There are a lot of hidden worlds in real estate investing. One of those is senior living – a space that Phillip Vincent has been doing this for more than 20 years as the founder and CEO of Mom’s House. This is a warm lead space that can generate income and give you the warm feeling of helping out family members that don’t know where to turn for information. In this episode, he joins Paul Lizell to talk about some of the amazing benefits and opportunities of investing in this niche. Tune in and learn about a different way to make a difference in the world of real estate investing!
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Senior Living: A Different Way To Make A Difference In Real Estate With Phillip Vincent Of Mom’s House
I have with me a friend of mine, Phillip Vincent, and what Phillip is doing in the real estate world is different than what most other investors are doing out there. I’m excited about getting into the conversation that he has to offer on this and to learn a whole other different side of the real estate business. Phil, let’s jump in where you started in real estate and then dive into Mom’s House as soon as you’re ready.
I always tell people I did this business backward. I started off when I was twenty years old. I built my first house. Who starts off as a home builder? Not too many at twenty years old. My family’s in the business. Why wouldn’t I do that? To start off as a developer and a home builder, I realized quickly that I wasn’t good at the adult babysitting that I found out that business to be. Those contractors, unless you get to a scale of I would say 20 to 50 houses plus, you don’t matter in their world if you’re trying to do a one-off. Even in the rehabbing world, the adult babysitting of contractors didn’t excite me. What I found over time was that what I liked doing was helping people with their problem and then moving on to the next one, helping people with their problem, then moving on to the next one.
I worked my way backwards to being acquisitions and I liked the wholesale, but where I’m excited is the acquisition side. I feel like that’s what everybody’s trying to start off as wholesalers then go to rehabs, try to get rentals and maybe be a developer. Maybe what gives me some credibility is that there are 100 jobs you can have in our real estate world. It’s to find the one that you like. Life’s hard if you do something you don’t love all the time. Working with sellers, I’ve always been curious as to where the best deals are coming from. You’re getting frustrated with the tried and true methods that are out there.
We all do the direct mail. We all do the pay-per-click and to be 1 of 20 guys sending direct mail to the same house every month. I always thought there was a better way until back in 2011, I started networking inside of the senior living world. I want to be clear, when people hear the word senior living, they almost always think of taking a single-family house and turning it into a residential assisted living community, which is a phenomenal business, but that’s not what we’re talking about at all. That’s more of care business. What I’m talking about is all of those people that are moving into those senior living communities in your town, every single one of those almost always had a house that they had before they even picked. The percentage is about 70% to 75% of those people moving into senior living had a house almost always paid for completely. They need to sell it versus one to sell it. It’s a house that we can add value to as investors because these houses are usually not kept up to the 2020 standards.
It’s dated and all those typical type things that you’d see there. It’s similar to an estate. I’m sure those houses, a lot of them need to be cleaned out, cleaned up and remodeled.
That’s exactly what these houses are.
How different is the senior living world in comparison? You don’t have to do that conversion that you’re doing. If you’re doing it using Gene Guarino’s methodology when he’s turned it into an assisted living facility, which probably requires a ton of capital here. You’re basically helping a senior buy or get out of their house to get into another senior living place.
I love that you said Gene’s name. Gene’s product’s phenomenal, but I want your readers to be clear that’s a certain model and all the people moving into Gene’s communities, that’s that moment they need to sell their house. He teaches that a small house model, which I liked because it’s COVID-friendly. In almost every big city across this country, there are hundreds and hundreds of people living under one roof like a dormitory-style. Every one of those is a vast opportunity for investors if they know what they’re doing. I got to be clear about that.
What’s your specialty? Where do you go with it? What do you do to help meet their needs and take care of them?
It’s a rare business where I look at my customer as the adult child that’s helping their senior move into the community and I call them the most responsible child. I’m going to talk a lot about stereotypes because I’ve been doing this for many years, but in those stereotypes, there’s truth. What I see a lot is an adult female because they were put in charge of the care of mom. They still live in town and their siblings might not. The average sibling lives about 400 miles away, but there’s always one where the brunt of this care falls firmly on one of them. That most responsible child has been doing all she can to make everyone happy. That person’s being dragged in four different directions. Number one is where’s mom going to get the best care?
How this normally happens is that you don’t take a healthy mom to the senior living community. Paul, you’re not going to say, “Mom, guess what we’re going to do? We’re going to go tour some senior living communities.” You don’t do that. It happens fast. Mom fell again. She had hip surgery and the doctor said in three weeks, “When mom gets out of rehab, she cannot move back home.” Now the brothers and sisters are looking at each other going, “What?” It’s literally called crisis management. They’re looking for people that can give them good advice. At that moment, they’re trying to make mom get the best care. They’re working with the senior living communities to find which one’s best.
They require a lot of money and a lot of paperwork. They’re trying to make their brother happy, who is opinionated who lives across the country, who thinks everything that their sister is picking is wrong because their head is in the sand as to what’s going on with her mother. That most responsible child still has a family at home. Their life didn’t stop. They still have that needy husband that wants their wife around. I heard somebody say it took them three months and about 30 hours a week of their life to get the right place picked out for their Nana. The fourth one is how to pay for that. That’s where we as investors, if you can be a resource for the people in the senior living world, I call them stakeholders.
There are about nine different stakeholders that are having tough conversations with that most responsible child, that family. When you network with them the right way, you’re helping them solve a problem that they face every day. I’m in the referral business to get to those adult children. It’s hard to try to find the adult children on their own. If you build the relationships with the right people and you can build, I liken it to an oil well. They can pump you appointments month after month, year after year because they are in this situation every single day with these families.If you build relationships the right way with the right people, you can have as many deals as you want. Click To Tweet
These are the warmest leads you’re going to possibly get too because you get people, they’re getting referred by a trusted source to you. That’s one, as compared to somebody who’s buying a list. You’re also getting people who don’t know what to do. Maybe they were thrust into this situation. As you said, Nana fell and broke her hip, broke her leg or whatever. They’re worried about getting her into the best facility possible. Getting her into something. The last thing they’re worried about, they also got to worry about how they pay for it. Usually, it’s selling the house to then pay for that facility that she’s going to end up living in. The source, as far as what you’re getting with the referrals, you’re building networks here, what you’re doing. You’re not going out paying for any lists. You’re building relationships with people who can refer you to this business. Is that correct?
That’s right. Not only are they the best leads that I found in the business, they’re also my free leads. I feel like, in the place that we’re at in this world, a lot of people say you got to outspend your competition to get in front of these deals. That’s one way to do it. I’m here to say that if you build relationships the right way with the right people, you can have as many deals as you want. I keep going back to this analogy of the mailman. If the mailman came to your house and said, “Here’s the most trusted guy in town. Don’t call these other nineteen postcards.” You’d be like, “I’m cool with that.”
Think about that. That’s the mailman. If me and you are brothers, Paul, and we’re trying to put mom into senior living and that person we’re using to tell us where mom’s going to get the best care. If that person says, “Don’t clean this place out. Don’t rehab this place. I’ve got somebody I trust.” You can imagine how warm that lead is. It’s not all sugar here. I got to tell you, when people hear what I do, they immediately think, “I’ll walk into the senior living community tomorrow. I’ll put my hand out and I’ll say, ‘I’m Bob. I buy houses from old people moving into nursing homes.’” That sentence I said right there sounds right in a lot of people’s ears.
I’m telling you, you blacklisted yourself in the business you’re trying to get into because you didn’t know what you were saying. If they put you in an investor bucket, that’s bad. If they put you in a realtor bucket, that’s bad. Paul, you might well be an investor and a realtor, but you need to solve their problem for that person sitting across from you not come from that other angle. That’s where my many years here now in the senior side, it’s a different business than our real estate world. If you do it right, it can be powerful for your real estate business.
Tell us a little bit about what is the best way for people to do this? What is doing it right? What are the systems that you guys use to do this?
The system is finding the people not in their day job. Have you ever been to a senior living community? A lot of people have not. I bet a lot of the readers haven’t. It’s unique. That’s the right way to say this. It’s hard getting older. These people need a lot of help. If you walk into the community live without an appointment, you’re not going to get the result you wanted because that director, I liken it to a school principal. You got 140 families they’re dealing with. Instead of the children, it’s the Nana or the adult, and they’re dealing with the families. They’re being pulled in 100 different directions. The cool thing about senior living is that they do like to network. They’re collaborative if they trust you. You better believe for them to refer to you. It takes a lot of trust for them to know that you’re the right person to help them with their clients.
How different is this real estate? How much more rewarding is that to you working in this business than your old traditional wholesaling or fix and flip?
Paul, I see the weight come off of their shoulders when they shake my hand when the deal is done. When I can catch that brother that lives out of town, he might’ve come to town to start getting that place cleaned out. Everybody thinks we got to clean out mom’s house and then paint and carpet and we’re ready for the market. If you catch him in that weekend too when they’re moving up out of the basement with the boxes of everything that was in that basement and I say, “Stop right there. You can be done doing it.” They’re like, “What?”
Here’s the thing, the treasures and the heirlooms, those leave the first ten minutes of this happening. I’m there when you’re talking about the taxes from 1978 that they still have in a box, the workout equipment, the VHS collections, the doll collections, the life. These houses are full of life. I’ll give you a fun stat. In St. Louis, my local market 99% of the houses have about $5,000 worth of stuff. Here’s the kicker. It costs about $5,000 to get those to the right places whether the trash or the sale. Literally, what I said right there are 99% of the houses in St. Louis, the stuff inside has no value. It’s a big pain to get to the zero value. Everybody thinks their stuff is worth $1 million, but in reality, it’s not.
If I’ve seen this with a lot of people, a lot of friends mind when their family member passes away or they’re suffering through dementia and they’re putting them into a different type of facility. What they end up doing is they go through this sprinkler, they’re going through these memories. They’re like, “We could sell this for this.” You got to put this either on Facebook Marketplace or on Craigslist or newspaper, then you’ve got to go, if the weather’s good enough, set up a garage sale or an estate sale. This is such a process and the families don’t enjoy this at all. There’s not one family I’ve ever heard that says, “This is going to be fun.” They’re losing that weekend. They’re losing that time. What you’re doing is you’re helping them gain that time back and you’re giving them guidance and helping them out along the way.
With COVID, what’s happened a lot is the live sales have gotten less but the buyouts are more popular. First of all, I want to be clear. I don’t make money from this stuff at all. It’s a problem for me as well, but I help overcome that, but treasures to trash. I have the right person for that family to talk to and I’ll connect them freely to do that. I do that even if they don’t sell me their house. I take great pride in being a resource for these communities and these different stakeholders. Even if I don’t buy the house, I only close about a third of these leads, but let’s think about that for a second. If I get ten leads and I’m closing 3.5, that’s pretty good, Paul. It’s because they’re on a T. It’s not the uphill battle that we’re used to. I try to give value even if I don’t get it bought because I know that’s why they’re referring to me. When they say, “Phillip’s the right guy,” it’s an abundance mentality. I try to live my whole life that way. It’s a good way to be when you’re dealing with this situation for families.
You’re setting yourself up for the future, to be honest with you, because there are people that you may not have purchased their house, but they’ll remember they had such a good experience with you that if this happens to somebody else, they know they’ll refer you. They’re like, “It didn’t work out for us, but maybe this makes sense for you here and reach out to them.” You never when this is coming back to you. When you go above and beyond and you do that when you’re exceeding people’s expectations like that, your name is going to do nothing but get better. You’re going to build and you’re going to have great karmic buildup as but you’re going to have.
It’s happened a lot of times and it does feel good. We were talking about it’s warm and fuzzy. I get the house is almost the easy part. I get fulfilled by helping these families in their time. Many people have said, “I wish there was a book I could have read about what I’m going through.” They feel like they’re on an Island. It’s tough especially for that most responsible child.
There’s always one, it seems like. If you’re lucky, you get one of those response ones, the one that stayed local to mom and dad and helps take care of many other ones. The ones with all the opinions are telling you should do this, you should do that. I’m sure you see this consistently, like clockwork coming through. That’s your typical family, the typical thing that you see there. Mom’s House is your company, correct?
You can go to MomsHouse.com to learn a little bit more about it. You buy not just in St. Louis. Are you buying all over the country?
Yeah. I always ask this question like, “Who’s the most trusted buyer in Albuquerque?” I didn’t say who makes the most money or who flips the most houses. I don’t care about those two stats. Who’s the most trusted because that is what’s the most important factor in this is that for them to refer you, you’re going to need some trust. Sometimes that means you have a track record, but I would say if you have the right mentality you have empathy, you can be successful at this. I seem to attract a lot of couples to this business and it’s because it’s something you could do together. There’s a lot of moving parts to it. Females have an advantage in what I do. That’s a rare thing in our real estate world because they have more empathy.
You get that and that’s a big plus. Probably a lot of your students or a lot of people you work with, are the majority of them female?
With any number, it’s about half and half. It’s where it sets, but that’s a high number in our world. I’ll take it even further. What I see is with any training you’ve got the doers and the people that don’t. What I’ve noticed is that the females are the ones that ended up doing. They listen and they take the advice and they do it. They’re the implementers. I love that. Female or male, it doesn’t matter what that, but the people that take action and will be the ones that will be successful.
There’s no doubt, as with anybody in this business. If you’re not taking massive action, you’re not going to do that well. That’s why there’s a 95% fail rate in the industry. This sounds like a great little niche to be in here. You don’t want to have to worry about like the day-to-day constantly buying all these different lists for all these there and paying $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 a month in marketing fees. It sounds like a nice little niche for somebody to do and grow good business.
Imagine if you do even 1 or 2 deals a month, you can have a nice life. The marketing budget sometimes is like an anchor around us. You have to buy houses that month. If you spend $10,000 or $20,000, you’re in the hole. The guys that are doing 10 to 20 deals a year, they’re all asking themselves, “How do I grow to that to 50?” They’re being told to turn my marketing budget up from $5,000 to $15,000 to get there. I’m here to say that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an easier way to do this. I look at the world that we live in and it’s probably not a great time to be spending more money. It’s a risk. The market’s phenomenal now but I don’t know what April of 2021 is going to look like. I don’t know if anybody does.
With what you’re doing, the demographics are hugely in your favor. We have a big retiring Baby Boomer. They’re aging and are getting older and they’re having issues and injury and stuff like this. It seems like the way the direction you’re going in here is only going to grow exponentially more.
Do you want to hear some crazy stats? I know some people love stats. The big one that everyone talks about is 10,000 people a day turn 65, but 15,000 a day are turning 75 and that’s way closer to what I’m doing. The other huge one is that 70% of Americans over the age of 65 will live in some assisted care before they pass away. I love probate leads, but let me plainly tell you why they’re my second favorite by a long shot. If you and I are brothers and our mother has passed away and there’s probate that’s been opened, you and I, Paul, care about every dollar that the house sells for because of what’s in it for us.
It’s our inheritance. We’re getting that total and we care about what’s in it for us. When mom is moving into senior living, you care about is this buyer trustworthy to get to the closing table. Whether we sell it for $92,000 or $96,000 or $88,000, that money is going to go into an account and it’s going to be for her. Mom is still alive. It’s 70% of Americans are going to go through this. It’s much bigger than probate or any of these other things because it’s going to happen to a mass of people. The numbers are staggering. It’s like taking a 5-gallon bucket out of the ocean. Even if you take a few leads off, it’s still a full ocean. Nothing’s changing.
You brought up something is huge. The mindset. Probate, somebody passes away, you’re trying to get maximum dollar for yourself and your family. This is totally different. Now, you’re talking about you got to be quick to get money to be able to pay for her to get there. It’s money that’s not going to you. It’s got to be enough hopefully to pay and take care of her for at least a certain period of time. If there’s anything left over, that’s great. Nobody’s been concerned about that. It’s a different mindset that the sellers have that’s totally different from probate.
Even taking it further, look at divorces or foreclosures. Those are always people going through some things that make them a little bit negative. There are usually some guilty parties on some side, the mindset and this deal, nobody’s mad at Nana because she got older. In fact, it’s collaborative. How can we help? That industry is great for help if you have the right mindset. This is a great business for good people. I feel like it’ll weed itself out because if you have the wrong intentions, they’ll know right away and you won’t have the success.Senior living is not a trend. It’s just a little niche in real estate that will continue to be stable no matter what the market looks like. Click To Tweet
You reminded me of something there. With some of these leads that you get, like the divorce, sometimes you buy the deals and you feel a little dirty. I remember one, this is going back because I haven’t done a direct mail in a while because we buy many bank REOs. I remember the one husband was like, “I don’t care what we sell this thing for. I don’t want her getting anything.” That’s not the right mindset to have. You guys should try and be working together. Get as much as you can to separate and go in different directions. It gets into some nasty fighting that way. This is different. This is a much more positive and warm group of people that you’re talking to.
If anything, they want your empathy. They’re empathetic towards their parent or aunt or uncle, whoever has got the issue here and they want to help them the most that they can. It’s such a different mindset. It opened me up to a lot of different things here. It’s interesting, way more than I even thought. I hope our readers are getting at and understand how different this is from other avenues of real estate. It’s about figuring out what you want to do and what direction you want to go. We talked about this earlier about what do you like in real estate? What direction? What makes you feel good? If you don’t like it, if you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re not going to do it well. What does MomsHouse.com do? What do you offer? How can people reach out and get in touch with you?
They can reach out to me there. MomsHouse.com is public-facing to the senior living industry and to the adult children and the families that are going through that. To be blunt, the investors are the easy part. We’re looking for people that need to sell that have equity that needs houses that we can add value to. By the way, I have less competition. That’s the best part about it. Usually, I’m up against a realtor and the realtor will come in and say, “Clean this place out.” That itself is more overwhelming than the house rehab sometimes because they have to do the cleanout before they can get to the rehab. Let’s be clear here about our market. We’re in a phenomenal real estate market, better than I’ve seen in years.
Good luck trying to find a contractor. He’s going to give you a deal. Remember my analogy at the beginning. If you build new houses and you only do five a year, you’re not big enough to matter to these contractors. Imagine doing one house for mom and you live across the country. They’re going to see it coming. We earn our value as investors because we can do this at scale. It’s our business. We take it seriously. If you walk into Lowe’s or Home Depot and pay retail for everything, that difference between that retail price and what we can do it for is truly our profit. I can show you on paper that the net to the family is damn near the same, I bet you can do it in two weeks instead of six months and a question mark. A lot of logical people are like, “Why would I ever do the other?” I’m like, “That’s right. That’s a good question. I wonder that too.”
It’s funny because I purchased a property that was in this exact situation. It was a wholesale deal. A realtor had brought it in, not to me but to a friend of mine who’s a wholesaler. It happened to be in my hometown where I grew up and it was a multiunit property that, for some reason, she had used as a single-family. I bought it and renovated it. She’s still alive. They took those funds and are paying for her house or senior living place where she is. It’s this exact same situation. It was warm. It was easy. It was simple. There were no hiccups or anything. It was one of the smoothest processes I’ve ever had in buying from wholesalers.
A lot of times it’s difficult to get into the property when you’re buying different properties from wholesalers here. Usually, these are almost always vacant and much easier to get any other stuff in them. People are working to clean out. In this instance, the realtor was working to get everything all squared away for them, put into different storage facilities for them as they needed so the family didn’t have to rush and go do everything. They did a lot of the same stuff that you do. It was a good process. Going back in my mind here with what I purchased there with what you got here, it is a great little niche in real estate. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve missed out on us for years. This is definitely interesting as well.
It’s going to only get bigger. If you think about all of the houses you’ve bought, I would say that they were closer to 82, not 28 years old. They owned it for closer to 40 years, not 2 years. That’s the nature of what we’re doing. I keep going back to the direct mail. Think about the lists that we send you. High equity, they’ve owned it for over twenty years. Why is that right? You’re trying to time what I do for a living. I’m taking all of that hardness away and they’ve raised their hand saying, “It’s time.” I use this terminology spray and pray. What I do is not spray and pray, it’s “Phillip, can you be there at 2:30 on Tuesday to make an offer?” “Yes, please. I’d love to do that. I’m in the home-buying business.”
The best part is if you ever talking to other investors and they ask you, “What’s your cost per lead?” That’s the best. You got the greatest answer right there. You got no cost per lead. It’s your time and energy building relationships with people is what your cost per lead was and building those relationships and expanding it throughout time.
People tell me they don’t have time to network. I say, “How do you buy your house? Do you ever buy from a realtor?” “All the time.” I say, “Do you ever buy from a wholesaler?” “All the time.” I say, “How did you meet them?” They say, “I was networking.” “You’re networking, but you’re not networking with the right people yet.”
You teach people how to do that and show them how to network with the right people and do all those different things.
Paul, if I had my wand, I would say, “United States, I need 300 to 500 trusted investors nationwide in every big city in this country.” I’ve got this nationwide network of leads coming through the system. I know my local market, but like if there was a great deal in your town, I wouldn’t know it. I need a guy like you or people reading because there are nuances. Real estate is hyper-local. There are nuances that I can never learn about your town, that you’d never know about my town. I need 300 to 500 investors nationwide. That’s not a huge number based on the business that we do. A lot of these businesses want to have thousands and thousands. I don’t need that, but I need people that they hear this message and go, “I would be good at that.” I can work with somebody like that.
If they want to learn more, they can go on MomsHouse.com and learn more, read up more, and probably listen to other interviews that you’ve been on. You’ve probably been on other podcasts and other sources. I’m sure they could find you on YouTube as well.
It’s funny you say that. I was tasked with saying, “Phil, what all have you been on?” I made the list. I was like, “I forgot about that one and I forgot about that one.” I’ve been on some of the biggest ones. I love this story too. In 2014, I was on BiggerPockets, that little old podcast out there. I didn’t breathe a word of what I do at all because I didn’t want other people to do it at that time. I’ve flipped and been like, “There’s so much pie out here that let’s go help.” I try to make every decision for my business to put that adult child first because I know if I make their life easier, that I have a great business that’s not based on the economy. What I do is not sexy in any way. It’s a part of life. No matter who the president is or will be or whatever, who I help will always be there. This is not a trend.
It’s not cyclical. People don’t decide when they’re going to fall and get hurt or start to get ill and pass away. It doesn’t matter where the real estate market’s red hot like it is now or icy cold, there is going to be that steady inflow of leads, things and sources coming in. I’m in the REO world where there’s way less now than there will be, say next year or the year after. It’s more cyclical. I have to figure out other ways to generate more lead sources and different things. Now what you’re in is a great little niche and that’s awesome. You think about 300 to 500 investors give you enough to encompass most of the country and a pretty good way. I appreciate all the info here. I’ve learned a ton personally. I hope our readers here were learning and reach out to you if they have any interest in learning more, as well. Besides MomsHouse.com, is there another way to get in touch with you or is that the best way?
That’s the best. That’s the easiest.
Thank you, Phil. I appreciate your time. Best of luck with everything and I hope everything goes well, which I’m sure it will. You’re now enjoying better weather out there in Puerto Rico.
I’m the widest Puerto Rican in the world, so that’s good.
Thanks. I appreciate it.
- YouTube – Phillip Vincent
About Phillip Vincent
Moms house is the trusted as is home buyer network for seniors in transition
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