Strong Mind. Strong Investments. Plus Music!

I believe the ultimate success we have with real estate investing has nothing to do with the #s. It’s about our psychology. ​Might sound fluffy but I imagine most successful investors will tell you that’s true.




The Dean at Texas Tech interviewed me on my Top Ten songs and what they mean to me. This might seem off topic but it ain’t. In the interview I talk about the psychology behind being successful.


Enjoy, Joe


2 Lessons from My “Three Feet from Gold” Experience

If you haven’t read Three Feet from Gold – do it. It’s a life changing book on personal development, never quitting, finding your purpose and being a servant leader.


I won’t give it away (cause I’m sure you’ll go read it) but for some context it’s about a guy named Greg who had a bad attitude and wasn’t doing well financially. Greg then meets a successful business man who introduces him to all these successful people because he wants to see Greg succeed too. Greg is blown away by all the introductions and does all he can to maximize the experience and give back to others afterwards. (ok, that’s all I should say cause I don’t want to tell too much!)

Well, yesterday I had a living, breathing experience that good ole Greg had in Three Feet From Gold.

Let me explain…

I got a message on BiggerPockets from Andrew Lanoie. He said he enjoyed reading my profile and would like to connect. I always like connecting with new people so we set up a call.

Little did I know all the wonderful things that would come out of it…

After we did our introductions on the call Andrew asked me about my background and my focus. I told him I’m working on finding my next large multifamily deal.

And then a flood of help came…

Joe says something like: I’m also doing a podcast and would love to interview you for it.

Andrew says something like: Sure, and I can help you get more people. Would you like to be introduced to…(then he goes on to list 3 seasoned investors who have incredible backgrounds in real estate and life)

Joe says something like:  wow, yes, that would be awesome. (Joe thinking: holy cow, be careful what you ask for because you just might get it!)

10 minutes after the call, I get email, after email, after email of Andrew making introductions. I feel like I’ve just opened up a gold mine of knowledge. I did not expect all of this to happen at once or so quickly. I had lots of stuff planned for the rest of the week but made it a point to follow up with each of the emails after Andrew sent them.

All three people he emailed replied immediately. It was incredible.

2 lessons learned from my Three Feet From Gold experience:

  1. Continue to give, give, give to others. (as Andrew did) Find a way to identify what others are looking for and then help them get connected with someone.
  2. Regardless of how busy you are, if someone goes out of their way to help you make sure you follow up on it. I was extremely busy but so is Andrew. I immediately followed up with the people and, one day later, have spoken to 2 out of 3 and have a call scheduled with the 3rd.

As my boy Tony Robbins says, “The secret to living is giving.” Words to live by. photo (34)


Very Best Multifamily Books for Every Level

I get asked all the time what are the best books to read on multifamily investing. The answer really depends on the reader’s knowledge level. So, here are books to read for every level…


investing for dummies

Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies by Peter Harris and Peter Conti

Granted, Peter Harris is a friend of mine but, before I knew him, this was the first book I ready on multifamily investing and it was incredibly helpful in teaching me the basic principles of multifamily investing. Doesn’t go too deep in analysis but gives you all the tools needed to have enough knowledge on the subject so you can have intelligent conversations with people.



compelte guide to buying and selling real estate

The Complete Guide to Buying and Selling Apartment Buildings by Steve Berges 

This is a fantastic book that takes you through case studies and beginner-to-medium-level advice on acquiring multifamily family properties. One of the things I learned in this book is the disadvantage of assuming loans because, typically, you’ll pay more than you would if you put new debt on the property. I recommend this book to everyone I speak to who wants a good multifamily book.



Money pit

How to Take an Apartment Building from Money Pit to Money Maker by Craig Haskell

For anyone who is or wants to purchase apartment buildings that need some work, this book is for you. The advice in this book is practical and tested. You need to read this BEFORE you actually buy the property so you don’t fall into the trap that a lot of investors fall into with a money-pit.


If you’re interested in development then read….

development book

Real Estate Development: Principals & Process

Like, whoa daddy. This is a big book. This book is so big that if you shot a bullet at it you’d feel sorry for the bullet. But it is a comprehensive book on real estate development. I really like how it lays out the step-by-step process of development and gives you case studies along the way. (notice a “I love case studies” theme)






Two Life Lessons Learned from Gladiators

I’m always searching for ways to improve my workouts and get in better shape. I just didn’t realize that search would end up teaching me two critical life lessons.

Here’s what happened…

On my last trip to Texas I asked my 50+ year old brother-in-law how he stays in shape because he looks like he’s 35 years old. He told me he runs 2 miles to an outdoor workout station and does three sets of pull-ups, pushups and dips. Then he runs 2 miles back home.

I like that workout approach and figured I’d try it for myself so when I got back to NYC I did just that.

I ran 2 miles then went to an outdoor workout station along the East River to start on my upper body exercises. When I arrived I instantly noticed something about the guys in the area. I couldn’t quite place it but then I eventually realized they could all be American Gladiators or on the cover of Men’s Fitness. They were different ages, ethnicity and heights but all were absolutely ripped. Pretty sure their ears even had a 12-pack.

That gave me a eureka moment…. Clearly I am in the right place if I want to look like these guys do. By being around them the standards for my body physique immediately increased. I’ll start with my brother-in-law’s routine then slowly add in stuff I see these Gladiators doing. Then, voila, I’ll be a Gladiator to.

So the first lesson?

Find those who are already where you want to be then copy what they do

  • The fastest way to results is to borrow a success roadmap from someone who is already where you want to be

But that’s easier said than done as I would soon find out. I consider myself an athletic guy but it became apparent very quickly that it would take some time to transform into Joe the Gladiator.


Because I suck at pull-ups. By suck I mean I did…like four before I started pretending that my hands were too sweaty to keep going. I’d wipe my hands on my shirt and just shake my head “damn you sweaty hands” meanwhile my biceps ache and the Gladiators roamed all around me.

And that’s just my first set! I had two more to go. And, at this point, I could either do more pushups (much easier for me) or force myself to get back up there and embarrass  myself by doing one or, perhaps, two pull-ups per set.

It took some Eminem to motivate me but I eventually got up there and blocked out everything else. I did a whopping 2 pull-ups on my second set and 2 more on my third set. Then, I got the hell out of there.

Second lesson?

Force yourself to do the uncomfortable (even if it’s initially embarrassing)

  • Trains your body and mind to get used to that activity so you can get better

I know I’ll never get better with pull-ups if I don’t force myself though the beginner challenges. It sucks, really sucks, feeling so inadequate when those around me are accomplishing much more but I know that if I keep their company and push myself past my comfort level I will soon become Joe the Gladiator.




How to Deal with Life’s Problems

Today my dad had quadruple bypass surgery.

All indications are that things went well and he’s recovering according to schedule. I believe that there’s a lesson to be learned in any situation – especially difficult ones like when your dad has major, open-heart surgery.

In fact, I believe the only way to live life is to reshape the bad stuff into something that empowers us.

The alternative is scary and dark and toxic. That is “well, shit, this happened to me. Why does it always happen to me? I can’t believe it. I hate it. Here’s the problem in detail…” That’s an endless cycle of gross toxicity. Don’t go there.

When I come across bad stuff whether it’s business or personal, I try to identify a lesson. And, how I can apply that lesson to help myself and others.

Sometimes it’s not easy. But it’s necessary.

So, what’s the lesson I’m taking away from it?

It’s a reminder that life is precious.

I’m going to die.

You’re going to die.

Not to be morbid but that’s just a fact. It’s a fate we both share.

Sometimes I get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and forget to appreciate what I have in my life. Sometimes I forget to enjoy the journey because I’m so focused on the destination.

Have you been guilty of that too?

This is a reminder to enjoy the journey.

It’s a reminder to smile more on the journey. To laugh more. To be emotionally present more. To communicate more. To give more and to love more.

And for me personally it’s also a reminder to continue to live MY life. Not someone else’s life. I refuse, absolutely refuse, to live a life dictated by what happens to me. I will continue to design my life – not have circumstance design me.


Want advice? Choose wisely.

There’s so much real estate investing advice out there. We aren’t lacking information. We’re lacking the proper way to easily cultivate the best information.

Here’s an example of a good expert giving bad advice. And the scary thing is how many shares the article had (over 200+ on FB). That’s a whole lot of people sending around info that just ain’t right.

And, I’m never one to focus on the problem. I focus on the solution. So in this video I talk about your challenge and a solution.

Join the convo below.  What’s some well-intended advice you received that wasn’t good?


When do you know you’re ready?

In sports, coach tells us when we’re ready to enter into the game. In our professional life, our boss tells us when it’s time for us to be promoted and take it to the next level.

But, in real estate, only we can tell ourselves when it’s time to take action.

So, when do what know we’re ready to start?

I’ve identified four things that, if you have them, then you’re ready to get going.

Ready? Here we go.

1. Baseline knowledge

Having baseline knowledge of the real estate fundamentals is essential. You can get started by reading books, listening to podcasts and attending seminars. Speaking to people in the industry and collecting as many insights as possible.

I personally started by reading the book Investing for Dummies and followed that with Rich Dad, Poor Dad – by then, I was hooked on real estate investing being the #1 way to invest a dollar.

2. Support system

This part has two aspects. First, you’ll need a mentor, mastermind group or someone on your side who has been there and done that. There’s zero reason to do it along without the support of someone with experience. So many mistakes will be avoided and you’ll go light years faster than if you didn’t have someone.

There are real estate haters out there and they will tell you you’re crazy for buying property. They’ll say it won’t cash flow, it’s too much of a headache and it’s not worth all the effort. And they are right if you buy it the wrong way. But you won’t do that. You’re going to buy the right way because you have people helping you who have done it the right way.

Second, you’ll want support from those closest to you. You’ll need to get their approval on investing in real estate because it takes time and energy away from your other commitments you might have with them.

3. Inspired or disgusted

I tell people congrats when they have a problem that’s frustrating them. I don’t say that because I enjoy being punched in the face, I say it because I truly mean it. We are at our best when we’re searching for answers and striving for more than what we currently have.

The scariest and most depressing place to be in life is complacent. Or, “just ok”. Because being “just ok” doesn’t take us to action. We just float on by.

When you’re inspired for more or disgusted by your current situation, then you’ll be ready.

4. Knowing your WHY

Why are you going it and how is it going to benefit others? We have an amazing capacity to do more for others than we will ourselves. Once you list out reasons why you want to invest in real estate and how it benefits others then you’ll be ready.

Without those reasons it will be tough to stay the course when the inevitable challenges come up. And there will be many. But, if you know why you’re doing it and how it will benefit others (i.e. the ripple effect) then you’ll have the proper psychological mentality to push through that stuff and overcome with great results.

If you’ve purchased a property, what other things would you say are needed in order to do your first deal?

If you haven’t purchased a property, what’s holding you back?