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Home » Resources » Articles And Reports » The Gold Club Weekly Report » “Never, Ever, Ever Give Up!” – John Gerstenlauer and Scot Poirier

“Never, Ever, Ever Give Up!” – John Gerstenlauer and Scot Poirier

We are John Gerstenlauer and Scot Poirier and we’ve been on Planet Ron since 2015.

Prior to that, John was a Sr. Vice President of International Operations for the tenth largest construction company in the United States. John is a licensed Professional Engineer (Civil) with an MBA in Finance. He has over 40 years’ experience in the construction business, handling project management, cost controls, claims, contracts, accounting, finance, and corporate management. Most recently, John oversaw billions of dollars of new military construction work in Afghanistan, Iraq, the UK, Guam, and the US. Yes, John is the very definition of a Thinker Brain…..and proud of it!

John in a US Marine Humvee in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Scot’s background has been in ministry for more than 30 years. He has served as a Youth and Family Minister in his earlier career and served as a pastor for two churches. His work has led him overseas to Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. At heart, he is an educator and a lover of people. He has served in prison ministry, inner-city ministry, and helping to feed the poor and marginalized through his gift of leadership and his ability to grow organic food in a large-scale volunteer garden.    

Scot doing mission work in Choluteca, Honduras

John and Scot met about 20 years ago in a church in Massachusetts. One day John asked Scot if he would be interested in using his IRA to invest in real estate. John had learned about using self-directed IRAs for investing in real estate. Scot was enthusiastically interested, so they pooled together IRAs (including their wives’ IRAs) to buy two multi-family properties in New Hampshire.

Shortly after, they purchased another multi-family property using their own (non-IRA) funds. Scot and John still own these properties today. These properties are cash-flowing nicely and the traditional bank debt is shrinking with the passage of time.

Having been bitten by the real estate bug, we hungered for more ways to make money in real estate. As fate would have it (or not) we met Derick Van Ness through networking with other entrepreneurs.  Derick asked if we ever heard of Ron LeGrand and highly recommended we join Ron’s Gold Club and attend one of Ron’s events.

We immediately joined the Gold Club and within 6 months attended our first Quick Start Real Estate School in San Antonio, Texas. At the same time, we were doing our first Ugly House renovation project in a joint venture arrangement with an experienced local contractor.

What a ride that was…….so far!

At the Quick Start school, our lives changed!  Ron filled our heads with all kinds of new, creative ways to make an honest living in real estate. We had no idea that the “honest living” would one day turn into an “honest fortune”! We were so excited at Quick Start, we signed up for Ron’s Master’s Program and were fortunate to have Brian and Lynette Wolff and Todd Foster as our mentors. We worked our butts off while holding full-time jobs, and we learned and learned, but… to use Ron’s words – WE SUCKED! Yes, it’s true. There was a time when we really SUCKED!

But we were not about to give up!

Yes, we REALLY sucked, but we were stubborn and determined to make this Terms thing succeed. So, we kept at it, sending yellow letters, calling FSBOs, putting out bandit signs – and finally, our determination paid off. We got some pretty house deals, plus a few work-for-equity properties and the cash started flowing back in, not out like previously. Slowly, at first, but it inevitably grew, and we knew we were on our way from eating rice and beans to steak and lobstah (as we say in New England!)!

There was one property that we visited in Massachusetts where the owner was willing to sell for what he owed. When we got there, Scot was like a kid in a candy shop – so excited to be the next owner of this fleabag! That’s right, it was a fleabag, literally! The house was full of fleas, was a mess, and needed a lot more than “work-for-equity”. This was a “work-for-your-life” deal, but Scot was excited about it. John said, “no way, we’ll never be able to get someone to buy this piece of crap from us”. But, seeing that there was no risk to us (thanks to Ron!), we signed a Purchase and Sales Agreement with a delayed closing and started marketing the property. Not too long thereafter, a married couple contacted us and wanted the house. The husband was a pretty handy guy and was able to take care of what John saw as “major issues.”

So, here is the structure of that deal:

Massachusetts – Subject To

Comps = $210,000

Purchase price = $141,250

PITI = $1135

Tenant buyer:

Option price = $219,900

Rent = $2000

Non-refundable down payment = $15,000

Front end profit = $15,000

Monthly cashflow = $2000 (rent) – $1135 (PITI) = $865

Back end profit = $219,900 – $15,000 (NROD) = $204,900 -$141,250 (mortgage balance) = $63,650

Total profit:

 $15,000 + 63,650 = $78,650 + 865 monthly cash flow + paydown of mortgage

                                                Scot smiles and John is humbled!

And we got creative with our Transaction Engineering!

On another Ugly House deal, Scot negotiated with the owner to sell us his house for a little more than he owed, keeping the underlying mortgages in his name while we renovated it, increasing its value by a substantial amount. Here is the structure of that deal:

New Hampshire – Ugly House

ARV = $575,000

Purchase price = $220,000

PITI = $2,500


Transaction Cost = $42,000

Holding Cost = $35,000

Renovation Cost = $150,000

Total profit:

 $575,000 – $220,000 – $42,000 – $35,000 – $150,000 = $128,000

We think we can, we think we can, we think we can…


As we got better and better at calling sellers and buyers, we joined the ranks of Ron’s Masterminds and benefitted tremendously from that close relationship with Ron and other like-minded business people. Those great relationships continue today.

Keep learning, or FAIL!

Ron recognized our dramatically improved capabilities, determination, and indomitable spirit, and invited us to become Mentors in his Mentoring Program.

We started off with only a few students to get our mojo going, guiding others through Ron’s systems. Yes, even Mentors continue to learn.

At first, Scot handled all student calls and John answered the contract and other technical questions (always the Thinker Brain!). Now, both Scot and John are doing student calls helping more of Ron’s students get their businesses up and running and growing their wealth.

We love to share our experience and challenge our mentor students to, Never, Ever, Ever Give Up, so they too will enjoy the successes available to them on Planet Ron.

John Gerstenlauer and Scot Poirier

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7 Responses to “Never, Ever, Ever Give Up!” – John Gerstenlauer and Scot Poirier

  1. Tony Pearl says:

    Hey Scot & John,

    Thanks for sharing your story, fellas. You’re assets to the team & I’m glad to know you. Looking forward to having some lobstah with you soon!

    Your fellow mentor,
    Tony Pearl

  2. Joseph Dellefave says:

    Super inspiring! Thank you for sharing. Keep going!

  3. Fernando Diaz says:

    Thanks for sharing the numbers. It was a good find

  4. Art Hoskins says:

    Thanks John and Scot for sharing your story. I’m glad to have you two as my mentors.

  5. Joe Chou Chou says:

    This is very inspiring. I’ve started making calls to FSBOs and feel that I suck. Your story has put me at ease knowing that I will get better as I put in more effort and practice. Look forward to see you and everyone at the top.

  6. Starla Mitchell says:

    These are the kind of stories making sense to me nowadays. Knowing my perseverance will pay off soon and I can send in my testimonial and maybe inspire others as well. I am so glad yall kept going.

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