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John Fedro is a great friend of mine that has built a six-figure passive income stream by investing in mobile homes.
While many real estate investors snub their nose at manufactured housing, John has built an incredibly successful investing company across the nation. This interview is interesting because you'll hear how John failed when he tried to follow the advice of late-night infomercial gurus teaching traditional real estate investing strategies.
This is a testament about how you don't need a college degree to build a real estate empire. All it takes is hustle, grit, and determination.
This episode of Pathways To Wealth is powerful because John shows how he went from a mobile phone salesman to the mobile home king.
And a huge thanks for John for putting together this free mobile home investing basics course!
In This Episode, You'll Learn:
- How to create a six-figure income stream with mobile homes
- Why John failed at traditional real estate, and how he found this overlooked niche
- How you can get free mobile homes given to you for immediate cash flow
- The four most common mistakes made by real estate investors
- How John recently bought a 110 unit mobile home park with nothing out of pocket
- Why real estate investing is not a zero-sum game, and how everyone in a transaction can win
- How to earn back all your investment capital in less than ten months
Links & Resources From This Episode:
- Click here to grab John's free mobile home investing basics course
- John's Investing Blog – MobileHomeInvesting.net
Subscribe To The Pathways To Wealth Show:
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Chris Dunn: Hey everybody, Chris Dunn back with you and today I have a really good friend of mine on the line, John Fedro. John, how are you doing?
John Fedro: I'm doing great. Thanks so much for inviting me. This is awesome.
Chris: Yeah man, I've been looking forward to this interview for a long time. John is one of the most successful real estate investors I know and it’s really interesting because I've known John for over ten years. John has mastered a unique niche in the real estate space, and I wanted to bring him on today because he’s got a very interesting story, he’s helped a lot of people, he’s made a lot of money, and he’s built up this empire. I'm just really proud of him because like I said, he’s a good friend of mine, and I wanted to bring on and have him share all of his experience with you. I interviewed John a couple of years ago, but since then, John has done some really big things in real estate. John, why don’t we start with you explaining who you are, what your background is, how you got started in real estate, maybe where you failed in the niche you're in, and how you’ve succeeded.
John: Wow, that’s a multi-part question. I’ll do my best at wrapping it up for you.
John: I got started super young, I feel super young, late teens. I looked young, felt young, had a beater car, was living with my mom at that time, living in our house and knew nothing about real estate, but I had such a fire inside of myself. While I was going to community college, I had two part-time jobs that I didn’t like, and I wanted to get out of that. I knew that I did not want to be in school, I didn’t want to work for somebody for the next 20, 30, or 50 years of my life. I had all this desire and passion, and I think that that’s worth noting because without that, the opportunities that were presented to me, I joined Amway, do a multi-level marketing business, or continue going to school and become a doctor – pre-med which I was going for, or real estate that again that came across my desk. I picked up a book my roommate at that time had, and you were that roommate—
Chris: Yes, that’s right man. It’s funny because a lot of people don’t know my story that is I dropped out of college the first year. I met John in college actually at the gym, and we were talking about how much we hated college, and I was looking to get out of it.
John: We were just terrible influences on each other.
Chris: I know, right? But it’s funny because we were talking and you were, I think, selling cell phones and you're in some MLM business, and I'm like “Dude c’mon, that’s scam. You got to get out of that.” But it’s so crazy now looking back, and how the traditional route just wasn’t for either for us and a lot of this success with people we know self-educated and it’s cool because you have a unique perspective. I’ll shut up now and take it back to you and let you tell your story.
John: Like you said, it was interesting that we both had that different perspective. We weren’t lazy. We knew that we didn’t know everything. We certainly weren’t making the money that we wanted to. I wasn’t making the money that I wanted to, so I knew it wasn’t just going to be from dropping out of school and doing nothing or getting a 9-5 job. I had these thoughts of grandeur, I just didn’t know what to do, and I had just had so much fire inside myself. When I picked up that book in your library, just looking at them, business, real estate, stocks, and options and I things I didn’t know anything about. I picked up the real estate ones and flipped through them and in that weekend, I don’t know if you remember, there were these three big courses, and I went through them twice thinking like, “Oh my God, I can do this.” They were high in the sky deals, really round numbers, like “Hey, in a perfect world, this could happen.”
Chris: It was like one of those infomercial courses wasn’t it? Like how to get rich in traditional real estate.
John: But at least it opened my eyes. I had no idea. I thought real estate was something that you owned, and you lived in and you died and your kids got it or went to probate. Well actually, I didn’t know anything about probate or anything like that.
Chris: What happened though, you read those courses, you went through the DVDs and then you’ve tried it, what happened?
John: Right, so I tried it, did almost everything that they said: knocked on doors, spent my small life savings at that time to do a mail campaign and put out signs and do some things. This was Tampa in the height of the market where you could make money just be cleaning a window.
Chris: So you were marketing trying to find deals. That’s where you were spending your money on?
John: Right, trying to find single-family home deals. I knew nothing about the type of niche that I was about to fall into. Well, after about three months of trying, really trying, and asking questions and trying to get answers. No results. Made offers and offers and offers, nothing stuck. My first deal came from a seller who called me up. She was asking $8,000 for her home. This was in Florida, $8,000 for a 3-bedroom 2-bath. I'm like, “What is going on?” I was so green and new. I didn’t even know to ask if this was a mobile home.
So, I got into the area where the mobile home was. It was in a mobile home park, most of us are familiar with mobile home parks. I pulled into the park, I'm like, “What is going on?” I've never lived in a mobile home, never. I don’t think I have any friends who live in mobile homes. No experience. I drove into the park, and I had my music loud because I was trying to get amped up. I remember pulling into the park, and there’s this wave of nausea just coming over me and there were a few turns left before I got to the home. I just remembered pulling over and opening the door just in time to just get sick and purge on the side of the road.
Chris: You were so nervous that you got sick.
John: I got sick because I was going there to help a woman. I was in my late teens; she was in her mid-40s, how am I going to help her? She needs help. She’s ready to move. I'm living with mom in my mom’s townhouse.
Chris: Let me ask you this, did you feel like an impostor? Did you feel like, “I have no clue what I'm doing,” is that why you were so nervous?
John: Definitely. In a beater car, way too young, not sure what I was going to do, very new into this business and I did feel like an impostor completely. I knew that I cared, but there were so much that I was lacking and didn’t know. I remembered closing the doors, putting down the mirror, and just looking at myself wiping my mouth off and being like, “What the hell. It would be so easy right now just to go home with my tail between my legs and make an excuse and come back later” but I didn’t. I went to the appointment. It was a really good deal. It set the bar high, and I was able to buy that $8,000 mobile home for $3,000, but I didn’t have the money, so I made her payments. I said, “Well, I can give you $300 today and then 300 for the next nine months” and that equals $3,000 and she went for it. I turned around, and I cleaned up that home. It barely needed any work, and I resold it on payments the first time for the mid to late $20,000. I think I got
Chris: You paid $3,000 in payments. You got the house for $300, and then you went and sold it for 20-something a thousand bucks?
John: In payments. Yes, like $3,000 down. I think they gave me $2,500 down at first and then monthly payments that I was cash flowing every month.
Chris: You made over $2,000 on the front end and then you made a few hundred dollars or something every month.
John: Every month. Plus, I discounted what I was paying to the seller, so I bought it for a little cheaper than $3,000 and then the first people who I sold it to originally, the first people, they gave it back to me after two years. I sold it the next time for the high 30s.
Chris: What do you mean they gave it back to you? They stopped paying, and you kicked them out or something?
John: Correct. They just stopped paying, and they said, “John, we can't pay anymore. We need to leave, so we’d like to be out of this situation.”
Chris: You got to sell that house more than once and sold it for $20,000 and made a few grand the first time and then sold it for 30-something the second time?
John: This is the business. This is the mobile home investing business. Coming from outside, folks watching this video, that may seem too good or some sort of high in the sky deal, but that’s the numbers that we’re seeing. It’s amazing from the east coast to the west coast. There’s opportunity to help buyers and sellers of mobile homes.
Chris: I know you’ve done deals all over the nation now. You're partnering with people; you just bought a big mobile home park. Now, why did you go with mobile homes over traditional single-family real estate? Was it something that you just fell into? Did you see that there was more competition with regular homes? Were the mortgages bigger? Why did you go that route? Because a lot of people, I think, are scared of that.
John: That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I've been asked that question that way. I think it’s important to know that I wasn’t in love with real estate. Real estate was the vehicle that was getting me to the lifestyle I wanted, which was a lot of cash flow, a lot of money, good income, security, a future moving forward, be able to pass these on to children. It wasn’t so much that I needed to be in a certain type of real estate but when I was starting to invest for those first three months, I wasn’t doing anything. So my first deal, I literally just fell into mobile home investing and the first time I did that deal in the park, I could see there’s a lot of money here, there’s no competition from buyers, from other investors, nobody else was doing this in the market, and come to find out around the country very few people are. We have a really good opportunity to help a lot of sellers and buyers. I was embarrassed; I don’t know if you know this. Actually, you know about this because I remember having these conversations where I was embarrassed about what I was doing. I was making good money but mobile home investing wasn’t real estate. I wasn’t posh. It wasn’t prestigious.
Chris: Yeah, I remember going through some real estate investment club meetings, and you were very quiet about what you were doing. I knew you were doing deals, but I didn’t know what. It’s funny because it seems like everybody in real estate, it’s the same with trading or any investment, has a herd mentality. People just want to follow what everybody else was doing, but you were doing differently. You were like, “Oh shit, I'm fine on this niche. I'm making real good money” part of me thinks it was kind of like you didn’t want to get the word out. But what was it about the traditional real estate. I know you tried to do the courses and all the stuff that those infomercial guys talk about. Why do you think that is so much harder than mobile homes? Is it the competition?
John: The competition is a big factor. The competition you have, not just the competition of other investors. If there’s a single family home seller, if you're the investor, she calls you, you don’t give her the offer that she wants to hear, or you don’t give her an offer, she’s going to go right down that list of all the other investors in your area so the competition for investors, the end buyers. There are end buyers all around us that want to buy traditional homes, and they can go to the bank, they can't get approved. Some of them, some of them can't, but a lot of people can. There are programs out there, mortgage programs, thousands of them. But with mobile homes, let’s go to why the single family wasn’t working. I didn’t have money, didn’t have experience. I was a small fish in the huge pond; those were the biggies. With mobile homes, I could get into mobile homes with just a few hundred dollars that I had. You’ve read enough real estate books well to know that cliché, you're going to ride in there into the seller’s home on your white horse and be a knight and shining armor and save the day for the seller. That really happened with traditional homes because there are so many investors or so many exit strategies but with mobile homes, when I was picking up the phone and calling mobile homes, or they would call me, it would be a night and day difference from traditional sellers because mobile home sellers, there’s not a lot of help for them. They understand the value of what you're doing. As an investor, it was so easy I could listen to a seller’s problems, I could help the seller, no competition, very little money, no credit, don’t need to go to a bank.
Chris: It’s like the perfect storm. It almost sounds too good to be true. It’s like what you said, low competition, really big margins, you didn’t need a lot of money to get started. It almost sounds like an infomercial, but it’s the reality. What’s the downside to working in mobile homes if there is one?
John: The downside is that you're not going to flip. In most areas of the country, you're not going to flip these for all cash or bank financing, that 90% of what we do were selling these mobile homes and receiving monthly cash flow, monthly payments.
Chris: So you're getting a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollar down payment and then you're collecting payments and making money on the spread every month?
John: Correct. Now, we’re making a considerable amount of money many times our investment but yes. For some people, I want to make six figures this next month, and that is not something that individual mobile home is investing in the parks where you just own the home, you don’t own the land, you just rent the land or even mobile homes on private land. You're going to buy as an investor; you're going to buy the home and the little piece of land that the home sits on. There are all sorts of different types of mobile homes out there and we’re able to create value with just about all of them.
Chris: Nice. What does a typical deal look like? If you took your average numbers, what are you typically buying it for and then what are you selling it for? What are you getting for a down payment? What’s the monthly rent and the spread? I know there’s probably a huge variation because you're doing deals all over the country, but you just had to take your average typical deal.
John: What we found out and what we won't do if we buy a mobile home for all cash, we’re paying anywhere from free to $3,000-$4,000 to $5,000 for the home. Now, if we’re making payments to a seller for their home, maybe we’ll pay $6,000-$7,000 or $8,000 for a mobile home.
Chris: Wait, wait, wait. You just said from free to a few thousand dollars. Why would you get a home for free?
John: You're going to be purchasing homes. You're going to be helping sellers from all sides of the spectrum. Sellers that need your help and don’t want to be in the home anymore, maybe their home needs a lot of work, or they're behind on lot rent payments, and then you're going to talk to other sellers on the other side of the spectrum that don’t need our help. They have plenty of time, plenty of money. In that spectrum, the free homes, some of them are very beautiful, and you can get an amazing deal, some of them need a little bit of work, others you don’t want to buy even if they're free. I’ll say this for the folks watching, it’s not a question of if you're going to get a free home. If you're in this business, it’s a question of just when you're going to get it because there are free homes out there.
Chris: It’s just a matter of do you want to do the work and catch up on the lot rent payments, is that what the catch is I guess?
John: Well, you got to find the deal. The deal has to find you. You have to negotiate it to free, or you find it in a free price. You will have to do probably some repairs to the home, catch up lot rent, and then—
Chris: So a deal where it’s free is somebody is like “Look, I'm outta here. I don’t want to do these repairs. I'm a couple of months behind on lot rent; maybe I owe 500 bucks or something in lot rent. Just take it. I don’t care.” Is that kind of what the scenario would look like?
John: That’s one scenario or it could be a park owner or a park manager selling the home. They say, “We’re not in the business of fixing this home up. If you want to fix it up and sell it, have a few months free lot rent and then start paying us lot rent here in a couple of months.” It’s win-win. The park gets that home fixed up and a good person in there. They don’t have to do any work, and you get to fix it up and sell that home.
Chris: That’s really interesting man. If you had to guess, how many free ones have you gotten the past decade or however long you have been doing this?
John: Over five or six in that time and it surprised me because of a lot of the members that I'm helping can get free homes. Again, you can buy junky ones that are not what we’re not talking about, or you can get junky ones for free which is not what we’re talking about. These are good quality homes: roof, walls, plumbing, AC, heat, appliances, carpet, and paint, decent quality homes, really good homes that are going to last for another 20 or 30 years. The homes that we do buy for the $3,000-$5,000 in parks, because there are the homes in parks and homes on land, we’re buying them in parks for around $3,000-$5,000, we’re cleaning them up a little bit and we’re re-selling them on payments for upwards of usually the mid to high 20s.
Chris: Let’s say you pay $3,000 to get one, and then you sell it for 20, what do you get as a down payment and what’s your typical monthly spread?
John: The down payment is subjective depending on the condition of the home when we re-sell it. If it’s handyman special, we might only get $1500 from our tenant buyer because they have to still do some work to the home, so we can’t charge $5,000 plus you do the work to the handyman special. If it’s a handyman special that you're selling for payments, probably $1500 something minimal, but if you're selling a nice home that doesn’t need any work, it’s ready to be moved into, a normal $3,000-$4,000 or $5,000 or more move-in free from your tenant buyer and we’re always selling with a minimum, not always but most of the time, a 5-year minimum. So you're collecting that $300 every month, we shoot for a minimum of $300 in your pocket, you're collecting that for five years, and we aim to recoup all of our money, this is very important. We aim to recoup all of our money that we invested within ten months maximum but usually within about six months or less.
Chris: That’s incredible for anybody that knows real estate investing to make all your money back in 10 months on a rental or a seller financing in that type of scenario is huge. You can't do that on single-family or multifamily regular homes. Granted I think the numbers per unit might be bigger on a single-family or an eight-plex apartment complex but for most people that are just getting into real estate, it sounds like making a few grand up front and a few hundred bucks a month spread is an extremely low-risk way to get started in real estate and it’s nice because the competition is lower and the margins are bigger, so you can grow your cash flow bigger. That’s what it sounds like to me and what I've seen with you over the years, and now you're out there buying whole mobile home parks with hundreds of them.
John: It’s funny that you mentioned that these deals are just so good. It’s funny because I'm sort of jaded to mobile home investing now because whenever I'm helping a member, and we don’t make our money back – because I really shoot that we try to make all of our money back, the holding cost, the acquisition cost, the repair cost if needed, I really want to make all that money back in about 6 months or less. When we go over six months, it takes us about 7, 8, 9, or 10 months to get out money back, I find myself upset or manufacturing this stress, it’s like, “Oh, I wanted to shoot for six months.”
Chris: And then you got to put it back into perspective and then like, “Oh yeah, that’s way better than anything else.”
John: What was I talking about? That’s ridiculous, just be happy with just 9 or 10 months making your money back. You have another 4+ years of cash flow. It’s just funny to know, but these are absolutely what the deals are out there. And the people are listening, you can do a skinny deal all day long. You cannot make your money back in the first year. You can make a $100 cash flow per month. It’s easy to do a bad deal in mobile home investing. I will say that. There have been a lot of mistakes over the years, a lot of stress, up and downs.
Chris: That’s a really good point. What would you say is your biggest mistake that you’ve made with mobile home investing?
John: I started young. I've been asking that question to a lot of people as well, and it seems a lot of answers they have been that they wanted to start earlier. I think I started pretty young, so that’s not a regret, but it could be. I think the biggest regret that I have been a mindset regret.
For the first few years while investing, I thought that investing was like the zero-sum game where if I won, the seller had to lose. It was me as the investor versus the seller. The more money they got, the less I got, and it was all about immediate profit. I wanted them to get the very minimal so that I could get the most. That greed, the mentality of me the investor versus the seller, was completely wrong. I think the biggest mistake I was making was this mindset, and it’s not the investor versus the seller. It’s the seller and the investor especially that home investing is a people business more than real estate business. And with mobile homes, it’s the investor and the seller joining forces to sell then or get rid of their unwanted home.
You can join with the seller and make so many more deals, not only will your word of mouth reputation go up, the deals that you close will go up, your follow-ups will go up, and the money that you put in your pocket will go up, your anxiety will go way down. It’s so basic but when you're an investor, and I think a lot of real estate investors, it’s this cut-throat mentality a little bit, but when you can change your paradigm and really try to help sellers, all that other stuff that I just talked about: your business will go up, and your anxiety will go down.
Chris: That’s great, man. I like that. I don’t think that’s a fluffy self-help thing whenever you say join forces, I think that’s very literal. When you help a seller get rid of that, not only do you help that person but you profit and everybody is happy, and then they're going to spread the word. I think it’s just about problem-solving. The better you are at just thinking about how can I help this person and solve their problem, the more money you're going to make. What’s one piece of advice that you would give to somebody that’s starting out in real estate investing, not even mobile homes, but there’s so much bullshit around real estate investing in general. There are all these infomercials and these “get rich quick gurus.” If you had to go back and talk to your 20-year-old self and give yourself advice and say, “don’t do this, do this,” maybe “go down this path,” “avoid these mistakes,” what advice would you give to somebody who is just starting out?
John: Great question. Something that I noticed, I don’t like saying always or never but something I notice almost always from newer investors, ones that are new, just getting into this is that they want to put out marketing, or they want to do marketing and they want to analyze every home that comes in. If there’s a home, if they get an address, this is the mentality of most newer investors, if I can make $500 from a deal, I want to do it. There’s a lead coming in; I want to pursue this until this thing either dies or I can't make money. And it’s so important to specialize in real estate and also when to say “no” and when to say “yes,” so my advice is if you are newer in this business, it’s so important when you're a first in the business to specialize. Start doing deals under one niche, and then you can make money, and then you can learn other ways to invest and open your portfolio. But specializing in the very beginning, but you don’t what to specialize in mobiles homes, single family homes, flipping, REOs, probates, the list goes on. You can make money so many ways in real estate. I would encourage everyone that’s listening, even if you’ve been in this for a little while, take people out to lunch for the first few months. For the first few months while I was investing, I took a bunch of seasoned investors out to lunch and then I slowly weaned down as the months and years went by. But take people out to lunch that are experts in their field. Ask them questions, see if you can help them, and then really understand “Hey, is this something I want to do? Is there a need for this in my market?” Real estate investing is completely possible. If you want to do something, you can just work your way backward how to do it.
The variable here in real estate is you. This takes effort; it takes hard work, it takes daily action but is it possible? It is possible in almost any type of real estate. My advice is to specialize and to surround yourself with people that are doing what you want to do and then figure out, “No way, I don’t want to do mobiles. No, I don’t want to do a commercial. No, I don’t want to do probates. Ooh, I like doing this,” so really figure out, get all that stuff, don’t spend any money, get that out of the way, take people out to lunch, figure out what you want to do, get a plan, and then jump in.
Chris: I love that, and it’s so true. It’s like trading the markets. There are so many ways to make money in the markets. There are so many ways to make money in real estate. There are so many ways to skin that cat. I don’t like there’s one right way for everybody. You just have to figure out what works for you. And it’s so true, with newer traders, I see guys and ladies that are like, “I just want to take every single trade, every single opportunity” because they're excited, and they're like, “Hey, I just want to make money.” And it‘s like, “Woah, kind of slow down grasshopper.” You have to learn how to look for the best opportunities and to make sure that you're not opening yourself up to risk that really, you shouldn’t take on. That’s a good segway into this question, have you ever lost money on a deal?
John: Definitely, oh yeah. With mobile homes, it is easy to do a bad deal. The four main umbrellas of where people can lose money with mobile homes is that you overpay for the mobile home, it happens all the time. Well, to people that don’t know what to pay, it happens all the time. You can overpay for a mobile home, you have too much money into it, you're not going to make it back in 10 months or less. You over improved the mobile home, you're going to have too much money into it, you're not going to make your money back, you have to charge way more. It’s going to take a while to sell. The third thing is that you put the wrong person in there. I've had nightmare people in my homes that I should’ve never put them in. Looking back, I was the worst landlord. If you got a pulse, you could go into one of my homes. Putting the wrong people in your home, you can set yourself up for just an amazing time, no headaches, or a nightmare time – so the wrong people. And then the last thing that you can do is make a mistake for mobile home investing is you leave thousands of dollars literally on the closing table. Instead of selling these of 5-plus years minimum of mobile home payments, you're selling them for 2, 3, or 4 years. You just don’t make as much money. Again, that all leads to that investor that has a bitter taste in their mouth, “Yeah, I tried investing in mobile homes once, and it didn’t work” or “the tenants did this and that,” “It was a horror story” and this and that. Ultimately, it’s the investor’s fault. For me, when I've lost money, I've lost money on potential deals that I was too lazy, and I didn’t act quick enough, and I didn’t get them. After Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi, I went up there, and I was investing in mobile homes already for 6, 7, eight years. I'm thinking, “You know what, there're a lot of opportunities here in Mississippi with buying homes and rehabbing them and flipping them.” Well, I got into four deals out there, spent a ton of my money, my credit went down a little bit, ended up getting out of them but just wasted a lot of money because I was doing something different. I got greedy. I trusted too many people and I was just following that greed.
Chris: So you took your focus off of what was working, which was mobile homes, and you tried to go into the rehab game and chase the herd and that ended up costing you some money?
John: You got it. With regards to mobile homes, there are a lot of ways that I could’ve made a little bit more money. I can only think of maybe 1 or 2 deals that weren’t profitable where I lost a little bit of money, a little bit being a couple hundred of dollars to maybe a thousand dollars and then that’s like, “Okay, that was a good lesson. I'm happy, next deal.”
Chris: Nice. So basically the four ways to lose money are: You overpay, you fix it up too much, you put too much money into it, you get the wrong tenant in there, or you don’t sell it for what you really could get out of it, is that right?
John: That’s right, and it sounds juvenile or you don’t sell it for enough. Well, you just know what to sell it for, and you sell it. Mobile homes and single-family homes are like night and day or just apples to oranges, the buyers are different, the sellers are different, the retail prices are way different, what buyers and sellers are looking for are way different. To people that are listening, it’s easy to make all those mistakes.
Chris: That’s good man I'm glad that you shared that because where the margins are so big, and the competition is so little, there are areas that you can screw up. There are areas that you can lose money, so I always like to ask that and figure out, okay what’s the downside, what’s the risk, what are the things that people really need to know about and I think something that’s really cool is how you graduated recently to the next level that when you started, you're buying mobile homes in parks, so you didn't own the land, and then you move that to buy single homes on a plot of land, and now, you just bought an entire mobile home park. Let’s talk about that man. How did that happen? That’s amazing. How many lots are in there? How many homes are in there?
John: There are 110 lots, and this was a long time coming. I feel like I was behind the eight ball. My excuse back in the day – because as a mobile home investor, working inside parks on private land, there’s not a lot of us, so you develop a name for yourself. You're rubbing shoulders with park managers, with park owners, and over the years, I remember telling you this a few times that I was presented for parks. Owners of parks came up to me, they're a little bit older, they're ready to retire, “John, we’re getting out of this. We know you. We like you. Would you like to make an offer on this park?” Can we sell this to you with payments, and like an idiot, I was thinking no. I'm happy doing what I'm doing. I'm making a sick return. I'm burning very little money into this. I'm making a crazy money back – I was thinking no if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Parks seem like a management game, intensive game, and I didn’t know.
Chris: You think that maybe came from a little bit of fear of what happened in Mississippi when you deviated from your plan before.
John: It was fear there. It was fear because I was too young. That was a big hurdle. I remember you telling me a bunch of times that age is just a number. It doesn’t mean anything.
Chris: A little insecure about being young.
John: Right. But that’s BS, and it’s total BS. I had these blinders on, didn’t want to buy a park, and then just a few years ago, my feelings changed and now I segwayed from not only helping the individual sellers of mobile homes. “John, we need to sell our mobile home. We don’t want it. We’re out” to now helping sellers of mobile home parks.
Chris: Why do you want an individual deal when you can get a hundred?
John: Exactly. You’re talking to one seller. You're helping them. There’s a way moving parts and due diligence to consider, but you're right. Your one deal yields you 20, 30, or 80 homes versus just the one home.
Chris: That’s amazing man.
John: With that said, I wouldn’t nearly feel as prepared buying parks if I didn’t have the history with individual homes. I know individual homes and homes on land like the back of my hand. That helps to come into this brand new; I could see being very scared but this is the natural progression like you said.
Chris: Nice, nice. Well, I'm proud of you man. I know you're helping a lot of people all around the nation, and one thing that I think is cool about what you're doing is you're not just another real estate guru who’s just selling a course. You partner with your students and your members. Let’s tell people about that. How does that work?
John: When I was working at that ad at Altel when I was learning this business or right before I was learning this business as well, there was this gentleman that came into the office, and I was working by myself. We were chit-chatting, and he said he was a real estate investor. I asked him, what do you do, we’re chatting, I'm signing up his phone, he’s getting new service, and he tells me what he does, and this is when the light bulb goes off, and this is when I was really hungry. I remember asking him, “Hey, can I do something for you?” really humbly, “Can I help you, can I follow you, can I shadow you, can I work for free, can I give you all my energy when I'm not here, and you can train me.” I knew what I was prepared to do for this guy who was almost anything. This was before real estate. This was before I read that book on your counter. With that said, I remember him doing this, he gave this little chuckle, and he did the eye roll. And I remember that, and I'm like, “Are you kidding me?”
Chris: What a dick.
John: I was insulted by him, but I knew how much fire I had and how much compassion I had. The reason I bring that up is because those are the folks that I help. Those are the folks who I want to help. So I remember being in that situation and I just needed the channel. He could’ve pointed in the direction, “John, climb this mountain” and I would’ve done it. Talking to those people or thinking about those folks, those are the people who legitimately want to build a business. If I just described you, you have that passion inside you. You're a good person that wants to work hard. You're not afraid of working, you just need the viable plan and vehicle to get you there whether it’s stocks or trading or investing of some sort or selling Avon.
When I help people, I try to put myself and envision that earlier version of me. I guess with all that said, yes I partner with people, yes I help make phone calls for them, yes I will lead by example. There are only so many steps A through Z to be a big name for mobile homes in your local area. There are only so many things that you have to do, and I could teach that to a pre-teen. A lot of this business is how you're talking and interacting with people, the paperwork, and follow-up, and taking action. Again, this business takes action but for the folks listening, if you're ready to step up, there is information out there. There are people ready to help you, and there are plans and pathways to go ahead and do one deal and then another one and then another one.
Chris: John, I love your passion man, and I can vouch for which you're saying. Anybody listening to this, John is a real deal. He gives a shit. He’s one of the few guys in real estate that is helping people, and as he said, he partners and helps his guys and ladies get deals done. I think that’s rare. John, how many states are you doing deals in right now with your people?
John: Most of the continental United States. We are in Alaska, not Hawaii. Hawaii doesn’t have any mobile homes that we found. Most states know the laws, the rules, mobile home investing is popular in all states except for Hawaii and the District of Columbia.
Chris: That’s awesome man. You are literally like this. You're everywhere right now.
John: It has been a fun time. Like I said in the beginning, I knew that this was possible in the local market of Florida where we were but just to have people and help people retire from their full-time jobs to go mobile home investing, this stuff takes a little bit of energy. It takes time. It takes work, and it has been amazing to see people changing lives, not on the lives of themselves, but we make money by creating value, all investors. We create value in other people’s lives. We have to help enough buyers and sellers in the community to make money and create value for ourselves and everyone else. It has just been great. This real estate investing isn’t just me, me, me activity. You're helping the community, and you're getting paid for it.
Chris: Thanks for sharing everything today man. I know a lot of people got a lot of values out of it, and it’s always good to hear different pathways for how people are building wealth especially alternative ways. A lot of the people think that they have to go college, they have to get a degree, they have to have a lot of money to start a business but we live in the day and age where it’s so easy to start a business, easy in the sense that you don’t have to have a million dollar ad budget, and with the advent of the internet and just the plethora of information that’s out there, anybody can get started building wealth. John, you have just such a cool pathway that you built for yourself, and I've seen you build your empire over the years and work with a lot of people. It’s impressive. I know that you put a basics course for free on how to get started investing in mobile homes?
John: Yes, that free course is really good stuff.
Chris: Nice. Where can they go to grab that?
John: That’s going to be at mobilehomecashflow.com.
Chris: Awesome mobilehomecashflow.com. We’ll link that up in the blog post and the video on YouTube and all that good stuff. I hope this was really valuable. John, thank you so much for taking time out of your day man. I know you're busy, and you're always going. Every time I talk to John he’s always in a different state, like driving somewhere or flying somewhere, and I'm like, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “Oh man, I got a deal or a park I'm looking at” and so it’s cool that I was able to wrangle you down for an hour here.
John: Absolutely. No problem. And thank you Chris for interviewing me and thank you for being the conduit, if you will, for this last 15 years of finding real estate and then being able to help people online and then surrounding yourself with really really like-minded people, ambitious people like yourself and that’s why you're doing these videos, for the people like you younger and older that don’t want to make the same mistakes that are looking for that that are hungry. So man, thank you. This takes time and energy for you.
Chris: Absolutely. That’s the idea, right? It’s just to spread the wealth and to help people that were kind of like us, like in college, not sure where to go, felt like losers that time and then looking back, it’s just awesome and interesting to see how far everything came. Now, we’ve traveled to Asia a couple of times together, and I'm scuba diving and it’s awesome to look back and see how things actually played out and my mission is to help that happen for other people and just push this message of self-education and to help bring these alternative pathways to wealth, and I think mobile homes are super interesting. Obviously, it’s profitable, and I would just encourage anybody who is interested in it to grab that free course from John because it’s good stuff.
John: Thank you so much again for this Chris.
Chris: Yeah, thanks, John. Have a great one man. I’ll talk to you soon.
I hope you enjoyed this episode with John Fedro. Real estate is just one of many pathways that you can use to create income, passive cash flow, and long-term wealth and John has proven that the overlooked market of mobile homes is very profitable and less competitive compared to traditional real estate.
If you're interested in learning the A to Z about how to get started investing in mobile homes, just go to www.mobilehomecashflow.com and grab John’s free beginner course. Also, go to the chrisdunn.com for show notes, resources, and links mentioned in this episode. Take care.