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!

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 time 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 other people think always stops so many people… If you can adopt this mindset, it takes all the pressure off and keeps everything clear. And clarity is power.”


When you can master both the fear of change and the fear of what other people think, “you have freedom that money can’t buy.”


The Bully Buster Formula


Now that we’ve identified our fear barriers, how do we crush them? Dave created a four-step formula, which he calls the Bully Buster, to crush fear barriers.


Step 1 – You need to be clear on exactly what you want. What is your goal? What is your final destination? To make sure you’re setting the right goal, Dave says “the way we are built as human beings, if it doesn’t scare you and excite you at the same time, it’s just not big enough. It’s not going to keep your attention and it might not even get your attention.” Make sure that whatever goal you set, it has those two components: it scares you and it excites you.


Step 2 – What is your why? Dave believes “your why is the epicenter for everything and…that when your why becomes big enough, it will pull you through those fear barriers and when your why becomes bigger than you, you actually become unstoppable in whatever it is you are looking to do.”


Step 3 – A scary, exciting goal and a huge why is nothing without this next step: action. What action are you taking? Is it getting you closer or farther away from your destination?


Keep in mind that there is a distinction between action and being busy. “A lot of people confuse being busy with actual massive, effective action and it’s two different worlds. If you’re not sure which one you’re taking, your results will tell you real soon.”


Step 4 – Dave believes this final step is “the game changer and the most misunderstood, misused step in life. We all use it but most people don’t know how to leverage it for themselves.” This last piece of the Bully Buster puzzle is your self-talk. What are you telling yourself on a daily basis? “Understanding how to leverage and utilize powerful positive self-talk is vital in life and I always believe if you audit your day and you don’t really understand that process on self-talk, if you’re honest with yourself, the majority of your day is going to be limiting and weakening self-talk.”




We run into fear barriers constantly throughout our lives, with the two most frequent being the fear of change and the fear of what other people think. Once we’ve identified these, and other major fears, we can crush them by following Dave’s 4-step Bully Buster formula:


  1. Set a scary and exciting goal
  2. Set a why – the bigger the better
  3. Take effective action toward that goal
  4. Leverage positive self-talk



Advice in action: Take the most frequently occurring fear you have and run it through the Bully Buster formula. Determine which step or steps you are failing at the most and brainstorm potential solutions to apply moving forward. Comment your discoveries below!



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The Four Archetypes of the Mastery Process


There are numerous different theories on how one can become truly satisfied and fulfilled in life. George Leonard proposed one such theory in his best-selling book “Mastery,” where he explains how the key to long-term fulfillment lay on the path towards mastering a specific skill. To quote George Leonard – “Ultimately, practice is the path of mastery. If you stay on it long enough, you’ll find it to be a vivid place, with its ups and downs, its challenges and comforts, its surprises, disappointments, and unconditional joys.” Thus, he believes that success truly is all about the journey and not the destination. Actually, George Leonard goes as far as saying that the path to mastery requires one understanding that they will never reach a final destination – “after you have reached the top of the mountain, climb another one.”


Unfortunately, this “enjoy the path” mindset does not fit well into our current zeitgeist of instant gratification and “get rich quick” mentality that are many individuals, including real estate investors, default approach to life. As a result, many investors quit, give up early, or never get started at all. The reason? – a gap between expectations and reality, in terms of growth.


Note: Moving forward, I will relate the path of mastery to real estate investing. However, the same logic applies to almost any aspect of life, from relationships to health to careers and beyond.



Growth – Expectations vs Reality




Many newbie investor’s default expectations for their path to growth is a linear progression, where in reality, it is more like a staircase with very wide steps. This gap between expectation and reality causes all sorts of problems. Once you get started in any new enterprise, for the first few years, no one cares about you. Not only that, but you have very little, if any, expertise. Since you expect to come in and see a direct correlation between your efforts and the subsequent results, when that doesn’t come to fruition, you start doubting yourself.


In the absence of the “constant climaxes” that are sold at different seminars, and are riddled in mainstream media in the form of commercials, tv shows, movies, etc., they think something is wrong. They don’t understand how to approach the plateaus, so the periods of stagnation are seen as problems, rather than seen as challenges. Essentially, they are falling into one of three archetypes that George Leonard refers to as the “Obstacles to Mastery.”



The Obstacles to Mastery


Overall, someone can fall into one of four different archetypes or mindsets, with three being obstacles to mastery and one being the mastery mindset. The three mindsets that are obstacles to mastery are (1) The Dabbler (2) The Obsessive and (3) The Hacker. All three approach the “reality” of mastery differently, but all are traps that should be avoided.


The Dabbler is the most common archetype. The Dabbler’s approach to real estate investing, for example, would be the following:


  • They read a book, attend a seminar, or listen to a podcast and they get SUPER excited
  • They pick a niche – let’s say wholesaling – and start taking action
  • Immediately, they realize that it is much harder than they expected. They aren’t seeing results as quickly as expected either.
  • A month later, they decide that wholesaling isn’t the investing avenue for them, and instead, they pick up fix-and-flipping
  • The same process repeats for fix-and-flipping, and then buy-and-hold, etc.


The individual that continuously falls into the Dabbler archetype will have a mediocre life. They continuously and ignorantly crumble under the weight of the “plateaus” and ultimately, are unable to make any progress in a given field.


However, this archetype is a good strategy to find the “one thing” that you want to master, but within reason. Once you have found that “one thing,” the likely next archetype you will fall into is “The Obsessive.”


The Obsessive differs from the Dabbler mainly in terms of the initial magnitude of effort that is put into a given subject. The Obsessive’s approach to real estate investing, for example, would be the following:


  • After dabbling in wholesaling and fix-and-flipping, when they come across buy-and-hold investing, they tell themselves, “this is the one. YIPEE!”
  • Immediately, they realize that, just like the previous two endeavors, buy-and-hold investing is much harder than expected and results aren’t coming in as quickly as expected either. But instead of giving up like before, they decide to double down.
  • As a result, they become aggressively, and often recklessly obsessed with buy-and-hold investing.
  • Therefore, instead of working 8-hour days, they work 10-hour days. When the results don’t change, they work 12-hour days, then 14-hour days.
  • After a few months, or even years of this epic pace, it ends in a catastrophic failure. Maybe, in the need for quick results, they purchased bad deals and are now realizing this truth. Or maybe they cut some corners on construction and a property has seemingly insurmountable maintenance issues.
  • At this point, they are demoralized and quit.


For the obsessive archetype, it is less about the magnitude of effort put forth, and more to do with the attachment to results. They continue to work harder and harder not because they love the process, but rather, because they think that by turning up the heat, they can force their way through the “plateaus.”


Once they realize that these increased efforts are futile, instead of accepting and enjoying the plateaus, they quit. Maybe they return to investing in the future, or maybe they never give it another shot. If they do return, they will likely fall into the Mastery or the Hacker archetype.


The Hacker differs substantially from both the Dabbler and the Obsessive. However, they are not Masters. The Hacker’s approach to real estate investing, continuing off of the previous examples, would be the following:


  • After dabbling in wholesaling and fix-and-flipping and obsessing over buy-and-hold and quitting, they come back to buy-and-hold 2 years later. They are refreshed and have learned from their mistakes.
  • They decide to take it at a slow, plotting pace, especially when approaching the plateaus. Maybe they decide to instill a few habits and routines (like sending out weekly mailers, networking, etc.) and set a goal of purchasing 10-units in two years.
  • As a result, they start to actually see results and are able to advance up a couple of plateaus (i.e. find great deals and close). Things are looking great for the first time ever!
  • After reaching the two years goal of 10 properties, instead of setting out to climb another mountain, they get comfortable. They figure that 10 properties are good enough, so they stop having the thirst to advance.
  • As a result, they lose attention to details. At this point, they may fall back a few plateaus or stay on the current plateau indefinitely. Overall, they have given up on the path of Mastery.


I believe this archetype is called “the Hacker” because the individual has hacked the mastery process. They have hacked their way to the point where they reach the edge of their comfort zone. Then, they stop, look out to the unknown, and decide to stay put or retreat.


The Master differs from the three-obstacle archetypes because they love the practice, enjoy the process, and appreciate the journey, rather than desperately clinging to the idea of the end result. They perform tons and tons and TONS of deliberate, intentional practice.


However, this is a bittersweet love. They still have their doubts, but when they feel them, they take it as a sign to push forward and continue to hold their feet to the fire. Essentially, while the Dabbler, Obsessive, and Hacker recoil at the sign of perceived negative emotions (like doubt, fear, etc.), the Master uses them as their guiding light.


The Master understands the illusion of the “constant climax” myth and instead, they have accepted that the “constant plateaus” – periods of no results or improvement in skills – are reality and a certainty.


Most importantly, they have ceased to think in terms of days, weeks, months, or even years. Rather, they think in terms of DECADES. In doing so, if they begin an endeavor and don’t see results for a year, they are content and even excited. Instead of focusing on the lack of results from that year, they focus on how they have 9 more years to make up for it. In other words, as Billionaire Bill Gates says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”



What is the “one thing” in real estate investing that you are willing to commit to mastering over the next 10 years? Comment below with your commitment!


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


In my conversation with Linda Liberatore, who created the number one tenant communication and payment assistant company in the nation that supports over 1,000 landlords, she provided me with her Best Ever success habit: find something that needs to be done to further your success and do it on a daily basis.


Linda can attributed much of her success to being a big “daily person.” If she finds a specific activity that brings her tangible success, she exploits it by doing it daily. Not on odd days or even days only, 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. She had previously obtained her real estate license, but did not have many connections with landlords. Therefore, 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 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 and miss a day.


Another habit that Linda commits to daily is her education of the real estate industry. She is apart of 8 real estate associations locally. In order to add value to those meetings, she must perform research and self-education. And with 8 meetings to attend every month, she has committed to gaining knowledge every day to always have information she can provide to others.


Education and cold calling are just two of many examples of success habits you can instill to you daily routine. Reading, journaling, running numbers on deals, creating posts on BiggerPockets are a few other examples of success habits that you can implement daily, but the options are basically limitless. Once you find an activity, habit, exercise, etc. that furthers your real estate success, 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?


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Wholesaler’s Secret to Success: Take Action!

In my conversation with Daniel Versteeg, who has been wholesaling for 4 months and has already completed 6 deals, he explained what he believed to be the most important character trait required to be a successful wholesaler: ACTION TAKER.


If you looked up “action taker” or “hard work” in the real estate dictionary, you would be greeted with a smiling portrait of Daniel, because this guy has taken MASSIVE amounts of action in his first 4 months as a wholesaler. After exhausting the majority of his marketing funds on unsuccessful direct mailing campaigns in Denver, he needed to find an inexpensive source of leads, or else he would be in deep financial trouble. Therefore, he took to Zillow and started cold calling for-sale-by-owners to attempt to get a deal under contract. After two hundred calls (yes, TWO HUNDRED) and being cussed out on multiple occasions due to low ball offers, Daniel was finally able to get a deal under contract. The deal put $8,000 in his pocket, but the 4 lessons he learned were priceless:


  1. What is the key question to ask seller?


The first lesson Daniel learned is that the key question to ask a seller is “why are you selling?” In doing so, Daniel realized that he could use the seller’s response to negotiate the best contract price. For example, for the deal that he finally got under contract, the reason why the seller was listing the property was due to structural issues. Therefore, Daniel knew that the seller would have a hard time finding a buyer for the property because “structural issues” are on many peoples “deal breaker” lists, so he was able to beat them down on the price.


  1. Wholesaling is not easy


Does making 200 cold calls seem easy? Well, Daniel would say “heck no.” With his 4 months of experience, he has come to realize that wholesaling is not as easy as the experts make it out to be. You have to put in a lot of effort and time, especially when building a foundation, but Daniel believes that the rewards you will reap will ultimately be worth all of the hard work!


  1. Be prepared for rejection


When making 200 calls and getting only one deal, that means that Daniel was rejected 199 times! Therefore, if you want to be a wholesaler, you must be prepared for rejection. Whether it is a soft “no thanks” or if you get cussed out, you have to keep picking up the phone until you find that deal!


  1. Take Action


Based off of 4 months as a wholesaler, Daniel’s best real estate investing advice ever is that you must take action! You can have the best mindset and have the most knowledge in the world, but money is not going to automatically come to you. If your goal is to build a real estate empire, mindset and knowledge will only get you to the door. And you have to take the MASSIVE action required to open and walk through it. Also, when taking massive action, you have to understand that you are going to make mistakes. As long as you learn from them, fix them, and keep pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone, you will ultimately come out on top!



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Set Goals + Don’t Be Greedy + Create a Incredible Team = Success


In my conversation with Alex Franks, a real estate investor that has closed on over $15 million in single family and multifamily deals, he provided his 3 best pieces of real estate investing advice. In order to avoid making the same mistakes he did and to ensure that you create a solid, successful real estate business, Alex advises that you 1) have to create goals, 2) don’t be greedy and 3) need to create an incredible team.


Alex’s first piece of advice is that you have to set goals for your business. We have all heard of the goal-setting acronym S.M.A.R.T., which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound, and you need to leverage it, or a similar technique, in order to create a plan and a vision for your business. If you don’t, and you are just chasing deals wildly, it will ultimately end in disappointment and failure to achieve your desired level of success. Therefore, instead of setting a pie-in-the-sky goal like I want to be financially independent and be able to do what ever I want, create a goal like I want to make (exact dollar amount) per year in passive cash flowing by (specific date), and I will do so buy purchasing (how much real estate you need to purchase to achieve specified dollar amount). Then, create a plan on exactly how you will achieve that goal!


Alex’s second piece of advice is to not be greedy. He wishes that he had followed this piece of advice when he first started investing in real estate because he has gotten greedy on multiple occasions, which has cost him a lot of business. Alex believes he has made many more mistakes than most investors and greed was the main catalyst. Therefore, adopting a non-greedy principle as one of your business values will help you avoid making many mistakes.


In tandem with not being greedy, instead of trying to perform all of the business functions on your own so that you can keep all the profits for yourself, Alex’s last piece of advice is that you need to surround yourself with the strongest team as possible. Many people like to think that they know everything that there is to know about real estate and decide to go at it alone. However, it is almost impossible to know it all, and as a result, it is almost impossible to create a real estate empire with no outside help. Therefore, you need to surround yourself with an incredible team. That way, you don’t have to know everything; you just have to know who to ask when there is a gap in your knowledge. It is okay to not be the smartest person in the room. In fact, you shouldn’t even want to be the smartest person in the room. Surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you can be a very humbling experience. Ultimately, it can allow you to let your smarter team members run the show, while you take a back seat.

When has 1) the lack of setting a goal, 2) being greedy or 3) not having an incredible team resulted in some level of failure for your real estate business?

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Two Valuable Lessons From A Start-Up Enthusiast on Success and Failure

In a conversation I had with Matt Humphrey, who is a start-up enthusiast that has created multiple companies from the ground up, he provided me with two valuable lessons he learned from both his successes and his failures in business.


Matt’s latest start-up is a real estate lending company. The idea for the company was sparked by a need that Matt had identified in the marketplace, and he created a profitable lending company to fulfill that need. The lesson he learned for how to launch a successful business, and the subsequent advice he would give to anyone that is trying to start their own profitable real estate career, is to find great people that have done it before you and try to learn from them. And what better place to find experienced, successful real estate professionals to learn from than using online real estate forums like BiggerPockets! Before BiggerPockets or the Internet, investors had to get the majority of their education in person, whether it was at seminars, courses, on the job shadowing of other investors, etc. While these are still good avenues to learn from, you can’t beat the BiggerPockets forums. What other educational platform allows you to learn while you are still at home in your pajamas? Also, you can leverage platforms like YouTube, Podcasts, and other FREE real estate education sources online. With so much free real estate information at your fingertips, it’s tough to make excuses for not getting out there, learning, and taking massive action!


Matt also provided a valuable lesson he learned through his failures, because not all of his start-up businesses were met with success. Actually, Matt has had his brush with failure on more than one occasion; he has lost a total of four businesses. As a result, his best real estate investing advice, and life advice in general, is that “if you don’t grit through some of the downs, you’ll never see the ups.” We have all seen quotes about failure, defeat, and never giving up. However, Matt is the real life exemplification of these quotes in action. Without these failures, he would have never known what it took to be successful and more importantly, what NOT to do. That is why he is a firm believer in the trial & error learning approach. If something doesn’t work out, instead of quitting, change course. And keep changing course until you’ve found the most effective, profitable technique or business model, and then focus 100% of you energies towards exploiting the heck out of it!


What is one effective and profitable technique you’ve exploited that generated massive amounts of results?


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How to Achieve Massive Levels of Success By Creating Value and Being Self-Aware

In my conversation with Sterling White, he provided me with two great pieces of advice that he believes all investors should follow if they truly want to create a massive, HUGE real estate business, and really make it big.


Create Value For Others

Sterling believes that while it is important to focus on building up your credibility and be known as a reliable entrepreneur, if you want to take your business to the highest level, you must become well known to a much wider audience. If you are an unknown person, it doesn’t matter if you are the most credible, reliable person on the planet. You need to get out there and make a name for yourself, because the more people you know, and the more people that know you, the bigger your business can potentially become. A perfect place to begin pushing yourself out there is on real estate forums, like BiggerPockets! Commit to getting on BiggerPockets daily and answering at least one question. Your goal should be create as much value as you can, instead of saying things like “hey, this is what I am currently doing, do you want to invest in it?”

Don’t have enough time? Well, Sterling is a full-time real estate entrepreneur; yet, he still finds time to write 3 to 4 blogs per week. He understands the importance of constantly getting his name out there by creating valuable content, as well as the fact that the information he provides will hopefully have a positive effect on the investors that are serious about their education. Take the time to get on BiggerPockets and read blog posts daily, and work towards creating great content of your own.


Be Self-Aware of Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The other piece of advice Sterling provided was the importance of being self-aware. Everyone has things that they are amazing at, and everyone also has things that they are weak at. Therefore, it is vital to understand the difference between the two. Make sure you are self-aware enough that you can determine what you are weak at or what you don’t like to do, and then put people in place to offset those skills. Not only will you benefit from not having to do things you don’t like or things you aren’t good at, but you will also be able to spend more time focusing on your strengths. It is a win-win!

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How Being Authentic Will Lead to New Clients and New Opportunities


In a conversation I had with Marie Dahl Kell, who is a Prestige Real Estate Consultant based in Denmark, I learned how being your authentic self ensures that you have a strong growing business, as well as have a positive impact on your personal life.

Two and a half years ago, Marie moved to France to start anew. She opened up her LinkedIn profile for the first time in 5 years, and she only had 130 contacts, 90% of which were friends and people she knew really well from Denmark.

When Marie came to France, she decided to forget about trying to instantly focus on getting French people as new clients and wanted to figure out how she could re-invent herself in a country that was not her own. She didn’t speak the language fluently, however, she did speak the language of real estate. Also, based on her knowledge attained from her worldly travels, Marie had a good understanding on what foreign people liked, and due to her lifestyle, she knew she had what it took to cater and relate to foreign people.

Therefore, instead of thinking she could beat the French at their own game, she decided to invent her own game. And the way that she did this was by simply being her true, authentic self.

As a result of following her own advice, she utilized LinkedIn as a platform to create and build an authentic brand for herself by simply posting content that was of interest to her. Flashing forward to the present, she has been able to go from 130 LinkedIn contacts to over 8,000 contacts. With this massive increase in her network, she has been presented with opportunities that would have never been possible. These include being asked to be a guest on a popular real estate podcast, a massive spike in new cliental and an overall increase in business. Marie has even created lifelong, personal friendships, been invited to Polo matches, fancy wine shops, and private lunches at restaurants, which in turn, resulted in more friendships and business relationships.

Marie strongly believes that we need to be our true selves no matter what the price is. She says that there is a lot of “peacocking” and fakeness in the real estate industry, which actually has negative consequences on both a personal and a business level. Instead of trying to be somebody else, or being what you think somebody else wants you to be, always stay true to yourself.


What are some examples of successes you have attained that can be directly correlated to you being your true, authentic self?

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