Start Over with Nothing in Real Estate

Today, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions I receive about getting started in multifamily real estate.

I’ll talk about what I’d do with no experience, no money, and bad credit.

I’ll even talk about what I’d do if I were starting over at 14.

Let’s go.

The reason why I haven’t started is because I have zero experience and I don’t know anything about real estate, and that scares me… Can you please guide me on what should be my first step? – Edgar N.

Hi Edgar, I get how you feel. When I did my first real estate deal, I was terrified too.

I didn’t know what I was doing when I was talking to the bank, when I was managing my tenants, and when my tenants left.

Yeah, it was a bad deal.

So I urge you to keep reading — because today I’m going to talk about the first steps I would take if I were starting over.

I’m 19 years old from the United Kingdom. Just finished college. What is the next step I should take to become successful like you? From working a 9-5 job, what could I do that could generate wealth? Any tips you can give me would be appreciated. – Mufais M.

Hey Mufais.

I love the UK! 

You’ve got a good head on you, Mufais, because you actually hit the nail on the head… 

I would start exactly with working a 9-to-5 job.

This might seem obvious, but so many people older than you take their jobs for granted.

Read on to find out how this is the FIRST step I would take to generate wealth.

Hi, I’m 20 years old and I really enjoy all of your work. Read some of your books. I don’t have any money saved and want to get into the real estate game now. How would I be able to start and not wait till I have money saved? – Elchonon Z.

Hi Elchonon. Happy to have you here.

It’s great to know you’ve read some of my books.

I understand how eager you are to learn how to invest in real estate without having money saved.

In fact, I applaud that hunger and eagerness.

As you’ll see next, if you combine that with action and practice today, you’re going to go far.

Who knows, I might even hear back from you in 5 years when you’ve done your first deal.

Hi, how old do you have to be to start in the real estate business? I’m 14 – Do you think I could do anything? – Justin U.

Hi Justin, I’m proud of you for writing in at such a young age.

I wish I had started young like you.

So Edgar, Mufais, Elchonon, and Justin…


⇒ I would slowly find as many income sources as possible – without sacrificing the income I earn at my main job – once I leave school. I would start working the paper route and looking for work after school if I were a teenager.

⇒ I would put 40% of all that income aside in a SACRED place that I won’t be tempted to touch. That’s how I saved up enough money for my first apartment deal.

⇒ I would keep studying real estate. So I want you to keep reading all my articles. I want you to go look up all my free real estate videos. In fact, I have a YouTube video where I teach a 14-year-old kid how to underwrite real estate deals. Go check it out.

⇒ I would keep investing in myself. What I mean is, I would use whatever money I earn (after putting aside 40% of it) to buy books and courses that improve my real estate game.

⇒ I would find every possible opportunity to network. Because multifamily is not a solo sport. I would go to conferences, look for local clubs, and meet as many people in the real estate game as possible. (It’s never too early to start. I have people as young as 14 years old at my Real Estate Summits!)

I would get into a deal with no money of my own by solving a problem for the owner/seller of a great property. I could take over their property management until their loan expires, and try to provide them with the same monthly cash flow. Once the owner refinances the deal, they could sell their property to you.

⇒ I would know I’m ready to buy my first deal when: (1) I have my first $100K. (2) I’m part of a solid network of real estate investors, brokers, lenders, and property managers. (3) I can spot a great deal confidently.

Why $100K?

Any deal worth doing should cash-flow enough to:

(1) Pay down its commercial loan

(2) Pay for professional property management services

(3) Pay me and my fellow investors

And that would be a building with at least 32 units, which typically costs about $4 million.

Depending on the debt market, a $1 million down payment would typically be needed to take out a commercial loan that finances the rest of the deal.

So first, I would put my $100,000 where my mouth is.

And then I would network with at least 9 other like-minded investors to make the $1 million down payment together.

And how would I get my first $100K? That’s what I’m going to talk about next.

So I want to start pushing commercial real estate, but there aren’t many gurus around who can give me the step needed to start. And if they are around, they want so much money just for a simple answer. All I want to know is how I can start due to lack of finances and low credit. What do you think can be the best option? I have a few properties that I will be speaking with sellers about next week, I just need directions at this point. Thanks, Grant. – Mahogany

Hi Mahogany.

Thanks for writing in.

I’m proud of you for looking at deals and talking to sellers already.

That’s good practice – or as I like to call it, exercising your “deal muscle”.

From reading my responses to your fellow 10X Investors, you should know by now that studying deals – like you have – is only one piece of the puzzle.

I want you to know that just because you’ve already invested time and energy into studying these deals, doesn’t mean any of these deals will go to waste.

I spent 3 years looking at thousands of deals before I had the money, experience, and confidence to buy my first apartment deal.

So if I were you right now, I would keep studying articles, speaking to sellers, and looking at deals.

I would also start setting new income targets, and then doing whatever it takes to increase my income, at first in increments, and then later in leaps.


See, at age 25, I was struggling to make $3,000 a month at my sales job.

Then I decided to stop whining about it, and I committed to increasing it. 

The first target I set for myself was to simply make another $3,000 per month. 

I did the math and it was $750 a week, or $100 per day, or $10 more per hour — and it became more real to me.

I didn’t change jobs, even though I didn’t like my job.

Instead, I used my primary job to learn how to grow my income.

In the first month, I exceeded my target and made over $7,000 for the first time in my life.

I knew I could make almost $84,000 that year if I could keep up that pace. 

So I continued to focus on the simplicity of this, and in the first 12 months, I made almost $100,000. 

Not bad for a 26-year-old.

I was super excited and realized how important increments and surges in income are.

They validated my confidence and sense of possibility. 

Next, I would look for every possible way to add income. 

I believe anyone can create income. 

And if I were starting over, I would look for things I no longer want and put them up for sale. 

When I’d have nothing else to sell, I’d go to my brother or sister’s house and sell all their unwanted junk online to increase my income.

There are also so many options for second jobs out there: waiting tables, giving massages, babysitting, pet sitting, teaching a language, driving for Uber, etc.

And there are so many ways to increase income online. From internet sales at home, writing blogs, editing for authors, releasing a podcast, creating affiliate programs, joining great network marketing companies, and on and on. 

Once I’d increased my income, then I would keep doing the math.

I would figure out how to keep increasing my income in increments… until I could start increasing in surges. 

To increase my income in surges, I would invest in myself and increase my skills.

Whatever it takes, I know I am going to create prosperity. 

Because if I were starting over with nothing… I would make the commitment to create wealth, be ethical in my journey, and do whatever it takes until I achieve it.

Thank you for writing in, Edgar, Mufais, Elchonon, Justin, and Mahogany.

Be Great,

Grant Cardone

Disclaimer: This content is intended to be used for educational and informational purposes only. Before investing, you should always do your own analysis based on your own financial and personal circumstances before making any investment. Grant Cardone is an industry expert who has been investing for over 30 years and his opinion is based solely on his own personal experience and circumstances. Individual results may vary. You should perform your own due diligence and seek the advice from a professional to verify any information on our website or materials that you are relying upon if you choose to make an investment. Investment involves great risk and there is no guarantee of performance or results.

We are not attorneys, investment advisers, accountants, tax professionals or financial advisers and any of the content presented should not be taken as professional advice. We recommend seeking the advice of a financial professional before you invest, and we accept no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage you may incur.

Previous articleThis Guy Hurt and Betrayed His Community on Christmas
Next articleStop Right Now if You Want to Win
Star of Discovery Channel’s “Undercover Billionaire,” Grant Cardone owns and operates seven privately held companies and a private equity real estate firm, Cardone Capital, with a multifamily portfolio of assets under management valued at over $4 billion. He is the Top Crowdfunder in the world, raising over $900 million in equity via social media. Known internationally as the leading expert on sales, marketing, and scaling businesses, Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author of 11 business books, including “The 10X Rule,” which led to Cardone establishing the 10X Global Movement and the 10X Growth Conference, now the largest business and entrepreneur conference in the world. The online business and sales educational platform he created, Cardone University, serves over 411,000 individuals and Forbes 100 corporate clients throughout the world. Voted the top Marketing Influencer to watch by Forbes, Cardone uses his massive 15 million plus following to give back via his Grant Cardone Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring underserved, at-risk adolescents in financial literacy, especially those without father figures.