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December 28, 2021 32 mins
Jake shares his valuable insights into funeral home mergers and acquisitions - and the higher-than-normal multiples that are being offered for the right funeral homes. For more information about the Johnson Consulting Group, check out the website or contact Jake at or at 1-888-250-7747. See the complete transcript here: Rob Heppell: Welcome back to the Funeral X podcast. I am Rob Heppell, and I'm joined by my Funeral Results business partner, Jake Johnson. Hey, Jake, how are you today? Jake Johnson: Hey, Rob. Good. Rob Heppell: Hey, Jake, it's been good kind of going back. We've been telling the folks some of the background of our businesses and how we've come together to work together, but I'd like to kind of interject a topic that is quite timely right now with mergers and acquisitions. I know there are lots of things going on and who better to talk to than you about that. So maybe give just a very brief background of the experience between your dad and then yourself, and then maybe talk about today's climate. Jake Johnson: Yes, absolutely. It started with M&A experience within my family started with my father back in at Pierce Brothers when they expanded Pierce Brothers, and then on to when my dad started his own acquisition company and spun that up and then sold and retired, but he gained a lot of experience in multistate funeral business ownership and acquisition analysis and multiples and things like that. And then for me, I followed in those footsteps and started in Tampa, Florida at Keystone Group and then got some boots on the ground experience but always with the finance and accounting background and interest. So then that's what we brought to Johnson Consulting, and why we're very popular as an M&A broker company in the funeral space. Rob Heppell: Great. Now let's maybe talk about what's happening right now because there has been some activity, quite a bit of activity lately. And then maybe then go through a little bit of what would you recommend for people who are thinking about maybe putting their funeral property on the market even though it may not be immediate. What are the things to kind of get ready for to make it as successful as possible? Jake Johnson: Absolutely. And the first thing is that most feel like it's on the market if you will quote that it's all for all to see, but in this space, it's confidentiality. And privacy is very important because it can be very disruptive. And in this industry, profession has small ears or big ears and everybody hears about things. So the things to prepare for though, I'll start off with just what we're seeing. It's definitely since... Let's see. They had done it since the '80s and then me since the mid-'90s. These multiples are as high as I've seen since maybe the late '90s in funeral service. So I think what's driving that is you got high call volume. It's a transition time for small businesses with the next generation, the baby boomers looking to retirement. And then also the baby boomers, ironically, being also being part of that cycle of people passing that's possibly a good cause of what the added case volume is, along with COVID, of course. Rob Heppell: So, Jake, you're telling me that... Because I know that we've been hearing this for 10, 15 years about like the big death boom. The stories that were told to me were that some people predicted it way too early. But you're saying now that we are finally here. We're starting to see a little bit of that swell. Jake Johnson: Yes. We know it was coming, and I think we're seeing a beginning of that swell. I don't know how sustainable it is, but right now, it doesn't seem to be slowing down. And they'd probably be... I've heard people speak of two waves of it, I think. This could be the beginning of the first wave of it. I don't know, but there's no doubt businesses are up. They're busy.
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