I’ve been hanging out in St. Barth’s and I decided every Monday I’m going to do a show on GrantCardoneTV where I show you real estate deals I’ve bought and why I bought them. This is better than doing any book. It’s going to give you the tools you need to know why you should buy a property and how to buy. You need to know the real estate game because it’s a great way to build passive income and secure wealth.

There is risk in any investment. The only way to reduce your risk is to know what you’re doing. I have a magic touch when it comes to real estate deals, no doubt about it. I’m going to continue to expand my real estate portfolio and as I do, I’m going to be sharing the things I do and even the mistakes I make.

I’ll share with you a deal I’m going over right now. It’s a $20,175,000 price but I will round it off to $20 million to keep things simple. I need to put 25 percent down to get my best debt. I put $5 million down and get $15 million in debt. This is a 75 percent loan devalue. The beauty about real estate is that I can buy a $20 million property for only $5 million.

Of course, I’m speaking in generalities here, I haven’t always put 25 percent down. The last deal I bought was in Boca Raton for $12 million. Usually, I would put $3 million down, but that deal already had debt in it and the expenses could not be paid off so that deal needed $6 million down. It was still a good deal for me for other reasons.

I’ve been doing the real estate thing for a long time. I looked at properties every weekend for five years before getting into the game. My first deal was in San Diego in 1995 for 38 units. My second deal was a month later for 48 units, and my third deal three months later was 92 units. Within about 18 months I had 500 units. Fast forward to 2016 and I have much, much more -- nearly 4,000 units.

I’ve never read a book on real estate, nor did I ever have a coach or a mentor in real estate. I got rejected by the first two lenders I went to in California, even though I could have written a check for the deals. They told me I had no experience. I kept at it and the third lender gave me the green light.

You will put 25 percent down if you have good credit and have management experience. The lenders don’t care how rich you are, they’ll say “yeah, you got some money, good” then they’ll look at your credit and say, “yeah you have good credit but so does everyone else.”

Then, the third thing they will say is, “What is your management experience?” They will also ask about your experience in that particular area. A guy who used to have eight units in Tulsa may get turned down for a loan in Florida because he doesn’t know the area.

Before you pull the trigger on any deal, get great with looking at financial statements. Real estate is basically a numbers game. It’s about a certain amount of money coming in and a certain amount of money going out. The difference in this business is that you actually get to use debt. This means you get leverage. Every $100K buys $400K in real estate. Every $1-million buys $4-million. If I bought $1 million in the stock market, I would get $1 million in stock. If the stock market was like real estate, I would buy $1 million in stock and get $4 million in stock.

There are three main things you need to keep in mind today with real estate:

1. Know real estate.

Do you even want to be involved in real estate? If you aren’t sure, don’t do it. You have to know for sure that’s what you want your money in. Know what kind of real estate you want to be in. I don’t do shopping centers or offices -- and certainly not houses. I do multi-family, which means basically apartment buildings. I rent 10 to 15-month contracts. I know what I want to do and why I want to do it.

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2. Know the market.

Not just location, you need to know the market. There was recently an article written about how New York and San Francisco are already pulling back. I’ve been telling people for a year to stay out of those markets because they are hyper-inflated. They will bust because all bubbles do. Bubbles are pretty and everyone wants to hold it and then POP -- everyone loses interest and they go start blowing another bubble. I stay out of markets that blow bubbles.

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3. Know the deal.

Finding the deal today is the biggest issue for many small investors. There’s no such thing as a bank owned deal. If the banks got deals, they are calling guys like me. If everyone passes on a deal, it’s not a deal. It’s like if I told you that you can eat everything off my plate after I’ve already eaten all the good stuff off. You need to know what a deal is and what isn’t a deal.

You want to scale, which is something most small investors can’t do. I don’t advise doing multi-family unless you start with at least a $2-million-dollar deal. Otherwise, it won’t produce enough income and is not worth the trouble. If I’m going to get a splinter in my toe, the adventure better be worth it. I don’t want a splinter in my toe because I was eating a hamburger but if I get it running to my naked wife on the beach, the splinter would be worth it. You don’t want to invest in a deal where the payoff is too small.

That’s why I say don’t do anything with fewer than 16 units. Don’t do little. Don’t start early and don’t start small. People hate when I say this. Keep saving your money. You reduce risk not by diversifying but by knowing what you’re doing. Leave alone the high-end stuff that has rents of over $3K and the cheap junk. You want to have an exit plan or you won’t ever get your money out. I invest in places with rents around $1,000.

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If you do a $2 million-dollar property you will need $500K and finance $1.5 million. The property will take care of your financing, your expenses, and it should pay you about $50,000 a year. If that sounds scary, consider other options -- I know if I could do it all over again from the beginning I would have just ridden with a guy like me. I’ve got a brother and a sister, and some close friends that came in and wanted in on some of my deals. They get the leverage where it’s my name on the debt, my experience and my management company.

For 25 years, I have allowed only close friends and family to invest in my real estate deals. I recently put 460 units, worth $55 million, under contract to purchase and for the first time offered investors outside my family to come into these deals. The entire investment required was filled in two weeks.

I am going to open up my next deal to accredited investors. With many of you reaching out to me interested in investing in apartments as a way to protect capital and create passive income flows, I’m opening it up to accredited investors. I can’t open it up to everybody just yet because of some regulations, but I’m working on it. Accredited means you need an income of $200K a year for the last two years or a million dollars in net worth, excluding your home. The minimum investment is $100k and the maximum is $1 million.

The total $10 million raise will be filled on first come first serve basis. You can reach out to my guy Ryan@CardoneAcquisitions.com.

Apartment investing has been extremely lucrative for me over the last 25 years. There are no promises or guarantees this can or will continue, but you can see where I am putting all my money. If you don’t yet make $200K a year, get on my Playbook today. Before you get in the real estate game you have to learn to increase your income -- there’s no way around it.

Make it your goal to sleep where you rent and rent what you own.