The Toxic Rise Of Social Media “Property Experts”

Social Media Property Experts

Consider this my ‘Dear Diary’ entry Part 2, a continuation from my 2020 festive hissy fit I gifted you, when I lost my marbles over “Property Gurus” flogging dog-shit property courses for silly-money. Good times.

I thought I had emptied the chamber the first time round, but it looks like fate has other plans for me, probably because this train wreck is so much worse than we ever imagined, with the body count continuing to pile up.

Yes, things are worse, but still woefully unsurprising, so I can’t accept any brownie points for knowing that the rise of the Social Media Property Gurus – a cornerstone of the unregulated “wealth creation” industry – was always destined to be the root of financial ruin for many hopeful fools. As is every ploy which preys on desperation and involves a narcissistic figurehead promising “financial freedom” and an assortment of other alluring buzz phrases, all making the unlikely seem probable *yawn*

I’m specifically talking about the parasites targeting, re-targeting and tracking us like wild game via social media, making us believe that we can all effortlessly exceed our expectations and grab a seat at the property millionaires’ table.

We can’t.

Dear Diary, what in the hell is going on here? How have we fallen so far, and why are we continuing to free-fall?

Honestly, I’m truly gobsmacked by the amount of wallies continuing to lap this tosh up, and paying an obscene amount of money for a ticket onto the hype train, with unwavering faith that they’re on route to the promised land, all because they’ve been reassured by a donkey at the helm – most likely a former double glazing salesman – on Insta/TikTok/YouTube, swearing blind they have the key to unlocking our full potential with their rags-to-riches blueprint.

Very frustrating, and that’s why this showdown might unravel into an ungodly potty-mouth fest, if it hasn’t already. I apologise either way, it’s not very festive of me, is it?

Why property related “get rich quick” seminars suck, and why those who teach it suck even harder!

I’m going to generalise the living snot out of this, but I’m optimistic I won’t be far off from reality in most cases.

Property gurus that run their insidious masterclasses, selling quick routes to millionaire status and financial freedom via property investment are purely motivated by personal greed – they’re not “giving back” like they claim, and they couldn’t care less about you “making it”. They consciously lead their faithful clansmen into the burning flames of over-leveraged hell, all without even the faintest tingle of remorse. They do this by indoctrinating strategies that require very little capital, if any at all, while convincing the room they’re actually dispatching useful information.

They have no other choice but to sell garbage like the rent-to-rent model (which requires minimal start-up capital) with a straight face if they want to milk the lucrative wealth creation market, because these schemes by design and logic almost exclusively appeal to those that have diddly-squat to invest. The obvious trade off for trying to get rich without a bean is being exposed to an insane level of risk, and that’s why the strategies they’re teaching have pitiful success rates. No one should be teaching it or encouraging it, let alone selling it.

The idea of generating life changing wealth quickly and easily through a vehicle as expensive as property without actually having any starting capital is objectively ludicrous… and that’s why it’s a fucking joke. At best, you’ll end up “paper rich” with virtually no liquidity and cashflow, and a property empire on life support. At worst, you’ll end up with less money than when you started and still idolise the moron that swindled you into the hot mess, adamant the investment was worth the “life changing experience” Oh brother!

What makes the mentors suck harder than their seminars/courses? They’re making considerably more money selling [bullshit] education than practising what they teach, and then use that money to grow their property empire while claiming they “made it” through their shrewd property investment strategies.

Let that sink into the dome for a second.

They’ll claim they were self-made property millionaires while they were still cooking in their mother’s womb, or at an equally impressive young age.

They weren’t.

More likely, when these gurus say they’re “property millionaires”, what they mean is they’re leveraged up to their eyeballs in debt and manage a portfolio worth millions. That’s what you call “paper rich”, and there’s a stark difference between being rich on paper and actually stone cold, “fuck you, park my Lambo” rich.

Heaven forbid, what if you fail to become a property millionaire via their dog-turd property course?

Well that’s wonderfully simple…

“If you do everything I tell you to do, you will become a property millionaire just like me. If you don’t make it, you didn’t listen to me!”

Righto, so as expected.

My absolute biggest gripe with the system is that the dream is being sold without properly exposing the risks. They drill home the potential over and over and over again, and continually share their own exaggerated success story to give you the illusion that any dumb-fuck can do it.

Shove the “potential” up your ass, what’s the likelihood of this codswallop actually materialising into realised gains?


Needless to say, these high risk bottom-of-the-barrel strategies should not be confused with traditional BTL investments and practises, which is essentially all the good and pure stuff I’ve been talking about since the inception of this blog. The few simple key elements revolve around putting down sensible deposits on the right property, reducing debt, capital growth, hard work, and building long-term and healthy relationships with tenants. No, it’s not easily scalable, but my God, she’s beautiful.

The increase in Property Experts endorsing toxic shortcuts into property investment is terrible for the sector, because above all, they end up lowering standards for everyone, particularly tenants.

I can only encourage all landlords, current and aspiring, to avoid looking for the shortcuts and getting lured into gimmicks that promote fast-tracking to wealth, but rather focus on building a rental business properly from the ground up. That means looking out for your own safety, and your tenants. Neither of those objectives are cheap or easy.

I almost feel squeezy regurgitating my position; it all feels rather obvious. But it’s not to everyone! That’s something I need to keep reminding myself, even if I don’t fully understand why for the life of me.

The toxic rise of Social Media Property Experts

Over the past year, I’ve watched in horror as our self-proclaimed saviours, our beacon of light, have upped the stakes by kicking their recruitment regime into overdrive during the lockdown, taking full advantage of the increased number of idle-minds wired into the internet, many plagued with the looming fear of uncertainty and financial turmoil.

Boy, did these spineless greaseballs shamelessly continue to pump out absolutely mind-bogglingly useless and skin-crawling content, knowing full well they’ve been gifted a shiny new audience, reeking of desperation, prime for exploitation, ready to absorb the most outlandish gibberish.

Know what really gets on my fluff-ball tits? It’s abundantly clear, at least to me and I imagine most people, that the overly colourful pantomime actors at the forefront are masking their lack of integrity and value with cheap theatrics and misdirection, yet many of them still manage to clamp together a cult-like following.

The problem is, as I pointed out previously, these jackasses aren’t trying to tap into the minds of rational or successful people – they can’t access that market – they’re specifically targeting all the Berts’ and Lorraines’ in this world that are down on their luck, recovering from a cheating spouse and contending with financial ruin, in search for a quick fix. Sadly, desperate minds are rarely rational minds, which is why they’re more inclined to pin their hopes on harebrained schemes, despite how objectively loony they are.

It’s time to wake up once and for all!

In Part 1, the Lord knows I wore my pudgy fingers down to stumps, sympathising with those that get brainwashed into becoming faithful disciples of these property Savants. While I still truly sympathise, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wonder, at what point does the victim become the fool?

Perhaps now isn’t the time to twist the knife.

So why am I circling back to this topic?

There’s three reasons:

1) The good fight never ends!

I can never warn anyone enough to err on the side of caution before enrolling into any property course that demands a gut-wrenching entry fee and/or promote stupid-ass expectations, like achieving financial freedom with minimal time and effort.

2) There was a silver-lining!

The whole COVID situation has been, and continues to be, nothing short of a tragedy. However, I can say – with no delight at all – that the lockdown managed to halt large gatherings, including shady property seminars, which was a welcome silver-lining. These freakshows eerily resemble devil worshipping rituals; in some ways, a stunning spectacle [of absurdity].

Unfortunately, after the lockdown easing, public gatherings swiftly resumed, and it wasn’t long before property seminars got back in full swing, and attracted hoards of freshly battle-wounded troops that were in search of hope. The wrath of COVID was the perfect storm for “wealth creators”; the economic impact created a new army of lost souls that fit the profile for their missile seekers.

Literally, last week, a friend-of-a-friend attended a free property seminar in London. They were so convinced by the opening act that they signed up for a £10k property course, so he could learn how to rent-to-rent “the right way.”

Meanwhile, I was wondering why the mumbling jock-strap didn’t sink the £10k into a deposit so he could actually own a property and reap the rewards of the tried-and-tested traditional BTL model. I guess that was too bloody sensible.

3) There’s a storm brewing: Vanessa Warwick (from Property Tribes) Vs property trainer Samuel Leeds

Vanessa Warwick (from Property Tribes) Vs property trainer Samuel Leeds

Oh, I do love a bit of drama (when it doesn’t involve moi).

In the blue corner, we have Vanessa Warwick, a familiar and respected socialite in the landlord circle and co-founder of popular Landlord forum Property Tribes (which many of you know and adore second to this gaff).

Vanessa has a record of “challenging exaggerated marketing claims and supporting vulnerable people who have experienced financial losses after being enticed to sign up to expensive property wealth creation courses.”

Her words, not mine. Hold that thought.

In the red corner we have a Mr Samuel Leeds, former magician (no, I’m serious) turned prominent social media property mogul. He’s all man and nothing short of a specimen. He’s living proof that it’s possible to crawl through the trenches and achieve property millionaire status (I like how all the gurus seem to share similar endearing and “against all odds” success stories, it’s cute). An interesting character by all means.

Leeds currently has an impressive 201k strong following on his thriving YouTube channel, which he’s leveraged to build a very lucrative property course.

Although, I’m quite sceptical of how legitimate the numbers are; his recent videos only seem to be racking up a few thousand views on average. That seems considerably underwhelming [for 201k subs], so it does make me wonder if his subscriber count has been magically pulled out of a hat (*ba dum chhh* ah, I thank you very much), or if the majority of his fanbase refuse to give a flying-fruitcake about what he has to say. If the latter, I feel his sodding pain. *death stare*

I looked through a few of the titles of his latest videos, and I must admit, I wasn’t terribly surprised when they burst my cringe and braggadocious receptors into flames. Definitely not for me, and I have a relatively high threshold for pain:

  • My Wife’s Reaction To Our £3,000,000 House Completion
  • We Just Bought Our Dream Home for £3,000,000
  • Securing a Rent-to-Rent over the phone
  • How I Started My Property Investment Journey Aged 17

Yeah, honestly, I really couldn’t give two shits about any of those self-glorifying subject matters, but clearly they’re designed to lure in a certain demographic (which isn’t me). Oh, and look at that, seems as though he’s big on rent-to-rent and actively endorsing the strategy. Of course he is.

On a side note, I pissed my pants with laughter when I discovered the utterly silly (licence free) vector image of the flying wrestler, because there’s a good argument – by total coincidence – for it resembling Samuel Leeds as a Simpsons character. I can’t post an actual picture of him without running the risk of breaching copyright infringement, but here’s a link to his Google images results. Lordy, I’m still laughing.

Right, I need to compose myself. This is serious.

I’m not going to speculate on whether Leeds is one of the toxic Social Media “Property Experts” that you need to avoid like a two-dollar working girl, I’ll let you decide. But I will say this, yet again: rent-to-rent sucks royal donkey balls, and I’m personally not a fan of anyone that has the stomach to encourage it, let alone sell it.

If for reasons unbeknown to me, you wish to delve deeper into the world of Samuel Leeds and/or rent-to-rent, you’re in luck! According to his website, he’s currently on a Christmas “Crash Course – UK Tour” which is free to attend. He believes, “… Anybody Can Become Financially Free Within Twelve Months Or Less By Investing In Property.”

Well, shit. That’s a Christmas miracle right there.

However, be warned, £100 no-show and late cancellation fees do apply, and there’s a good chance he’ll try to upsell his ‘Academy’ during the experience, which includes “12 Months of Coaching, Mentoring and Support with Samuel Leeds”, which thankfully, is selling for a very reasonable £11,995.

Ahhhh man, if only I flogged ridiculously expensive property courses, then I’d have the funds to snap one of those puppies up.

The legal battle

Vanessa and Samuel are obviously two opposing minds, so it’s easy to imagine a head-on collision if they were ever to cross paths.

It happened!

Property Tribes hosts a string of unflattering threads about Samuel Leeds in their forums by dissatisfied mentees and ex-business partners, suggesting he is indeed one of the toxic gurus. Understandably, this has rubbed Samuel the wrong way. He claims to be one of the good eggs and a victim of defamation. However, despite his efforts thus far, he’s been unsuccessful at making the content disappear.

Fair play to Property Tribes for standing their ground. I mean that purely from a freedom of speech standpoint, because apparently Samuel isn’t shy when it comes to dishing out defamation threats in order to get content removed. That said, I have no idea who is legally in the right or wrong here, I’m just a devastatingly dashing bystander. I don’t support defamation, but I do support freedom of speech.

Long story short, Vanessa has found herself defending a claim for six figure damages made by Leeds for alleged defamation, and she’s returning the favour in kind by counter-suing for alleged harassment. But according to Vanessa, her pursuit is bigger than just herself, it’s about standing up against the unregulated wealth creation sector as a whole, and those that have the financial means to try and silence those who challenge the individuals peddling the pipe dreams. Ballsy and honourable. How can we not support that?

Since I’ve generously plugged Mr Leeds YouTube channel, his wife’s reaction to their lavish £3,000,000 crib, his free UK ‘Crash Course’ tour, and his basement bargain £11,995 Academy, I think it’s only fair to point you in the direction of Vanessa’s Crowd Justice page, where she’s raising money to help cover the exorbitant legal costs she’ll have to pay to fight her fight in the High Court.

At the time of writing this, she’s raised £16,000’ish, with a target of £55,000 (and there’s 10 days left to donate). If you don’t feel compelled to donate, I still recommend reading the page, because it provides a detailed overview of the abuse she’s allegedly endured by Samuel and his team. I found it a rather interesting and disturbing read. I truly feel for her.

Anyways, feel free to draw a line in the sand and show solidarity to your character of choice.

Crickey! I didn’t plan on investing so many of my precious words covering Vanessa Warwick Vs Samuel Leeds – I’ve actually forgotten the point of this blog post. It wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t have a point, mind you.

Perhaps it’s to urge everyone to be careful of Social Media “Property Experts” that make lofty claims and sell property courses that cost more than my house, ’cause absolutely everything most of what they show you isn’t real, and most of them are straight-up narcissistic dicks.

Seasons greetings, my friends.

Have a good one xoxo

P.s. Unfortunately I don’t have a face for public speaking so I can’t sell you £12k property courses. If I did, just know that I’d be tossing your ass down a sales funnel, encouraging you to sign away your hopeless life. However, I do have a virtual begging bowl that you can fill with coffee.

Property courses, begging bowl… Tomato, Tomahto. We all have our means of achieving financial freedom!

19 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Benji 17th December, 2021 @ 12:12

A lot of that could apply to the shills pumping crypto.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th December, 2021 @ 12:41


Although, at least with crypto you own/hold the asset.

Guest Avatar
Beryl 17th December, 2021 @ 13:55

Why bother with all this, just help us how to tackle this looming EPC crisis please. How do we get our EPC to jump from a D to a C? It suggests that we (pensioner landlords in Wales where the rent is very low) to spend a minimum of 14k to achieve a couple of hundred pounds savings for our tenant!!!!!
Then at the end of the spending there is no guarantee of the grade will be a C. Another interesting thing you might find is that we checked our last EPC and the property seems to have grown around 15 m. We have not built an extension of any kind. we tackled the assessor, and the firm that employed him, and they did not want to know. Seeing that the EPC assessment is based mainly on the size of the house, we question the result. We also tackled our MP who directed us to a firm that gave grants to people on benefits!!!!! We are pensioners and she knows this.
We would really appreciate your thoughts on the situation and how to go forward. We have also contacted the Levelling UP Department for Housing and Communities!!!!!! who informed us that they will not give advice.
We rely on the income from our house to pay our bills. Any thoughts that might help us would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance
David and Beryl Williams

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th December, 2021 @ 14:04


Hah, you mean, why do I bother discussing landlord issues I feel are important on my own landlord blog instead of the ones you want me to?

Guest Avatar
James T 17th December, 2021 @ 14:17

Just been reading this article, as I was curious.

As someone who has been property Investing for 20 years, and has done many of those property courses over the years I don’t understand all the bad vibes I hear about them.

In my experience the value of the knowledge in the courses, is based very much on what you do with it afterward. If you do a two day course then never look at it again, then it’s poor value - but not through any fault of the training providers. If it’s good value is based on the person doing it and if they have the skills, acumen, (and sometimes financial resources) for doing it.

It’s only poor value if the information is out of date, or is only theoretical, rehashed, or not practiced by the person teaching it.

For example I did an HMO course five years ago, three days - since then I’ve purchased three HMO’s and the knowledge came in very useful in ensuring I did them properly.

Once I went to a ‘round table’ ask anything event and one of the many questions I asked saved me about £40,000 in VAT and helped rescue a development project I was working on at the time (a development project id never have had the confidence or knowledge to undertake if not for the training course).

Another course I did on deal packaging and I’ve never sold a packaged deal in my life - it may have been poor value for me in that case but only because I did nothing with the knowledge, I also know plenty of people who have very successful deal packaging businesses off doing a course.

I think as a basic concept then if you don’t know how to do something, then having someone who knows how to do it teach it to you seems a pretty sensible concept?

Yes there are sales techniques used and not everyone who buys a course will find it good value, and not all courses will be equal either (some are full of technical knowledge, some are more mindset, and some are more salesy), but the idea that all people doing property courses are scammy is just ridiculous. There are plenty of property mentees (or cultists as they’ve been called) who get incredible results.

I was at an awards event where one person took on 25 properties over the course of 18 months since starting at a group, it’s unlikely that would have happened without some training and support - I certainly never met anyone like that outside a property community.

I’ve got to say I find the manner of some of the mentors mentioned above bolschy, aggressive and not anyone I’d want to meet particularly - however I’ve no reason to believe that he hasn’t been successful in property - so he probably has useful knowledge to sell, if you can stand the manner in which he does it.

I’ve thought long and hard about whether to offer consultancy and mentoring to people looking to get into property. Asked myself whether I have sufficient experience, expertise and useful knowledge to share that would assist people getting into the business. I think I do, but then I also know as soon as I raised my head above the parapet to do it I’d probably get lumped in and called scammy, and rip-off etc etc because of the whole reputation thing.

I’ve seen in property (and in other very prominent subjects discussed online) that it’s a lot easier for people to throw crap and criticise people attempting to do a thing, then actually doing a thing.

There are definitely improvements that can be made, and post course accountability calls and support to get a particular strategy working could increase the % success rate of people who attend the course, however if a person does a university degree, and then does a job completely different to the degree, or doesn’t do a job - then it seems unfair to blame the university. That seems to be what is happening here though.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th December, 2021 @ 14:44

Hi @ James T,

I completely agree with what you said.

I don't have issue with property courses in general, including ones that teach landlords how to source properties and actually buy them, and how to scale up sensibly. Perhaps I should have been clearer (although, I thought I was clearly targeting a specific type of rogue expert here).

In Part 1 I did categorically mention I don't have issues with courses across the board, there are some great ones available, so I didn't want to repeat myself.

In this post, I'm specifically talking about the rise in property experts that are selling pipe-dreams, notoriously over social media i.e. they preach the idea of achieving "financial freedom" without putting down deposits and building rent-to-rent empires. These unrealistic and dangerous strategies psychologically only appeal to financially vulnerable people.

"I did an HMO course five years ago, three days - since then I’ve purchased three HMO’s" - and that's how it should be done. But that's not what is being taught in the courses I'm having a hissy fit over.

Hope that makes my position clearer.

Guest Avatar
Tim 17th December, 2021 @ 15:22

I think the National residential landlord association. NRLA is a brilliant organisation. However, they have now got into bed with Homes Under the Hammer “expert” Martin. So, they’ve totally compromised themselves rather than sticking faithfully to representing landlords they are taking affiliate commissions from another property “guru”. Such a shame to lose the moral high ground.

Guest Avatar
Simon 17th December, 2021 @ 15:45

David & Beryl -

Hi, fellow Welsh landlord.

Re EPC - drop me an email on [email protected] - we need to do coffee.

Guest Avatar
Eric 17th December, 2021 @ 17:19

Hahah good stuff. I genuinely thought Samuel Leeds was a parody when I watched his videos.

Guest Avatar
Andrew Burgess 17th December, 2021 @ 19:34

This is a brilliant review of Property Education in general and a lot of the 'get rich quick'. I'm in a similar situation to Vanessa and would love some donations to my Crowdjustice. Please see my link, I'm thankful for every penny

Guest Avatar
rob landlord 17th December, 2021 @ 20:53

In almost every field of investment there are "Guru's" selling their expertise and advice that generally offer a "get rich quick for minimal effort and become an overnight success" as long as you pay them a fee in advance. It amazes me that anyone falls for it.

My own experience of property has been - If I can sum it up briefly enough - Hard work to build up capital. More hard work getting a rental property up to scratch. Harder work repairing a tenants best efforts to wreck the place. More hard work getting second property. Third still hard but not as bad. 4th I purchased ready to let. It took me 8 years, I've invested a big chunk of cash from my savings, pension tax free lump sum, and profits from flipping houses. Only now with 4 rents and totally mortgage free can I say I'm comfortable. It's not easy, there will be set backs and I'll only really make some serious cash If I sell up.

If you think you can achieve more with less hassle and cash outlay - they do it, but don't pay someone a grand to make you believe a bullshit pipe dream.

Guest Avatar
Jacob 18th December, 2021 @ 11:14

Let's be honest if someone is daft enough to actually sign up to these scams I just have no sympathy.
These are great times for being a landlord despite new legislation electric cert etc . seems demand for private rental properties is far exceeding supply .

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 18th December, 2021 @ 11:22

I hear you.

It's often a battle to have sympathy for people that get lured into these transparent traps, but then, I do wonder if that's showing a lack of empathy for those in less fortunate positions than us.

In truth, I think there's two groups of people that get lured in:

1) People that simply want to make a quick buck and have no interest in hard work. If anything, these people dig their own grave. I don't want anyone to get scammed, but I struggle to have sympathy for them.

2) People in very desperate situations that will try anything to get out of the hole they're in. Some of the circumstances of the people that fall into this group can be very brutal and complex.

Either way, the scammers behind these organisations need to be stopped, because as said, they encourage poor standards and make the entire sector look bad.

Guest Avatar
Jacob 18th December, 2021 @ 17:37

@The Landlord. Hope I didn't come across insensitive but in all honesty a quick search on the Web would tell you. correct me if I'm wrong that a 2 bedroom house freehold is probably the ideal property and most sought after checking electric gas and overall condition . I don't think you can go wrong and of course location location.
The information now that you can source on the Web can really help not all is to be trusted first property I bought was a leasehold flat and the uncertainty of that service charge is why I would never buy a leasehold again went up about 70% after 3 years eventually sold it. but if they teach you what not to buy then it could save you thousands in the long term.
I think diligence is the key to success and a few hours of research and of course your local knowledge of a area can be far more resourceful than someone wanting to part with your hard earned money from you.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 18th December, 2021 @ 17:43

It's all good, no probs :)

I agree, I also believe a 2 bedroom house is the sweet spot. I only have 2 bedroom houses.

In regards to leasehold properties, I've written an entire blog post on why I don't recommend leasehold properties, and a primary reason is the one you mentioned (the rates). I also cover it in my "Guide for new landlords"

... all for free :)

If I could sell that nugget of information for thousands... I wouldn't.

Guest Avatar
Marti 18th December, 2021 @ 21:24

You have hit the nail on the head there are loads of dodgy people who are trying to suck in the gullible ! we all need some on like Vanessa’ we should support her fight !

Guest Avatar
Linda Shinner 18th December, 2021 @ 23:04

Look forward to receiving and reading your blogs. Always spot on and make a lot of sense to me. Owned properties since the early eighties. Worked my way to 12 now only have 4. Keeping the rents low treating the tenants with respect (very difficult at times) works for me. My success tip Hard work Single minded and a little bit of luck.

Guest Avatar
GriffMG 22nd December, 2021 @ 12:12

Brilliant article, made me chuckle.

On EPC requirements from 2025, how much does the acreditation cost... sounds like a nice retirement job.

The last one we got done the assessor got all grumpy because he actually turned up and looked around
the property - when apparently most now offer a 'drive by' service... or even a telephone/internet
based arrangement... the whole thing will deteriorate into farce before you know it - remember

Guest Avatar
James Gabriel 14th January, 2022 @ 21:56

Speaking of people like this.

There is one called KO Estates charging about a £1k for a property course. Lady who runs it is 20 years old, think she's got 1 or 2 £50k BTLs in Burnley but has still amassed 45k followers on instagram. It's very worrying.

















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