August 24, 2021

JF2548: 1600 Flips to 1500 Doors with Shawn and Joni Wolfswinkel

Shawn and Joni Wolfswinkel started their real estate investing journey back in college, taking classes by day and handling investments by night. After working together for 21 years, and going through several investing highs and lows, the Wolfswinkels are sharing their best advice and lessons learned. We’re talking about managing 1500 doors, winning at pre-foreclosure investing, and moving from wholesaling and fix-and-flips to build-to-rent properties. 

Shawn and Joni Wolfswinkel Real Estate Background:


Click here to know more about our sponsors:

Real Estate CFO Services










Ash Patel: Hello, Best Ever listeners, and welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Ash Patel, and I’m with today’s guests, Shawn and Joni Wolfswinkel. Shawn and Joni are joining us from Houston, Texas. They have over 20 years of real estate investing experience, and their portfolio consists of over 50 units, and they have done over 1,600 flips.

Shawn and Joni, before we get started, how are you today?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: We’re doing great.

Joni Wolfswinkel: Doing well.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Wonderful.

Joni Wolfswinkel: Thank you so much for having us on.

Ash Patel: And Best Ever listeners, this is a husband and wife team. So let’s find out what they’re all about. If you guys can give us a little bit more about your background, and tell us what you’re focused on now.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: I can get started. So Joni and I are high school sweethearts; we’ve built the business together, we have been working for 21 years together. So we probably have a lot of advice for the couples out there that are looking to work together. We’ve learned how it worked and make it work and still keep a successful marriage with kids and all that.

But we started when we were in college… Much like a lot of people, we saw a late-night infomercial. And I used the money that my parents had given me to go to college, and I spent that on bootcamps and seminars, so that’s how I got my start. But Joni and I had a different college experience – we went to class in the morning, but then in the afternoons, we would go and buy houses, check on our job sites and work our flips.

So when we graduated, we went full-time into real estate, and that’s all we’ve ever done. And in 2010, a lot of the country had felt a market shift and just went through all that. And we were in Texas at the time, and Texas was kind of the last market to feel a down or a downturn, and then it rebounded really quickly. But we got into a niche of selling turnkey rental real estate mentor to investors, mainly out in California, and we started our management company at that time. We were just approached by a lot of investors and said, “Hey, I want to build a portfolio similar to you guys, but I don’t want to have to source properties, rehab them, manage them. And I might live in California, but I want to buy in Texas, where it makes sense.” So we started our management company at that time and started—all the properties, we started buying and rehabbing, we started placing tenants in them, and then selling them as turnkey rental properties to investors.

So today, that’s the bulk of what we do, is turnkey and property management. And Joni runs the property management company, and a lot of what you’ll see from us today is new construction. So in 2015, we started building homes to rent. So we do about 75 build-to-rent homes, mainly duplexes in the Houston market, particularly. Our secondary market’s Albuquerque, New Mexico, but our main inventory comes out of Houston. So we manage about 1,500 doors. Joni?

Joni Wolfswinkel: Yes, we manage about 1,500 doors between the two markets. And when we got started in property management, we knew nothing about it and it’s kind of why we actually decided to go the franchise model. We actually own two franchises – Real Property Management, Albuquerque and Real Property Management Preferred. We added systems in place, and we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, since we already had a pretty big investment company.

Ash Patel: Alright, what a story… What did you guys go to college for? Was it real estate?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: It’s a good question. So I went for four years of mechanical engineering, and my senior year I said, “There’s no way I’m going to be an engineer,” so I got a degree in entrepreneurial studies. So I actually use my degree.

Ash Patel: Uh-huh. Joni, you did not go to school for something you’re using?

Joni Wolfswinkel: No, I did not. Actually, I started in the nursing program at the University of New Mexico and quickly figured out that it’s not what I wanted to do. Shawn and I actually – we were in college, we were actually flipping houses or wholesaling houses, really to get by to pay for our college, and we had so much fun doing it. I think we had two days a week off, so we were driving for dollars and putting up bandit signs and tying up properties and we just loved it. And at that point, I was like, “What am I doing? I don’t want to be a nurse.” So I actually got my real estate license in college, so I’ve had it since college. So I’ve been a broker now for about 17-18 years.

Ash Patel: And what was that infomercial that changed the course of your trajectory?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Russ Whitney, if you remember, going back to those days.

Ash Patel: You know, back in my day was Carleton Sheets.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes, so—

Ash Patel: He was like the original real estate informercial guy.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: [Crosstalk] He was out there, but Russ Whitney was the main educator at that time and had all the bootcamps and seminars. And so the big takeaway from that is one of the packages we bought included a mentorship. So we had a guy come to our market out of Detroit, Michigan is where he was located, and he spent a week with us in our market, but he held our hand. We did about five deals with him and partnered with him after he left. And I think somebody that’s just getting started, that’s key; having that mentorship and somebody that will take you alongside them, and they’ll help you, and if you need help financially, they’ll help you there, like as far as covering money for the deal, whatever. But he really made a big impact on that initial jumpstart for us. We were 19 years old, so I mean, we didn’t have any money or credit.

Joni Wolfswinkel: Yes, and I think that’s probably the biggest part of our success, was that mentor, and it was really in each stage of our career. Because when we first had our mentor, we had him for about 10 years and then we jumped into pre-foreclosure investing and we had another mentor that walked us through that. So Shawn and I actually knocked on pre-foreclosure doors for about a decade, and that was hands-on training right there, getting out of your comfort zone and conquering your fears, all of that, and our mentor was alongside us for a while in the pre-foreclosure industry.

Ash Patel: Joni, were you physically knocking on doors?

Joni Wolfswinkel: I was physically knocking on doors.

Ash Patel: Tell me about that.

Joni Wolfswinkel: Yes.

Shawn Wolfswinkel:  She’s one of the best at it. We looked very innocent and young, so we’re non-threatening when do we come to your door [unintelligible [00:06:39].19].

Ash Patel: If somebody is about to go through foreclosure, they’re not in a great place.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Correct.

Ash Patel: And then here you are knocking on their door. I’m curious, how does that go?

Joni Wolfswinkel: So I will tell you, the very first door I knocked on in Texas — so my mentor, he’s giving me some tips and hyping me up… And I’m scared. I’m like, “What am I going to say? How am I going to approach them?” So I go all in. So the first door we knocked on, there’s this tall, big guy, he’s probably 6’3, 6’4, 300 pounds. And he looks at me, and I’m telling him, “ I’m here to help you with your house. Is there anything I can do to help you?” And he’s looking at me like, “What do you mean?” And I go into, “Well, there was a notice at the courthouse that your house is about to go to auction, and we want to see if we can help you before it’s too late.” Well, he looks at me and he says, “Joni, you have the audacity to come knocking on my door.” Then he slams the door; I thought the door was going to shatter in a million pieces.

And I looked at Shawn, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, is this what it’s really like?” So I call my mentor and he’s like “Look,  Joni, you might get 1,000 no’s before you get a yes. So keep at it, don’t give up.” So that’s what we did. We knocked on probably about 100 doors a week, and we kept at it until we were able to help somebody.

Ash Patel: And then your goal was going to be to wholesale the property, get the existing person out from underneath their loan?

Joni Wolfswinkel: So we actually would take it over—so we did a lot of “subject-to’s”, and we would actually rehab the properties and sell them retail at that time.

Ash Patel: Okay, so 17 years ago, you guys were kind of pioneers in doing this, because it’s not like it is today.

Joni Wolfswinkel: Right.

Ash Patel: What advice would you give to that college student today, that’s 19-20 years old saying, “It was a different time, it was easier back then; there wasn’t as much competition.”

Shawn Wolfswinkel:  I would still say start with education. I think in today’s market, you still have to be educated. So I would seek education, I would seek a mentor, and then I would seek—to be honest, if you just got out of college, I might even get a job at a real estate firm or real estate investment company and learn from them. I think even if it’s an internship… That’s where I would start. Because you’re going to need to gain the resources. In our company we have a lot of interns that work during the summer, college graduates, people in college. And I think it’s the best way to learn the business, learn the marketing and learn what it takes.

And something we do within our company and part of our culture is every two weeks we have a lunch-and-learn, where I teach people how to invest in real estate. So if you can get involved in a company like that, where they want to see you succeed, they want to see you do deals on the side, you can learn a ton while you’re working, while you’re earning an income. I think that’s a great place to start.

Ash Patel: And 1,600 flips – that is an astronomical number.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes.

Ash Patel: I’m assuming you had all the systems and teams in place. Tell me how you got your rise to doing 1,600 flips.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: It started with just one. And then we built from there. But it started from one and we got I think up to 15 in a year. We’ve been at this for 21 years. So I imagine I’d be doing hundreds of flips after three years in this business, and I probably didn’t get to over 100 flips in a year — it was probably at least 10 years into the business, or longer. It takes time to build that kind of system in business and knowledge, and I just didn’t know what I didn’t know at the time. And every level has different challenges as you grow to our size. We might not be in the day-to-day managing the rehabs, managing the acquisitions and flips and the sales, but we’re managing people.

So I think more today it’s about building systems and processes for the people, or putting in the right people in the right seats and working on that culture, because that’s more important. We have 52 employees today, so it’s just a different animal as you grow. But it starts with just getting that first one under your belt and then growing from there.

Ash Patel: What’s an example of a deal that you lost money on? And what did you learn from it?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Probably the biggest one that was a learning lesson – Joni was seven months pregnant with our first child; we got sued… We did a high-end flip in a really up-and-coming area. And we pretty much took it down to studs and then rebuilt it. And the plumber that replaced all the plumbing in the home – there was a certain section of piping he couldn’t get to because the rafters are really narrow, so he just worked around it and left it. Well, of course, these people went to Europe on a vacation, that piece of piping busted and flooded their entire kitchen and cabinetry and everything that we had just done… So they sued us, because we were supposed to have placed all new plumbing. Of course, the plumber by this time was out of business and we couldn’t get ahold of them. So I think we lost probably like $43,000 on that deal, between the attorneys and settling the lawsuit. And then Joni was pregnant, so that was not a good time to go through something like that.

Ash Patel: And insurance didn’t cover that?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: No, they didn’t, because they wanted us to countersue the plumber, but then he was already out of business, so… We’ve had so many, but another good one too is – we thought we had hit a home run on a deal in Albuquerque. This was when we’re heavily involved in the pre-foreclosure market… So this house had two mortgages on it; the first mortgage was with Bank of America, the second was with a smaller community bank. We went to the small community bank and said, “Hey, this is going to be foreclosed on by Bank of America; we need you to take a discount on the second.” And they’re like, “No, we’re not going to do. It’s going to go to auction, we’ll get our money back.” That is what they thought. So we pushed and tried to negotiate, and they wouldn’t take any reduction in their principal balance.

So we went to Bank of America, and Bank of America actually agreed to sell us the note… Which they don’t do; they usually sell large packages of notes. They sold us this one individual note, and there was a reason, because we didn’t know what we didn’t know. So we bought this.

Ash Patel: Uh-oh.

Joni Wolfswinkel: [unintelligible [00:12:36].14]

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes, we bought this note for $50,000. We’re like, “Man, we hit a home run. The home’s worth like $150,000; we’re going to just pay an attorney $3,000 and foreclose on the home, wipe out that second, and then do the rehab and sell it.” Well, we did all that; we foreclosed, wiped out the second. What we didn’t know was that 1,500 square feet of the house was built on the property line in their building easement, the side setback. So it was built without permits, and not up to code. So when we tried to go get a variance with the city, they’re like “N,o we didn’t agree to let you guys build, or the prior owner.” So they made us knock down 1,500 square feet of the home. So if you haven’t watched that before, but going and seeing a backhoe and everything just start tearing down 1,500 square feet of property… It hurts. I think we lost 60 grand on that deal, putting it all back together and doing everything we were supposed to do.

Joni Wolfswinkel: And the first lesson for our listeners here – there was actually a code violation on the property, it was on the condemned list. Well, we had no clue to check that. So if we would have just checked that at the beginning, then we would have solved that problem. So we didn’t find out until we went to try to sell the property, like “What do you mean there’s a violation on the property and the property was on the condemned list?”

Break: [13:55] to [15:56]

Ash Patel: I would imagine you exhausted every option to not knock that down?

Joni Wolfswinkel: Oh, yes.

Ash Patel: And there was no getting around it?

Joni Wolfswinkel: We actually went in front of the board; both of us were really young, going in front of the board, didn’t know what we were talking about, to try to get it approved by the board, and… No.

Ash  Patel: Wow. You guys mentioned mentors earlier – do you still use a mentor or a coach?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: At different levels, we’re part of a lot of mastermind groups. We’re part of the Collective Genius, and I think that’s been a great mastermind for us, for our level; it’s like-minded people. And then we’ve over the years with 57 employees we’ve implemented scaling up in our organization. And there’s a book that we recommend, but we hired a scaling up coach to coach us for a year, implementing that and getting that all setup. So I think yes, to answer your question, we still use mentor, just a different type.

Ash Patel: And now you’re building homes to rent, mostly duplexes?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: That’s correct. Yes.

Ash Patel: How did you go from wholesaling to fix-and-flips to building?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: It was wholesaling initially in college, to fix and flips for probably 15 years… And then since 2015, when the market changed, it was just getting so competitive, we were having trouble getting enough inventory for our turnkey business. So we started to notice our clients didn’t want any deferred maintenance, didn’t want to have a lot of headaches, so they were looking for new construction. And so when we started seeing that we could acquire lots — at the time when we first started, we could acquire lots for $5,000 to $25,000 and build a duplex. Our duplexes are nice and large, and there’s no maintenance, there’s builder warranties, they’re less headaches, they’re better for our management company…

So again, if you noticed something with Joni and I – we’ll take on endeavors and just kind of jump right in, and we’ve learned a lot from our mistakes. We hired project managers in-house and we became the builders, but we had a lot of learning lessons there, too. You can’t use the same contractors and crews for new construction as you do remodels, they’re totally different animals. And we had to learn that. We pre-sold a lot of homes before we truly had our numbers dialed in, so—

Ash Patel: Did you try to—sorry to cut you off.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: No, go ahead.

Ash Patel: Did you try to use your rehab crews to build new houses?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: For certain aspects of it, yeah.

Ash Patel: Okay.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: And then we learned that — especially with guys that just come in, they’re quicker, they’re faster, they’re cheaper, because they’re just used to doing new construction. But the biggest thing that we learned is we would buy lots that we couldn’t get water because of whatever reason or—

Joni Wolfswinkel: Or we couldn’t build on the lots.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Or we couldn’t build on the lots. We bought a couple in a flood zone and we’re like, “Well, that’s not a big deal. We’ll just put up some dirt, make it higher.” But there’s a lot more to it than all of that. So you get into things that you just don’t know what you don’t know. So, in the beginning, we learned a lot; what types of lots worked best? We try to do all our due diligence ahead of time better, so that we don’t make mistakes and get into a project where it becomes a long-term rental for Joni and I; those kind of mistakes.

And then just having your numbers dialed in, especially in the last 12 months, that’s been a challenge; even though we had our new construction dialed into the penny, well, the pandemic totally changed all that as far as the lumber going through the roof, having shortages of materials, and trying to source that… So that’s always been a challenge. But if you’ve got a good business model and you’ve got good people, you can overcome a lot of those challenges.

Ash Patel: Joni, it sounds like historically, you guys just shoot first and figure it out later, which is great; I do the same thing. Are you still doing that with your new ventures? Because you have some commercial property, you’ve got storage units… Is it the same mindset, let’s get after it and figure it out?

Joni Wolfswinkel: It’s the same mindset. Shawn and I have multiple streams of income not just the real estate; we own a plumbing company. We also own a VA company, where we service remote team members to clients. So yes, and I just finished writing a book myself, just up here, The Choice is Yours: Balancing Success As a Wife, Mom and Entrepreneur. It’s kind of my give back to empower women that – yes, they can also have it all, giving them tips and tricks on how to be successful.

Ash Patel: And you guys are vertically integrating. Is it because you don’t want to see cash go into this whole other realm and you think you can capitalize on those profits?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes, I think it’s it. I think we see opportunity and we can capitalize on it. We also believe in having multiple streams of income, because there’s different seasons to different businesses. And as the markets shift—one great thing about COVID was, we went two months without sales, because everybody panicked a little bit at the very beginning, and then it took off and it went crazy in real estate. But there was a couple of months with no sales. But yes, plumbing, because everybody was home, plumbing took off; our plumbing company grew rapidly. So to have those when things happen or, at some point, we’re going to go through another market cycle… Joni and I went through seven and eight as investors, so we know there’s — a lot can change, and people don’t realize how quickly it can change. So when you have multiple streams of income, it helps you weather those storms a lot better in certain businesses, so we [unintelligible [00:21:04].07]

Ash Patel: I love that philosophy. And we have the luxury of having lived through 2008-2009.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes.

Ash Patel: What advice would you give people that are highly leveraged, all in, and have not experienced anything other than a booming economy?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Number one is have a lot of cash reserves, because you’re going to need it to outpace those. And be very careful with leverage, I think that is the biggest thing. I had so many friends that aren’t in business today, and the one reason that Joni and I still survived is that we didn’t take those major risks like they were. Now at the time, they were making more money than we were per deal, they were making a lot more, they bought higher-end properties, they bought properties in other states, and they were making tons of money. And Joni and I would just be making her $20,000 or $25,000 per house. And it looked like silly, but at the same time we weathered through that storm, because we didn’t take a lot of risks. So when we did go through the market cycle, we had the ability to hold onto certain rentals, because we had longer-term debt on it, so we could service it longer. We weren’t overleveraged.

So even if there was a small correction in the price, we still weren’t overvalued. And then we just had cash reserves to weather—well, we didn’t have to change our lifestyle. And actually, we were able to capitalize on a lot at that time, because there was opportunity.

Ash Patel: Joni, you mentioned that a lot of your investors are from California. So you’re building, managing properties for them. How did you start with attracting investors from the West coast?

Joni Wolfswinkel: We were working with a lot of aggregators, who would mentor investors in those markets. And gradually, they gravitated towards us, because we were kind of like a one-stop shop. Because there’s a lot of turnkey providers out there, but one niche that we had was that we had the property management in-house. So we are in the customer service business, and being an out-of-state investor, that’s important to them to know that they have a trusted property management team on the ground that’s looking out for them.

Ash Patel: What are some hard lessons you’ve learned with interacting with investors?

Joni Wolfswinkel: I love working with investors; number one, because they have that mindset that it is an investment property and there is going to be maintenance stuff that comes up and issues that arise. Sometimes you get those investors who don’t want to put any money into the property and have those unrealistic expectations, and you have to work with those clients and teach them and train them that, “Hey, this is an investment and you’re going to have to put some money into the property.”

Ash Patel: And how about communicating with investors when things are not going well?

Joni Wolfswinkel: We actually run our company a little different, we actually have customer service advisors. So our customer service advisors, something that they do is they actually contact the owner once a month just to check in with them; whether there’s something going on or not, they’re there for them. And it’s all about communication with them; good news, bad news, whatever. Our team knows that it’s crucial that we communicate with our investors.

Ash Patel: And this is an actual phone call to the investor?

Joni Wolfswinkel: Right.

Ash Patel: I love that.

Shane Wolfswinkel: We’re very big on [Crosstalk] Communication.

Ash Patel: Yes, versus a monthly email.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yeah.

Ash Patel: That’s great. Do you have investors that don’t want the phone call, they just want the email?

Joni Wolfs: You do get those and I still let my customer service team know that even though they don’t want those, you should still try to push for that, because we want to go over their portfolio and strategize with them on what we could do differently. And we want them to be involved in the process as well.

Ash Patel: What kind of returns can you offer investors?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Our returns are anywhere in the 7-8 percent cash on cash returns.

Ash Patel: And is that with a sale or is that just a long-term hold?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: No, that’s not with a sale, that is a long-term hold.

Ash Patel: Okay, and what’s the typical hold period?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Our average client—

Joni Wolfswinkel: Five years.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: —is somewhere between 5-10 years.

Ash Patel: And the client determines when you sell the property?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes.

Ash Patel: And then do you try to find a new buyer yourself that you can manage?

Joni Wolfswinkel: We actually have a program called our Preferred Rentals Program. So when we have an investor who is looking to get out, we actually will sell it to our huge investor database and try to retain that management.

Ash Patel: And just keep it all in-house?

Joni Wolfswinkel: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Ash Patel: The storage units – whose idea was that?

Joni Wolfswinkel: It was actually one of those deals that came through—it’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And we had purchased just a single-family property from, I think, out of probate, wasn’t it, Shawn?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes, it was a probate.

Joni Wolfswinkel: And they loved us, and they loved what we were doing, and trusted us. And they came to us and said, “Hey, we have a self-storage also in Albuquerque. Would you like to purchase it?” And at the time, we’re like, well, we can move our management company into the self-storage complex and manage that, and we can all be in that same complex. So we have our plumbing company, our management company in there, and we have the storage units.

Ash Patel: So basically, knowing you, the answer is always yes.

Shane Wolfswinkel: We have a podcast called And that was our most recent podcast, was We’ve Got To Say No A Lot More. One of the big things was during the pandemic, we started the plumbing company and we started the VA company. And over the last 18 months, Joni and I have exhausted ourselves; we’ve worked really hard. She wrote the book, and we’ve just done so many things. And we’ve said, “Hey, we need to chill and just say no more often at certain times,” because there’s a limit. We’re overachievers, but I think sometimes you can take on too much. And that’s something for listeners, and something I’ve learned and watched people over the years – be careful, because the more success you have, there’s more opportunities that are going to be presented to you. So be very cautious of what you say yes to and chasing those shiny objects. Because it can take you from your core business that you do very well, especially when you’re having a lot of success. So make sure there’s a lot of synergy and something that won’t deter you or take away from your core business and that you have the capacity to be able to do it.

Joni Wolfswinkel: That makes sense, and you also might miss out on other opportunities because you took on something that just didn’t make sense for you.

Ash Patel: On that topic, what’s the biggest challenge being a husband and wife team?

Joni Wolfswinkel: We’ve been doing it for so long, but I think just knowing your roles; and Shawn, he handles the turnkey construction side of the business. I don’t play around in that. That’s his baby. And I do property management. So we’ve found that we’ve got to just find our roles and that’s how it’s worked for us.

Ash Patel: Do you evaluate new deals together?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes, I think we run everything still by each other. I think the biggest thing is, husband and wife, you’ve got to learn to shut it off too at certain times, especially for your family and your marriage. We travel a lot, so we take a lot of time away, and her and I take a lot of trips together, just her and I to connect. But I would recommend being mindful of turning your phone off after six o’clock, maybe taking off Fridays if you can afford to… So you’re going to need some downtime or you shut off everything and work on each other. And also, if you have kids and family, spend time with them, because you can talk business or shop 24/7.

Ash Patel: Great advice. I want to circle back to all your entities, your turnkey rentals. What kind of legal structure do you have in place for those. Is each house just an LLC?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: So the buy and sell business as far as turnkey and other houses we build and all that, that’s just done through one LLC.

Ash Patel: Let’s focus on that. So if I am a California investor, I want to buy one single duplex that you guys manage – what kind of structure is in place for that?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: So if they just want to buy one duplex, the majority of our clients are typically using Fannie or Freddie funds to purchase. They’re trying to use their 10 available loans to include in their personal residence to buy their properties. That’s why the duplexes make a lot of sense for them, because they can get two units for one loan. So in those cases, they’re going to have to close on the house in their name, because the Fannie and Freddie is going to be financing them, not their LLC [unintelligible [00:29:10].21] to have to get a commercial loan.

Now they can get the property financed, like season and let it sit there, because more than likely their loan is going to be resold. So I’m not an attorney or CPA, so always seek legal advice, but maybe six months after they close on the property, thenthey can move into an LLC for asset protection.

If it’s your first property, unless you have a ton of assets, I don’t think they need to run out and open an LLC right away. Get a deal first under your belt, at least get one purchased before you go and set up the LLC, and then you can transfer that building over afterwards. But I do at some point, recommend taking them out of your personal name and putting them into an LLC.

Ash Patel: Okay, so this isn’t set up as a fund, or have you considered setting up a fund?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes, but I sell off individual properties to individual investors. So we have never done a fund just for the turnkey. We have a small fund for our private investors that fund our operation as far as lending to us for the turnkey. So that’s how we pay for building the properties, and the ones that we build, before they get sold to an investor.

Ash Patel: What is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Shawn Wolfsswinkel: Go for it, Joni.

Joni Wolfswinkel: [laughs] You put me on the spot. If somebody wants to get started, going back to the education, yeah, educate yourself, but don’t overly educate yourself. I know that so many people order bootcamps and get involved in so many things, but then never actually do something with it. And Shawn and I have always just, “Let’s go ahead and figure it out.” Yeah, you might fail, but that’s how you learn as well.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Awesome.

Ash Patel: Awesome. Are you guys ready for the Lightning Round?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Go for it.

Ash Patel: Alright, so this is the first husband and wife team that I’ve interviewed. I’m going to ask each of you this question. Joni, we’ll start with you, what is the best ever book you’ve recently read?

Joni Wolfswinkel: I have my three up here, but one of my tops is Never Lose A Customer Again by Joey Coleman. And I love this book; and we’re in the customer service business, so it’s kind of like my Bible and what I preach on to my team, because we want to try to provide that best customer experience that we can.

Ash Patel: Shawn?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: I’m going to say mine is Simple Numbers 2.0 – Rules for Smart Scaling, it’s by Greg Crabtree. It’s one I just read that I think it’s phenomenal. It’s really knowing the numbers of your business.

Ash Patel: Joni, what’s the best ever way you like to give back?

Joni Wolfswinkel: I talked about my book that I just wrote. So really, I like give back to other women in the industry and really empowering them to go and be successful, and do the things that they wouldn’t normally do. Because us women are hard on ourselves. But we have a lot of moving parts, whether it’s being a parent and working full-time or being an entrepreneur; it’s a lot. So I give back by empowering other women.

Ash Patel: Shawn, you’re up.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Some organizations that we really are big on, we support Camp Hope here locally, we support veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome and get them back into the workforce and get them back into normal life again. So we donate a lot to them, and our whole team, we’re volunteering next week with Camp Hope as far as we’re painting, we’re laying sod at our facilities. So as an organization, we give back a lot to them. So veterans, I would say is, we’re giving back a lot.

Ash Patel: And how can you Best Ever listeners reach out to you?

Shawn Wolfswinkel: I would say check out our podcast,, and we’re also on all the major podcast channels. You can check us out at And we’re on all major social media platforms. Joni, do you have any?

Joni Wolfswinkel: Yes, is our main website, and on social as well.

Ash Patel: Shawn and Joni, thank you so much for sharing your story with the Best Ever listeners. It’s a high school sweethearts, to an infomercial that changed the course of your life. Do you guys still have that course by the way? Is it framed somewhere?

Joni Wolfswinkel: Not framed but we still have it.

Ash Patel: Probably audio tapes cassettes.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Yes they are.

Ash Patel: Back in the day, that’s awesome that you kept that. Again, thank you for sharing your story, how you’ve scaled this incredible business. And I love your attitude where you just shoot first, ask questions later. And thanks for sharing all of your hard lessons with us. Best Ever listeners, thanks for joining us, have a best ever day.

Shawn Wolfswinkel: Thank you.

Joni Wolfswinkel: Thank you.

Website disclaimer

This website, including the podcasts and other content herein, are made available by Joesta PF LLC solely for informational purposes. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions expressed in this website do not constitute and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC are providing or undertaking to provide any financial, economic, legal, accounting, tax or other advice in or by virtue of this website. The information, statements, comments, views and opinions provided in this website are general in nature, and such information, statements, comments, views and opinions are not intended to be and should not be construed as the provision of investment advice by Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC to that listener or generally, and do not result in any listener being considered a client or customer of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC.

The information, statements, comments, views, and opinions expressed or provided in this website (including by speakers who are not officers, employees, or agents of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC) are not necessarily those of Joe Fairless or Joesta PF LLC, and may not be current. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC make any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions contained in this website, and any liability therefor (including in respect of direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever) is expressly disclaimed. Neither Joe Fairless nor Joesta PF LLC undertake any obligation whatsoever to provide any form of update, amendment, change or correction to any of the information, statements, comments, views or opinions set forth in this podcast.

No part of this podcast may, without Joesta PF LLC’s prior written consent, be reproduced, redistributed, published, copied or duplicated in any form, by any means.

Joe Fairless serves as director of investor relations with Ashcroft Capital, a real estate investment firm. Ashcroft Capital is not affiliated with Joesta PF LLC or this website, and is not responsible for any of the content herein.

Oral Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action. For more information, go to

    Get More CRE Investing Tips Right to Your Inbox

    Get exclusive commercial real estate investing tips from industry experts, tailored for you CRE news, the latest videos, and more - right to your inbox weekly.