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  • Property Training/Mentoring

    Review of Alex Szepietowski HMO course

    Hello All,

    Has anyone heard of Alex Szepietowski? He seems to be offering HMO courses. Has anyone done his course. I am interested and wanted to get feedback from someone who has done his HMO course.

    Thank you

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    Hi Paul,

    Yes, I have heard of him although not done his course - but you don't need to have done someone's course to undertake due diligence - you can use the resources in the public domain. 

    He is a graduate of Progressive Property in 2013.

    I got the impression that most of his properties were Rent to Rent and I saw a post not so long ago where he was trying to off-load/dispose of them on facebook.

    His training company, the Property Coaching Academy, was incorporated on the 7th August 2018.

    His lettings company, Alexander C James, incorporated in 2014 is now dormant.

    His other lettings and longest standing company, is Kendall Bailey, incorporated in 2012, which was described in 2016 as follows by the Inside Property Investment podcast - Katrina Jones being Alex's partner:



    Here is the latest screenshot of the company financials from DueDil which shows minus net assets, which does not equate with the claim made above:



    Here is Alex's biography on LinkedIn:

    Starting from scratch, Alex has built a large property portfolio in Yorkshire, focusing mainly on providing HMO's, or boutique shared houses for high end working professionals. In the process, he helps others achieve their financial goals through giving very generous returns, or by building them a portfolio of very highly yielding properties.

    For his achievements, Alex was invited to do a TEDx talk titled 'Design Your Dream Life Through Passive Income' which has been watched 2 million times in 18 months. Alex won a 2015 Institute of Directors (IoD), Director of the Year Award, 'Deal of the Year' at the 2014 Property Investors Awards, and along with his fiancee, Katrina Jones, the Progressive Property 2013 'Investors of the Year' Award. Their portfolio consists of 24 houses and flats that they own, as well as a number controlled through creative investment strategies. 

    Aside from growing the portfolio, the lettings agency (which Katrina runs) and overseeing their large developments, Alex trains and mentors others to help them achieve similar results from whatever financial position they are currently in, using very simple property investment strategies.

    __________________

    I put Alex's name into google with "reviews" but nothing came up on the first five pages other than a few testimonial videos.

    With regards to whether HMOs are a good strategy for you, this may assist:

    When to say "no" to an HMO? 

    Hope that helps?

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    For those wanting to know more about Alex, Facebook alerted me to this post by YPN where he is featured in an article:



    YPN have also done a podcast with him, which you can listen to >>> here.

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    Hi Huw,

    Thanks for adding your experience of this course.

    It is utterly perplexing to me that Alex S. is not only advocating HMOs to newcomers, but also suggesting that a complete novice could get private investor finance. 

    If a bank won't lend to you because you are too high risk and/or you have no money to invest and run a property (compliance alone being a significant cost not to mention repairs and maintenance), why on earth would a private investor risk their money with someone with no experience?!. Does not compute.

    I would be interested if you could let me know what Alex taught you with regards to management regulations - how you should systemise them, frequency of visits etc.

    I personally believe you should seek redress of £4K as you have paid for something that is not only ill-advised but also highly unlikely to be possible in reality.

    ​Please keep us informed of whether you manage to get a refund of any kind.

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    Huw - really keen to see what happens here. I'm in agreement with Vanessa...you should ask for all your money back.

    I've done one of these courses before with another mentor...back in 2008...and I know how they can be super-motivating & fire people up ...whilst filing their own pockets out of all the euphoria! So I understand fully respect your positive & open-minded approach here! However...I have a feeling you will change this opinion as things progress! My guys didnt tell any lies as as such...but still sold what was (in my opinion)...an unachievable dream!

    I'm an experienced HMO investor (30+ large premium HMO's)...so happy to guide you any way you need. Trust me...this model if definitely not for the novice investor...especially if you want to scale up!!! There is NO quick or easy way to do this model....and it all requires significant investment!

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    Here's how he's advertising his events -  if only it really was that easy, we'd all be multi millionaires!

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-proper...6440375683

    The Property Coaching Academy - HMO Discovery Day - York, 4 May 2019

    If you had £3,000… £5,000… £10,000 coming in every single month, without needing to go to work for it… What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you spend more time with? 

    On this Discovery Day award-winning property investor Alex Szepietowski will share with you how he went from typical University student, without any capital or prior knowledge of property investment, to purchasing 20 properties in just 2 years. The 7 Step Process that Alex honed is incredibly effective and has been successfully utilised by people from all ages and walks of life to generate life-changing incomes, quit jobs, travel full time, spend more time with their families and contribute more time and money to causes that they care about. Alex will be sharing this 7 Step Process with you, and why Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), or student-style shared houses, produce such safe, secure and substantial returns. 

    The Discovery Day will show you how you can right now:

    - Build a property portfolio, starting with NONE of your own money… with each property making a NET of £1,000 - £1,500+ per month

    - Create a passive income of £3,000 - £5,000 per month in the next 12 - 18 months

    - Utilise this strategy whether you are a property newbie or experienced investor

    - Make money even in a property market crash 

    - Convert a 3-bed house into a 6-bed property which can supercharge the net rental income by up to 5x

    - Find and raise finance 

    - Gain the self-belief and inspiration that YOU need to help achieve your financial goals and everything that makes available to you.

    Recent Discovery Day Attendees said:

    “I was completely blown away... MASSIVE value."

    "The investment I made to attend is the best investment I have ever made"

    “I learnt so, so much, even though I already have a number of HMOs… the floorplan exercise was fantastic”

    In short, it’s going to be a very eye-opening and inspiring event that you are going to love — and we can’t wait to spend the day with you!

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    If you had £3,000… £5,000… £10,000 coming in every single month, without needing to go to work for it… What would you do? Where would you go? Who would you spend more time with?

    I would like to ask Alex that question.  If it’s all so easy and effortless, why isn’t he doing it himself and enjoying the benefits rather than spending his weekends in a hotel running courses?  He must truly love his job or it’s far more lucrative than investing in property ...

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for your comments above. I don't want to engage in a public mudslinging - from having read previous threads on here about other trainers and incidents over the years I know that no-one benefits from it. But I do want to pick up on a few points that have been mentioned.

    I have a property ownership business, my ex partner has a R2R business. I own some of my properties in my personal name, and others through Ltd companies.

    When I did my property training back in 2012 I was a university student with no prior knowledge of property, and no capital. I did the courses and put what I learnt into practice. Initially I tried to do every property strategy out there, before realising that in order to get the results I wanted, I needed to primarily focus on mastering one strategy. I chose HMOs. I spent time doing the required due diligence: analysing goldmine areas, tenant demand, regulations, and then finding investors who wanted to work with me, despite not having a track record. I purchased 20 flats and houses in the first 2 years. For this I won a number of national awards, including from the Institute of Directors, and Progressive Property's Investors of the Year Award.

    I had absolutely no intention of training others when I started out. When you've get your head around property, it's easier to just get your head down and grow your property business. I took on my first mentee, Andi Ireson, accidentally in 2014. Accidentally because I hadn’t been in property for long and I was still focused on growing my portfolio. Andi approached me at a PIN event and said she wanted me to help her achieve what I had. I did and she bought 3 HMOs in 6 months.

    A few more years passed where I was working on my property business and gradually started taking on a few more mentoring clients and realised I was really good at helping clients get great results. You would have read about many as success stories in YPN, or know them as property event networking hosts (Pippa Mitchell, Edward Philips, Andy Gaught & Jonathon Barnett,  Patrick Miles, Miles Pattison-Appleton to name just a handful). But it still hadn't clicked yet that mentoring and training was something I wanted to grow.

    In 2016 I was invited to give a TEDx talk. I put my email address at the end thinking a handful of people might get in touch but to date 2.5M have viewed it and I received tens of thousands of messages of people telling me they were unhappy with where they were in life and that they wanted me to help them. By this point my portfolio had given me the ability to sit on enough beaches and purchase enough shiny things, to realise that making life all about me gets pretty boring. Whatever business you set up you will go on a rollercoaster of mistakes and learning. And being able to use my journey to help others achieve their financial goals so they can quit jobs, spend more time with their family, go travelling, commit themselves to a cause irrespective of the pay cheque etc is something that lights me up. I am very good at it, and I really enjoy it. As an aside, whilst I have done multiple commercial conversions, flips, lease options, deal packaging and set up an SA business, I will always look at what is in the best interest of the client. This means turning down away people who want me to teach them these strategies because right now I currently haven't done enough of these deals to feel like I have mastered them and that there are people who are bettered placed to help people who want to learn these.

    I am primarily a property investor. I have 4 property ownership companies and 1 property training company. I have been mentoring since 2014 and set up The Property Coaching Academy Ltd to run my training through when it was beneficial to do so.

    So to answer your question Vanessa, do I need the money from training? No. Do I enjoy the income? Yes. Do I love being a part of helping someone achieve their goals. Absolutely.


    Raising Finance

    It's easy to project our values onto others in terms of assuming everyone has the same criteria/thought process as us. This applies in all areas of life from what movie we want to watch, to what we look for in a partner, and what we want from an investment - we all want different things. Applying this to property investment, some people will only invest in a project/person if they can see a track record. Some investors want to have the potential biggest return possible and don't care about the risk (e.g. startup investors). Some don’t care about the return being that great, they just want to ensure their money is safe. Other investors most important value is liking and trusting the person they are investing in. After all a track record doesn't necessarily mean that the person won't rip you off.

    As I started out without funding, my first investors were people who got to know, like and trust me and who valued this above a track record. Some of these investors were already in my life, such as people I had worked with in the past, or people I knew from sports clubs. Others I met at property/business events and clicked with. They could see the fact I was young and hungry and as a result of my education, I knew more than them. I hadn't just watched Homes Under The Hammer and thought I could give it a go, I had invested money and a huge amount of time to ensure I was successful. I could help them achieve a better return than they could by themselves, without having to lift a finger. As I successfully completed more deals and built up a bank of testimonials and happy investors, I was able to work with not just people who wanted to click with the person they were investing with, but people who wanted to see a track record as well - and because of my chosen strategy, HMOs, the returns I could offer were very high - so my business expanded quickly.


    Is Property Easy?

    In short, no. Is it simple? Yes. You don’t need to be a genius. You don’t need to revolutionise an industry. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. All you need to do is follow a process and get a result.

    I stand by my statement that anyone can start in property without their own money. This is not a groundbreaking statement as thousands, or even tens of thousands of people have done this.

    I stand by my statement that anyone can start in property without their own money, and they can start with HMOs. I did. I know a lot of others who have. I have trained a lot of people who have done. I know this forum is not a big fan of property education and that’s fine. Some of your community may agree with the statement 'start with a few single lets to cut your teeth.' For me, however I looked at it differently. I didn't want to wait years or decades in order to achieve a meaningful income. I didn't want to make mistakes. I wanted results fast, but also in a safe and sustainable way. You don’t know what you don't know, and so I thought it would be much easier to fall foul of a crucial piece of legislation if I gave it a go by myself . I wanted to run a legally compliant, successful business that provided a great service to my investors and tenants and therefore I decided to invest in my education to learn from others mistakes and to speed up my journey.

    The concept of Buy Refurbish Remortgage is the same on single lets and HMOs. Yes of course there is more to learn in terms of larger amounts to raise and spend, as well as extra rules and regulations that you will need to understand and adhere to. But for me and the clients I work with, this extra bit of learning is worth it in order to not make £100-£200 per property per month, but when done correctly £1,000+.


    In conclusion, property is not a get rich quick strategy. However, it did change my life in a very short period of time. For me and most of the people I train, it's not about the bling and the instagram worthy photos… it's about being able to buy your time back. Having the peace of mind and security that comes from having a passive income, as well as having the freedom to support your family, choose where to go and what to do with your time.

    HMOs are a phenomenally effective way of helping people achieve this and if done with the right knowledge and support, the time needed to achieve your goals can be a lot quicker than people think.

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    Hi Alex,

    Welcome to the conversation.

    I don't want to engage in a public mudslinging - from having read previous threads on here about other trainers and incidents over the years I know that no-one benefits from it.

    To be clear, this platform does not allow mudslinging and never has. What IS allowed is substantiated reporting.  It's important that you understand and acknowledge the difference as such rhetoric is the thing that does not benefit anyone.

    I purchased 20 flats and houses in the first 2 years.  I have done multiple commercial conversions, flips, lease options, deal packaging and set up an SA business.

    If you have property assets and business success, when people claim you don't, then you can use substantiated reporting to prove that you do.  Please feel free to add screenshots to this thread of your company financials or charges against your companies and clarify this matter. 

    Substantiated reporting is fair and equitable to all parties and you can use it just like everyone else to support what you say. 

    I know that you own properties from my own research, but struggled to find any evidence of significant wealth as you appear to have minus net assets, but you are most welcome to correct me if I am wrong in that regards.

    I know this forum is not a big fan of property education and that’s fine. 

    This forum is a piece of software and therefore cannot have an opinion on anything.  The forum owner and myself are massive fans of authentic property education - its one of the reasons Property Tribes was started. 

    What we are not a fan of is false marketing claims and conmen and newbies being sold a unrealistic dream.  There's a big difference and that difference is made clear in this community.

    As this community is mainly frequented by landlords, many who have years of experience, then their view on what can be achieved in property is impartial and independent and is therefore highly valid.  I myself have been a landlord of 15 years, so my comments come from a place of experience.

    I stand by my statement that anyone can start in property without their own money.

    I am sure you do, but it doesn't explain how people with no money can cover the stamp duty, legal fees, professional fees, and all the associated costs of running and managing a compliant property.  When a boiler goes down for £2K, are they going to attend a networking meeting and try and raise some money to replace it so that their tenants can have heating and hot water?

    I currently have a tenant in £3K rent arrears, who painted every room in a 4 bed house bright pink and damaged the property with pets and smoking (all unauthorised).  I have another property with over £3.5K of remedial works needed before it can be re-let.

    I had three appliances go defunct in one month.  That's £1200.00 capital cost.

    How to you propose that people with no money can cover those kinds of typical costs?

    How can someone with no money sustain an expensive loan to a private investor if they do not fill all their rooms?

    I asked Samuel Leeds - who also claims that you don't need any money for property - these same questions, and he did not offer any kind of response so I hope you can, as I think the questions are pertinent.

    Starting with HMOs

    That's like putting a learner driver in a Ferrari imho.  I am not sure that is a responsible or sustainable approach because a crash is inevitable.  Theory and practical are altogether different things.  I prefer to fly in a plane with a pilot who has many many hours flying experience, not a pilot who has just come off a training course and has never landed a plane in a crosswind. 

    Why would a private investor lend money to a newbie pilot to buy a plane?  It seems reasonable to suggest that they wouldn't unless they were getting a very high rate of return.  The plane analogy is quite appropriate in this instance, because lives are at risk - tenant's lives - if someone does not provide a safe and compliant home.

    To suggest HMOs are a passive income is irresponsible and misleading imho, yet your advertising suggests just that.

    If you did get started in property with no money then I suspect it was because you were good at marketing yourself, and that's a different skill than the one you teach imho.

    To entice investors, you probably had to offer higher rates of interest, and this could explain your company financials.

    Running a training business and fulfilling all your mentoring obligations is a full time job, yet you teach people how to create passive income - do you not see the irony there?. 

    It may be that you earn a lot more from your training than you ever did from property (nothing wrong in that by the way) but it seems counter-intuitive to have a business teaching people to create passive income when you could be doing a lot more of that yourself through property rather than running a training business.

    You state "I had invested money" in respect of education - so you at least need a few £££'s to go on training courses!

    I have asked specific questions Alex and look forward to your specific answers.

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