RG 101 – Creating Financial Freedom Investing in U.S. Vacation Rentals with Len Giancola

About Len

  • Len started his career on Wall Street
  • He retired at 33
  • He runs the Florida based vacation property management comaony Link Masters

Nuts and bolts

Len has over 25 years experience in executive management and small business ownership. He was formerly a managing director of a global securities finance company and is now the owner and president of over 20 corporations. In a decade he has overseen over $100 million in sales and build a successful custom home building company, a vacation rental portfolio and diversified investment portfolio. He also runs an online education programme video series with his teenage daughters called “Family Financial Freedom”. Len earned his first dollar as a stock boy in his local pharmacy.

Len grew up on Staton Island and his father helped him with his first job out of college on Wall Street. He worked in securities lending facilitating short sells for hedge funds. He rose through the ranks over 12 years and became the youngest managing director for the company. After a while he realized that he was earning a lot for the company when he could be earning it for himself and he didn’t want to be working for someone else until 65 years old. He made the decision to retire at 33 and move the family to Florida where he took 3 years off work and planned the next chapter of his life as an entrepreneur. He created a company that at the time was the only company in Florida doing retail real estate, home building, vacation rentals and property management. He built about 75 properties on the Florida coastline.

In the vacation rental space Len is currently building 5 properties and managing 80 all in northeast Florida. He also helps people to create their own vacation rental companies. He recommends that if you’re setting up a vacation rental company find a niche that works 12 months of the year and don’t forget to think about weather – this will protect you against downturns. Although his properties work 12 months of the year there are still busy and quiet times depending on holidays. He manages all types of properties from $300,000 condos to $5million mansions on the beach. He looks to cashflow in all market conditions and judges it against the 2010 rates. He also argues that Florida is relatively protected against economic downturns due to the tourism pull of Disney. Even between 2008-2010 his vacancy rates never changed

When Len builds a home he always builds 5 bedrooms and ensuites with a private pool and shared living spaces – like a mini resort. He aims to build on the ocean front as these can be rented for significantly more. The average cost of construction of a 3400 square foot property is half a million dollars. He will then rent out the property for between 30-35 weeks of the year. His advice for other people trying the vacancy market is just give it a go; swing the bat and try and take action.

Top tips

  • Most important habit – Focusing on the present rather then worrying about tomorrow
  • Most influential person – Bobby Cologne, his first boss on Wall Street
  • Most important tool – The three people in his business that keep it running; his partner, his wife and himself
  • Most important failure – Build a home in 2009 and couldn’t sell it and was about to be foreclosed upon. He used the property as a model home for parties and vacation rentals and made more then if he’d sold it outright.
  • Contact – linkmasters2015@gmailcomVideos – successbeach.com

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