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What if you had a chance to be mentored by someone who went from humble beginnings to being one of the A players in New York City development?

Think that would give you an unfair advantage in investing?

Mentoring takes you from being an average investor to someone racking in massive wealth in 2 years instead of spending your life figuring it out.

In this episode, Ken Van Liew, a thriving real estate developer and mentor, joins us. Ken has navigated and built his empire brick by brick and is now guiding others to do the same.

Listen now and let his success become your blueprint.

Show highlights include:

  • Use this AI strategy to find your next juicy deal that spits out cash like clockwork (4:05)
  • Discover the 3 hidden money drivers of a home run deal that generates ongoing cash flow (8:07)
  • The “fast track” formula to get 38 years of real estate investing knowledge in 1 hour (12:34)
  • Access this modern-day wealth building blueprint to secure your family’s future (12:55)
  • The “buy dirt” strategy that leaves a legacy for your kids (13:25)
  • How to invest in real estate (without getting your hands dirty) (15:41)
  • Discover the mistakes learned from losing 300M in cash (so that you don’t have to) (17:56)

To connect with Ken Van Liew, please contact him at: ken@kenvanliew.com or please visit him at: https://tkenvanliew.com | https://globalrestrategies.com

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: http://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We'll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: http://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the REI marketing nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.

(0:41) All right, hello, and welcome, everyone to this week's episode of the REI marketing nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWords nerds.com. And look, as always, if you need leads, or deals online for your real estate investing business, you know where to go. It's AdWords nerds.com. We've got all sorts of free resources over there for you. Plus, you can jump on a call with a member of my team and we will help you put together an online marketing strategy for your market now. Man, you want to talk about a wide ranging conversation. I am talking this week with the man who may just be the most interesting man in real estate investing and development and that is Ken van Lew, from Ken van lew.com. That is spelled ke N v ANLIEW. Can is an incredible person a wide ranging talent with a deep background in real estate investing and development. He has also been a magician. He's been a football player. He has done it all. He's worked with Tony Robbins, he has developed giant projects, he has lost $300 million

(2:01) in a single day. And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of all the stuff that we talked about in this interview, I cannot wait for you to get a load of Ken van Lew. So without any further ado, let's jump straight to the interview. I am here with hen van wlu. That is from Ken van lew.com. That's VA n LIEW 10 van lew.com. Welcome to show Ken, thank you so much for being here. Thank you. It's awesome to be here. What's happening, how you doing today? I'm doing well, man. It's

(2:34) man. It's interesting, right? Like we live in such a wild time. And like before the call, you know, before we jumped on, I was like diving way into all the stuff that's been happening with AI and there's all this stuff happening. Google ads and all this stuff happening just like everywhere you look, there's something wild happening, it just feels like so I don't know. But it's a fun, it's a fun time to be alive. And I'm really excited to talk to you because you have this career that spans so many different parts of real estate investing and just real estate in general real estate development, we have this really interesting sort of backstory. So there's so much stuff I want to touch on. Let's start in the presence.

And then I want to go back in time a little bit. But I know you know, we spoke earlier, you know, before on this podcast, people come on, we do a quick kind of pre call, get to know each other a little bit. And you were telling me about this gigantic project you have going in North Carolina sort of give people an idea of the scale and scope of the type of thing that you are doing. Once you walk us through that deal. What are you working on right now? Give us the kind of overview of it. And that'll be our in into Who are you and what you do. Thank you again, Dan, for the opportunity. And it was a real pleasure, you know, talking a little bit about the project. And it just gets more exciting every day. So you know, we just opened up our website Lewisburg falls.com, which has our extraordinary video that we just completed. And it's pretty fascinating that technology, you talk a little bit about AI last week, we

(4:08) we found out through telephone AI that there's 1.2 million visitors in the last 12 months at the walk cross the street at the Super Walmart, and instantly, you know, you get traffic counts 12,000 At the intersection, etc, etc. But the exciting thing is, you know, when you do a project of this magnitude, it's 45 acres. And what we created was it's called a plan development district where essentially the town works with you. And behind closed doors. A lot of times they tell you, Hey, tell us what you want to do and we'll help you get there. So I had this vision of creating an extraordinary destination, you know, that has, you know, luxury townhomes residential apartments retail park Salt Lake settings, Lewisburg falls, we actually have a falls, it has a Wellness Center, there's going to be a hotel, self storage, you know, so

(5:00) It really pertains to everything, you know, some medical offices. And just believe that, you know, Louis Byrd, which is a little bit of a sleeper town, it's been around for, you know, since 1776, you know, has an executive airport, Regional Airport has a college. And, you know, we found this just through, you know, the way we find deals, you know, building relationships and connecting, and then utilizing my civil engineering skills to create something that's out of the norm, you know, we're most people go in and buy a property, they'll work towards a zoning change, or a zoning variance, where a lot of cases that's at the town level, where when you do a plan, designed to, you know, plan, Design Development Development District, you know, it's recorded as the county.

So that's the difference isn't a little bit about the project. Yeah. So how long has it been since like, the very first sort of ideation for this project? Like we're sort of recording this into the end of 2022? So how long have you been working on this and one forward? Yeah, you know, great question. You know, because we signed that contract. About a year ago, I believe it was November 13. And it probably took about four or five months of just building a relationship. You know, it started with a friend of mine of 38 years that I did my first project in Poughkeepsie, New York, I was a super and he did the windows and kept in touch all these years. He has a big glazing company in Raleigh now, another office in Sterling, Virginia, and he was buying a condo Believe it or not how it works, you know, and it's so important to build what I call is a little bit deeper emotional rapport.

He was buying a condo in Myrtle Beach, the realtor happened to be from Raleigh, or from Lewisburg, Mark being from Raleigh, they start talking, the guy from Lewisburg says, Hey, I know this, this doctor that has a property One thing led to another, I'm talking to the broker, and you know, we're talking about making a deal, you know, so that's how it really came to fruition? You know, probably 16 months ago when it started, you know, so it was just sort of a general question. We could take this wherever you like, but when you are starting a project like this, right, and let's say, you know, we're talking about 16 months before, right to sort of get just getting started. But even before that, right? Do you have, like, did you sit down in in a notebook and write out a very specific plan for exactly what you wanted to do?

Right, you just mentioned right as, like your friend from 38 years ago, right? Is is kind of what was part of that process? And sort of part of part of getting it started? Did you know A long time ago that this is exactly what you wanted to do? Was it a matter of being ready when the opportunity presented itself? Like, how much planning did you do beforehand? Does that make sense? After learning how to design every single aspect, it planted a seed in 1985, that I've just continued to, you know, play out. And that's really, when all the thought process took place. You know, I learned how to design it. So you know, when I forecast buying a site, which is, you know, essentially how I broken down real estate, you have to find deal, you have to be able to fund it, and you have to be able to facilitate. So it's typical real estate investing, the difference is I'm buying the properties with little or no money down contingent upon approval, so I don't have to close on the property and carry it during the approval process. So what we do is we go and we get the approval, and then we, and then we,

(8:37) you know, to use that approval to get the financing. And all in one shot when we break ground, boom, you know, we just dive right in, and, and continue to do the work. So you know, we submitted a project of full design in 1985. Before AutoCAD even existed my partner and I, actually, when another student, his dad was a civil engineer, architect. So every weekend for that entire semester, we worked in cinnamons, New Jersey learning a program called Versa CAD, and we submitted it in like a 16 drawing plan to New Jersey and Sue technology. And we won the award. We were like, you know, the top of the class and, you know, for the civil engineering project, which to me, you know, I was the seed for real estate, you know, I went into civil engineering and then I went into construction. It wasn't years later until all the dots connected and stars started to line. You know, and fast forward.

You know, over the years, you know, I worked myself up the ladder, starting as an engineer and then moving into construction just because I love the outside. I hated sitting at a desk and started it as a, you know, an project super, and then worked myself into project management and ultimately the project executive working for some large companies in New York City, some of the largest developers built for Bruce Ratner, who owned the New Jersey, New York New Jersey Nets.

(10:00) Joseph shear treat very, very established developer in New York City. And, you know, that's really how the journey started, you know, just doing it for myself doing it for other people, and then being able to pay it forward and showing people how I'm doing it, you know, well, man, so I mean, I love I love that, that we were able to kind of get both ends of it right because we got this big project you're working on now we got kind of like where you started right with the background in civil engineering, which is actually like, I really haven't heard that very often. So I think that's that's pretty amazing skill set to bring in to real estate investing.

(10:39) Let's find motivated seller leads online but don't know where to start. Download our FREE motivated seller keyword report today, AdWords nerds have spent over $5 million this year researching the most profitable keywords for finding motivated seller leads. And you can grab these exact keywords when you download our report at www dot AdWords nerds.com/keywords.

(11:06) Let's talk a little bit about your business now and kind of the different pieces that you have. But I know you're currently you're actually shooting a documentary with Dennis Quaid. So let's let's talk about that. And then let's back up and give us the kind of 30,000 foot overview of Ken van Lew and like kind of all the different pieces of the business that you have running now. Yeah. Yeah, it's been a real blessing. You know, in the last 13 months, we we married off our three children. So you know, and during that time, you know, I started working with the viewpoint project and Dennis Quaid, which, which was probably eight months ago, and didn't really realize how much was involved to put a documentary together, you know, literally starting over with the title called Real Estate today, keys to investing, you know, you know, giving me the opportunity to tell people throughout America's 65 million households on why everybody should get involved in real estate investing, it just doesn't make sense.

If you're not in real estate investing, you know, and, yeah, you know, it was, it was just been a great journey, you know, so we just got this the footage, and it's real exciting, you know, you know, to see it, and it's going to be coming out to Fox Network in January, and then it's going to air on public television all next year. And it's like a little three minute documentary that plays as a commercial in between all the public television programs, and it's just real exciting, you know, we have an opportunity to share what we've learned over the last, you know, 38 years. And you know, you can't do anything with with all the knowledge, you know, so you might as well share it a little bit, you know, and so and then I'm, I guess, you could say, I, you know, I'm an overachiever. We have also three months ago, started writing three books, you probably heard of the modern wealth building formula, which I have behind me here,

(13:00) the modern wealth building formula. And, you know, we were coming out with three, three new books, real exciting about that. And one of them, it's called dirt, you know, along the lines of what we're talking about, you know, I really, as I look back, and, you know, reflecting on what just occurred in the last 13 months shift and shifting out of COVID, you know, I wrote this book called dirt, which is, work hard, play harder by dirt. You know, because when you're there, and you know, you do what I've explained, you know, where you get the entitlement to build projects like this, you can, you can literally triple the value of the property, this property is worth three times what we're what we're buying it for.

And, you know, that's, that's the beauty, you know, so you, you are clearly very invested in this idea of educating people. So, like you said, right, you know, you've got all this knowledge, you gotta do something with it, you might as well pass it on, I think that's a very noble sentiment, right? And you are doing it in multiple formats, right? Like you, you've got the video format, you've got the, you've got, again, for for people that are listening, if you've never written a book, three books, is an absolutely bonkers thing to do.

And that is really, really amazing in of itself. I know for a fact to you, you know, you sort of make courses, you, you coach, and you consult you, you've got advisement services, you've got all this stuff going on. So I'm curious, like, with all this experience of trying to explain real estate investing to people, and specifically to get people to take action on what you are telling them, right? Where do you find that people get tripped up? When they think about getting started in real estate? Right? Like what are the big obstacles that people you're gonna be real obstacles are could just be in their head, that are sort of stopping people from getting involved or making it a part of their portfolio or, you know, however it fits into their life doesn't make sense. So you know, there's

(15:00) A lot of moving parts that I want to tell you about and global real estate strategies. Being an advisory firm for many years, has now taken what you just asked and really learned on how to connect all the dots. So when people learn about Ken Van Loon global real estate strategies, they understand how to get started in real estate. So if you go to global real estate strategies, you know, if someone was interested in finding about real estate, you'd go to global real estate strategies. And it would ask you, Hey, are you a passive or active investor, and it gives you the choice because we have our global freedom fund where for people that don't want to get their hands dirty, you don't want to educate themselves, they can just invest our money and have someone responsibly take care of it with the global freedom fund, if someone is coming to global real estate strategies, or Ken van Lew, you know, to get educated, you know, they have the option to look at our global real estate investment enterprise where they could, you know, achieve real estate success through educating themselves through the courses that we give, and through the group coaching we have.

So, you know, I really felt 10 years ago, when, in 2008, when Lehman Brothers crashed, and we lost $300 million in one day. And I learned about the informational marketing business, I learned that there was all these gurus that did it at once, and then just kept upselling, you and upselling, you and upselling. And what I learned was that at that point was I was going to create a full gamut of real estate programs, so that someone could just, you know, come hang out with Ken van Lovell and the global real estate enterprise and have everything they need to be successful in real estate, whether they need education from investing in a passive standpoint, had to deal with the taxation thereof, from an advisory level, they could take that path, whether they want to educate themselves, just for educating themselves about real estate, they can do that if they want to educate themselves and be an active investor and actually go out and do wholesaling or fixing and flipping or buying commercial real estate or getting into real estate development.

They have that option also. And that was something I envisioned back in 2008, when I was faced with one of the biggest challenges of my life. And you know, I was just always taught, you know, from from being on the grid iron, and it'll stay football player, you just you just keep hitting and never give up, man just keep hitting and never give up. We won the state championship, my junior and senior year. And, you know, I took those skills of, you know, just hitting and never give up. Just keep hitting it hard and never give up, you know, to the business world. And you know, along with being a magician and keep a magic in my life, you know, it all came back to fruition. Alright, so there's like five different threads to pull on. Just in the last question, everybody.

(17:48) Wow, it's like, like, It's easy when you've got an interesting subject, right? There's a lot of places to go. I want to zoom in just for a moment. So you mentioned this story of losing $300 million when Lehman Brothers brothers crashed in, I think that one of the things I've really been trying to do on this show, is to focus on stories of people that went through these sort of incredibly chaotic or maybe traumatic business moments and kind of talk about how you got through them. Because I think in today's market, there are a lot of people who are experiencing a very uncertain market for the first time, right?

They're experiencing this need to maybe shift their business model or pivot what they do. I'm experiencing that right in my business, right. I think this is something that everybody just kind of needs to get used to. And I think those stories are really useful. So let's, let's zoom in on that moment for a little bit. Can you tell me how you found out right, so you said Lehman Brothers, like for people that don't remember right around 2008 The entire business basically went under me was this massively economically destabilizing moment right, not just for you, but for the in basically the entire country.

Do you remember like, what it was like? How did you find out what was it like, like, what was going through your head in that moment? You know, I'll tell you I was literally at the top of the world. We completed 240 Park Avenue. When I tell you Tom Brady and Giselle came into my office to look at the penthouse. We had rolled the money into St. Vincent's Hospital that was basically shutting down. We were going to do you know, 1000s of dormitory units. The we bought a city block on Sixth Avenue between 33rd and 35th, essentially a block away from Madison Square Garden. And it all went up in smoke because Lehman you know, had a, you know, a multimillion dollar mezzanine loan with us, and the door shut, you know, and it was I was with a group where literally we had major projects going on, we were developing the toy building with their money and everything just

(20:00) Stop and lead into and it was funny because it was, it was a week where Bear Stearns had collapse. I had actually built nine storeys of tenant fit out for Bear Stearns in Brooklyn Union Gas headquarters in Brooklyn, New York part of Metro Tech. And literally, you know, I, you know, I mean, you know, Michael Milken was involved in bills, Bear Stearns, and you're used to hear about, you know, all that stuff blowing up, but, you know, for them to go under, after getting through, you know, all that stuff with Michael and stuff like that, you know, I was really surprised to, you know, to be in a situation to even think, because I wasn't even thinking that Lehman would ever crash, you know, I mean, they had been, oh, wait, there's a certain amount of institutional sort of Halo there, right?

Because it's like, you know, we sort of laugh now, like, the whole, like, too big to fail idea, but it's like, that's kind of, at least how I remember all that stuff. Feeling was, well, these companies can't possibly this can't happen to accompany this bit. Do you know what I mean? Like, yeah, I can see how that would be, like, really shocking. Yeah. So it was, it was an interesting day, you know, and, you know, everything I had studied for, for, you know, 30 years back then or was 2025 years, you know, just didn't calculate, you know, on. In the five boroughs, literally, it was I remember the number 505 projects stopped.

(21:33) Well, no, and it was interesting, just crane sitting there, you know, not moving. But, you know, we were fortunate, you know, I, you know, I was fortunate to give someone a call, who, who I had was a Senior Vice President for them, you know, years ago, or years prior. And the one project one of the projects that hadn't stopped was one on was at eighth and Park Avenue. And we I call it the fishbowl because it ended up being a millionaire's listing, it was a 12 storey building all glass, and it had five luxury apartments.

And I literally went from being like, King of the Hill, to going to a site office and building the project. The contractor had some, I think, some challenges after what occurred. And this guy Trevor Davis is like, Hey, if you want to get a check written to your company, go park yourself on the job site and build it. You know, unfortunately, I had done it so many times before I was a licensed safe site safety super, which is a licensed at all 100,000 square foot buildings. I was a professional engineer, I had a couple master's degrees. I know everything about about it, but I had to take a step back and actually humble myself and be able to be thankful and grateful that we're these big construction companies are laying off like droves of hundreds of people. You know, I was I was, you know, still building a project in New York City that ended up on billionaires listing.

Hey, guys, hope you enjoyed part one of this episode. It's just too good to limit one show. Join us next week to hear the rest

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