Goals and Success Habits for Your Real Estate Strategy

Having set goals is a great way to give yourself a clear benchmark for success. For example, if you know how much money you want to make next year from real estate investing, that gives you a realistic target you can work towards every single day. Goals are a way for you to track your overall progress, and they can also push you to work harder and force you to augment your knowledge of the market. This is especially true when it comes to developing successful real estate strategies.

Tips for Investors and More

As I started out in this industry, I quickly realized there were certain skills and abilities I had to hone in order to be successful. Knowing how to build a team, when to take action, present myself as an authentic and real person, and look back at my failures helped me grow immensely. These are all skills that can be developed over time. Once you know the key characteristics of real estate investing, entrepreneurship, or fame (whatever it is you’re seeking), you will then be able to create good long-term habits.

If you’re looking for real estate investment tips, look no further. With me, you will be able to develop the skills and techniques necessary for becoming a successful investor. If you want to learn more about how to set attainable goals, or you want help creating your own real estate strategies, apply today!

What Financial Reports to Send to Passive Apartment Investors

After closing on an apartment syndication deal, one of the responsibilities of the general partners (GP) is to provide the limited partners with ongoing updates on the investment.

Here is a blog post where we outline all the GP’s duties after acquisition.

One aspect of this passive investor communication is providing financial reports on the asset. Not all general partners provide financials to limited partners. However, when they do, there is an increase in trust between the GPs and LPs, which is the number one reason why passive investors chose to invest with one operator over another.

The purpose of this blog post is to outline the process of providing your investors with deal updates by sending them financial reports.

What Financial Reports to Send to Passive Investors

The reason to send passive investors financial reports, aside from increasing transparency and trust, is so that they know what is going on with the investment. The information provided in monthly or quarterly recap emails is a good start, but a spreadsheet with hundreds of data points paints a more detailed picture of the asset’s operations.

Ultimately, how often you send financial reports and the types of financial reports you send is up to you and the preferences of your investors.

The two most relevant financial reports to send to passive investors are the rent roll and the T-12.

A rent roll is a document or spreadsheet containing detailed information on each of the units at the apartment community, along with a variety of data tables with summarized income. The rent roll provides passive investors with a current snapshot of the investment’s revenue.

A T-12 is a document or spreadsheet containing detailed information about the revenue and expenses of the apartment community over the last 12 months. Also referred to as a trailing 12-month profit and loss statement, the T-12 provides passive investors with current and historical revenue and expenses.

A best practice is to send financials at least once a quarter.

How to Obtain Financial Reports

The first step in the process starts before you even have a deal. Most likely, the financial reports will be generated by your property management company. When interviewing property management companies, make sure you set expectations. First, ask them what type of property management software they use and if it can generate custom financial reports. Ideally, they provide you with a sample rent roll and T-12. If they do, how detailed are the reports? Is the T-12 broken down into specific line items? Does the rent roll list out all of the important metrics?

Here are examples of how detailed a rent roll and T-12 should be.

Assuming they generate the right reports, the next question to ask is “will you send me financial reports upon request” and “what is the lead time?” In doing so, you will know if they are willing to send you financial reports and how quickly (or slowly) you can expect to receive them.

How to Send Financial Reports to Passive Investors

One approach is to include links to download the financials in the monthly or quarterly recap emails.

Create a Dropbox folder for each of your properties. Each quarter, upload PDF versions of the rent roll and T-12 to the property’s respective Dropbox folder and include the links in the recap email. For example, include a sentence like, “Also, you can download the quarterly financials (current rent roll and profit and loss statement) by clicking here,” and the wording “clicking here” is hyperlinked to the financial reports.

Another more advanced and efficient option is to upload the financials to an investor portal. Rather than linking to the financials in your recap emails, you can direct the passive investors to the portal.

Before sending the financial reports, make sure that your resident’s and investor’s personal information is removed. Sometimes, the investor distributions will be included at the bottom of the T-12. Only include the line items above the net operating income. Also, make sure you remove the variance column from the T-12. Your property management company’s software may include a column that has the difference between the actuals and the project (i.e., the variance). To avoid confusion, remove the variance column and only send to investors upon request. Consider removing the names of residents for the rent roll too.

How to Handle Passive Investors’ Questions About Financials

Like any questions received from investors, if you know the answer, reply in a timely fashion. If you don’t know the answer, reach out to your property management company.

The most common question you will receive from investors will be about how the T-12 actuals compare to the projections you provided in the PPM. If you are not hitting your projections, speak with your property management company to determine why there is a variance and what is being done to solve the issue. The best responses to investor’s questions include a diagnosis of the issue as well as the solution which should already be implemented.


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Attacking Old Goals with New Methods” Featuring Matt Faircloth

When it comes to real estate investing, Matt Faircloth is definitely someone to listen to. He’s a full-time investor, and he has many successful flips and closings to his credit.
These days, Matt and his team specialize in commercial real estate investing, especially office complexes and apartments. And his company focuses solely on real estate in Kentucky and North Carolina.
Recently, Matt came across a potential deal for an apartment building in Winston-Salem, an outstanding property with a highly desirable location. However, its 336 units made it the largest complex he’d ever attempted to buy.
Completing this deal was a massive challenge for Matt’s company. But the process illustrated a few valuable lessons, and we’re proud to present them here. You can apply them to your life, your business, your active investing assets, or your passive investing activities.

1. Strive for Higher Goals

In any industry, a key to long-term success is ambitious goal setting. For sure, Matt knows how to establish lofty yet achievable objectives.
Indeed, the cost of the Winston-Salem apartment purchase was $18.5 million. In the past, Matt had never completed a deal worth more than $8 million or so.
Moreover, this apartment would require $12 million in equity, far more than Matt’s company had ever raised before. In fact, most of its deals required equity in the $2 to $3 million range.
Nevertheless, Matt believed that he and his team members were up for this challenge. They had the tenacity, the savvy, and the drive, and the deal was just too tempting to pass up.

2. Take a Leap of Faith

Matt’s first solution was to obtain funding from Freddie Mac. That lending company provided him with a floating rate mortgage, which meant the loan amounted to less than the total value of the deal. Even so, Matt was able to close the deal with $8 million on hand.
By this point, Matt still hadn’t figured out how to raise the remaining $4 million. Therefore, closing the deal meant taking a leap of faith. It’s something Matt recommends entrepreneurs and investors do from time to time.
Naturally, you never want to take foolish risks. But it can be healthy to start a project while not knowing exactly how you’ll pull it off.
Do you truly believe in a certain project? Are you sure that you have the right team in place? If so, you and your employees should rise to the challenge. In doing so, you’ll discover options and opportunities you never knew existed. Growth is the inevitable result.

3. Change Your Approaches

To raise that $4 million, Matt began with a tried-and-true method. He called and emailed the investors he’d collaborated with in the past — he describes them as his “hot leads” — and he let them know about a webinar he was hosting the following week. About 300 people registered for it. That webinar allowed him to explain the apartment deal in detail.
Matt had hosted many such webinars before. And, as he does with each of them, he sent all the attendees a video recording of the program afterwards. Then he called everyone who participated to follow up.
This technique typically yields $2 or $3 million for a project. That’s just what happened in this case. Thus, Matt still needed to raise about $6 million.
His next action was to simply repeat the webinar technique, contacting his leads to tell them about a second webinar on this investment opportunity. However, this second attempt was considerably less successful. Only about 50 people took part. Yes, this event did raise a small amount of money. But, to cross the finish line, Matt knew he needed fresh approaches.
Matt decided to change things up for a third webinar. For one thing, he promoted it as a COVID-themed presentation. It would focus on how this deal could protect investors during crises like pandemics and recessions. In addition, this webinar would be much shorter, easier to fit into a busy schedule.
Furthermore, ahead of this event, Matt and his team emailed people much more often: every other day, in fact. Of course, by doing so, they were taking a risk. It was possible that a significant number of people would unsubscribe from their email list.
However, in the end, only about 4 percent of the company’s subscribers chose to unsubscribe. That number was relatively low, especially considering that the average rate of attrition for an email list is 1 to 2 percent. It helped that Matt segmented his emails. For instance, out of respect, he didn’t email people who’d told him they had no interest in this project. Similarly, he didn’t send emails asking for investments to those who’d already invested.
At the same time, more emails meant a greater awareness of the upcoming webinar. And Matt made sure that these emails were valuable in themselves. That is, they included information on topics like tax savings, commercial real estate investing security, and the Winston-Salem market in general.
On top of all that, some of Matt’s employees recorded brief videos to explain how much this apartment deal meant to them personally.
This bold new approach paid off in a big way. It’s true that Matt’s third webinar only garnered 100 registrants. But many of his investors, including some who didn’t take part in the third webinar, decided to increase their investments. For instance, one person doubled his backing from $100,000 to $200,000.
People chipped in more money because they were impressed by the company’s new strategy. The informative emails and the COVID-focused webinar convinced them that Matt and his team really knew what they were doing, that they were ready to protect those investments and face modern-day challenges.

4. Don’t Fear Fear

Finally, it’s only natural to feel a little afraid from time to time. New ventures, new goals, and new financial risks can shake the confidence of investors and businesspeople. But Matt says he’s learned to welcome fear. That’s because fear is a sign that he’s outside his comfort zone.
Therefore, by emulating Matt Faircloth, we can overcome our fears. We can embrace forceful goal setting. We can formulate brave and smart plans of action. And we can start taking the steps that will let us achieve our fondest active investing or passive investing desires.
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Sacrificing Short-Term Satisfaction for Long-Term Happiness

If you are into investing and want to make the most from your effort, you must balance short-term satisfaction and long-term reward. Otherwise, you get stuck in a downward spiral from which escape seems impossible. The good news is that you can overcome that problem. Learning the difference and why you should keep an eye on the long-term is vital.

You achieve much more and gain true fulfillment, and you will know you did the right thing. You must explore both sides and gain a true understanding of how these concepts work. Even if you don’t get the outcome you want right away, learning about short- and long-term satisfaction goes a long way toward your goals. The key is to understand how your brain works and to craft a solid plan. With those things in mind, you should have no trouble moving forward.

Active Investor: Learn How Your Brain Works

Learn how your brain works for the best results. When it comes to short- and long-term satisfaction, you deal with the emotional and logical side of your brain. Your emotional side wants a reward right away. In investing, this happens when you want a path that leads to a faster payout. The logical side of your brain, on the other hand, wants you to wait longer for the larger payout. Also, most people look only at their short-term goals by default. You must train your mind to look at the benefits of overlooking short-term gratification in favor of long-term reward.

Make a Plan

Having a plan is vital. Many people go through life without a solid sense of direction. If you don’t have a plan, you have no way of knowing if you are moving in the right direction. You have no way of tracking your progress or knowing where you are. On the other hand, a solid plan keeps you on track and lets you monitor your progress. Every active investor needs a plan, and creating one is a powerful step in the right direction.

Think about what you would like to achieve over the coming months and years, and you won’t have trouble reaching your desired outcome. How much profit would you like to earn over the next five years? What steps should you take to get there? Make an outline of your plan for the best possible results, and you won’t have to worry about too many unneeded complications.

Don’t overthink your plan at the start. You can always change it as you move forward, and most people do. Review your plan all the time to make sure you are on track to reach your goals. This helps you maintain your motivation and ensures you don’t forget anything along the way.

Write Down Your Goals

Writing your goals down is another vital part of the process. Consider all the things you would like to achieve over the coming days, weeks, months and years, and you will have no problem staying on track. Create two lists if you would like to get the most from your effort. The first list should contain all the goals you would like to achieve within the next few weeks or months, and the second list contains your goals for the coming years and decades.

Your goals don’t have to stay the same for decades. If you learn new information or face unexpected issues, your long-term goals can change. Also, you could experience something that changes your mind about what you would like to achieve over the long run. The important part is having a solid starting point so that you know where to go and whether you are getting there.

Do your best to relate your short- and long-term goals. For example, if you would like to make a large purchase over the next several years, putting enough money to the side each month is a great short-term goal. Reaching your short-term goals gives you enough motivation to keep pushing yourself forward, and you won’t have trouble getting the outcome for which you have been hoping.

Consider Both Sides

If you want to achieve the most from your effort, look at both sides of the situation. Short-term satisfaction might be tempting, but it’s not as good as what you could achieve over the long run. Consider that many people get into active investing to make fast money, so they turn to short-term investments. Depending on where you are and what you would like to achieve, this might not be a bad choice.

But you should always take an objective look at both sides. Consider what you could gain by opting for long-term satisfaction instead of short-term gain, and you will be glad you did. Waiting for the long-term reward is not always easy. But you get a much greater benefit if you do it.

The path you take depends on your resources and why you got into investing in the first place. In some cases, you can take and enjoy both paths. Make several investments that pay off quickly, but you can also make at least one long-term investment that grows over the years.

Start Small if You Must

If you are just now learning about these concepts, setting long-term goals is not going to be easy. The way you act and behave conditions your brain. Consider someone who gets up every morning at 5:00 a.m. If that person gets a new job and no longer must get up that early, they still wake up at 5:00 a.m. even without an alarm.

If you spend a long time focused on short-term gratification, you must train your brain to look at the long term. Begin by slowly transitioning your mindset toward the long run, and you will get there without too many problems.

Look Toward the Future

Looking toward the future is critical if you would like to achieve the outcome for which you have been looking. Imagine you are several years in the future. How will that future look if you don’t work toward your long-term goals, and how will it look if you do work toward them?

Looking at the future this way is a powerful step in the right direction. Many people view the future as so far away that they don’t believe it’s important. But your stance changes if you vividly imagine your future. You know you will get there one day, and you get the required motivation to make it happen.

Reward Yourself

Working all the time and never taking time off causes you to burn out. Many investors with an eye for the future dedicate too much time and attention to working all the time. This path might look appealing at first glance, but you can lose your motivation faster than you expect. Avoid that setback by rewarding yourself as often as you can. Your rewards don’t have to be big. Try doing one thing you enjoy each day, and you keep stress under control and maintain your motivation to keep moving forward.

Review Your Progress

If you are serious about sticking to your plan, don’t forget to track your progress. Depending on the size of your company, review your progress at least four times each year. Look at your plan to see if you are on track for reaching your short- and long-term goals. If you are not, see what you can do to catch up so that you don’t stay behind.

Checking your progress from time to time is a powerful way to ensure you don’t go too far off the path you selected. Noticing that you are not on track is not always enough to reach the outcome you want and deserve. If you would like to avoid similar problems in the future, ask yourself why you are not on track and what you can do about it. You can then make the required changes to prevent additional problems from taking place.

Active Investing: Congratulate Yourself

Each time you complete a difficult goal, remember to congratulate yourself on doing the job right. Take some time to appreciate the effort you put into your goals, and you will feel much better about your journey. Depending on what you have achieved, reward yourself with a nice dinner or a vacation.

If you closed a major deal, buy yourself a new vehicle or home. Congratulating yourself is the smart way to maintain your motivation and remember how much progress you have been making. No matter what you would like to achieve, you take your results to a new level before you know it. The right approach gives you a great combination of short-term reward and long-term satisfaction.

Tracking your results ensures you are on track and that you don’t fall behind, giving you peace of mind. Review your progress so that you don’t make too many mistakes along the way, and you will be glad you did. Making the transition in your mind might not be easy when you begin.

Although you might have trouble getting started, things get easier when you gain traction. You will make your life much better and take your profit to where you have always wanted it.

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The Wealthy Mind vs. The Poor Mind

I think that it goes without saying, that when all else is equal, you would much rather be wealthy than be poor. With wealth comes comfort, confidence and self-discovery, knowing that your basic living essentials are taken care of. Psychologist Abraham Maslow recognized that humans have a basic “hierarchy of needs” and before our higher needs (like self-actualization) can be realized, we need to at least satisfy the very basics and then work our way up to the top.

As has become painfully obvious to many of us, “becoming wealthy” isn’t as simple as pushing a magic button. Many times we catch ourselves caught on the hamster wheel or stuck in the golden handcuffs, and true wealth can feel as if it’s beyond our ability to obtain. However, although building wealth is something that takes time and effort (unless you hit the lottery or inherit a large sum from a Nigerian prince), it is attainable for those of us that can stay focused and invest wisely.

When you study the people who have become wealthy on their own, there are a few basic patterns that become apparent. More than having any particular skillset or working in any particular industry, what is perhaps the most important commonality among these individuals is their mindset.

The willingness to work hard is step one, but it will only get you so far, and there is only so much time in a day. Rather than simply working harder, or for longer, it is of the utmost importance to understand that truly wealthy people think differently than those in the middle class or below. They think differently about money, about wealth, about people, and about themselves. One specific way the wealthy mind thinks differently is avoidance of the scarcity mindset.

Please take note that I have intentionally used the word “wealthy” rather than “rich.” In a separate article, I’ll discuss the difference in detail, but for now, just know that “rich” people make a lot of money, but they also spend a lot of money. They might be the people you see buying a new 5 Series every two years (or it’s probably on lease). They keep buying a bigger house to keep up with the Jones’. They are probably your neighbors. They are probably you. On the other hand, “wealthy” people accumulate assets, create multiple income streams, make money in their sleep, buy back their time, and are financially free, such that they are not living paycheck to paycheck, and the money they make is not directly tied to the money they make.

The “Scarcity Mindset”

Wealthy people do not have a “scarcity mindset.” Poor people do.

When resources are scarce, we tend to make irrational, short-term decisions. In fact, as Andrew Yang points out in his influential book The War on Normal People, when an individual is exposed to conditions of scarcity, this individual—the very same individual—will make decisions as if their IQ is several points lower.

The scarcity mindset is one in which we fear we do not have enough to make it very far. It’s a mindset in which we sacrifice long-term growth for short-term security. When we are living with a scarcity mindset, we make decisions for today without thinking about tomorrow.

The scarcity mindset causes us to eschew long-term, beneficial opportunities. When we are in this mindset, we avoid risk, commitment, discomfort and anything unfamiliar. We are trapped in traditional thinking, trapped by the media and trapped by that little voice in our head telling us “danger” and “no.”

Of course, I am not suggesting that you should always take risks or the dangerous path, actually quite the opposite. What I am suggesting is that you need to open up your mind to abundance. Open up your mind to wealth and to being financially free. Then figure out how to get there. It will take some risk, but nothing risker than what you’re already doing. Are you working 9 to 5 until you’re 65 with a single income stream that can be taken away on a whim? Now that’s risk.

Playing to Win Versus Playing Not to Lose

Wealthy people play to win. Poor people play not to lose.

The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a must-read for anyone interested in personal finance. Among the many topics the book’s author, Robert Kiyosaki, discusses is the difference between having a “rich” mindset and having a “poor” mindset. Conclusively, the most striking difference between these mindsets is that while the wealthy are actively playing to win, the poor are playing not to lose.

In essence, the mindset of the poor is to manage finances defensively, continually doing whatever is necessary to pay the bills. You work to pay the bills. You put in more time, and you get more money. Then you get more bills, and the golden handcuffs take hold. On the other hand, the mindset of the wealthy has the capacity to look beyond the bills and to develop a more comprehensive and offensive approach to finances. In other words, making your money work for you, rather than the other way around.

Overcoming financial scarcity and attacking the money game to win is without a doubt quite challenging. In order to win, you have to be mindful and diligent. For instance, one common way to lose the money game is when your income does increase, they do not commit to intelligent investments that will appreciate over time and spin off cash flow, but instead succumb to lifestyle inflation, otherwise known as the golden handcuffs. They “invest” in liabilities like shiny new cars and big personal residences. Sure, they look great and makes you look rich, but do they produce cash flow?
A person with a wealthy mindset will, instead, invest the increased income into something that produces more money through cash flow and appreciation. Maybe they won’t have the new 5-Series sitting in their rich neighbors’ driveway, which will make them appear less wealthy on the surface. But the wealthy mind will be able to take time off (or not work at all), go on long vacations, spend time with their families, come and go as they please and live their lives free from the shackles of the office.

Sustaining the Mindset

Overcoming the scarcity mindset is far from easy. Creating financial freedom is typically not easy. These things require change and there are many changing things—our job prospects, the economy, emergencies—that remain beyond our ability to control.

But what does remain within our ability to control is our mindset. With a wealthy mindset, each dollar that we earn can be multiplied into many more. Instead of earning one dollar, having the government take 30 cents, and spending the other 70 cents, a wealthy mind figures out a way to earn that same dollar, but pay the government less and invest the rest into intelligent investments that will create additional income, multiply wealth, and buy back time. Financial progress becomes immediately possible because everything we earn can help move us in a positive direction.

Wealth is not something that can be immediately created, but it is something we can diligently work towards. If we can change our mindset and our approach to personal finance, each seemingly small step we take can have a bigger and bigger impact. Simply by living smarter, meaning with a wealthy mindset, we can make wealth not only possible, but certain, and not only attainable, but achieved. I am truly looking forward to helping you on your personal journey to wealth.


Seth Bradley is real estate entrepreneur and an expert at creating passive income while still working as a highly paid professional. He’s closed billions of dollars in real estate transactions as a real estate attorney, investor and broker. He’s the managing partner of Law Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on multifamily and opportunistic acquisitions. He’s a former big law attorney and is now the managing partner of his own firm, Bradley Law Limited, helping his clients with their real estate and asset protection needs. He’s also the host of the Passive Income Attorney Podcast, educating attorneys and other professionals on how to stop trading their time for money so that they can practice when they want to, not because they have to.
Get started building a future full of freedom at passiveincomeattorney.com.


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Three Secrets to Finding a Commercial Real Estate Mentor

If you are new to commercial real estate investing, it is generally in your best interest to find a commercial real estate mentor. This person can help you learn more about different investing strategies, help finance large transactions or provide general advice to help you avoid making rookie mistakes. Let’s take a look at some tips for finding the right person to serve as your coach, guide and confidant.

1. Find Someone Who Shares Your Vision

Ideally, your commercial real estate mentor will be someone who shares your overall investment philosophy. For instance, if you prefer to be a passive investor, it is important to work with someone who understands how to maximize returns without having to make too many decisions.

Your mentor may highlight the benefits of hiring a property management company to find tenants, handle maintenance requests and collect the rent each month. He or she may also teach you about private placements, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other investment options that may help to meet your needs.

If you want to be an active investor, a mentor may suggest that you buy properties close to home as they will be easier to manage. This person might also give you tips about how to improve a property without spending too much time or money doing so.

It is also important that you work with someone who has roughly the same amount of money available to invest in various properties or trusts. Doing so ensures that the advice that you receive is relevant to whatever strategy you’re trying to execute.

Regardless of what your goals, risk tolerance and timeline is, make sure that you work with someone who shares your values. If this person isn’t in the commercial real estate investing game for the same reasons that you are, he or she might not provide you with the insight that you need to be successful.


2. Look for Someone Who Is Still an Active Investor

Your mentor should be someone who still buys office buildings, multifamily homes or warehouses. While a former investor may be able to teach you about the various types of investment opportunities, this might not necessarily help you when it comes time to close on a deal.

As with anything else in life, there is a huge difference between what you learn in the classroom and what actually happens in the real world. Perhaps the biggest difference between theory and reality is the impact that your emotions can have on your ability to make the right deal.

It isn’t uncommon for newer investors to want a property so badly that they will pay more than it is worth. Furthermore, investors may buy properties without inspecting them or taking other steps to protect themselves if an unexpected problem arises. Aligning yourself with someone who regularly buys and sells commercial assets may make it easier to learn how to manage your emotions.

Additionally, working with someone who is still active in the commercial market is important because you want to work with a person who understands today’s market conditions. For example, it’s important to know that forces such as rising interest rates, a sluggish economy or societal changes in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic can play in making a successful investment. Only someone who is currently in the market can provide the context needed to help you determine which deals make sense and which deals don’t.


3. What Can You Bring to the Relationship?

In any successful relationship, both parties benefit from having the other in their personal or professional lives. Therefore, it is important that you are able to provide something of value to the person who is tasked with setting you up for long-term success.

For instance, an established investor may choose to work with you because of your knowledge of how younger people think about real estate. In the 21st century, small businesses have abandoned formal offices in favor of shared workspaces. These shared spaces allow individuals from various companies to network and create ideas that can help their companies flourish.

Helping your mentor understand how the market may be evolving can help that individual make better decisions about his or her portfolio. In addition to your views on modern business trends, you may be able to provide value to an established investor by offering access to social media contacts or others in your network.

It can be much easier to be a profitable commercial real estate investor if you have someone who you can lean on for support. This person may be able to help you control your emotions, anticipate changing market trends and offer other advice that can help you grow your money in a timely manner. Ideally, you will spend time talking to several prospective mentors before choosing someone to work with. Doing due diligence can maximize your chances of finding a partner who can help you fulfill your goals.

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Syndication Expert Theo Hicks Walks Through Apartment Turnovers

If your business is apartment investing, you know good tenant relationships are critical to long-term success. Not only do you want to retain responsible renters, but you need a smooth process for turning over apartments when they move out. This step may sound simple, but its management affects your finances, tenant retention, and your reputation.

Syndication School instructor and Joe Fairless Best Ever Show podcast host Theo Hicks takes a turn in the guest chair to discuss apartment turnovers. He talks about inspecting a rental unit and organizing your information for efficient results. He shares his process and a free handy checklist that you can use in your inspections.

About Theo Hicks

Theo Hicks is a syndication expert who co-hosts the Joe Fairless Best Ever Show and the Apartment Syndication School education series. He also co-authors the Best Ever Weekly Newsletter and Blog, which presents strategies for passive investing, active investing, and managing commercial properties.

Joe and Theo recognized the need for quality guidance on getting started in apartment investing and syndication. Theo hosts free podcast courses that include worksheets and other documents for your business use. He also runs a private program for investors seeking mentorship on investing in commercial properties.

Trained in chemical engineering, Theo purchased his first multifamily property in 2015 and never looked back. His passion is the intersection of personal development and success. Here, he shares tips for smooth rental unit turnovers.

Turning Over an Apartment

If you’ve ever moved into a residence with some damage or broken fixtures, you know how frustrating it is. Sometimes, a management company or owner walkthough of a vacated property is too cursory and misses needed repairs. You want to do better for your apartments, and there are practical reasons why.

Protect Your Investment

First, you want to provide a high-quality residence for your tenants. Not only is it the right thing to do, but they will thank you by taking better care of the property. They will also stay longer, which lowers your costs and supports a stable neighborhood and property value.

Theo stresses that happy tenants help preserve your reputation. Active investing means your name is out there. People tend to write reviews when they have complaints rather than compliments. In today’s online world, your apartment complex could be reviewed on several websites and easily found in searches by prospective tenants. Business associates and vendors also check your reputation as part of due diligence. You want to model how to manage apartment investing well.

Dive into the Details

Each vacated apartment merits a detailed inspection. Theo advocates using a template checklist to standardize your process and ensure you don’t overlook anything. The list should have columns for noting any damage above normal wear and tear. You can deduct these items from the tenant’s security deposit.

If you find damage, you want to note whether it is a repair or replacement item. You will end up with an itemized list of what is ready for cleaning, what needs replacement, and what needs repair. This approach simplifies matters for your maintenance manager or vendors, such as the cleaning company.

Master Inspection Checklist

Theo cautions that you want to use a written checklist for each walkthrough. If you have done several of them, you may be tempted to rely on memory. However, it’s too easy to miss a small repair item that a new tenant will spot immediately.

If you focus on passive investing, you likely rely on a property manager or another owner to handle walkthroughs. Consider following up with them to ensure they are using a written process and documenting each turnover carefully.

Theo presents an overview of what to address for each section of your apartment. The below shows you the work scope you can expect, leaving full details to the checklist.

Outside and Mechanical

Theo recommends starting with the outside of your property and noting any issues. This is good practice regardless of whether a tenant has just moved out, as you can catch maintenance needs before they become serious. Also, check the unit’s patio, balcony, or yard for disrepair or landscaping needs.

Check the mechanical systems inside the unit, including HVAC and water heater. If the building has central HVAC, make sure heat and air are working in the apartment.

Laundry Facilities

The interior laundry room is a frequent site of water leaks and clogged connections that pose a fire hazard. If your building shares a laundry room, you can take the opportunity to do a spot inspection.

  • Washer and dryer operate normally.
  • Hardware connections are intact.
  • Hoses don’t have cracks or clogs.
  • There are no signs of water leaks, such as stains or warped flooring.

Interior Fixtures

Check fixtures such as lights that are common to all rooms. You want to ensure they work and don’t present a safety hazard.

Now is an excellent time to check walls and other surfaces, which can hide issues at first glance. Inspect walls, ceilings, baseboards, and flooring for cracks, nicks, stains, and holes. Look for mold or mildew that may need treating or indicate hidden water damage.

  • Light fixtures, bulbs, and switches work, are in good cosmetic condition, and are secured.
  • Electrical outlets work and are undamaged and securely fastened.
  • HVAC vents open and close. Air ducts are clear.

Entryway and Livingroom

Check the entryway interior and exterior for missing or broken items. The door should close smoothly, lock securely, and be free of damage or warping.

  • Windows open smoothly and stay in position. Glass is set securely in the frame. Locks work and are tightly installed.
  • All windows have screens in good condition.
  • Blinds and other window coverings operate smoothly and are in good condition.
  • Smoke alarms are present and operating.
  • If carbon monoxide detectors are installed, they work.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

These rooms are time-consuming to inspect because of heavily used fixtures and appliances. In addition to daily wear and tear, these areas also contend with moisture and heat.


You want to inspect and test each appliance even if it looks in good working order. Check the condition of each cabinet. Sometimes tenants don’t report minor maintenance issues.

  • The oven and broiler work on all settings and heat to correct temperature.
  • Range elements are intact and heat promptly and to correct temperature.
  • Range hood has a filter and working light and fan.
  • Refrigerator and freezer are operating at correct temperatures.
  • Refrigerator and freezer lights work. Shelves and bins are intact.
  • Ice maker and water dispenser operate without clogs. Replace the water filter.
  • Garbage disposal works.
  • Sinks and faucets function with no leaks or clogs.
  • Dishwasher works on all settings and doesn’t leak.
  • Microwave operates normally. Have it tested for leaks.


You want to physically inspect each fixture to ensure it is working correctly and securely anchored. In Theo’s experience, escutcheons tend to loosen. An escutcheon is the metal plate covering the hole where plumbing pipes exit the wall. It can look intact but fall from the wall when touched.

  • Toilet is free of clogs and flushes without running.
  • Shower turns on and has expected water temperature and pressure.
  • Faucets have hot and cold water and operate without leaks.
  • Sinks drain properly.
  • The vanity has no damage.
  • Cabinets doors and drawers work.
  • Mirrors are intact.
  • Tile is free of mold, mildew, and damage.
  • Escutcheons are intact and well secured.


Bedrooms and areas such as dining rooms have few fixtures and are straightforward to inspect.

  • Doors open properly, lock from the inside, and are free of damage.
  • Closet doors work and are in good condition.
  • Closet fixtures such as racks, rods, and shelving are intact and well-secured.
  • Hardware functions properly.
  • Mirrors are intact and anchored.

Take Final Inventory

Now that you’ve gathered your walkthrough information, it’s time to take inventory for your next steps. Do you need to make any repairs or replacements before renting this unit? The answer is likely yes, even with normal wear and tear.

At this point, you can quickly generate a list of replacements and repairs, by room or system, to give to your maintenance manager or vendor. After they address all items, the unit is ready for cleaning and a final walkthrough.

When you do the final walkthrough, try to see the apartment through a new tenant’s eyes. What’s your first impression? As Theo says, you should think, “Wow! I want to live here for a long time!”

If you standardize your turnover process, you’ll have happier tenants and better profits. Success lies in the detailed work behind an immaculate apartment.

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Stopping Self-Destructive Behaviors: Mindset Myth Debunked

Success is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. 80% mindset and 20% action. 80% thinking and 20% doing. 

What does this mean and why is this principle universally accepted in real estate investing?

Simply put, the amount of time spent on your business is not directly proportionate to the success of your business.

Someone who works 12 hours days is not by default going to be more successful than someone who works 12 hour a month. 

Trevor McGregor, my personal coach, talks about the events leading up to action. First, there is a thought. Then, there is an emotion. Then, there is an action (or no action). 

The actions we take are based on our thoughts and resulting emotions, every single time.

Therefore, our quality of thought (i.e., our mindset) is the only factor that determines our actions. So technically, success is 100% mindset.

Whenever I speak with someone on the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever show and the topic of mindset comes up, I always want to know what actions listeners can immediately take in order to improve their all-important mindset.

Recently, I spoke with a guest who provided unique insights into how we can effectively improve our mindsets and ultimately stop self-destructive behaviors. The reason it was unique was because it goes against the conventional wisdom – that we can improve our mindsets by ourselves. No help is required. All we need to do is journal, mediate, or work more and BOOM, our problems are solved.

However, this is impossible. 

As I stated above, all actions are caused by our thoughts. There is no getting around it. Good thoughts lead to good action. Bad thoughts lead to bad action. Therefore, to overcome bad habits, you need to alter the cause – the bad thoughts.

Since all you have are your thoughts, how can you overcome your bad thoughts with your bad thoughts? It is not. Bad thoughts beget bad thoughts beget even worse behaviors.

That is why the help of outside factors is the only way to transition from bad thoughts to good thoughts. 

There are many obvious ways to accomplish this, like books, seminars, and mentorships. But Vahan Yepremyan provided a unique approach during our interview.

He said to ask someone close to you “which of my actions are holding me back from being successful?” Rather than attempting to subjectively determine your had habits, enlist the help of an objective third-party. Ideally someone who knows you extremely well and is more successful than you.

Once you’ve identified your bad habits, you need to determine if the cause of the habits are based on fact or fiction. 

A simple example is public speaking. Let’s say you ask an investor friend “which of my actions are holding me back from being successful?” and they say, “you aren’t picking up the phone enough to cold-call apartment owners” or “you have not started that thought leadership platform yet”.

Your immediate thought is, “well, that’s because I am afraid of speaking to stranger.” 

What is your justification for that fear? And what is the evidence for that justification. 

Maybe you are afraid to say something stupid. Well, have you said something stupid while public speaking in the past? And if so, what were the ramifications? Unless it killed you (which I assume is not true since you are reading this blog post), then your justification is usually based on a fictional, fabricated story, or at best partial truths.

Creating a new story based on reality may be as simple as becoming aware of the false one. Other times, it may require further help from outside factors. Following the example above, you may need to take a public speaking course or ask a friend to punch you in the face if you don’t cold-call a certain number of owners per week.

Overall, all bad actions are caused by bad thoughts. In order to overcome bad thoughts, you need the help of outside factors to identity your bad actions and thoughts. Then, you need to become aware of the story behind those thoughts. 

And the best way to accomplish this is with the help of objective, third parties who know you well and are already successful. They can help you identify the bad habits which you (and your bad thoughts) likely deny and help you create positive thoughts by altering the story.

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Turn a Decade Into a Year – How to “Knowledge Hack”

I love helping other people cut the learning curve. There have been several instances in my life where I condensed years and even decades of time by using a simple “Knowledge Hack” strategy. 


I Have a Question For You…

Have you considered having a mentor? Is it worth your time to read books, listen to podcasts, watch how-to videos, and network with others? 


Today I was researching some of the most successful people in America from the Forbes 400 List and realized that almost all of them had mentors at some point, and many still have mentors today. 


A Few Examples Include:


  • Bill Gates had Ed Roberts as a mentor
  • Oprah Winfrey had Mary Duncan as a mentor
  • Mark Zuckerberg had Steve Jobs as a mentor
  • Warren Buffet had Benjamin Graham as a mentor
  • Sam Walton (And family) had L.S. Robson as a mentor
  • Michael Dell had Lee Walker as a mentor 


Rather than thinking about having a “mentor” think of the word “coach” instead. It’s essentially the same thing, but using the word “coach” helped me put all of this into perspective years ago.   


A Quick Story

From 2009 to 2015 I did everything on my own as an active real estate investor in the single-family home space. It wasn’t because I thought I knew it all, it was because I did not see the need for a mentor or coach at the time. 


What I finally realized in 2015 (after 7 years of trial and error), was there were other people in the active real estate investing space who were operating much more efficiently than I was. They had more connections and were finding better deals and had a broader range of skill sets and ultimately… they were more profitable than I was. I had to do some soul searching, self-reflection, and take a long, hard, look in the mirror. Was active investing really the best use of my time and skills? 


What Happened Next?

I made a decision to start partnering with investment firms who had better skill sets, track record, connections, and efficiencies than I did. I essentially “piggybacked” off their success by becoming a limited partner investor in other people’s private placement offerings (mostly in multifamily apartments). This provided a hands-off approach to investing where I had the best of both worlds. I could participate in real estate, which I love and enjoy, while not having to be “in the business” of real estate in an active way, which I did not enjoy. 


After dedicating some time to networking, reading, listening to podcasts, watching how-to videos and seeking mentors, I inevitably became a full-time passive investor in real estate. I left the active single-family strategy behind because I was tired and burned out from trying to do it all myself, trying to make the right calls and know all the ends and outs. In addition, the hands-on approach was taking too much time away from the things I loved doing. I had far less spare time because my real estate projects were consuming more and more of my availability. 2015 was the beginning of an entirely new education process that has been life-changing to say the least.  



Mentors can come in many forms. The best advice I ever received was to seek out a mentor or “coach” who is doing what you want to do and is successful at doing it…because success leaves clues. 

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” – Sir Isaac Newton


To Your Success


Travis Watts

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Two Common Real Estate Scenarios: Communication and Protection

Two Common Real Estate Scenarios: Communication and Protection

In this blog post, we’re going to be looking at two niche real estate scenarios that can happen to just about any investors.

The first scenario involves dealing with older potential clients and original buildings. If you’ve been in this situation before, you know that it can be quite a delicate process getting older owners to sell.

Communication Issues

Imagine this: You just found a potentially amazing off-market apartment building deal. It has 150 units and a $4 billion portfolio. It was purchased back in 1978, just over the 39-year expiration of the depreciation tax benefits law. The owner is in his late 80’s and purchased these buildings when they were first built at the time. You give him a call and ask him if he has any interest in selling, but he has trouble hearing you. He hands the phone to his caregiver, who abruptly says no and hangs up. What solution is there?

What one should do in this situation is to get curious. Start asking yourself some questions, then draft a letter to them. This is how you can learn more about their situation while introducing yourself to them. This is your chance to say, “I’m not sure where you’re at in this stage of owning these properties, but I can tell you that you might be worried about tax liability when you sell them. I have experience purchasing these types of buildings and I’d be happy to talk about some solutions any challenges you might be having.”

Penning a handwritten letter shows care and integrity. Keep in mind that many people of a certain age are struggling to keep up with the constant innovations and growth in the tech and digital world. A handwritten letter could be a breath of fresh air and a means to communicate that potential sellers may appreciate.

Protection From Embezzlement

Now, think of this scenario: You’re embarking on a general partnership in the real estate industry. It is your first time committing to such a project, and you’ve heard horror stories from colleagues involving embezzlement, fraud, and massive loss of funds. The general partner controls the business plan as well as the financial account connected to the project. You’re wondering how you can protect yourself from them embezzling funds from the operational account, and what auditing protocol you can use to protect yourself as a passive investor from theft.

There are several ways to approach this, but we can look at the most tried and true method.

You can have some checks and balances before the deal is done, which won’t be very much. After the deal is closed, though, you can do a lot more. For this scenario, we’ll look mostly at what a beginner real estate investor can do preemptively to stay safe in a general partnership.

There is no money for a potentially untrustworthy or shady general partner to take before the deal, but you can do some due diligence prior to a deal. If a shady partner is going to steal money from the entity itself, then they would have to do it afterward. This is because that is when the money is physically in the bank account.

Before the deal closes, there are a few things you should do. First off, you should absolutely take the time to look at the overall structure of the deal to make sure that there is at least an 8% preferred return. Make sure that the general partner is getting paid an asset management fee if and only if they are actually performing. If they’re proving themselves and they’re returning the preferred return, they can get that asset management fee. Otherwise, they get nothing.

Obviously, these are things that aren’t going to outright prevent someone from stealing money in a general partnership. When it comes down to it, they’re just small things you can do to ensure that the deal itself is set up in the mutual favor of you and your general partner, so that you have an alignment of interest.

Those are some things you can do before the deal. Another thing you should absolutely be doing before signing on anything with a general partner is to check those references. You can absolutely not go into a general partnership blind with no knowledge of who you’re working with. Even if the hearsay is overwhelmingly positive, you absolutely need to still check in with the partner’s references. By doing so, you’re going to get a really good picture of what the partner is all about.

Call their references and listen to what they have to say. We’re talking about past partners, firms, project managers, any business colleagues or people who have worked with this particular partner. Even if you get glowing reviews, you should then Google your partner. Those are things you’re probably already doing, but it really can’t be optional if you’re a baby real estate investor. You can be seen as an easy target because you don’t necessarily know the signs and symptoms of a parasite real estate partner. When you Google them, look for the partner’s name or firm title. And don’t be afraid to dig deep.

This doesn’t directly answer the question of how to make sure they’re not embezzling money, and we’re aware of that. However, there is some prep work that needs to be done on the front end to mitigate the risk of getting in with a group that is known for criminal activity. Sometimes that front end research is really all you need to check out.

What do you think about these two scenarios in real estate? Have you experienced either situation in your career? Tell us your real estate story in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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4 Things I Learned at a Jordan Peterson Seminar

I went to a seminar to hear Jordan Peterson talk and have been obsessively watching his videos on YouTube ever since. Here are my top 4 takeaways from the seminar I attended with my wife.


1 – Make dangerous things useful.

Fire is dangerous. Or it is lifesaving. It depends on how it is directed. Emotions too. Emotions can be dangerous or they can be lifesaving. Not only lifesaving but life sustaining. So don’t judge the emotions we have. Use them.

Feeling scared? What does that really mean? Well it could be a healthy feeling. Perhaps we need to watch out for something ahead. But ultimately it likely means, get prepared.


2 – Just write the damn thing down.

When something big and scary is in your head, write it down. If you are worried about something, write it down. Why? Because once you write it down it becomes real. And real things have flaws, have vulnerable points. When writing it down you can then do the exercise of identifying where the vulnerabilities of this thing are. Otherwise, it is something that seems strong and bulletproof.


3 – Voluntarily confront what you’re afraid of.

Find what you’re are afraid of. Well, let’s be honest, it already found you, didn’t it? Now that you have identified it, voluntarily confront it. Because when you voluntarily confront it, it makes it a challenge not a threat. And you don’t become less afraid. You become brave.


4 – Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Not who someone else is today.

Micro improvements are the key here. Be focused on improving yourself every day. Ask yourself, what can I do today that will make me a better version of myself than yesterday? And do it. And set yourself up for success.

Want to be a successful real estate investor but don’t have the time to be active on BiggerPockets? Then just make a commitment to post one time a week.

Don’t have time to do that? Then just post one time every two weeks. Just do something. Then, that will build momentum.

The Matthew Principle states that every success you have will increase the probability to have a future success. But be aware, the inverse is true. Every failure will increase the probability to have a future failure. So set yourself up to win by creating micro habits that you can and will do. Then build on it.


If you are new to Jordan Peterson and want to learn more, a great place to start are the links above or his interviews on the Joe Rogan podcast, with this interview here being the most popular. Or just search “Jordan Peterson” on YouTube as there are thousands of videos to choose from.


Want to learn how to build an apartment syndication empire? Purchase the world’s first and only comprehensive book on the exact step-by-step process for completing your first apartment syndication: Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book





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The Two Massive Benefits of Written Goals for Real Estate Investors

We post a question to the Best Ever Show Community on Facebook every single week. This community is a place where real estate entrepreneurs, including myself and the guests from my podcast, can come together and share experiences and tips. This week, the question was “on a scale of 1 to 5, how important is it to have written goals for your real estate business?”

Step 1 of Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Success Formula is to know your outcome. He says clarity is power because, where focus goes, energy flows. Once you define and write down a desired goal or outcome and make it your main point of focus, you will begin to – almost automatically – take the right action to achieve it. Therefore, writing down our investment goals and real estate strategies gives us something to focus on, which allows us to narrow down the actions required to achieve our desired outcome.

I can tell that we have a lot of Tony Robbins’ fans in the Facebook community. Not only did the overwhelming majority (46 out of 51 responses) of active real estate entrepreneurs say that writing down real estate investing goals is very important, but they also believe that they benefit from having written goals because it allows them to focus and take the right action that will lead them to achieve their goal.

That being said, the poll is closed, and here are the results:

Written Goals = Focus

I think the quote that sums up the benefits of written investment goals in regards to focus is from Youseff Semaan, who said “If I don’t write my goals down, they remain thoughts in my head. By writing them down, they become tangible!”

A commonly referenced survey of Canadian media consumption by Microsoft in 2012 concluded that the average attention span fell to 8 seconds in 2012 from 12 seconds in 2000. Or to put it another way, humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish! So, focusing on our thoughts (and a goal that is only a thought) just isn’t realistic. Whereas, if we’ve written our real estate investing goals down, we can review them and refocus. Because, like Mark Ferguson said, “not only do [goals] need to be written down, [but] you need to have set times [when] you review those goals! It is too easy to lose track of what you really want.”

When we review our written goals, we become more and more focused as real estate entrepreneurs. In regards to regularly reviewing our written goals, Michael Bishop quoted Napoleon Hill saying “repetition puts thoughts into your subconscious mind, and your subconscious mind has power to transmute desire into its physical equivalent.” Similarly, Nathan Nuckols said, “what you [focus on] daily will eventually come to fruition.”

Even Mr. Miyagi and horse trainers understand the power of focus. Jay Helms said that investment goals are very important “for the same reason horses run with blinders on and the same lesson Mr. Miyagi kept trying to teach Daniel son – focus.”

There is a caveat, however, to focusing on your written goals. Curtis Danskin gave a warning, saying “if you fail to understand that real estate investing goals are meant to morph and grow and change, you will surely experience disappointment. Goals are guides, a roadway with unexpected twists and turns, so keep up on them.” In other words, focus on your goals as a real estate entrepreneur, but don’t become so focused that you pigeonhole yourself. Which leads us to the second benefit of written goal setting, which is that it allows us to take the right action steps towards achieving our desired outcome.

Written Goals = Right Action

Staring at a piece of paper with our goals written on it is a good start, but we also need to get out there and take action. Which is why Harrison Liu, who actually thinks that written investment goals aren’t very important, said, “I have a goal that’s financial independence. After 17 years investing in real estate, I achieved that goal but never wrote it down. Taking action is a lot more important than writing on a piece of paper.” Looks like Harrison has been able to maintain his attention span while the rest of us are going the way of the goldfish!

Someone else who doesn’t write down their goals, but thinks they are very important is Eric Kottner. He said, “as someone who doesn’t write down their real estate investing goals, I have a lot of open time not know what to work on and [I] just wing it.” That is why we, as real estate entrepreneurs, need to go a step further than just writing down our goals and regularly focusing on them. We need to also create a plan of action for how we will achieve them.

This includes determining the higher dollar tasks that make the biggest impact on our businesses. Micki McNie said, “if I don’t have my investment goals written out along with specific action steps, I get stuck working on low dollar activities or distracted by shiny objections.”

It also means breaking own our long-term goal into smaller goals. Matthew Ryan said, “without goals, you have no tasks that tell you what to execute on a quarterly, weekly and daily basis.” And Matt Anices said, “I always write them down, long-term, short-term and daily.”

To tie the “focus” and “right action” together, I will end with a quote from a fortune cookie that Justin Grimes has taped to his car speedometer: “A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.” So, without writing down your real estate investing goals, focusing on them regularly and creating a plan of action, it is just a dream.

What do you think? Comment below: Why do you think it is important to have written investment goals as a real estate entrepreneur?

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The 12 Greatest Mentors of All-Time

We regularly post a new question to the Best Ever Show Community, which is where real estate entrepreneurs come to share experiences and advice, including how to find a mentor in real estate investing who can both understand your strategy and teach you more about theirs. In fact, we recently asked, “you can choose ANYONE to mentor you, dead or alive. Who would it be and why?”


To attain your ultimate real estate or business goals, interacting with an actual business mentor is vital – or, at the very least, it will aid in increasing the probability of succeeding or expediting the speed in which you achieve massive success.


However, an alternative or complementary strategy is to study the unique individuals, past and present, who accomplished greatness. By analyzing the lives of such people, we can determine the habits and strategies that resulted in their success and apply those to our businesses. And what better way to compile a list of history’s greatest minds than by learning about the mentors of active, successful real estate entrepreneurs?


That being said, the poll is closed, the responses are in, and here are the answers:


If you know me, you already know my answer – Tony Robbins. He distills complicated psychological and mindset advice into simple and digestible tidbits and is an AMAZING motivator. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend reading his best-seller, Awaken the Giant Within.


Though he is not a business mentor, Tim Rhode chose Gandhi because he quietly led a successful movement and did not lose his soul in the process. External success is important, but internal success may be of equal or even greater importance. Click here to purchase Gandhi’s autobiography to learn about how he developed his philosophy that changed an entire country.


Grant Rothenburger chose Napoleon Hill for his psychological and mindset advice. A “Tim Ferriss” of his time, Napoleon compiled the principles of the multimillionaires of the 19th and 20th centuries into his world-famous book, Think and Grow Rich, which you can purchase by clicking here. Although, I am sure you’ve read it at least once in your life!


Dylan Borland provided a unique answer. He selected Nikola Tesla so that he could get his hands on the plans for Tesla’s perpetual energy device. Of course, I am sure Dylan would reinvest the billions of dollars in profit back into real estate. Nonetheless, click here to purchase a copy of Tesla’s autobiography for a glimpse into the mind of a creative genius.


Devin Elder chose Jesus Christ, as he couldn’t think of a more impactful figure in history.


Mitchell Drimmer chose Winston Churchill, a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 20th century, because he was resolute. Click here to purchase his autobiography in which he explains how he overcome adversity and major setbacks during the first 30 years of his life.


Lennon Lee selected a mentor who is still living – Tim Ferriss. Through Tim, he would get curated bits and pieces of advice from a tribe of mentors. I think Lennon was implying that Tim’s newest book, Tribe of Mentors, is a must read!


Eddie Noseworthy picked Rob Dyrdek, who is probably most commonly known for his successful reality TV shows like Rob & Big, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, and Ridiculousness as a potential business mentor. Eddie chose him because Rob seems to squeeze every inch of fun out of the day while being a super successful entrepreneur. Eddie also likes that fact that he has been successful in multiple industries that most people might say he has no business in, which is a testament to his drive and determination.


Paul Hopkins chose Richard Branson, because he has started multiple billion-dollar companies and he lives life on the edge. In his autobiography, Losing My Virginity, Richard provides a blueprint to how to balance achieving massive levels of business success and living life to the fullest.


Amber Peel went with Beyonce because of her admirable authenticity and legendary work ethic.


Going back to the grave, Ryan Groene selected John D Rockefeller. Even though many see him as a negative oil tycoon, Ryan selected him because, to amass such an empire, you must know a little something (or a lot of something) about business. Rockefeller’s biography, Titan, is very popular amongst entrepreneurs and others seeking an experienced business mentor.


Lastly, we have Randy Ramadhin, who chose John Willard Marriott because his legacy is worldwide and will endure for generations. In his autobiography, he shares both the story of and the recipe for the success of Marriott International, one of the world’s leading hotel companies.


On a related note, if you are interested in learning more about real estate, I have three books I wrote that are full of actionable advice! Check them out on my site.


Are you a newbie or a seasoned investor who wants to take their real estate investing to the next level? The 10-Week Apartment Syndication Mastery Program is for you. Joe Fairless and Trevor McGregor are ready to pull back the curtain to show you how to get into the game of apartment syndication. Click here to learn how to get started today.

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Overcoming 6 Obstacles Faced by Aspiring and Growing Real Estate Investors

Anyone who has looked into investing in real estate has found that there are frequently investment barriers that must be overcome. I am often asked: What is the biggest obstacle you faced either when you started investing in real estate or as you grew your business?

This is such an important question that I reached out to some of the top investors in the field to see what they had to say.

1 – Tracking Passive Investors

Allison Kirschbaum is an established real estate investor who is trying to scale her business. The biggest investment barrier is keeping track of all the new investors her company meets without having them fall through the cracks.

There are many CRM providers who offer tracking services, but they can be quite costly, especially if you are just starting out. That’s why I created my very own investor tracker, which I am willing to give out FOR FREE. Not only does this spreadsheet allow you to keep track of potential and current investor information, but it also automatically creates data tables to track the cities with the most investors (in terms of people and dollars) and the sources that generate the most investor leads. You can even use this tool for tracking the money raising process for a specific apartment deal.

If you are facing a similar obstacle as Allison, email info@joefairless with the subject line “Money Raising Tracker” to receive my custom investor tracker spreadsheet.

2 – Finding Deals in an Expensive Market

Two investors are finding it difficult to locate qualified deals in their local market. Sarah May lives in the highly competitive Denver market, and Killian Ankers also lives in an expensive real estate market. Both are open to start investing in real estate in an out-of-state market, but among their investment barriers would prefer to remain local, because they know their home markets like the back of their hands.

My company faced a similar obstacle in 2017. My target market is Dallas, Texas, which was and remains highly competitive. Our solution was to get creative. We found an on-market opportunity that was highly publicized and marketed by a broker, which resulted in an ever-increasing price. Instead of walking away from the deal, we had our broker reach out to the owner of the apartment community across the street, and we were able to negotiate and put the property under contract at a significant discount! If we had only purchased the on-market opportunity, it wouldn’t have made financial sense. But due to the cost-saving associated with purchasing two apartment communities on the same street, we were able to close on both.

On the other hand, if you do decide to pursue investment opportunities in a market outside where you currently reside, finding credible, experienced team members is a must! This process begins by selecting and evaluating a market, and then interviewing and hiring a property management company and a broker.

3 – Shiny Object Syndrome

Micki McNie is facing an obstacle to which everyone can relate – focusing on a single real estate strategy. Shiny object syndrome befalls investors of all experience levels. The near infinite number of potential investment strategies can paralyze an aspiring investor. Then, the longer you’re in the industry, the more people you build relationships with, which naturally results in being presented with a greater variety and volume of new and exciting investment opportunities.

How does the aspiring investor decide which investment strategy to initial pursue to avoid investment barriers? Well, I think you need to identify the root of the problem first. Are you truly struggling with selecting the best investment strategy or are you just using that as an excuse to not take action? If it is indeed the former, pick the investment strategy that aligns most with your current interests and unique skill sets and show up EXTRAORDINARY, always keeping in mind that investors have had success in every investment strategy for the past 50 years! If it is the latter, you need to learn how to identify and crush your fear barriers!

How does the established investor overcome investment barriers and avoid chasing after opportunities that are outside of their skill set? Accountability! And if you’ve found that holding yourself accountable is a challenge, outsource that responsibility by either starting a meetup group (social approval is a powerful way to keep you on track) or hiring a mentor.

4 – One Person Team

Neil Henderson has hit a barrier in growing his business because he’s trying to wear too many hats at once. He’s a loyal employee at his full-time job, father, husband, underwriter, marketer, capital raiser, negotiator, and thought leader. Similarly, Vince Gethings struggles with finding the time to operate his business as he adds more units to his portfolio and balances his remaining time between family and work.

Whether you want more time to explore other non-real-estate-related passions or spend more time focusing on the long-term vision of your real estate business, the way to overcome investment barriers starts with outsourcing and automating some or all of your business, in addition to building a solid, trustworthy real estate team.

5 – Us!

Curtis Danskin believes that the number one obstacle keeping real estate investors from starting and scaling their business is themselves! They know what actions they need to take, but – for whatever reason – chose not to.
To overcome this challenge, identify the self-sabotaging behaviors in which you are partaking and implement strategies to rid ourselves of these bad habits.

6 – No Experience or Money

Scott Hollister just got his start investing in real estate lacks the experience, net worth, and liquidity to enter the real estate arena. He’s already identified a solution, which is pursuing seller financed deals, but doesn’t know where to get started. In particular, he doesn’t know how to find seller-financed opportunities.

Fortunately, success leaves clues. Here’s how an active real estate investor was able to close on seven seller financed deals.

Another strategy for those whose primary investment barriers center around lack capital is house hacking, where you purchase a two to four unit property with a low down payment owner-occupied loan and live in one unit while renting out the others.

Do you need help overcoming obstacles? Whether you’re just getting started or you’ve been in the biz for years, consider applying to my Private Real Estate Program and take the next step towards financial independence.

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The Ultimate Success Formula for Apartment Syndicators

I attended the Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar and one of my biggest takeaways was the Ultimate Success Formula. If you reflect back on anything you’ve accomplished in your life, no matter how big or small, I can guarantee you that you followed this formula.


What follows is the outline of the 5-step formula and how it can be used for finding deals and private money. Although, it can also be easily applied to any business, personal, relationship, fitness or overall lifestyle goal you pursue.


1.    Know your outcome


First, know what you want. Clarity is power, so you want to be as specific and detailed as possible.


As apartment syndicators, our outcome will be a desired annual income. Since we want to be as specific as possible, determine the exact amount of money you need to raise to achieve your annual income goal. Let’s say your goal is to make $100,000 this year. One of the primary ways apartment syndicators make money is with an acquisition fee. The standard fee collected at closing is 2% of the purchase price. To get a $100,000 acquisition fee, you’ll need to close on $5,000,000 worth of apartment buildings. Generally, the amount of equity required to close, including the down payment and closing fee, is 30%. 30% of $5,000,000 is $1,500,000. Therefore, to achieve a goal of $100,000, you will need to raise $1,500,000.


To determine the exact apartment purchase price and amount of money you need to raise in order to achieve your annual income goal, email info@joefairless.com and request a FREE Annual Income Calculator.


With this approach, instead of having a vague goal, you’ll know the exact number of leads and investor money we need to attract, and can take massive intelligent action (see step 3) to get there.


Tony Robbins says “where focus goes, energy flows.” Once you define your outcome and make it your main point of focus, you will begin to – almost automatically – take the right steps and identify the right opportunities to achieve it.


2. Know your reasons why


Jim Rohn says, “How comes second. Why comes first.” Now that you know your outcome, before formulating a plan of action for how you’ll achieve it, you need to know the reasons why you want to achieve it. Human beings can do amazing things when they have a strong enough why.


What are the reasons behind your outcome? Do you want to leave a legacy? Use your earnings to have a positive impact on the world?  Set your children up for success? Whatever the reason is, make sure it is consciously understood and articulated.


With a strong why comes a strong emotional attachment to your outcome. And those emotions will be what allow you to celebrate victories and keep you going when you experience setbacks along the way.


3. Take massive intelligent action


After defining the what and why, the how is to take action. Not a little bit of action. Not a lot of random action. And not sporadic action. But massive, intelligent and consistent action.


Massive intelligent action is consistently taking the small steps that, when added together, ultimately lead to the realization of an overall goal and vision.


By defining your overall annual income goal, you’re able to reverse engineer the smaller, day-to-day steps required to achieve it. You’ll know how much money you need to raise, which means you know you’ll need at least that amount in verbal interest from private investors.


You also know how many deals you need to complete to achieve your goal, which means you can calculate the number of leads you need to generate following the 1[00:30:10]:1 lead process – for every 100 leads, 30 will meet your initial investment criteria (i.e. number of units, age, location, etc.), 10 will qualify for an offer and 1 will be closed on. So, you’ll need to generate at least 100 leads for every transaction. If you’re using direct mail, for example, how many marketing pieces must you send in order to receive the number of leads required to close on an apartment community that would result in you achieving your annual income goal?


The goal here is to build habits and routines that become second-nature so that you not only take massive intelligent action automatically, but even begin to crave it!


4. Know what you’re getting


As you begin to take action towards your goal, it is important to analyze and track your progress. If you aren’t tracking your results, you won’t know if you’re on the right path.


A powerful Tony Robbins’ anecdote is about two different boats starting off at the same point. One boat continues on to the destination while the other veers off by just one degree. A few hours later, the two boats are miles apart. Applied to apartment investing, if you are slightly off-track at the start of your journey, the longer you go without recognizing the error, the more off course you’ll be AND the more effort it will require to get you back on track.


So, you should routinely check in and see if your massive action is getting you closer or farther away from your money-raising and lead generation goal.


5. Change your approach


Based on your routine check ins, you may need to make adjustments to get yourself back on course. Or, you may see great results with a certain approach for a while, but it may begin to taper off and plateau, putting you in a rut. When faced with either one of these situations, celebrate the fact that you had the awareness to identified the error and then change your approach.


Inspirational Examples


Don’t just take my word or Tony’s word for the power of this success formula. Here are four inspiration examples of people who set out to achieve a certain outcome, faced adversity and barriers, changed their approach and ultimately reached a level of success far above that which they initially set out to achieve.


  1. Walt Disney


At 22 years old, Walt Disney was fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.” One of his early entrepreneurial ventures, Laugh-O-Gram studios, went bankrupt after only two years (but Walt did later credit his time at Laugh-O-Gram as the inspiration to create Mickey Mouse). Also, he was denied by 302 banks for a loan to start Disneyland because he “lacked originality.” But, by the end of his career, he won a record 22 Academy Awards and was in the process of opening his second theme park, Disney World. Today, the Walt Disney Company holds over $92 billion in assets with a market capitalization of roughly $150 million


  1. Michael Jordan


Michael Jordan was CUT from his high school basketball team, before going on to win an NCAA championship and 6 NBA championships and finals MVPs. He once famously said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”


Michael Jordan is also a branding wizard. Between his shoes, the highest grossing basketball film of all-time Space Jam, and his part ownership of the Charlotte Hornets, MJ became the first billionaire NBA player in history, with a current net worth of $1.39 billion.


  1. Stephen King


Stephen King is an uber-successful author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction and fantasy, selling over 350 million book copies and having many books adapted into featured films, including the number 1 ranked movie on IMDB Shawshank Redemption. But, did you know that when he was 20, his manuscript for Carrie was rejected by 30 publishers, with one saying “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.” He actually threw the manuscript in the trash, before it was retrieved by his wife, who convinced him to resubmit it. Once published, the paperback sold over 1 million copies in its first year, and the rest is history.


  1. Harland “Colonel” Sanders


In 1955, at the age of 65, Harland Sanders, who was a retiree collecting $105 a month in social security, decided to attempt to franchise his secret Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe. He traveled the country looking for a restaurant interested in his recipe, often sleeping in the back of his car. After 1009 rejections, he finally found a taker. By 1964, there were 600 franchises selling his chicken recipe, and by 1976, he was ranked as the world’s second most recognizable celebrity. By the time of his death, there were 6000 KFCs across 48 countries with $2 billion in annual sales.




There isn’t a cookie-cutter strategy for being a successful apartment syndicator. We are all investing in different markets and asset sizes with different investors, and we all have different unique talents, strengths and weaknesses, and skills. That’s why there are multiple money-raising and lead generation tactics and strategies available on the resources site. You’ll need to find the techniques that are ideal for your particular situation.


So, once you’ve defined your outcome, articulated your why and began taking massive action, analyze your results. Keep doing the things that are working and try out new things for those that aren’t.


What are your 2018 goals and how will the Ultimate Success Formula help you achieve them?


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22 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors That Lead To Entrepreneurial Extinctions

Last Updated 9/21/18


I frequently come across entrepreneurs who are making extremely poor business decisions. It’s quite obvious that these self-inflicted wounds are undermining their businesses, stunting their long-term growth potential and may even kill their business altogether.

With 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start a business failing within the first 18 months, the statistics are already not on your side. Creating a business is hard enough as it is, so we shouldn’t be making it unnecessarily harder.

If you want to avoid an entrepreneurial meltdown and join the ranks for the 20% of entrepreneurs who successfully launch and maintain a business instead, here are the 22 habits to avoid.


  1. Don’t read (or listen) to books and applying lessons from those books: Not reading books is a self-sabotaging behavior in and of itself. But it may be even worse if you take the time and effort to read but fail to apply any of the lessons to your business. My advice – after reading each book, have at least one actionable takeaway that you immediately implement in your business. Need a place to start? Here’s a list of my top 14 Best Ever apartment investing books.
  2. Isolating yourself: Because teamwork makes the dream work. You literally have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do launching and scaling a business by yourself. If you are going to isolate yourself, you might as well start buying your lottery tickets now.
  3. Close-minded towards new business practices: With more competition and technology than ever before, what worked for your business last year may already be sub-standard 5 times over. So, if you aren’t open to change, your business will go the way of the dinosaurs.
  4. Don’t like to apply new learnings to your business: It’s one thing to be open-minded toward new business practices and ideas. It’s another to actually take action and apply them to your business.
  5. Don’t quickly test things out and kill it if it doesn’t work: Don’t have an obsessive relationship with new business practices and ideas. If it improves your business, great. If not or once it stops, have the awareness to identify that fact and discard it like you would a stale piece of gum.
  6. Don’t attend seminars, meetups, conferences, mastermind groups, etc.: Don’t be a basement dweller or spreadsheet millionaire. Get out of the house and meet other entrepreneurs face-to-face.
  7. Don’t model your success after someone who has “been there, done that” before you: Success leaves clues. And you need to be an expert investigative detective.
  8. Don’t invest more in yourself than you do in your craft: Relationships, tools, software, money strategies, basically everything in your business will come and go, but as unfortunate as it may be, you can’t get rid of yourself. So, wouldn’t it be great if the one thing that’s always there was a Golden Tool rather than just a tool?
  9. Don’t think you can learn something from anyone: Interesting fact: There are over 16 million books in the Library of Congress. Still think you’re a know-it-all? It would be delusional to think you know everything or even 0.1% of everything. Don’t let an inflated sense of your knowledge be your downfall.
  10. Aren’t easily reachable to your team members: Because if you aren’t easily accessible to your team members, you’ll likely be even less accessible to your customers.
  11. Don’t have perspective when life hits you with a sledgehammer: Whether it’s in your business or in your personal life, major disasters, failures, and setbacks are guaranteed to present themselves. The life vest that will save you from drowning is keeping your “why” in perspective.
  12. Don’t have a vision for where you are going: Not only will your “why” help you and your business survive the future sledgehammer attacks, but it will also direct your decisions and actions, pulling you closer and closer towards your desired outcomes.
  13. Don’t connect with people in a meaningful way: Surface-level relationships are not satisfying. Moreover, deep meaningful connections enable reciprocal, value-add relationships where both parties help each other achieve their business goals.
  14. Don’t want to give before you get: Selfishness sacrifices long-term growth for seemingly short-term wins. Whereas selfless contribution results in short-term satisfaction (because let’s be honest: giving feels good) and 10 to 100-fold payback over the long run.
  15. Aren’t a person who stands by your word: Psychologically, people can easily forget when you met a commitment, but they will NEVER forget a lie.
  16. Simply say you will add value: There’s nothing worse than the person who is a servant in words but a greedy pirate in action. If you’re going to talk the talk, you must walk to walk, because actions speak louder than words. Proactive add value, and then you can talk about it later.
  17. Don’t prioritize relationships over everything else: Since you can’t build a business on your own (see #2), forming and maintaining relationships should be the foundation of the majority, if not all, of your business decisions.
  18. Don’t put in the consistent work, day in and day out: You are rewarded in public for the massive, consistent action you take in private.
  19. Trip over dollars to pick up pennies: Prioritize your time so that the majority of your effort is directed towards the money-making activities. Don’t spend all of your time on the $10/hour or $100/hour tasks while neglecting the $1000/hour tasks.
  20. Let challenges overwhelm you: They always come as entrepreneurs. If you act as if a challenge or failure is the end of the world, then that will be your business’s reality.
  21. Aren’t the most resourceful person you know: You should be able to solve any problem yourself or have the ability to find a solution. Anything less and your success is restricted.
  22. Don’t know your competition can replace you: Don’t obsess over your competition to the point of paranoia. Instead, let it be a motivator that keeps you evolving and at least one step ahead.


What else should be added to the list? What are deadly business mistakes you see entrepreneurs making?


Want to learn how to build an apartment syndication empire? Purchase the world’s first and only comprehensive book on the exact step-by-step process for completing your first apartment syndication: Best Ever Apartment Syndication Book


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50/50 Goals: Turning Short-Term Failures into Long-term Wins

The concept of 50/50 goals is that 50% of a goal’s success is based on achieving the quantifiable outcome and 50% is based on identifying a lesson or skill that you can apply to your business to improve results in the long run. As opposed to 100% of a goal’s success being determined by the achievement of the specific target.


For example, let’s say you set a goal to syndicate 5 deals this year, but you only complete 3. If 100% of your success is tied to completing 5 deals, then you’ve failed. You feel discouraged and letdown. Maybe you even drop out of the investment game all together. However, if 50% of your goal is completing 5 deals and 50% is the takeaways you can apply to your business moving forward, you are successful, or at least “feel” successful. By going through the entire process of closing 3 deals, the experience gained, lessons learned, and new skills adopted will have a positive effect on the business 1, 5, and 10 years down the road, even though you technically failed to meet your short-term goal.


Since we are committed to long-term success and thinking in terms of decades and not years, these skills and lessons can be, and likely will be, more important than the quantifiable result, especially in your early years. It is like the compound interest effect, but instead of money, it’s skills. If you learn a skill year one, it’s a part of your repertoire indefinitely. For example, you create a podcast and your goal is to record a podcast once a week for a year. But at the end of the year, you only recorded 40. Again, if you’re success is 100% dependent on recording 52 podcast episodes, you’ve failed. However, with the 50/50 goals concept, all the skills you obtained and relationships created account for 50% of your success, and will likely have a greater long-term impact on both your podcast and your business than not having launched the podcast at all.


Back to the first example, if you fail to complete your 5 syndication deals, but on your third deal, you met a 5-star property management company, that additional team member may earn you more money in the long run than you would have made on those two extra deals without finding the manager.


Ultimately, this concept, and the resulting mentality shift, allows you to approach situations with a “glass half full” mindset rather than “glass half empty” mindset. Two people who set the same goal and achieve the same quantifiable outcome (i.e. 3 syndication deals in one year instead of 5) can feel the exact opposite. The individual whose success is 100% dependent on completing 5 deals will feel awful. Whereas the individual whose success is 50% dependent on completing 5 deals and 50% dependent on identifying skills to apply moving forward will identify what they did right, what they did wrong, what they need to do more of, and what they need to do less of, and will feel motivated going into the next year.


Reframe the way you look at goals. No longer think of success as being 100% dependent on reaching a specific outcome. Instead, cut that in half and focus the other 50% on identifying systems, skills, techniques, or lessons learned from the process of striving for a specific outcome.


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The Top 10 Values of a $600 Million Apartment Investor

It’s important to define what your values are. Because if you don’t, you are like a marionette whose strings are being pulled by an unknown force. Hence, why Gandhi once famously said “Your values become your destiny.”


Your values shape how you perceive everything in the world – how you approach new relationships, how you react to failure and ultimately determines whether you will attract or repel success.


The number one value I live my life by can be summed up in my favorite Tony Robbins quote: “The secret to life is giving.” For every endeavor I undertake, I automatically focus on how this will benefit others. And the resulting inspiration and passion has gotten me to where I am today.


What are your values?


Carlos Vaz, who is the CEO of a multifamily company that controls nearly $600 million across around 5,000 units, attributes his business and life success to defining and living out his top values. In our recent conversation, he provided the top 10 values that took him from an immigrant waiter and truck loader to a multimillion dollar entrepreneur.


1 – Faith


Carlos’ number one value is faith. In fact, his said his Best Ever book is the bible. “My faith is important because it has really shaped me.”


2 – Excellence


Number two is excellence. That means, Carlos said, “doing your best in all you touch. It’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. Sometimes people say, ‘Well, I’m going to do this halfway.’ Really? It takes twice the amount of time and effort to come back and fix something that you didn’t do well the first time, so take the time to do well he first time around so that you don’t need to come back.”


Everything you do in real estate needs to be done at 100% effort and with 100% of your attention.  Because If you approach things halfheartedly, you may land yourself in more trouble than if you wouldn’t have something in the first place.


In fact, you need to show up outstanding, which is one level higher, in order to achieve excellent results. Want to achieve outstanding results? Click here to learn how.


3 – Perseverance


Number three is perseverance. And in order to persevere, especially when the going gets tough, you must minimize the time you spend complaining. Every second spent on complaining could have been used to get yourself out of the situation you’re complaining about.


“It’s so easy for people to complain about what they have in front of them, ‘I hate my job, I hate this here,” Carlos said. “If you work at a job that you don’t like, and you get home and you just watch TV and you go to bed, and the next day you do exactly the same thing, guess what? Five years from now, where are you going to be? Exactly in the same place. I think at the end of the day, it’s up to us to make decisions, right? Not [complaining] because the world is fair, [but] we need to look at your habits and say, ‘How can I improve? How can I make things better?’”


When Carlos was early on in his career, working as a waiter and unloading trucks and working on construction sites, instead of complaining about his current situation, he was grateful for what he had and was determined to continue moving forward. For every job, he told himself that “this is going to give me some money so I can take another class or this is going to give me some knowledge that I can take somewhere else.”


4 – Establish Great Relationships


Number four is to establish great, reciprocal relationships. This goes hand-in-hand with my number one value about giving.


“Be a team player and help others, and let others help you,” Carlos said, “because nobody wants to be around a jerk.”


5 – Effective Communication


Number five is having effective communication skills. Carlos said, “I think many times [when] there’s an issue, it’s because of lack of communication. It’s not [about] communication itself, it’s what you call effective communication.”


6 – Integrity


Many successful entrepreneurs say that your word is all you have. That brings us to number six – integrity.


“You always do the right things, even if it means making hard choices,” Carlos said. “Integrity is everything. When I shake your hand and we do business, we’re going to do something together. It’s not a contract that’s going to put us together. That contract is just going to be a formality. I think that you have to have the integrity to do the thing that’s important.”


Integrity and trust is one of the best ways an apartment syndicator can attract and keep their passive investors.


7 – Love for Family and Country


Number seven is the love for both your immediate family and your extended family – your community or your country. Carlos said, “I always say, ‘What can I do to provide for my family, for my parents, to my mom and to my brothers?’ And also, I do believe that this country, in my books, is the best country in the world. Seriously. We live in an amazing country called the USA. There are opportunities every day as long as you’re willing to wake up in the morning and go get them. So, I think that it’s important to give back and help this country.”


8 – Knowledge


Carlos’ best ever advice is to never stop learning, which is value number eight – knowledge.


“What are you doing to pursue growth and learning?,” Carlos said. And not just learning more about real estate. It’s also about “how to become a better leader, how to become a better friend, a better father, a better brother. There’s so many things that we can become better [at],” he said. “There’s so many good nuggets, there’s so many things if you’re looking for learning from other people that are actually doing things. That helps me not to make mistakes.”


Carlos creates his foundation of knowledge for continuing his formal education (he’s currently enrolled in a three-year program at Harvard), skills and lessons from past jobs and surprisingly, his kids. “It’s funny. Now that my kids are young – 2 and 4 – sometimes just talking to them and learning from those little guys. It’s amazing how much a child can teach you sometimes, and I love that.”


Click here for my recommended book list.


9 – Health


Number nine is health. Carlos said, “Health is really important when I look at my life and everything. If I don’t have health, there’s nothing. So, what are you habits? What are you doing to yourself?”


This is a value that I’m sure we can all work on. We can work our butts off to create a real estate empire, but if our diet and exercise habits are poor, we’re reducing the time we’ll have to enjoy the rewards.


10 – Commitment


Finally, number ten is commitment. Carlos said, “When you say that you’re going to do something, get things done, because there’s no point about you saying something and at the end there’s no commitment.”


If you aren’t scaling a business, lack of commitment is one of the five reasons why. Click here for the other four reasons, as well as the five things you should be doing instead.




The 10 values that Carlos Vaz attributes to his real estate success are:


  1. Faith
  2. Excellence
  3. Perseverance
  4. Establish Great Relationships
  5. Effective Communication
  6. Integrity
  7. Love for Family and Country
  8. Knowledge
  9. Health
  10. Commitment


Which of these 10 values do you think is the most important for a successful real estate business?


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Should We Celebrate Closing a Real Estate Deal?

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On June 24th, 2017, I married the love of my life. The next day, we both update our Facebook pages to reflect our newly wed status. Tons of people liked it, and we received many congratulatory comments. It was amazing.


Later that evening, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I see a post from one of my friends announcing his wife and his 8-year wedding anniversary. I noticed it only received 39 likes. I thought, “I wonder how many people liked their Facebook update announcing their marriage compared to the announcement of 8 years of a successful marriage?” Lo and behold, they received three to four times as many likes and comments for the marriage announcement.


Then I came across another anniversary post, with these friends celebrating two years of marriage. Sure enough, when I went back through their timeline, I discovered their wedding announcement received over 100 interactions compared to the 32 on the recent anniversary post.


I began thinking, “Wait a minute. Why do we celebrate the initial coming together more than two years, eight years, etc. of being together successfully and loving each other?”


At this point, you may be thinking, “what does this have to do with real estate investing?” Well, I think there is a clear parallel. For those of you that have completed a least one real estate transaction, what did you celebrate more: closing the deal or successfully operating the deal? If you are like me, and I am sure like most other investors, the largest celebration occurred at closing.


So similar to marriage and anniversaries, why do we celebrate the initial closing of a deal more than we celebrate a successful refinance a few years later, or when we deliver on our annual projections?


Now I am not trivialize getting married or closing on a deal, because those are great accomplishments. But I do think we are approaching it backwards. I believe we should be celebrating the milestones, anniversaries, delivering on our projections much more.


You may be thinking, “It seems strange to celebrate something like two years of cash flow from a deal,” but that is really what we should be celebrating. The investors who I interview on my podcast who are playing at a level that is three, four, or more times higher than me say, “You know Joe, as I progress further and further, I realize that it’s less about actually getting a deal or closing a deal and more about what you do after you have a deal.”


It is similar to a concept a previous guest on my show explained – being goal-oriented vs. growth-oriented. When we are goal-oriented, there are many more highs and lows. If we don’t get awarded a certain deal, we are low. If we get award a deal, we are high. When we are growth-oriented, there is less emphasis on whether or not we are awarded with a single opportunity. As long as we continue to successfully implement our business plan on the assets we own, meet our daily/weekly objectives, and growth as a business and a person, we have a reason to celebrate.


In other words, being goal-oriented has peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys, whereas being growth-oriented is you continuing to climb up the mountain. When we have a growth mentality, we can still celebrate getting married and closing on a deal. But we should put more weight on a wedding anniversaries and on an annual basis in our real estate businesses.


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4-Step Process to Rewire Your Brain and Create New Success Habits


We’ve all heard of the concept “Success is 80% mental/psychological, and 20% tactical.” If you are dedicated followers of this blog, you’ve learned a lot of great real estate tactics, but today, we are going to focus solely on the psychology and mindset behind success.


Joan Sotkin, a holistic prosperity and mindset mentor, has made a career out of helping entrepreneurs and practitioners succeed. She believes that in order for us to change our financial situations, we must understand our internal environment and the habits we’ve developed over the years, many of which start in early childhood.


“What I found is that people have an aversion to really looking inside them,” Joan said. “They’re afraid that they’re going to find something that’s awful. Because so many people have negative self-talk, they don’t necessarily like themselves inside… If you understand that it’s all habits, that everything about you is a habit, then you don’t have to say ‘There’s something wrong with me. I’ve done something wrong.’ All you’ve done is what you were programmed to do.”


Joan thinks we can use the principles of brain science to change our habits and programming. She said, “it’s really almost mechanical, the mechanics of psychology, because whatever you do, whatever you think, whatever you believe, however you feel as a response to life, those are all just habits that are actually these neural pathways that are built up in your brain.” If we want a different outcome, in our personal lives, financial lives, or life in general, according to Joan, we need to build up new neural pathways.


How do we accomplish this? In our recent conversation, Joan outlined the four-step process to ridding ourselves of negative habits, building new neural pathways in our brains, and changing our lives for the better. The process is Recognize, Release, Replace, and Repeat.


#1 – Recognize


The first step is to recognize the bad habit. For example, Joan said, “if you have a habit of being disappointed in your outcomes, your financial investment outcomes, that’s really a habit. You have a disappointment habit. So if you decide you want to have a satisfaction habit instead, first of all, you have to recognize that habit.”


It is easy to understand the process for recognizing a poor habit, but actually recognizing it in yourself is much harder than you would think. “That’s pretty easy, because you can hear yourself thinking ‘Oh, I wish I had done something else’ and ‘Every time I try to make an investment, I don’t get the results I want’ – so you can recognize that,” Joan said.


However, if it was that simple to recognize a bad habit, we’d all correct them on the spot and Joan would quickly be out of a job. That’s why she says it’s better to have someone else help you identify bad habits. “I was working with someone who thought she had a money problem. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t make the money that she wants,” Joan said. “So I said to her – and this is the important question – ‘How to you feel about your situation?’ and she was a little stumped. She doesn’t have a great feeling vocabulary. So I said, ‘Do you feel trapped?’ because that was the sense I got. She said ‘yes.’ Then I said, ‘Aside from money, where else do you feel trapped?’ She said ‘I feel trapped in my job, I feel trapped in my relationship, I feel trapped in my house…’”


In this example, Joan’s client knew something was wrong, but she couldn’t identify the exact cause. Joan helped guide the client to the bad habit – feeling trapped.


Once you’ve identified the bad habit, either alone or with the help of a friend, partner, family member, etc., then you can move onto the next step – release.


#2 – Release


Joan provided multiple release techniques. One is as simple as admitting aloud your bad habit. For example, if your habit is being disappointed, Joan said, “Once you say out loud, ‘I feel so disappointed,’ that’s actually part of the release.”


Another release technique is a specific visualization. “For example, one of the ones that I use that I found really helpful,” Joan said, “I imagine myself in a cage, and I imagine that the door to the cage was open, and I had to walk myself out of the cage, and I was amazed at how difficult that was. Because on the other side of the open door is the unknown, and our amygdala – which is more brain science – does not like uncertainty of any kind. So what you’re doing that leads to uncertainty, your brain tells you it’s dangerous, so you stay in the cage. Very often I have to lead [clients] out of the cage. They’re doing it by themselves. If they are determined to not feel trapped, then they have to find that strength within themselves to get out of the cage. If they can’t, then they’re going to stay stuck, and so many people just stay stuck… So either you need to get someone to help you out of the cage, or you have to kind of take yourself out of the cage slowly. Put one foot out of the cage, and if it’s not dangerous, then you can take the other foot. You have to try it slowly.”


If you think visualizations are a little strange or none of that made sense, no problem. A third technique Joan provided is to will yourself to do something you are afraid of or have been avoiding (which is a technique based on the “exit the cage” metaphor). “I had a therapist who said I was counterphobic, which meant I did whatever I was afraid of,” she said. “That has served me very well. A lot of people just are so afraid to try something new. You have to make the decision. Remember I said it was all about decisions? You have to make the decision that you’re willing to get out of the cage no matter what.”


#3 – Replace


After you’ve recognized and released the bad habit, the next step is really important. You need to replace the bad habit with the better habit of your choosing. To accomplish this, Joan said you need to ask yourself “What would I rather be feeling at this moment.”


“You might want to be feeling free, you might want to be feeling courageous. So you pick a feeling and you ask yourself, ‘Do I know how to feel that?’ and the idea is to remember back in a time in your life when you actually felt that. Kids have a lot more courage than grown-ups because they haven’t been knocked down by life enough times. Remember that time, and then you make it a deal with yourself that when you feel this fear of coming out of this trap, that you’re going to take a deep breath and let yourself feel courageous or confident.”


If you are having difficulty finding a time in your life where you felt the new emotional habit you want to create, or you are having trouble replicating it, it is probably due to a small emotional vocabulary or low emotional intelligence. No problem. Joan has a solution for that, because she started with a nonexistent emotional vocabulary and had to begin from scratch.


“I was brought up in a family where one of the rules was ‘Soktins don’t feel.’ We were the only Sotkins in the country, and my father was a little nuts and had all these rules, and one of them was ‘Sotkins don’t feel.’ So I was coming from a place where I had zero vocabulary when it came to emotions. So what I did was I created a list of emotions and I would practice feeling them… You can actually practice feelings and become more aware of them when they’re happening inside of you. Feelings don’t happen in your head, they happen in your body because they happen when these neural peptides attach themselves to receptors in your cells, and that’s what allows you to feel these things in your chest and your abdomen or in other parts of your body.”


A good exercise would be to create a list of emotions, and each day, take a few minutes to practice feeling them, like Joan had to do.


#4 – Repeat


Once you’ve selected your replacement emotion, according to Joan, in order to build up these new neural pathways, “Repeat. Just keep doing it over and over again.” Whenever you are in the situation that brings up the bad emotional habit, recognize, release, and replace. Repeat over and over and over because Joan said, “that’s how you build the new neural pathways.”




In order to replace bad emotional habits with positive habits of your choosing, Joan recommends following a proven four-step process:


  • Recognize – Identify the poor habit you want to get rid of. If you are having difficulty recognizing your bad habits on your own, elicit the help of a close friend, family member, etc.
  • Release – Release the poor emotion through the spoken word, visualizations, or taking action.
  • Replace – Select the new emotional habit that you want to replace the old one with. You may have to improve your emotional intelligence by listing out emotions and practice feeling them.
  • Repeat – Repeat the first three steps whenever the bad habit arises to build new neural pathways in your brain.


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The Real Estate Ladder of Success: How I Created the World’s Longest Daily Real Estate Podcast

In late 2016, I wrote a blog post entitled “5 Reasons You Are Not Scaling Your Business & 5 Keys to Push to the Next Level,” which was based on an interview I conducted with my business coach Trevor McGregor. Trevor has over 10,000 hours of business coaching under his belt. One of the five commonalities he found between entrepreneurs that don’t scale their businesses is a lack of consistent and persistent action. They take action for maybe a year, but are disappointed in the results, or lack thereof, and give up or just coast on by.


One of my favorite quotes from Tony Robbins that addresses this concept is “we overestimate what we can do in a year, but we underestimate what we can do in two, three, five, or ten years.” Since we are living in an instant gratification world, we expect to receive instant fruits from our labor. However, if we aren’t thinking in terms of multiple years or decades, we will continue to be disappointed with our results.


My personal journey is evidence that supports this concept. I recently released my 1000th podcast episode. If I expected instant results, I would have given up podcasting after a few episodes since my audience was only comprised of my parents, a few friends, and my dog. However, after consistently putting out podcasts for 1000 days in a row, I was able to create the world’s longest running daily podcast, and as a result, my company has achieved a portfolio of over $130 million in real estate in under 24 months.


Using this idea of consistent and persistent action, in combination with other Tony Robbins’ success principles, Trevor McGregor created the concept he calls The Real Estate Investor Ladder of Success. In our recent conversation, he outlined this ladder and explained how it can be used to gauge where you are showing up in your business and determine if you are putting forth the persistent and consistent action required to scale your business.


The Real Estate Investor Ladder of Success


Either draw out or visualize in your mind a vertical ladder with six rungs. Each rung on the ladder represents how you are showing up in different aspects of your business, or life in general. The higher up the ladder the ladder you are, the better you are showing up.


Rung #1 – Showing up POOR


The very first run of the ladder is what Trevor calls showing up POOR. He said, “We often say in real estate that if you show up poorly in something – let’s say it’s property management – what kind of results do you think that you get?” If you think the answers is poor, you are mistaken. The answer isn’t no results either. Trevor said, “Poor equals pain! You know that as a property manager if your property management isn’t good, poor doesn’t equal poor. It actually hurts. It’s like a kick in the teeth. It gives you pain.”


Poor = Pain


Hopefully, if you are a best ever reader or listener, you aren’t showing up POOR in any aspect of your business, so let’s move to the next rung of the ladder.


Rung #2 – Showing up GOOD


If you are on the second rung of the ladder, you are giving a little more effort and are showing up as GOOD. What kind of results do you think you’ll see when you show up GOOD?




Trevor said, “GOOD isn’t enough anymore. There’s too many people out there looking for deals, vying for investors, so we often say that good these days equals poor results.”


If you’re just good at communicating with contractors, for example, yet you see poor results, that’s because you’re showing up on the second rung of the ladder of success. If you want better results, you need to climb to the next rung of the ladder.


Rung #3 – Showing up GREAT


The next rung up, number three, is showing up GREAT. “Imagine yourself if you’re a real estate investor that has efforts that are great, in today’s world, again, great isn’t great enough, because we say that GREAT equals [GOOD],” Trevor said. “If you’re just great at finding deals today, when there’s literally tons of other investors out there doing the same thing, being great at finding deals will give you good results.”




Three rungs up and you should start to see a pattern. Poor = pain, good = poor, and great = good. You must show up at a higher rung than the results you want to achieve.


Before moving to the next rung, draw – on paper or in your mind – a horizontal line between rung three and four. Because when you’re showing up at rung four or above, you start playing the game of real estate at what Trevor calls “above the line.” At the very least, you want to be showing up above the line.


Rung #4 – Showing up EXCELLENT


When you’ve reached rung number four, you are showing up as EXCELLENT. Based on the pattern thus far, what do you think your results will be when you are EXCELLENT?… GREAT.


“If you’re excellent at negotiating deals or negotiating terms, or finding anything like that in your toolkit, you’re going to get great results,” Trevor said.




Rung #5 – Showing up OUTSTANDING


When you are one rung away from the top, you are showing up as outstanding, meaning you will see excellent results. Trevor said, “As an outstanding investor, if you’re outstanding at raising capital, you’re going to have excellent results and be able to rinse, then repeat it and do more deals.”




Rung #6 – Showing up EXTRAORDINARY


If you are at the top of The Real Estate Ladder of Success, you are showing up extraordinary. At this level, you apply yourself and you wake up every day and show up extraordinary in everything you do. As an outcome, you will produce excellent results.


People who show up extraordinary have a unique selling proposition and are able to market who they are and what they do with an extraordinary elevator pitch. If you adopted this extraordinary mindset, do you think you’d attract more people to your real estate outcomes?… You bet!





Trevor asked, “Where are you showing up today? Are you poor? Are you good? Are you great? Or are you playing above the line and you’re excellent, outstanding or extraordinary?”


It’s a conscious choice.


A philosophy that I got from Tony Robbins is that there is no failure, there’s only feedback. Maybe you’re playing at level three right now and you want to go to level four; or maybe you’re playing at level four and you want to go to level five. You have to align your state, your story and your strategy each and every day, to be able to show up and do it at that level.


Something else interesting about the success ladder, Trevor said, is “it takes a massive jump to go from poor up to good. It’s massive. But to go from good to great is literally about one yard, or one meter. To go from good to excellent is about one foot; that means you’ve got to do things just a little bit better. To go from excellent to outstanding is almost six inches, and then, just like an Olympic athlete, to go from outstanding to extraordinary or extra-ordinary is what we call a two-millimeter shift. It’s the small things, it’s the subtle differences in how you show up and how you play full out] that are really going allow you to live at the highest level.”


How to Objectively Determine Where You’re Showing Up?


How can we have an objective evaluation of where we are at on the success ladder? Trevor said, “it’s really situation-specific. We’ve all got things that we’re really good at and that we love to do and we kind of default to that, and we know that there’s other areas in real estate that we need to seek outer advice. I think the categories that you would break down into is ‘Who are you? What is your X factor or your unique selling proposition? What is your platform? What are you really good at? Is it finding deals? Is it working with contractors? Is it raising capital? Is it property management?’ and literally go through each of those categories and give yourself a score. When you give yourself a score, you’re literally saying ‘Where am I showing up on the six levels? Am I good? Am I great? And if so, what would I have to do differently to go to excellent?’ … It’s not about having necessarily a quantum leap and going from good up to extraordinary; it’s starting to understand that it’s the little things that add up to the big things. Going to some networking events, putting in more offers, driving more neighborhoods, getting really good at asking investors for capital. And again, we always want to shine our shield and sharpen our sword so to speak, so that we know we’re getting better.”


The outcome of this exercise is to raise your standards. It’s changing yourself from saying “I should” to “I must.” When you make that shift, like I did a few short years ago, and you resolve to get better one small step at a time, that is how you exceed your expectations for how much you can achieve over the span of year/decades.




The Real Estate Ladder of Success has six stages. At each stage, you put forth a specific effort and receive a specific outcome:


  • Rung #1 – Showing up poor equals painful results
  • Rung #2 – Showing up good equals poor results
  • Rung #3 – Showing up great equals good results
  • Rung #4 – Showing up excellent equals great results
  • Rung #5 – Showing up outstanding equals excellent results
  • Rung #6 – Showing up extraordinary equals outstanding results


Your overall goal should be to wake up every day and show up extraordinary. However, your first goal, if you’re showing up poor, good, or great, should be to show up above the line, meaning reaching rung #4 at the very least.


Determine where you are currently showing up on the ladder of success and brainstorm ways to climb to the next rung. Once at the next rung, repeat the exercise until you are consistently showing up extraordinary, and as a result, you will see the outstanding results you’re striving for.


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How to Become Famous: General Fame vs. Selective Fame

I am blessed (and sometimes cursed) to have a personality where if I learn something new or have an exciting idea, I instantly take action on it.


A recent (and successful) example use of this personality trait is when I was reading “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss. In the chapter dedicated to Mathematician and Economist Eric Weinstein, I was introduced to the concept of being selectively famous vs. being generally famous.


What’s the main difference between the two?


An example of someone being generally famous would be a movie star or a sports star. This is someone who cannot pump gas, chow down on a Chipotle burrito, or go to the grocery store with out being recognized or harassed by paparazzi or overly enthusiastic fans. While the prospect of the flashing lights and smiling fans may seem attractive when you don’t have it, Eric Weinstein said that this type of “general fame is overrated.”


Instead, if you are aiming for fame, you should set your sights on selective fame. “You want to be famous to 2,000 to 3,000 people you handpick,” Eric said.


General, mainstream fame is overrated because it brings more liabilities than benefits. However, Tim said, “If you’re known and respected by 2-3K high-caliber people (e.g., the live TED audience), you can do anything and everything you want in life. It provided maximal upside and minimal downside.”


I loved this concept and it immediately clicked for me. I brainstormed who exactly I wanted my 2,000 people to be, and since I raise money for multifamily syndications, I took a look at the characteristics of my current investors. Based on that analysis, my new target/primary audience, which are the 2,000 people that will help my business grow the most and where I want to focus my efforts, are 35-64 year old males who live in or are very close to a large city, are business owners, C-Suite executive, doctors, or passive real estate investors, and are accredited.


Question: Who are your 2,000 to 3,000 handpicked individuals?


Another outcome from learning about the “selectively famous” concept was creating a new landing page on my website – www.InvestWithJoe.com – because I realized I had nothing on my website that said, “Hey, person who is perfect to partner with us, here’s the page just for you.”


It’s actually refreshing, because now I’m not focused on seeing how many video views I have on YouTube or how many e-mails I’ve gathered or how many downloads I get on the podcast. Instead, I’m laser focused on “who am I attracting,” because it’s better to be selectively famous within 2-3k than to be generally famous with everyone, have our show on a billboard somewhere and waste money and get leads that aren’t qualified.


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5 Tips for Achieving Internal Success While Pursuing External Goals

When pursuing a goal and discovering new strategies for how to succeed in business, the majority of our time is spent on the journey. Once we achieve an external success, we have a mini-celebration, but then we set a new goal and we are off to the races again. Since we are ultimately on the journey to accomplishing goals much longer than we’re actually sitting in the glow of the accomplishment, how do we ensure internal success, such as happiness and contentment, along the way?


Alison Cardy, who runs an international career coaching team, specializes in helping people solve this problem. In our recent conversation, she outlined five characteristics for feeling successful, not only when you’ve achieved a goal and become, for example, a successful real estate investor, but also while you’re en route and when you are setting the next milestone.

#1 Clarity on What’s Within Your Sphere of Control

“One is … clarity on your locus of control, and [having] good boundaries,” Alison said. “If you get really good at knowing what’s yours to take care of and what’s other people’s [to take care of], your life will change.”


In business, as in life, there are always things that are in our control and things that our outside of it. That’s why understanding what you are in control of is the foundation for internal success and happiness in the midst of external uncertainty. “Just having that idea that there are certain things that I can control, and there are certain things I cannot control,” Alison said. “Why don’t I put all my attention on what I can control and really focus on that? Because that’s going to be a lot more helpful.”


As many successful real estate investors and entrepreneurs know, this is easier said than done. We have to continually and consciously practice focusing on what’s inside our sphere of influence. The next four characteristics will help you achieve this and, hopefully, teach you how to succeed in business or professional goals you have.

#2 Checking Your Self-Talk

“Another thing is having your brain be your friend,” Alison said. “If you think about the internal dialogue in your head that we all have, we want that internal dialogue to be – and this may sound a little cheesy – unconditionally loving. We want that present in our head towards ourselves, and then also towards others. That leads to a lot of happiness, when there’s a kind voice in your head.”


Let’s say a friend came to me for advice after making a bad business decision. I wouldn’t say, “You idiot. I can’t believe you did that. You are such a failure.” I would try to say something empowering. Yet, many people’s inner dialogue with themselves is just that – negative and disempowering and more likely than not, untrue.


A good rule of thumb for checking your self-talk and increasing your feelings of internal success is to determine if it’s something you would say to a close friend if they were facing a similar situation.

#3 Commitment and Non-Attachment to Your Goal

“The third one is a focus for your brain,” Alison said. “Having a goal and a purpose, something that you’re working towards, focuses your brain. It’s very healthy, very helpful.”


Once we understand our overarching goal, which all successful real estate investors, business owners, and professionals need to have, we then need to understand the difference between being committed to that goal and being attached to that goal. Alison says, “Commitment to a goal is, ‘I’m going to work on this and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there.’ Attachment to the goal is, ‘It has to happen this way, at this exact time.’”


There is a distinct difference between commitment and attachment. Alison thinks, “a lot of times where people create unnecessary strife for themselves is when they get so attached to a particular, specific vision – ‘it has to be this way, it has to be at this time’ – and it shuts [them] off to other possibilities.”


“A better philosophy is commitment, which says, ‘Okay, I want to get to this end result, but I’m open to finding a better mini-process (more on this in #4) goal if this one’s not working’ or ‘I’m open to switching things up to get that final goal, so that I can actually be effective,’ versus being so attached and grasping to ‘It has to be my way or else.’”


Now, it is important to note that Alison isn’t talking about commitment vs. attachment in terms of the result of your goal. She is talking about the path. “I think the place that can be either so binding for people or freeing is the path to get it. So if they think they know the way to get it, or if you think you know that way to get to that goal, then you’re going to only see certain opportunities. You’re only going to go in the direction that your brain’s already familiar with.”


“But if you see that goal and say, ‘Okay, I’m committed to this. I’m going to work on it, I’m going to do whatever it takes, I’m going to get this goal, but I don’t really care how I go about doing it. It doesn’t have to be my way, or a way that I’m familiar with.’ All of a sudden, it frees your brain. It opens up your brain to see so many more possibilities that may make the achievement of that goal much easier than if you just kind of have your head down and say, ‘Okay, this is how to do it.’”


In other words, the problem doesn’t come from being attached to an end goal. The problem is being attached to a specific path. For example, if you end goal is financial freedom and you tell yourself, “My path to financial freedom is to fix-and-flip exclusively in zip code 12345 and only A-class properties that results in $30,000 profit per deal,” then you may miss out on other fix-and-flip opportunities or opportunities in other classes and niches that would actually help you achieve your goal of becoming a wildly successful real estate investor sooner or more efficiently.

#4 Really Focus on Internal Metrics of Success

“The fourth characteristic is to rely on internal metrics for measurements of success,” Alison said. “[Saying], ‘Okay, I’m doing what I need to do. If I’m doing that and I pat myself on the back and feel proud of myself, I can get up and have fun tomorrow.’ There’s plenty of work to do in the world, there’s plenty of time to do it, so you might as well enjoy it.” This characteristic goes hand-in-hand with #1.


For example, let’s say you are a wholesaler and you plan on sending out 100 direct mailers a week. You can’t necessarily control how many of those mailers result in a lead. However, what you do control is making sure you send out 100 mailers a week, tracking the results, and continuing to hit that number week after week. In other words, you should focus less on the long-term, external results (i.e. number of leads) and more on completing the mini-process (i.e. 100 mailers a week and tracking the results) that will allow you to join the ranks of successful real estate investors. And as long as you hit that goal week after week, you should give yourself some credit!


“It’s sort of like if you were an athlete and you’re training for the big game,” Alison said. “You may not know that you’re going to win the game, but you can work hard and practice, [and] you can show up. That is within your control.”


She says, “Focus on what’s in your control, setting metrics against those internal activities, and then when you hit those all along the way, which you will do en route to your [overarching] goal, give yourself a pat on the back every single time, and know that [you’re] doing what [you] can do. [You’re] being a success no matter what happens.”


Now, the money question here is how do we identify effective mini-processes to follow? Alison provided two tips:


Find a mentor, someone who is further along than you – “One is if you can connect with somebody who has done what you’re trying to achieve, … then that person’s going to have more of a vision of how that landscape works and what’s going to be effective. I think finding somebody further along who can help you identify the most effective process goal is really valuable, more so than people realize. Because it’s tricky to know what’s going to be effective or not, and somebody who has that experience and perspective can say, ‘Hey, did you ever think about doing X? That’s going to get you really slow results, so you should probably think about Y.’”


Trial and error – “There’s something to being open to trying and learning, and being open to reality… If you think about, ‘Okay, I’ll try this for a certain amount of time’ and you look around and say, ‘This isn’t working. What can I do differently?’ Sometimes you just need to try things and see, because even with an expert, things are going to work differently for different people. They’re going to bring different strengths, so kind of being open to trying and know, ‘Okay, part of the process is figuring out which is going to be most effective for me.’”


I think combining these two is the best approach to becoming a successful real estate investor. Find someone who has already achieved success, see what has and hasn’t worked for them, test out the strategy for a given period of time (the amount of time is up to you), and look at the results to see whether or not it is effective, both literally and in terms of increasing your internal success.

#5 Prioritize Your Own Personal Well-Being

“The last characteristic of internal happiness is to prioritize your own personal well-being,” Alison said. “You could have great purpose, you could be clear on what’s yours, and if you ignore your own health, your own relationships, your own need for rest, you’re not going to be happy. So it’s really important to take care of yourself in the midst of your journey, as well.”


As entrepreneurs, we often neglect this last point. We are so busy focusing on how to succeed in business that we may forget to take care of ourselves, from both a physical perspective (i.e. exercise and diet) and a relationship perspective.


Alison said, “In my life, it’s definitely way at the top in terms of taking care of health and the people in my life who I care about, and making time for them.” Aside from putting it at the top of her priority list, she also focuses on forming habits over moment-to-moment discipline. “I do it with habits – straight up habits,” Alison said. “I think too often people think, ‘Oh, I need to have discipline to eat well, to exercise, or to make time for loved ones,’ and I would say, … ‘No, you don’t want discipline at all. You just want the habit in place to actually have your life run that way because a habit means it’s running on autopilot.’ It’s like brushing your teeth – you don’t think about how to do it, you don’t think that you have to do it, you just do it.”


For those who have trouble prioritizing their well-being, don’t try to implement multiple habits at once. Instead, Alison recommends this: “Just try to find one little tweak, one small area where you could build a better habit. It’s going to be different for any individual, but honestly, I believe anything in your life will improve if you give attention to it.”


More specifically, Alison provided a quick 10-minute exercise that you can (and should) perform immediately after completing this post. Open a blank Word Document, or take out a pen and paper. Set a timer for 10 minutes and answer the following two questions:


What is one way I could take care of myself better?
What is one little piece of time in my day that I could tweak and put in something that I enjoy, or that takes care of me, or that feeds me?


Then once you find that one habit, Alison says, “focus for a period of time on actually following through on doing it, make it a priority, and eventually it’s just going to go into autopilot and you won’t have to think about it. Then you can add another one. So don’t do all of them at once, but just find on little tweak that would be prioritizing your well-being, and make a little time to try to add that in.”


Alison provided five tips for how to maintain internal success on the journey towards achieving your external real estate goals:


  • Have clarity on what you can and can’t control
  • Check in with your self-talk
  • Commit to a goal, rather than becoming attached
  • Focus on internal metrics of success (i.e. mini-processes)
  • Prioritize your own personal well-being


Become one of the many successful real estate investors who have learned to implement these tips.

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Best Ever Success Habit of the Nation’s #1 Landlord Aid

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Linda Libertore, who created the number one tenant communication and payment assistant company in the nation that supports over 1,000 landlords, is one of many speakers who will be presenting at the 1st annual Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Conference in Denver, CO February 24th to 25th.


I interviewed Linda on my podcast mid last year and she provided her Best Ever Advice, which is a sneak preview of the information she will be presenting at the conference. The main, practical takeaway I had from our conversation was find something, a habit, technique, etc., that needs to be done to further your success and do it on a daily basis.


Linda attributes much of her success to being a big “daily person.” In other words, she is always looking for specific activities that will bring or has brought her tangible success. When she discovers one, she exploits that success habit by doing it on a daily basis. Not on odd days or even days only, and not weekly or monthly, but she makes the commitment to doing it daily.


When Linda first began her tenant communication and payment assistant company, she was starting from scratch. The only real estate experience she had was obtaining a real estate license, so she did not have many connections with landlords. The only way she could expand her business was by conducting everyone’s favorite activity – cold calling. Being a “daily person” and understanding the power of consistent and persistent activity, she committed to making a certain number of cold calls every single day, no matter what. Linda knew that if she wanted to create a large, successful business, she couldn’t give up in the face of rejection or even miss a single day.


Another habit that Linda commits to daily is widening her education of the real estate industry. She is involved in eight local real estate associations. In order to add value to those meetings and not just sit silently, she must perform research prior to attending meetings and remain dedicated to her self-taught education. And with eight meetings to attend every month, she has committed to conducting some from of research or self-education every day in order to continuously have information she can provide to others.


Education and cold calling are just two of many examples of success habits you can introduce to your daily routine. Reading, journaling, running numbers on deals, or creating posts on BiggerPockets are a few other examples of success habits that you can implement daily, but your options are basically limitless. Once you find an activity, habit, exercise, etc. that furthers your real estate success and brings you tangible benefits, exploit that activity by performing it each and every day, no matter what.


What are some of your daily habits that have furthered your real estate success?



Want to learn other real estate professional success habits, as well as a wide range of other real estate niches? Attend the 1st Annual Best Ever Conference February 24-25 in Denver, CO. It’s the only real estate investing conference whose content and speakers are curated based on the expressed needs of the audience. Visit www.besteverconference.com to learn more!



Related: Best Ever Speak Brie Schmidt Sneak Peek How to Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome in Real Estate Investor


Related: Best Ever Speaker Kevin Bupp Sneak Peek Lessons Learned From Losing Everything During the Financial Crash


Related: Best Ever Speaker Theresa Bradley-Banta Sneak Peek Don’t Invest in Real Estate on Unfounded Optimism and Emotions

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Unique Lead Generation Tactics and Daily Routine Tweaks from a Master Real Estate Gatekeeper


Some of the most knowledge professionals in the real estate business are brokers. They are the gatekeepers to many deals, whether they are single-family or multifamily.


Commercial broker Stash Gelezinski, who is Certified Commercial Investment Member that has been involved in the syndication and disposition of thousands of apartment units worth more than $100MM, has mastered the “gatekeeper” process. In our recent conversation, he explains clever tactics he uses to generate leads, as well as two minor tweaks he made to his daily routine that resulted in maximizing his results!

The Best Approach for Getting Listings


Stash doesn’t focus on directly getting listings. Instead, he concentrates on adding value to build relationships. The purpose behind this approach is that when the time comes and an investor is interested in buying or selling, he is top of mind.


He has some creative methods for accomplishing this:


“If I see somebody’s name who is in one of the markets we are tracking and working in and I see that they’re mentioned in an article or something great just happened, I’ll snip that out and send that to them…I’ll say, “Hey that’s great. Let’s get together and talk about it.” When Stash says, “something great,” what he means is a piece of valuable information that has occurred in the market that would be of interest to a commercial investor. He has personally used this technique on me. A few years ago, Stash emailed me a link to a piece of news that happened from an employment standpoint. The goal is to provide something that adds value.


Another one of Stash’s approaches comes from an old saying in brokerage. “It’s STP. See the property. See the people. For me, the way I see it, [for] the markets I’m working in, I want to know about all the trades that are happening and have an encyclopedic knowledge so that whenever I’m calling somebody…I want to be a resource.” In other words, Stash strives to understand all the ins and outs of his market – the who, the what, and the where – so that he is the go-to real estate almanac for as many local investors as possible.


However, the glue that holds these two techniques (among others) together is Stash’s work ethic. “Honestly, I try and be the hardest working guy in the market. I don’t really know any other way to be.” This means, “A lot of meetings in person…and just pounding the phones…we try and burn up the phones to the best of our ability.” In between sending investors articles and news clippings and learning the ins and outs of his markets, Stash spends the rest of his time meeting investors in person or talking to them on the phone.


Two Tweaks to Daily Routine to Maximize Results


Stash wasn’t always the real estate juggernaut he is today. He always had the great work ethic, but at first, that wasn’t enough to generate results. So, Stash reached out to an experience consultant and after making two minor tweaks to his daily routine, he began to flourish.


The first tweak was simple goal setting. “Setting daily production goals of conversation – [number of] meeting goals – which would then translate into listings, which would then translate to contracts, which would then translate into closings.” In other words, he reverse engineered the process, broke it down into its independent pieces, and set goals that focused on the first step in the process. He flicked the first domino and the resulting chain reaction eventually lead to the end goal – closings!


The other tweak was finding a good database program. “I was fooling myself by thinking I could [track client information in] excel, even though I knew that you can’t. [As a broker], you’re going to be prospecting, which is what…I spend the majority of my time on You have to have a program that will support your efforts and function in a way that allows you to thrive. You [need to] keep good notes and I’m talking to hundreds of people a week sometimes. There’s no way I can keep all that straight in my mind, so we rely on a good CRM system.” The two CRM platforms that Stash utilizes are Realhound and Propertybase.



Stash’s best ever approach to getting listings is to focus on the question “how can I be at the top of investors minds?” so that when it’s time for them to either buy or sell, he is the first person they contact. He accomplishes this by:


  1. Sending relevant information to investors
  2. Meeting with as many investors as possible via in-person “food and drink opportunities” (coffee, lunches, breakfasts)
  3. Being the real estate encyclopedia, their ultimate resource
  4. Pounding the phones


Before becoming a Certified Commercial Investment Member, Stash had to make two minor tweaks to how he approached his days:


  1. Set daily production goals based off the first step in the process that ultimately leads to the end goal (in his case as a broker, closings)
  2. Find a good database program to effectively log client information



Advice in Action: Stash advises that if you don’t already, commit to having at least 5 meetings a week with potential real estate clients (whatever clients are applicable to your real estate niche) using one of the techniques described in the post. Comment below which technique you’ve chosen and how it is working out!



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How to Identify and CRUSH Fear Barriers


Fear is a human universal. Without it, tigers would have eaten our ancestors and humans would have gone extinct or we’d still be living in the trees! However, while fear of being consumed by a tiger is quite rational and necessary, most modern day fears are not. It paralyzes would be entrepreneurs and stops them in their tracks, or keeps them from even getting started.


Dave Daley, an entrepreneur, keynote speak, author, and The Monster Motivator, has been studying fear inside and out after discovering personal development 17 years ago, and he believes he has the formula to conquer “fear barriers” once and for all. In our recent conversation, he explains what fear is and provides a step-by-step process to crush any fear barrier you may have.



Identifying Your Fear Barriers


Before tackling fear barriers, you need to know what they actually are. So, what are fear barriers? Dave defines them as “obstacles created inside your head and made up inside your mind.” Examples of these obstacles include well-known, and often shared fears, such as the fear of the unknown, the fear of darkness, the fear of doing something different, the fear of failure, and the fear of success.


Fear of success? How so? Dave finds that the fear of success is analogous to a fear of receiving additional responsibilities. “A lot of times, what happens is that fear of success is so sneaky that is comes up and bites you or it stops you midstream every single time… So many people want to do better in life, but they think that they are not going to have to take on more responsibilities. When they do, it stops them.”


While we can rattle off hundreds of different fears, Dave believes that the majority of them are rooted in two major fears: (1) the fear of change and (2) the fear of what other people think. “When you can identify and dominate these two fears, I believe you have the golden key in life!” Since these are the most important fear barriers, Dave unpacked them further.


The Fear of Change – “A lot of people are so terrified of change, but what they don’t understand is change in evolution is going to happen whether you agree with it [or] whether you are ready for it or not. That train is leaving with or without you. You are either getting on that train or you are getting run over. When I talk to corporations, I put it in context of business. [If] you’re not on the cutting edge of your industry, you are going to be left behind. You are going to disappear and [if] you’re not sure how accurate that statement is, just ask Blockbuster video, Border’s Books, Kodak Film. It doesn’t matter how big you are, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been around, we are all vulnerable to change unless we change with it. And that’s such a huge stopper for so many people. They think that they can stop time. They think that they can just stay neutral and there is no neutral. You are either growing or you’re dying. There’s no staying the same. When you move backwards long enough, you disappear.”


The Fear of What Other People Think –“I live my life with intention. If my intention is pure and I use a word or a sentence that offends you, [then] that’s on you. You need to figure out why that offends you. Now, if my intention is impure, then that’s something completely different, but to fear what ot