KSS 26 | Residential Assisted Living

Once business goals and objectives are achieved, it’s time to make a contingency plan and strategize how to exit. Gene Guarino, the owner of Residential Assisted Living Academy, reveals one of the best exit strategies that can provide housing and that all real estate investors should be aware of. As demographic changes affect investment returns, find out how Gene set up a systematic approach to this type of investment. There are 10,000 people turning 65 every day, and it is about time to get hook on this one as Gene unravels residential assisted living’s financing side, renovations, and more.

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Kevin And Gene Guarino Talk RAL And Notes

I’ve been waiting to get this particular guest on for quite some time and we’ve had some scheduling conflicts doing this, but I’m excited to have him on here because he’s somebody that I met a long time ago. In fact, I met him when I was early into speaking. I was just getting started. I’m curious to see where he has evolved into this. I think what he’s doing now is a fantastic fit for the national demographics. I do a lot of study on demographics, trends and such and this is one that stands out. His name is Gene Guarino. Gene owns the RAL Academy. It’s Residential Assisted Living Academy. He teaches a fantastic exit strategy that you can provide housing, which is an absolutely necessary thing for people. I read that 10,000 people a day turn over 60 years of age. It’s a big need, it’s a win-win scenario and I’m happy to have him on. Welcome, Mr. Gene Guarino.

Thank you again. It’s great to be here.

I do appreciate it. I’m glad we finally got together on this. I want to lead up a little bit to what got you into this part of real estate because I know that you went through starting out and some different things in real estate and financial planning. I think it’s a nice evolution to see how you went from where you are to what really determined a sharp investor like yourself who have seen a lot of different things to get in this particular aspect of it. Maybe tell us a little bit about what it is that you’re doing and then go into just an evolution of what brought you to that.

When we say residential assisted living, it’s turning a single-family home into an assisted living home. A little bit of minor modifications to the home, grab bars in the bathrooms and so on, maybe smoke detectors or fire suppression, something to that effect. Think of the Golden Girls but with caregivers, so people are there taking care of them. They’re living in the home 24/7 but they don’t need a hospital, they don’t need a skilled nursing facility, they don’t need nursing care. They just can’t be home alone. They do need help with some of their ADLs or Activities of Daily Living. These homes are set up for six, eight, ten, twelve, sixteen adults living in that home. Caregivers take care of them 24/7. It’s really a combination between a real estate play and a business play. It’s very lucrative and we can do a lot of good.

I’ve seen that. It makes a lot of sense for people to look at that on some of the properties that we have. A lot of my audience own property they acquire through foreclosures or they get them through notes etc. What led up to you getting involved in this? I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this, but I know before you were involved in different aspects of real estate. What was the thought process that got you into this?

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I’m going to take it all the way back. My first property, I was eighteen years old. We had a music school recording studio, a small record label and we were renting a building from sixteen to eighteen, my brother and myself. He was two years older. After two years, we said, “They’re shutting us down where we have to get our own place.” We bought a house with no money down because we had no money, no credit. We had no idea what we were doing. We bought that first one, bought another fix and flip, bought some buy and holds along the way. Flash forward to about twenty-some years later, I was in a room and it was hundreds of people. A gentleman in the front of the room was telling us about all different things you can do in real estate, including notes and so on. One of the things he mentioned was residential assisted living. It resonated because he was talking about Baby Boomers coming of age, here’s where you should be in the future. I ran up to him and I said, “Tell me more.” He said, “I can’t, I don’t actually do it. I’m just telling you should do it.” I said, “At least you know somebody who’s doing it.”

He referred me to somebody, but they weren’t willing to teach me how because they thought I would steal all their business. Years went on, when my mother started to need help herself, that’s when everything became very real. We looked around for the opportunities of, “Where do you bring mom, what do you do, what does it take to bring a caregiver into the home?” I realized this is real. My mom needs help. I can’t find a good place for her. At that point, we vowed to create a home that we’d be proud to have our own mother move into. That was a couple of years ago and I started off by buying an existing one. I figured it out from the inside out. It’s a little painful, costly experience doing it that way, but I had no choice. We have started other homes from scratch. You find a home, renovate it, start this business and do it. We own homes in Arizona, but I invest in homes across the country. We have thousands of students that are doing it all across the country as well.

You’re the only one that I know of that’s doing it and teaching this to other people. You’re right, I remember years ago hearing about this as an exit strategy and it was the same thing for me. It was like, “That’s a curiosity.” That’s about as far as it went with me. I never applied that you get busy with other things. Oftentimes you get comfortable in what you’re doing, but you have to have that recognition that things change. For you, it’s a family necessity and you needed to move into this. I think that’s great. My wife’s mom ran into that scenario too where we were looking in that direction. The need is out there.

For a lot of investors, when they think in terms of exit strategies, they don’t know about it, number one. Number two, if they do, I think they start to talk themselves out of it as far as, “That sounds like a lot of effort and a lot of how do we take care of these folks? Do we need nursing? What’re the liabilities?” You’ve got that all figured out. Maybe you can touch on that topic a little bit, setting up a systematic approach that you have. You had to learn it the hard way, but share us a little insight.

We’ve done things in real estate, where most people start as a wholesale or fix and flip perspective. Smart people go into note sooner. It took me a while to get that smart, but the idea of the fix and flip, it’s transactional. You buy it, you shine it up, you sell it off, but you’re on business. You’ve got to go find another one. Now that we have the HGTV, it’s a blessing and a curse. Every week they come out with a new show, in 28 minutes they’re flipping a house and making $50,000. That’s a visual myth we all get to watch and see. The problem is it brings a lot more competition into the market. The idea of buy and hold can be great in real estate when you buy it, hold it and make $100 a month, when I was eighteen with my first property that was exciting. Now, it’s just not enough. You use the term exit strategy a number of times. I find that interesting. I’m 58 years old, all of us at some point are going to need help with our activities of daily living.

KSS 26 | Residential Assisted Living

Residential Assisted Living: Residential assisted living is a combination between a real estate play and a business play. It is very lucrative and can do a lot of good.


What I see a lot of times, people who move into our homes are 80, 90 years old, but they’ve signed over the power of attorney to somebody in the house. That person is making the decisions for them, where they live, what it costs and so on. I see the drain on the family financially, emotionally and so on. We can alleviate some of the emotional drains because they’re in the home, they’re being taken care of beautifully 24/7, everything is great there, but $6,000, $7,000 a month is what they’re paying. After a year, two or three of that, it sucks away a lot of that person’s future inheritance or what that person was hoping or planning on leaving behind. Exit strategy as you say is funny because it’s the ultimate exit. If you have just one of these homes, it’s a place where you, a parent or a loved one can move into, live for free in the master bedroom, charging other people $6,000 to $8,000 and you’re making money during that time instead of it draining away from everything you worked so hard for.

The cashflow numbers are over the top. Some people would think unrealistic, but start shopping around and start looking at some other facilities. It’s incredible how people are able to afford that. A lot of people simply aren’t and this offers an alternative. Do these homes have to be located in specific zoning, be a certain size or anything like that? Do you have to really hunt for these things or could it be where some people reading have a property they’ve fixed up and they’re looking to sell? Might it be something they can seek out somebody that maybe even one of your students who’s looking for properties like that.

The most important thing that I can impress upon anybody who wants to get into this is its location is number one. When I say location, it’s not mountaintop, beachfront or in a demographic of people that are higher income, not top of the top cream of the crop, but upper middle income that have parents of age who need this help. If you went to a university area, the average age is 28 years old. Their parents are 50 years old. The kids think they should be in a home, but that’s not the demographic. I’m the demographic. You’re the demographic. 50, 60 years old, parents are 80, 90 years old, they need help. We can afford it. They’re not on Medicare and Medicaid. We don’t deal with that. We do private pay. That location with a lot of people around there, the house itself, we can scrape away whatsoever there and rebuild it. If you were to pick a house, I’m going to say bigger is better. More bathrooms is more important than the bedrooms. I live in a 6,000 square foot house, but there are three bedrooms. We could divide the rooms into multiple bedrooms.

That’s not the issue. Bathrooms, plumbing, that’s your bigger expense, so more bathrooms. If I go to a city, let’s say you mentioned you’ll be in San Diego doing a training there, it’ a beautiful city, I put into a search three, three, three. 3,000 square feet, three bedrooms, three bathrooms or higher as a starting point. Usually, we get lots of properties. We hone it down more, but starting with that, that gives me a big enough size. We have a rule of thumb of 300 square feet per person space, not per bedroom, but living space in the house to be comfortable. In a 3,000 square foot house, you could have ten or twelve people, seniors in it. It works out well. I want to back up because I feel like a politician. You asked a question and I didn’t quite answer your previous one. I’ve got to do that. I could never be a politician. I would end up hurting somebody. The concept of easy, simple, hard and moving parts. There’s a real estate play here for sure, but the business play has a lot of those moving parts and that’s where you make the real money.

Anybody who’s reading, one of the reasons why you’re attracted to notes is the simplicity of it. It’s paperwork. We’re not dealing with humans a lot of the time. I write a check and I receive many checks. It’s a wonderful thing. This is different. Think about a fine dining restaurant. This fine dining restaurant has a chef. It’s got somebody greeting you at the front. It’s got waiters and all of that moving parts, but that room itself can be making $5,000 a night in profit if it’s done right. It’s a very profitable venture, but if the chef wasn’t good, if the manager wasn’t good, if the caregivers or servers, in this case, weren’t good, the place would be empty and out of business. It is just like that. That’s the best analogy I can give. It’s a real estate and a business play. You can do either or both.

If you were to pick a house, bigger is better. Click To Tweet

I would imagine it becomes more of a business play as you go through it because with the cashflow that’s being provided, you’d be crazy not to put that towards the payments, the principal and everything else. Have that property owned free and clear in a short period of time, and then you’re just running the business out of there. Hopefully, have appreciation values go and such as well. That’s very interesting. On your website, I know there are a lot of other questions. We’ll get into some other things here. It’s ResidentialAssistedLivingAcademy.com. You’ve got a lot of videos on there. I was looking through the frequently asked questions and those sorts of things.

It’s a handy website to go take a look at. He shows who his team is on there. You’re alluding to that. The team is important. If we separate that real estate into the business side and we start to think in terms of, “I’ve got the proper home. I’ve got this three, three, three, perhaps 3,000 square feet as you said.” You said you could fit about ten seniors in that. All of them are being provided with assistance, possibly include meals, meal preparation and things like that. You’ve got to build a team around that. What’s your approach to that? What’s the challenge that somebody might face in doing that and where might they find folks like that?

I love when somebody who is learning about this like you are asking these questions because the things I take for granted need to be explained. The most important thing is the location. From there you need to know what the zoning rules and regulations are within that area and then play by the rules. Some areas have rules, some don’t. We can get through HOA’s because of the Federal Fair Housing Act in seniors and so on is not a problem. You need to know how to handle it. The area of the location is important. From a human standpoint, the team’s standpoint, the most important person for you is your manager. When I say manager, it’s not a property manager in the traditional sense. This is the manager who is there on site on a daily basis or in control on a daily basis of the home and the activities.

My manager, her name is Mariela, she was a caregiver. She became an assistant manager, and now she’s the manager. She’s the one who hires the caregivers. She hires, fires, trains, then retains them. She’s responsible for that. She’s the one who makes sure that the beds are filled. She’s marketing, getting the word out, getting the referrals in. She’s the one who takes care of the relationships between the family members, their expectations and the resident and so on. She handles the payroll and so on. My job as the owner, I’m not just an investor, but as an owner, I’m a little bit hands-on, but very hands off. I spend maybe five, maybe ten hours a week, and that’s only if I go there to see the homes. I rarely do. Five hours a week, my job is to manage the manager, give her the tools, the resources to be successful.

I spoke to her on the phone for maybe ten minutes because I just got back from a thirteen-day cruise. I had to talk to her, say hello at least. We went back and forth a little bit and she’ll be sending me in an email, the payroll information. I’ll review that for about 20 or 30 minutes and then transfer money from one account to another. My job is to manage the manager to give her the resources. She takes care of everything below that, the caregivers, the residents, and the resident’s family and so on.

KSS 26 | Residential Assisted Living

Residential Assisted Living: The most important thing to remember for anybody who wants to invest in residential assisted living is location.


That’s the business aspect of it. You have to run it like a business and not think of yourself as a property manager. You’re just going to spend all your time involved in that. You’ve done a great job of separating that, saying you’ve got to keep in terms of real estate, the business side and the business. If you were running a business of doing that, that makes sense to do it. You said how much time per week and you’ve got how many properties?

My original goal was to have four properties for these homes in Arizona. I actually only have three. The reason why is nobody was there to teach me. I don’t want to have low-end homes. I want middle, upper middle and then a high-end home. Once I got a level three, four, five, I said, “I’m done, I’ve got everything I need.” Anybody who comes to me, I can find a financially acceptable solution for them. We have a beautiful home on the top, okay home on the bottom. That concept, we have three and they’re in Arizona. My manager manages my three. It’s not a full-time job to manage one home. She manages my three. She’s got one of her own and the second one on the way. She can oversee all of that and it works out really well. That concept of three homes in one area within 20, 30 minutes is what we call a three pack. That three pack is a good way to get the economies of scale between the things you purchase, the systems you have in place, the caregivers and the ability to share them from home to home. It works out really well.

The number three is popping up here a lot. 3,000 square feet, three bedrooms, three baths, and if you get three in the same area.

I know somebody is saying, “Three bedrooms? How do you get ten people in there?” I’m just saying it’s a starting point. My homes are 4,000 square feet with ten bedrooms, 5,000 square feet with ten bedrooms. We’ll take space and divide because the individual who comes to the house typically wants a private room and a private bathroom. If their budget allows, we’ll give them that room and if it doesn’t, then they can do a shared room or shared bathrooms. We have all of those combinations available to them.

It’s an intriguing topic, but don’t go through what Gene had to go through to learn all this stuff. You have to be trained up on this. Otherwise, I could see somebody struggling to get this going. I’ve been to your one-hour sessions, which is fantastic. If you’re at an event and you see Gene’s going to be there and you’ve got a choice of being in which room, go see Gene. You’re going to be very impressed with the way he lays it out very simplistically for everybody. He has an academy for those who want further education or really wants to pursue this. Your students are doing fantastic. Do you have a couple that stands out that you can share some stories about?

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We just got back from a cruise. Robert Kiyosaki was on the cruise, Tom Hopkins was on the cruise. There were a couple of hundred people on that cruise, it’s with The Real Estate Guys. I would say 50 of those people who’ve already been to our training and have homes up and so on. One of them sticks out. His name is Loe Hornbuckle. He’s in Texas. He’s got five homes and he’s gotten two bigger projects that are in place and broken ground onwards. He’s building six homes with sixteen bedrooms or residents in them in a cul-de-sac model. Each one has about 90 beds total, when the homes are all built out. He’s got those two projects going. Some of the things that are coming to people’s mind are, “What about Brookdale or Sunrise or Altura, these big, huge facilities? Those things look beautiful.” The new ones that they build from the ground up are country clubs.

They’re beautiful places. The question is, “Does mom want to live in that big hotel-like or does she want to live at home?” She’d rather be at her own home, and grandpa too, but at her own home as opposed to a big huge facility. It’s eye candy for you and I. We’re like, “There’s a putting green out back, there’s a sewing room, there’s a theater.” Mom is like, “I just want to be in my chair, in my own room, in my own family room.” A home versus home-like is what we do. We provide these homes with a small community, not hundreds of people. I’m going out to an event, there will be thousands of people there. I’d almost rather stay at home and watch on TV than I would be with thousands of people. Grandma is the same way. She doesn’t want to live in a place with 300 people. She’d rather be with her friends or a small community of people that she can get to know. That’s what we provide. That’s part of the do good and do well.

Swinging back a little bit on the real estate side here, because we’ve got a lot of real estate readers and such here, what about financing on this? Is it still the same creative real estate deals to acquire these other than the rehab might be a little bit different? Are there special contractors that you need to bring in? Should they all know the various codes? How does that work from the real estate side?

From the initial funding of the purchase, it’s a residential property in a residential neighborhood. Non-owner-occupied financing through Fannie or Freddie can absolutely work. Start there, the long-term, low-interest rate certainly works. After it’s converted, and what I mean by that is there are ramps to the front doors, grab bars, license on the wall and ten grandmas, you come back with the appraiser and they’re going to re-finance to something else in the future. The appraiser’s going to look at it and say, “It is a residential home, but it’s different.” They’ll go back to the traditional bank and they’ll say, “That’s not quite what we want to lend money on.” Commercial financing comes in. SBA, USDA, there are different programs that are out there that we as bank funding with the government guarantee, they can fund the real estate, the renovation and the purchase of a business if it’s already there as well.

In addition, private lenders are great. You know as well as I, there are trillions of dollars sitting on the sideline in cash right now earning zero in banks. People are interested in loaning money to get a rate of return that’s better than what they’re getting in a bank or a bond. 6% to 10% money out there on a mid-term loan, two to five years is available. Syndication is something else that we also teach and touch on. It’s the idea of creating the actual paperwork, private placement memorandum to raise capital of millions of dollars. We have lots of students that have done that and are currently doing that. Those are all different ways. I prefer private financing because it’s a lot more flexible. I can look somebody in the eye and they can say, “Everything isn’t perfect but I trust you. Let’s do it.” I like private financing but all those things are available.

KSS 26 | Residential Assisted Living

Residential Assisted Living: Moms and grandpas would rather live at their own home as opposed to a big huge facility.


On the private financing, you lay out the whole plan. It’s like, “Here’s what we’re going to do.” You have some pro-forma, if you will, that you show them, “Here’s what the plan is. We’re going to fix it up. Here’s the estimated cost and then it would take about X long to get the house filled.”

You laid it out beautifully, Kevin. That business plan has to lay it all out. If it’s a brand-new build with somebody who’s never done this before, there are some moving parts and that’s tricky. They do need help to get the confidence of that lender. The purchase, what is going to cost to buy, acquire and renovate it, you mentioned, are there special contractors, this is not heavy duty different than any other residential property. There are some nuances, some design differences for sure, but a contractor getting the estimates, having the amount of money in the time it’s going to take and then double it, because we know how that all works out, buy it, renovate it. The blue sky cost. What is it going to take to start a business? I’ve been doing business for 40 years. One of the pieces that people underestimate is the capitalization needed to start a business. You’re going to have negative cashflow at the beginning. What’s the biggest hole you’re going to have? How much do you need a reserve before you start? It’s important to note that number so you can be prepared for it at the start and then you get to break even. You get to maximization and stabilization, and then you can run your pro-forma that goes out for ten years and your exit plan.

I love how you started the whole thing with the exit plan. Keep that in mind, whenever you’re borrowing money from somebody, a bank does a 30-year loan but they’re going to sell that note off. I know Kevin has explained that to you. They just sell it off. That’s what they do. They’re note brokers. In essence, they create and sell them. In this case, when you’re dealing with a private individual, if it’s not hard money where they’re saying six months, twelve months, eighteen months, it’s a private lender. They’re not going to want to go 30 years. They don’t want six months either. They don’t want to have to do all this work again. A lot of times the private lenders that I’ve worked with require a minimum of two years. In other words, you have to keep the money for at least two years, but I want it re-financed cash out within five years. Frankly, that’s a beautiful model because two years, you’re up and running cashflowing, now we can go get re-financed very comfortably. We’ve got three years to do it with long-term, low-interest rate funding and financing through banks or SBA and all of that, then you can re-finance out.

For clarification for everybody too, the private money is for the real estate side. They’re not involved in the business side. They’re giving you the loan just on the real estate or do you do it a couple of different ways?

A couple of different ways. Usually what it might look like in the capital stack, it might be either doing it on just the real estate, the first 70% is what most people consider the safest money. 70% loan-to-value, you might be able to borrow that money at 6%, so let’s say 48% but 6%. The 30% on top of that, so the 71% to 100% of that, the more risky money in the real estate, that’s going to cost you a little more. It might be 8%, so 6% to 10%, let’s call it 8%. The blue sky part, the part that if it works, it works and if it doesn’t, it’s gone. Paying for furniture and startup and so on, a business loan that might be 10% to 12% or 10% to 14%, so that might be 10% money. You literally may have a capital stack that’s got 6%, 8%, 10%.

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The first one I ever did was no money down because the property I did at eighteen was no money down. I’ve carried that theme throughout my whole career. The first real estate and business purchase in residential assisted living was no money down. I borrowed $516,000 on a $500,000 purchase. It was more than 100% that I borrowed to do the deal. That worked out great. There’s more to that story. The second one, the same thing. Using other people’s money, private lenders and so on to buy the real estate, to fix up the renovation of blue sky. I like 100% financing because then my money becomes the backup plan.

I love the multiple notes on the properties because a lot of people miss out on that and we teach techniques on that as well on the other side when we’re selling property like that. One of my first thoughts when I first heard you going through this with, “I’d love to own a note on that property,” because I know the cashflow is coming in. I was joking that all rental properties cashflow, it’s just that there’s a plus sign or a minus sign. This one has a big plus sign in front of it. There’s a big cashflow coming in from these. That creates a really safe note. My first thought on this was, “If I have properties right now or can acquire properties through a non-performing loan, maybe I’ll start to target it because there’s still good inventory that’s on the higher end.”

I’ve found in the note world, a lot of people shy away from those because they do pay a little bit more of a premium for those non-performing notes on higher-end property. If they can meet a model that does this, that person has the opportunity obviously to go this route where they wouldn’t even need the financing. They acquired the property through non-performing note and then just turn it into an assisted living facility or get the business or the property set the right way and finance it for somebody. There are multiple connections that I see within that because buyers on the other end want to get in these deals creatively as well. That’s a very interesting take on there. One other thing that jumped in my mind as you were talking there are the day-to-day personalities and people would come in there, that’s management, that’s decisions on there. On the renovations, do you have to think in terms of handicap or is that something where it’s not going to be that type of a facility? Is that an issue?

Certainly, we want it to be senior-safe. That’s the first priority. Meaning it’s safe for seniors. There are grab bars, smoke detectors, potentially fire suppression sprinklers. When we talk about the idea of senior-friendly or ADA-compliant, let’s go all the way. We are ADA-compliant because we’re not hiring disabled people to work, to take care, in essence, disabled people. Wider doors, like a 36-inch door, we do that every place we can. It’s easier to move furniture. If somebody has a walker or wheelchair, it’s much easier to get through the doorway with a 36-inch door. There are smooth floors, not carpet but hardwood, linoleum tile. They’re easy to clean and they’re not a tripping hazard. Wider doors, grab bars, smooth floors, those are the kinds of things we’re looking at in the renovation aspect of things.

It’s a little bit different, but there wasn’t anything you said there that was like, “That’s a lot of work.” It’s just doing it in a proper way for this particular exit. You’ve got training and such. Tell us about this. Before we started here, you said, “I’ve got a book, if people are interested,” and I always like giving free things or free gifts or something like that if we can. Tell us about the book you have and where people can go to get it.

KSS 26 | Residential Assisted Living

Insider’s Guide to Investing in Senior Housing: “America’s Best Financial Opportunity for the Next 25 Years!”

We wrote a book called The Insider’s Guide to Investing in Senior Housing. You can buy it on Amazon, but we’re going to give you a free copy that you can download immediately. It’s a simple website, RAL101.com. When you go there, there’s a webinar you can watch, there’s the book you can download, you can call us and ask more questions. The RALAcademy.com website is a great place to go to watch videos and get more info as well. Kevin, there’s one thing I want to mention to you and your readers. You guys are note pros. You guys are doing it. It’s your deal. It’s your thing. Don’t hesitate to lend money or buy notes or deal with notes in this regard. I spend a lot of time traveling around the country, educating people on this residential assisted living. Some of them are places where it’s private money lenders and notes and so on. There’s a thought that this home is different. This is going to be difficult. Once a home is renovated for this purpose, whether it be seniors, there are so many other purposes you can use that group home for. A lot of times, a lender or your case, a note holder, might think, “If I have to take this thing back in foreclosure, what am I going to do with this albatross?” Hold it. It’s just a home in a residential setting.

This home, like Kevin said, they can produce a lot more cashflow. The idea that the debt service coverage ratio, if you ended up having to lease that to somebody, you take it back and you’ve got a lease to do somebody who is the tenant, it’s a potential operator or a group home, whether it’s me or somebody else. They will pay more if you ask them to, maybe up to twice the market rent and they will want a long-term lease, if they’re my students anyway. Why would they pay more? They’re going to make a boatload of money in that business. Why would they want a long-term lease? They don’t want you to kick them out after they’re up, running and making so much money. Anybody who owns the real estate, they can lease it to and get up to twice the market rent, five-year lease with five-year renewals. It’s a beautiful thing. For note holders, don’t fear taking it back. You can lease it to an operator, you could sell it to somebody who’s going to do a group home for the elderly or any other type of group home. There are other options out there as well.

It creates more options, which we always like. I always tell people that you never go into any note deal with one out. That’s where you get hurt. If you have multiple outs and you have multiple things that can happen, this is just another one. It’s already there. The need is going to continue to grow. It’s not going away. You probably have the numbers on this, but I can’t imagine that there’s enough new construction that can keep up with the demand. You’ve got some people. I know it’s a great place but it’s expensive and I don’t want all that. It’s like living in a big condo and that sort of thing. I want the comfort of a home and a smaller group of people. I think it’s a great dynamic that everybody really should look at. At least start on the websites, but definitely get the free book, we appreciate that. It’s RAL101.com. The website is at RAL Academy and ResidentialAssistedLivingAcademy.com as well to learn more about this topic. There are a lot of tie-ins.

As you were saying, you can lend money. That’s still the paper business. I’m sure you’ve got students who are looking for private loans on things. We train, as you do, people all throughout the United States and this model works everywhere. I’m sure there are states that are stronger, that have maybe easier courses of entry or just population demographics where it’s more conducive for this. This works everywhere. There’s no particular state or anything where you go, “That doesn’t work there.” People are growing old everywhere.

They’re growing old everywhere and they want to stay where they’re at. It’s not like you live in the east and you’re required to move to Florida when you turn 65.

Find something to be passionate about, something you love, and do that because life is too short for something you don't love. Click To Tweet

I jokingly say in our classes a lot of times too, how many homes are actually owned free and clear in the United States? I make a little demographic play there. It’s about 43% the last time I read it. I said, “Think about it. This generation that we’re talking about here, that’s getting over and passing away. It’s just the way the world works. They didn’t move. How many times did your parents or grandparents move?” Most of the people are like, “They don’t move. They’re still in that area.” I agree with you. We want to stay right there. We can’t live on our own anymore, so we have to make that move. If we can do it in the same community, we have the same church, we have the same grocery store or whatever facilities we go to, I think that’s a comforting factor for a lot of these folks. It can happen everywhere. On the note side of the business, you can lend money on these, of course, creating your own paper. If you’re acquiring these properties and you’ve been shying away from the bigger homes, this may be something that you get into, but you definitely need to learn more about it. This is a big topic. How many days was your academy? Was that three days?

Three days.

You could easily spend three days just on this topic and still not have all the questions answered until you’re into a deal like the note business that way. This is a great one to look at. The numbers all make sense. Gene, any final thoughts or any words of wisdom you have for us?

I’m going to give you two. The first one is whatever you do, the older I get, the wiser I seem to get. Find something to be passionate about, something you love and do that because if you’re doing something you don’t love, life is too short for that. Find your passion, figure out why you do what you do and just focus on that. The last thing I want to leave you with is I guarantee you’re all going to get involved in assisted living one way or the other. You’re either going to own the real estate, the note, the business or your family member is going to be lying in a bed writing a check to somebody who does. Right now you have a choice. Choose carefully, but one way or the other you’re going to get involved. I’d love to share with you more at RAL101.com. There is some great info for you.

That resonated with me as well when I heard you say that. I said, “That makes a lot of sense,” and it’s absolutely something to look at. I enjoyed the time together and I wish we had more time. Are you traveling around? Do you have some places that people can see you?

KSS 26 | Residential Assisted Living

Residential Assisted Living: Using other people’s money to buy the real estate and fix up the renovation allows you to make your own money as the backup plan.


I am traveling around. I’m going to be in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta and then out in Los Angeles and Orange County. That’s a thirteen-day tour that I’m doing right there. I come back and our team is going to be back in Orange County, in California and in Connecticut. We’ve got our training coming up, then we’re in Dallas. Denver as well. There are some other cities.

Have you got those events listed on your website?

Yes. There’s a tab that says Events and you’ll see it.

Check it out. It’s well worth it to have at least an hour with Gene at some of these events where he can really lay out the whole thing for you, the big picture. I know you’re going to be interested in it as I was from the very first time I heard him talking about this topic. Gene, thank you so much for being on. I appreciate it and look forward to running into you somewhere out on the road.

Thanks, Kevin.

Thanks a lot, Gene.

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About Gene Guarino

KSS 26 | Residential Assisted LivingGene is the President, CEO & Founder of RAL Academy. Gene has over 30 years experience in real estate investing and business and now is focused on just one thing… investing in the mega-trend of senior assisted housing.

Having trained tens of thousands of investor/entrepreneurs over the past 25 years, he now specializes in helping others take advantage of this mega-trend opportunity.



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