Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse DiLillo.
Jesse, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Hello, my name is Jesse Di Lillo and I am the CEO of JSJ Sustainable Investments, LLC, J&S Beachcomers, LLC, and Co-Founder of Dollhouse Development, LLC and The Emerald Fund, LLC. My journey as an entrepreneur began at a very young age, it started with raking leaves, shoveling snow, cutting grass, and anything a 7-14-year-old could do to make some money. My eldest brother and I were a great team and a money-making machine at a young age. I believe that all of the hard work that we started young really helped me transition into the Entrepreneur that I am today.
My passion for real estate started when I was 15 years old. I was on a hockey trip, up way too late, watching an infomercial on real estate investing. This specific investment type was tax lien investing and I saw the upside potential and long-term profitability of this investment vehicle. Being only 15, I was unable to start an LLC on my own, so it would take some convincing of my parents to get this business going. After several months of research and continuous pestering, I was finally able to convince my parents to check out this program and eventually start J&S Beachcombers, LLC.
J&S started as a tax lien investing company in which we primarily focused on vacant land in Florida. I was in charge of researching parcels and evaluating profitability. These lists had anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand properties and I was to look through them all with the guidance of my parents. Once identified, my parents would then confirm all the information and we would put the capital together for them to go down to the auction in Florida and bid on the parcels we identified as the best.
After several successful years of tax lien investing both my parents and I decided to join the Fortune Builders program and start doing fix and flip investing in California, thus JSJ Sustainable Investments was born. JSJ started out investing in California, but after several low returning Investments, we knew it was time for a change. Unfortunately, the change that came next was completely unexpected and would change the face of our business forever.
Mid 2017, my father Sal was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 59, and there was nothing we could do as the cancer had metastasized. Disastrously, a seemingly perfectly healthy man, who rarely even had a common cold, passed away from the undetected cancer soon after being diagnosed and we were left devastated and in shock at what had just happened. My father was the lifeblood of this company, he was the salesman, the networker, and the driving force behind our success. After his passing we were left in shambles and had no real direction.
It wasn’t until the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 that we decided that we were going to change our business model and invest out of state to seek larger returns for our investors and ourselves. We started this transition with a partnership with the company who had done over 2000 out-of-state transactions. After joining forces and selling 20+ turnkey rental properties, we decided that we were going to focus more of our attention on the fix & flip side of the business.
I took over operations with three main goals: 1. Get our clients the best return possibly, 2. Rejuvenate neighborhoods in transition, 3. Put into action the Green Building Principles I attained in college.
My Mother and Business Partner Jane & I have always loved flipping houses, it has been a passion of ours for years and we were finally actively flipping, rather than doing light renovations on rental properties. My Mother is an ex-accountant and does our books, billing, and designs the homes. I focus on capital raising, client relations, and project management.
At first, raising the money for projects seemed to be a difficult task, but after thousands of phone calls, texts, and emails, I got more comfortable with the process and we have been able to successfully fund all of our projects with Private investor funding. My Father used to raise the capital for us and with his connections, this was a much easier process. Unfortunately, most of the people that I talk to you were not interested in lending a 25-year-old over a $500k to flip a house. This challenge was overcome by showing the potential investors our previous work on both the tax lien business and our former turnkey rentals. Once we established these relationships with our clients, we were able to expand our business and run multiple projects at once.
There have been so many lessons learned from starting at a young age, that gives us an advantage over most of our competition. Even though I am only 29 years old, I have over 13 years of real estate experience and training. This experience has given me the ability to help both my friends in my age group and clients from all generations. We have investors both local and international and we are leaving a positive impact on our clients and the markets in which we operate.
Since 2018, I have started two other companies with several business partners, Dollhouse Development, which focuses on Fix & Flips and Wholesaling here in CA and AZ, and The Emerald Fund, which is a short term business sponsorship company that helps cash-poor companies obtain lines of business credit to help them grow and continue their operations. I am working with several other entrepreneurs and there will be more business ventures to come, but for now, we will continue to grow and expand our current companies.
JSJ still operates as a Fix & Flip business, as well as a real estate wholesaling company. J&S is now a construction company, holds rental properties, and soon will start to develop on land we own in Florida. I also co-founded a Virtual Meetup to help investors get started in Real Estate and offer our professional advice. I have a passion for helping people! That is the goal with all of our companies, this is a people business, and people will always come before profits.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many ups and downs in our business ventures. From homes that we found out were hit by vehicles (prior to us purchasing) and trees going through roofs. Every day is a new challenge and a chance to learn something new. We have had bad partnerships, unsuccessful projects, and dealt with several bad contracting relationships. Out of everything, I always try to find a positive. Even when our one tenants stole our kitchen, that’s right, the entire kitchen: cabinets, counters, backsplash, appliances – it just gave us another opportunity to renovate the home and raise the rent up to market levels.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about JSJ Sustainable Investments – what should we know?
Our company focuses on rejuvenating neighborhoods by flipping houses. That is the core of our business. We work mostly out of western Pennsylvania around Pittsburgh and operate our business remotely. I am most proud of the homes that we turn out, and the lifelong homes we create for the homeowners who purchase our properties. One of the things that separate us from other companies is that we offer our clients a higher than average return and create beautiful, long-lasting homes that will continue to impress for generations.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My biggest inspiration was my parents, they have always supported me and pushed for excellence. Whether that was growing up playing hockey, or any job I could work, excellence is always the goal! I am lucky to have such supportive family and friends who are always looking out for my best interests. I also have an extremely supportive network of other real estate professionals that are both clients and mentors. I learn so much from being connected with other like-minded individuals. Our clients are also extremely supportive and we appreciate their trust in us!
- The Emerald Fund – $15,000-$100,000 – 15-25% ROI – Non Real Estate – Business Sponsorships
- Multi Lender Participation Program – $50,000-$250,000 – 8-15% ROI – Secured – Fractionalized Mortgage
- Flip for You Program – $250,000-$1,000,000 – 10-12% ROI – Secured – Mortgage & Promissory Note
- Strategic Investment Program – $1,000,000+ – 6%-8% Preferred Return & 20% Profit Split Per Project
- Address: 32900 Riverside Dr.
Lake Elsinore CA 92530
- Website: investwithjsj.com
- Phone: 619-724-4446
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/investwithjsj/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JSJSUSTAINABLEINVESTMENTS/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/InvestwithJSJ
- Yelp: https://g.page/JSJ-Sustainable-Investments-LLC?gm
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessedilillo/