Real estate and senior living can be like peanut butter and chocolate, if you do it right. But it can be a terrible disaster where you come off looking like a jerk, if you mess it up. That’s why the approach you have when you talk to buyers and senior living professionals must be completely different than the normal real estate investor approach.
For 22 years, Phillip Vincent has been a fix and flipper in St. Louis, and for the last 9 years, he’s focused solely on the senior living niche. From the moment a family finds out that mom has to move into a senior living facility, that family moves into crisis mode to take care of her. And as they figure out which home to place her in, they realize that they can’t afford to do it unless they sell all of her stuff and her house. That’s the point when Phillip steps in. He buys grandma’s house as-is and flips it.
Every time you see a crane go up to build a 280-bed senior living facility, you should also be seeing the hundreds of homes those seniors need to sell so that they can move in. And while a family might want to sell their mom’s house on their own, it can be incredibly hard for them to juggle cleaning out a home, finding a contractor to rehab it, funding the gap between grandma’s pension and the senior living facility she’s living in, and doing all of this from out of town while still managing their regular life.
Phillip has carefully cultivated relationships with a variety of stakeholders across this industry, but he wants to warn you to be careful in this real estate niche. Family dynamics, guilt, and trust are delicate issues you have to work around when you make offers on senior homes, but when folks realize that you can unlock the equity in grandma’s house, then you’re a godsend in their world.
Joe: Hey, what's going on, everybody? This is Joe McCall, welcome to the Real Estate Investing Mastery podcast. Really glad you're here. You're in for a special treat today because on this podcast interview, I'm going to be interviewing a good friend of mine who is doing something unique that I promise none of you have thought of or really are doing yet. And when you hear this, you're gonna get excited and you're going to want to. We're talking about grandma's house or mom's house or one of those two. Right. So if you're interested, stay tuned. I've got a good friend of mine who is an active investor here in St. Louis. His name is Phillip Vincent. We'll bring him on in just a second.
Joe: But first, I want to let you know, if you've not gotten already, you need to get my book, Recession Proof Real Estate Investing. This is a solid, legit book, right? With color graphics and images and tables and spreadsheets. And this book is only seven bucks. And you can get it right now at REIProof.com. Let me get the banner. Where did it go? Here there REIProof.com. When you get this, you're gonna get access to a mind map as well. Some video lessons that I did about this book. You're gonna get the spreadsheets and the paperwork, the follow up scripts. There are several things that you need to do. With every crisis comes an equal amount of opportunity. We are in a recession. This isn't anything new. And regardless of where you are politically, regardless of how the housing market is doing, there's a lot of people that are out of work and the economy, the government, I think, can only prop it up for so much longer. And so there's a lot of opportunity out there.
Joe: And you need to be able to shift and position yourself in a place of strength. And I talk about the three or four things that you need to be doing in any market, but especially in a recession. And this is going to make sure that your business stays profitable and grows in a recession and even after the recession is over. So get it right now. Go to REIProof.com. It's just seven bucks and you get a bunch of extra bonuses and videos and mind maps and calculators and scripts. It's something like I've never done before. I'm real proud of it. I know you're gonna love it. The feedback has been really good. So go get it. Go get it right now. REIProof.com. And I think we're ready to bring Phillip on. Phillip, my man. How are you?
Phillip: Good, Joe. Thank you for having me.
Joe:Phillip Vincent, guys, from Mom's house. And we're gonna be talking about how he stumbled on this strategy. It's something that he's been doing for years. And a lot of people are like, Phillip, how are you doing them and how are you getting so many deals? How many? How are you getting so many big deals? And so I wanted to get Phillip on. We had coffee the other day here in St. Louis. He's from St. Louis and known each other for a long time. How long has it been, Phillip?
Phillip: I'm going to go with every bit of nine or ten years. I'm not sure. Today's the day we're scratching that off the bucket list. Here we are.
Joe: I'm glad you're here, man. So tell people what it is you do and then go back in in history a little bit. How do you get started in real estate?
Phillip: Sure. I do acquisitions for a big 10 here in St. Louis. And I'm always asking the question, where are the best deals coming from? I'm a curious guy. It's a constant question that's never gonna end. You know, in 20 years, me and you are going to be asking the same question to each other. Where are the best deals? Come. Tell us a bit earlier, I said back in the early 2000s, we were spending a lot of money on Yellow Pages. Remember Yellow Pages? Yeah. Then you remember. We don't spend any money on Yellow Pages to go from something so tried and true down to nothing proves it. Nothing ever done. Right. Even the things that I love like direct mail. Right. I love direct mail. But in the end, there's still the spray and pray that you're hoping that that person needs to sell. And right now, you're one of 37 people. There's got to be a better way. Right.
Phillip: How did I start? I started this business backwards. I started off as a developer and a builder. And I worked my way back to wholesaling over twenty-one years, twenty-two years where everybody I talk to is the opposite. I built my first house when I was 20. And I'm forty-two. So. Twenty-two years. Yeah. And I had cousins in the business and he told me a story about a builder that thought he was gonna make 400 grand. And you actually end up making eight hundred grand. And my cousin said, wouldn't you hate that? And I said, hate what? He goes, paying taxes on making eight hundred thousand. No, that's exactly the kind of problem I'm looking for. And so my bravado, I think I was also a joke before I even knew what the term was. I thought it was certainly knish that it wasn't big enough to make a living from. I thought, just like most people, that things are done through rail search right now. I was naive to how big it was. But what I find interesting is even back in the early 2000s, I was knocking on doors of dilapidated homes to find the owner. And I'm not going the neighbor's door knock on the person. You know, I'm fearless, right? I was always out breaking these, trying to find deals. And so I think I was a wholesaler even before I knew what the term was.
Joe: I remember those days. I got started in real estate here in St. Louis 2006. And you were already doing deals back then? That's awesome. Yeah. It's hard to find those guys. You're an old guy.
Phillip: Sure. And I do feel like old guy at 42. I do feel like the old guy like doing acquisitions. They’re in their late 20s. Right, being forty-two. I do feel like the old guy now. I feel like some of the hard parts of that and adjusting my brain with how hot the market is currently. I still think everything's worth what it was worth five years ago and things have been moving fast.
Joe:So you know that's interesting. Because you're wholesaling deals and when the market was screaming hot in 2006 and '07, right? Yeah. And what's different now than what was back then?
Phillip: Logic is completely gone now. There's no logic. I mean, we're in a pandemic. And the real estate's the best I've ever seen in twenty two years. So I don't have the answer for that, Joe. We could make a lot of money if we figured that out. Why exactly that is. I'm looking forward to the end of the year. I'm excited to see what the next six months brings in this business.
Joe: Do you see a big change, a big shift in 2021?
Phillip: My favorite answer to most everything right now, Joe, in life is I don't know. No answer. You know, but I don't know. Right. Okay. Let's talk about the time we live in. If you look at 2004-2014. Right, the up, up, up, up, up, up. Down, down, down, down. Where we live kind of just stayed like this. So depending on where you live. Yeah. Depending on where you live. There might be no change or depending on where you live. You might lose your shirt. Right. And so I would be real conscious of rehab. It'll take six to nine months to complete. That's my free advice on the day. Just be careful, though, that you can do it.
Joe: Would you agree to be careful with the rehabs in the upper price ranges of things?
Phillip: Well, and let's talk about that. The middle price ranges of things. If your sub three hundred thousand in St. Louis, you're good to go. If you're five hundred nine hundred, you're in trouble. That's the scary range. And then I think a million plus kind of stays insulated from market just because they have more cash.
Joe: Yeah. So that's crazy. You've been in the business a long time. A lot of people that were active back then are not anymore, are they? I mean, you can probably count on one hand in St. Louis the people that were active then and are still active today. Why do you think that is?
Phillip: Maybe I'm dumb. I don't know. Stick to it in this. I don't know this. I don't subscribe to the get back on a get up nine. That's just my personality. I've always had duck feathers. I think the older I get, the more I've shied away from things that I'm not good at. And so, like the development side, why I'm not a builder anymore, is I'm a really bad adult babysitter, which is what I call contract. And so what I'm really good at is sitting in belly to belly with the seller and trying to figure out their problem. And I find every I find the interesting part of everyone. I try to find out what makes them, them. Not a surface job. I try to really get to know that person. I'm very rarely talking about the house when I'm at their house.
Joe: Yeah, that's one thing you're really, really good at. And I know you know this, but like, you're really personal and you're really, really good with people. And that's like the most important skill in real estate. In business. Right. Being good to people, listening, following up, paying attention, calling them over and over and over and over and over again until they get you on your podcast.
Phillip: That's right. Never taking no.
Joe: Never taking no. That's right. What's cool, too? I wanted to point this out. You've been doing the same thing. And wholesaling works no matter the market. Right? No matter if it's gone up, flat, down, for 20 something years.
Phillip: Yeah. Find the dial each day. Right. Who might buy it from you changes and who might sell it to you really says. I like what your book was called. It's the recession proof. Right. What are we doing that's recession proof? Because you should be thinking about. I said I don't know. So you want to be, I'm not conservative by any stretch, but you want to be, you know, really think about am I doing something that's recession proof? And I see the hot button seems to be right now is like cold calling and text messaging. Right. And I think I look at those as like crashing wave. They're hot today, but will they be here in five years? is anybody going to go to jail for it? I don't want to do things that might put me in jail. And I think that, you know, some of these things out there are like, whoa, you know? And so I like things that are. And we'll talk about it today. I'm in a very unsexy dozens of the senior living worlds. And it's, you talk about recession proof. I always say this is a personal thing. I say, but do you ever think about your great grandmother's great grandmother?
Phillip: And people are like, I don't even know her name. And I go. Exactly. So we matter very little. And can we help people through this journey in life? Can we have a good life? When people brag to me that they work 80 hours a week? I would say I feel sorry for you. Last thing I want to do. There are CEOs out there that have a way worse life than I do. And I think I don't mind working. I would never mind working, but I always want to work so smart that I'm investing in my own future. Like I'm planting seed. That's going to give me a rolling harvests. That's what would have been good at insurance based on that. But I never got in that business, so.
Joe: Well, let's talk about the senior living. You're the guy in St. Louis that gets all the big deals because you've tapped into something pretty unique. Talk about that.
Phillip: So when people hear the words senior living, I just want to point out to your listeners that a lot of them think about the what's called the residential assisted living section, where you take a big ranch. It's got five bedrooms and you make it into a senior living community. That is not what I do at all. But what I do is, though, people moving into that five-bedroom community or that one-hundred-and-fifty-bedroom community or that 280-bedroom community, the average Joe is three-point eight move in or move out a month. So in St. Louis we have about two hundred and fifty in our metro area. Senior living communities total. Take that times three point eight. Again, 250. That's the full metro Illinois. You know, like our full three million metro. And that's from, you know, your private pay down to Medicaid. And it's blinding how many levels of care there are too, it's not just from adult day care all the way up to memory care. And so there's tons of levels based on who the person is and what they need.
Phillip: And so each one of those has an opportunity that when you see that big crane in the sky building that 280 bed community, almost every one of those people had a house. And the moment they were told that they had to move into single living. Nobody does this on their own. Right. If me and you were brothers. Do you think we're taking our healthy mom for a visit to a senior living community for fun? Right. No way. Right. It's usually thrust upon them. And it's literally called crisis care when these families find out that they have to move mom into single living, usually after a surgery or a fall. It's called Crisis Care management. Yeah. So I would say when I do, I get to wear my cape. I didn't tell them the bad news that mom can't live on her own anymore. I didn't tell him that that place costs eighty-eight hundred dollars a month that we picked up because you're not going to pick out the cheap place, you're gonna pick up a nice ass. Cause there's some guilt involved? I can't take care of my own mother anymore. I didn't tell him how much it cost.
Phillip: But in that moment, they realize, we're going to have to sell the house to pay for this. And it's the house and the stuff. So I would say the most important part, Joe, is getting mom the best here. You start with that and you're always thinking, how is mom going to get the best care? The house and the stuff are right there alongside of it going, we need some help with this. Cause on average, the adult children live 400 miles away. So the burden that falls what I call is the most responsible child. Let me point out, when I say child, the oldest, most responsible child I've ever helped was 80. He was helping his 98-year-old mother in law to sell her house. And so when I say most responsible child, I'm usually talking about people in their 60s helping their parents in their 80s.
Joe:So you call it Mom's House is the name of your business. Are there dads that are doing this?
Phillip: Was it mostly moms in the industry, even a dance still alive? What do we do at Mom's house? You know, your mom kind of at least for me, the mom kind of ran everything right. So even if Dad's lucky enough to be the one that's still alive, which, by the way, if you're a man and you make it to senior living, so you're outnumbered seven to one. So you'll have a lot of dance partners if you ever make it or later. Almost always. Men, we put off our help. I'll give you the numbers. The average stay in senior living. Twenty-eight months. Men, it's only twenty-two months. And women, it's like thirty-seven. Well, how is there that big of a difference? We push things off longer. We die quicker. It's all those reasons. And so when I call that Mom's house, it's a loving term that in the industry it's like, what are we to do with mom's house?
Joe: All right. So it's crazy. My grandpa, by the way, is 97 and still lives by himself in his mobile home in Denver, Colorado. And just makes you think a lot, doesn't it? Like, what am I going to do? Are my kids going to take care of me?
Phillip:So I thought about that a lot. I wish I had a daughter. Because you get taken care of better a lot of times.
Joe: OK. So this is near and dear to my heart because my wife's mom, she was widowed twice and her husband was smart enough to save and invest a lot of money. So when he passed away, she was still in her 70s. She had another 15, 20 years and she knew. That's funny because she's really fiercely independent and she knew she didn't want her kids to force her to go. So she went herself to a senior living facility, a really nice one in St. Louis, a Del Mar Gardens on Gravoy. Because her husband was so smart, she had enough money to buy two units together. And so she had her own bedroom and a living room and a kitchen and two bathrooms, which is rare to have in a facility like that. Side by side, that big right there. Anyway, she loved it there. She actually had a good time and made a lot of friends. Grandkids are all the time coming over to visit her. She lived for, I think, 17 or 18 years in that place. Wow. But loved it. And she liked the convenience of it. She had good view of the garden. She had the best room in the whole place. But anyway, I think about that thing. I want to be as a husband, I want to be able to provide that to my wife if she lives longer than me. Right. So it's just something that's an emotional thing. I think everybody has their own story to tell with this stuff.
Phillip: It's very emotional. I mean, now we're talking about your own mother. You know, the person that took care of you better than probably anybody else on the planet, your life. And what's happening today is people are living a long time and they're outliving their money. And like you said, it's a scary thought. It's a sobering thought to outlive your money. And even people that have vast fortunes. I know a guy that's almost 100 and he has in-home health care, about 30 grand a month for 24 hour care, 30 grand a month. He's almost out of money, but he also lived to be 100. So no one planned it that way. Right. So, a man that was a millionaire is almost out of money because it's very expensive. And I'll say this about your mother in law or grandma in law. She's the exception. Most Americans have. What's the stat? They don't even have 400 dollars for an emergency update in there. All right. And so when, you know, Mom has a $2800 pension, but you take her to a place that eighty eight hundred a month. Where's that money going to come from? I mean, me and your brothers are like, well, I'm not splitting that with you. There's always a brother or sister that's doing better than the other. And it's like all this fighting.
Phillip:So what it always comes out to do is mom sitting on the equity in that house. And it really is surprising that some of these communities here in St. Louis, if mom or dad can pay private care pricing, private pay pricing for one or two years. Follow me here, because the average stays like twenty-eight months. If they can pay private pay for one or two years, depending on the community they will let mom live out the rest of their days under the Medicaid plan. That's a huge step that people don't know and they don't publicize it because the private communities don't, oh we don't do Medicaid. Like they have their nose in the air about Medicaid. They don't put that on the door. Right. But why? That's good for you and I. Let's say it's our mother we're talking about. You want to move mom once. Like your mother had a great experience. She made friends. And people usually do better when they're not isolated.
Phillip: And one of the worst parts about COVID right now is the isolation. People are dying from isolation. And so getting into the community gets mom the best care, usually gets her some playing card partners. If you like watching Cardinal baseball, eating pie. And, you know, there's a lot of activities, you know.
Joe: That's all she did. She'd watch every Cardinal game and play bridge almost every second night. Yeah, that's right. You know, it's funny, too. I have a friend. He wants to be really good. So he's like in his thirties and he's practicing learning how to play bridge, pinochle, pickleball and some other activities so that when he is old, he'll be like the best of everybody.
Phillip: That's a great idea. Think of all the fun and I like pinochle. So I would play with that guy. That's all right.
Joe: So, like, how do you find these people? Right. How do you find the one that needs to sell their house? You know, Mom, I need to sell mom's house. How do you find them?
Phillip: Great question. And so it's not the journey or the hunt for the adult child. It's the hunt for the person that has the trust and the ear of the adult child. So let me let's talk about direct mail for a second. Could you imagine if the mail man came to your door to Joe, call this guy, he's the most trusted investor in St. Louis. Don't call these other 37 postcards. Call this guy, OK? You what? Why wouldn't you? Right. That's from your mailman. Let's forget that for a second, let's talk about the person that you and I as brothers pick to help our mom get the end of life care. How much more important is that than your mail means referring someplace? Right. This is a person that's and there's somebody called a. Well, I'm going to go through the list, right. There's, you know, hundreds of jobs in senior living. But there's like eight or nine that are really, really great. This is what your listeners will want to hear. The stakeholders insenior living go from the proprietor of the senior living community, the director, the finance director, the marketing director, the social worker. Some communities have social workers, some don't. And that's all inside the community. All those people have referred me business year over year.
Phillip: But outside of that is the vendors that work at that exact same moment. So you've got elder care attorneys that specialize in crisis care. You've got aid and attendance benefits providers. So aid and attendance is one of those little known things that if you served in military even or your spouse, you can get these benefits to pay for your senior living. How great. But what do you know? They don't tell you about it. You have to know about it. And so people that do aid and attendance benefits have been a great lead source for me because you're getting that benefit at that exact moment. You're usually paying for senior living. For me, I'm looking for timing. Right. We tried so hard to make our phone ring. As investors we're all in the marketing business, we spend 90 percent of our time trying to make our phone ring. And this is the exact opposite. This is people raising their hands saying I need to sell my house.
Phillip: They almost always have 100 percent equity and they almost always had a house that needs to have something done to update it. And so as investors, they're the holy grail of leads. Usually they come to me in the form of, hey, Phil, can you be at Bob's house at 2:30 on Tuesday to make an offer? Yes, I can. I don't have to build trust, the trust is already built. That person's already said that Phillip is the trusted guy. Phillip is my go-to guy. If I can just show up and be at halfway competent, you can close a lot of these houses because they're so teed up for what we look for as investors. And I really try hard. I don't want to be you know, I'm a sales person by nature, but I don't have to be the sales person. I'm more of the: Can we figure this out together? Can we find it? You know, a lot of times, Joe, it's not even about the price of the house. It's about what are we do with that piano that mom loved? What are we gonna do with that hutch? Will that fit? Y.
Phillip:You know, you're fixing all these other problems. And when you do, you can have a lot you can have a job where you help people make a great living and not work the crazy man hours a lot of guys. You know, we both subscribe to like that put our life first and build a business around it. I think both you and I both care about that a lot. I'm really big into that. I don't want to work 90 hours a week. I want to have, I got young sons, like I said, that I want to hang out with. I've got a wife that I love. And so we make this business really hard. And I think if you're going to work anyway, how much better is it to build relationships that are like an oil well to give you appointments? Year after year, month after month versus always being a slave to that last direct mail drop or that last paperclick campaign? You know, I've gotten off of that red rat, the same rat race or rat race that I got out of the rat race or the hamster wheel. Right. And so it's now they come to me versus me chasing them down. So that's where to be. That's that. That is recession proof.
Joe: Okay. Let me play the devil's advocate here. Because somebody is I know somebody listening. Thinking if you really wanted to help them, you just listed on the MLS and sell it for the highest price possible. You're coming in as an investor to undercut them and get it for the cheapest price possible. What do you say to somebody who says that?
Phillip: One of my chapters was called, Do you just Lowball? Right. It's a great question. I am very transparent with my numbers. I like to tell the family exactly what the house will sell for in a retail setting. Right. The big number, when I tell them that, I usually seem them go, oh, I didn't think you'd ever say that number to me. How we make our value as investors is I can do a 60 thousand dollar rehab for 40. That's 20 grand profit right there, Joe? And for them, they live in North Carolina and mom's in St. Louis. And who's gonna, by the way the market's so good right now. You know what else we're forgetting? It's really hard to find contractors that are competent.
Joe: Oh, my gosh. That's a great point.
Phillip: And who's going to pay for it? Moms need money. By the way, realtors. I love realtors. Okay, I'm going to keep answering your question the same way realtors bring me deals all the time. Why? The family does not want to do the steps needed to get the house ready for the market, even in a great market. Realtors help me all the time. They walk in and the first thing they say is clean this place out. Well, Joe, that in itself is a two month job for even families that get along.
Joe: How stressful is that for the mother?
Phillip: Well, for the adult child, there's one adult child. You know, we're in here in St. Louis and a lot of six kid family's out here. Right. There's one kid that they're getting the stress from their brothers and sisters who think they're not doing it right. They're still having a needy mom who does need help. You know, she's still got doctors’ appointments, all this stuff. It's usually a female that still lives in town next to mom. Not always. I'm being stereotypical there, but it's a lot of times it's a female and the adult children from all over the country say you're crazy. Mom doesn't need that kind of care. And, you know, we should sell the house for a million dollars. And keep in mind, we're talking about 50 and 60 yearolds. They still have lives. I was just talking to a guy the other day. This happened to him and he said it was a 30 hour a week job to get his nana a place for almost three months because she had an 80-pound dog. So the dilemma of having that dog cost him he said 30 hours a week, trying to get it all figured out. Anyway, I wish I would have met, you know, four months ago.
Phillip: And let's talk about this, too. That most responsible child still has kids of her own. Still has a husband at home. And I've seen people break up during that time. The loved ones stay sick for too long. Because now that needy husband is like where you at all the time. My wife had two brothers and sisters helping. And there's resentment building, like it's one of the most stressful times and people getting stretched just thinking about it. Well, you know, it's made me, Joe, it's made me a minimalist because the stuff, a lot of times is harder, you know. I mean, I got 20 houses a week, right? If I drug something home from every house, I would end up like I went for you instead of calling it hoarding. If you like the person, call it aggressive collector. I don't want to be an aggressive collector. I've learned that my wife and I have this rule. If we haven't used it or touched it in 24 months. We don't need it in our house.
Joe: Did you say, you look at 20 houses a week?
Phillip: I mean, whether it's online or I look at 20 opportunities, I don't walk through that many. I think in my twenty two years you learn what what's not a deal. And that's and that's one thing about, you know, Mom's House. I don't know if it's a good deal in Chicago or North Carolina or West Coast, but in St. Louis, if you give me the address, I can probably tell you what it's worth. Just because I've been doing it for so long.
Joe: Man, talk about that. Totally makes sense because. Yeah, you can go clean it up. Good luck with finding a contractor. Managing that from out of town. Paying for it. Paying for it to get the house ready to maybe eventually sell and then deal with the realtors, the picky buyers, the inspection report, inspections, all of the stress that you're giving in. I like the way Tom Krall explains this. You're giving an exchange in exchange for your price. You're giving them the speed and convenience of selling their house in surety.
Phillip: And surely I can do a sixty thousand rehab for 40. All they've done is hunted. All that effort they've gotten, they've got me in result in two or three weeks instead of six months. And the reason why I say six months is if it takes two months to clean it out because you can't start your rehab until it's cleaned out. And then let's say you got lucky and you rehab it inside of two months and then the markets good. So you sold it inside of 30 days. That's still six months away. And if Mom's got that deficit of her pension versus there's a lot of stress of who's going to pay for this. Joe, there's not a better time to meet a family. You know that the adult child lives here than the brothers fly into town from wherever they live and catch them on that third weekend of bringing boxes in mom's basement up to the dumpster. And I say, guys, stop right now. The heirlooms left the first day, Joe. Like heirlooms like I don't ever see heirlooms. They're gone. It's stuff. And then mainly trash after that because, you know, mom's basement held everything and held the VHS tapes that all the stuff from her son's divorce and 10 years ago, you know, it's like a landing pad for stuff, you know, and that workout equipment is in pristine condition. You know, everything that lives in a basement, taxes from 1973, that people don't throw things away.
Joe: Wow. Have you ever tried to get leads from dumpster companies?
Phillip: Sure, and so let's keep going. So we only really did the senior living community side. So outside of that, the attorneys that do crisis management got eight tenants benefits providers. One of my favorites is placement agents. So this is a new business. It's only like 20 years old. Placement agents are like real estate agents for the senior living world. And so they are phenomenal because they're sitting there in the house with the families going, hey, you know, I know a guy named Phillip that would just buy it the way it is. And they're like, oh, my God, please give me that guy's number. Right. And my job is practically done. If you can show with a smile on your face and be a little competent, you can buy a lot of houses. But also downsizing, which I think is right along with what you're seeing with the dumpster companies. I'll give you the stats for St. Louis.
Phillip: Or I should step further back. There was a company called Everything but the House, and they raised in venture capital like 60 million dollars. And they said, we're only going to do the estate sales. Fifteen thousand above, because the logistics of doing an estate sale is very expensive. And so in St. Louis, all my estate buddies say good luck with that. The average sale price of people's possessions in St. Louis is five thousand dollars. With the cost of doing the sale around five thousand dollars. So all of that stuff is worth almost always when they always think it's worth a million dollars. And by the way, I've seen million-dollar collections, but it is very rare. Joe, most people that I see the stuff is just memories and a hurdle. And I always say the best use for that stuff is to get it back to the person.
Joe: Wow. All right. So you go in and talk about what kind of offer you make. Is it just always a cash offer? Do you ever offer owner financing or some kind of creative if you're miles apart in price or?
Phillip: Well, we do have a retail arm of our business as well. So a lot of hands will refer to that. You know, most people we buy from are 82 years old, that have lived there for 40, 50 years. Right. Very rarely is it a two-year-old house that they just moved into. And if they are, then we'll meet them at their level. In my twenty-two years. It's hard for new people to get to that abundance mentality right where your SOL cause you live and die on that every single deal. And for me, I try to put my best foot forward with my offer. When I first started off in this business, sometimes people would get mad at my offer and I realized I wasn't explaining my offer right. And today I haven't had somebody mad at me in probably a decade, because when I take them through the journey of what I think the house itself or what I think needs to be done to it, and then where my offer landed, like, OK, I understand where you're coming from, whether they say yes or not. But they at least know that I'm. I didn't just pick a number out of there and hope that they took.
Joe: You said you have a retail side of your business. What do you mean by that?
Phillip: Well, sometimes we'll list a house in a retail setting, like at realator, but it's rare. Our focus is the rehab site. We do a lot of rehabs a year. And so we want to fill that pipeline full of rehabs. And I think while I specialize in the space, they need to sell, they have equity and they have a house that needs to have something done to it. Very, very rarely is a house updated to 2020 standards. Right.
Joe: Yeah. It has a lot of deferred maintenance.
Phillip: Right. And that generic story of dad passed away years ago. Mom's then doing the best she can on that fixed income. She can't stay take care of it the way Dad did. I hear that a lot, you know, but she's doing the best she can. Nobody's mad at mom. You know, that's the other thing I like about this business, Joe, like some people work like foreclosures and divorces. Those people are kind of, there's some blame there. Usually on both sides. Right. Nobody gets mad at nana for getting old. You know, that's just part of life. And so everybody's there to help. The senior living world is very collaborative. If they trust you. But what they want to do, Joe, is they want to put you in two boxes, both of which are negative. They want to think of you as an investor. And if they do that and they think, well, you might take advantage of grandma. Which is never good.
Phillip: And they should be cautious of that because most people in real estate are very transactional. Or they want to think of you as a realtor and their crocodile brain shuts off when they think of you as a realtor because they already know what a realtor is and they already have a realtor that they work with and they don't need you. So I position myself as a solution for all those different stakeholders I went over. You better believe a proprietor of a senior living community and a social worker are not even close to the same human. So how you approach them, what you say, it's very different. And each one of those has their own, What's in it for them? And so in my eight years of working on the senior living side, I've learned through bumps and bruises and tenacity. And even when I got punched, you know, oh, I didn't say that right. What I realized was I had to keep going back and trying to figure it out because I knew the timing was too perfect. You know, they raised their hands and said to the world, I need to sell my house right now. And so for us in the world of trying to find the best deals instead of a spray and pray method, this is the exact opposite. Deals come back to me.
Joe: All right. So talk to somebody who's interested in pursuing some relationship marketing like this. What advice can you give to them?
Phillip: Get training. Definitely would be a big one. But I think I talk to people that have had this idea in the past and they said I went out and I tried to make relationships and I walked right in and I said, hey, I'm Bob. And I buy houses from old people moving into nursing homes. And it didn't go well. And I'm like, you think it didn't go well? I said you said about two or three things that were offensive and they don't even know they're doing it. You know, you and I know each other a long time. Think about all the real estate investment meetings we've been to in our business where I love, where I'm at. I'm a real estate guy. We're always showing pictures of our checks. It's what we do in our business. I've been networking in senior living now for almost 10 years, nine years. I've never seen the signs of someone's check yet. There is no pictures of checks. Right. It's not that kind of a business.
Phillip: And if you come in without the help mentality, they're going to smell it. If you come in and let them put you in the box of the investor or a realtor, you're not going to have the success that you want. And so I'm really training people on how to be a solution for that person's problem and asking the right questions to unlock their brains. Or they're like, well, yeah, I have that happen every day. And of course, I want you to help me with that. And so once you unlock that, the water gets real warm and they're very collaborative. Once they trust you.
Joe: I remember. I interviewed somebody on my podcast. I can wish I can remember who it was, but they said they measure success by how many hugs they get in a deal. They were investors. They didn't care about the money as much as they cared about the hugs. And he said every single deal he's ever done, he always gets a hug. And that's his goal. That's his goal. And I thought, man, that is so smart, isn't it? Because when you have that attitude and that's your perspective and your goal to get a hug from them, you'll win every time. Right? You win every time. And if it doesn't turn into a deal, well, you're not at least you're not that guy that can be accused of taking advantage of somebody in a poor situation, you know? Yeah. Yeah. I wish I could remember if anybody listening to this remembers that podcast. It was from at least three, four or five years ago. Let me know. I've got I'm approaching eight hundred and fifty episodes.
Phillip: That's a big number, Joe. Yeah. You wanna talk hugs for a second? I have just a quick little story about a young guy in a little town called St. Charles near us. You know, a good little perfect little Blue-Collar Town, right? Oh, small little ranch. He said he does rehabs for a living. This guy who came to me with the deal. And he was representing his mother in law because the four daughters did not get along. What he told me. So I'm meeting with a man whose mother in law's house it was. And at the end of it, I said, why am I here?
Phillip: You said you do rehab for a living. So he goes, Phil, if I bought this house, rehabbed it and made a penny, I would get a bad word at every family reunion from now. And I would get cussed out at every family reunion from now on out because I did that to grandma. Did that to mom, right? So a man that even has the skill set to do these rehabs because of the family dynamic. Sometimes we'd rather have somebody like me come in. And just because it's one of the most trying times in somebody's life. And so we get to wear our cape, right. We didn't tell mom that she has to move into single living. We didn't tell her across eighty-eight hundred a month. We're the person that unlock the equity out of the house and nobody wants to rehab the house. And if they do, Joe, I don't. I just don't get it right. If they want to do a big rehab. I just don't get it. The people that call me are like, I would like to listen some more.
Joe: I just found that episode is episode five fifty-one. REI in my car while I'm driving? Yeah. I was talking to somebody and I talked about my conversation with somebody in episode five fifty-one it was he measure success by a hug. So I'm gonna listen to that later. But if anyone else is interested, I recommend you check it out. Episode 551 Real Estate Investing Mastery dot com. Oh, I'm on episode 911. Oh, wow. All right. So, Phillip, give us an example. What a conversation looks like or sounds like when you are approaching, you know, an attorney or somebody in a senior care facility. What does that conversation go like?
Joe: Yeah. Like I never say I'm an investor. I'm a real right. You don't want that to happen. Right.
Phillip:So you say, I have found that when I'm helping families that are going through this. And I was put back home and I was like, questions. Do you ever find that the family is not prepared to get the house ready for the market? And he's like shishya check every single day. Right. Cause the attorney wants to close his file and he can sell. Some of these things are buttoned up. Right. So he needs somebody that he can trust that's going to help the family navigate. Because the family's not getting along. Joe, even families that do get along don't get along. And these days, the claws come out. And so I've seen every type of fight inside of a family. And so when you meet with an attorney, I bring a little closure like that family usually is always I can come back and take a look at it after you read it. Of course, you can. I would love to show you guy this house. That makes them feel good at all of their memories. The house they grew up and taken care of by somebody that's trusted and they're gonna make it better for the next.
Joe: A lot of these kids that grew up in this home. Right?
Phillip: Almost always, Joe. I mean, one of my favorite questions is which bedroom did you sneak out? And they always let you know I'm in there. Go, go, go, go. Tell me. Right. Because that's where all their memories like bedroom.
Joe: Did you sneak out?
Phillip: I ask them that every time. They always get a kick out of that.
Joe:So they're just the fact that you're talking about I'm going to restore this house. Make it look really nice. I'll come and look at it. I'll send you pictures. That's got to mean a lot to them, right?
Phillip: Oh, and they always tell me, Mom always want to open this all up and go, oh, we're going open that wall up. And they're like, I cannot wait to see that, you know. All right.
Joe:So you go back to the conversations you have with the attorney. How do you approach them? How do you what do you say to them?
Phillip:So through networking, you find them at their level very rarely. People are listening to that. They think, OK, I'm going to walk into that senior living community and put my hand out, just make a relationship. And Joe. That's not the right way to do it. That's the way I try to do it in 2011. And it's a really good way to put your foot in your mouth. They're almost like a hospital setting there and it's just not the right time. And so people that are out, there's a lot of there's a lot of networking happening inside your living, just like our real estate world. It's just it's done very a lot more gentle. And so you ask questions that I already know the answer to. Right. Do you ever have that situation where this is like a family going through it and they'll say no? And then I look, I ask for the sale immediately. This is not building a three year relationship to ask for the sale. That's not my nature.
Phillip: I say, are you working with anyone right now that could use a service like that and you'll get one or two answers? So they'll say, yes, I am great. Can I go there and make an offer? Right. I mean, I met this guy and inside of two minutes I'm asking. Or the sale or the the opportunity to go buy a house, right, and then or the other thing they might say is, man, I wish I would have mentioned two weeks ago and his family had a hell of a time trying to sell that house. I wish I would've known. Either way, they just realize that Phillip is a solution for their problem that they face every day. And all of those different stakeholders have their varying degrees of what they want out of it. Proprietor or senior living in a financial guy. You can have a money talk with him, but with the social worker. I don't talk about money ever.
Joe: All right. So then what are you doing on a daily basis to try to. Do you call these people up? You know, hey, how's it going? It's been a month. Do you have anything for me here or here?
Phillip: I play a lot of top golf. I go. I like to grab drinks.I'm a firm believer in that Never Eat Alone book. You know, like if I'm going to be out to lunch and then bite somebody now they're my relationships are built. I kind of have enough. I teach a model. It's called 20 is plenty. And what I mean by that, Joe, is that you just have 20 people in the senior living world. The right people that think of you when that situation happens. You can do 20 to 40 deals a year. And I already said these are my favorite lead. Right. Let me just put the icing on the cherry on the top. They're also free and they're ongoing. I mean, come on, guys, we we've made this business so hard, you know? And so I really love what I do. Joe, you know that I'm passionate about the seniors. And the real estate side is like a, it's a happy way to do real estate.
Joe: You work with one of the largest buyers in St. Louis. Would you say that's fair?
Phillip: As far as little guys go, we're one of the biggest. That's right.
Joe: Yeah. They're one of the biggest. And they do a lot outbound direct to seller marketing. Do you still do that yourself?
Phillip: No, I mean, we have people for that. That's not pretentious. But we have people that do that like we're a big company. But when I sit through the meetings every single week, as we look at every single metric, I know how hard it is and it's getting worse right now. Today is Tuesday. I had my morning, you know, every Tuesday at 10 a.m. I have my meeting every week.
Joe: And this company in particular, I don't know anybody else in the industry. And I know a lot of people. I don't know anybody else that tracks our numbers like they do. It's insane.
Phillip:So it's like I sit through that college every day. Right. What what's working? What's not. And we're not afraid to try things. You know, we've got pizza top boxes. We've done church bulletins. We've done we did a twenty five thousand army other one time, Joe, for the like the cellophane, you know, the high color, like there's a bunch of cards in there. Twenty five grand, Joe. We got zero houses out of it. How bad that hurts. The Valpaks? That's exactly what I'm talking about. You probably got it. We don't mind trying things. Well and just fundamentally because we are a reputable company. We stay away from like your bandit signs and we don't do any text message blasting. Not that they don't work, but we're just not in that cheesy. So we don't have to be anymore. We're trusted. And that helps a lot to build credibility. I always say to people like, if you're the name, your business is like cash money homebuyers. You might want to think about that, right? If you're gonna get in senior living in, it needs to be a little more hugs and kisses than cash money.
Joe: What would be a good example of a company name?
Phillip: Sold on Seniors' or, you know, I mean, like somebody that's putting them first.
Joe: Mom's house. Is that trademarked?
Phillip: Joe, you know, I like simple names. My friend, my eight year old can spell it. Mom's House.com.
Joe: Have you done a book? I think you're talking about that, right?
Phillip: I do have a book. It's called Black and White of Gray. We get ready to release it here pretty soon.
Joe: Black and white of gray. What's it about?
Phillip: The journey that that adult child is having with their parents and what I've learned. Yeah, kind of. If I had a dollar for every time somebody said, I wish there was a book I could have read before I went through this. It would be a lie. No, it's like having a kid, right. No one's prepared to have a kid. You can do all this stuff. But you're never prepared because mom's great until she isn't. And now all of a sudden you're making these decisions. Now, I do feel like well, let's talk about this first. You know, probate leads. I'm a huge fan, appropriately so. Some of the best leads for real estate investors. Let's understand the difference between what I do, which is some industry started to call pre probate, actually a pre probate dot com as well. Pre-probate, which is nothing now but pre probate leads. Why they're exponentially better than probate leads is simple. If you and I are brothers and our mother has passed away and probate cases open, you and I, Joe, care about every dollar the house sells because what's in it for us?
Phillip: And when you're helping your mom move into single living, whether you get ninety two grand or ninety six grand or eighty eight grand for the house, I'm not gonna say it doesn't matter, but it kind of doesn't matter because that money's going to go sit in joint account and that's six grand a month or whatever that so until it's gone and then Medicaid's going to kick in.
Phillip: And so for the only time I've ever seen in real estate where it's more about can you be trusted? Can you show up and close?And you talk about like that, like the investor that I want to the person that keeps me up at night is the one that's only strategy is to wholesale. I can't work with that first person. Because if you ever wrote a 30-day contract and your only outlet was to wholesale it and you and you didn't do what you said he would because you didn't get it wholesale, that butterfly effect would ripple throughout the whole this loving moms house brand that were built. Right. And so I want somebody I don't care if you wholesale. I'm not against those that I love wholesale. It's just if you write a contract, do with that contract says whether you're a wholesaler or not.
Joe: That's really. And I've talked about that a lot over the years. Like, you need to have the intent and the means to close on that property doesn't mean you can't assign it or wholesale it, but don't enter into the contract if you can't buy it.
Phillip: Yes. And I hear just like crazy stories about people's business practices to call the day before closing to try to renegotiate. Joe, no. And that's where I think, you know, like show up, you know, just our industry is a little too brazen for the senior living world. And so I think if you have empathy and could that seller purge, you can now you can build something really great. And so, you know, it's a different business. It's a really good business for people who care about others.
Joe: Yeah, that's fascinating. And you get a feel-good feeling out of it. I want to address this, too, because I know somebody is listening to this who doesn't have the money to close on these houses and they're freaking out wondering, oh, my gosh, like, I can't do this. I have to have the money in the bank. So what are some of the access to funds that you use to close these deals?
Phillip: Sure. You know, banking relationships are great credentials, one of many ways to fund deals. If you have a track record of buying and selling houses. There's so much money on the sidelines right now that would give you a back rub to get an eight percent return on their money. They would they would love to have anything save. And you'd be surprised if you put it out there, your friends and family. You can do private money. There's hard money options out there. Hard money while it's expensive. It gets you in the game. I feel like analysis, real estate is one of those only businesses that I know of where you might have thought you were gonna make 50 grand, but then you make five. You got paid for that education, right? What a great business that you didn't make 50, but you still make five grand. But you learn from it and you get better on the next.
Joe: Great, great thing about working with hard money lenders too like your company does. If they won't lend on the deal, it's not a good deal to buy anyway. It's a good safety net. Yeah. You mean me may need to go back in before you actually the day before you're committed to close. It's better to go back a day after you sign the contract to negotiate a better price. Right. During your contingency. Cool. So any, any final words of advice, Phillip, you'd give to somebody who's thinking about getting into this?
Phillip: Thank you for having me on, Joe. Words of advice are, you know, you can you can build something amazing here from a lifestyle respected and you're going to work for it one way or the other one. You know, people always say I can't network. I can't go out there and network, Joe, like, I can't do that. And I'm like, do you ever buy houses from wholesalers? And they're like, you know, all the time. So do you ever buy houses from real estate agents, like. Yeah, all the time. I said, where did you meet those people? I networked. So what I'm saying is we all are networkers. I'm just saying that the industry is not doing it in the right spaces. And so I'm shining a big, bright light that the senior living industry and the real estate industry are good. They're like peanut butter and chocolate. If you know how to do it. And it's a great way to blacklist yourself if you don't know how to do it. And so I'll leave you with that.
Joe: That's good. All right. So how can people get a hold of you, Phillip? What's the next step if somebody wants to get more information from you on how to do more of this?
Phillip: So simple. MomsHouse.com.
Joe: I'm going to create a banner. Mom's house, dot com. How's that?
Phillip: Oh, perfect. Look, how pretty that is. I like simple domain names.
Joe: Cool, Momshouse.com. Cool. What did they see when they go there?
Phillip: It's really a public facing Web site. But we do a lot in the senior living industry from a national level. So I'm building a network of trusted investors nationwide that are going to be like boots on the ground and local level. So, like, if you're in Albuquerque, right, you go build these relationships with all those stakeholders. And then from the top down, we're building a really an appointment engine for the senior living. I mean, I'm sorry for the real estate.
Joe: Beautiful. Well, Phillip, I appreciate you getting on the show. Finally, I had to twist your arm twisting, trying to get on the show, but this has been really good. Thank you. I think this is important topic to talk about. As investors, we need to put a better foot forward. Right. And we need to be more conscientious of our industry, how we're presenting ourselves little things like when you when you say you're going to close, you're going to close. Don't go back to the seller and then be more sensitive. I think one of my biggest takeaways from this podcast has been be more sensitive to with these families that are going through these things. You know, there's a right way to do it in a wrong way to do it. And it's important to get that figured out. I agree. All right. MomsHouse.com. People can find you on Facebook, too. Or are you more active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook? Phillip Vincent. You got it. All right. Thank you, man. We'll see you all later. Thank you for having me. Bye. Take care. Bye bye.