Ep. 12 Become an "Overnight Success" in 10 years w David Greene

26 Replies

While David Greene is a long-time real estate investor, best-selling author, and one of the top real estate agents in California today, his career started in the most unlikely of places—as a busboy at a restaurant.

Learning how hard work and hustle, combined with a willingness to identify and serve the needs of others, took him from busboy at a restaurant to a college graduate with $95,000 in investable liquidity. After becoming a police officer, David Greene began building a real estate portfolio on a median income in one of the most expensive markets in the country—the Bay Area in California.

Boy, do I wish I had Greene's focus and determination just two years ago. I worked in a restaurant from when I was 19 to 24 and I can agree that all that is on everyone's mind in that industry is partying hard after work and not thinking about any savings or financial future. I didn't fully fall into that trap but I most definitely could have optimized the way David did and be way better off today. 

Now I'm just trying hard to catch up from all the financial mistakes!

Beautifully executed podcast to "renewedly renew" my motivation to continue along the path of better personal finance practices and focus on buying my first house-hack. 

This guys drive and determination would make him successful in any industry. Thanks for the motivation man. 

I love the drive to be the best at whatever your doing, that is the true key to success.

Heard the show , great episode. I also would like to know the area of FL where hipsters are moving in ? Is it a part of Jacksonville , FL? I know David mentioned he invests in Jacksonville.

Loved this episode. David Greene can deliver more content in two sentences than most of us can in an hour! Would love to see more of David on the podcast!

A testament to the fact that with enough determination and tireless work ethic you can achieve wild success in a short period of time.

What an inspirational podcast! This guy was great. Thank you!

David is an absolute stud.

Bring your A-game to whatever you are doing. Work harder than anyone and save. RE isn't a fix-all, especially if you are slacking in your current position because you don't like it.  Slackers slack.  

Great story, great interview and great lessons shared!

Loved the podcast! 

One of the few times I've heard someone come out and say he would never manage his own properties. Interesting concept to use that time rather than managing the property to make money in other ways. 

Inspirational episode of frugality and geo-arbitrage! Especially love the frugality part, but also enjoyed hearing about how helping others make you someone trusted and sought after.

Loved the show. Curious why with all of Dave’s experience why he still chooses to do one SFR at a time rather than go into multifamily? Is it because there is just more add value opportunity available in the SFR market?

Originally posted by @Bill Goodland :

Loved the show. Curious why with all of Dave's experience why he still chooses to do one SFR at a time rather than go into multifamily? Is it because there is just more add value opportunity available in the SFR market?

 Would love to know this too

Originally posted by @Bill Goodland :

Loved the show. Curious why with all of Dave's experience why he still chooses to do one SFR at a time rather than go into multifamily? Is it because there is just more add value opportunity available in the SFR market?

 Not to try and answer for Dave, but what I gathered is in this market he is adding value by converting 'Florida rooms' (covered, screened-in back porches) into master suites in single-families.  For roughly $11k he is adding about $40k in value plus higher rents during the hold.  Probably not available to do this in the multi space.

Plus, we do what we know, right?  Single fams fit his business model. Lower turnover.  Easier exit when the time comes.  Just my guess.  Hopefully Dave or Scott or Mindy will be able to clarify.  

@Steve Vaughan good points . Also I remember on the other podcast David did he mentioned he is doing these out of state BRRRRs for now but plans to invest in the Bay Area for appreciation when the time is right , in the next downtown . Right now he sees the opportunity in these other markets that cash flow well .

Congrats and awesome story!  I think pivoting (he had to leave the lucrative busboy gig) and being open to new opportunities with the discipline to follow through is key.  

At the same time I think everyone started small.  I was a busboy, dishwasher, bar cleaner, church cleaner and a million other similar jobs paying between 5-10 dollars an hour.  Your past never should never dictate your future.

It isn't where you start, but rather where your mind allows and believes you will go that is the largest factor. 

Fantastic episode. Having that much drive and intelligence as an undergrad is unheard of. Leaving school plus 95k is a college graduate's dream. 

@Joseph M. @Lauren Bishop I'm based out of Tampa/St. Petersburg and while I don't classify myself as a hipster :) there are A LOT of young professionals and college graduates moving to the area. 

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Hey guys! Sorry I'm just now getting to this. Keep tagging me and I'll make sure to check my account more often. It's Spring time and that's when realtors start to get busy!

Thank you for asking Mindy. 

@Steve Vaughan got really close to his answer. I buy single fam vs multi fam for several reasons.

1. I know it, and it takes less time (while I'm busy building up "The David Greene Team" as the top team in the Bay Area for real estate. Building all new contacts, Core Four members, and the like would take a lot more time if I switched to multi family.

2. Multi family can be stronger for cash flow, but i can add equity much, much easier with single family homes. My plan is to build equity first, then convert that to cash flow later. You can read more about that strategy here:


3. There is a TON of interest in multi family right now. To avoid talking forever, I'll just say that low interest rates due to irresponsible govt policy has created a huge bubble where it's super easy to raise money, and a lot of that money is flooding into multi family properties, compressing cap rates and increasing competition.

I like the Warren Buffet philosophy of avoiding what a lot of other investors are doing, so i try to zig when they are all zagging.

What other questions did you have???? 

David Greene is the bomb!!! His hard work and drive to be the best in any situation is very admirable.

Some quotes from the episode that stood out to me so much I had to write them down:

“Don’t try to make the world what you want it to be. Find where the world is, adapt to it and be the best you can in that world”

“I’m not going to allow my circumstances to force me to be unsuccessful. I’m going to adapt to the situation that I’m in and be successful. “

Thanks @Mindy Jensen  and @Scott Trench for another great podcast.  This is definitely my favorite episode by far.  It was awesome to hear from @David Greene  and to hear his story on how he built the foundation for his real estate success, which is truly inspiring.  

If you haven't considered it already, it would be awesome to hear from David on a regular basis!  Thanks again for such a motivating podcast!

@David Greene - Awesome job David! I loved the podcast and your book. I’m really proud of you bud.  

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