"A Strategy That Anyone Can Do"


  • Target was to purchase £1.6m of new property. Actually purchased £1.9m of new property.
  • Target was to achieve £84,000 annual income from property. Actually achieved £93,000 income.
It is customary that at the final workshop of each Mastermind Programme, some of the departing Masterminders get up on stage and talk about their experiences and results. Here is Dave's contribution...




Phew. Wow, what a year. I couldn't work out whether I was going to come up here and all be humble or give it a big whoop as I came up, and I went for the whoop in the end. So I apologize if this overruns, Simon. I know you want it to be 15 minutes. I've tried. I'm not convinced it'll be 15, but I will do my very best.

When Simon asked me and told me that I was going to be standing here, I thought, "I need to give this a name," and so I've called this A Strategy That Anybody Could Do. And I've called it that because I haven't gone out to do anything particularly creative. I haven't done anything that is particularly mind-blowing. What I've done is I've found a strategy, and I've worked hard.

And I'm quite happy to say that I have worked really hard this year, through a lot of challenges, but actually all I've done is I've bought houses and I've put tenants into them. It's not rocket science. I did what Simon told me to do. So it's a strategy that anybody can do. If nothing else, I hope it inspires other people that actually you can do something which is really simple, really, really straightforward, and in one year, change your entire life.
I want to start with this phrase, "The things that happen to us and around us do not have the power to define who we are." And why do I put that? I put that because throughout the year and throughout life in general, things get thrown at us, and I'm not going to into what they are specifically, but you can allow them to derail you, you can allow them to push you off track, and they become excuses.

And that's all they are, they're excuses, because I can guarantee that everybody in this room has got their own stories that they can tell of challenges and problems, but they're excuses. So we define our destiny, and that's what this year has been about for me.

A bit of background. I think you've worked out I'm a pretty determined character. I've got quite a lot of passion. I like to plan and structure things. And I love to help and support other people.

This is a bit about me. You know that is what I am now, but it's not what I was like when I was a kid. I wasted all my education. I left school with no qualifications, a couple of GCSEs, nothing else. Couldn't get a job, and I made cardboard boxes for a living, and I did that in a railway arch in Birmingham. And why do I mention that? I mention that because at points in our life, people are put in front of us who have the power to change our lives, and it was in this job that I met somebody that was like that.

This guy took me on. Nobody else would give me a job, and he gave me all the encouragement, all the knowledge, and all the support that I needed to become the best person I could. And within 15 months, I ran his shop floor for him, and so that's a guy who completely changed my life.

I left there at 18. I went to college to study IT. I didn't got a computer. I didn't even know what a computer was, but I thought I'd go into IT because it seemed to be the thing that people were doing. So I did that, with no knowledge of computers, and I achieved the highest score in the country that year and went on to work for some really big multinational IT companies. And I've held some great positions. I've been very, very grateful to them for that.

These are just some of the companies I've worked for, and I've been in sales for a lot of that time. And in at least the last 11 years, I've smashed my sales targets for them. So as well as them giving me a good lifestyle and good jobs, I think I've given a lot back to them as organizations.
And then this picture here, why is this important to me? This is standing on the roof of Africa. This is Mount Kilimanjaro. To climb that mountain just takes the most physical and emotional effort, and so I put that there because it's the environment that Mastermind has given me, reminded me, of the environment that the people shared when we all summited that mountain.

So this is my reason why. Clock faces with no hands, no time. Early on, I exchanged my time for money, and then that gave me a lifestyle, and then I wanted more lifestyle, so I needed more money, so I exchanged more time for it, and it became a very vicious circle.
And these are my two daughters. So Georgia is 20, and Phoebe is two. And by exchanging all this time for money, I didn't always have enough time to spend with Georgia, doing the stuff that I really wanted to do. So I came here so that never had to happen again, so that I would have the time to be with Phoebe, to be with other people around me, my nieces, my nephews, who all need a bit of help and support, and I needed to change my life.
And that's why I came here. It's all about time for me. I can talk about all the other stuff I'm going to do, but it is about time. So then I am trading my time for money a year ago, and I came here, and I gave up my full time job. I went part time, so I gave up 40% of my job, 40% of my salary, and 50% of my bonus, and that was quite a lot of money. But for me, that was about, I had to make this work, because I didn't want to get to the end of 12 months and have to go back to that job and ask for a full time job again.

So I got four properties. I've got a little bit of property, and I made a whole £700 a month from those properties. So I was never going to retire.

So, who's had a look at their pre-coaching questionnaire? I had a look at mine when I went out to put these slides together, and I said I wanted to do 1.6 million of property. I wanted to smash this. I wanted to do 7,000 pounds a month, and I wanted to top that up by flipping property. So I set some big goals right in the beginning.
And then these are just some of the deals that I've done. So this is a seven bedroom house in multiple occupation in Birmingham. It's on a seven year lease option. It makes me just under £1,000 a month. I got them from an auction catalog.
This was somebody who replied to my newspaper adverts. I flipped this through an auction forum 'cause the guy had got no money. He was in a desperate situation, and so I paid to sell his house through an auction on an option. We had a figure £96,000. I got to the auction and great anticipation, a packed room. It raced up to £95,000. It crawled to £96,000, and that's where it sold.

I made nothing, no financial gain whatsoever. The result of this, though, I helped a vendor out and I found out how good that made me feel. And I found a fantastic conveyancing solicitor. I learnt the auction process. Financially, was it any good to me? No. Value-wise? Huge.
I then bought two houses next door to each other. I like the idea of parking my car and having 10 tenants I can go and see next door to each other. These are quite expensive houses. They're £200,000 each. Good refurbs. They're now five bedroom houses. They each make me £1400 a month, so each one of those now makes twice what my previous portfolio made. This showed me that one house can start to change your life. You don't need many of these to completely change your life.

This was my mentoring with Mark Dearing. Mark came out with [inaudible 00:07:26] He was happy with that, so we started to look at properties together. This was about taking action, massive action. We looked at about 10 houses. We analyzed them. We went out. We viewed four, and I offered on this one on the day, and we bought it.
It's a repossession. The roof comes off on Monday. The internals have all been gutted out. The great thing about this one was, it was part of that strategy now of flipping, which I hadn't thought really of doing properly until Mark came out, but it would make a great HMO, so there's a tip for you. If you're going to try and flip property, you gotta work out what you're going to do if you can't flip it, and so the tip I got was make sure that your secondary option is your primary strategy, 'cause then it doesn't matter. If you can't flip it, you can still do something with it. But I do still plan to flip this one for about £30,000.

Get to know your tenants. I've got a tenant who works for a charity that works with recovering addicts. They were looking for some accommodation. I was aware of this house being available:
It's a six bedroom house with six en suite bathrooms. Just by knowing what to do and knowing the people involved, I put contracts in place where the charity get this house at a reduced rate from me of £1500 a month. I pay the vendor the £895 I want. I make a profit in the middle. The charity now has six en suite bathrooms for recovering addicts. And that's just about knowing the right people and connecting them together with a bit of contracts and a bit of specialist knowledge.
I love this one. A hairdresser is on the bottom. It's a four bedroom HMO on the top of it. I got this by sitting next to a previous mastermind [inaudible 00:08:52] one night. I told him what I did. I told him where I invested. A week later, somebody had contacted him. It didn't work for him. He passed this on to me. So I've networked furiously this year. I haven't stopped going to networking events or PIN meetings or property investing quick start courses, as much as I could do to network with as many people as possible, and that's how I got this deal.

And you might be able to just see that on the side there's an enormous advertising holding. So it's on a corner plot on a very busy road. I've already got masterminders and a letting agent who want to advertise on the side of my building. They want to put "We buy houses quick" signs up on my building, which is just fantastic.

So there's a couple of others in there, but I know that time is very tight. This is a summary of what I've achieved:
It's too small to read, but the key numbers I'm going to come to in a moment. This is, for me, as Simon said earlier today, this has not been about property. Property is the vehicle that I have used to change my life and change the life of the people around me. But it's been much more than that.

We had a speaker in Birmingham last night, and he used the phrase, he said, "Just say yes." I hadn't heard him say that before, but for me, that's been the approach that I've taken for the last year. So I've had opportunity to do lots of other things. I've become part of the Birmingham PIN Team. I'm involved now in a property sourcing company. I've spoken on stage at the Mindset Day. I've helped out at the Property Investors Quick Start. I've set up a company. I've set up a website.
This is ridiculous. How can I have done this? This is somebody who left school with nothing, basically.

I've read and I've listened to all these books behind me, and I bet another 30, and I don't read, but I've done about 30 odd books. And this is the bit I'm struggling with is, this year has given me the emotional strength to cope with everything that the world has thrown at me. And there's no doubt in my mind, if I go back a year to where I was in a full time job where I wasn't happy and I was feeling stressed and the things that have happened had happened, I would not have got through. So this is about mindset for me, and about strength of character.
So that's what I set out to do, smash this target. Sorry about that, Simon, but that's what I wanted to do. Where did I get? I've now acquired or controlled £1.9 million of property. I have an income of £93,000 after all costs. And there's everything. That's all the investors paid back, mortgages, utility bills, and about a £31,000 pound flip, give or take. If I don't flip that property and I keep it and I do HMO it, which I may do, then my passive income goes up to £105,000 a year. That's every year. I don't have to do anything else now.

One year has change my life completely, but I can't stop, because I'm that kind of person. This is what I'm going to do.
I'm going to carry on with the property, but I don't want to talk about that. You'll see up here, there's not a lot of material stuff. I don't really have a materialistic streak in me, but it's experiences that are important to me. I want to go places. I want to see things. I love fast cars, so there's a lot of car stuff up there. Lots of sporting events. I'm fortunate that I've worked with a homeless charity in Birmingham for a few years, and so there's an opportunity now to spend more of my time doing that, which I just haven't been able to do before, 'cause I can't balance everything else in my life, but now I can, 'cause I've got the time and the freedom.

So lots of stuff, lots of busy stuff. I'm going to coach people, and just carry on in this environment, as well. It's the strength that the room gives me. That's what's enabled me to carry on and do this stuff this year.
So it's Oscars time. You like that, Oscars time? I'm going to have to get quickly through this, but everybody who has spoken at this mastermind for the last year has inspired me in some way, whether it's the people on the course, whether it's the guest speakers, I have been inspired.

There are some people I need to mention specifically.
  • Joe Simpson showed me what my inner values were. I then was able to take that and relate it to property and find that strategy that worked for me.
  • Mick showing me my wealth dynamics and how I'd learnt to become one, as a salesman, but actually my natural abilities were as an accumulator. That was mind-blowing for me, and all of a sudden I understood why I operated the way I did.
  • Andy Gwynn for the focus and the planning and the mantra which is on my desk at home. It's on my desk in the office. Massive action times the right stuff consistently applied is what gives results. And every time I've faltered, I've gone back to that equation, and it's one part of it that I've stopped doing. Maybe I'm not taking massive action, maybe it's not consistently, but I've always gone back to that.
  • ​Sanjay Shah removed the biggest emotional blocker that I had in me. As a result of 15 minutes with Sanjay, my day job became more enjoyable, more pleasant, and it just enabled me to move on with big parts of my life.
  • ​Lynn Fisk, my coach, who's, emotions, who's not my property coach, she's my property and life coach, and who's listened to all of the stuff that's gone on and his kicked my ass when it needed kicking and she's encouraged me when I needed that, and she's always brought me back to my reason why.
  • ​Mark Dearing for showing me I could buy a house, start to finish, in less than five hours. That's all it took to buy that house.
And all of you lot, and all the past masterminders, people like Jeremy Malley-Smith who phones me up and he always just gives me that little bit of chipper advice.

And the people who I've been able to help, and that's been mentioned already this morning. I get more out of helping you than you probably get from me, but I am humbled that you actually asked me to give you my advice and help.

And then some person called Simon Zutshi, who, thank the Lord, decided he didn't want to work for Cadbury's, and he wanted to share this passion and this knowledge. And Simon, you've given me tools and techniques that have changed my life forever, and I mean that genuinely. It has changed my life.
So my top tips. Be clear on your reason why. Make it now. I was talking to somebody last night, and they were saying that their goal was to create an income for their pension, which was 10 years away. And I challenged that, is 10 years too far away? Can you really focus on what you need to do today? So whatever your reason is, and make it massive, bring it into today, make it present so that you can feel the pain.

Find ways to be accountable. I told everybody what I will do, not what I was thinking of doing, but what I will do, and then I did it. I had buddies who I sent messages to every day about the three things that I was going to do that day, and then we sent people forward journals how great tomorrow was going to be, and we held each other accountable.

Utilize this environment and your coach. Coaches are really there to help you, and I've got great benefit from mine. So you know, again, I strongly encourage everybody to do the same.

Avoid perfectionism. That house that I flipped through an auction for £96,000 and made no money on but got great value from, you may have noticed that the picture of it is stunning. It is a beautiful house. It wasn't like that when I sold it, but the guy who bought it at auction has completely refurbished it, and it's back on the market at £150,000. It didn't work for me, 'cause I wanted the perfect deal. It was a good deal. I should've just bought it. And that guy is probably going to make £25,000 out of that, and that's great to him, because he had the vision that I didn't have early on in my journey.

Help others. Ask for help. Don't be caught up with pride and ego. Ask for help. It will be given to you.

Take action. If you don't take action, if you just come here and you understand the theories of it but you don't take action, nothing will change. You won't change your life. So you've got to take action, massive action, in my case. That's what you have to do.
And then remember that this phrasing of these things that, sorry, these things that happen to us and around us do not have the power. I took that decision 12 months ago to dedicate one year, to dedicate one year of my life to change my life, sorry, to change my life forever, and it has done that. I now have the choice of whether I work. I have the choice of where I go. I have the opportunity to do the things now with Phoebe that I wasn't able to do through other reasons with my older daughter.

And if I could just leave you with one thing, I didn't do anything clever. I bought a house and I put tenants into it. Anybody can do that. Thank you very, very much indeed.


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