The road to real estate and short sale negotiating

I’m a descendant of the family of man. I grew up in Ocean Township, NJ over half century ago. Spent my youth at the beach negotiating waves and beating up my younger brother. My dad was a lifetime public school administrator and my mom was a nurse. Hard-working parents.

Really loved my childhood. My mother welcomed all the neighborhood kids into our house to play and raid the fridge. Jersey was a temperate clime, so we played baseball in the summer, football in the fall, threw blistering ice balls at each other in winter, and healed our wounds in the spring…only to repeat the cycle all over again. And beat up my brother.

As a kid, to make money, I’d go door to door negotiating with neighbors to use my services to rake the leaves or shovel snow or to buy greeting cards they didn’t need.  I remember always working, even at a young age, because I enjoyed it and the invigorating feeling of pulling my own weight. 

Graduated Ocean Township High School. Went to Emory University in Atlanta, GA in the 70’s. My hair looked like Linc from the Mod Squad. If the reference is dated, think Malcolm Gladwell or Art Garfunkel. Get the picture? Not pretty. Dates were hard to come by…no surprise there. 

Majored in Biology and took lots of sciences. Thought I wanted to go to Med School, but instead went to Dental School. But only for a year. Because while in college, my main love was comedy. Directed and performed in an improvisational sketch comedy group for 4 years. I left dental school after my freshman year and moved to Chicago to study with Second City. I found my bliss, my passion! 

Performed in two improv groups for a couple years, then started doing standup comedy. This was in the early 80’s. My standup career lasted 15 years. Moved from Chicago to New York City in ’85 and settled in at The Improv as my home club. Worked the circuit, went on the road, did some tv. Really loved making peeps laugh. When the club scene fizzled in the early 90’s due to over exposure and saturation, I started performing on cruise ships. Worked all over the Caribbean. Had a blast.

In ’95, my girlfriend (now wife) and I moved to LA. I was writing screenplays, so I figured LA’s the place to be. Plus, I just got a new agent who was very encouraging. While making the production rounds, I made my way as a copywriter and producer for tv and film promos, trailers, epk’s, movies, popular shows like Seinfeld and Frasier, kids’ programming, news and sports, and sales packages. 

Got married in ’96 to the most amazing woman on the planet. Been together 17 years and it keeps getting better. Our daughter was born in ’99. In ’01 we moved to Sedona to raise her in the clean air and natural beauty. My career also changed…drastically. Plunged into real estate investing knowing very little about real estate.

Took a bootcamp and WHAMMO! I’m an investor. Go figure. With my wife’s support (since we had little money, I needed all the help I could get) I learned how to buy houses with no money and no credit. In 18 short months we bought 40 houses with none of our own money. Rentals and lease options. Fell into short sales in ’03.  Found I had a knack for negotiating with the banks. Been negotiating short sales full time ever since.

So over the past few years I’ve taught and coached investors short sales and how to negotiate effectively. Feel very fortunate to have learned from some wonderfully talented, smart, and generous people. Belonging to several mastermind groups over the years has also helped. Invaluable, actually. I surround myself with people and businessfolk who keep me on my toes, honest, call me on my bs, and give it to me straight. We share ideas, strategies, and stay current with the market and all the changes and challenges that are taking place at lightning speed.

I’m a lucky man.

I still beat up my brother. Headlocks, mostly.

Now it’s time to share what I know with you…

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