He dabbles in real estate while in the Navy, and in 2012 starts his investment company. 5 years later he retires to focus on real estate full time, and his group has raised over $20 million in equity and is very successful.

After 20 Years In The Navy, He Is Now A Full Time Preferred Equity Partner

Key Points from a Preferred Equity Partner, With John Rubino

Equity on the wall
Photographer: NeONBRAND | Source: Unsplash
  • He was a pilot in the Navy for 20 years
  • Started in real estate in 2005 as a side project while he worked full time in the Navy
  • After the recession, he invested passively with friends and family for about 10 years
  • Learned a lot about real estate while passively investing
  • Moved to D.C. in 2012 while working for the Navy
  • As he got closer to retirement he started looking at other opportunities
  • Started his own real estate syndication company while still working for the Navy
  • His company started out raising money through his friends and families then grew
  • John's company then grew to include private and accredited investors
  • His company now has $12 million under investment across 126 different investors
  • His company now brings a significant amount of equity, capital, and private money to his investors
Moments of Truth Graphic
Moments of Truth Graphic
  • Who is your success role model? Robert Kiyosaki
  • What is your biggest success? Being able to share the wealth God has given him
  • What does a typical day for you look like? He gets up around six o'clock, takes his kid to school, has a cup of coffee, says his prayers, reads some scripture, then he's on the computer answering emails and taking calls, and sometimes he'll go to a project cite
  • What is your favorite quote? "Success isn't hard to find, it's just getting back up and learning from your mistakes, then trying again"
  • What are your hobbies? Coaching, being involved with his church, and golfing
  • What is the best business book you've read? Rich Dad, Poor Dad & How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • If there was one key piece of advice you could leave our listeners with about achieving success, what would it be? Keep your part time job when you are first getting started: stability is very important.

About our Guest, John Rubino

John Rubino
John Rubino

As COO, Founder & Co-Managing Partner, John executes the daily operations of JID Investments LLC (JIDI) to include marketing & advertisement, website & social media design, investor & client relations, extensive due diligence review of all prospective investor & business clients, financial & revenue analysis, & securing of investment source for project funding resulting in investment of over $19.3M+ with revenue growth exceeding $11.0M (actual & projected) for the company.

JIDI is a real estate private money & equity investment firm which seeks to secure high yield returns with medium risk by providing investment capital to individuals & businesses with viable residential, commercial & mixed-use real estate business and/or investment opportunities in the Washington DC Metropolitan, South Atlantic & Mid-Atlantic markets.

JIDI’s business strategy is designed to form long lasting business relationships with developing and established companies. Our goal is to be an integral part of their financial success by: 1) funding their ventures while earning our desired returns; 2) continuously growing and developing our business relationships; and 3) expanding our investor base and capital for future projects. JIDI is working with several business partners and has funded several projects with additional opportunities slated for the future. Investments in these projects are supported with sufficient collateral, guarantees, and insurances to protect invested capital.

JIDI returns (ROI) to investors on our development & construction to sale projects are typically targeted at 15 to 20% annually and most is treated favorably as long-term capital gains. These projects have longer durations, between sixteen & forty-six months, but some are shorter term, ranging from six to twelve months. Typically, payouts are made to investors at project/investment completion. Our investors subscribe to “units” in the investment, ranging between $25,000 & $50,000. Investors can acquire multiple units if available.

JIDI has over $12M invested and/or committed on current projects (four in DC, a combined NC/SC hold opportunity & one in Atlanta) including a new project in DC where we raised over $1.9M of equity (combined on two separate raises) in DC (website: http://columbianquarter.com/).

In 1997, John graduated from SUNY Maritime College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, a 3rd-Mates License in the U.S. Merchant Marine and received a commission as a U.S. naval officer. He served honorably as a Lieutenant Commander and Naval Aviator for 20 years. In 2008 he received his Master of Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In addition to his career as a Navy Pilot, John has had significant experience and success as real estate investor and consultant. John is a dedicated member of his community serving as a Knight of Columbus, and as a youth baseball and football coach.


Before He Could Crawl

The military was always in John's blood. He lived it, he breathed it, he even went to a military high school. Five of his cousins graduated from that military school before he attended it. After he graduated the military high school, he moved on to attend a military college. The thing that started it all: Top Gun. While that's not exactly true, John always wanted to go into the military, Top Gun did play a part him him joining the military.

After graduating college and joining the Navy, John met his long time friend and mentor. While the two of them were on a detachment together, his mentor started to explain what real estate was. Something about his friends explanation sparked an interest in John that has lasted for the rest of his life.

For the next 20 years of his life John works for the Navy. He moves around some and eventually ends up in DC in 2012. The whole time he is investing in real estate as a side project. As he comes up on 20 years of service (2017) he starts working on his exit strategy. He explains that it has three phases: crawling, walking and finally, running.

Starting the Crawling Phase

After retiring from the Navy, John and his wife start building their company. For an entire year, they don't produce anything. They don't want to launch then find out they should have done this, or done that. So, they take their time. They cover their bases and get everything up, running, and fully operational. Afterwards, they take what they have to a few of his wife's friends who are experienced in banking, mortgage, equity, and investing. Those friends tore apart their entire model with just a few questions. Even though they kicked their butts, they left John and his wife with some really good advice. They even told them that after they fix everything and when they are looking for investors, to give them a call.

Sure enough, once they fixed up their business model and polished up a few things, it all started to come together. John and his wife started small. They went after single-family renovations, bringing in anywhere from, $100,000 to $200,000 a deal, fully funded the project, up to about 85% of the total cost for the deal. They started paying out 15% to 20% of their investors money within a year. So they knew they'd struck gold and they started to scale up their model.

Crawling to Walking

To grow his company, John needed investors and equity so he started reaching out. His first investors were two people he was in the Navy with. He sat them down and talked to them about his process, the equity they could get out of the deal and they agreed. They were so excited, the deal cleared and they brought in $200,000. It was a amazing success for Johns company that helped give him proof of concept that he could show to other investors. It let him go from telling people about what he was going to do to showing them what he could do with their money.

Working in the Navy was a good springboard for John. It allowed him to network with a lot of very entrepreneurial people. Many of his friends were doing fix and flip renovations. His relationship with these people allowed him, and in turn the people who invested with him to really profit from the relationship.

The Walk Phase

John then started working on large scale developers, commercial real estate. With these larger projects, his company can bring in anywhere from half a million to $5 million a deal. The increased revenue has opened a lot of doors but it also requires much more forethought. Gone are the days of underwriting a single family home, instead he has to look at all of the sides of a $100 million mixed use commercial deal.

This is where John's real passion lies. With the way his business his currently structured it allows him to sit down with investors and past investors and talk to them. He and his partner take them through their past business ventures and show them the benefits they get if they invest with his company. He can take them out to a property their working on so they can see where their money is going. John doesn't put any pressure on them to invest with him until they see a deal they want to put their money into. This part of the business lets him meet and talk to a lot of really interesting and smart people.

Expanding the Walk

John's company is very focused on people and the companies that invest with him and that he invests in. He is very focused on getting to know everyone involved in the entire process. Whenever someone new decides to work with his company, John tries to talk to them about what he is doing to try to draw them further into his company. Afterwards he learns about what they are doing to see if there is anything else he could help them with. This extensive amount of networking has led to a lot of equity for his company.

A lot of his business comes from being as open and transparent as possible. Sometimes it doesn't work out between him and a potential client or investor. He always tries to check out potential partners by testing their models or making sure the numbers they are using are legit. One of the biggest red flags for John though, is a delay in communication. If he asks a question and their is a delay in information early on in the business relationship alarm bells start to go off for him.

A Small Patch of Turbulence

Despite Johns thriving business, he did have a rough deal early on. He was forced to take ownership of a project after the individual he invested in didn't finish up the deal in time. Even though the deal was starting to get bad, John didn't have to foreclose. He started going out to the property and managing things himself. He managed to sell the property for 96% of what he purchased and invested in it for. Which is the closed thing to a lose his company has ever faced. In fact, the company has never lost money on a deal. They have only ever broken even at worse.

All said and done, this deal going south was an important lesson for John. It taught him that this isn't what he does. It's not what he wants to do and it's not what he should be doing. John's job is to raise the money and then give that to someone else who knows how to manage renovations, construction, and management.

Going Forward

While John's company is up and running, it isn't in the running stage yet. He's still looking for ways to expand and reach out into bigger and better things. He's hit some rough patches but it hasn't stopped him or any of his business partners. His company is providing huge amounts of equity to it's investors and is thriving.