Success Interview with Tommy and Jana Gillis

Interviewed by Gene Guarino Feb 2018

Tommy and Jana Gillis are a great example of RALA students that believe if you just keep going on the path you planned you will reach your goal, even if it takes a little longer than expected. Tommy and Jana took their live training the summer of 2015 with a property already in mind. They were smart and waited until after they learned everything at the Live 3-Day event and then promptly went home and put it under contract.

Tommy and Jenna were professional fix and flippers with their FireFightersBuyHouses.com company and had 10 of them going at the time when they returned from class and decided to clear out their fix and flip inventory before taking on building their first RAL


So, they held on to the property and started working with their architect to design the home. After 1 year they started building on to the original 2000 square foot property. Tommy and Jana did what we here at RALA affectionately call a “redneck addition” (when the addition is bigger than the house) with 5000 more square feet making their Lavender Springs residential assisted living home a full 7000 square feet allowing for a 16 bed license. During the year of building they did pre-marketing and had a waiting list by the time Tommy and Jana opened their home October 2017.

Their project cost was $1.3million but a large portion of that is the 9.5 acres that home sits on. They have plans to build 2 -3 more 16 bed homes on the property charging approximately $4500 per person monthly. They like to stay conservative in their budgeting calculations, and plan on a $15,000 net per month per home but are currently exceeding their expectations with $20,000 per month. “It’s the most we’ve ever made. We are so glad we transitioned to RAL’s,” they said. “Even if we stopped where we are at right now [with one home], it was worth it [going to the 3-Day Live Training].”

Their best advice? “Go home and take action.” Tommy and Jana encourage you to be persistent. Based on their experience in Fix and Flips they knew that these kind of things always seem to take longer and cost more than you think but they want you to hang in there because the end result is so worth it.

They also suggest that you surround yourself with people that have the knowledge to help you succeed. “No one person knows it all,” they said. Because they took the class before RALA offered any consulting available after the class, Gene was their inspiration so when they hit a snag they would hire an expert in that area and get the information they needed to move forward. Sometimes they had to educate others around them more than they got educated, like with the private lenders they worked with. The RAL Academy now offers a complete support system and team that is available following the class to make it easier to get started and to finish the project quickly.

The biggest unexpected part for them is the amazing interaction with residents. They enjoy the residents like a family and have found the “Do Good and Do Well” motto of RALA a perfect fit for them. Tommy and Jana have found this more rewarding than Fix and Flip or Rentals, they found it to be “the best real estate we’ve ever done!”

A BIG TEXAS ‘YEE-HA’ from the RALA family to Tommy and Jana!!!

What an inspiration!