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  • Landlords in Distress

    Lee Pemberton - ServicedLets - opinions?

    On the topic of SA, has anyone dealt with the Lee Pemberton who runs ServicedLets?

    (Moderator note:  This question was split off from another thread about another SA trainer to avoid thread drift*).

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    Here is the information from his website:

    Lee Pemberton is an entrepreneur, internationally renowned speaker and a highly sought after consultant
    whose work has impacted hundreds of lives and businesses in the UK and internationally.

    Lee is founder and CEO of ServicedLets Group, Generation Invest and VentureBuild Boardroom.

    He’s the UK’s leading authority on Serviced Accommodation, and has 19 years experience in developing multi-million pound SA and Apart-hotel businesses.

    _______________________

    His website is not displaying any company registration numbers, which is not a good start in terms of due diligence.  Every company in the UK has to display their company number on their website, as part of legal compliance.

    His profile at Companies House shows 3 active Directorships and 14 dissolved ones.

    ServicedLets was incorporated in 2012 and shows net assets of minus £65K.

    8 Lansdown Place was incorporated in 2016 and shows net assets of minus £344K and current liabilities of £1.1million.

    His third company does not have any financial summary.

    Lee Pemberton had a company with Jason Living for about a year but it was dissolved - Jason Living being the founder of the UK SA group on facebook.

    His closed/dissolved companies seem to be from various sectors including property, health, and clothing.

    I could find no entities called Generation Invest or VentureBuild Boardroom.

    A further google search turned up surprisingly little based on the claims made in his biography, other than he is another graduate of Progressive Property training.

    Finally, here's his "expert media" credentials:



    The Serviced Accommodation Summit was organised by Jason Living.

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    I think the whole celebrity trainer on Facebook these days is ridiculous!!

    I’ve paid over £15,000 on different SA trainings (*Moderator note:  Content removed) and it’s pants!!!!

    No regulation leaves these cowboys to see a dream. Pemberton actually took £3k set up fee for a deal that never materialised as it was described then he kept my money.

    Taking him to court will cost more money so I’m glad for forums like this. How can we vet these cowboys?? They all make money from training than the so called gold mine SA!!

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    Hi Beverly and welcome.

    Could you expand on the training you took and why it didn't work for you?  Were you promised something that turned out not to be the case?  It would be helpful to understand what is being sold and why you couldn't make it work ...

    Did they have a "Complaints Procedure" and did you follow it and exhaust it?

    That's an interesting list you have there.  I had run-ins with all of them on facebook - apart from Lee Pemberton.  I asked a few legitimate questions and they became hostile.  The Walker Fearnleys and Tai Adetona were particularly unpleasant and aggressive.

    Interestingly, Tai Adetona is a big supporter of TJ Atkinson and Emilia Newman.

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    Vanessa I attended an associate day, then I was told to get properties from one of their sourcers.

    They were all bad deals, rents over inflated. There is no real complaints procedure!

    You get shouted at if you dare try and question especially Lee.

    The rest of them just sell courses but without real substance! Very aggressive sales tactic.

    If one pays £800 to be on a course you expect to leave with everything but the upsells are a scam. They never delivered. I’ve never heard of Tj or Emilia but  I don’t think I’ll be bothering with courses in property again!!!

    Vanessa what was your experience. I literally stumbled across your website from googling scam property trainers because I think this needs to be reported. My money is hard earned.

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    Thanks for the further detail.

    If Lee Pemberton is sourcing deals, he needs to be, by law, a member of an independent redress scheme. There was no mention of this on his website, nor was their any privacy policy or notice.

    He does not seem to be trading compliantly on a very basic level.

    My experience of these individuals is that they use facebook for marketing by talking about all the wonderful deals they are doing and the money they are making. 

    They make big claims about their wealth and success, despite only having been in business for a short time.  They talk each other up and give each other testimonials, resulting in false social proof.

    When I challenged them by providing screenshots of their company financials from Companies House which did not demonstrate any level of business success or wealth, they became hostile and resorted to personal abuse.

    I was banned from UKSA facebook group for challenging TJ Atkinson and Emilia Newman, who were later removed from the group.

    I have been informed that this was because it became apparent that they were scamming people, but only Jason Living, the group founder, can confirm that.

    I also challenged the Walker Fearnleys in a completely legitimate and professional manner, but unfortunately they did not respond in the same manner and Amanda Walker Fearnley in particular has continued to be extremely scathing about me, knowing that I cannot respond, as I was barred from the group.

    To be honest, for me being in that group was like being a hare in a pack of hounds.  They didn't want me in there disrupting their marketing funnels or challenging their marketing hype.  That spoke volumes to me about them.

    Professional people never take umbrage to due diligence.  They have nothing to hide and understand it is an important business process and not the remotest bit "personal" or "invasive".  The way all of these individuals responded to perfectly legitimate questions immediately put red flags on them all that time ago.

    People who have lost money may be afraid to speak out against them because they know they will get slammed.  Have you challenged them anywhere on facebook, and if so, what happened?

    The whole SA training sector is unregulated and I regularly see people giving poor/illegal/ sometimes dangerous advice on facebook and there is literally nothing to stop them, other than community self-regulation.

    You could report Lee Pemberton to Trading Standards.  If you paid on a credit card, you can contact the credit card provider and request a refund under Section 75.

    Other than that, there are very few routes of redress.

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    My thought process for all these speakers is....   If they are so good at investing etc why would they spend so much of their time "helping" other people?  Surely they would be using their own techniques to make money... 

    A lot of them would say something along the lines of "I've made millions and want to help others do the same", as if they were doing the students a great favour, but if that was the case they would not charge anywhere near what they charge.

    Maybe I'm cynical but I think any get rich quick schemes involving property are pretty much dead in the water or so risky that not worth it these days.  If someone wanted to invest in property and asked me for advice I would be happy to give them some guidance but would not charge a penny like I am sure many on here would also do.

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    ``My thought process for all these speakers is....   If they are so good at investing etc why would they spend so much of their time "helping" other people?  Surely they would be using their own techniques to make money...``

    This is my take on it ....

    They may well be doing both as this is just another very lucrative income stream for them

    They can use this income stream to fuel their own portfolio building

    So  you have to find 50K of your own to buy a 200K property which gets you 500 cashflow pcm

    But you could  show just 1 person how to do it  and charge them 500 a day

    So you earn in 1 day training  what would take you 1 month and a 50K outlay if you were to earn that through buying your own BTL

    Get 10 /20/ 50 people in the room @ 500 a shot and the rewards are immense

    Thats why training is so lucrative and that`s why there are so many people in the mix

    Some very good, some average  , some bad , some very bad

    I used to give people 2 hr tours round my patch for £200 training on the go

    It was good value i believe . I did one at a time . I could have done more

    I got a people carrier . So I could have fitted 6 in - that`s £1200 in 2hrs . Its good money

    And it is a good buzz to inspire others to do what I had done so you do help them

    One of my BTL`s might earn me £28.57 per day

    In 2hrs with one person I could earn the same as that BTL earnt me in a week

    So the principal is fine.. its when the greed gene kicks in though and standards slip and then  the property police should step in and deal .

    And that is where the big big gap is currently . There are no effective property police

    So its rather a free for all at the moment  so the baddies infiltrate and people get hurt

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com


    Good post Jonathan - I absolutely agree. Becoming a property investment trainer says nothing about your success (or otherwise!) in your own property business / investment.

    If your portfolio (or your holiday let or serviced accommodation business) is making you £500k profit a year, and you can ALSO earn another £500k per year by sacrificing 1 weekend a month selling some training in a Holiday Inn somewhere near Heathrow/Peterborough/Manchester at £1000 (sorry, £997…) per seat, why the heck would you NOT??  Any of us would do that - and be even happier that it's unaffected by S24, fee bans, HMO licencing laws, etc. and does not require £200k of our own money tied up in deposits.

    The crunch comes if you don’t deliver real value / real training (or teach useless “strategies”) and mostly use the two day course as an upsell to your year-long mentoring / VIP programme…

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    If your portfolio (or your holiday let or serviced accommodation business) is making you £500k profit a year

    And therein lies the nub of the matter.  Via my research, no SA or R2R SA trainer has been able to demonstrate (via Companies House) that they are making this kind of money.  In fact, far from it.  One trainer who claims to be making this kind of money is not even VAT registered.  (I know this because a friend tried to book a SA with his company and asked for a VAT invoice, and the person taking the booking said they were not VAT registered).

    Then there is the matter of non-compliance, which has nothing to do with how successful or how much money you are making or how good your training is. You should still tick the compliance boxes.

    This is a very fly by night industry and I think what we are seeing here on PT is just the tip of the iceberg.

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    Via my research, no SA or R2R SA trainer has been able to demonstrate (via Companies House) that they are making this kind of money.  

    Almost no one files their Profit and Loss Statement / Income Statement on Companies House - because. by law, you don't have to do this, and you only need to file the Balance Sheet.  This means that you cannot deduce how much income someone has made from the Companies House financial statements alone. I will give an example:

    Company A and Company B each starts 2019 with Equity + Reserves of £10,000.

    Company A makes a profit of £1,000, and the shareholders take dividends of £0.  At the end of 2019, Company A has Equity + Reserves of £11,000.

    Company B makes a profit of £100,000 and the shareholders take dividends of £105,0000.  At the end of 2019, Company B has Equity + Reserves of £5,000.

    According to the Companies House records, A outperformed B by £6,000.  However, in relation to actual real success A wasn’t even in the same ballpark as B…

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