Table of Contents - Creating a Real Estate Business Around Your Lifestyle with Jeff Woods
Dave Debeau [00:00:09] I have there everybody, this is Dave Debeau with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast today, zooming in all the way from the beautiful Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. We have a real estate entrepreneur, Mr. Jeff Woods. How are you doing today, Jeff?
Jeff Woods [00:00:26] Fantastic. Dave, thanks for having me on your podcast.
Dave Debeau [00:00:29] My pleasure. My pleasure. So, Jeff, we were talking a little bit offline here. You've been doing the whole real estate thing for twenty two years now. You wouldn't know that from your bright, shiny face there.
Jeff Woods [00:00:42] But there's lots of gray in there. Dave, I hear
Dave Debeau [00:00:45] what you got. A lot more going on up top that I do. So, yeah. How did you how did you jump into real estate in the first place? And and what does your real estate investing business look like now?
Jeff Woods [00:01:00] OK, so I'll start from the beginning, but I'll keep it very short, I know we're on a timeline here, so grew up very humble beginnings and I've been asked this question before and reflecting back, I think I've always kind of been led down the path of real estate. I knew very early on, you know, moving from apartment rental to apartment rental with my parents that I would much rather be the guy collecting the rent than paying the rent. And then so as I made my way out into the the world to find my place and to create wealth and freedom, you know, the traditional rent, going to school, going to college, I was overwhelmed with debt. I had nobody that could help me. I had a three bedroom townhouse. And so I quickly decided to rent out the rooms to be able to afford and to pay for my my food and maintain a roof over my head. And that was kind of my first step into real estate investing. And then, you know, I'm broke, I'm struggling. I'm not liking what I'm taking in school. Always had kind of real estate or business or entrepreneurial ventures on my mind. And I watched a late night infomercial with a gentleman by the name of Carlton Sheets who had, of course, no money down. I actually pulled it off my my shelf here. And so I still got the course. And you can see how old it is. It's got all the cassettes, cassette tapes. Yeah. And so that was kind of the first thing that sparked my interest and motivated me because, of course, you know, no money down and a kid having no money, I thought, well, that's the way to go. And so that was kind of my first introduction into real estate.
Dave Debeau [00:02:35] Very, very cool. So what kind of deals did you do at the beginning? I mean, because my initial foray into real estate was. Carlton's cousin, Ron Legrand, same idea, right, OK,
Jeff Woods [00:02:48] yet
Dave Debeau [00:02:48] run the money down type deals, so creative real estate deals, what kind of stuff did you get into first?
Jeff Woods [00:02:54] Well, my first property. So after college, I got a job. I was in the Niagara region. And so that was when the casino industry came into town. And so I ended up getting a job as a table games dealer at the casino. And then so, you know, as far as jobs go, it paid relatively well. I was able to save up nine thousand dollars and I bought a beat up bank power of sale and, you know, three bedrooms on the main floor. And I fixed up the basement and put three bedrooms and a bathroom and a kitchen in the lower unit. And I started to rent out the rooms to college and university friends. And so that went extremely well. And, you know, cash flow was coming in. I bought that property at the time. That's back in 1998 for sixty nine thousand. And I was, you know, at the time I was scared out of my mind. I thought that was a lot of money, but it worked well. The cash flow started to pour in. And so I figured that I must be a real estate genius and I'm on to something and quickly discovered over time that I had no clue what I was doing and had to learn a few hard lessons along the way. But that was my first real investment property right now.
Dave Debeau [00:04:07] Fast forward twenty two years later. And what what is your portfolio look like now? What do you focus on primarily? What's your what's your bread and butter strategy these days?
Jeff Woods [00:04:19] So as I grew and evolved and started to learn and started to invest more in my education, I focused more on multifamily properties and I would use a combination of buy, fix, refinance and rent strategy. All the the young kids today call it the BR strategy. So I would do that, coupled with joint venture partnerships, private money and self directed RSPCA. And then I would just buy bigger and bigger properties. And now today we're into, you know, small multifamily apartment complexes, mixed use with retail, residential warehouse spaces. I've got a fifteen thousand square foot medical facility, so we've slowly evolved and grown and then. Yeah, and just keep pushing forward. And now today taking that portfolio and leveraging it so that it now funds my desired lifestyle. And as I mentioned earlier, I now have property in Central America as well as the north coast of Dominican Republic. So so yeah. So that's kind of the fast evolution of my portfolio.
Dave Debeau [00:05:29] That's a very quick synopsis of twenty two years of hard work.
Jeff Woods [00:05:34] Yeah, yeah. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of mistakes and lessons learned along the way. But they were all very rewarding and they, they made me better, they made me stronger, made me wiser. And so things that used to affect me when I was much younger are no longer an issue today.
Dave Debeau [00:05:53] So very cool. So, Jeff, when I take a look at your at your your website, you guys, do you and your team do a lot of different things, you give us just kind of an idea of what your how could we call it your your suite of real estate services businesses look like because you do a ton of different stuff.
Jeff Woods [00:06:16] Yeah. So essentially it boils down to no one is real estate investing. Number two is property management. Number three is renovation solutions. And then the fourth component of that would be coaching and consulting.
Dave Debeau [00:06:31] All right. Very cool. So and I imagine that kind of developed over time, over years. I mean, you started building up a significant portfolio where you self managing all of your properties along the way. That's how you kind of got into the the maps, all the things.
Jeff Woods [00:06:47] Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Dave Debeau [00:06:48] So you're doing a lot of renovations on your own properties as I come out. So are these kind of separate entities, that kind of conglomeration going on there?
Jeff Woods [00:06:59] Yeah, yeah, exactly, that's exactly it. So as my portfolio grew, more and more people would be reaching out for services and I also needed the services. So for example, management back in the day, it was the options really were either to continue self managing, which is just creating another job for yourself, or go out and hire a manager. But at that point in time, I couldn't really find a manager that would manage my properties the way I wanted at the price that I was willing to pay. So the third option and we ultimately ended up doing and what I've kind of duplicated over and over is I created my own management company. So now I could build my own team, teach them to manage the way I wanted, but also create another revenue stream that is synergistic to what I do. So not only does it reduce the cost for myself and my investors, but it also allows me to help other investors and and creates a revenue stream for the company. And I duplicated
Dave Debeau [00:07:58] your company, manages your own properties, plus you manage other real estate entrepreneurs properties if they're out of town owners or they just don't want the headaches and hassles of doing any day to day management, correct?
Jeff Woods [00:08:11] That's correct. Yeah.
Dave Debeau [00:08:13] Now, if I'm correct me if I'm wrong, you also have a renovation company, is that correct? You guys? Yeah. Mix up type stuff and cleaning and all sorts of different things. If I'm.
Jeff Woods [00:08:23] Yeah. Lawn maintenance, snow removal, everything. And again, that was built kind of out of necessity. Right. So in the beginning we would bring on contractors and and outsource everything. But then, you know, the really good contractors were always busy. They couldn't complete the projects on time. And, you know, it just became a nightmare. So we built our own team in-house to service our own properties. And we mostly do our own properties, but we will help other investors in the area as well. But, yeah, that's you know, again, it's very synergistic. It just lends to everything we were already doing. So it made sense to create a renovation renovation division as well.
Dave Debeau [00:09:03] Yeah, well, that makes a lot of sense. Well, hey, there is David, but I just want to give you a quick little heads up that's starting in January of twenty twenty one, we're going to be doing something a little bit different with the Property Profits Real Estate podcast, and that is on Fridays I'm going to be doing something I'm going to call Free Flow Fridays. What does that mean? That means that it's not going to be the typical interview that I do with a leading real estate expert. It's going to be either some Hands-On in-depth training around raising capital, attracting investors or raising capital, which is my specialty, or it's going to be a short but sweet little video log with some sort of a mindset or a raising capital tidbit, or it's going to be a short one on one conversation, interview style with somebody who is actively raising capital so that the free flow Fridays are going to be a lot more all around attracting investors and raising capital. So we'll get that started in January. In the meantime, have a very, very happy holiday and all the best to you and your family. Take care. So what has what has your real estate education look like? You started with that home study course from Carleton Sheets, you know, all-American type stuff, I'm sure you had to translate a lot of that into Canadian. At least I did. I know I had to do it, had to do that with some of the on the ground stuff I had. Absolutely. And then how did how did your real estate education evolve after that?
Jeff Woods [00:10:45] Yeah. So that's that's a great question. And it's it's the. The core fundamental thing that changed my life because in the beginning, remember, I come from humble beginnings and I was taught that, you know, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. And so I was constantly trying to figure out how to do everything myself and struggling and not getting anywhere. And it wasn't until I really started to invest heavily in myself and in my education that things started to change for me. And so that that for me was a combination of a few key books. But again, that didn't really push the lever combined with networking groups. So now I started to surround myself with other like minded people, which was a little bit better. And then when I hired a coach who had already accomplished the things that I wanted to do and was able to help me work on myself and and set goals and attain goals and, you know, get rid of some of my self-defeating habits and all of these things. When I started to work more on myself, that's when my real estate portfolio really took off.
Dave Debeau [00:11:53] Very, very cool. Yeah, that's it seems like it's especially gets in all of our way. Absolutely. I mean, it's not the real estate market per say. It's what's going on in here.
Jeff Woods [00:12:04] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's funny because, you know, I often tell people, but when I stopped investing in real estate, my real estate portfolio took off like I had set a goal in April of 2007 that I wanted to accumulate over one hundred rental units, fire my boss, all of these wonderful things. And of course, back then, that was this huge astronomical goal. You know, growing up in humble beginnings, my parents to this day still don't have a single property. So I thought that was huge. And then when I crushed that goal in under six years, that's what really made me wake up to the power of investing in myself, because when I became better, everything around me became better. So when I started to take my money and invest it in me and learn how I could buy unlimited amounts of real estate using other people's money and other people's credit, now the floodgates opened, right. So much more is possible.
Dave Debeau [00:13:05] A little bit about that, if you don't mind, Jeff, because that's one of the things my, my, my, all things about helping people to do the marketing to attract joint venture partners and investor partners and all that kind of good stuff. So that was a major breakthrough for you as it is for for most people that really want to expand their real estate investing portfolio. How did you clue into that and how did you get started with the whole joint venture thing and raising capital?
Jeff Woods [00:13:34] So again, it was through educating myself, right. So surrounding myself with other people that have done it and that could teach me how to do it. And then, you know, once I was able to kind of break through the poverty mindset, if you will, because I was always again, I was a broke young guy. I didn't have a lot of money. I couldn't hire these high end expensive coaches and, you know, all of these high end programs. So it took me a long time to build up the courage to invest significant amount of capital into my education. But once I did that, I was committed to doing that. And then I just went to work every day implementing it. And over time things started to shift and change. And and like I said, everything really started to take off for me at that point in time.
Dave Debeau [00:14:23] Excellent. Very good. So just out of curiosity, your first JVs or your first investor partners, how did you get them on board?
Jeff Woods [00:14:32] OK, so so this is because a lot of new investors think it's complex and, you know, and it takes a lot of work and marketing and stuff. But for me, it was a shift. Again, going back to me, it was a shift of so when I would go to daily interactions and social events rather than saying, hey, I'm a dealer at the casino, because the typical conversation when you meet somebody, what's your name? What do you do? Right. So I would start to say, well, I'm a professional real estate investor and I help guys just like you create financial independence through real estate. And then if they were interested, the conversation would evolve and go down that path. And so that's how I was able to make a lot of connections. But my very first joint venture partner, funny enough. So I remember the first property I told you about, the fixer upper, and I started to rent it out. Well, one of the gentlemen who rented a bedroom in in a basement in the basement unit of that property, he was he was with me for quite a while as a tenant. And he was paying attention to what I was doing. And he seen me slowly starting to grow my portfolio. And then there was one month where I had closed on two properties in the same month. And he's like, I have to know, what are you doing? Like, what the hell are you doing? How are you doing this? And I told him about joint venture partnering and I could help him. And now he came from a well-to-do family that had some capital and he had some inheritance. And so my tenant became one of my first joint venture partners. And over time he's gone on to invest in several deals with me. And now he has a massive portfolio himself as well. So that was my very first JV partner.
Dave Debeau [00:16:16] And who would have thought of the guy who was renting a room from me in the basement basement of your first what
Jeff Woods [00:16:23] exactly they come from from the least unexpected places. Right. Another one, a real quick story. So I joined a baseball team to get active and to meet guys in the area and stuff, you know, create a little bit of a social life. Same thing where after the game, we're back at the bar having a cold beer, eating some chicken wings and talking to a guy. I just met him first time.
Dave Debeau [00:16:47] He was my favorite part of baseball, by the way. It happened.
Jeff Woods [00:16:49] Yeah. Yeah. But that's my favorite part, too. But but we're sitting there talking the same thing. What's your name? What do you do? And told him I'm a real estate investor. He's a corporate banker, works for the wealth division of BMO Harris Banking. So all his clients, high net worth individuals, guy makes a ton of money, always wanted to get into real estate. But with the corporate job, the wife and the kids, he didn't have the time. So I said, hey, let's joint venture partner went on to buy multiple millions of dollars of real estate with that gentleman over a cold beer and some chicken wings. Beer. Right. And it's just it's just putting it out there.
Dave Debeau [00:17:31] Jeff, that's awesome. Time flies when you're having fun, my friend. It sure does. I know you're very active, you're very active real estate entrepreneur, but you also do some coaching and training and that sort of thing. So if people want to find out more about you and what you do and perhaps how you can help them out, what should they do?
Jeff Woods [00:17:48] You can reach out to me on my website, Jeffrey Woods dot com and Jeffrey is EROI. A lot of people spell it Arawa, but yeah, if you go to Jeffrey Woods dot com on on that website, there's lots of resources for them that they can check out. And if they want to speak to me directly, they can book a call. And I'm happy to to speak with anybody and answer any questions. And yeah, always here to help fellow investors. So so that's probably the best way to reach out.
Dave Debeau [00:18:20] Also, my friend. Well, thank you very much for sharing some of your experience and your insights. It's been a lot of fun and hats off to you for what you've accomplished and what you're going to accomplish yet.
Jeff Woods [00:18:30] Well, thank you very much, Steve, I appreciate you taking the time to have me on your podcast and I'm happy to help. And if you want me back in the future, if anybody wants to dove deeper into a specific topic, I'm happy to come on again. So thank you once again for having me.
Dave Debeau [00:18:46] Sounds good. All right, everybody, take care. We'll talk to you on the next episode. Take care. Well, hey there. Thanks for tuning into the property profits podcast. If you like this episode, that's great. Please go ahead and subscribe on iTunes. Give us a good review. That would be awesome. I appreciate that. And if you're looking to attract investors and raise capital for your deals, that may invite you to get a complimentary copy of my newest book right back there. There it is, the money partner formula. You got a PDF version at Investor Attraction book, dot com again, investor attraction book, dot com ticker.