Posted about 2 years ago


My mentor gave me an assignment to write a micro-blog about how I got started in real estate. I have been sitting in my chair for half an hour trying to think of the perfect way to start telling you guys the story of how I got started in real estate and entrepreneurship. I've been having a writer's block. Nothing was flowing into my head until the Billy Holiday song "God Bless The Child" started to play in the background.

I was born in 1988 in Los Angeles, CA to immigrant parents from the Philippines.When my mom was giving birth to me there were complications which caused the doctors to diagnose me with a medical condition called "Cerebral Palsy". To make the long story short, Cerebral Palsy affects my motor skills. However, when I was born the doctor was unable to predict how severe my Cerebral Palsy would be and what kind of limitations it would bring. When I got older and started seeing people with even more severe disabilities limited to minimal work and life experiences (like needing a care taker and the biggest "position" they can strive for is cleaning tables at the local mall) I quickly realized how lucky I still am.

Growing up, we were middle class. I hardly bought clothes from the mall. Most of my wardrobe came from Ross and Marshalls. I am still amazed how my father was able to support a family of four with a salary that was under $60k (my mom was a stay at home wife). Growing up I never felt like we were middle-class though. If my brother and I wanted something my parents made sure we got it (even if it took longer than other kids). If you have immigrant parents you know that they have a scarcity mindset when it comes to money. They taught us that all debt is bad, if you have cash pay everything in cash, and once you become a little bit successful keep a low profile so you don't upset anyone who are not as successful as you. They did not understand the concept of leverage or ROI. Later on I learned that this is not how money works. However, one thing that my parents were absolutely right about was due to my disability I will have a more difficult finding a high paying job compared to other job seekers who have the same credentials as me.Therefore, my father drilled in my head from an early age that for me to have the kind of lifestyle I want I would have to focus on entrepreneurship. I just didn't know how it should be executed. I did not have a rich family member that left me a blueprint. I had to figure it out myself.

I wasn't always smart when it came to money. When I finally got a job after graduating my MBA and passing my CPA exam my mentality when it came to money was not responsible at all.I saw thousands and thousands go to Uber, jewelry, designer clothes, and parties every month. I saved nothing. All I wanted to do was prove people wrong who doubted me (in the wrong way) and look good on social media. I can't even get mad when I see these new rappers spend all their money in a snap of a finger because I once thought like that too. As I matured, I learned that financial irresponsibility comes from partly lack of financial intelligence from the communities we come from, but also insecurity.

One of the books that really changed my financial perspective was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I learned that the rich have their money work for them by buying assets that is always working for them even while they sleep.This allows them to accumulate wealth and give back to their communities. When I turned 29, I realized I wasn't getting any younger and I would have to make drastic changes or be a victim of mediocrity forever. I studied real estate for a year before I made any moves. For the first year of my journey I did nothing besides save money, watch Biggerpockets videos, and read Biggerpockets books.I analyzed markets. I learned how to choose a good market to invest in (population growth, job growth/diversity, etc). I even flew out to Orlando before ultimately selecting to invest in Indianapolis. Most importantly, I built a solid team to advise me correctly on my deals and I also built relationships with investors who are way smarter than I am. I can honesty say that I consider 5 people as mentors. I consult and rely on their insight/opinions so much when making any business decisions.

In my first year of investing, I bought 3 properties. I understood that my first few properties would not make me rich. Rather they would get me started in my investing career and learn from my estates. Trust me when I say I made A LOT of mistakes in my first year of investing. I am always pushing myself for growth. After consulting my mentors and realizing how slow it is to scale with single family homes I decided that I will start investing in apartments. My decision comes from wanting to improve scale, cashflow, and ROI. I will surely keep you guys posted on this journey as I get closer to closing my first apartment deal.

As my idol and favorite rapper (Nipsey Hussle) says,"THE MARATHON CONTINUES"!

Comments (1)

  1. Jason - what a great story you have and I love learning about your background and upbringing. I love how your parents taught you so well, but you still had to learn from your own money mistakes. It's very cool to see where you are now and I know you will have great success in real estate. How did you get your mentors and all these successful people around you? This story just made my day and I look forward to learning more about your successes!