If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from working with J. Scott Scheel and the rest of the Commercial Academy team, it’s that the real benefits of working with Commercial Real Estate comes from the power it affords you to give to others.

Before my wife and I met Scott, these accomplishments were just goals we had.  They were things that we thought about, but that just seemed unachievable given our situation.

I came from a single parent household and my mom had worked multiple jobs just to keep a roof over our heads.

Eventually I was able to apply the work ethic she gave me to a career as a mortgage broker writing loans up until around the 2007 financial crisis.  Once the recession hit I lost my job and decided that there wasn’t a better time than then to start investing in real estate.

I started by investing in residential property.  In our first three years of renting and flipping we had purchased about 15 rental properties with 20 other homes which we flipped.  But, at the end of those three years, we didn’t have much to show for it.  Sure it was a decent vehicle but it just was a slow process.  Looking back now, I think we wouldn’t even have accomplished a quarter of what we have now had we not made the move to Commercial Real Estate?

We wanted, more than anything, to grow.  It was this desire to grow that lead us to sign up for one of Scott’s events.  When my wife Janet and I first heard Scott speak, the thing that really attracted us to his program was that he wasn’t selling some unachievable dream.  Everything that he was saying was backed up with facts and proven methods.  He was also the only one of the speakers telling the audience not to quit their day job immediately and take up Commercial Real Estate Investment full time.

We signed up for one of his four day events and I felt like a sponge trying to take on a fire hose.  He didn’t leave anything out.  From deciding what kind of property we would need to look for, how to locate opportunities in our desired markets, even how to manage and raise the value of an asset.  He covered it all!

We took a step further and actually went through a customized strategy review session where you work with the Commercial Academy team to create a personalized investment plan.

We sat down with Scott and his team and the first thing my wife Janet said was that she really wanted to leave her job at the time.  She’d started a consulting company out of one of our rental homes and at that point she was ready to let it go.  When Scott heard this the first thing he told her was that banks don’t care how much money you have in cash, they care about a steady income and that she was not to give up her business as it could be the vehicle to propel our investment career.

Shortly afterward, with the assistance of the Commercial Academy, we picked up our first 30,000 Sq. Ft. office building which was 100% vacant.  The building was bank owned and just as Scott told us the bank was only willing to work with us because of the fact that we were looking to occupy a portion of the space.

At first the bank offered to finance the purchase at 5% interest and when we submitted this to Scott and his team, Scott immediately got on the phone with us and told us to go back and renegotiate the interest rate at 3%.  At first my wife and I responded that this was crazy, the bank already gave us the offer at 5% and said that they wouldn’t go any lower.  But after an enlightening conversation with Scott about working with lenders, we went back to the bank and sure enough they took the offer at 3%. In the end we ended up purchasing the building for only $625,000.00 with the bank financing the majority of the purchase and improvements at that lower 3% rate.

Managing the property was pretty easy at first seeing as we were the only tenant which occupied about 6,000 Sq. Ft. but luckily Scott and his team worked with us over the course of 6 months deciding on improvements to make to the exterior and interior of the property and even with how to promote the property.

Just shy of a year into owning this building we were able to get our first tenant which took up 6,000 Sq. Ft. of space from there it just started to snowball where we were able to lease up 80% of the center.  In about 12 months we were generating a decent profit but more than that we knew that we could continue to do this.

To any new investors out there the one thing I can say is that when Scott says “It only takes one deal, one time to change your life forever” it’s a fact.  Once you get that first deal done everyone in this industry begins to take you seriously and that’s when they start coming to you with new opportunities.

Fast forward eight years and several different asset classes later we were able to use the equity from that first deal to buy out my wife’s business partner.

That’s the greatest part of learning from the Commercial Academy team is that there is just so much knowledge they were willing to share with us.  The only way I can describe it is that it’s life changing.

Growing up in a family that was under the poverty line you don’t realize what you could accomplish if given the opportunity.  One of the greatest achievements of this was that I was able to accomplish a long time goal of mine in that for Christmas I was able to pay back my mom for all she sacrificed for me by paying off her home mortgage.  Just getting to give freedom like that to someone who you love and who you owe everything to is something that I can’t even put into words.

What I do know is that without Scott, without the team he’s put together, I’d probably still be just a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks dreaming about making something like this happen.


Shawn Johanson.

Meet the Author

Shawn Johanson is a student of the Commercial Academy and J. Scott Scheel.  For news about Commercial Academy Events and Mentorship Programs which can help you with your Commercial Real Estate Investment goals please Click Here.

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