How to Animate Rent 2 Own

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Jan 10

I have a coaching client who specializes in rent 2 own in British Columbia.

He asked me, “How would I apply what I’ve learned from you, Prof Bruce, to animate my rent 2 own portfolio?”

First, I suggested he ask himself what I call the “Shopify” question, which is: “How can Shopify make their clients more successful?” to which they answered a few years ago, “Shopify can best help themselves by first helping customers buy more from Shopify clients!”

That is, if you make your clients more successful, well then, you will be too. How do you do that? You help your clients find more customers, and then find ways for those customers to buy more (ie, discover how to increase average order size the way Amazon did by asking, “Would you like to know what other people who bought this item also bought? or MacDonald’s did decades earlier with the question, “Would you like fries with that?)

Essentially, you are not only spending your time thinking about your clients’s needs, you are thinking about your client’s clients’ needs too–a 2nd order kind of calculation in your business model.  

Helping stores built on Shopify’s platform find more customers means not only more volume for the stores themselves but for Shopify as well.

How does that apply to rent 2 own?


What if Bill, Rent 2 Own’s founder, taught his clients how to animate their homes so that it is not only a principal residence, but also produces passive income?

There are a million ways to do this, but simplest might be to just add an in-home suite.

You can read more about animation techniques here,

Say a rent 2 own client wants to buy a $407,500 home in Chilliwack BC with an 80% LTV mortgage at 3%. Their monthly mortgage will be about $1,560 to which they’ll have to add property taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance, utilities etc. That’s a fair chunk of change.

But what if their home had a basement apartment, which was rented out for $1,230 a month including a tech package? Well, their costs would fall to just $330 monthly (plus 

property taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance, utilities etc.) Much more affordable.

The tech package is something many tenants like since from the moment they move in, everything works, and it costs the owner/landlord practically nothing since they are likely to already have internet, wi-fi, Netflix and Spotify in the building, which they then share (and charge) the tenant for–it’s a profit center.

Lastly, it’s not only great for the rent 2 own client (by making their principal residence more affordable by providing them with some passive income from it), it’s also terrific for the rent 2 own company since, if the original client fails to complete their purchase, it gives the firm some rental income while they are trying to sell it to someone else. Again, that someone else will benefit too from the passive rental income. This highly differentiates the rent 2 own company from its rivals as well.

Here’re some simple calculations for your review:


My middle daughter Mimi just bought a home; she added a rental apartment in her basement so she now owns a lovely 3 bedroom, 2 and ½ bath semi-detached place with a 1-bedroom, 1-bath lower level apartment with its own separate, walkout entrance. She lives in her own home for about $400 a month compared to what she used to pay in rent–a $1,000. A pretty good gig. 

You can see and read more about how and why you should turn your principal residence into a passive income generator here, so it becomes an asset not a liability.

Why not apply this thinking to rent 2 own too?

@ profbruce

postscript: here’s a draft marketing letter we drafted up to go to mortgage brokers and realtors to see if my client could land more rent 2 own customers:

Hello professional mortgage broker and realtor,

If you have any clients who are having difficulty qualifying
for a mortgage or purchasing a home, we are able to help.

“There is something
permanent, and something extremely profound, in owning a home,” Kenny Guinn

We operate ACME Rent 2 Own, a program that prepares
people to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home. From credit repair coaching to
down payment accumulation to job security, we work individually and creatively
with clients to get them to home ownership. They get into the home they like
now and will own at the end of their lease-option period.

“Home is the nicest
word there is,” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Ultimately, it creates a winning scenario for everyone. The
client is happy to be on the home ownership track, you get the mortgage
business you might have otherwise missed and the realtor gets a client,
hopefully, for life, and we have a successful program. Our record of
accomplishment speaks for itself.

You can contact us at 604-NNN-MMMM or by email: BILL @ ACMERENT2OWN.COM.

Oh, and one more thing. We also advise clients on how to add
extra value to their homes, whether that is by adding an in-home suite or some
other innovative way of producing extra income. Think about it—extra passive
income can go a long way to making sure they are in a stable financial position
to not only own their own home but keep it too.

home ownership is not just putting people into homes, it’s also making sure people
keep their homes,” Michelle Collins

Yours very truly,


ACME Rent 2 Own founder

ps we are a member of CAROP, the professional association
that holds us accountable to professional and ethical operation, and to
designing win-win-win outcomes.

postscript 2: here are a couple of spreadsheets on a rent 2 own deal in small town Ontario we are working on.

In scenario 1, there is no animation, ie, no in-home apartment,

In case 2, there is,

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.