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Syndication Series #1: How To Evaluate A Syndication Deal With Dr. Sam Giordano

REW 82 | Evaluating Syndication Deals


Everything starts with learning. You can excel really great in one thing if you are determined to know how it works. In real estate, it’s the same case. You have to strive for your goals. Moneeka Sawyer sits down for a conversation with Dr. Sam Giordano on evaluating syndication deals. Where should you be investing? How do you find the right process that works for you? How do you evaluate a syndication opportunity? Dr. Giordano answers these questions and more! Plus, he offers a spreadsheet that could just be the one to help you up your syndication game. So listen to this episode and enjoy the process of learning and growing.

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Syndication Series #1: How To Evaluate A Syndication Deal With Dr. Sam Giordano

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am so excited because we are going to do something a little bit different. One of the things that I’ve been thinking is that as we’ve gone through the years of this show, every single time I do a show, we record something new. There’s a new idea, a new strategy or a new opportunity, and I love that. It’s very exciting to me. I know many of you love that too. What concerns me a little bit is that I feel like I might be confusing you.

Instead of giving you an opportunity to go deep and to learn strategies so that you can make a decision whether that strategy is right for you or not, I just keep presenting new opportunities, which is confusing for me hearing them like I think, “That’s a good idea,” and I know that if I wasn’t already well implanted into some strategies that I’m already using, it could be confusing for me.

In order to support you, ladies, to actually start taking action and grow your portfolio and become super-wealthy and blissful, I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing some different series. Each series is going to be focused on a strategy that I’ve heard a lot about from you. You’ve asked many questions and you want more information. I’ve brought on several guests onto the show already about that topic because of your interest in it.

What I’m going to do is create some of the series that will be a deep dive into that particular topic. Sometimes, it’s hard to go back and re-listen to episodes that are hard to find on iTunes and a lot of the podcasting formats, and even on my website. There might be so many that you don’t know what to listen to.

What I’m going to do is go back and compile the best episodes into a series. If there are any missing parts or holes, then I’ll record a new episode or two to fill those holes. Either it’ll be a new person, maybe I’ll do something, but my strategy is it won’t always be a series and it won’t always be replays. This is to support you as we move forward from here to help you to start taking action and feel like you’re getting what you need to create success.

I’m not just here talking about real estate. I’m here to help you build the blissful life that you dream about. That’s my goal and that’s why I’m creating this series. I’m now starting the first series and I’m excited about it. We are going to be having some reruns and that may irritate some of you. If you don’t like this series idea, please email me and let me know. If you love this series idea, please email me and let me know because I’m here to serve you. I want to make sure you’re taken care of and that I’m providing what you want. I’ve got all my great ideas, but they don’t mean anything if you don’t love them. This is the time for you to tell me what you need so that I can be of service to you.

Here is the first series that we’re doing. Welcome to the Syndication Series. We’ve had many people on this show talking about syndication. Some of you are still a little bit confused about what syndication means. What it means is someone has a big project and they need to get money for that project. What they do is they go out there and find investors to invest in their project. That’s called syndication.

If it’s actual syndication that is legal, they have to file with the SEC. There are some definite legal things that they have to do, but the basic idea is they’re taking money to help invest in a project, either to buy the property, build the property or refurb the property. That is what that very complicated-sounding word is. Syndication means people are collecting money from lots of different individuals to fund a project.

In this series, we’re going to be talking to several syndicators. I’m also going to be starting this series with an education piece about how to evaluate projects. This is so exciting because it’s new in the market. I feel extremely excited that I met this person. It’s as if the universe sent him to us, so I can’t wait to share him with you. He’s going to be talking about how to evaluate syndication projects. We’ll start the series with that, and then we’ll move in so you can get to know some of the syndicators that I want you to hear more from. Maybe they’ve already been on the show and we’re doing a replay, or I’m re-recording something. We’ll see how it goes. I want to make sure that as we go, I’m providing the best value.

Welcome to the Syndication Series. I am excited to welcome to the show, Dr. Samuel Giordano. He is a practicing gastroenterologist, author, real estate investor, and Cofounder of PassiveAdvantage.com, a website designed to help physicians and other high-income professionals with passive real estate syndication deals. He and his partner, Terry Kipp, have designed tools specifically geared towards passive and limited partner investors to help objectify and bring to light the risk points of various real estate syndication deals before choosing to invest.

The tool also has built-in functionality for tracking investment performance versus proforma, as well as a separate tool for tracking your progress on the path to financial independence. He has been investing in passive syndication deals as a limited partner since 2017 and initially developed this tool for himself. Now, he is focused on helping other physicians and investors and bringing it to the masses. His ultimate goal for himself and others is financial freedom, and to be able to live a life of your choosing on your own terms. How are you, Sam?

It’s great to see you. Thank you so much for having me.

Did I do okay with your specialty?

You did outstanding. Perfect.

My mom’s a physician. I have a level of integrity around this. I want to be able to say it right.

It must be in the genes.

I am excited to have you on the show. I want to tell you a little bit about how I met Sam. I was on another show. Do you remember whose show it was? I want to mention it because it was so good.

It may have been Taylor Loht, The Passive Wealth Principles.

I was on that show and then Sam called me because I offered an opportunity for people to talk like I do with you ladies and see what happens if you call me. He set up an appointment and we started chatting about syndications. He’s like, “I want to figure out my next step. I’m not sure what I’m doing,” and he was so humble. I got on the phone with him and he is miles ahead of me in the syndication world. This is such an interesting thing that I want you to know. Many people can be successful. I’m successful in what I do and Sam’s successful in what he does.

Many are interested in the passive growth opportunities of syndication, but sometimes, it's hard to kind of figure it out. Share on X

You’ve heard many amazing people on this show that are successful, but we’re successful at what we do and there are other people that are so much more successful at what they do. This is one of those amazing synergistic things where he was like, “I wanted to find out about what you’re doing,” and I’m like, “I want to find out what you’re doing.” Once we started talking, I realized what a value he could be for you so I asked him to be on the show. This is his very first ever. Is that true?

It’s one of my first ones, so forgive me if I make any rookie mistakes.

We love rookie mistakes. We like the true, authentic deal. This is going to be fun. I’m excited for him to talk to you about this tool because many of you are interested in the passive growth opportunities of syndication. We’ve had several people on the show talk about syndication, but sometimes it’s hard to figure it out. Where should you be investing? What projects, what people, how do you find a facilitator? Is it called a facilitator?

Yeah. There’s a liaison. There are certain liaisons that put you in touch with syndicators. There are a lot of questions.

I’ll get all that information. When Sam presented this tool, I thought, “This would make it so much easier even for me,” so I wanted to share him with you. That is why Sam is on the show.

Thank you for having me. It’s my pleasure.

Tell us a little bit about your story. How did you get into this? I know you’re a doctor. Tell me a little bit about what happened.

REW 82 | Evaluating Syndication Deals

Evaluating Syndication Deals: If somebody is not performing adequately, then you can obviously not recommend them any longer.


I appreciate you giving me the opportunity. It’s great to talk with you again. I’m born and bred in New Jersey. I came from humble beginnings. My father only graduated 8th grade, and my mom only graduated 10th grade. I was the first person in my family to go to college. After college, I went on to work in the pharmaceutical industry research for a few years, and then not feeling fulfilled, I decided to go to medical school. I met my wife in between medical school and residency. She’s a California girl. I somehow convinced her to stay in New Jersey, although I fight that fight every day.

I finished my fellowship as a gastroenterologist back in 2012. I was doing all the traditional things you think about from a personal finance standpoint. I was maxing out my retirement accounts, paying off my student loans, investing in my children’s 529, all the classic personal finance things that are preached to us. Eventually, as loans got paid off, I was able to invest in post-tax accounts. There came a time where I wanted to look into more alternative investments.

That was around 2017, the same time when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted. We lost the ability to deduct state and local income tax. In high taxes states like New Jersey and California, that can be a big hit on your taxes. Synergistically at that time, I started looking into alternative investments, and then I also started looking for ways to diversify some of my taxable income. That brought me into the real estate realm a little bit.

Why did you choose syndications?

Initially, I had dabbled in thinking about owning my own rental properties, single-family rentals, and looking into possible turnkey opportunities in most cases, out of state since New Jersey doesn’t have the best real estate investment opportunities for those types of things. I started to hear horror stories about people who bought these turnkey properties and that the property managers that were managing them out of state weren’t always truthful. It started to steer me off a little bit.

I talked to a few friends that had done some of these real estate syndication deals to where they invest in the deal passively. You give them a certain amount of money and you have fractional ownership in the deal. After you do the upfront vetting and due diligence of that deal to decide whether you want to invest, once you make the commitment financially, then you start receiving distributions either monthly or quarterly, depending on the structure of that deal. You don’t have to do anything anymore.

The great thing is you get a lot of the tax benefits, which is some of the stuff that I was looking into, where at least it doesn’t increase your taxable income. In some cases, you can use that depreciation from those deals to offset some of your other passive income or active income in somebody who’s a real estate professional.

Once I saw these deals and I saw that it was more hands-off because I still have my day job as a physician and I’m not looking to give that up. This looked like the perfect fit in terms of what I wanted to accomplish. It was like opening Pandora’s box when I learned about it, and then it just set off this year-long education process of learning more.

You talked a little bit about turnkey. We are probably going to be doing a series on turnkey also because it’s a strategy that I love. What is interesting is you’re talking about all these horror stories of the scam artists out there that create a dodgy products. The properties aren’t right and the management company that they put in isn’t right. There’s a lot out there that doesn’t work, but there is also a lot out there that does work. One of the values that I provide in this show is vetting and getting to know these different people and operators. My ladies go and invest with them and I hear feedback.

We’re able to put together a network of operators in the turnkey area that my ladies can invest in. The syndication area is not that much different. It’s interesting that you said they were opposites because in the syndication area also, there are a lot of scam artists and operators. There are people that are taking people’s money. In anything in real estate, if the market goes down, you lose money. Not to scare you off, it’s significantly more secure than other investments but it is an investment. There are a lot of operators, even in the syndication world, that are scamming people, unfortunately.

I wish that wasn’t the case but you’re right.

The big difference with the syndicators is that they have to file with the SEC. These guys are being tracked by the government. There are ways to find out about their reputation. If they start to scam people, they’ll be shut down. There’s a little bit more security as far as finding operators this way, but it still doesn’t mean that they’re perfect. If they say you have a ROR of 34%, and then they give you 9%, at least you didn’t lose money. It’s very important to find syndicators that have a good reputation, which is why I’m doing this series because I personally have invested with several people.

Interestingly, Sam has invested with some of the same people, and I’ve developed relationships with some of these syndicators. That’s why we’re doing this series. We want to educate you on how to evaluate projects so that as we go through talking about syndication, you can look at each one of those operators.

If you like what you hear, you like what kinds of projects they’re in, you can get information from them, and then when they start sending you projects or opportunities, then you can go through those opportunities with this tool that Sam’s going to be talking about. There is meaning to my madness. There’s a reason I’m doing it this way. I wanted to point out that it is true that out there in every industry, whether it’s education, real estate, turnkey, REITS, syndication, whatever it is, there are risks. The operator is going to be the key. Wouldn’t you say?

Start looking at alternative investments and ways to diversify some of your taxable income. Share on X

I do. The service that you provide to your readers is huge because you have a go-between where if somebody is not performing adequately, then you can not recommend them any longer. That’s a cost to them so they then would have to treat your readers and the people that you referred to them well. As far as if you don’t have those associations available to you, the only way that you can combat that uncertainty or to differentiate which syndicators are good and which are not is through your own education.

The first year that I started to learn about these syndications was in 2016 or 2017 because of the fact that some of these syndications require a pretty significant upfront financial commitment, I’ve made a promise to myself to spend an entire year just to educate myself. That was in the form of podcasts like your own, reading as many books as I could get my hands on, looking at different real estate forums. Anywhere I could get the information in regards to the real estate syndications, I was taking that all in.

As I was going through that year-long timeframe, I used a note sheet to take notes on some key points, or if I heard something interesting on a podcast, I’d put it on that note sheet. Eventually, that note sheet morphed into an Excel sheet where it had parameters that I was looking for in these syndicators. That first year, in addition to the education, if I heard of a syndicator or there was a recommendation of a syndicator through a friend, I would reach out to them, try to have a discussion, and see if it was a fit. What you tend to do if it’s a fit is to get on their investor list.

At that point is when you start receiving these deals through what they call an investment summary or a pitch deck. When you first see those, it’s overwhelming. Some of them are 40 or 50 pages and you don’t know what you’re looking at but over time, when you combine some of the education components into what metrics you need to look at and after looking at some of those investment summaries multiple times, you start to pretty quickly pick out what the metrics are that you’re looking for and what’s in the investment summary.

Over that year, I formed this sheet and it’s what I still use now. It’s gone through many iterations but it gives me the confidence that there’s not one clear risk point or red flag in the deal. If there is, then I’m aware of it and I can then decide if I want to invest in that deal, or I want to move on and invest in another deal. Getting back to the question, the one way to combat that uncertainty and not knowing whether someone you’re dealing with is scrupulous or truthful is to educate yourself as best as you can. The whole process of forming the sheet is to try to truncate or shorten that education process that I had to do so that people can more quickly be pointed out to certain areas that they need to look at.

That’s the education process that you went through. What is it that you actually go through when you are evaluating a syndication opportunity? We’re going to do an awesome deep dive in EXTRA. Give us a high level and then we can go much deeper. We’re going to have more time in EXTRA to do that.

When you look at a deal, the three main components would be the sponsor, the market and the deal, and in that order. Meaning that the sponsor is clearly the most important component of the evaluation, but that’s the trickiest because there are a few objective things that we look at, but it’s not as many clear quantitative objective parameters that you can look at when you’re evaluating the sponsor.

A big thing is when you do have that phone conversation with them, what’s the feel you get? Do they seem like nice people that you’d want to go have a beer with or hang out with? Do you feel like as soon as you get off the phone, you’re like, “I don’t want to talk to that person again?” You got to trust your gut. Even though that’s not quantitative, that’s one of the more important things that you can have when you’re evaluating these sponsors.

The market looks at parameters where people are generally moving like the Sun Belt area, Southeastern Florida, Atlanta, Texas, Arizona, and moving out of states like our state, New Jersey, California, New York, and moving to places where the weather is good and taxes are better. Most of the investments I look at have what they call population migration into those areas. You look at job growth and education in those areas. You look at the average salary in the particular community that the apartment is going into.

Evaluating Syndication Deals: One way to combat that uncertainty and not knowing whether someone you’re dealing with is scrupulous or truthful is to educate yourself as best as you can.


The third part is the deal itself. You can get granular in the deal metrics because those get quantitative, but the three main breakdowns of the deal itself would be property metrics, the debt structure, which is extremely important what kind of debt is on the deal. That’s one of the higher risk points of the deal, and then the rent growth projections. That’s a high-level overview of the main things that you look at in a deal.

As the limited partner investor, one of the best things you can do is think about what your end game is like what you’re doing this for, and where you see yourself in whatever time horizon you set out if it’s 5, 10, 15 years. I did that early on and that has made all the difference because then I can see where the goalpost is and how close I am to getting it. If you don’t know where that goalpost is, it makes it a little harder to see what you need to do to get there.

That was one of the very first things that we talked about, you and I in our first conversation. This is one of those things that I bring up for everybody. You need to know where you’re headed. There are a few things that we need to know, where am I headed, why and what my resources are. That sounds easy but it’s so much deeper than that. Once you know those things, picking a strategy, whether it’s syndication or anything else, becomes easier. Setting the goals and the path of that strategy is so much easier.

You want to pick a strategy that is aligned with who you are, all of it. I was talking to somebody about what your resources are and his wife wasn’t on board, but she’s one of his resources. If she’s not on board, that’s going to be a hard journey for you. Your relationships are a part of your resources, personal, as well as network. I go off on these tangents but I love what you were talking about.

My wife wasn’t on board initially either. It took her a little bit of time. I started to show her the numbers, she started to learn a bit more, and now she’s more involved. It takes some time to take a little transition.

Maybe we can talk in EXTRA too about how you helped her to make that transition because I’m getting a lot of those questions lately. Having a goalpost to know where you’re going is going to make a huge difference for you. The cold bolt is your first goalpost. Once you get to that goalpost, there will be another. Don’t worry about limiting or whatever it is. That goalpost will eventually change once you reach it too.

The biggest thing with these investments and when it’s something new like there’s some complicated variable to it where it’s not super intuitive to understand, I found that the hardest part is taking that first step. At least for me and I’m sure it is for others. Sometimes I feel like education conquers the fear, whether it’s a miss or in other things, when you feel like you’re fully prepared and you’ve done all you can, then it brings you closer to taking that first step.

Knowing the things to look for and having a tool as we have discussed helps take the first step. Once that happens, then it becomes easier. The next thing you know, three years later, I’ve done over ten syndication deals. I can still remember my first deal a couple of years ago. It’s amazing how quickly it can happen.

I also believe that education helps to mitigate fear, but there is such a thing as analysis paralysis. Don’t overeducate. There is a point where you have to actually take that step. Talk to us a little bit about how you took those first steps to invest in your first deal.

Believe it or not, the criteria I look for now are different from the criteria that I used on that first deal. That’s the nature of the economy as your education evolves. That first deal, I was primarily focused 80% on the sponsor because even though I had done all the research and my analysis on what to look for in deals, I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t missing anything. That’s that same thing, paralysis by analysis. I was at the point where I was like, “Do I know enough? Do I not know enough?” The way for me to mitigate that is to put even more of a weight on that sponsor.

The sponsor I invested in that first deal, my interactions with them and their organization, I’m like, “These guys are first-class. They seem like they’re doing things the right way. I have confidence in what they’re doing. I’m going to take a leap and go with them,” and I did. Thankfully, it worked out. They had what’s called a fund structure, where it involves multiple investments in one vehicle. Nowadays, I look for more of the single asset deals as opposed to the fund deals, just because some of the times with the fund deals, it’s a little harder.

There are nuances between the funds and the single asset deals, but the single asset deals allow me, now that I’m more comfortable with the vetting, to actually vet more of the deal. Whereas when it’s a fund, they may not have even bought the properties before you’ve invested, so you are 100% looking at the sponsor. At that point, I was comfortable to work with. Whereas now, since I’m more comfortable in what I’m looking at, I’m more interested in the single syndication deals, but that’s what allowed me to take that first leap. I had the most confidence in the sponsor. That’s where I was comfortable with at that point.

What is it that’s changed? You said that you don’t look at the same things. Back then, it was all about the sponsor. Tell me a little bit more about now.

The sponsor is still the most important. At the stage I’m at now, my overall goal was to try within 10 to 12 years to get to a point where I could create enough income to cover my expenses. I had an idea of how much I would have to invest in these real estate syndication deals looking at average or conservative returns to where I would get there in 10 to 12 years. In order to do that, a portion of me is focused on what’s called the velocity of money. I’m looking for deals that may not have a ten-year hold time to where it’s taken time to get my money back.

Some of these syndications require a pretty significant upfront financial commitment. Share on X

I’m looking for deals where they may have a five-year hold time. Hold time is just the amount of time that the deal is projected before they sell the property and do any business plan or value add to sell it. I’m looking for deals that may say that it’s a five-year hold but in reality, they’re looking to fix it up and sell it in three or refinance it in three. You then get all your money back during those refinances, then I can deploy it in other deals.

Back then, I was more focused on security, whereas now, I’m more focused on trying to not take extra risks. Just do deals where there’s more of a chance to get in and get out in a quicker time period, so then I can redeploy it because then you could capitalize those gains quicker and then that 10 or 12-year horizon, I could potentially achieve in 7 to 8 years if things work outright. One of the things is that the deals I look for have a shorter hold time. I’m less interested in the fund structure at this point.

Ten, twelve years from now, I may then switch back and want the security, and not want to have to continue to redeploy deals. The markets I’ve looked at have changed a little bit in that period of time. As well as the economic exchange, rent control states, and different things like that affect what you can do in terms of increasing the rents after you do renovations on some of these investments. All those things have changed, believe it or not, in the short years since I started investing. It’s a constant thing you have to keep up with a little bit.

Most of my ladies know what syndication is. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times. What we’re talking about is an operator who has a big project who is looking for money. He’s registered with the SEC, and you have an opportunity to invest in that project. That’s the real simple way of saying it. However, Sam just mentioned a bunch of little things that I don’t think we’ve mentioned on this show. I’d like to break it down just a little bit.

What happens is when you find an operator, you’ll get a project, and then you evaluate that project. You then have an opportunity to either be a preferred investor. Sometimes, they have two different levels of investors and sometimes they don’t. They’ve got preferred and standard. The preferred is usually the people that get in first and they get a higher rate of return that’s paid to them. They’re basically borrowing money from you to start this project. You might get 10% if you’re preferred and 8% if you’re not preferred. Those are just examples.

What happens is the syndicator takes all that money. They either buy the property and start the refurb, or they already have the property and it’s just being used for refurb. They’ll tell you what it’s for. They’ll do a forced value add. A forced value add is they’re fixing it up. They’re doing a remodel. Their goal is to be able to raise rents because when you get a loan on a property like a multiunit, your loan is based on the income of the property. It’s not based on your personal finances but it’s based on the income of the property.

The property is getting a certain amount of income. They refurb it with your money, and then they raise rents. They’ll clear everybody out and put in a bunch of new people. Most of the time, they’ll do it piecemeal. As people leave, they’ll put in people at higher rents. As leases come due, they’ll raise the rents. There are a couple of things that they can do. They can sell the property and do it again or now they’ve got cashflow and they want to keep it.

Evaluating Syndication Deals: There’s a liberating feeling when you have the ability to cover some of your expenses and not have to worry about what’s going on in your job life.


Often what they’ll do is they’ll refinance it. They’ll take some cash out, and that cash out is now paid to all of the investors. This is tax-free income because it’s out of a refinance, so you get this income. A few years down the line, they might sell the property. At that point, you get a portion of the equity in that sale. Before that, you’re getting a portion of the rent every single month.

Not every syndicator will pay on every one of those pieces. Not every syndicator has the same plan or way that they run a project or pay their people. In general, those are the different opportunities. There are a few more opportunities but that’s a base level of what you can get. You’ll hear things like ROR. People will say, “I got a rate of return of 34%.” What does that mean over five years?

What happened was, they got 10% every year. During the refinance, they got another percentage, then they got all this rent, and then at the end, they got another percentage. Some of it’s taxable and some of it’s not. That’s when you hear the ROR. They’re taking all of those ways of being paid and they’re adding that into, “Over five years, this is what it averaged out to.” That’s when you hear that term. That’s what you’re looking at. Did I miss anything, Sam?

No, I think that’s great. You’ve explains it perfectly. With these multifamilies that are more than four units, the value, instead of it being a single-family home where the values are based on comps, or if somebody wants the house down the street and sold it for X amount, so my house is worth X amount. The multifamily, when it’s four units or more based on that net operating income, if it’s a 200-unit property and you increase the rent in each of those units $100 a month, that all of a sudden kicks up the value of that property a significant amount.

The difference between what they paid and what it’s now worth is based on the operating income, they could get some of that cash back, sell it and get some. The nice thing about multifamily units is that there are clear numbers based on what you can collect and what the value is. It’s not like, “I’ll pay you $600,000 for your house.”

When they can increase those rents, then it’s clear data as to what the value of that property is, and then they can use the benefit. It can benefit the investors and the syndicators. Even though it doesn’t seem like $100 a month rent is a lot in increase, when you add in all the months and you add in all the units, it becomes a pretty significant amount of money. You explained it perfectly.

Thank you for that additional input. You’re not doing this on smaller properties. You’re doing this on larger ones. I’ve done a few syndications. I’ve done one in a 252-unit property, I did one in a 550-unit property, I did one in a storage development ground up, and I did another one in a mobile home park that was being refurbed. That’s how I’ve invested in a lot of different areas that I know nothing about, but I want to get in on the action or on the opportunities there. It’s a way for me to go to an expert. Just like we’re talking to a doctor, you wouldn’t do what he does at home. You’re going to go to him. I believe in going to the pros.

If someone’s doing this and doing it well, I want to invest with that person. A lot of these things, I want the advantages that those markets give us without having to learn about them myself. I’m so busy myself. I don’t have the bandwidth to learn all that stuff, so it’s given me an opportunity to invest in places that I can’t learn enough about, but I can learn about the operator. I don’t want to be responsible for myself for a multi-million dollar project, in something that I don’t know, so it’s better to have a team.

That’s one of the examples that you used in relation to the unit size. One of the criteria we have in the sheet is we look for properties that are at least 100 units or more. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is that you can have economies of scale. You can afford to hire an onsite property manager as opposed to if you have a 40-unit or 50-unit. In addition, at the time of sale, if you want to sell to an institutional buyer or private equity, they generally don’t want to look at complexes or apartment complexes that are less than 100 units, so it just gives you more opportunities. One of the criteria we look at in the sheet in terms of the deal-specific criteria, is it 100 units or more? Is it 150 or more? They get assigned scores based on that. That’s good that you said that because that does affect the growth opportunity and the risk profile of the deal. That’s a good example.

Thank you. Talk to us about the kind of people that should be investing in syndications. Who is this for?

It depends at what level you want to get into it. There are crowdfunding websites like CrowdStreet, RealCrowd, and Yieldstreet. A lot of what they do is they aggregate earlier syndicators that have a hard time getting investors, and they then have deal minimums that are smaller. If you go to those main sites, you can see some of the deals that have smaller minimum investments. It’s not always the case but sometimes the deals, they’re newer syndicators so there may be a slightly higher risk profile to some of those deals versus what they call private placements.

In private placement deals, there are two criteria. One looks specifically at accredited investors where you have to meet certain financial criteria in terms of your net worth and your income, and then there are some that don’t require you to be an accredited investor. In some of those deals, the minimums could be as much as $10,000, $20,000. In some cases, even $50,000. The way I look at it is people who have some disposable income and they want to get into real estate but they don’t necessarily want to earn things on their own. That’s one category of people.

The second category of people are those who start with active investing or active rental. They may start with a few single-family, then they have maybe a quadplex or an eight-unit, but they want to get out of the active involvement. There are some syndications that take what’s called a 1031, where they could take that portfolio of eight units investment and then transfer it into these limited partner syndication deals. You see people that either haven’t invested a while or were a little more mature in their career, or have a little more disposable income that gets right in, and go around that active stage.

There are some who start in the active stage that eventually work up to having more units and having more disposable income and cashflow from those units, and then get in syndications that way. One of the barriers to entry in these private placements is that some of the minimum investment sometimes can be a little higher. Once you meet that criteria, syndications are good for everybody.

When you look at a deal, the three main components would be the sponsor, the market, and the deal, and in that order. Share on X

Everyone should have a key component of real estate in their portfolio. You can do it through REIT investing and equities investing. If you’ve seen the market back in March of 2020, when the market goes down, the REITs go down. There’s not a lot of diversity in that case, but in times like now where the market’s very high and inflation is a concern, you’d want to hold onto the hard assets. Real estate is a great investment. That’s why we’re seeing things become more and more competitive. It’s a long-winded way to say it. It’s right for most people, the syndication investing. It’s just a matter of where you’re coming from and what angle you want to take.

My understanding is that for most of the syndications that I’ve looked at, the minimum I’ve ever seen is $25,000 but usually, each unit is about $100,000. Did you say that you can get in for less? Talk to me a little bit more about that.

In the crowdfunding platforms like the CrowdStreet and those kinds of platforms that have similar investments to syndications, some of those minimums may be as little as $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, anywhere in that lower range. You don’t have as much control over the vetting process of the syndicator because that’s done by that particular website.

In some cases, not always, it’s newer syndicators. A lot of the more mature syndicators don’t always go through those websites if they can raise the capital on their own. Whereas if a newer indicator doesn’t have a track record and is looking for some help from aggregating some of these investors on these websites, then the cost of that is the websites may take a fee, but they also decrease the investment minimum.

Those are the examples where you would be able to get in at a lower minimum. In the private placements like some of the stuff that we’re talking about, you’re right. Most of those are in the $25,000, $10,000, $50,000. Believe it or not, if you ask syndicators, even if the minimum is $50,000, especially if it’s your first investment and you say, “I like what you have to offer. I’m comfortable with you but with my first investment, can I maybe go half of that? After that, we’ll go to the minimum.” If the minimum’s $50,000 and you offer $25,000, most syndicators, especially if it’s your first investment, won’t say no to you.

You just have to ask. Sometimes it can be a little weird to ask, but it’s a lot of money, so you want to be comfortable with that, and they realize that too. If it works out, then going forward, you can then stick to the minimum. There is a little bit of a negotiation within reason that you can negotiate that minimum down a little bit to make yourself more comfortable.

We are running out of time but I want you to talk a little bit about how to use syndications to achieve financial freedom.

The way I look at it is you often see two different mindsets. Some people are either entirely based on investing in the stock market and going that route, especially if you’re not aware of syndication investing. Some people that have had their eyes opened to real estate are completely taking all their money out of their 401(k) and outside the stock market. You find people that are strongly on either side. I find myself right in the middle. I still do my traditional pretax retirement accounts. I am an employee as a physician so I max out those.

If you take syndication out of it and you think about the classic personal finance education, people use a 4% rule in that. The first thing you do is calculate your annual expenses, for example, $100,000 a year. If you want to have an idea of how much of a nest egg you need to save in order to retire, you would then times that by 25, which gives you a 4% withdrawal rate of your money. Let’s say your annual expenses is $100,000, then you would have to save $2.5 million in order to cover that $100,000. That may take a decent amount of time. That’s based on the 4% withdrawal rate.

When you add in syndication investing, where a lot of these investments are somewhere in the 8% to 10% cash on cash, if you’re doubling or in some cases even tripling the return, then that may be a twenty-year time horizon. If you just invested in the stock market, that can be truncated down to somewhere in the 8 to 10-year range, if assuming typical investment returns using syndications.

I wanted to invest somewhere in the $50,000 to $100,000 a year into syndications. Over a ten-year period of time, taking all the returns from those deals and then reinvesting it back into new deals, that would give me somewhere in that $1.2 million to $1.5 million range. If you then take 10% annually from using that cashflow as a rough estimate, even 8%, if my expenses were $120,000 a year, that’s what I wanted to cover. That’s how I came at that number

The beauty is that that would cover my entire expenses without taking into consideration any of my stock market investing. I realized that seems like a lot of money and not everyone can do that, but further along in my career, I wanted to invest. That’s what I allowed myself to allocate to that and what I wanted to achieve in the period of time that I had. That’s the way that I looked at it. I wanted to invest a set amount, assuming a specific return and to cover my expenses within a ten-year period.

That was a good breakdown. How he set his goals, how he decided to achieve them, and set his timeframe on when he wanted to achieve that. He set his goalpost and then set a path to get there. It’s a good example of that. Some of what Sam is doing is helping other people to achieve goals in a very similar way, so he’s created this spreadsheet which is I’m having him on the show. It’s more than a spreadsheet, this tool that helps people to evaluate syndications. Could you tell us a little bit about the spreadsheet specifically?

It started as what I created for myself back in that 2017 timeframe. As I was going through creating the spreadsheet, I started to speak with other real estate investors and other people in the space that are doing similar limited partner investing like myself. They’re like, “Can I get a copy of that? I would pay you for it.” At the time, I’m using it for myself and I don’t feel comfortable giving it to somebody else. I shared it with many friends in the beginning to take that first step and I’m like, “This can break that barrier to entry and break that fear hurdle that people have to get them to take that first step.”

We created a spreadsheet. There are three components to it. One looks at the deal itself to where you are analyzing the deal, going through more specifics in relation to the sponsor, the market and the deal. The other components are a deal tracker, which looks at when you have made the investments. It allows you to track the investments based on the distributions that you’re getting from it versus what they said they were going to pay you, and gives you a side-by-side comparison for all the investments you have. The third component is tracking your path to financial independence. For some of the numbers we just talked about, you could plug in your own numbers.

If the annual amount you can do is not $100,000 but $50,000, then it shows you how long it would take you to reach your desired expenses that people can plug in there. We try to make it like a one-stop-shop for people who are interested in passive investing. For most of the tools, you would need to both vet the deal and monitor your progress, both on the path to financial independence and then the deal performance so that people would take that step.

For some people, that can change your life, having the liberating ability to cover a lot of your expenses with your investments. You may choose to continue to work every day just like you do. I love my job. I’m not looking to quit, but there’s a liberating feeling when you have the ability to cover some of your expenses and not have to worry about what’s going on in your job life.

Someone asked me, “Why are you looking at retiring in two years? Are you unhappy, or is David unhappy?” We’re not, but our priorities are changing, our parents are more elderly, there are things that we want to be able to do, and it’s nice to be able to say, “I don’t have to worry about money so much that I have to be so committed to any particular job.” If Dave and I wanted to take six months around the world and his company said, “You can’t do that.” He can say, “That’s okay.” He comes back and finds another position but he’s not freaked out about, “How are we going to pay the bills?” You’re living in choice rather than in need. It’s a different way to live life.

It changes your whole mentality. I’m not quite at the point yet, but even just getting the passive income that I get in now, then I’m like, “I only need to bring in X amount for my job if I did want to change things.” It goes to, “I want to work,” from where it was, “I have to work.” You feel more control. In this COVID environment where people are getting more stress at jobs and physician burnout, many more people are looking into these things because of that reason. They want flexibility. If there are environmental changes, if there are job changes that they still can feel like they can cover the bills and it’s not as if you’re worried about that. That’s part of the reason we did this. It’s to try to get more people to that place because it’s a different place to be versus the typical.

Evaluating Syndication Deals: Take care of yourself. There’s something that happens when you realize that you’re on a path to a better life.


The other thing is that it’s not that you have to get there to feel that liberation and the comfort. When I started investing in real estate, I was making very little. I was putting away $100 a month type of thing, but the thing is that once you start taking that action, you suddenly feel like, “I’m going to be able to take care of myself.” There’s something that happens when you realize that you’re on a path to a better life and that you’re going to be able to take care of yourself. You’ve figured this piece out. You can figure stuff out. You don’t have to be at the goal to feel that feeling of liberation. It’s getting on that path that opens you up.

There’s something about seeing the checks come in the account that I use for syndications and I’m not doing anything. Even as a physician, if I stop choosing to go to work, I’m not going to get paid. My income as a physician or as anyone who does labor that requires themselves requires me to go to work to do that. I don’t make money while I sleep as a physician, whereas with this kind of investment, it’s unlimited in terms of it doesn’t have any limit to my time.

I only have the same amount of hours in a week that you have and everyone else has, whereas, with this kind of investment, the limit is basically for your financial means to do it. From there, it makes money without you having to do anything, which is a different place to be. It’s the classic passive income as opposed to the active income of your day job.

Here’s the cool news. He’s offering this to the public for the very first time. You get this price and he’s going to quote, but just understand that the price will go up, so if you’re reading this 1 or 5 years from now, the price is going to be a little bit different. They want to know how much it is for this tool.

What we have offered is I wrote a free eBook that goes over in more detail. It’s in a book format and an 80-page eBook on How to Passively Invest and Vet a Real Estate Deals. That’s free and there’s no price. You can just download that at PassiveAdvantage.com. There, you can also find the tool that we’re talking about that goes through all of the different metrics to look at, to track the deals you have invested in, as well as your path to financial independence tracker.

You can purchase the tool. The price of the tool is $199 but we’re giving your audience a 10% coupon discount. At purchase, you put in the words BLISS10, and that will give you 10% off. It’s the least we can do. Hopefully, you guys find the value of it and it’ll help with your education or help to see what’s important when looking at these deals, as well as see where you are on the path to financial independence.

Ladies, I do have a special web URL for you to go get the product or the tool and then put in the coupon code. That URL is BlissfulInvestor.com/syndicationws. When you go in there and you select the product, then you can put in the BLISS10. That’s how you get your 10% discount. This pricing is already incredible, but it’s nice to get an extra discount, so go check that out. The other thing that I’m super excited about is Sam has agreed to do a webinar for us where he actually goes through the worksheet. For those of you that want it, you know how to get it.

To me, it seems like a little bit of a nobrainer. If you’re interested in syndication, this is a no-brainer price so go do it. I don’t want you to stall, but if you want to know more or you’re more interested now in syndication and you want to know what the numbers look like, Sam and I are going to be doing a webinar together. He’s going to do a breakdown of a deal.

That is going to be on Thursday, November 18th, 2021, at 5:00 PM Pacific time and 8:00 PM, Eastern time. If you want to sign up for that, go to BlissfulInvestor.com/samwebinar. Definitely come. You get to ask questions. He’s going to go through a presentation and he’ll answer as many questions as we got time for. Please put that on your calendars and you’ll get some reminders too. Do you have anything else that you wanted to share with us before we sign off?

I think we’ve covered a lot. I truly appreciate you taking the time. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. It always is. I feel like we have a lot of synergy in terms of what we look for and what we’re looking for in terms of what we use real estate for. I want to bring it to more people to get to where we are, to make their first investment, and I’m hoping that this tool allows people to do that. I’m happy to answer any additional questions that they may have and happy to answer more questions at the webinars as well.

Thank you so much. This has been such a good show. Thank you for all you’ve offered in this portion of the show.

It’s my pleasure. Anytime.

Ladies, stay tuned. We’ve got more in EXTRA. We’re going to be talking about going through a whole deal. We’re going to do a run-through on a deal. I’m going to talk to Sam a little bit about that transition that happened for his wife and how they made that happen because I know this is a big topic for you, ladies. I am going to also ask him about the 1031 DST. He threw that in just a tiny little bit, and it’s a topic I’m interested in. I’m going to ask him about that in EXTRA.

If you are interested in those topics, stay tuned. If you are interested but are not subscribed yet, just go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. You get the first seven days for free, so you could get this one for free and as much as you can listen to in the first seven days, then you can stay subscribed if you’d like. For those of you that are leaving Sam and me, thank you so much for joining us. Have a great day and always remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you soon.


Important Links


About Dr. Sam Giordano

REW 82 | Evaluating Syndication DealsDr. Giordano has been a practicing physician at an academic medical center for ten plus years and has had consecutive designations as a “Top Doctor” in his geographic region. He has also published multiple manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. He has an avid interest in personal finance and financial education, and has formed a personal finance teaching curriculum for residents and fellows at his hospital. He is also an assistant professor at the associated medical school for his hospital. He began exploring real estate investing in 2017 and has now invested in multiple passive syndication deals during that time as a limited partner. He realized there was an unmet need and formed his own tool to better and more efficiently vet passive real estate syndication deals. He has personally experienced the benefit of passive real estate investments as a busy professional, but also realized how few of his colleagues were aware they exist. He is now committed to changing that, and feels a passion and calling to bring an exposure to passive real estate investments to more professionals to ultimately diversify from the stock market and forge their own path to financial freedom.


He is a proud husband and father of three children, and during his spare time enjoys hiking, exercising and traveling to explore our beautiful world.

How 30% More Courage Can Double Your Revenue And Your Happiness With David Wood – Real Estate For Women

REW 65 David Wood | More Courage


When do we muster more courage to focus on what we really need and want in life? Join Moneeka Sawyer and David Wood of Focus CEO as they delve into staying focused on your goals and staying on track so you could achieve your personal and professional happiness. David shares how he discovered personal growth and why he’s an absolute advocate for the truth. Wlearn how important it is to stay committed to growth, self-expression, and emotional freedom because the world is changing and we need to adapt in order to stay on the path. If you need a boost up in your courage and confidence in facing life’s challenges, then this show is perfect for you. 

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


How 30% More Courage Can Double Your Revenue And Your Happiness With David Wood – Real Estate For Women

Real Estate Investing For Women

I am excited to welcome to the show, David Wood. He quit his career as a consulting actuary to Fortune 100 companies to create the world’s largest coaching business. He now coaches rockstar entrepreneurs to double their revenue faster, overcome shiny object syndrome and be more extraordinary entrepreneurs and humans. David, welcome to the show. 

Thanks, Moneeka. I’m glad to be here. I like how you grounded yourself before we started this interview. It gave me a chance to take a breath, drop in, feel into my body and maybe even a little beyond. I’ve done 160 interviews and I haven’t seen a host do that. I’m appreciating that about you. 

There’s no possibility for perfection. There’s evolution and you learn every step of the way. Share on X

Thank you so much. That’s such a great way to dive into your topic too. When you’re doing something and you want to be extraordinary at something, I can’t say I am extraordinary but that’s certainly my goal, you want to make sure that you can focus, that you’re grounded and present in every moment, breathe, thought and piece of the conversation, don’t you think? 

That’s the goal and the ideal. I’m not always there but how present can I be? Sometimes mid-sentence, I realized I stopped breathing. I could take a breath because it’s easy to get amped up when I get excited about things. It’s a constant journey. Get excited and amped out, but can you also stay grounded at the same time. 

It’s a skill and thank you for recognizing that. I want to know a two-minute version of your story of how you became the guy that you are now and doing what you’re doing. 

I didn’t realize this was the story until I started podcasting and answering questions. When I was very young, I had a tragedy in my family. My little sister was killed when I was seven and I was there. I witnessed the accident. I didn’t know until years later that I had switched off a large part of myself. Now the benefit was I got good at schoolwork, left-brain stuff, numbers, money and systems. I came top of my school. I got paid to go to university then I landed a job at a corporate consulting firm on Park Avenue in New York. I’m like, “This is rocking and I’ve got it made.”  

I discovered when I found out about self-help, which I was very reluctant to go to and I’m like, “These people all wear name tags. They’re smiling way too much.” When I went and did it they cracked my heart open and I realized I had a lot to learn about intimacy, vulnerability, communication, leadership and influence. I knew nothing about those things. I’m an unusual coach. I’m good with the number systems and money but that’s not my main priority. I’ll help you with that. Let’s make more money but I care about how you show up in the world. How’s your courage, truth-telling and self-expression? I want everyone to be able to die with zero regrets knowing they gave it everything they can.  

I live in Silicon Valley. I am surrounded by brainiacs everywhere. They live in their minds. They’re all about the numbers. They’re software programmers and changing the world with what they create but they’re not connected to themselves. Often, they’re not connected to each other or to their partners. They’re connected enough. We see this in different pockets where we all live. We see societal expectations form the communities and the way our relationships work but they’re not as much into self-help usually. To watch you and have someone on the show that’s gone from that similar mindset as your mindset, heartset and connection make such a big difference in your success. It’s lovely to have someone on the show who’s made that transition.  

I’d call it making that transition because I’m a work in progress. I’m not perfect by any means. I’ve lots of flaws, vices, crutches and all sorts of things. Hopefully, one of the differences between me and the average bear is I’m watching a little closer. For example, there was a shooting in my local supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. I was having my reaction and then I’m watching the reaction. My initial reaction was one of fear and like, “Maybe I should leave the US. This was my safe bubble and my safe bubble is getting smaller all the time. As I kept watching it, I’m like, “Is that the reaction that you want to have?” 

I started having a little compassion for the shooter. It’s not a lot of compassion but a little bit like, “How unhappy would someone have to be to go and start shooting in a supermarket?” I started feeling compassion for the people who were injured, then all of the people which includes a lot of the world right now who might be feeling fear at that. Someone else got shot. It wasn’t me but we still feel fear. I’m a constant work in progress. My work is never done. If I ever get to that point, I’ll probably be dead. 

Thank you for that vulnerability because that’s true of anybody who’s deep into the path of evolution, that developing our mindset, our heartset and the people that we want to be and how we show up in the world. That’s a constant evolution. As you say, it only stops when you die. How long are you able to actively engage and becoming your very best self? That’s what you decide. You will continually evolve until you die but you decide how long you completely engage. I love when you talk about it in such a vulnerable way that, “I’ve got so far to go.” I say the same thing. There’s no possibility for perfection. There’s just evolution. Thank you for sharing that. 

It’s funny that I present a great image when I’m speaking and it can sound like I’ve got everything together. I’ve learned a lot. It’s great and I’m happy to share that but I want to be transparent and say that there’s another side. You guys should hear me swear when I’m playing a video game when it’s not going well. I even get annoyed. I could be playing with some fifteen-year-old in Sweden. They quit with not even a good game and I still get annoyed. I’m like, “Where are your parents? Why aren’t they teaching you how to shake hands properly?” You still got lots of judgments. I’m taking it on as a challenge like, “Can I have my heart open even while I’m trying to win, crush and dominate? Can I be giving if someone quits and disappears?” I’ll go and chase them up and say, “You played a good game.” I got plenty of flaws. Don’t worry about that. 

You talk so much about truth. What do you think it’s so hard for people to talk about that naturally? Why do you think it’s important? 

As a kid, I know I wasn’t always rewarded for telling the truth. You get in trouble and there’s a definite hierarchy in most parental situations where the parent has all the power. I learned and a lot of people learned how to tell lies. I heard a developmental expert say, “Don’t get upset when your kid tells a lie. It’s an important part of their evolution that they learned to fabricate something.” I was like, “I hadn’t thought of it that way.” That was my life. I haven’t spoken about this in a show. My parents are good people with integrity. It’s not like they lie or go out of their way to rip someone off.  

My mother is 78 and my dad is 83. They’re selling the caravan which is a big deal because I guess they’re no longer going to go caravanning. I’m not sure how I feel about that. She said, “This guy drove from Sydney in the rain for two hours to check out the caravan.” He’s deaf, can’t speak, uses sign language and he said, “He sent the money via his app.” The money hadn’t arrived and my mother said she didn’t have the heart to send him back to Sydney and have him do another drive to come and get the caravan when the money arrives. She let him take the caravan. She’s like, “I’m just going to trust him that the money’s going to come.” It’s an $8,000 caravan.” I have a lot of respect for my parents’ integrity. If my mother could ever steal money from someone else, then she wouldn’t trust this guy. She couldn’t even imagine that someone could not follow through with the money. 

REW 65 David Wood | More Courage

When it comes to business, ideas are endless and entrepreneurs can see all the opportunities.



They have that and yet a lot was hidden as I grew up. Maybe you don’t say something because it’s going to be awkward. You don’t say that because it is going to get you in trouble or you tell a white lie. That’s very common. Fortunately for me, I discovered personal growth and I had some good coaches who were showing me another way of being. They showed me what it’s like to have pristine integrity and to have those tough conversations. I had to make a list of all the people that I had anything less than full love for. It’s people I resented, hated and felt guilty about how I treated them right throughout my entire life. They’re like, “Now go and call those people and complete.” I said, “No, you’re kidding. I’m not going to call that bully from high school and tell him I’ve hated him for twenty years and I’m letting it go. I’m not going to call that girl who dumped me twice and gave me the cold shoulder. I’m not going to call that boss who I sued and see if we’re good now.” They helped me dive into why I didn’t want to do it, all the fears I had around it, and then they showed me a way to go and do it. 

Those calls were incredible. I was terrified but when I got on the phone with these human beings and spoke my truth and was connected with a slightly open heart, these people surprised me over and over again. The bully said, “What can I do now to help you or us move forward?” The girl who dumped me twice, I said, “I don’t need an apology. You don’t have to do anything. Just listen.” She said, “I’m so sorry. I was young and stupid. I’m sorry for how I treated you.” I’m in tears. The boss that I sued. I said, “I want to check if we’re good. Is there anything I can do?” He said, “At the time, I’m sure I didn’t enjoy it but that’s water under the bridge,” and then we got talking about his life. We never had a personal conversation. Now he’s sharing about his divorce and what it was like going through that. I’m an advocate and evangelist for truth, not all the time and I’m happy to get into that. If you’re willing to model courage, take a risk, reach out, connect and share your truth with another human, 9 times out of 10, I found you’ll be happy that you did it. 

I’ve done an interesting thing that’s pretty similar to what you talked about, but I didn’t have the conversations with the people. Some of it is because I don’t have access to them. For me, I did it a lot for my own closure. What happened for me also is that moving forward, I made sure that I don’t miss the opportunity for truth or honesty. Maybe I don’t go back, although I can see how incredibly healing that would be to get that all out, but it also sets the groundwork for what we do in the future. The past doesn’t determine who we are or who we’re going to become. It’s who we decide to be now that decides who we’re going to become. Doing that exercise even internally to make the decision to not miss opportunities for truth is also a possible good benefit. It’s shown up well in my life. I have never recommended going back to those people but I did the exercise for myself so that in the future, I would remain open to capture any opportunities for truth. Do you feel like that’s valuable or do you recommend people to go deep and talk to all the people? 

Let’s take a situation. Some people say should you say anything, should you not. I know a guy who had the three-times rule. If it comes up in your brain three times, it’s time to say something about it. Your question is a good one. What if it’s something from the past? It depends on how committed you are to growth, self-expression and emotional freedom. If it’s a minor thing and you haven’t thought about it in twenty years, maybe you don’t care. If it’s something you have thought about more often than that, it might be something unresolved for you. 

Stay focused and stay on track because there will always be disruptions and changes in your life but you have to keep yourself together. Share on X

I do believe it’s possible to get some healing and completion by writing a letter and you don’t even have to mail it. You can mail it to yourself. This is particularly important if someone has died and you cannot speak to them physically. You can have a role-play conversation with them with your coach or you can write a letter. I’m a big fan of that. In fact, I had someone in prison. I was coaching them on reconciling with their mother. They were so scared to have a relationship. I said, “Write a letter and then it’s up to you if you want to mail it. You may not get the result you want but it’s up to you if you want to take that extra risk.” 

Having gone through this myself and had those scary conversations with people from my past, I am a massive fan of that. It takes courage so you get to exercise that muscle of courage. You don’t know what impact that conversation is going to have on the other person. My brother did this with an ex-partner. He wasn’t going to call her. He’s like, “It’s weird. I’ve moved on. She’s moved on.” His coach said, “You’d be surprised. Just have the call,” and so he did. He said, “I want you to know it wasn’t you. It was me. You were wonderful. I just didn’t want to be in a relationship at that time.” She broke down crying. She’d been carrying that around for years thinking there was something wrong with her. This was a guy who had no money at the time. He said, “That conversation was worth $10,000 to me and the difference I made in her life.” I’m a big fan of doing it. 

There’s a way to do it well and badly. If you go in with, “You wronged me. I’m a victim and I need you to apologize,” that might work but you’re setting yourself up for a tough time. If you can get to a space where you don’t need anything from the other person other than listening, it’s going to go better. I have a model for this called the CARE and I’m happy to give it away to readers. I’ll tell them how to find that. It’s a wonderful download. It’ll give you clarity. You don’t even have to decide if you’re going to have a conversation with a person. Just fill in the worksheet and get the clarity. After that, you’ll know if you want to go and have it with them. It will give you a wonderful paint-by-number system to have the conversation. 

This conversation could go so much deeper than we’ve got time for. I think that there’s also the whole conversation of abuse. Do you go back to people that have done that? The CARE Model might help work through whether it’s a good idea or not in that circumstance. 

It’s wonderful. Initially, you’ve got this feeling of like, “I don’t like that person. I wouldn’t like to see them on the street. I’m annoyed at that person. That person is a jerk. That’s all you’ve got.” When you do the worksheet in the CARE Model, you will get clear on what your intention is. What’s the positive intention if you were going to have the conversation and what are you afraid of? That’s good information. “I’m afraid they’re going to think I’m an idiot, it’s going to make things worse or I’ll feel awkward.” Just get clear. The clarity is wonderful. It’ll ask you, “What could go wrong?” There’s a checkbox, “I am willing to accept these consequences.” If you’re willing to check that box, you’re good. If you’re not willing to check the box, for example, if I have had a conversation where I confessed to a crime. I called someone and I said, It was me. When I was a teenager, I did this thing. I’m very sorry. How can I make it right? I could have gone to jail. You may not be willing to accept that consequence and I respect that. 

I confessed when I was eighteen, I did one of the worst things in my life. I cheated on my partner and I felt so bad about it. If I was filling in the worksheet, “What could go wrong? She’ll break up with me and never go back with me again. I checked the box. I’m willing to accept that consequence because my intention is to have a relationship full of integrity and trust. I’m going to risk everything to have that and so I did. I went and had that conversation. She did break up with me. I had to earn her trust back and we ended up getting married. While we’re no longer married, I went and stayed a couple of years ago with her, her new husband and a six-year-old boy who calls me uncle David. I’m a big fan of telling the truth. I’m a big fan of not cheating in the first place, but if you have been dumb enough to go and make a mistake like that, I personally am a fan of making it right and risking the relationship. You may choose not to. You’re like, “No, I’m not willing to risk that,” so that’s not a conversation you would have unless I’m your coach. If I’m your coach, you’re going to be hard-pressed to get away with not making things like that right because I know what’s available when you do. 

Could you talk a little bit about the monkey mind? One of the things that I find on this show is that about 50% of the time I’ve got a new strategy. Someone has come up with a new product or strategy. I always tell people, “There are a million ways to make $1 million in real estate but you do have to pick one.” What that means is that you can’t consistently and constantly engage with this shiny object syndrome. It takes focused action. Could you talk a little bit about that shiny object syndrome and how to move away from that to having a peaceful and focused mind so you can take focused action? 

The question is, is the human mind like a monkey on crack? Is it important to overcome shiny object syndrome and focus? It depends if you want to be coursed in your life. I mean that. I’m not setting this up. One way to enjoy life is to surrender and be with the flow, wake up, check email, check voicemail, and do what feels natural. That’s a valid way to operate. Some of the teachers that I followed speak a lot about, “Don’t do. Just be.” There are times to do that. However, another game that’s great to play in life is being coursed in the matter. Being coursed in how your relationships go, your own health and energy, how your job goes in your career path or how much money your business makes and how many people you impact. I’m a fan of that game a lot of the time. That’s where coaching comes in for me. 

As human beings, I do believe the human mind has become like a monkey on crack. If you disagree with me, sit down and set the timer for five minutes, close your eyes and count your breaths. See how many breaths you get to before you’ve drifted away. The mind has taken over. It’s thinking about your sockswhat you want to order on Amazon, some business problem or someone who insulted you. When it comes to your own business, it’s even worse because entrepreneurs can see all the opportunities. We see all the target markets. We want to help and all the problems that we want to solve, all solutions that we can come up with, and all the traffic sources we’re going to try and use. It’s overwhelming. 

REW 65 David Wood | More Courage

Entrepreneurs never stop providing solutions to problems and crafting the sources they would use.



If you’re happy to surrender or if entertainment is your goal, keep doing that. I mean it. It can be fun. I’ve got days where I do that. Let’s say you’ve got a goal that you want to double revenue in the next twelve monthsthat goal matters to you. Maybe you want to double your time off so you’ve got more time to spend with your kids, write that book, go swimming with dolphins, volunteer in prisons or whatever it is, then it starts to matter. We need to focus so that we can be on course. If you don’t do it, you will be at the effect of life. You’ll be bounced around with other people’s agendas. Check the email in the morning and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. You’re working on other people’s agendas. I caught myself checking through for important emails. That’s so difficult then I found one and it required me to go to a website and enter something to unsubscribe. I’m like, “David, step away from the task. Let’s get back to being on course.” 

I have some recommendations. I’ll give you a few tips to help you focus, then at the end of the show, I’ll give you a cheat sheet that’s got the full checklist. Firstly, you’ve got to know where you’re heading. Twelve months from now, what are the goals that would have you do the happy dance should you achieve them? If you and I were talking twelve months from now, looking back, celebrating and you’re dancing your ass off, what would those goals be? Three big ones. You can have lots of little ones but those should go in the drawer for when you’ve achieved the others. I had a client, “I’ve got twenty goals. Is that too many?” I’m like, “Yes. Have three goals that matter and put the rest in a drawer. You’ll pull them out when the others are done.” That’s tip one. 

Tip two, you’ve got to layer the goals because a year out is way too long. It’s pie in the sky. It doesn’t mean anything. Bring it back and have the three-month version, then you need the seven-day version and what are you going to do tomorrow? Tip three, that’ll set you up for now but what about next week or next week after? It’s super important to have a date with yourself once a week for twenty minutes where you look at what you did and celebrate. That’s all I’m asking for. You can pat yourself on the back and say, “Good job.” I sometimes do something and I say, “David, you’re a legend. Great job for doing that. We need that because you probably did ten times more than you think you did.” The next part of that date is you look at your three-month goals and choose what you’ll do for the next seven days, This is what I will care about. Those are three important tips. 

How do you stay on track with that? Let’s suppose you do it. A lot of people put it in their calendar and they don’t even show up for that date with themselves. I can’t make you do that. That’s where discipline comes in. I set it up for a while where if I did not create my weekly action plan by 1:00, Friday, Mountain Time, I had to pay $5 to somebody. That’ll get your attention. You set that up but how do you stay on track? Tip four is to book sprints in your calendar. You can’t expect to be focused 24/7. That’s ridiculous. You’ve got to tell your brain when it’s time. For example, Wednesday, I have no calls scheduled. That’s going to be a six-hour sprint for me but other days, I might have a two-hour block. I say, “I got 9:00 to 11:00.” That’s my sprint. I set the time and four specific goals because it’s two hours. I said a year is too long. Two hours is too long. I need to know what am I achieving in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th half-hour. I got those four goals then I set the timer for 25 minutes. Game on. That’s a sprint. That keeps me focused. 

You’ll find that when you start doing this, you might fall off the horse. That’s fine. You get distracted. You’re doing something else and not doing that goal as it’s written down, that’s the monkey mind, “I got caught up in email. Someone came and knocked at the door.” You’re going to have to learn how to guard that time jealously. Guard it, put a sign on the door, talk to your family, let them know how important this is, turn off all notifications and set the phone on airplane mode. These things are more covered in the full checklist. 

I love the way that you talked about “game on.” 

It’s like a boss is waiting for your deadline. You are generating artificial accountability because if you have a boss that does it for you, “I need this by Thursday, 3:00.” You’re working like crazy. You’ve got to do that for yourself. If you say, “I got three hours. I’m going to work on my website.” Bad news. Working on your website is an infinite game. When you constrain the resources to three hours and then even further, 25 minutes and you’ve set a goal. 

For example, when you and I are done with this, I have a coaching offer. I need to tweak it because someone’s about to send an email to a lot of people because I’ve opened up a few coaching spots. I’m going to do that but working on the page is not a goal. Having the first draft done in 25 minutes is a goal, then drafting the application form in 25 minutes is the second goal. Having it finalized could be the third goal, for example. Those are some tips to help you tame the monkey mind and focus, also that you can be coursing the matter and be directional. The metaphor I like to use is, “It’s fun to be adrift on the ocean, enjoying the sights, but it’s also fun to set your sail, pick a direction, get hold of the steering wheel and say, ‘The game is I want to get from over here to over there. Game on.’” 

Do you take a five-minute break every half-hour? 

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That’s roughly five minutes but what I do is most of the time I can get myself to agree to get up, go to the bathroom and maybe get on the Pilates ball for a quick stretch. It might only be three minutes, then I’m back in. That’s part of the reason you make yourself do this break so that you’re constantly hungry. The timer goes off and I’m like, “Are you kidding? I just got started on this.” By forcing myself to honor that, I can stay hungry, keen and interested. If I hit repeat which I sometimes do, that’s a mistake. Sometimes I do it. I hit repeat, I’ll do one hour, and then I’ll do the break and come back. If you do that too much, you can burn out. You end up going, “What a day? I got a lot done but I’m burned out. I don’t want to even look at that website again.” We don’t want to do that. 

You want to focus on one thing. It’s like a batch of activities on the same project, let’s say. It’s not like what you would do is you would start on your website for a half-hour and work on your copy for that, and then you would jump to making customer service calls, then you might jump to, “I’m preparing my itinerary for next week’s travel.” You wouldn’t do it like that. It would be four half-hour spots focused on one project. Maybe it’s the different aspects of your website or your offer. 

This is a good thing to do the day before. Set your alarm for 4:00 to say, “Choose the two things that I’m going to do in my business tomorrow or job that’ll make the biggest difference.” That’s focusing the mind already. For me, the two big things are finishing this coaching offer and getting a bookkeeper started on my books. I’ve already interviewed a bunch of people. It’s a matter of picking someone and saying, “Get started.” I’ll probably do two hours on the website and then if it’s not done, I may keep going because I do like to batch. 

If I try and multitask, it’s not as rewarding. It’s like I’m loading up all this stuff in my brain for this coaching offer, how I want to offer it, how I want to serve, what I want people to do and then the email sequence. That’s a lot to load up. I don’t want to do half an hour of that. It’s crazy. It’s multitasking. Multitasking is at the same time, but if I do half an hour on this and that, it’s fine if they’re small projects. No problem. I got to get three testimonial videos off to my video editor. I can do that in half an hour so that’s fine. Setting up a call with my programmer. I can do that too in five minutes. I don’t mind going through a sequence of small jobs. If it’s a bigger task, I don’t want to do a little piece of it and then go through it. 

How good is it going to feel when I’ve got the thing done, love the webpage, feel like it reflects me, my heart and all that’s handled? That’s going to feel good then I can send it off to my friend and colleague who can queue it up and send it out to the world. There’s a result. I’m a big fan of batching. If you’re going to call prospects, batch it. You don’t want to load up everything and get yourself psyched up for one call. Usually, the first two calls for me are the scariest and after that, I’m great to go. I want to milk that. You might have Monday from 9:00 to 12:00 as calling time and be like, “Let’s crank it up.” 

Before we end this show, I want to talk a little bit about what we’re going to do in EXTRA. We have a couple of topics. I’m hoping we’ll get to both. The first one is, what are the nine skills that business owners need to have to double their revenue? I thought that would be relevant for you, ladies, because what David does is he gives you what those nine skills are so you can discover where your strengths are and weaknesses might be. David, why don’t you talk a little bit about it? 

I’ve identified nine areas. The plan for one person is not the same as the plan for another person. The first thing you need to do is work out which areas of your business were you strong in and which of these nine skills your weak in so then you know, “Now I know what to do for the next three months. I need to boost these up. That’s how to double revenue.” We’re going to talk about that. 

That’s going to be in EXTRA, ladies. Stay tuned for that. David, could you tell everybody how they can reach you and about your free gift? 

I’ve lined up some tools that’ll be valuable for you. One is the checklist on how to double your productivity. It’s quadruple because you can get twice as much done of what matters in half the time. We went through about four of the list. There are ten things that you’d need to know on that checklist. The other thing is these are nine skills. I have free training. It used to be two hours and I spent all day getting it down to 35 minutes. You’ll know at the end of that, “These are my projects for the next three months.” You’ll also know if you’re a fit for my program where I walk step by step through it with you and help you double revenue over a year. You can do all of that at MyFocusGift.com because I want to give you the gift of focus. It will take you straight to my website. If you want to get a couple of videos from me you can do that too. I did promise people the CARE Model for tough conversations. Again, go to my website. You’ll have to look in the navigation menu and you’ll find the tough conversations CARE Model. It’s a free download. 

Thank you so much. 

It’s my pleasure. 

Are you ready for my three Rapid-fire questions? 


Tell us one super tip on getting started in real estate investing. 

Talk to Moneeka Sawyer. 

Give us one strategy for being successful in real estate investing. 

Get a mentor, someone who’s done it and been there. You can do it the slow way. That’s fine too if time doesn’t matter to you but if you want to accelerate, I’m always a fan of grab a coach, mentor or someone who’s been there and done it. If it’s good enough for Bill Gates, I figure it’s good enough for all of us. 

What is one strategy you use every single day that contributes to your personal success? 

I meditate, lay down and rest for twenty minutes each day. It’s something that I need to reset and recharge. 

Thank you for that. Ladies, he opted to not prepare for those questions so he didn’t even know what those were and that was so well done. This has been an amazing conversation, David. I can’t wait until we talk in EXTRA. Thank you so much for what you’ve offered for this portion of the show. 

It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me and great to meet you, Moneeka. 

REW 65 David Wood | More Courage

More Courage: Focus on the goals that matter to you and if you’re happy, keep doing that. If you have a goal that you want to double revenue in the next twelve months, then do it.


Ladies, in EXTRA, remember we’re talking about the nine skills that business owners have to have to double their revenue. If you’re not already subscribed to EXTRA, please go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com. You can get signed up. The first seven days are free so you can get this one for free and then if you decide not to stay, that’s perfectly fine. It’s up to you. For those of you that are leaving us now, thank you so much for joining David and me for this portion of the show. I appreciate having you here. I look forward to next time and until then, remember, goals without action are just dreams. Get out there, take action and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you next episode. Bye. 


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About David Wood

REW 65 David Wood | More CourageA former Consulting Actuary to Fortune 100 companies – including Sony Music, Chanel, and Exxon – David left his cushy Park Avenue job 20 years ago to build the world’s largest coaching business. He became #1 on Google for “life coaching”, serving an audience of 150,000 coaches, and coaching thousands of hours across 12 countries.

Alongside his clients’ successes, David is no stranger to overcoming challenges himself, having overcome a full collapse of his paraglider and a fractured spine, witnessing the death of his sister at age seven, severe anxiety and depression, and a national Gong Show!

He is the author of “Get Paid For Who You Are,” with a foreword by Jack Canfield. He was nominated to the exclusive Transformational Leadership Council alongside such thought leaders as Don Miguel Ruiz, John Gray, and Marianne Williamson.

David believes that the tough conversations we avoid, are our doorways to confidence, success, and love. They become the defining moments that shape our world. He coaches high-performing entrepreneurs, executives and teams – and now prison inmates – to create amazing results and deep connections. Achieve more, by focusing on less.


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