Isabelle Guarino-Smith is the chief operating officer of the largest residential assisted living training organization in the country, Residential Assisted Living Academy.

In her role, she teaches thousands of real estate investors, medical professionals, and entrepreneurs how to build successful and sustainable businesses in the assisted living industry.

Using the RALAcadamy’s methods, investors turn single-family homes into assisted living homes for the elderly, creating significant cash flow and offering the preferred environment for seniors to thrive in their golden years.

Family Need Leads to New Venture

Gene Guarino, Guarino-Smith’s father, was on a quest to provide quality assisted living for his mother. After conducting an exhaustive search, the family realized there was a widespread lack of quality assisted living facilities locally and across the nation.

Looking at population projections, it was also evident the senior housing industry was about to face a major surge. With those in the massive baby boomer demographic nearing their elder years, there would be even more demand for assisted living facilities. This influx of seniors presented a potential crisis—and a huge opportunity.

The Guarino family set to work to create a new paradigm and business model. They conducted years of research, endured trial and error, and partnered with industry experts. Throughout the process, they designed systems and procedures and catalogued countless business and real estate tips from their experiences, all culminating in what would become their RAL business model.

Putting the Model to Work

Following this replicable model for building successful, quality residential assisted living businesses, the Guarinos built three successful residential assisted living homes in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

But, they knew the problem wasn’t isolated to Phoenix and that it wasn’t enough to build a handful of RAL homes in their community. So, they set out to teach entrepreneurs from all walks of life how to replicate their success in other communities. As they branched out across the country, the RALAcademy mission of “Do Good and Do Well” was born.

It has been more than a decade since its inception, and the RAL organization is thriving under Guarino-Smith’s leadership. There have been many bumps along the way, including the unfortunate passing of her father, a true pioneer in the field of residential assisted living. She draws inspiration from the life lessons that he taught, his passion for serving the elderly, and the desire to help improve the quality of senior housing for the millions who depend on it.

Entrepreneurial Drive

What sets Guarino-Smith apart as an entrepreneur is her drive, leadership style, and passion for the industry. She is a leader who genuinely cares and seeks opportunities daily to make those around her better.

Guarino-Smith is motivated by a passion to serve those in need. Whether seniors, the housing insecure, or entrepreneurs looking for a better life for their families, she seeks to recognize and understand the needs and goals of those around her—and then looks for the best ways to assist them.

For Isabelle, her work is not a job. It is a chance to make a real difference in the lives of others and build a lasting legacy that would make any father proud.

In her latest book “Living Legacy,” available Jan. 10, she eloquently describes the journey that brought her family into the senior living business, how they were personally affected by it, the passion it forged, and the incredible solutions they came up with to address the inadequacies in the senior housing industry. “It’s all about honoring my father and carrying on his legacy,” she writes.

A sought-after coach and instructor, Guarino-Smith desires to put her experience and ideas to work with as many people as possible. She speaks at seminars and conventions across the country and has been featured in numerous magazines and articles nationally. She was named both Future Leader in the senior housing industry and Top Senior Housing Influencer under 30.

Before turning her focus to the senior living industry, Guarino-Smith honed her skills at Disney and American Airlines. She has extensive experience building brands and launching companies that have achieved national recognition, including the creation and success of RAL National Convention, RAL National Association, Recovery Housing Academy, Pitch Masters Academy, and many companies from the Impact Housing Group.

Guarino-Smith might be best known for her impact in the residential assisted living industry, but she’s really in the business of changing lives—the lives of the investors who pour their hearts and resources into senior housing and the lives of the seniors and their families who benefit from the comfort and safety the RAL model provides.

You can find more about Guarino‑Smith and her organization at

Kurt Coleman is the lead copywriter for RALAcademy, a company that corners the market in the residential assisted living niche. A graduate of Arizona State University with years of experience as a team leader, systems developer, and writer, Coleman loves writing and sharing with investors how to translate their skills, know-how, and expertise in the real estate industry to the senior housing market. 

  • Kurt Coleman

    Kurt brings a wealth of skills and experience to the RALAcademy team. A graduate of Arizona State University with years of experience as a team leader, systems developer, and writer. He is the lead copywriter for this incredible company that corners the market in the Residential Assisted Living niche. He loves writing and sharing with investors how to use their skills, know-how and expertise in the real estate industry to translate into this new exciting market.

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