Finding Success with RALA: Julie & Dean

So often, the owners of Residential Assisted Living Academy are asked what it’s like when an operator is in full swing. 

In essence, what does this life look like when one is fully engaged and doing well? 

Residential Assisted Living Academy has many students who are doing quite well in the senior living industry. 

Whether independent homes of 4-8 beds to more extensive assisted living care with more than 15 beds, Residential Assisted Living Academy students thrive. 

Here’s how it happens.


For many of our students, it begins with hearing. 

Julie Kern of Taylorsville, Georgia recalls, “I was running on my treadmill, listening to an episode of The Real Estate Guys Radio Show when I heard an ad that went something like ‘Do you want to find out how to generate $10k cash flow from a single-family residence?'” 

Of course, she said to herself, “Yes,” quite possibly out loud, speaking only to herself—the clarion call aligned with a genuine desire in Julie to make a difference and create wealth simultaneously.  

Julie’s real estate career began in November 2014 after undergoing a solid education. 

She likes to take action and develops clear goals for herself. 

While experiencing success in her endeavors as a flipper, renovator, and wholesaler, Julie also began purchasing apartment complexes. 

She wanted to buy more because she wanted her husband to have the opportunity to retire within the next three years.   

To achieve this goal, Julie planned to secure a sufficient amount of apartment units to replace the income her husband generated with his 9-5 daily grind. 

However, after speaking with another investor buddy, Julie was asked a specific question:

“What do you want? Units or Cash Flow?”

Upon reflection, Julie realized she wanted “cash flow.” If that could be achieved without increasing “units,” then why not? 

She enjoyed the multi-family market and loved the idea of housing many people. But suddenly, realizing she restricted herself too much, running on a treadmill one day, she heard, “Do you want to find out how to generate $10k of cash flow from a Single-Family Residence?” Stunned by the question, her answer was “Yes.”

Today, Julie is experiencing the best of both worlds. 

World #1 maintains her in-depth involvement in real estate, even commercial real estate. World #2 witnesses a transition from securing 24–36-unit apartment complexes to Julie and her husband pursuing opportunities associated with increased cash flow regardless of property size. Together, they begin a journey of purpose and wealth in the senior living industry. 

Like many successful Residential Assisted Living Academy students, Julie followed a particular sequence leading to their success.  

1.     Personal Research

Having heard the radio broadcast, Julie engaged in a personal research expedition. She scoured the internet for information about Residential Assisted Living Academy and the senior living industry in general.

Examination of demographic studies throughout America, but specifically in Georgia, resulted in intensifying interest and desire.

2.     Training

Julie and her partner completed at-home online training with Residential Assisted Living Academy.  

Application of the activity took immediate effect, and the two began analyzing the greater Atlanta Metropolitan area for potential properties and sites.  

State and county regulations enlightened them about restrictions for senior living facilities of all types.  

Financial analysis revealed that the sweet spot for residential assisted living homes is between 5 and 10.   

Many potential and actual obstacles emerged at this time, but their desire to make a difference and leave a financial legacy fueled their pursuit all the more.

3.     Development

Julie and Dean then attended the 3-day Virtual Training. This training provided a comprehensive overview with depth.

The in-depth training exposed them to regulatory information but also standard practices that reap great rewards.

Their excitement morphed into intensified purpose – they did more than analyzing after attending this training – they started building their business.

4.     Action

Julie and Dean are an ideal partnership. Common interests are good, but someone with a similar work ethic is best.

Julie is action-oriented, and she says of Dean, “he’s uber action.” In other words, he takes the bull by the horns.

Julie and Dean discovered that action-oriented people find or are met with opportunity.

  • A contact within the real estate market brought them two properties owned by a couple ready to retire from senior living.
  • Property #1: a 15-bed personal care home
  • Property #2: a 20-bed personal care home
  • Both properties were lower-income generators, but with proper investment, they could generate excellent cash flow. The properties were rather distressed, and while not their preference fit their experience. Each had flipped and renovated homes.
  • Their Goal is a luxury senior living home.

5.     Procurement

With no debt on the property, owner financing could create a win-win scenario for both parties.  

After negotiation, the owners were willing to finance, and the homes were Julie and Dean’s.

Most students begin with one home, but with Julie and Dean’s real estate experience and drive, this opportunity suited them well.

Inherited with the properties were an entire staff and 22 residents. The properties were plagued with a vacancy which became an immediate problem to solve.  

With renovations an absolute necessity, the 20-bed home was closed immediately, and some residents were relocated into the other home. Displaced residents were transitioned to comparable homes smoothly, and revitalization began.

6.     Results

Julie and Dean’s results are astounding. Their vision of a luxury senior living facility is coming to pass as intended.

Meal quality has increased dramatically from canned food-based cooking to chef-quality nutritional planning and prepared meals.

The 15-bed home, Watermark I, is now a 16-bed home and is steadily being renovated cautiously, as residents live in the home.

The 20-bed home, Watermark II, is under intense renovation. It will be a luxury boutique-style home, while Watermark I is a more affordable community-style home.  

Staffing is always a challenge, but the core employees have remained. Julie and Dean have begun interviewing for the luxury property.

The residents in Watermark I are delighted. Julie and Dean have relationships with each other. Purpose and profit don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Julie and Dean have found that the two dynamics go well together when the aim is to help someone else.


Julie and Dean are not accidents – their success is not luck at work. Instead, their success is due to their intense commitment. They did not haphazardly meander through the process of training or avoid it altogether. Instead, Julie and Dean began learning about senior living with Residential Assisted Living Academy.  

Additionally, Julie and Dean labor daily to ensure their business maintains integrity and serves the residents well. 

For them, it is a God-given opportunity and responsibility. They have finalized the mission statement for the Watermark Properties.

 “At Watermark Senior Living, our mission is to show the love of Christ to our resident family by instilling in each individual a sense of purpose through physical activity, social engagement, mental stimulation, and spiritual growth.”

  • Do you know what success looks like?
  • Can you grasp the degree of commitment it takes to enjoy success in the senior living industry?
  • Do you desire to marry purpose with profit, making a difference in other’s lives?

Julie and Dean’s business is the “Watermark” of success. 

They are thriving because of their desire and training with Residential Assisted Living Academy. Do not delay. 

Register for the 3-day course today, today at Residential Assisted Living Academy. It’s time for you to reach and exceed your watermark.