After waiting for what seemed like an age since we first went on the Samuel Leeds Property Investors Crash Course in Manchester in February, we rocked up to Hilton Hall just outside of Walsall for the next stage on our property journey. What a place to have a training session! It’s set in it’s own grounds with lakes and untold prettiness (squirrels and other furry critters abound). I bet working there is an absolute treat.
One of the first things we noticed was how many familiar faces we recognised from the earlier course. Everyone looked just that little bit more confident than some of the slightly timid characters we first met in the cold days at Salford. Maybe it was just the fact that summer had rolled into town this week that did it, but we got the impression that the crowd were very up for it.
This course was over three days. Everyone had paid a premium for these sessions; they’re more in-depth than the free Crash Course days. You can tell that the people are more committed and convinced that property investing is their future and everyone wanted to learn as much as possible from Samuel. The first day was the Deal Finding Extravaganza and day 2 and 3 were dedicated to Never Use Your Own Money Again, or as it’s catchily abbreviated, ‘NUYOMA’ (sounds like the Japanese teacup guy off Britain’s Got Talent). We all overloaded the Hall’s Wifi connection as the mass of electronic wizardry tried to log on to get access to RightMove, MousePrice and Zoopla.
Now, i’m not going to give away any information that Samuel taught us because that would undermine the integrity and point of the whole thing, but we watched as he found deals live from his computer at the front of the room and then worked out the yields and returns on investment. Very rarely did he turn up anything lower than 25% ROI. Then he set us all off to find our own deals in the lunch break.
The afternoon consisted of people revealing their ‘deals’, and then we all piled out to visit a couple of Samuel’s HMOs in Wolverhampton, followed by a visit to Cosmos Asian Fusion Buffet where I’m sorry to admit we rather stuffed our faces (but Samuel was picking up the bill). It seemed straightforward. We agreed to give a lift to Rob, who was in his camper van, and the idea was that we’d take him to his camp site, drop the van off, then take him to the HMOs, but we lost him in the outskirts of deepest, darkest Walsall and by the time we found him again, we’d missed the first HMO completely, and only got to the second one as everyone else was coming out! The day had been great though, and everyone was still buzzing in Cosmos even after 12 hours of intense property hunting.
Day 2 opened with the brightest and bushiest tailed people in the room by 8:15am for the nine o’clock start. We were in the Travelodge Southbound on the M6, so frustratingly had to head south to the next junction, then do a U turn and come back again (about 10 miles in total). It was only after we’d done this a couple of times that Zach, a sprightly young student of accountancy, who unknown to us was also at our hotel, revealed a secret service road he’d been walking in on. It was only a mile and a half! We had to go through a no-entry sign, but it saved us loads of time. The second and third days are dedicated to No-Money-Deals. Basically, buying property with other people’s money. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Samuel taught us several ways to do this (a couple of which we’d already successfully done in ‘real life’) and there was a very interesting and valuable presentation by Sarah Poynton-Ryan who took us through Compliance, Bribery and Data Protection Laws amongst others, as well as introducing Deal Sourcing, Deal Packaging, R2R and Serviced Accommodation. (MEGA profits to be made on Serviced Accommodation, must look into that closer to home). The pace remained high until the slightly earlier finish time, with the usual role playing things to get everyone out of their comfort zone and thinking laterally. Thank God for the sandwich van is my only other comment.
On day 3, Zach took us on our little short cut, but the weather had turned foul and it was tipping it down as we got to Hilton Hall. Rob, who’d cycled in on day 2 had resorted back to the camper van. Sensible chap Rob. We again got stuck into some great exercises, real fun stuff, to show us how easy it is to network in a room full of similar minded individuals (and get deals). There was a question and answer session with a very loveable mortgage expert who managed to answer EVERY question thrown at him by the baying hordes (Stop it! – Ed) and by the time the lovely sandwich van came again the punters were salivating for more. Our working lunch was to go away and raise ‘virtual finance’ by thinking of how we could use our friends and countrymen to slip us a quid or two to invest in our property empires. Samuel set a target of £1m. Zach got the job of counting the money.
Going round the room, it was clear that we were going to absolutely smash the target and when the final total was computed it was around the £4.5 million mark. FOUR AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS !! Granted, that was a fantasy fundraising exercise, but it just showed the power of networking and collaborating within a common goal. Summing up the successes and learnings were at the end of it all. When we all broke up I felt like I was leaving old friends. However, I think we’ll be meeting some of you again, maybe in a Joint Venture or maybe we can source a property or two for you ‘up north’.
Altogether, the 3 day course was well worth the money. We filled the gaps in out knowledge that we wanted to fill, and learned a whole lot more as well. Many thanks to Samuel Leeds and his team, the sandwich van, Cosmos and the staff at the Travelodge, as well as Walsall chippy that stopped us eating each other at the end of day3.
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