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In this episode, I want us to get our heads straight for apartment building. And to help us with this lesson is Joe Fairless, who I had on in episode #10.

The reason I invited him back on the show is because he went from owning a few rental properties to his first apt building deal – a monster deal at 168 units. I want to better understand how he was able to get his head around that and why he didn't just say NO, I'm looking for a 20-unit deal. That's amazing to me, and I think there's a lesson there.

Another lesson that became evident was that we are only one relationship from getting to the next level. We sometimes meet that one person that propels us into a trajectory we didn't dream possible. If that's the case, why do we limit ourselves with limiting beliefs?

In this episode, you'll learn 4 Key Lessons to Go Big or Go Home – 4 things you can do to get your mind straight so you can achieve and even accelerate your goals with apartment building investing.

How to Get In Touch With Joe

You can find Joe and subscribe to his excellent podcast “The Best Real Estate Advice Ever” here.


Michael: You were a guest on the show back in Episode # 10. But I wanted to have you back because a lot has happened since then. You've really scaled quite a bit. It's always intriguing to me when someone gets started with something and then goes big quickly – I wonder “How did they do that?” and more specifically important “How did they get their mind around that?” and not let a limiting belief stop them.

Whenever I see a person grow by leaps and bounds, I want to know what they're doing. And hopefully we can all learn from that and apply it to our own lives.

A lot of us want to go slowly, build track record and take it step by step.  With you, it appears to be different. You went from a few rentals right to you first apartment building – 168 units! It seems like you skipped a few steps.

Can you talk about what enabled you to make such a seemingly large leap?

Joe: My mind actually wasn't ready. My mind was able to comprehend a 20-30 unit at the time. I wasn't actively looking for a large property. I came across this one and I just pursued it. The more I got into it, the more it became a reality. Eventually the thought process gets me there. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do a 30-unit deal.

I interviewed recently a guy on my podcast out of San Francisco who wholesales properties. He's made $1M per year for the last 3 years, and 50% of his income was from “wholetaling”. The reason I mention that, how many wholesalers are out there making $5K-$10K a pop, he's making $80K on average on his deals and his does 18 per year. The reason I mention it is that he's chosen to play at a different level. We can all make that choice.

For me it's about that mentality. I can choose a certain level, whatever level I want. I'm most fulfilled when I'm expanding my mindset and looking for bigger things. It's not a house of cards. I grow methodically.

Michael: But your mind didn't say no, you didn't stop it.

Joe: I feel like there's always a way to solve whatever problem comes up.

Michael: How did you manage your fear?

Joe: A lot of it was ignorance honestly. But I also surrounded myself with team members who have more experience than I do. With property managers who have more experience than I do and are experts in that markets. I have consultants I hire to overcome psychological barrier. I have a Tony Robbins coach.

I just do it. I take one step at a time. And I know what my end goal is.

Michael: I remember from our last episode (#10), there were specific people and events that completely changed your trajectory.

For example, you were saying that you were looking in Dallas Ft Worth / Tulsa but you weren't getting any deal flow. You then flew to Tulsa to meet with some brokers and also attended a conference. You met a developer that changed everything. Can you talk about that pivotal event and meeting that person?

Joe: I went to Tulsa to look at properties and meet the brokers. Then one of the brokers invited me to this conference. Glen Ferguson, you won't find on the Internet, he's a creative and financial genius. I was working on a development deal for about 8 months, and I brought him late in the game and I should have brought him earlier. We ended up not pursuing it. He's like an advisor who I can bounce ideas of. I build those relationships with people. That development deal would have been profitable.

Michael: Another important person was your mentor, that got you into your first deal, a 168 unit in Cincinatti. You also said that one of your biggest challenges at the time was deal flow. Can you talk about how your mentor helped you get into this deal?

Joe: Yes, he introduced me to that broker.

But it truly is one relationship that makes the difference. One of my clients introduced me to a business partner in LA and now we're looking for larger deals. We're going down to Miami in December where there's a family office conference. Family offices don't have access to good deal flow, so it's a win-win. But it's a whole different world.

Michael: What does your partner bring to the table?

Joe: He has 10 years of experience in MF industry. He controls many millions of MF, and he underwrites MF deals professionally. He brings the initial and exhaustive underwriting to the table and I find the money.

Michael: I love this next question you ask your guests, and I'd love to ask it to you too. If you had to start all over again, and you'd have a roof over your head and food taken care of, and you had $500 to your name but nothing else, what would you do first?

Joe: I would start a daily podcast, I'm going to interview successful RE investors. What would I do with the money? I'd buy some hardware, I'd buy some recording app and I would need a computer. I would partner with an audio engineer I would give them free advertising space for editing, we'd re-assess in 3 months.

I would then ask questions from the people performing in a particular RE area, and then I'd pick one or two individuals, learn from them, add value, have them mentor me, and replicate their success and get going.

If I didn't want to do a Podcast. Then do something consistently to build your brand, to get your word out about you on a consistent basis. It could be Youtube or blogging. Whatever it is, get your word out there through some consistent platform.

You're doing all of this to make money so you meet people who are successful at a certain business.

Michael: So what's next for you?

Joe: The next apartment community. Finding an investor who is the right fit for the business who partners with us in the $10M range. My partner and I have had conversations with a couple. We're making offers on these properties. One or two of these

Michael: What's the best way for people to find you?

Joe: Just Google my name “Joe Fairless” and my podcast shows up.


These were the 4 Key Lessons to Go Big or Go Home:

  1. Don't dismiss your mindset – work on it.
  2. Actively expand your comfort zone.
  3. Don't limit yourself. See the possibilities. Just do it.
  4. Network. You're just one relationship away from your next level.

And Remember …!

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