Over the last 10 years, many of my family, friends, and colleagues have asked, “how can I get started into the real estate game like you?” Depending on the environment the follow on conversation could have ranged anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours and a few beverages. I wanted to take a few minutes to put my thoughts and previous conversations to paper and shed some light on how anyone can get started investing in real estate and hit a few key talking points that always make their way into the conversation.


Some of my friends who share the title with the best and most kind-hearted people on the planet also share some of the worst financial habits one could have. My first piece of advice is just like building a skyscraper, it all starts with the foundation. Building a base of good financial habits and understanding of the way money truly works will drastically increase the likelihood of success in real estate investing. This doesn’t mean you have to stack hundreds of thousands of dollars (that’s what banks are for).


Personal and financial goals are not something many people put any real thought into. Even fewer go a step further and write them down. They may talk about it, they may dream about it, rarely will they act on it. Many times you’ll hear young adults say “I want to be rich.” or like my 7-year-old son says “Daddy, I’m going to buy the fastest Porsche.” It’s very easy to say but difficult to put into a reason why we want these types of things. I always ask….Why! I want you to ask yourself the same thing. Why do you want to be rich, why do you want to drive the fastest Porsche? Many times it leads back to time and family. For me, I want to spend ALL OF MY TIME with my family on my terms when I want. ‘Time and Family’ is my WHY…What is yours?


Once you have established your why, what are you willing to do, what lengths are willing to travel to ensure you will not be denied your dreams, your aspirations, ‘your why’ ? There must be a deep down burning desire to stop at anything shy of your potential and ‘your why’. In the book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says, ‘There is one quality which one must absolutely possess to win. And that is the definiteness of purpose. The knowledge of what one truly wants and burning desire to possess it.” This isn’t something anyone can do for you, you have to manifest this type of thought and desire into your life.


There are so many different ways to enter the real estate investing space. Many investors start by renting out a previous primary residence or house hacking an in-law suite they may have to offset the mortgage on their house. While others will jump into flipping a single-family residence or a BRRRR strategy (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat). Another great asset class and my personal favorite are multifamily apartment complexes. This asset class allows for massive scaling capability and a competitive arena.

Next, you have to determine how involved you want to be. Do you want to swing a hammer and be involved in demo day? Ok, bad question, because everybody wants to be involved in demo day destruction. If laying tile and painting rooms is not for you. Investing in real estate passively or a hands-off approach to real estate investing is also an option. “Hands off real estate investing”, they would say, “but, you said I didn’t have to stack hundreds of thousands of dollars”. That is true. Many folks don’t understand the power of the equity in their residence or that they can roll their retirement account into a self-directed IRA (SDIRA) and be more in control of their finances and use that capital to invest in large multi-family apartment complexes with great returns.


So far we have touched base on good financial literacy and building a foundation to build your empire. We hit the wave tops on personal and financial goals and ‘your why’ coupled with the mindset it takes to achieve your dreams and aspirations with a burning desire to achieve.

How much can you invest in a real estate transaction? This number should be based on your current situation in life and the foundation you established. Where are you in life? Are you a young professional with a high-paying job and no kids or an empty nester getting ready to retire and live the good life? These questions must be answered to establish the level of risk you are comfortable taking on at any given point in your life. With risk comes reward…the greater the risk the greater reward (or failure). A financial advisor once asked me, “What rung on a ladder are you willing to stand on to change a light bulb?” This question in the form of advice has helped me gauge the level of risk I am willing to accept in many aspects of my life not just real estate investing.


Real estate investing is not for the faint of heart and like many investment vehicles it rides on a winding road. Your decision is what kind of vehicle will you decide to take the ride in? Will it be a vehicle that is built for comfort like a Lincoln or are you more geared towards a turbo-charged Porsche with race suspension and oversized brakes? The choice is yours, stick around and learn with us as we continue to grow our education material and help others see the amazing lifestyle and freedom you can build through real estate investing.


Written By: Joseph Biccum

Play Chess, Not Checkers: Investing While on Active Duty

There are hundreds of ways to begin investing in real estate while you are on active duty. Here is the route that has continued to work for me – with a few lessons along the way.

Start with a House Hack

You can use the VA loan for a property of four units or less. Find a place to live that works for you, and rent out the other units to subsidize your mortgage. The additional income allows you to begin saving for your next down payment immediately. Having a lease with your name as the property owner begins the seasoning process– banks like to see (~2 years) before lending on commercial property.

Landlord For a While – Yourself

Managing the property yourself will help you understand what to look for when you scale your business. It sucks – so do it until you learn enough to move on and don’t get caught up in the savings of self-management. Trust me; the savings do not outweigh the opportunity costs. A year is a reasonable goal, as this will give you a complete cycle on a lease.

Purchase Cash-flowing Properties and Focus on Economy-of-scale

Now that you have a tax return showing rental income, banks will be nicer to you. However much you have saved, multiply that number by 5 – this is the higher end of your price range. Search for properties that cash flow between 2-4 units. Go higher if you can; just know that commercial real estate and lending requirements change for five units and higher. You will need a higher down payment and likely more experience for banks to lend to you. All banks are different, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to try; just do your research and know what you are getting into with your investment.

Keep Buying Assets

Make it a goal to purchase AT LEAST one asset per year. Markets rise and fall – but the folks who survive crashes are the ones who bought for cash flow – not equity. Once you have enough cash flow to sustain you, you can begin targeting equity properties. This shift in mindset only makes sense when you simply store your value in the real estate market as a commodity – similar to gold. Higher-end properties tend to cashflow less but have fewer problems due to their highly rentable locations, quality of their build, and/or the tenants they attract: fewer problems, less cashflow, but higher equity gains when the market increases.

Work Your Way Up to Commercial Real Estate

In secondary and tertiary markets (think cities without an NFL team), 5-20 unit apartment complexes can be purchased as Joint Ventures or by wealthier individuals who understand real estate. 20-100 unit complexes are mostly purchased by newly established syndication teams raising money from groups of investors who focus on real estate. 100-250 unit complexes are the playground of serious syndicators who have established track records and the systems to handle large-scale operations. 250+ unit complexes often grab the attention of institutional money that will have enough money to make seemingly irrational purchases. It seems unreasonable to us as real estate investors, but keep in mind these folks are in a position to play the equity game. They are seeking to preserve capital (aka treat real estate like a commodity) and don’t expect the returns you will. Therefore, they can throw money at a stable asset and allow it to grow beyond the inflation rate.

What this all means for you:

Play chess, not checkers.

Develop your own strategy. Look at real estate opportunities as chess pieces.

  • Smaller deals you can do by yourself are the pawns. They are a safe move to get your game started but take a long time to get across the board. To me, the best thing about a pawn is that the moment you move them, you open up opportunities to bring out the heavy hitters. Don’t forget about them though, when used correctly, you can get them across the board and level up into a better peace without paying the tax.
  •  Multi-family is your more dynamic piece. It’s a matter of scale. With relatively the same effort it takes to move a pawn, you can move these pieces across the entire board. Using these pieces takes a deeper level of strategy, and making the wrong move assumes a bit more risk. However, once you have a solid understanding of what you are doing – you can quickly become lethal.
  •  Your Relationships are the Queen. Through partnerships and networking, you can move in any and every direction you want to go. No matter what you want to do, the correct relationships can get you there. Relationships with other investors bring you ideas and sharpen your strategy. Relationships with lenders allow you to leverage capital to fuel your next big move. Relationships with brokers let you know what the other chess pieces are up to so you can position your team to take them down. Relationships, like the queen, give you agility across the board.
  • The King is your Happiness. Never forget this. The only reason other chess pieces exist is to fight for and protect your happiness. Like in chess, it is easy to get caught up in winning individual battles while simultaneously losing the war. The moment you forget about your king – you’ve already lost the game. With every move, you should be thinking, is this aiding my happiness? Is the move I am about to make part of my strategy or part of my ego?

Written by: Ramsey Blankenship

The BEST Ways to Get Started in Real Estate Investing

Overall, real estate investing (REI) is one of the simplest and easiest forms of investment to conceptually understand. It doesn’t come without it’s growing pains, though. Understanding the nuances of underwriting, contracting, negotiating, residential or commercial lending, asset protection, estimating renovations, property management, managing renovations, etc. is difficult without prior experience, and seemingly worthless unless you intend on investing a SIGNIFICANT amount of time learning this trade. Even at its highest levels, where REI is extremely sophisticated, it still is not rocket science. 

But it sure feels like that when starting…READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Written by Bo Goebel | ADPI

Why investing in real estate should be one of your resolutions for 2021

It’s the beginning of a new year and a natural time for us to reflect on the past and resolve to do better and be better. For most, the list looks like:

  • Eat healthy
  • Get more exercise
  • Save money
  • Invest more
  • Learn to play the guitar

…and the list goes on.

Here’s a few reasons why investing in apartments should be on your list for 2021…READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Written by Brian BriscoeFour Oaks Capital

Five Key Terms Every Investor Needs to Know

If you’re new to the world of commercial real estate investing, you’ve probably heard some lingo you’re unfamiliar with. Don’t worry, you’re not alone and we’ll get you up to speed in no time.

We’re going to go over the key terminology used in commercial real estate so you can more easily navigate future investment opportunities…READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Written by:  Keegan MacNichol | Mach1 Equity

Forecast: National Apartment Research Report

Berkadia is a leader in the commercial real estate industry, offering a robust suite of services to multi-family and commercial property clients….VIEW THE FULL REPORT HERE

2021 Real Estate Market Outlook

CBRE.US – 2020 will be remembered as a year of extremes, from GDP’S unprecedented 31.4% drop in Q2 to its remarkable 33.1% growth in Q3.

While continued recovery depends on a medical solution to COVID-19 and on additional government stimulus, GDP is expected to end 2020 down by only 4.0%, followed by a 4.5% rebound in 2021. For more details on which sectors may continue to thrive and which may experience a lag in recovery, explore the full report…VIEW FULL REPORT HERE

Increasing Tax Deductions from Real Estate

There are multiple reasons why investors turn to real estate however today we will take a look at the most common reason, tax deductions. Hopefully this didn’t just make you cringe at the very thought of discussing taxes. You see for many, taxes come once a year and are painfully completed by gathering up all the expenses to provide to a tax attorney at H&R Block in the hopes something good happens.

However, for those looking to build and protect wealth, tax season has been meticulously planned for and anticipated…READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Written by Christopher LavarekValkere Investment Group

Multifamily Investing Predictions for 2021

2020 has been a challenging year for real estate investors, but those with multifamily properties in their portfolios may have fared a bit better than most. As Millionacres’ Brad Cartier summed up in his multifamily year in review, delinquency rates for multifamily homes were low despite the coronavirus pandemic and recession it instantly spurred. Over 98% of apartment loans were current as of August 2020, and rents also remained fairly stable, with 90.6% of landlords collecting in October.

In the coming year, multifamily investors could face some challenges. But they may also be in a position to capitalize on a world of opportunity…VIEW FULL ARTICLE HERE

Published Nov 30, 2020 by Maurie Backman