Learn How To Start Investing In Real Estate
Learn How To Start Investing In Real Estate

How I Lost & Made Millions In Real Estate With Jeff Rutkowski

Written by Brandcasting You


Although it is not a bad idea, working in corporate for someone else is a difficult path towards financial freedom. For our first episode, host Jeff Rutkowski explains the many benefits of real estate investing and how to take advantage of its opportunities even in a post-COVID setting. He tells his story of going millions of dollars into debt when starting out. Jeff explains how he got out of this miserable situation by acquiring proper real estate education. Now, he is on a mission to guide others in attaining the long-term success he enjoys in this particular industry. This is a must-listen if you’re interested in getting started in real estate investing.

Listen to the podcast here:

How I Lost & Made Millions In Real Estate With Jeff Rutkowski

Welcome to The FortuneBuilders Real Estate Investing Show. My name is Jeff Rutkowski. I am so pumped to be with you. This is episode number one and I am excited. The mission of FortuneBuilders in this show is to empower your purpose through financial education. We believe everyone was created for a specific purpose here on this Earth but many people never find it because they’re living paycheck to paycheck. We want to teach you through real estate how to grow your net worth, increase monthly cashflow, become financially independent and financially free due to the amazing asset class that is real estate.

In this episode, we’re going to be getting into a couple of things but first, I want to talk about why real estate? Why do we believe in it here at FortuneBuilders? Why do we believe it is the best asset to park your money and to grow long-term wealth? We’re going to talk about some of the opportunities in the market. We are in a screaming hot real estate market and there are so many different ways to be positioning ourselves to grow well. I also want to spend some time and talk about who I am. I want you to know my story and journey on how I got started in real estate years ago and talk about what has happened during that time, where I am now, why I’m talking to you on this show. Let’s get into it.

Real Estate Investing

Why real estate investing? Why do we believe here at FortuneBuilders that you should invest in real estate? I’m not saying you need to be a full-time real estate investor but why should you own real estate and buy investment properties alongside of what you’re doing at the least? I believe that real estate is the number one way to create and become wealthy over time. Let me throw a couple of facts at you and I want to know what you think here. This was about 2020 in this great country of the United States of America, we had about 16.9 million millionaires more than any other country in the entire world. If you go research on how they became millionaires, about 85% of them earn the title of millionaire via real estate.

Maybe you’re younger and thinking about, “What should I do with my life? What career should I go into?” If you want to position yourself and give yourself the greatest odds of becoming wealthy, hands down, it’s real estate but it’s never too late. Maybe you’re not younger, a little bit older or retired. Real estate is such a unique business in the fact that you can go from 0 to 60 very quickly if you know what you’re doing. It’s important to get educated. That’s why we’re here. You’ll know a little bit about my story later in the show, how I tried some real estate without education and it didn’t end so well for me but I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up.

I got back on the horse, got myself educated and it has transformed my life. Think about it. Whatever it is that you are called to do, maybe you feel like, “I want to go full-time into real estate. I don’t know how to do that.” That’s what this show is here to do. We’re not here to talk you out of your current job if you love what you’re doing. This life is short. I believe we’re all created and called to do something specific while we’re here on the Earth. You may be called to be a school teacher, a police officer or whatever it is. If that’s your calling, that’s what we want you to doing.

A lot of those professions don’t pay a whole lot. I believe school teachers and police officers should be some of the highest-paid people in this world but the reality is they’re not. Why not learn how to invest alongside of that to grow wealth over time? There’s no reason not to. Real estate is a business where you can go from 0 to 60 very quickly, but you can also go from 60 to 0 very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’re here to get you educated and help you out to grow that wealth over time. Think about it, why are you reading this episode? Why are you genuinely interested in real estate? Why do you watch those Flip This House TV show? Why do you look at those properties when you’re driving around the neighborhood that is distressed and think, “I can do something with that if I know how?”

It’s not about what the market is doing. It’s about what you are doing in the market.

There are many why’s. I’ve talked to tens of thousands of students all across this country. I enjoy listening to their why’s. Why did they get into real estate? Why did they leave their current career? Some of the common things that I hear is first, “I want to be financially free. I want financial independence. This life is short and I want to be able to live it on my terms. I don’t want to be tied down to this 9:00 to 5:00 job that I don’t like doing or working for this boss that doesn’t treat me good. I’m so underpaid.” I’ve listened to so many stories where, “I’ve made companies millions and millions of dollars and at the end of the year, they gave me a little 1% to 3% pay raise.” That’s the reality if we’re working for somebody else.

That’s what our culture has taught us to do. We’ve been trained to work hard in school to get good grades, get into a good college, get good grades there so we could get a good job. If we’re not happy with what our job is paying us, go back to school, get another degree so we can get another higher paying job. I remember I saw this Facebook post, it made me laugh out loud but I thought it encapsulated what I’m trying to convey here. It was an employee walking wherever they worked. As they were walking in, the owner of the company pulled in with a nice yellow Lamborghini. He’s got that front row spot where the employee was walking from a long distance to get to that building.

The employee knew who the owner was. “Mr. Jones, how are you doing? It’s a nice car.” The owner came over and said, “What’s your name?” They chatted up a bit then the owner of the company says to him, “Over this next year, if you work hard, hit all the KPIs that your manager has set for you and knock it out of the park, I can buy another car like this one.” It cracked me up because so many of us spend time in 9:00 to 5:00 jobs where we’re building somebody else’s wealth which isn’t always a bad thing.

The Year Of COVID-19

I’m a real estate investor. I own real estate in ten different states across this country but I also work here for FortuneBuilders. I love speaking, coaching and training students. They’ve given me a platform to use a gift that was put inside of me. I trade some of my time for money here and I love to do that. I’m passionate about doing that but I’m not depending only on that. I don’t want you to either. Think about 2020, year of COVID-19. It was such a rough time for so many people across this country. I personally know so many friends, family members, people within my community where when COVID-19 hit their primary source of income was gone. It was cut off.

They lost their jobs, their source of income and many Americans have been impacted by that in that same way. There have been professions that because of the pandemic have skyrocketed and real estate being one of them. Think about if you could go back in time, years ago, buy a couple of properties. What would they be worth now because of that? I don’t want to focus on that. I want to focus on the idea of being financially dependent on somebody else. Let’s look at these scenarios. Many people have lost their jobs, that primary source of income. If you look at it statistically in our country, the average American only has about $40,000 saved for retirement.

Is $40,000 a lot of money? That’s pennies in terms of retirement but also if the average American lost their job, they could only go on their current savings about 3 to 4 months where they need to become dependent on the government, a family member or a friend to help them out. I’ve had times in my life where I needed help. I couldn’t have made it through that season if it wasn’t for friends and family members. We should always be there for the people that we love. I went through that once and I committed in my mind that I don’t ever want to go through that again. I’m going to be prepared for the next negative wave that comes.

FBL 1 | Real Estate

Real Estate: About 85% of the millionaires in the United States earned their title via real estate.


The reality is whether it’s COVID-19 or 9/11, hopefully, we never experienced things like that again in this country but there are always things that change and that are happening in other countries that impact our country. There are always decisions that our leaders in government are making on the Republican and the democratic side that affect our day-to-day living. If you’ve been negatively impacted financially in 2020 because of COVID-19 or you know somebody that has, let’s talk about that. How can we be prepared? If something like that happens again, we can be in a position of strength instead of a position of weakness but as I stated, many people have lost their jobs.

People have died because of this pandemic and we all know that. If one person dies, that’s too many but what a lot of people don’t talk about is the impact that it’s had on mental health, marriages, the impact that it’s had because when that primary source of income is pulled, that rug is ripped out from under you. That creates issues. Here in California alone, our leaders are describing the mental health crisis as a tsunami that they cannot keep up with. Our suicide hotline has quadrupled in the volume that was coming in pre-COVID-19. I don’t know the numbers on marriages but I personally known so many people in my world where their marriages are under attack and struggling.

Typically, when you pull back the layers in so many cases, it’s because of the finances. The finances go, it puts the pressure on and then things start cracking there at the seams. How can we shore that up? You’re going to learn how to about shoring that up in real estate. It’s not just the mental health or being able to provide but it’s thinking about, “Whether I did well through COVID-19 financially or I didn’t do well, how can I be better prepared and positioned with what’s going on in our current economy to be in a better place if anything like that happens again?” We look at things like the stock market. This 2020 the stock market has gone up and done very well as well.

There are so many instabilities and concerns about that. I know so many friends that have pulled out because they’re expecting that crash to come. Many people are hesitant to buy real estate now because it’s been going up but what if it goes down? These are valid concerns. I remember one of my first mentors, Paul Esajian, one of the owners here at FortuneBuilders. I’m sitting through a class with him and he told me one time, “Jeff, it’s not about what the market is doing. It’s about what you are doing in the market.” If you know Paul and CT Homes, a residential redevelopment company, they have done like clockwork over 100 homes per year since 2003.

If you look at 2003 until 2021, they’ve done it in an upmarket, in a market that has plateaued that they’ve seen slight corrections and in a market that fell off the cliff in 2007 or 2008. It’s not about whether the market, “Is going to keep going up? Is it going to drop?” All of these different things. It’s about, are you educated to take advantage of the opportunities that are coming? There are a lot of opportunities coming in real estate. We are skyrocketing now. Interest rates are low. Prices are going up but as they say, “What goes up, must come down.” There will be at some point many foreclosures hitting the market again, many short sales that we can capitalize on if we know how to capitalize on that.

It’s, “Are we prepared?” There are ups and downs in life. We all know that. Maybe 2020 was a down for you but learn from it. It’s not a failure, not a mistake and not a permanent setback as long as we learn from it and position ourselves differently to capitalize on future opportunities. They say, “Insanity is simply not getting a good result and then doing it the same way again.” If having a job, if punching in from 9:00 to 5:00 didn’t work over 2020 when a little financial pressure came down then that’s fine. Let’s learn from it but how can we be better repaired to maximize the opportunities that lie ahead of us in real estate? In our country, we love to print money.

There is no such thing as failure as long as you learn from it and position yourself differently to capitalize on future opportunities.

You’re always hearing about that stimulus package and if you study the economics of the United States, we don’t have that money. We’re printing that money. They call it Quantitative Easing. Whenever you print more of something, the value of that thing goes down. The value of the US dollar is managed dropping and it has been for a long time. The equal and opposite reaction to that is inflation is going up. Inflation drives up the cost of products and services. We’ve seen it with the price of gas, food, groceries and the price of real estate. Real estate has been going up, rents have been going up and all of that is not do entirely but one of the factors driving that is the decisions that our leaders are making.

Preparing Yourself

I’m not here to pin this on anyone’s administration. As long as I’ve been alive, I don’t care who’s been president. They’ve been printing money and the inflation has been rising since I believe it was 1974 when President Nixon took the country off of what they called the gold standard where our currency was backed by gold or silver to where we switch over to the Fiat currency. The point is, how do we become more prepared? Here at FortuneBuilders, we have over 30,000 students across the country. It’s unbelievable seeing how this community has grown. We provide online trainings for our students, live events all across the country, virtual trainings, online curriculum, group coaching, one-on-one coaching.

If you’re thinking about how to get started, one link that you’ll see below this show and every show we do is a link that is and it’s a one-day free training, free $99. It’s about a six-hour class done on a Saturday. You could do it from the convenience of your own home but going through this class, by the end of it, you will know more than about 50% of all real estate investors in your current market guaranteed. You’re going to learn how to position yourself to wholesale real estate, buying real estate with no money. When you hear many people say that there are a few different ways of doing it but wholesaling is one of the most predominant ways that we’ll get into in this show.

You’ll learn about in that class how to rehab, flip properties, loan money on real estate and earn high rates of return 8%, 10% or 12% on your money, which a year-over-year that will beat the stock market. You’re going to learn things about how to generate passive income through single-family rental properties in different markets? How to invest? How to live in California and buy properties without seeing them in Texas? That’s something I never thought in a million years I can do but I’ve done it through having the right education. I always thought in life when I saw successful people or people that have accomplished things at a very high level that they must be uniquely gifted, talented or come from a wealthy family.

They have some advantages that I don’t have but I’ve had the privilege in my life to get to know very successful people not in just real estate. I know many multimillionaires and multibillionaire real estate investors. I know many successful sports athletes and many people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I remember getting to meet them and being disappointed because I’d want to know what was the secret and that magic bullet? What it always came back to no matter what profession they were in is they were willing to educate themselves in a certain area that other people were not and then simply implement what they learn. Financial education is the most important education you will ever get in your lifetime.

They don’t teach it in traditional schools. It’s a shame. They should be. That’s why when Than, Paul and Konrad started FortuneBuilders, their mission was to get this education into the hands of whoever wants it because they knew how it impacted their life. I know how it’s impacted my life. If you ever reading this episode and you’re thinking about, “We’re talking about this and that. Where do I get started?” Get started at Free class that points you in the right direction and walks you through many of the different ways that you can be better prepared the next time we face a challenge like we did in 2020.

FBL 1 | Real Estate

Real Estate: Culture dictates that if you are unhappy with your job pay, go back to school, get another degree, and land a higher paying job.


Let me give you a little piece of advice, whether you go to our free class, don’t go to our free class, read this episode or any other way that you educate yourself on finances on real estate, learn to be an implementer. Many people out there say, “Knowledge is power.” I think that’s BS because I know a lot of people that know a lot but their life doesn’t reflect what they know. I believe it’s, “Knowledge implement is power.” One of the things that we’re going to be doing on this show in how we train our students is to learn to implement. Traditional schooling has taught us the opposite, where we go for four years, get a degree and then we go try to implement what we learned over those four years. It’s all about taking action.

Richard Branson wrote a book that I loved years ago. It was called Screw It, Let’s Do It and his philosophy in business. If you don’t know who Richard Branson, he’s the owner and CEO of The Virgin companies, Virgin airline, Virgin Records. He owns his own island out there in the Caribbean. The premise of this book is when you’re exploring a new opportunity, when an opportunity catches your attention and you’re interested in it, he says, “Learn about 50% of what you need to know in that industry then surround yourself with the experts or people that know the rest and take action,” because if you wait to know 100%, nobody ever knows 100%. I don’t know it. They don’t know it. You’ll never be there, you’ll always be thinking, “Once I get here then I’ll do something,” then it’s like you’re chasing this carrot. By the time you know it, you’re 50, 60 or 70 years old and you have a lot of regrets which we don’t want to happen. Learn and implement is what it’s all about.


Since this is the first show, let me tell you a little bit about FortuneBuilders. It was founded by Than Merrill, Paul Esajian, Konrad Sopielnikow. These three guys first started a company called CT Homes LLC which is residential. They wholesale properties but primarily flip or rehab properties. They started in a couple of towns from my hometown of Milford, Connecticut. Then had a short career in the NFL, Paul had a bartending background and Konrad was working part-time at an attorney’s office in Hoboken, New Jersey. They came together to start building wealth in real estate. They started CT homes LLC. Before they knew it, they’re doing 100 deals a year.

They’ve done that ever since. Typically, about 100 to 120 homes per year. If you walk into CT Homes office at any given time, they have about 25 to 40 properties under contract in some phase, whether they’re acquiring it, rehabbing it or it’s on the market to be sold. These are the guys that you’re learning from. Also, since that time, they’ve acquired over $1 billion in commercial real estate, large apartment buildings all across the country, large retail strip centers, large office buildings. These guys are doing it at the absolute highest level.

It’s important to know whoever you’re learning from, you want to make sure that they’re practicing what they preach. That’s what I so respect about these guys is that they’re not teaching you anything they’re not doing. They have a saying and JD says it all the time, “The day we stopped doing real estate is the day we stopped teaching real estate.” There are so many other people that don’t carry those same values. I would encourage you, whoever you’re tuning to learn, if you continue tuning into this show and you’re going to read from multimillionaire or billionaire real estate investors and even students that have been at it for over a year and have done 4, 5, or 6 deals around their full-time jobs. We want you to read from all the different phases of real estate investors. That’s who FortuneBuilders is. They have about 30,000 students all across this country.

We educate them in so many different ways but we want it to add this show as another way of getting this education out there. In life, when you succeed, you should share that success. The mindset of Than, Paul and Konrad is they believe that everything they’ve been given, they have an obligation and a responsibility to share it. This financial education they believe is the cure to the biggest pandemic in our country, which is lack of income, finances and being able to live life on your own terms. From time to time, we’re going to have JD as an agent. He is going to be our resident expert. We’re going to get them on the show as many times as we possibly can to pick his brain.

JD is the CEO and the president of CT Homes LLC. He’s the one overseeing the team and that’s doing those 100 deals a year here in San Diego. I want to get him on as much as I possibly can, even have them come on from time to time and have me interview other guests but what’s going to be so valuable about this is JD has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in the real estate market. I’m a part of a weekly meeting on Mondays where he reports what the market is doing over the past week. Every week he studies it and looks for, what are the trends, what are the shifts, what is happening and how is inventory looking so we can better position ourselves to make wise decisions.

Financial education is the most important education you can get in your lifetime. However, they don’t teach it in traditional schools.

I want to get him on here. I want him to share that wisdom as much as possible. We were going to have Than Merrill and Paul Esajian on the show. We’re going to have many of our different operating partners all across the country that help get into these large commercial buildings, large retail assets and as well as students that have done a handful of deals around a full-time job. That’s one of the things that I felt strongly about mixing in because I remember when I got started, I’m in these seminars and I’m listening to somebody that owns 500 million in real estate. It seems so unattainable. I remember hearing this, a friend of mine’s story. Her name is Lena about in two years, her and her husband working full-time corporate jobs, were able to leave those jobs by doing ten deals a year in the first year.

A FortuneBuilders Student

Ten deals might even seem like a lot but if you stick around this show, you’re going to learn how you could do that like nothing in this business if you have the tools and the systems. I always want to preface that because real estate is hard and you could lose a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re always going to read me preach and practice that. One of the reasons that I’m here and hosting this show is I started as a FortuneBuilders student in 2007. I’ve had a lot of success where Than, Paul and Konrad feel comfortable with me being one of the hosts to the show, along with JD and sharing what we have here but my story began out of high school. I wasn’t a very good student in high school.

I didn’t do well in high school. Traditional education never resonated with me. I’m just sitting there, listening to somebody who talk at me for 60 minutes then try to take a test and regurgitate. I never did well in that environment. I’m a hands-on learner. I need to see, feel and do it. Out of high school, I wanted to go to college but I didn’t want to go right into college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do at the time. I ended up joining the US Navy. I spent four years proudly serving my country. I was in about 42 different countries around the world during that time.

I learned many good things that I carry with me to this day, things like loyalty, honor, respect and the pride that comes with serving this great country. I also realized very quickly there in that time, “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life working for somebody else.” It was around that time when I read the Rich Dad Poor Dad book. That book gets you pumped up to buy assets. It doesn’t tell you how to do it. He talked a lot about real estate. I said, “Let me get my real estate license.” I started as a real estate agent with RE/MAX at the time.

I did that full-time for about three years. During that time, I naturally gravitate towards real estate investors. Like every real estate agent, I spent time with a couple in the back of my car, showing them multiple properties, listening to things like, “I don’t know if I like the color of the carpet. I don’t know if my bedroom set’s going to fit in here.” I remember I would smile and serve them the best I can but I’m like, “Give me an investor.” They’re not emotional. It’s all about the math and the numbers. I naturally gravitate to investors like yourselves. Over the years, as I began to find them properties that they could rehab, find them plots of land they could build on or things that they can subdivide.

I began to build relationships with these investors. I began to see that I’d make a respectable $6,000, $7,000 or $10,000 commission sometimes but they would take these properties and 6 to 12 months later they’d make $50,000, $60,000, six figures. I’m like, “Forget these little commissions. I want to be on this side of the corner.” Ready or not, I got out there and did my first deal. It was a wholesale deal which is a strategy where you find a house that a seller wants to sell and you get it under contract. I found this house. It was like $220,000. I got it under contract for. I put down a $100 deposit.

FBL 1 | Real Estate

Real Estate: The average American only has about $40,000 saved for retirement.


Now, I own the contract. I didn’t own the house. I had a piece of paper that said, “I have the rights to buy this house.” What I didn’t know and understand, I got out there and made mistakes. There are people out there that will pay you money just for the contract. I got this thing then I found somebody that said, “I’ll take that contract off your hands. I’ll pay you $25,000 for that contract.” I’m like, “Really?” I remember talking to my attorney. I’m like, “Can I do this? Is this legal?” He’s like, “You can and this is how we can structure it.” Anyways, long story short, I find this deal for $220,000. I have it under deposit with a $100 deposit check at the time.

Nowadays, we recommend a minimum of $500. I own this right to buy the property and somebody willing to pay me $25,000 to take that contract, to buy the house for the $220,000 I promised the seller. That’s what we did. There was an agent involved, commissions and after closing. This was many years ago. I don’t remember what I made. I think it was like $13,187.23. I always remember what I make to the penny. It’s freaky but I was hooked. I’m like, “I made $13,000 by finding this property.” I didn’t even have to raise the money to buy the property and was able to find somebody that had the money.

After that time, I was hooked. I jumped in headfirst, then wholesaling deals and rehabbing properties. In 2006 or 2007, I decided to get into some building of properties. I took out a couple of partners and we bought some building lots in a private gated community for a large sum of money, about $800,000 building a lot then we got some construction loans on the property. We set out to build to $10,000 square colonial mini-mansions. I had so much fun for most of the project. The beginning and end weren’t so good. I remember that time watching a lot of that show MTV Cribs. We’re designing these luxury houses. We’re throwing all this crazy stuff in the property but the bottom line is the plan was to be into this property for about $3.2 million per property and then sell them for about $4.5 million. There are two properties. What we were predicting was about a $2 million profit over about a 12- to 16-month period.

Think about 12 to 16 months, two deals earning about $2 million. If you ever do it and you earn $2 million, let me know how it feels because my story didn’t end that way. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of factors that contributed to that but the primary reason that deal went bad was for lack of education. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was in over my head. I didn’t protect myself the way I should have protected myself. The market started to turn around those times. I was 27 or 28 years old and I find myself $7.2 million in debt with about $4.5 million in assets.

The math did not add up. On top of that, I was newly married. We were married for about one year. We were expecting our first child, Juliana. My whole world came crashing in on me. It was probably the lowest and darkest period of life that I’ve ever been through. I went from earning an incredible living, earning more than most people twice my age were earning at that time. I lost everything. I lost it all. We had built the house that we were living in at the time and I had to short sale that house because I couldn’t pay for it anymore. My daughter being born and we ended up having to move into an extra bedroom in my dad’s house.

I’m so grateful to this day for my father for helping us out and letting us in but it was depressing, especially as a man. You want to provide a better life for your family, give your kids a life that you didn’t have and I felt like I was doing that. I made a mistake and I lost it all. Honestly, I won’t get into the details and bore you with that but I sat around for about six months feeling sorry for myself, doing odd jobs and trying to earn whatever money I could. A buddy of mine brought me down to about six months later to a Rio Group in New Haven, Connecticut.

They had a guest speaker that night. His name was Than Merrill. At the time, they were highly successful doing 100 deals a year but they’re launching their educational program FortuneBuilders. He was sharing the systems, tools and what they were using to do 100 deals a year. I remember sitting in the back of that room listening and thinking, “Who the heck would name their kid Than?” I got stuck on it. I never met a Than before. His name is Nathaniel but he goes by Than but I remember, “What is the Than?” Let me get to the point.

It’s not about the knowledge you have. It’s how you implement that knowledge.

After I got past that, I’m thinking, “This is what I was missing.” I knew I wanted to be in real estate and was willing to take some risk. There’s always a level of risk. Anybody that tells you that, “It’s 100% guaranteed. There’s no risk in real estate,” is lying to you. There’s always risk. What I’ve learned is that the lower the education, the higher the risk. In 2007, I was very poorly educated. All I had done at the time was read a couple of books, talk to some people in my office that had an extra rental property or two, watch some videos online and I thought I could do it.

My education level was very low, so my risk was very high. I remember Than sharing some of these systems. I remember this one particular system he shared about, The Six Critical Documents and I’m like, “If I had that one system, I could have avoided what happened on those two properties. That one tool alone, I could have avoided one of the major problems that we had on that property.” I remember listening to him and feeling like that hopes there of like, “I am called the real estate. I made a mistake. I failed but I’m not going to let that be the end of my story. I’m going to press forward and rebuild.”

I went through the program. I diligently did everything that I was going through the online curriculum. I was going to the live events, jumping on the group coaching calls and threw my pride out the window and say, “I tried it my way, it didn’t work, so I’m going to listen to these guys. I’m going to implement steps by step what they’re telling me to do.” It’s been such an upward trend since that time. Being three months into the program, I got my first deal. I was thinking of wholesaling it but my coach walked me through executing a short sale on it on behalf of the homeowners and raising the money for it. I partnered with Than, Paul and Konrad on this deal.

FBL 1 | Real Estate

Real Estate: Whoever you’re learning from, make sure that they’re practicing what they preach.


We did an episode of Flip This House together. Collectively, after about 3 or 4 months, I earned about $170,000 profit on this one deal. It put me back in the game. Since that time, I own residential property in over ten different states across the country. I’m co-owners in some large apartment buildings and large retail shopping centers totaling about 800 units of apartment buildings and about 3 million square feet of a retail center. I’ve attached by my hitch to what I’ve learned Than, Paul and Konrad do but it’s not the deals that I’ve done and the money that I made. It’s the person that I become in the process that I’m most proud of.

Even the failure that I went through, I look back and it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. It humbled me and taught me the importance of putting God and family first, prioritizing education and doing things the right way. Real estate has taken me places in my life I never could have imagined going and giving life for my family that I’m proud of. I spontaneously decided to meet up with some friends and their families in Jamaica. I took my family there and had an incredible time. While I was there knowing I have assets that are paying me even while I’m on the beach in Jamaica.

That’s the potential that real estate has. That’s what it can do. I’m so honored to be one of your hosts and to bring on JD. We’re going to have a great time on this show. One of the things I want you to do is, as much as I can after every show, I’m going to go live onto Facebook or Instagram. I want to answer questions from this episode. As you’re reading this episode and when you learn more, it creates questions, that’s natural. Ask those questions. Also, tell us things that you’d love to know, guests that you would like to read on the show, topics you would like to learn about.

FBL 1 | Real Estate

Real Estate: Anybody that tells you that, “It’s 100% guaranteed. There’s no risk in real estate,” is lying to you. There’s always risk.


I have so many connections through this incredible community that is FortuneBuilders. I’ll get them on the show. I’ll answer those questions, whatever it is that helps you take those next steps because it’s not what you know. It’s what you implement. You’re going to learn some very powerful principles on this show that if implemented, will change your life. You could be watching this on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or listening in an audio session. DM me on Facebook or Instagram. I’ll go live and answer as many of these questions as we can to get that education in your hands because the most powerful weapon in this world in my opinion, is education.

That’s not just coming because that’s what I’m supposed to say or because I work for a financial educational company, FortuneBuilders in this capacity but it’s because of my life story. I tried life. I tried building wealth without education and it hurt. I’ve tried it with education and it’s nice. Since 2008 or 2009 it’s not that I haven’t made any mistakes. You will make mistakes. To this day, I make mistakes but they’re not $7.2 million mistakes. They’re not mistakes that I have to worry about losing my home and having to move back in with my dad. That’ll never happen. That’s what this show is about. That’s what we’re here for. If you’re interested in learning more about doing this yourself, the place to start is with Keep tuning in, ask questions, tell us what you’d like to see more of.

We all know people that are struggling financially, people that are looking to earn extra income on top of their primary job. Share it. Help us achieve our mission of empowering purposes through financial education. I’m so blessed to spend this time with you. Our next show is going to be with none other than JD Esajian, over a billion dollars in real estate owned and over 1,500 residential deals done. We’re going to have the privilege that he’s going to be right here with me. We’re going to pick his brain and bring out some of those golden nuggets so you can apply it to your life and your business. See you guys then.

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