As long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with real estate. I have been drawn to it for my entire life; for the last 30 years, I have been buying apartments. It didn’t matter whether it was a piece of land, a house, or a storefront, I have always had an affinity for real estate and I also had some basic understanding that real estate was valuable.
I remember my Dad would drive my Mom and us 5 kids around on the weekends looking at real estate. My Dad owned 3 homes during his lifetime, and each one represented the fact that he was going somewhere, succeeding with each move. Just a few years before my Dad died he bought his dream house and he told Mom,“We’ve made it.”It was almost two acres, on the waterfront, had lots of big trees, and was in a neighborhood filled with doctors and lawyers and people who belonged to the local Country Club.
When he died, my Mom had to immediately sell the dream house because it was too much for her to manage. That was a huge lesson that I would not fully understand until I started investing in real estate myself, many years later, and one you must understand if you are going to create financial freedom using real estate.
As an aspiring young teenage boy, when I started reading books about wealthy people, I noticed how many of them owned real estate. I remember running across a study done about the real estate holdings amongst the super-rich in America. It suggested households who owned large amounts of real estate had lower educational levels, were not significantly associated with inheritance, were not socially connected, and did not have some special occupational status. That describes me perfectly.
I didn’t have a fancy education, my Dad didn’t give me a million to start, like“The Donald”, I definitely wasn’t connected, and I had never held a high-level corporate job title or had some great tech idea I could bring to Silicon Valley.
Throughout history, real estate has proven a viable investment vehicle and has been validated by some of the wealthiest families, even institutions, on the planet. Those that control the real estate end up with wealth. And by the way, this is not a new thing. The great civilizations of the Romans, Egyptians, Greek, Chinese, Persians, and Mayans, all had massive real estate holdings as part of their power structure. In the 1920’s, the British were reported to own 25% of the world’s landmass.
Here is a little-hidden fact for you, known only once you get big in the game of real estate investing: The largest insurance companies in the world love commercial real estate and use income-producing real estate to ensure they are able to pay off the death and retirement benefits of its premium holders. At Cardone Capital, we will access insurance companies to partner with us in transactions, reducing the cost of debt and improving our returns. The insurance companies use the dependability of the income from the real estate to improve their returns and pay off beneficiaries when necessary.
Research history and you will see lots of super wealthy people using real estate to either create wealth, preserve it, or both. John D. Rockefeller started in oil and ended up controlling massive amounts of real estate, making him the richest man in the world. Some say when you adjust for inflation he would still be the richest man in the world by many times.
John Jacob Astor invested in Manhattan real estate and in today’s terms would be worth $138 billion, more than Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. A more recent example is Donald Bren in Orange County, California, now considered the richest real estate developer in the United States. He started investing in real estate
in his fifties. Or how about Stephen Ross, here in Miami, owner of the Related Companies, who borrowed money from his mother and dipped his feet into affordable housing? He is now worth $12 billion and owner of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.
Then, there is outspoken Sam Zell, worth $5 billion, who started buying and fixing affordable apartments in secondary markets. He went on to create one of the biggest real estate investment vehicles in the world, allowing others to invest alongside him. Sam has made billions of dollars for himself and others. Sam Zell is who I am modeling Cardone Capital after.
Of course, I must mention Donald Trump, President of the United States. Mr. Trump is worth $4 billion, his name is on luxury buildings and golf courses in New York, Chicago, Miami and around the world.
Whether you like“The Donald”or not, pay attention to how he got his start.
Donald’s Dad, Fred Trump, didn’t get started in luxury real estate. Fred built 4,000 affordable rentals for servicemen returning from the war, and ended up owning 27,000 units. Multiply 27,000 units times any monthly rent, and you quickly see how anyone can produce tremendous wealth over time while the earth beneath the apartments becomes more valuable (appreciates).
Ray Kroc, who held a minority position in a company called McDonald’s, figured out if he controlled the real estate beneath each of the McDonald’s franchise locations, selling french fries and milkshakes, he could get control of the company. It worked and the original founders of McDonald’s surrendered the worldwide franchise ownership over to Ray Kroc, who built the largest restaurant chain in the world.
I am going to give you one last example because it blew me away. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Universe, the Terminator and Governor of California, now worth $300 million, did not make his first money as a weightlifter or as an actor. In 1970, he was using all his surplus money to invest in buying apartments in Santa Monica and soon became a millionaire as an apartment investor. The income from the apartments allowed Arnold to create financial freedom so he could focus on his acting career.
Clearly, you can tell I love real estate. But what attracts me the most is that every time I meet successful real estate investors I notice they have a different lifestyle and freedom than other business people. They seem less stressed, calmer, and overall more relaxed.
This is why I’ve just written my newest book!
I want to help you sort out and simplify the kinds of deals you should be buying. I will also show you how to find deals, assess their value, and how to buy the right deal.
I want to simplify apartment investing for you and help you avoid the mistakes I see most people make. By avoiding these mistakes, you can make sure your first deals work and you will be off to a great start.
If you have been dabbling with smaller deals or single-family residences, my goal for you is to open your eyes up to how to invest at levels that can truly change things for you and your family.
I want you to understand how I see a deal and why I invest ALL my money in these types of assets.
The book is going to press today. You can pre-order now!
Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author, the #1 sales trainer in the world, and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, social media, and finance. His 5 privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Forbes named Mr. Cardone #1 of the “25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017”. Grant’s straight-shooting viewpoints on the economy, the middle class, and business have made him a valuable resource for media seeking commentary and insights on real topics that matter. He regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, and MSNBC, and writes for Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider, CNBC, and Entrepreneur. He urges his followers and clients to make success their duty, responsibility, and obligation. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife and two daughters.