Table of Contents - Interview with ‘The Deal Maker, Rent-to- Own King’ Jon Simcoe
Dave Debeau [00:00:08] And every one of us, Dave Debeau, with another episode of the Property Profits Real Estate podcast today, my special guest is Mr. John Simko, who is calling in all the way from lovely Vernon, British Columbia today. How are you doing, John?
Jon Simcoe [00:00:23] Doing fantastic today, Dave. We've got a got a bit of snow, so there's a little bit of driveway shoveling, so it doesn't pile up too much. But it's it's a lot nicer than Fort McMurray,
Dave Debeau [00:00:32] that's for sure. And I'm in beautiful Kamloops, B.C. So as we're recording, this is February. So snow shoveling is part of the scene. If you haven't had the chance to meet or hear John speak before, John is a very, very astute real estate entrepreneur. He's been investing for quite a few years now. And I first met John. Oh, my God, Tom, when did we meet? It must have been probably about
Jon Simcoe [00:00:54] a decade ago.
Dave Debeau [00:00:55] Yeah, it's got me around probably around that
Jon Simcoe [00:00:58] house, as many gray hairs
Dave Debeau [00:01:00] as mourners and less grail. So, yeah, it's been a while. And John is one of these guys that just takes the bull by the horns and goes for it. That's one of my favorite things about John Simko got started with single family homes, ended up focusing a lot on rent to own type deals, and has become Canada's rent on King. That's why I like to call him, because he just he's just absolutely crushing it. So, John, welcome to the call. And to get things started, why don't you tell us just very, very briefly how you got involved in real estate investing in the first place?
Jon Simcoe [00:01:29] Well, the the first time when I first got involved, it was actually it's a story where, oh, my goodness, we don't know. I didn't know anything about what to do. Bought a house, no inspection, no nothing, and just jumped right in because someone told me I could pay the mortgage and taxes and have some money left over, make some passive income. So then I took an interest in real estate and the first deal worked out. But I realized from taking some training just how risky that really was. Then I started to get smart there on out.
Dave Debeau [00:02:03] Excellent. So how did you get involved in doing Renton's and what does that look like in your portfolio?
Jon Simcoe [00:02:09] So I got involved doing rent to owns about 10 years ago, and so I took some training with some training with you that you offered at that time. And so I took that and I ran with it and I started doing a bunch of tenant first rent to own deals. That's where we go pick a property that's listed. We buy it for someone that that means that basically an eight plus type of applicant, they have to meet a very strict criteria. And and so I would do these tenant first deals and I would raise some capital from other partners and go out and do that style of rent to own deal, which was what got me started. And I loved it because it was very predictable. You knew what rents were coming in, you know what your costs were, and the tenant signed a maintenance agreement. So those were numbers that you could pretty much bank on. You can almost figure it out to the penny of what you should end up with at the end of one of these deals. And I just that's attracted me to it at the start.
Dave Debeau [00:02:58] And then the economy didn't quite cooperate. Yeah, that that's a great strategy. As long as everything's going up, but it's a flat or go down, then it's a little bit more challenging. So one of the things I really admire about you, John, is is you adapted very nicely to changing times and turn lemons into lemonade. And actually, I think you probably did better when the recession hit in Fort McMurray. So tell us a little bit about the how that worked.
Jon Simcoe [00:03:24] Yeah, that was actually really interesting because circa about twenty thirteen, twenty twelve, I was getting ready to quit my job and working less and less hours. And so then I quit my job because I'd had a bunch of these rent to own deals work out and I was making real money with it and I could see myself doing that instead of having a job. So I'd already quit my job and burn the bridge. And then twenty thirteen was a wonderful year of not being an entrepreneur. It was like amazing to walk into and then twenty fourteen hit and it slammed me like a brick wall. I can't be buying houses and marking them up because we're at the start of a recession and the way it turned was literally one month. It was still on fire and then boom, like it hit, it changed so quickly. And so I had to stop buying homes and doing that. And then I didn't know what to do for a few months and I had to figure things out. And I knew I didn't want to go get a job again. You know, we're not going to do that. We're going to try something else. And so I thought since I have a good skill, I like having people fix the credit up, save up their down payment, whatever we need to do to get them into a house. At the end of the day, I still had that as a skill and that I could go and help all these other people who are trying to sell their places and are and are not able to I could help them be able to still do that transaction. And so I end up getting pretty broad based clients for all different kinds of reasons that want to sell and all different kinds of people that want to buy. And I started to become known as that guy in Fort McMurray, the rent to own guy. And I still get calls regularly because of it. Yeah.
Dave Debeau [00:04:57] So, I mean, you you kind of went from the tenant first to focusing on primarily on sandwich lease type deals, is that correct?
Jon Simcoe [00:05:03] That's absolutely correct.
Dave Debeau [00:05:04] With your a little but with your own little twist of. That's for sure. So you've been doing real estate for quite a while, knowing what you know now, if you were to go talk to your younger self, what would you do differently?
Jon Simcoe [00:05:14] I would definitely take more training at the start. I would always encourage like if you read a book about something and it interests you and there's like a course attached to it, just go take the course. I was pretty quick when there is something that interests me to open my wallet and buy it, I did the answer to what I'm looking for is on the other side of that door. Here you go. Let me see it. I want in. And so you have to keep doing that. But sometimes it's worth jumping forward. I spent quite a few years where all I did was read books and take notes. And there is nothing quite like taking a more focused course like like a joint venturing course or raising capital course or rent to own course. What you know, if you're into flipping, go take a course on flipping and learn from someone who's done it and just try and shortcut those discovery years and just go go take that coaching or that training, whatever you want. Don't sit around just on basic things. Something for free can be OK if you're want to try it a little bit. But I'd highly recommend getting like some paid content and going right. Jumping right into it.
Dave Debeau [00:06:16] Yeah, I've made that stupid mistake numerous times myself. I think I'm pretty smart. I've got an idea what's going on. I think I can probably figure this out. And then you waste three or four or five, six months bashing your head against the wall when all you really should have done is pay a few bucks and learn directly from the guy or the gal and just save yourself all that crap. Yeah. So I'm I'm with you there, my friend, that's for sure. OK, so fast forwarding to now. And one of the things that you're very I mean, you're you've got many, many skills and one of your big skills is raising capital. I mean, the last time we talked, I think you've raised over thirty million dollars in capital to date, four different deals. So what would be one tip or one idea that you could give listeners about finding money partners and raising capital?
Jon Simcoe [00:06:59] One tip that I would say is always try to get to know the person well enough and they should get comfortable with you. And if you can have a little bit of a system that can shortcut that, it's a little bit better. Look, I have quite a few different systems that help me be able to raise that type of money because you're dealing with lots of relationships. Someone asked me the other day how many people I have for that. And it's a network of active people who want to do these with me. It's about four hundred and fifty people. So it's taken over a decade, about a decade to to grow to that. So, you know, it doesn't grow one at a time. They don't grow like all the time. So it takes quite a while and the average person can only comprehend about two hundred relationships. So I so I mean I use little systems, things in my phone to remember who they are. Obviously some people are going to stick out with you more as you're doing that, but you always want to make that person feel special every time you talk to them dealing with you or even whether you have good news or bad news when they call you up being enthusiastic, you know, you might be the brightest thing that's happening to their day. So make them feel special and be be enthusiastic about whatever you're talking about.
Dave Debeau [00:08:07] That's very, very good point. So I guess a lot of your system would be about follow up, because, again, like you mentioned, in order for somebody to invest with you, they need to know you. They need to like you. They need to trust you with their money. And that's not going to happen overnight. I think a lot of people get into this and I'll go meet somebody at a networking event. And next week they're going to give me one hundred grand for a deal. Doesn't usually work that way. You have to develop that relationship and have, like you say, those little tools, those triggers. When somebody calls you, when you call them, you've got some notes on that person. And you can have he can have a personal reference. You can ask about the wife or their kids or their dog or whatever it is.
Jon Simcoe [00:08:42] That's absolutely right. That little bit of adding a personal touch really does help out, especially say and say you had dinner with with the husband and wife and they've done a few deals with you. And now you talk to one on one with the husband. And you already know they're going to do another one with you because they like it. They're ready, especially a repeat person like that. But when you're getting off the phone, make sure they say hi to the wife for you, because you you know, the wife, too, and she knows you as well. And it's just little stuff like that. It really helps.
Dave Debeau [00:09:10] So that's that's very, very smart. Good advice. So, John, I know you are you do a couple of different trainings these days. Obviously, you show people how to do rent on real estate investing. That's your forte. But you're also showing people how to how to invest. There are in real estate as well. Well, let's let's look at let's focus on rentals. So who's kind of your ideal student or client who takes that training program? Who's a good fit for that?
Jon Simcoe [00:09:34] A good fit for the rental and training program is someone who either A has some properties that they want to be able to sell and to sell them for a decent price without a realtor and and creatively or someone who has some buy and holds that they're looking to get rid of, that's a good person or the type of person who's kind of just getting started, because that's what attracted me to the rental, was just how predictable it was. And that you don't you don't get those midnight maintenance calls the same way you do from your final. It's kind of a mix of buy and hold and a lot of rent owns. And I used to rent to. Money to buy, buy and hold swith, and that's and sometimes we use our Espy's in there, too. So I do believe that the right person for rent to own is someone getting started who just wants to dip their toes in or someone who wants to actually be able to sell their property for a little bit more. And that that's part of why we make so much money in rent to own houses, because we're able to sell these properties for more for around on maximum market value that you could get without
Dave Debeau [00:10:31] without realtor commissions either.
Jon Simcoe [00:10:33] Yes, that's right. I typically sell most of my properties as rent to own. There's very few that get a realtor listings sign in front of or I even right now I'm in a flip that didn't sell. It's a colonial house and we fixed it up nice. But now I've got a rental environment because I'm not about to let it sit around for all winter. So I went and found someone at the end of November and he moved in, so. Problem solved. I'll just wait a bit. I'll wait. I'll have to wait a few years, but I'm getting about an extra hundred thousand dollars for his property for having to wait. So it's just, you know, it's just an extra tool to be able to have.
Dave Debeau [00:11:09] Definitely. Oh, that's fantastic. So let's say somebody is interested in testing the waters with rent own, but they're not ready to jump right in right now. So what would you suggest would be a good first step to on the waters experiment type thing around rental? What would you what would you recommend?
Jon Simcoe [00:11:25] What I would recommend is I have a free, simple five step rent to own video training series and it's on my website. I know there'll be some links in your show notes, I'm sure, but it said John Simko, John S.A.M. sorry, dot com. And there's a free rent on training. You can put your email address in there. You will get a few emails from me that are related to the rent to own training and it will sign up to my monthly newsletter. You can unsubscribe if you don't want to. I only do send it out once a month. So hopefully you stick on board through, pass those rental home emails, but it'll give you a chance to go through about an hour and a half of video training that I made. And you can see what it's like to go from the beginning to the end of a rent to own deal. And if you like it, there is a paid training course with way more details than that. But go check it out and see if you like it for about an hour and a half of your time. Go through a few of the exercises because I think you'll really like meeting Tom and Sally and helping them get a house.
Dave Debeau [00:12:20] Sounds good. All right. So the other thing that you're very, very good at, like you mentioned, is, is we're finding investors raising capital. So what kind of suggestions or advice or tips would you give to people? We're just getting started with that. How would you suggest they go about bringing up the subject of real estate investing and and maybe having somebody invest with them? Because I know when you first took a crack at that, you went through a lot of rejections. So how could you help people avoid that painful experience that you went through yourself?
Jon Simcoe [00:12:48] I think I think what it comes down to a lot of is having the right professional image when you're going to be bringing the subject up. I think it's can be very tough. Some people need to go through a little bit of a transformation before they can go out and be taken as credible, because the first people who who lent money to me for deals or people who are a little bit outside of my sphere of influence because for several years they had seen me wearing a suit and tie, having a business card. And even though I had raised zero capital to date for several years and I'm going to these networking events, but I'm acting the part, eventually some people came in and decided to. And it wasn't until way, way later that I achieved a lot more success with that. But I got my closer family and friends to start seeing me as someone who did that because because I was just some kid who like right out of college, I bought my first property, so and then nobody really saw from me again. So they just knew me as this college kid.
Dave Debeau [00:13:46] And so again, for somebody who is watching this and listening to this, what did you give them to kind of shortcut that, if there is any?
Jon Simcoe [00:13:52] Well, I think that having the right type of follow up system and warming them up with kind of like what you say, if people are familiar with your podcast and some of the trainings, you do like your little warm up campaign, I think that that's probably the best way to get people started to see you as a little bit more professional so that when you do present a deal to those that are interested, that that you already have a little bit of a head start.
Dave Debeau [00:14:16] Very, very well said. All right, Jomaa, we're down to about thirty seconds here, my friend. So it's been fantastic chatting with you. I think we could probably do another podcast episode in the future and talk a little bit more about RRSP mortgages and whatnot, because that's another specialty that you've got. So, again, if people want to find out more about you and John Simko, dot com, the best place to go, that's
Jon Simcoe [00:14:36] the best place for any of the trainings and videos can type. John Simple and you to buy a channel there. And I have a how to build a profitable real estate investing business Facebook group. And I invite you to come chime in on the discussion over there. Dave's a member and come on in and we'll welcome you to the community. Thanks a lot, my friend. Thanks, Dave.
Dave Debeau [00:14:55] Well, thanks very much for checking out the property profits podcast. And you link what we're doing here. Please head on over to iTunes, subscribe read us and leave us to review. He very, very much appreciated. And if you're looking to create a regular flow of inbound investor inquiries about your real estate deals, then I invite you to attend one of my upcoming live online demonstrations. And you can check that out at Investor Attraction Demo Dotcom. Take care.