How Steve Szumigale Raised $225,000 in Private Money in 83 days | Raising Private Money

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“You’re not gonna get rich from doing one real estate deal, but enough of them will give you financial freedom. And that comes from core values and building good relationships with other people” – Steve Szumigale

A lot of people struggle to raise private money, but what if you were able to buy real estate with none of your own money and always bring home multiple checks on every transaction you do?

That’s exactly what my guest did on a regular basis since 2016!

Today I’ll be talking with my good friends Steve Szumigale, also known as Real Estate Steve.

Steve is going to share where he finds his private lenders and how you can too. Find out Steve’s private money strategy that completely transformed his real estate business!

“People Watch YOU As You Tell Your Stories, The Good Word Spreads. And You Attract The Private Money To You.” – Steve Szumigale


0:01 – Raising Private Money

1:03 – Today’s Guest: Steve Szumigale

1:52 – The No-Money Down Real Estate

5:48 – You Can Duplicate What Successful RE Investors Do

10:05 – You Don’t Need A lot Of Private Lenders

11:58 – When You Finally Realized That Private Money Is All You Need In Your Business

12:57 – Jay’s Free Private Money Guide:

13:51 – Where Do You Find Private Lenders?

17:47 – Private Money Lender vs. Hard Money Lender

18:51 – Why Use Private Money On Your RE Business?

20:50 – How To Protect Your Private Money Lenders?

22:15 – Best Way To Start Raising And Using Private Money Connect with Steve Szumigale:


Private Money Academy Conference:

Free Report:

Join the Private Money Academy:

Have you read Jay’s new book: Where to Get The Money Now?

It is available FREE (all you pay is the shipping and handling) at 

What is Private Money? Real Estate Investing with Jay Conner

Jay Conner is a proven real estate investment leader. He maximizes creative methods to buy and sell properties with profits averaging $67,000 per deal without using his own money or credit.

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How Steve Szumigale Raised $225,000 in Private Money in 83 days | Raising Private Money

Jay Conner


A lot of people struggle to raise private money, but what if you were able to buy real estate with none of your own money and always bring home multiple checks on every transaction you do? Well, that’s exactly what my guest does on a regular basis since 2016 and he’s raised millions in private money. Today I’ll be talking with my good friends Steve Szumigale, also known as Real Estate Steve. Now Steve is going to share where he finds these lenders and how you can too. Steve’s private money strategy has completely transformed his real estate business. So if you want funding for your deals without ever needing any of your own money to do your deals, don’t miss a second of this episode. So Steve, how much private money have you raised anyway?

Steve Szumigale


Well, Jay, about 2 million and we have access to more

Jay Conner


$2 million. So when I ask you how much private money have you raised, what kind of money are we talking about? Who are you borrowing this money from?

Steve Szumigale


Anybody that would like to earn a higher rate of return safely and securely. And so what I did was I made a top 50 list and just let everybody know how successful Freedom Sky’s business has become. And then explained to them that we could offer them rates that are 1000% more than the common rates that they get on such smaller investments like bank CDs. I mean understand that if you give some, if bank CDs are paying you a point and you give ’em two points, that is 100% more. So if we’re offering between eight and 10%, that is 1000% more than they would get on a normal regular investment vehicle.

Jay Conner


So are you saying you are borrowing money for your real estate deals from individuals or is any of these institutional money banks or hard money?

Steve Szumigale


So most of the money that we borrow is from individuals. Now we also have a full gamut. We do have about six to eight banks that we work with here locally. However, to get things started with no money down real estate, you can’t bring certain assets to financial lenders. You have to stabilize them first to make them desirable. So the only way to do that is to borrow from individuals such as private lenders, like you said it best Jay, Aunt Granny leaving the church in the Cadillac kind of money.

Jay Conner


So Steve, you just said something interesting. You said that you used private money to invest in real estate deals with no money down. So you’re bringing no money to the closing table out of your own pocket.

Steve Szumigale


That is true. And because of you, we actually follow the Cardinal rule always borrow more than you need.

Jay Conner


So you’re not bringing any of your own money to the closing table when you buy and you borrow more than you need. Does that mean that you are getting a check when you buy and bring none of your own money?

Steve Szumigale


That is correct. We are getting a check.

Jay Conner


So how in the world do you do that? I mean, who in the world would loan you money and why would they loan you money without you having any what you know, traditional banks call skin in the game?

Steve Szumigale


Sure. So I think with most listeners that either has raised a little bit or haven’t raised that much yet, I think it’s more of a mindset control that they have to get through. So it’s not that I want somebody to give me money and provide a greater return, that doesn’t even sound fun. Like what we’re offering is an unprecedented, massive value that is a high-rated return back by hard assets attached to the earth. So I mean, we don’t have to worry about what the stock market’s doing up and down, you know, we can give them a fixed rate of return, which will always exceed a variable rate of return long term. So with these people that are lending, you know, you have to think to yourself like most people work their whole lives. They get into their forties, fifties, and sixties and they have that nest egg built up and all it would take is like one down you where they are drawing on this capital for retirement, and they get hit with the down years and not only did it go down, but they’re still drawing on it. It’s, it makes it impossible to recover. So preservation of capital is the very first and most important thing to somebody that is built a nest egg and a fixed rate of return will always exceed that at a variable rate of return, especially if the preservation of capital is first and foremost like the first position mortgages on a piece of real estate.

Jay Conner


So when you started investing, what year did you start investing in real estate?

Steve Szumigale



Jay Conner


So when you started investing in real estate, did you start out by using private money? Did you use other strategies first? What did your real estate investing business look like prior to using private money to fund your deals?

Steve Szumigale


Well, Jay, I didn’t know you in 2016. Yeah, so you know, people always ask me that. It’s like cuz they, they get going with this and they look at somebody like a, like a j Connor or somebody that’s built up a massive portfolio and they go, Can I really do that? And then, the answer is yes. But then they look at somebody that is like a middle to the upper tier that’s built like our business or freedom sky’s business and they’re like, well if Steve can do it, I can do it. And that’s the whole point of this podcast is to make you see and believe that you can, you can duplicate it. So back in 2016, we actually, the, it still is one of my favorite properties to this day. It’s a three-unit, I don’t know, I think we paid maybe 1 75 for it and we put 20% down.

Steve Szumigale


I mean, we’re 25% down. That’s the only thing I really knew, you know, And now the property’s worth, I don’t know 220,000 something and we only owe a hundred thousand and then we’ve made 10 grand every single year on it too. But that’s like a slow way to build wealth. It truly is. It took five years, you know, and we had to personally guarantee it. And I can, my, my money was used, I only could buy one property with that, with that money. So for people watching, the best thing for you to do wouldn’t have been to put money down on a piece of real estate and go personally guaranteed debt. It would’ve been to take that money and pair up with somebody that has, you know, probably a deck, a million dollar portfolio or more that has borrowed a lot of private money, has not personally guaranteed a lot of debt, and scaled to become a multimillionaire and clinging to them and learn, cling to the mentor and more learn that little bit of money that you would’ve given to learn will grow 10 x 20, x 30 x you know, instead of putting money down, if that makes sense.

Jay Conner


So that very first real estate deal that you did, you used the local bank, you used traditional funding, Right?

Steve Szumigale



Jay Conner


And did you do any other type of deal? So you started in 2016, how long did you invest in real estate prior to starting to use private money?

Steve Szumigale


My first private money loan was at the end of 2017, I wanna say.

Jay Conner


Okay. So you’d been doing it for at least a year. So in that first, in that first year of investing in real estate, how did you fund your deals? I’m sure you did some other deals. I mean, did you do like, didn’t

Steve Szumigale


I didn’t know any better, you know what I mean? It was kinda like I wanted to buy more, but I didn’t know how and then everybody was like, you don’t need money to buy real estate. And I’m like blown away like when somebody told me that, you know, so just took, watching somebody like you and linking up with multiple gurus to teach me that there is no other way to buy real estate besides no money down in private money and creative financing. I mean, that’s what we do.

Jay Conner


Yeah. So did you do any creative financing or did you buy any houses say, on terms with, you know, seller financing or subject to the existing note prior to starting to use private money? Or was private money really your first launching pad?

Steve Szumigale


Actually, we had a couple of smaller, no-money-down seller finance deals when the 2018 market was really like a buyer’s market. Some stuff wasn’t selling. And so you’re able to approach those, you know, few sellers on terms and I, you know, we, we did it. I could have done better now knowing what I know. But then after that, here’s this, this will make you laugh. So like I got, you know, Jake Connor, private money authorities, you know, information kit, one of my favorite ones, I still have it on my, on my shelf right now. When I went through it, I was super excited. Jay went down to the studio and quoted my CD right to make me look official. And we were just getting started that then I think I was a poor millionaire or something like that, not nowhere near what we are now.

Steve Szumigale


And I knew I wanted to raise private money, but then I knew I had to just get somebody to go on an appointment with me. Like, so I went to this individual’s house and he’s now like a dear friend of ours. And I ran the doorbell, showed up right on time about one minute early, you know, firm handshake let me sat down this kitchen table and I slid him across the private money CD and I read him the script and I handed him my current portfolio at that time, which was probably only a few million dollars. And he looks down at the portfolio, looks down at the cd, looks at the pamphlet Jay made, and he goes, This is all really nice, but at the end of the day, this is just a fancy way for you to ask me for money. And I looked up at him and I go, well, did it work? And he goes, Yeah, it worked.

Jay Conner


So how much, how much did that, how much, how much did that private lender end up loaning to you we’re doing over

Steve Szumigale


The years? Now he’s mil probably over a million aggregate. I mean he’s one of our go-tos. You only need a couple of of these people that you want to help you, you know what I mean? You don’t need a whole lot of them unless you’re gonna be scaling 10, or 12 deals a month. You know, you just need, we have six, that’s it. And from that six, they’ve kept us busy and busy over the years, you know.

Jay Conner


So Steve, how did you feel when you were finally able to like breakthrough finally realize that, you know, private money was the thing that you were missing in your business and you know, start making, you know, more money per deal? How’d that make you feel?

Steve Szumigale


It was awesome. Like you, you can buy any piece of real estate. You know, you’re, you know, I always tell people if I didn’t have a limited lifespan as we all do, and I could live for Infinity, it might take me 10,000 years, but I could own the whole world. You think you think that it’s true because like you if you know creative financing and you know private money, it’s an unlimited amount of real estate that you can buy and it’s not the property you’re buying, you’re buying the challenge around it. So, you know, disease, death, displacement, separation from a spouse, and then the ultra-rich that don’t want to be inconvenienced with a move, we’ll always be forever rotating amongst the properties, if that makes sense.

Jay Conner


Sure. Well, Steve, I tell you I am so excited about this brand new private money guide that I just recently finished writing. And it’s called Seven Reasons Why Private Money will Skyrocket your Real Estate Business and Help you build Incredible Wealth. And this guide I’ve just written will put someone on the fast track to getting private money and never missing out on a deal because they didn’t have the funding for it. And so you can go to right now That’s You can download it for free and it will put you on the fast track to private money. So Steve, when you started raising private money, where do you find these people? So you know, you’re not borrowing money from institutions or banks, you know, these individuals are not hard money lenders. Where in the world do you find them?

Steve Szumigale


So if you know the people that have, you know, a million or multimillion-dollar net worth, right? Everybody knows who they are, who had a good career, and who has like IRA Capital that’s, you know, literally just sitting there. And so if you, once you get good at real estate investing and once the other people start turning an eye, they’re like, and you get, you know, this, your portfolio’s built up, people start just to really watch this. And then you just tell stories to people like how you made this person a whole bunch of money and how it was a fixed rate of return. How it’s, you know, backed by a hard asset attached to the earth and only 75% leveraged all in, you know, and then the good word spreads. The good word spreads. And then people honestly just start to call you. I mean they, they really do. Once you burn through that top 50 list.

Jay Conner


So you know, there are different strategies for raising private money. I mean you can be at a, you know, a networking event talking about private money. You can be at, a social gathering. You can actually have an intentional private lender luncheon where you invite potential private lenders to a luncheon and you teach ’em what private money is. Of all the strategies that you’ve used to attract private money, what is your favorite strategy for locating it and doing business with these private lenders?

Steve Szumigale


Right now in our business, it’s a relationship, I take ’em out to lunch, we’ll take ’em out to a, you know, waterfront, nice, nice lunch and we actually get to know ’em. Like they’ll come over, they’re swimming in my pool, we’ll go to dinners. You know, we go to events like that, and they become my friend. You know, a lot of ’em do.

Jay Conner


So these people are, most of the people you already had a relationship with.

Steve Szumigale


So here’s what I’ll get total give ready. So some of ’em we’ve had a relationship with, but I’ll let you know a little secret. The secret is on these seller finance deals that involve the ultrarich, The ultrarich is like greater net worth than, why don’t we say $2 million? Right? And that’s just a very conservative amount. So once they go to sell real estate, they don’t want to be inconvenienced whatsoever. They’re just gonna go buy their next piece, they’re gonna move, they’re not, probably not gonna list it. They are very susceptible to seller financing and oftentimes a lot of ’em have life insurance policies that have bought the other assets with, with a loan against them. And so in order to accomplish the move stress-free to them, they will extend seller financing in a first position matching the same rate as what the life insurance policy would’ve given.

Steve Szumigale


Now the secret is when we lease option those to a tenant-buyer and a couple of years later, those ones usually get cashed out. Right now that person doesn’t need the money. It’s true. And we go back to ’em and I go, Hey, you’re getting cash out early. Like it wasn’t our intention, this is just the way it works sometimes however, I have a solution for you. What if I could pay you a high rate of return that is much higher than the life insurance policy? Would something like that interest you? And then of course you know what they’re gonna say next. And then you go into it with them. What if we transferred, you know, and borrowed on a first position on this property over here and we were able to pay 8%, you know, and we’ve converted I can say like, you know, at one time like two, three, $400,000 just transferring like that.

Jay Conner


Interesting Steve, interesting. So just to make sure we’re perfectly clear, what’s the difference between private money? Like you’re talking about borrowing and say hard money. What’s a hard money lender versus a private money lender?

Steve Szumigale


So a hard money lender is in the lending business, right? So they’re gonna want anywhere between 12 and probably 18% on the money. They’re gonna ask for a personal guarantee. They may require an appraisal on the property. So those ones, you can’t really, it’s just they’re in the money business, you know, some of ’em play with 5,000,007 and a half million and they racket at 15%. Now they’re always, they’re in any city they mean they’re, they’re good for a loan. However, it’s a big spread of the deal that you’re gonna give up working with them, you know? And so we only use those types of lenders if we’ve exhausted all the money that’s out there with the private lenders first if that makes sense.

Jay Conner


Well, what’s your favorite reason or favorite reason to use private money? Say instead of hard money or any other type of funding?

Steve Szumigale


The closing is smoother. So once you have an attorney that you know and trust and that wants to work with you on the creative financing deals, one they wanna work with you cuz you’re gonna be a frequent flyer to them and also that you know your stuff and you’re not gonna mess things up and create more work for them. They like the private lenders better and so do we because the paperwork’s just so much easier and it’s easier to be streamlined and it doesn’t come with like a huge stack of paperwork involving another attorney. You know, the list goes on and on. So the simp simplification of closing is the preferred way with the relationship built by private lenders.

Jay Conner


So when you say the closing goes so much smoother, what do you mean by that? How is a private money loan smoother than say traditional funding institutions’ hard money, et cetera?

Steve Szumigale


Oh, because there’s just so much more paperwork with, with the other way and they won’t even wire the funds in until they get all the paperwork back and then check it over, and then if there are any changes they’re gonna send it back and it’s just so much more work for everybody. I mean half the time that we do private money loans, the money’s already there. We just have to button up the paperwork, you know, for the next couple of days. So

Jay Conner


So you’re saying, are you saying that you’re able to close your private money loans quicker than using traditional money and funds?

Steve Szumigale


Yeah, a lot more efficiently, and faster. And when by the time it gets to the closing it’s just kind of small talk. There are no nuts and bolts and unfinished like things that have to happen to, get the money to be able to be loaned.

Jay Conner


Right now how are you protecting your private money lenders? Are you borrowing unsecured money?

Steve Szumigale


Sometimes, Actually most of the time they’re in the first position. I’d say 90% of the time they’re in a first-position mortgage. Now some of them, if they are concerned about, you know, having to go through the foreclosure process to alleviate that, we have offered a deed in lieu of foreclosure for nonpayment, which makes them not have to foreclose. Now, you know, you are in business to help people, you know, if you’re gonna make not do things the right way and not operate by a certain, you know, core values, you know, people shouldn’t have to chase you if something’s gonna go haywire, right? And also you should reach into your own pockets and some, you know, some way to make, restore them to the whole. Like they’re not gonna lose money, I’m not gonna allow it. Do you know what I mean? And that’s the mentality that you have to go into that cuz it’s not just one, one deal, we’re in this for the rest of my life, right? We’re in this for the next X you know, one deal is nothing, it’s one deal. You’re not gonna get rich off one deal, but enough of them are gonna set you free and that’s what you want is that legacy of freedom to do whatever it is that you want to do all day long. And that comes from good relationships and core values.

Jay Conner


Well, Steve, I’ve got one question left for you before we call this show a rap. And that is, when someone is a real estate investor, they’ve never raised private money before, but they want to raise private money. What is the best way, from your experience, what advice would you give to someone wanting to raise private money that’s never raised private money before and the best way to get started? What advice would you give ’em?

Steve Szumigale


The advice that I would give you is to invest in yourself. First. Show the lender that you’ve taken education very seriously and have paired up with people that have walked the walk and talked the talk. And only then will you take your unequivocal excellence and your core values to them, and also at that point, you should have a deal, right? So at the end of the day, this is about attracting motivated sellers and finding an awesome deal. So if you have, you know those three things right? And you bring it into a lender and you take a swing at it, it’s like the stars of a align. Cause not only do you have the vehicle for ’em, but you’ve proven that you’ve invested in yourself. That means that they’re completely comfortable with knowing that they’re gonna get paid back. And once they’re completely comfortable with getting paid back, which is the very first important thing, and then the high rate of return back by the hard assets safely and securely, they will lend to you.

Jay Conner


Awesome. Steve, thank you so much for joining me here on Raising Private Money. I really appreciate you, my friend

Steve Szumigale


Jay, you are a true friend, changed my life for sure. It took Freedom Sky’s business to another level and we are forever grateful.

Jay Conner


That’s awesome. Steve, thank you again for joining me, and thank you, my listener, for being right here on the show with me today. I really appreciate you showing up and I also appreciate it if you found this show to be of value, be sure to like, share, subscribe, and even more importantly, give me a five-star review. I really appreciate that. Five stars in review as to how this show impacted your life. And one more thing, Be sure and share this show with someone that you think would enjoy it as well and get value from it. I’m Jay Connor, The Private Money Authority wishing you all the best here’s to take in your business to the next level and we’ll see you right here on the next episode of Raising Private Money.