletics. I moved that over into property. I got comfortable being uncomfortable. I said I can only do what I can do, and I’ve just got to let God do the rest.”
Samuel’s book, Do the Possible, Watch God Do the Impossible and his YouTube videos spurred him on, while Samuel’s Financial Freedom Challenges gave him the impetus to achieve the gold benchmark of financial independence in just one week.
Emmanuel says his motivation for being in property is to create generational wealth for his family and set up a charity to help the homeless.
“I remember Samuel saying the landlord of his house wanted to sell it and he said, no I’m taking it. “
“I want to have that freedom. I want to go on holiday and not be like, oh I’ve only got £500 to spend. I want to get massages every day. It’s about living life and some time I want to give back and help people because I’ve got a passion for that.
“I want to retire my mum, so she doesn’t have to keep working till 70 and just create a better life for everyone around me as well.”
- You’ve got to have belief. If I hadn’t had that, I wouldn’t have put in the effort.
- If you understand what you want, you need to find a solution to achieve it. How can I find out about property? Samuel Leeds is the best in the business. I attended all the events, got the training and applied myself.
- The free training was brilliant. Then I paid about £2,000 for more training. I made that back immediately. The amount of value you get from it is so worth it and the networking is great too.”
Samuel Leeds’ verdict
“Emmanuel achieved a lot in five days, but he had to go through dozens of rejections first. Most people wouldn’t be prepared to put themselves through that. But being told no 70 times only takes about 70 minutes. You’re actually only on the phone for an hour and 10 minutes. Now he’s reaping the rewards. It’s been a real pleasure working with him.”
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