Real Estate Investing Basics

The 6 Human Needs — and How They Impact Your Real Estate Investing

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties
24 Articles Written

You may be asking yourself, "What does understanding our needs have to do with success in real estate?" After listening to and following countless successful individuals, I have noticed that there is a strong correlation between fulfilling these six needs and deriving happiness and success in life. Let me first dive into the six human needs and then tie them into a person's success in real estate.

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As you will read, the first four needs are considered the “fundamental” needs. The last two are the secret to happiness.

Let’s list the six needs and jump right into highlighting them:

  1. Certainty
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Feeling of Significance
  4. Connection/Love
  5. Growth
  6. Contribute more to society


As humans, we function at a much higher level when we achieve a feeling of certainty. How would driving a car feel like if you were in constant anxiety of a tire blowing? Your thoughts would be preoccupied with imminent danger, and you would not be able to concentrate on the task at hand.

We all crave a level of certainty, but as you will see, certainty leads to an uninspiring life. In my previous business, my schedule had become like clockwork, and the work involved became mundane. I was “certain” of the outcome, but I was also disinterested and developing a feeling of being stuck in life.

People choose different types of behaviors to achieve certainty in their lives. Some people smoke, some consume alcohol, some overeat, and some people choose prayer as their medium. The key is to find a way to meet certainty with empowering actions.



Now that we have obtained a level of certainty, what tends to creep into our lives? Boredom! How ironic is it that we all strive for that level of certainty, but once we attain it, feelings of boredom begin to creep into our lives? We all need variety in our lives, something that will keep us on our toes. I fell into this trap with my business. Real estate became my saving grace, a place where I was constantly challenged with new problems and learning new material.

Related: Developing Your “Why”: How to Work for MORE Than Just Money

Some people equate uncertainty with fear and will avoid it all costs. I often say the quality of your life is directly proportional to how uncomfortable you can be in your life. The more uncomfortable or uncertain you become, the more you will grow and the richer your experiences you will have. When I was able to purchase our first large complex, I was stepping into unchartered territory. Questions were popping up everywhere, but the experience allowed me to overcome my fears and target an even larger property for my next deal.


We all strive for that feeling of significance, of feeling important and being unique. Some people feel significant by tearing others down, while others obtain significance by helping others. You can feel significant by being smarter than everyone else, dressing differently, having more titles after your name, or earning more money. We all choose our actions based on our beliefs to achieve significance. I even know friends who use religion to demonstrate their sense of worth.

Real estate has ushered in a feeling of significance in my life. I am directly responsible for hundreds of tenants homes, and it gives me a feeling of sense and worth to be able to provide housing to all of these people. I am building a business along with providing affordable housing!


While a person is trying to be unique, they still have a craving for connection. This is very common in famous people, such as actors and athletes. They have worked their entire lives to be unique and stand out in the crowd. Once they acquire this uniqueness, they all of a sudden can’t relate to people and lose that sense of connection. You wonder why famous people commit suicide. To us, it appears they have it all: fame, fortune, glory — but in reality, they have no one to share it with.

Real estate has allowed me to create a sense of connection with my partner and with all of our team members. I look forward to jumping on daily calls with my partner to discuss what our next steps are together. We are all striving for the same goal, and I know my actions will affect their livelihood.

We have just discussed the “fundamental” needs. Now comes the fun part, the last two needs that lead to happiness and growth.


A person will not be happy or fulfilled unless he taps into these final two needs. An individual who is not growing is dying. I was stuck in my comfort zone at work, and I felt as if I was dying. I was not learning any new skills, I was not contributing, and I felt lost. Once I realized my unhappiness, I was able to create a plan on how to leave my business and start off on a new more empowering life. I always thought if I made enough money to retire, then I would be happy.

It doesn’t work that way. Countless businessmen and women cash out of their businesses and retire from the rat race. They soon realize that retirement is not all that it’s cracked up to be. They become bored, and they miss that feeling of contribution and growth. So what do they do? They jump right back into the race.


Related: How I Found Purpose At The Lowest Point In My Life & How You Can Find Yours


This last need drove me to the profession of coaching. A have an inner desire to help people and to contribute more. I want people to think, “The world would be a better place if there were more guys like Gino.”

We all have a need to contribute to society, whether it is as a teacher, a volunteer, or a businessman. This explains to me why people who stay active after retirement live much longer and more productive lives. Once you stop growing, death begins to set in, your contribution ceases, and everything starts to fall apart.

Your Task

Become aware of the actions you take to meet your six needs. Focus on the positive actions and think of ways to contribute and to grow. My joy is to donate my time and treasure to those less fortunate than myself.

If you focus on real estate as just a way of making money, you will be missing out on all of the rewards. For example, if your mission in life is to provide affordable housing, you could begin to invest in Section 8 housing or “affordable” housing. If your passion is to rehab homes and deliver a beautiful home to a family, follow that path. Understand what your passion is and dive right into it. Concentrate on growing and contributing your skills.

How do you make sure you’re in real estate for more than money? What gives you purpose in your day to day life?

Let me know with a comment, and let’s talk!

Gino Barbaro is a father of six and the co-founder of Jake & Gino LLC, a real estate education company focused on multifamily investing. He has grown his portfolio to 674 units in three years ...
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    Earl Minnis from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey Gino, guess I’m going to be the contrarian here, once again. None of your needs are needs, they are wants or desires. Our only true needs are food and shelter and many, many people are quite content and happy with these . Many more are happy if you add love in there, but that’s it. And love is not a necessity. Earl Minnis
    Douglas Skipworth Rental Property Investor from Memphis, TN
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great post, Gino! I think the six needs you mentioned above are more psychological than physical, but every bit as important. They are the difference between surviving (food and shelter) versus thriving (growing and giving). I’m a Tony Robbins fan and I appreciate your reminder of the importance of these needs in our everyday real estate investing!
    Cameron Tope Property Manager from Katy, TX
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Love it Gino! Just as Douglas, I too am a big Tony Robbins fan. Maybe something in the article about Tony would be a nice touch. All the best, Cam
    Jerry Kisasonak Residential Real Estate Agent from Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great read. And for all you Tony Robbins fans, check out the new documentary on Netflix “Tony Robbins – I am not your guru.” If you don’t have Netflix you can probably find this online somewhere. Wonderful documentary!
    Casey Murray Investor from San Diego, CA
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article, Gino. These are fantastic pillars to live by.
    Replied about 4 years ago
    It seems to me that if we are going to be consistent, we should also consider how our real estate business affects the same six human needs of our tenants.
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Gino, great article. I am just now tuning into the real estate investing arena. I have owned my roofing company, and have been a roofing contractor for years and am now starting to invest. E-book was great. I appreciate you putting this down.
    Gino Barbaro Rental Property Investor from St Augustine, FL
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hi Matt Happy New Year! Focus on multifamily and develop a plan. If you don’t like the management aspect, partner with someone Best Regards Gino
    Alden Simpson Wholesaler from Greenville, South Carolina
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great article, I love this sentence that you wrote “The more uncomfortable or uncertain you become, the more you will grow and the richer your experiences you will have.” I will be using this sentence as an inspirational quote on my fb.
    Sandra Watkins Keough
    Replied about 1 year ago
    What a wonderful article! Thank you for lending insight (reminder to some) to an important aspect of our internal workings often overlooked.