As part of our 5-day goal-writing trip every Christmas, Vance and I did our Vivid Vision for three years from now. We highly recommend the book of the same title by Cameron Herold which is a super easy and short read. The book is a tool used to create a shared vision around your business goals for the future. I thank you in advance for allowing Vance and me to share our vision with you. Buckle up as we step into the future...
Not yet Fiddy…a Reflection
As we approach the year 2023, I take the time to reflect on how our companies have expanded. 2023 is the year Vance and I both turn 50 (aka Fiddy) so what a perfect milestone for pause. Vance and I just celebrated our lucky 13th Christmas together and are at our lake home AirBnb with our dogs Kevin and Mabel. It’s our annual tradition to take the time to focus on the next year and map out our goals. We have the fireplace ablaze and wine is poured so here I go…
Our original company, Jolific Homes was created in April of 2017 after we became Mastery Students with Fortune Builders. We started slow, saw lots of red in 2018, and finished off 2019 with ten renovations under our belt. 2020 was our year when we pushed everything into the green. That’s the year I started to reap the benefits of our hard work with the purchase of my Tesla…what’s a gas station for again? We did twelve more renovations in 2020 allowing us to profit over $300,000. Our sixteen renovations in 2021 profited us $500,000! We then watched the growth of Jolific Homes almost double to a profit of $800,000 when Vance left his job at the end of 2021. Vance was also able to upgrade his car, finally…
This past year, we did twenty renovations averaging profits from $40,000 to our largest yet at $105,000 thus totaling over $1,000,000! We have developed a great relationship with our General Contractor who also manages all our projects. He’s been working for us since the middle of 2019. Since 2022 almost killed us, we have decided to scale back and do only 10-12 renovations this year. We have an amazing team of contractors but have decided to allow our students to use them more often. Most of our renovations this year will be for teaching purposes from our referrals. Our client pool has grown so much from our marketing that many projects will get passed on to our students as wholesale deals.
Jolific Homes is still recognized as an accredited business by the Better Business Bureau for the 6th year now. We have developed relationships with realtors in the area in that Jolific Homes are sought-after properties because we provide a safe and efficient home with thoughtful touches to all our buyers. Our company core values lead with always doing what’s right for our clients. Jolific Homes won Deal of the Year at TREIA in 2021 and was a highlighted member of the Chamber of Commerce in 2022.
While I’m very proud of the accomplishments we achieved with our first venture, Jolific Homes, it is Jolific Properties and Jolific Vacation Rentals that has been our largest success! We now have twenty long-term rentals averaging a monthly profit of $350 per property. All our long-term rentals are managed by our full-time property manager, one of the best hires we did at the start of 2022 for $50,000 annually. Our long-term rentals are located within an hour or two of Raleigh, but our Jolific Vacation Rentals are all over. We just got our tenth AirBnB a few months ago, also all managed by our bonus hire this year. Our AirBnBs are bringing in an average of $600 a month per property. I still love designing and putting my personal touches on them, but our property manager does all the heavy lifting. My favorite one is the lake house we are currently in. The views are amazing from the loft and Mabel loves going for a swim! We have a great team of cleaners and maintenance folks who love working for us because we offer living wages and reward them financially for their extra efforts.
When Vance became a BIC in June of 2020, he put a lot of his focus on The Acorn Agency. I’m so proud of Vance and how it grew so quickly! He had four brokers on his team by the end of 2020. While The Acorn Agency is his baby, he allows me to share some space for The Acorn Academy which we will get to a little later.
The Acorn Agency opened its office space in December of 2021, the same month Vance quit his job at Phononic. The new office has ten workstations, two conference rooms and a warehouse in the back. Vance currently has 20 investor-friendly brokers, mostly Fortune Builder Mastery Students, working on his team. They all share the ten workstations as needed and book the conference room for client meetings. Besides the second conference room, he lets me use, my favorite is the tons of space in the back warehouse to store AirBnB and staging furniture. I think Vance was going to kill me if I brought home one more piece of abandoned furniture from our rehabs. The staging furniture has really benefited his agents when selling properties.
Vance continued the same strategy when working under the guidance of Lionel Finley. All agents at The Acorn Agency pay a flat $500 to list properties and 10% on purchased properties. This has made The Acorn Agency a very beneficial work environment for investor-friendly realtors to hang their broker license. Unlike The Finley Agency, Vance provides educational resources which let them be more self-sufficient in handling real estate documents. As a result, Vance doesn’t spend a lot of time wearing this hat, compared to the amount of income it generates.
The Acorn Agency generated a modest profit of $60,000 in its first year. We also hired a full-time office manager in February of this year who took over all our marketing and day-to-day office management. She has been trained to take calls from prospective sellers, a task I was so excited to finally give up.
While Vance was working on getting his Broker in Charge license in the middle of 2020, my REIGN membership exploded. I created the Real Estate Investor Growth Network in April of 2019 with 15 members. REIGN was created as a platform for investors to share their superpowers while making a minimal amount of money for their expertise.
I hit my goal of 1000 members by the end of 2020 and had to recruit five coaches to help me with the initial four-week deep dive. I currently have twenty coaches and two managers to coordinate all the masterminds for our 5000+ members. In 2022 we hosted our first live event and had 250 participants! Next year, we are expecting that to double. I am so proud of all those who have created their own masterminds and now speaking at events all over the country sharing their superpowers.
I too, enjoy speaking at various events all over, especially the paid events. This was the trigger that started the REIGN explosion with my first speaking gig at the beginning of 2020. I was not even sure what to talk about but leaned heavily on topics I discussed in my bi-weekly blogs, a crowd favorite. The ideas kept coming and people became a fan of my “tell-it-like-it-is” colorful humor.
When The Acorn Agency opened its office space, we created The Acorn Academy in the second conference room. This was a space Vance let us use to house our little film studio for our virtual classroom. We began to record all our webinars and podcasts there. This started out as a virtual classroom for REIGN but we took on our first local student at the beginning of 2022. We now have almost 20 students at $2000 a pop! It has been so rewarding working with local investors. This was a major reason we have decided to scale back our Jolific Homes renovation business and pass on some deals to our students. Their $2000 covers analysis tools used in acquiring their first deal and use of our vetted contractors. Fiddy is the age we decided to start stepping away from the active projects and reaping the benefits of our passive projects, what we like to call our mailbox money.
Last, but certainly not least, is Acorn Ventures, our lending portfolio. Since Vance was able to quit his job last year, after Phononic finally went public, we doubled the money we have available to lend. Our self-directed 401K has steadily grown to around $300k and Vance sold enough shares (but not all of them!) to add another $300k to the pot. These loans are generally second-position loans and turn over in about 6 months, so the points we charge add up. We still lend to fellow Fortune Builders, but recently started lending to investors in our mentorship program. By the end of next year, we expect to earn close to $100k annually, just from lending!
Personally, our life has really taken on the latter of, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years like most people won’t so you can live the rest of your life like most people can’t.” I say this with a smile on my face as I open my second bottle of wine. Cheers!
For our 50th, we booked the African Safari we have discussed for so long. It’s so much easier to leave for weeks at a time knowing the pets are safe with my personal assistant who the dogs love so much. We still travel to coaching conferences each year but enjoyed our trip to Rome in the summer of 2021. Artie, the RV was purchased earlier this year, a full year ahead of turning Fiddy. Artie has taken us all over the eastern coast, my favorite was Maine. We like to stay at our AirBnBs at least once a month when they’re available. While everyone loves our beach properties, I still favor our mountain homes.
As we start the next chapter in our lives, reflecting on our business accomplishments has really laid the foundation to enjoying Fiddy and beyond. I have the best business and life partner, healthy and happy pets, and the best employees that are more like family. Here’s to 2023!