BiggerPockets Podcast 179: Doing the “Impossible” by Buying 100+ Units in His First Two Years with Dale Hensel

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What stops most people from achieving massive success through real estate? Money? Cheap properties? Knowledge? According to our guest today, it’s fear. That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to Dale Hensel, an investor who’s done everything from single family to multifamily to notes and a LOT more. You’ll be amazed at the simple way Dale used his “ignorance” that something should be hard to build several large, successful businesses — including one real estate company he took public!

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PATLive-LogoWe just wanted to give a shout out to our podcast sponsor on today’s show: PATLive. PATLive’s team of superstar receptionists will always leave your customers delighted. Every agent goes through a rigorous training course before they can answer calls, and we’ve got quality assurance down to an art.

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Fire Round Sponsor

MACK-INV-logo_OverviewA huge thanks as well to our Fire Round sponsor MACK.

MACK Investments is the nation’s longest tenured turnkey operator with over 38 years of combined experience, with its fully vertically integrated operation in the US’s most diverse economy, Chicagoland. With over 2000+ homes under management, we serve over 300+ investors across 11 different countries. Homes are priced below 200 thousand and will generate a guaranteed CAP averaging 9% that can be leveraged to achieve returns in excess of 20%.

Learn more by visiting

In This Episode We Cover:

  • Dale’s very first house that he bought in 1996
  • How hitchhiking led him to figuring what he wanted
  • How he achieved 250 apartments in two and a half years!
  • The need for being confrontational in this business
  • The cool story of how he got started as a landlord
  • How he added multiple properties just because he has no money
  • What exactly a “wrap” is
  • The 3 important pieces of paper in a real estate transaction
  • The benefits of not knowing what’s “impossible
  • The difference between performing and non performing notes
  • A discussion about his public company
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “I didn’t know that it was supposed to be hard or impossible, so I bought 250 apartments.” (Tweet This!)
  • “I don’t have a filter that says ‘Well, they did it, I can’t.” I have filter that says, ‘If they did it, so can I.'” (Tweet This!)
  • “Take measured, gentle risk until you can push yourself a little further, and realize that you can go a lot further than you ever thought!” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Dale

About Author

Thanks for checking out the BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing & Wealth Building Podcast. Hosts Joshua Dorkin & Brandon Turner strive to bring top-notch educational content and interviews to our listeners -- without the non-stop pitch prevalent around the industry. With over 180,000 listeners per show, the BiggerPockets Podcast has become the biggest real estate podcast in the world. But don’t take our word for it. We’re the top-rated and reviewed real estate show on iTunes — check it out, read the reviews on iTunes, and get busy listening and learning!


  1. This was HANDS DOWN the most useful/helpful/encouraging episode I\’ve listened to yet (I have only been listening about 3 months).

    You all need to have this guy in again – or just have him do like a 4 hour autobiographical podcast!

  2. Ken Truong

    Hi Dale (Zen Dolphin), what an amazing podcast! I really enjoyed the show. I’ve been a long time passive reader of the Fastlane Millionaire forums and your a Legend there! I didn’t realize the scope of your real estate experience from reading that forum.

    I was curious you mentioned briefly about speaking with inherited property owners, you didn’t go too much on how to secure a deal. I have an opportunity with a Friend of mine, her Uncle inherited a property and looking to sell soon. I would love to connect with you if you can give me any guidance on the process you would use. As a side note, I’m newbie in real estate investing. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Dale Hensel

      pretty much,
      Its about asking.

      just ask them. do they want to sell?
      IF YES, then ask, can we structure it so it doesn’t hurt your taxes too much?

      If yes, then sit down with a CPA and ask how you can structure it for them for best effect.

      start there.


  3. Sharyn Umaña-Angers

    I have to say that this is one of the best, if not THE best podcast I’ve listened to so far. Of course, the practical information was great, no doubt about it. But it was Dale’s ATTITUDE that really resonated with me. Especially since I’m currently reading “Think and Grow Rich,” Dale seems to embody ALL 13 steps — and without even knowing it! It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you have no fear and no knowledge of the word “impossible.” Great show!

  4. Chris T.

    Thank you Dale, Josh and Brandon. This is 1 of my favorite podcast and I loved your story especially on how you explained the whole picture about the banking and fiance industry.

    Successful people do things that most people don’t want to do. And your experiences and attitude reinforces that.

  5. Sam Y.

    Great show guys! love it! What I didn’t catch was if Dale still own those 200+ units apartment these days? Just wondering for someone who started out early buying 200+ apartment units and then move on to do many other great things later still have the time during that transition to watch over the apartments either using PM or self managing? Was the apartments sold out before moving to the next step?

    • Aaron Vergason

      Dale, Great P.M.A.! Also, when you were just buying up all these units because you didn’t know any better, who was managing them? I know your mom painted them and you bought more, but who was handling collecting rent, paying bills, evictions, etc.? Did you do all that without knowing what you were doing?

  6. Hey Dale,

    What are some contemporary strategies and methods of implementation (for amassing property) that you can share with someone entering the REI world? Things are constantly changing- what can you adivse to keep our heads from underneath the water? Also- can you recommend some sources you use to research different markets and keep up with business trends?


  7. Jon Sanborn

    One of the best shows, thanks Dale, Josh and Brandon!

    Great insight into note purchasing/investing. My question is- do you need to be an accredited investor or a publicly traded company to purchase non performing notes from banks? I know you (Dale) did it with $40,000.

  8. Julie Marquez

    Whoa, that podcast blew my mind. Great guy with so much information and a passion to sharing and helping others. Now, I just wish I didn’t know anything and just went for it. I am my own worst enemy at this point. Dale, way to just go for it and get it done, you have a great story!

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