Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter Conti

Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter Conti

Multifamily is awesome, again, because people live there. I mean, I like other types of commercials also, but there are so many ways to make money investing in real estate. I think if you can pick, pick one thing and just really focus on that, but go big and do it faster. Don’t wait.”

Peter Conti is an expert in commercial real estate. He’s the co-author of Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies. He currently lives in the great state of Maryland. He has partnered with thousands of people all across the world to help them make the transition as well into becoming successful real estate investors. His focus right now is on commercial lease options, which involve acquiring commercial property using owner carry and commercial master lease terms combined with an assignment contract to create sizable upfront paydays.

 

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Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter Conti

 

Brett:

Our next guest is an expert in commercial real estate. He’s the co-author of Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies. He currently lives in the great state of Maryland. He started out as a mechanic actually 30 years ago and then bought his first commercial property, and he’s really never looked back since then. He has partnered with thousands of people all across the world to help them make the transition as well into becoming successful real estate investors. His focus right now is on commercial lease options, which involve acquiring commercial property using owner carry and commercial master lease terms combined with an assignment contract to create sizable upfront paydays. We’re excited to dive into that strategy and more right now. Please welcome the show with me, Peter Conti. Hey, Peter, how are you doing?

Peter:

Hey, I’m doing great, Brett. Thanks for having me on the show.

Brett:

Excellent. Would you give our listeners a little bit about your background and your current focus?

Peter:

I came from a family of seven kids. We didn’t have a lot of extra money. In fact, my parents got us together one day, and they said, “We want all of you to go to college. We obviously can’t help you. Good luck.” I ended up taking a few classes but found college wasn’t really my thing and found myself in life where I was working as an auto mechanic. I wanted to do more, be more. I wanted to be able to take nice vacations and stuff, and so I looked at my opportunities, and they were somewhat limited. As a mechanic without a college education, I mean, I could work in a warehouse or fix cars or whatever. Lucky for me, I went and looked at my future. I went to visit auto mechanics who were still auto mechanics towards the end of life, and maybe they’ve gotten to a point where they owned their own service station or whatever, but they looked tired and old and worn out, not happy. I read some books and realized that people could buy real estate sometimes using creative methods of getting into real estate without using a lot of their own capital, and so I started out that way. The first property I bought was a duplex. I was absolutely scared to death. I mean, I wanted to do it. I knew it was my ticket out. I didn’t want to blow it either, so I had this desire and the fear of fighting each other. The broker, his name was Don. I remember he reached over in the back. I was physically shaking at the closing. He reached over and patted me on the back and said, “Take a deep breath, Peter. It’s going to be alright,” and worked up from there, started teaching people about seven years later, and just had a lot of fun over the years. We used to have a big company, and did seminars and traveled around. I’ve taught lots of people how to invest in most commercial properties but did some house stuff too along the years. Then seven years ago, I decided I was going to go out on a dirt bike despite my wife’s warnings to not do that. She said, “You’re going to get hurt.” I said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “Well…” Finally, she gave in. She said, “You’re a big boy. You can do what you want, but I don’t recommend it.” Anyways, I went for a few rides, and then had the changing day of my life when I clipped the tree, shattered my hip, and dislocated my femur. Then they’re working on me in the hospital, and when they were working on me, they crushed the nerve in my leg. As you can imagine, that really tickled me. I mean, it took the pain on a scale of one to 10 up to 200, which sounds horrible, but from the experience of getting the full breadth of life from all of the great parts of life to big challenges, and knowing what it’s like, I don’t know. Maybe someone’s shot on the battlefield or something very, very interesting. That ended up being something that wasn’t easy to heal from quickly. About a year into it, I realized I needed to focus on my rehab. I sold my big education company. I had 35 employees, 17 coaches working for me, and turned that over to a partner, let him run it, and sold off most of my properties, and just focused on my rehab. It took me on quite a journey. I was actually on Oxycontin for 18 months. That is crazy, wild stuff. When I finally got off it, my pain levels actually went down if you can believe that. Then coming up on two years, I realized nerve injuries are really strange and that if you just rest, if you just stay still, it’s almost like they get worse. They tighten up. They hurt more. You need to get out and move. You need to exercise. You need to open up those pathways and get the nerves to regrow. I realized I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what it was. Belief, I learned this from one of my early mentors, Tony Robbins on a CD I listened to actually, which was, “You don’t need to know the right answers. You just need to be able to ask powerful questions.” I wrote this question down in my journal. I wrote, “How can I turn this injury into an advantage where it would be an interesting challenge, where I’d have other people cheering me on?” I didn’t know the answer to that, but two weeks later, my wife and I went and saw a movie called Wild, where Reese Witherspoon’s character hikes the Pacific Crest Trail. Then I read some books about people hiking the Appalachian Trail, which most of our listeners probably know goes over 2,000 miles from Georgia up to Maine. I decided I was going to hike the Appalachian Trail to heal my leg and told my wife that that’s what I was going to do. She gave me one of these, “Yeah, sure you are, honey.” During this time, I had a hard time getting out the door to walk the dog, much less go hike. Three weeks later, she dropped me off at the train station. I went down to Georgia, did two and a half miles my first day, and worked out from there, actually took me a total of 11 months spread over a year and a half to hike the whole thing. But September 25th, I submitted on Mount Katahdin up in Maine, and it was quite the adventure.

Brett:

Wow, what a story. When the book releases, let us know, because that is, I think, a full-length book and maybe even a movie. So much there to unpack and so much to dive into but the level of perseverance and the level of rediscovering, I guess, even ways to heal, I mean, despite what your body says, you said, “Look, I’m going to go,” and connect not only the physical part of it, but it almost seems like a spiritual part of it with that traveling. Is there any connection there, Peter? 

Peter:

Absolutely. Absolutely. It was… Well, just physically, it was great, because instead of sitting there thinking, “Well, should I do my physical therapy today? I don’t feel like it.” I didn’t have a choice. I’m in this tent out in the woods or staying in a shelter. I woke up. What am I going to do? Call rescue to come to get me out in the wilderness I’ve got. I didn’t have a choice. I broke it down where for the first time in my life, there was… I think we’re cursed to a certain extent with too much opportunity in this country. There are so many things we can do, so many ways we can have fun, make money, and do new things. Sometimes, it’s hard to choose. But on an adventure like that, there’s no choice. You wake up. I would know I’ve got to go north. I ended up breaking it down where I realized, “If I only did between 10 and 12 miles a day, that was my thing. That was how I did it.” I learned some shortcuts and tricks like bringing my car along. I realized that if I got to the road crossing at dark… It’s getting dark, and it’s 11 miles to get into town to resupply. Sitting there sticking my thumb out when I’m in my 50s when I haven’t done that since I was 14 just not only made me really uncomfortable, it was a dangerous thing to do. I brought my car. I would park it four or five days up ahead at a trailhead. I’d pay Uber or these shuttle services maybe $100 to shuttle me down to where I was hiking before, and then the nice thing about it is I learned that instead of focusing on trying to hike another 1,500 miles or whatever, all I had to focus on was all I gotta do is get back to my car. When it got really hard, when I’m going up these mountains, or really hot or my leg is really killing me, I just would go, “Okay, I just need to get to my car. It’s only two days away. I can do that.” It was an especially hard day or especially big mountains. There were times when I would just look and go, “Okay, all I gotta do is get to that tree up there that’s 100 yards ahead.” From that perspective of breaking down a huge task and the step by step, it was huge. Physically, it was great to help me heal. Spiritually, as you mentioned, it was awesome. First off, it allowed me to take a timeout. I think most of the people listening to this show, I know you and I are go-getters, right? We tend to look at building a secure future for our family, taking care of things. We tend to be a little more future-focused sometimes, then recognizing that we need to really appreciate right now today and enjoy the moment. I had time to just realize, “Wow, I am so blessed. I had such an incredible life.” I remember fun little things my kids did or my wife said that were really funny. This business I put together, and there are parts of it that I really liked. There are parts of it that just weren’t quite a fit. I’d go to our annual convention. We’d have 600 of our students there. John would come up to me and shake my hand and say, “Thank you so much, Peter. You changed my life. I just bought a 200-unit apartment building,” and I don’t even know… I don’t know who he is. I don’t know, “What’s your name, again, John?” He’s watching my videos and gone through my training and my systems and stuff, but I wasn’t working with them. My coaches were. It just felt… I mean, it may sound really strange, but it seemed like it wasn’t possible to me. I was like, “Could I really have made a difference? I mean, I don’t even know you. It just felt really weird. It felt off.” Anyways, when I was hiking through the woods, I thought back to the early days when I was coaching people myself directly. People like Emily Cressy, when she first started, she was doing a simple little house steal, the seller threatened to sue her because she got an all-cash offer instead of the creative deal that Emily had in place. Emily’s crying on the phone. I said, “Emily, it’ll be alright. Take a deep breath. I’ll help you.” We got the seller to pay her, I don’t know, $3,000 to put her deal aside so the seller could sell the house, and Emily moved on. She actually came out to… We used to do a deal out in Hawaii where it was $30,000 to get together for five days to just really brainstorm, take your commercial investing business up to the next level. She matched up with four other students of mine and put together a company called Grasslands Investing. Last I heard, they had 74 million in commercial properties in their portfolio. I think that I’ve been tremendously blessed by being able to go from where I was as an auto mechanic to make it through the hard first part of real estate investing. When you first get in it, it just seems so foreign and overwhelming and downright frightening, at least it was to me. I feel really lucky to have made it over that gap, and so if I can help someone to do that myself, I just get a tremendous sense of pleasure from doing that. When I was done hiking, I decided I was just going to work one on one with clients on commercial real estate. I did that for a couple of years, had a blast, helped people like Eric in Northern California. He got a 20,000 square foot commercial property, bought it for 840,000. We got a $40,000 credit for the inspection nibble. The property is in foreclosure a bank had taken back. I just heard from him a couple of weeks ago. He’s got it most of the way least up. It’s slowed down a bit because of the pandemic that’s going on, but he’s got most of the way least up. He said, “Peter, that property is worth 1.9 million.” You have happy clients when you help them do that. Then his goal was to be the biggest commercial real estate guy in town, so we targeted the biggest commercial brokerage. I actually helped him go in and structure a purchase of that without using any of his money to take over the biggest real estate company in town. Then he started a commercial division there, so he’s got 40 agents working for him. He doesn’t even have a real estate license. That’s a lot of fun. Then when the whole of this year started and the crazy times, I decided I was going to pick out the very best parts of commercial real estate, the best parts of what I’ve learned over the years, which is basically, I’ve developed the ability to locate and negotiate creative commercial transactions. That’s what I help people do. I’m putting together a small team. We go out. We negotiate either a commercial master lease, owner carry. We’re also finding that owners right now… Since the COVID-19 came in, we’re finding that owners are open to low all-cash offers that we’re making and getting accepted. I’ve been seeing properties that are at better numbers now than I’ve seen in probably, gosh, 12 years, 15 years, I think. I mean, it’s awesome. In the basic commercial lease option, you get the property under contract. We look at a very aggressive process of looking at how we can increase the cash flow from that property. We put that together in a nice clean looking pro forma, put it into a package to present to investors, and then either flip the contract to an investor for an assignment fee, or bring an investor in for some equity, and end up keeping the property long term.

Brett:

Wow, so much there. Thank you for sharing that and bringing it all together. Let’s walk through an average deal that someone might do, and what are some of the nuances that someone might not know about, which is a pretty niche here, right? It involves acquiring commercial property using owner carry and commercial master lease terms combined with an assignment contract to create a sizable, upfront payday. Maybe just walk through a deal that you’ve done recently, and bring it all together for us.

Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter Conti

Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options: “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

Peter:

Sure. Sure. It’s interesting. Most of the time, if you’re going to do a creative commercial transaction, those are done generally, where either the seller has some very strong motivation or situation. We see all kinds of things I’m sure you have in the different real estate deals you’ve been involved in where they’re health problems, or they’re moving out of the country, or they just are sick and tired of real estate. Maybe they had some really bad tenants or bad experiences or something. There’s a property right now that one of my students is working on in South Carolina, where it is 40% vacant. Now, you take a property that’s 40% vacant. Even in good times much less than these crazy times and trying to get a new loan for that, a lender is not going to touch that thing. If that property owner, which is this owner, wants to move down to Florida and retire, if he’s going to sell that property, he’s going to need to either sell it for all cash, in which case, he’s going to take a huge hit on the price, or he’s going to have to do some creative terms. In the case of the commercial master leases, the way we structure those is we go in. We agree on a set amount that we can pay the owner. A lot of times, what we’ll do is we’ll look at the previous two years to see how they’ve been doing. In this case, I haven’t seen the financials on this particular property, but I was talking to the client the other day, and I’d be surprised the owner is even making money on it. He’s probably losing money. If we can pay him anything, that’s going to be a win. You agree on a set price, a monthly amount that you pay to the seller. You agree in terms of how long you’re going to be able to pay that price. Then you agree on a purchase price that when you take title to the property, you’re able to go on the title, and bring in new financing and acquire the property. At that point in time, once you’ve had your time period to go in, do your thing, lease it up, clean it up, pick it up, run it up. Do all the things you need to get that property stabilized. We like to go long. Longer is better when you’re doing commercial master leases. I typically am not interested in anything with less than a five-year term. I seem to be pretty good at getting eight, 10, 12-year terms. The longer you go, the more certain your profits are, and the bigger they’re going to be is what I found. If you want to try and take a technique like that, and go find a property from a broker that’s a retail property, completely leased up, completely rehabbed, they’re going to probably just tell you to go take a hike, or who do you think you are trying to put a creative deal together? There’s no need for that seller to do that. I mean, they’ve got a nice property. They’re going to sell it in 1031 into the next one most likely, but with the right situation, we’re finding these deals. We’ve got one student right now. She found a property near Peoria, Illinois. It’s a 10-unit property. We just got that under contract for 205,000 for a 10-unit. Now, it is all one-bedroom units, and they are smaller, but that property without doing anything is worth $265,000. She’s got it at 205. One of the things that we do is do research, which is cool. You can do a lot of that online these days, but we do research to find properties where the rents are below market rates. We’re targeting properties with below-market rates because that’s one of the easiest ways to increase the net operating income of a property is to go in, take it over. Obviously, if the tenants are long-term leases, you gotta wait till their leases expire, but a lot of them are month to month. You can go in, increase the rents, get them up to the market, increase the value of the property, or even just get it under contract. Show another investor that, “Hey, these rents are way below market. There’s a lot of opportunities there,” and that’s how you can get an assignment fee and flipping your contract.

Brett:

Excellent. Wow, a lot there. Curious, is it mainly retail, industrial, and office? You didn’t mention some multifamily, but are you finding… What’s your sweet spot to make the best deals of what product type?

Peter:

Right now, we’re focusing on multifamily. I’ve got one client that’s working in a retail center. He’s actually in South Africa. It’s $11 million retail. I think their whole shopping situation from what he tells me is a little bit different than what we have going on here. My concern is with retail and office, my opinion is that that’s going to go through a major reset as a result of everything we’re going through. There are so many companies that are learning that, hey, their employees can work from home and do a Zoom meeting and get stuff done. I think once they get used to that, especially with it ongoing as it has been, they’re going to think, “Wait a minute, why are we paying for all this office space when we can have people working right from home?”

Brett:

I agree. I agree.

Peter:

Restaurants, I think, are going to… A restaurant that used to be able to sit however many people, 50 people at a time, is now in a situation where they can sit, what, maybe a third of that. You’ve got to take those numbers into line. I think that’s going to all wash out at the end, where the values of those are going to most likely go through a reset. My feeling is that people do need a place to live. There are concerns in the marketplace right now where “Are people… Are they going to be able to stay employed? Can they pay their rent?” There are these proclamations that you can evict people. The way I see it is people are going into one of two camps. They’re going into the, “Oh my goodness, things are horrible. The economy is going to crash. Everything’s going to just be worthless.” Then there are the other people who instead of being so uncertain about things, ‘re more optimistic like I am, and they feel that “Well, people are going to need a place to live. If they’re working from home, that’s almost more important to have a good place to live, a good place maybe with an extra room or a place for an office.” We’re looking for properties that we can convert into living, and with office space available, people want a nice work-from-home experience. What I’m finding right now is if you can work between those two, you find the deals from the people who are becoming motivated sellers because of all the uncertainty out in the marketplace, and then you can sell those deals or find investors that will bring money in to fund your deals. The people who are looking at real estate from the longer-term perspective of, “Hey, we’re definitely going through some challenges right now, but I feel that long term, we’re going to solve these one way or another.” We’ll get to where we have a vaccine. We’re going to restructure the way. We interact and talk and shake hands. I went to look at a 24-unit we have under contract right now. We did the elbow bump thing with the owners. Anyways, I think right now, there’s more opportunity than I’ve seen in a very, very long time, and I’m really, really excited about it.

Brett:

Excellent. Now, we want to shift a little bit to a little bit more of the theme of our podcast, and it has to do with capital gains tax deferral. After being in the industry for over 30 years and doing probably countless 1031 exchanges, also maybe even syndications, I’m curious about what your thoughts are on this. Most syndicators we work with, form these deals. They either don’t allow 1031s into it, or it’s too complicated, or they might carve-out for a really big person to do a little tenant and common type of deal. But generally speaking, they own a property. Let’s say it’s a $5 million apartment complex. They owned it for 10 years, it’s for 12, and they sell it. Now, everyone pays their tax, and they go their separate ways. In other words, the whole entity must move. Have you seen that struggle, or how have you helped syndicators to defer capital gains tax?

Peter:

In all the syndications I’ve been involved in, we haven’t had 1031 be a part of it, but in my own investing and doing 1031 exchanges and from what I know about the business, I think if you have the right legal help and the right setup, there’s ways that you can have people come in where some people are doing a 1031 and others aren’t, and move in and out of a transaction. The 1031s I’ve been involved in with a good exchange accommodator’s been a piece of cake. Besides, the one really weird thing that I’ll tell you what it is here, I mean, you go to the closing. You’re there, and the exchange accommodator got a well-dressed guy. I mean, I’ve used the guy. I’ve known him for years, but he’s sitting there. He gets the money, right? Instead of getting the money when you sell your property, it goes to this guy. He leaves. He goes off, and you gotta find the right person to make sure they come back with your money when you close on the next one. When I did my first couple of net was a little uncomfortable, but I really, really myself, I love the idea of instead of getting your money out and paying taxes on it, I love the idea of basically getting a tax-free loan from the government to reinvest that money and keep it working out there. In fact, my understanding is that if you don’t want to pay the capital gains, then you just never sell, right? You just keep it. Then when you pass on… Again, I’m not a CPA. Check with your own advisor, but my understanding is the value moves up to the current market value. Basically, all of those tax savings that you would have to pay back if you sold it outright are forgiven, so to speak. Your heirs will be very grateful for you putting that together, and you have all that cash flow yourself while you’re alive, which is why most people buy commercial real estate.

Brett:

You hit it. A couple of things there. The first one is, yes, you can get what’s called the stepped-up basis, right? If you never sell, you can just 1031, 1031, 1031, die. Kids get the stepped-up basis. They could sell that new basis, and then walk away capital gains tax-free. It doesn’t account for the estate tax, which is completely separate, so if you’re ultra-high net worth, you’re going to hit with 40% of whatever’s left inside of your taxable estate above and beyond the exemptions, which is 22 million married, about 11 and a half million single, but those are set to expire in 2025. It’d be about 12, probably married, and probably about six single. The second part though is some people want to sell, right? You have this huge, huge baby boomers, $17 trillion worth of wealth that’s set to pass in the next 20 years. This is known as the largest wealth transfer in the history of the planet. They have highly appreciated primary homes, businesses, commercial real estate, all kinds of collectibles, artwork, all of this massive amount of wealth, and they don’t know how to get out and retire from the toilets, the trash, the liability, get diversification, be out of debt without doing 1031. That’s the problem with 1031. You always have to be in something typically active, although there are some passive opportunities, you give them a lot of control that has to do with the Delaware statutory trust. But even then, 1031 only works for an investment property, right? It doesn’t work for a business. It doesn’t work for high-end primary homes. That’s where the deferred sales trust comes in, which we are an installment sale. Basically, the government allows you up to 10 million if you’re married, five million if you’re single interest-free loan, essentially, as long as you keep it invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate. All that being said, you can go back into your own timing with the new depreciation schedule. There are some new tax advantages, but the point is to make sure you’re working with somebody that, a, is qualified, has done the deals, and c, the funds are protected. Those all come into play. That being said, are you ready for the lightning round, Peter?

Peter:

Yes. 

Brett:

All right, awesome. I consider you a real estate wealth advisor. With that, I want you to think about your 25-year-old self. Knowing what you know now, if you can go back to your 25-year-old self, Peter, what’s the one golden nugget you’d make sure you told yourself?

Peter:

I would tap myself on the shoulder and say, “Hey, Peter, go big and do it faster.” I would probably also say just pick one part of the commercial and focus on that. I’ve explored a lot of different things, investing in notes and tax liens, and single-family homes, and all sorts of stuff. I really like commercial properties. Multifamily is awesome, again, because people live there. I mean, I like other types of commercials also, but there are so many ways to make money investing in real estate. I think if you can pick, pick one thing and just really focus on that, but go big and do it faster. Don’t wait. I see people sometimes where they’ll tell me… I’ll say, “Well, I understand you want to get started investing in real estate,” and they’d say, “Well, yeah, I’m going to save up my money so I can have the down payment,” but at the speed that people save up their downpayment to go buy a property, the value of the property they would have bought if they’d get started now is going up faster than they can save up their money for the down payment. It’s pretty essential to be able to find ways either through some of the creative methods that I specialize in or learning how to syndicate deals, getting out there putting the deal together, putting the pieces in place. With the right deal, you know what, the money will be there with the right deal so…

Brett:

Excellent. Great. By the way, we didn’t finish the other thought too. When you go to sell that syndication, what have you done, Peter, in the past to defer that tax, or do you guys just pay the tax on the carried interest and everything else and just everyone goes their separate ways?

Peter:

The syndications I’ve been involved in, we just cashed out of all my involvement so far.

Brett:

Why? Why didn’t you defer the tax?

Peter:

Well, we weren’t connected with you, and we didn’t know how to use some methods to be able to. I mean, I’m learning today. You can take property and roll it over into a passive investment as a 1031 exchange. That is just awesome. It’s absolutely awesome.

Brett:

Well, no, thank you. That’s what we’re about. That’s what we’re here about spreading the message. I appreciate you sharing that because it helps connect the listeners with maybe the challenges they’re not thinking about right now. That being said, what’s the one book you’ve recommended or given the most in the past year?

Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter ContiPeter:

The Portable Coach by a gentleman named Thomas Leonard. Unfortunately, he’s no longer with us, but he started the whole personal coaching business, which I think some people need. I think, for the most part, you can probably coach yourself if you just write in your journal like I do, and ask some questions, and just think, “If I had that wisdom, what would I tell myself to do?” His book is really a great guide at setting things up in your life where you have things like a reserve of energy and time and things to be able to put together the life that you want to be living. That’s been an awesome book. Another one, Negotiating wise, is called Instant Rapport by… I believe it’s by Michael Brooks. It’s a quick little read. I would skip the stuff on the moments and all that type of stuff, and just get the basics of how you can create rapport quickly with someone, and develop friends fast on purpose which is a great skill to have if you’re out negotiating and buying, putting together real estate deals. Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter Conti

Brett:

Beautiful. Give me the mobile or digital resources you recommend for your business.

Peter:

Text expander is one that I absolutely love. It’s a tool. It’s a copy and paste tool, where we can have little codes. If I want to set up a meeting with someone, I just type out the word phone call, and that’s my code in there. I type out phone calls and hit the tab key, and it pastes in my Calendly link into an email, and really saves me a lot of time each and every day. I’m also a big Evernote fan. I use Evernote as my digital filing box in the sky. I went paperless about eight years ago and took a little bit of time to get there. I finally realized after I’d scan through about a third of my paper files that I’m probably never going to need any of this stuff. I just put it all in storage boxes, put it down in the basement. I’ve had to go down there a few times to get stuff, but in one day, I went all the way to paperless, and I’ve just been saving everything digitally since then.

Brett:

Beautiful. Favorite leadership quote or theme that you try to live by, Peter.

Peter:

Never put off until tomorrow which you can pay someone else to do today.

Brett:

I love that. Never put off till tomorrow what you can pay someone else to do today.

Peter:

That came from…

Brett:

Beautiful, right, especially with 35 employees, 17 coaches, and all the real estate and everything you’ve done. I love that. What are you curious about right now?

Peter:

I’m curious about people. With this team I’m putting together people that are going out and putting together commercial lease options, I’m taking generally a half-hour, sometimes 45 minutes to an hour when people come on board the team to not just get to know them, but find out what makes them tick. Why are they interested in pursuing commercial real estate? What are their dreams and goals, their aspirations? I feel that it’s really a different business being able to know the people that I’m working with and support them myself these days rather than just having a business where someone’s coming in. I mean, it sounds cold, but they’re coming in just as a number. What I’m telling people right now on the team is, “I’m going to be your mentor. I will not leave you on your own.” Now, I’m not going to be able to do that forever. I mean, I’m growing this thing at some point in time. If it’s like other companies I’ve grown, probably my students will grow. Some of those will become coaches over time. But at this point, I’m really, really enjoying working directly with people. I find that my curiosity about people helps both in working with my clients to know what makes them tick and what their challenges are, but also in working with sellers of properties. Curiosity really has served me well to enable me to dig in. They’ll give you their… When you say, “Gosh, this is a wonderful property. Why would you ever consider selling it?” They give you their bottled pre-practice dance or whatever, but then when you dig in and get to know them a little bit, and get them to open up, being curious and dig in allows them to, I think, realize that you have a mindset where you really do want to help them out. Then when they open up, it enables you to put together a better solution and be able to say, “Okay, I understand what you’re trying to do. Maybe we could structure it like this. It would allow you to do what you want to do,” but it also works on our end for what we need.

Brett:

Love that. So much wisdom right there. Well, we’re going to wrap it up here with the last question, and let our listeners know where they can find you again. I think it’s my favorite question because it encapsulates getting to know you a little bit better as well as is any wisdom you can share with us in this last thought. How do you stay centered, Peter, after all of your 30 years in the business, all the success, all the coaching, the seminars, the businesses, persevering through the big injury you had with the dirt bike? How do you stay centered in your values, and then stay encouraged to reach for new heights?

Peter:

Well, I think probably the one thing that keeps me centered most is my kids and grandkids. I’ve got four kids, five grandkids now, one more coming in probably a week if not sooner. We’ll be up to six. I’ve learned that when they call FaceTime unless I’m in the middle of a podcast, I stop and take their call and hang out with them. Before the pandemic, I was flying around a bunch and hanging out with them. I’ve been doing some driving to go and see them later, although some of them are fairly far away. I think that’s really helped. As far as new challenges for me, I was convinced when I was hiking the Appalachian Trail that it would heal my leg. All I had to do was to get to the top of Katahdin up in Maine, and my leg was going to be healed. I finally got up there, and I’m coming down the mountain, and I met this other guy, and mentioned, “Yeah, I just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail.” He’s like, “Congratulations, and to think you did it with a bum leg,” he says because I’m limping. What I found is I’m still walking to Katahdin. Each day, I ride my bike inside. I get out and walk. I actually push baby carriages. It sounds crazy, but when you have an injury like that, you tend to get one strong side and one weak side, and your strong side wants to do the work to spare your weaker side from… I’m not really in pain these days, but just there are times when it’s a little numb or tingly or whatever. You end up walking crooked, which throws your muscles out of alignment and can make other stuff hurt. I found that when I was pushing the shopping cart at the grocery store, it felt better, and I felt nice and upright, so I decided, “I need something to hold on to when I go out on my walks.” I did not want to use a walker. I want to walk, or I didn’t want a cane, so I got a baby carriage. I figured, “Well, I could put my grandkids in it when they come to visit.” I tried pushing it, but it popped a wheelie without the weight in it. If you look in any author’s garage, what do you find? Lots of boxes of books, right? I took a box of some of my books, put it in there as a weight. I’ve actually been pushing that up and down the street here for the past couple of years. The neighbors thought it was really crazy at first. They asked me if I was delivering packages, and what’s in the box, and stuff like that. I just told them, “Hey, I’m doing this to improve my posture, and it’s a long-term process.” I’m actually enjoying that process as a challenge of continuing to just heal and improve my posture and get to where… These days, I can walk almost anywhere. Running’s probably a little bit of a challenge still. The other thing I do is look for other challenges. I think taking on students and reaching out and helping them to achieve their goals was a bit of a challenge. I play the piano. I took that up. 15 years ago, at one of our seminars, we were talking about taking on challenges, and I issued a challenge to the group that was there. I said, “When you come back here next year, I’m going to play a song for you on the piano.” Then my most recent birthday, I just turned 60. I asked my wife to get me a violin of all things.

I feel really lucky to have made it over that gap, and so if I can help someone to do that myself, I just get a tremendous sense of pleasure from doing that. Click To Tweet

 

Brett:

Why not? Why not throw the violin in there too, Peter?

Peter:

Why not? My three-year-old granddaughter sings twinkle, twinkle little stars, so I’m going to learn that song on the violin, and play with her.

Brett:

That is the sweetest, amazing, inspirational story, I think, I’ve heard in a long time. Peter, I want to thank you for being on the show. That wraps up our time here. For our listeners who want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to connect with you or check out what you do with commercial lease options?

Peter:

To learn about it, I’ve got a special gift for listeners of the show here. I just came out with my latest book. It’s called How to Profit with Commercial Lease Options. If you go to petersfreebook.com, you can get a free copy there. Again, that’s for listeners of the show here. Just go to petersfreebook.com, and you can get your free copy of what I hope is going to be my next bestseller, How to Profit with Commercial Lease Options.

Brett:

Beautiful. Well, thank you for being on the show. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your story, a part of your story and so much more when it comes to the tactical part of the commercial lease options and strategies. I would encourage you to keep using the gifts you’ve been given to bless other people and to keep living the full life that you’ve already lived. Thank you so much. I also want to thank our listeners for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions podcast. As always, we believe the highest net worth individuals and those who help them struggle with clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options, not having a clear plan is the enemy, and using a proven tax deferral strategy such as the deferred sales trust or the 1031 exchange is the best way for you to grow your wealth. Hey, if we can be of any service to you, please reach out to us at capitalgainstaxsolutions.com, and be sure to reach out to Peter, and get his book to learn more about commercial leasing options. Thanks so much.

 

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About Peter Conti

Creating Wealth In Commercial Lease Options With Peter ContiPeter Conti, starting out as an auto mechanic, bought his first commercial property in 1990 and has never looked back. His innovative investing strategies have made it possible for thousands of people all across the world to make the transition into becoming successful real estate investors.

His latest innovation, Commercial Lease Options, has recently been opened up to a small group of investors who want to profit from commercial properties during the uncertain times we are currently experiencing.

 

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