Entrepreneurial Tigers' stars are in a league of their own
Castleford Tigers star Jesse Sene-Lefao and former team-mate Quentin Laulu-Togagae are proving to be powerhouses not just on the pitch but off it too as property entrepreneurs.
The Samoa internationals have become business partners, renting out high-end accommodation for short stays. Their portfolio already includes an entire block of 12 apartments, as well as seven other furnished flats and houses which they let to visitors on a nightly basis.
The sportsmen own none of the properties. At the outset, they decided to use a strategy known as rent-to-rent to kickstart their company. This allows them to offer the landlord of a house or a flat a guaranteed monthly payment. In return, they are permitted to rent it out on sites like Airbnb and booking.com at a higher rate and keep the profit.
The apartment block of one and two-bedroom flats is in Pontefract, while their other accommodation is in and around Wakefield, Leeds and Wigan.
It was Jesse who first got hooked on the idea of making money in the housing market after watching videos posted by multi-millionaire property developer and trainer Samuel Leeds. He then got Quentin, known as Q, interested and he too studied Leeds’ YouTube content.
Afterwards they enrolled on one of his Property Investors Crash Courses held in Birmingham in 2019. They gained an insight into how to make a living from bricks and mortar and have not looked back since.
The pair have set themselves a target of securing at least another five furnished rental properties by the end of the year.
Fullback Q, who now plays for Keighley Cougars, has scored 230 tries in his career, while Jesse is a powerful force in the Super League. The back-rower helped Castleford win the 2017 League Leaders’ Shield and also represented his country in a memorable test match victory over Pacific Island rivals Fiji.
Q turns 37 this year and says he needs to look to his future to be able to continue providing for his family, with a third child on the way.
“I’ve just signed a two-year contract, but rugby is not a long career. You play for 10 to 15 years. So, you’ve got to try to find something on the side once rugby has finished to fall back on.
“Property was one venture that we thought could secure us the financial freedom that we want to get to, especially after rugby.”
Father-of-four Jesse is five years younger but shares his motivation:
“The thing that pushed me the most was thinking after rugby what am I going to do. I don’t want to work in a factory. I don’t want to be told what to do. I’d rather have something that’s going to give me a passive income.”
Their differing schedules enable them to run the business in their spare time. Jesse is a full-time rugby player who trains in the day, while Q is part-time and does all his training at night. This means they can take over from each other whenever any work needs to be done on the property front.
Jesse Sene-Lefao (left) has linked up with former team-mate and fellow Samoa international Quentin Laulu-Togagae to set up a successful property business.