December 11, 2021
Joe Fairless

JF2657: Finding Deals in Nitty-Gritty Details with Jake Harris


When it comes to finding deals, Jake Harris likes to go granular on his market research. By deep diving on the details of potential properties, he’s been able to source deals before others can spot them. In this episode, Jake reveals the strategies he uses to find killer deals and how he stays ahead of the competition.

Jake Harris Real Estate Background

  • Current career: Full-time managing partner of private equity real estate firm, Harris Bay
  • Harris Bay process: “fundamental opportunistic and value add investment strategies.”
  • Portfolio: 150,000,000 in AUM; 200M in development pipeline
  • Has over 20 years of experience in real estate & construction and investment management.
  • Actively involved in CREI
  • Involved in multifamily, office, land, and hotel developments.
  • Based in Tahoe, CA
  • Say hi to him at: www.catchknives.com
  • Best Ever Book: The Gap and The Gain: The High Achievers’ Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success by Dan Sullivan. 
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TRANSCRIPTION

Ash Patel: Hello Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Ash Patel, and I’m with today’s guest, Jake Harris. Jake is joining us from Tahoe, California. He is a full-time managing partner in a private equity real estate firm and has over 150 million dollars of assets under management. He also has an additional 200 million dollars in the development pipeline. Jake has over 20 years of experience in real estate and construction and investment management. Jake, thank you for joining us and how are you today?

Jake Harris: I’m fantastic. Thank you. It’s awesome to be on the show. It’s kind of wintery when we’re recording this. I don’t know when it actually airs out, but a nice kind of bundled-up day.

Ash Patel: Yeah. It’s our pleasure to have you. Jake, before we get started, can you give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you’re focused on now?

Jake Harris: Like that bio said, I’ve been a professional investor for 20 years. It’s kind of spanned a lot of different asset types. I’ve launched a book early in 2021 called Catching Knives, A Guide to Investing in Distressed Commercial Real Estate. I actually felt like there was going to be a little bit more distress in the market post-COVID. So while COVID, and I wasn’t on a flight traveling around doing deals, I hunkered down and wrote a book. I did not anticipate that the government would go print 20 trillion dollars, but so be it. Maybe the music’s going to continue to play for a lot longer.

I primarily invest in secondary and tertiary markets. I’ve been focused on the commercial space. When I say that, there are certain data demographics and analytics that I look at in those markets that I’m betting heavily on. And then I’m a little bit more agnostic to the asset type. I know, kind of like you, I do a lot of breadth of different things.

People say flattering things like “Oh, my gosh. Look at all these things you’re doing.” I’ll be like, “Well, I’m really focused on this market, and I’m looking for good deals in this particular market.” Specifically, distressed allows me a lot greater discount to what that market value is. So heavy value-add development, and kind of distressed, is where I’ve made my bones over the last several years. 20 years ago, I was working doing office remodels for equity office properties, Sam Zell’s… I was too young, I didn’t really know who Sam Zell was, but I see now that string that’s been pulled back. So the breadth – a lot of things, single-family, flipped a lot of houses, 1200 homes, in 23 states, we assembled some single-family rental portfolios that we sold off to the institutionals… And then the last several years I’ve just been really focusing on the secondary, tertiary markets, and the urban core growth of those.

Ash Patel: I don’t know where to start so I’m just going to dive in. What asset classes do you buy?

Jake Harris: Like I said, we do a little bit of everything. We have a ground-up hotel, we’re breaking ground early next year. It’s an opportunity zone deal on the riverwalk in San Antonio. Hospitality is a relatively new thing to me, it’s a combination of looking for value and opportunity. The opportunity zones, for the people that do know about it, is a very favorable way of investing capital gains and deferring those, and then ultimately not having to pay taxes 10 plus years if you hold it and do it right. We have some office buildings. Some of those I just do a modernization on, and kind of let the market determine what is the best value for that. Some of them were converting; so we’re doing a historic tax credit deal, bought a historic office building downtown. It’s actually right next door to the hotel site, and we’re converting that to multifamily, 63 luxury apartments. We have a parking garage, doing some land assemblage, buying industrial land, turning into 100 to 150 units an acre, and then either sell those off to some REITs, or some apartment builders, and some of it we develop.

We’re just finishing out an apartment complex in East Austin. So kind of a little bit of the spectrum of commercial real estate. I haven’t done industrial per se; I’ve never bought that. It’s usually been I’m trying to repurpose it and move it up to kind of a market-rate product. So office, multifamily, hospitality, and land.

Ash Patel: How about retail?

Jake Harris: I have not done any retail. I’ve built some shopping centers 20 years ago, but I have not owned any retail. It looks like there’s some opportunities in that space now… Because people when they get little alligator arms and shy away from stuff is where I tend to now say, “Hey, there may be some risk-adjusted return there.” I wish I would have bought a few things in 2020 or 2021 when everybody was super-scared, but I just haven’t done a whole lot in that space.

Ash Patel: Yeah, I think there’s still a lot of deals out there in retail. How do you come across these deals? Because everybody’s looking for value-add.

Jake Harris: It’s one of those things that there’s not one silver bullet magic way of doing that. That’s part of the reason I talk about it in the book. Sometimes it’s building relationships that won’t come to fruition for several years; it’s talking with other brokers, networking, and communicating. The more specific you can get to what you’re looking for, the more it’s easy for people on those deals to come back and kind of find you. But there’s also a lot of intentionality around that. A lot of my deals, some of the best deals I’ve done, took maybe four, five, six years of just reaching out and pinging the people, “Hey, I’m interested in buying this.” I get into the nitty-gritty; I go into all like tax records and then I go and research. Being the fact that I used to do a lot of distress, and I hired some people away from title companies to do research, so we do this all in-house.

So we track ownership entities, and then start mapping out in a particular market. San Antonio is where I’m doing a lot of investment; all the metros of Texas, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, but now really heavily in San Antonio. We’ll map out all the ownership groups; and it may be a different LLC, but it has the same address. What we do is we start mapping out, here Joe Billionaire has this, this billionaire has these, this has that… And what it does – I call this kind of the mafia rule – is you’re going to have typically about four or five families that do about 80 or 90% of all the commercial real estate deals in the market. But once you’re able to identify where they are, you also determine where they’re not. So even though it’s a fantastic deal and it may be downtown in the CBD of your market, that group doesn’t do hospitality; they don’t do retail, they don’t do something else. So naturally, people would think, “Oh, that billionaire does all those deals downtown. Why even compete with them? They have better finances, and they can just stroke a check whenever it makes sense.” By identifying that, we can find the opportunities.

Then I think as far as layering in future growth – because, let’s be honest, as everybody’s chasing down all these deals, what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to make a future projection of what’s going to happen in that market. Trailing data is nice to tell you a story, but what’s the next three, five, seven, 10 years – depending on your investment horizon  – is more important than what has been happening over the last five or 10. Then I layer in a lot of infrastructures, bond spend dollars, things that are public records, but nobody’s tracking out what’s the road improvement plans for the city, or when the city is putting hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, or putting in a new streetcar, or putting in a new stadium, or putting a new park – those do have returns on investments. So then I start building this kind of systematic way of, “I see what everybody owns; maybe the future’s heading this direction.” Then I start formulating relationships, talking to brokers, talking to some of those property owners, and saying “I’m interested in buying your building.”

What you’ll also find is some of these are outliers. Maybe there’s an office building, and it’s the only one that a family owns in that entire town. They’re based in Missouri, they’re based somewhere else, and you’ll be like “Why do they own this office building in downtown Shreveport?” And then it’s having those conversation pieces, reaching out and now you have the knowledge and data to assess, would they be a seller? Versus that billionaire in town that already has 10 buildings, trying to pick off one of those – it may be a bigger hurdle to achieve. So then I can focus my efforts on maybe that particular building. I do my due diligence, I start doing research, I start assimilating rents and comps for the areas that I’m really, really focused on, so that when an opportunity presents itself, I can move a lot faster than everyone else.

Ash Patel: Do you find that these families get to jump on deals before you? Do they know something that no one else does? Can you trend their purchases and kind of predict the future?

Jake Harris: I wish it was that sophisticated. Some of that is, yes, they absolutely get first look at deals. As people that are brokers or the natural owner of who’s going to buy that product type, they’re going to reach out direct to them first. I worked for a land developer; he was a land developer, he built 10,000 homes, sold [unintelligible [10:08], made 300 to 400 million [unintelligible [10:13] land division until the mid-2005, 2006. So with that, there were only three people that really were big movers and shakers in that land market. They would just text each other, and they would like horse trade deals, because they weren’t creating capital events. “Hey, here’s this, here’s that.” So there is a certain component of that, and you don’t actually know what the price point is, because they like to do that kind of horse trading to keep it off the market. But the question was, how can you predict that? I think some of their legacy knowledge is also a disadvantage to them; because they have 10, 20, 30 years of experience in that market, they’re sometimes jaded about what today’s pricing is.

I know I’ve been guilty of this… Especially when you’re buying houses or properties, and you bought it for two million bucks… And I’ll give you an example of this. There was an apartment building that was a kind of affordable housing. A broker and developer had owned it, and I think they sold it for two million or two and a half million. And then when it came back out on the market, it was like five million. He was like, “Ah, that’s ridiculous. 5 million dollars. I remember when it was 2,5, and it was not that long ago.” But you actually looked at it, and it was like 85 apartments in a 10-story building downtown, and it was $50,000 a unit, and everything else in the market was trading for 150k. But to him, it was “No way”, because of his legacy knowledge. When I looked at it, and sometimes being an outsider, is what is the actual cost? I can’t go build something for $50 a square foot. Nothing. I can’t build anything. So when that’s the price, it’s “Oh, I’m interested. Let me go figure that out.”

Is there maybe a shadow inventory? Maybe they know something that I don’t know. But as I’m also finding, these secondary and tertiary markets are not as competitive as California, or the East Coast, or where you have 50 people. Austin right now; you’re going to have 50 people submitting offers on every deal, regardless if it’s on the market or off the market. And if something sat on the market for three months or six months, you should actually be concerned. But if you’re focusing on smaller cities or markets that you know pretty well, but nobody else does, deals can sit on the market and be fantastic deals, it can sit there for six months or a year. It’s just hard to determine that from the outset, without knowing your specific market.

Break: [00:12:46][00:14:19]

Ash Patel: Secondary and tertiary markets – that must have done really well for you post COVID. Because everybody’s moving out of city centers into these markets, wanting more land, cheaper housing.

Jake Harris: To a certain extent, but offices have also been a little bit of a headwind. A lot of people were working remotely. When I say secondary/tertiary, that also has a loose, ambiguous term. They’ll be like — I’ve been asked that before, “What do you call a tertiary market?” And I was like, “Ah…” “Is Boise a tertiary market?” I said “Yeah, probably. They have a much lower population.” San Antonio, I actually treat a little bit like a tertiary market, but it’s got 1.5 million people; it’s the seventh-largest city in the United States. You’ll be like, it’s going to pass Philadelphia in size. But to your point, it’s so spread out that there are so many different pockets of opportunity, and it’s not the same density of people. There have been some great opportunities since COVID, and some of those markets have recovered much better. I think also what COVID has done is really extrapolated the fact of California — the West Coast has been just doing a fantastic job of driving people out of California, Portland, Seattle, and it’s a net beneficiary of the Boise, Salt Lake, Phoenix, and Texas.

Ash Patel: So right now, we see a lot of office buildings that the banks are starting to take over, they’re going to auction… People are just losing them. What are your thoughts on that? My thought is there should be some great deals in the foreseeable future for office space.

Jake Harris: Yeah, I think 2022 is where we’re going to start seeing those. Obviously, they papered over with the PPP money, or whatever version of alphabet of government throwing money out the window is; it did kick that can down the road. But to your point – yes, absolutely, I think there’s going to be some deals. We’re starting to sign new leases; we’re starting to have people come back. We’ve signed some retail leases. You asked if I have retail earlier – usually, it’s in a mixed [unintelligible [16:25] component, like the street-level retail of office building, Buffalo Wild Wings on a net lease kind of thing. But depending on those market drivers, you could pick up some good deals, like you said, at 50 bucks a square foot. And then can you go put 30 into a TI and be all-in at 80? And then the rest of the market is trading at 150, 200, or $300 a square foot? I like that and I’ll tell you a little bit where I like historic buildings, built in the late 1800s, early 1900s. They have like a cool character to them, a cool facade, they’re limestone, or terracotta, or something pretty cool on the facade.

But actually, for the last 60 years, everything has been focused on the car. And because it’s been such a car-centric focus on the zoning and municipalities, those buildings have been functionally obsolescent, because they didn’t have the four parking spots per 1000 of rentable. But now with Uber, and scooters, and technology is building that, those buildings are becoming more valuable, and I think there’s an opportunity to buy some of those, like you said, at a discount, because you don’t need the parking; you don’t need the same parking. And then, if you can open up and remove the ’80s or ’90s out of some of these office buildings, and then have open ceilings and exposed brickwork, those we’re signing pretty good leases, because it’s unique and it’s special, and you can’t get it from the other office building, and we can also be at a discount under market rents. How you structure those leases, I think is going to matter. Everybody wants that office tenant that signs a 10-year lease; if you’re willing to maybe accept lower, do some different co-working, put together a coffee shop, and make sure that’s in the lobby… Maybe if you open up a coffee shop, that helps that retail and helps some of the leasing… Some of those things, I think there’s going to be some fantastic opportunities here coming in 2022.

Ash Patel: Jake, back to what you said earlier about all these systems you put in place, the data that you go through… Somebody starting out in real estate, or maybe that has a couple of years of experience. How can they find value-add deals? They don’t have the team of people, access to all this data…

Jake Harris: As you said, the first thing that people should do is determine their investment criteria. So they want value-add deals. Walk through that; what interests them about that. You can start doing your homework before those deals, and then go to meetups. Go meet a local brokers community, a real estate investors thing. The more specific that you have, “This is what I’m looking for…” Meet attorneys. Real estate attorneys are fantastic. I’ve got some really, really great deals from real estate attorneys, because we built a relationship and they did a little bit of work for me. Some of them just knew of me. I didn’t even actually had ever done any work with them, and they handed me off a deal. “You’re looking for this market? Oh my gosh, I just saw this. I’m representing a family that wants to get rid of that. Can we put something together?”

Getting very clear on what you want, put that out into the world, and then for someone looking to do these deals that don’t maybe aggregate the data as I do, is just by being in that market and communicating it, you’ll find that like buying a new car, you go buy a new Toyota, all a sudden you drive around and you see the 50 Toyotas everywhere around. I think when you start creating that “This is what I’m interested in”, you’ll see when those opportunities present themselves, as opposed to “I want to do a cool deal”, and then you’re just so blinded by so many opportunities in the ocean of information that’s available. I would say that’s a good place to start, getting specific on what you want.

Ash Patel: Just get out there, network, and just put the work in. How else are you finding deals, besides compiling data. the very specific items that you mentioned earlier?

Jake Harris: We’re building some of them. We create as far as… Well, maybe we find a land… Again, maybe I just missed that window, or not smart enough to figure out how to do some of these multifamilies, that it just kind of started snowballing, and you’re like, “I’m going to go buy it at a four and a half cap, then paint, carpet, clean it, add the rents 50 bucks, and then I’m going to sell it a four cap.” To me, it seems way too risky to do that. I’m not saying that people can’t be successful doing it, because I have a lot of friends that do it, and they are successful. But when I look at this –  part of that comes from my own experience of losing my ass in 2007-2008, being in that subprime, and watching my portfolio go down by — while I was in Phoenix, it went down like 80%. I was sitting down on the street corner in Tucson, like “Dear Lord, can I be worth no money? That would be awesome. Just to start over. Can I just do that?” I still have a little bit of that in the back of my head. Some of these people that got in the market, they’ve only seen up. They’re like “I got in in 2014, and in 2013.” I’ll be like, “Well, yeah. It’s awesome when it’s only gone up. What happens when it curves over? What happens when the market takes a little bit of a dip and steps back?”

So we’re building deals, or heavy value-add. Building is I can go out and I can go build something to a six and a half cap. I’ll be like, I can build an apartment, and that makes sense, and development makes sense because of my background in construction.” I’m not saying that everybody that’s the place that they need to jump into. But everything about this is – your limitations or absolutely your mindset. All limitations that exist are in your own mind.

I’ll tell you a perfect example of this… And I do aspire to build a high rise, at one point. I went down and 20 years ago, I got interviewed to do leasing for industrial centers. I told them, I came in, and I was like “I want to build a skyrise.” They’re like, “What are you doing in this interview? Okay, cool, neat kid, get out.” I knew nothing about real estate or hardly anything, but I told them that I wanted to build a skyrise. I went to grad school down in Miami and got a degree in international real estate and finance. At that point, I’d had maybe 12 years of experience and I was like, “At some point, I’m going to build this high rise with a skyscraper.” And they brought in this person that had just finished building this high-rise, 40-story, 50-story kind of condo project. I sat down and I was talking to him afterwards, and I was like “What did you do? You have a lot of experience, did a lot of market study, you dug into the data, you did a pro forma and build it out?” He was like, “No. I came to this country two years ago with $11 in my pocket. I went out and I bought land, for whatever it was listed for on the market. Then I hired the contractor that was building the one down the street, and the architect is the same one. I just said, ‘Hey, can you build one of those over here? What’s the price?'” They said it’s $50 million. He was like, “Great, let’s do it.”

He took that and then just listed it, the condos, for more than the price of the land, and the cost to build it and do those other things, and then sold out the entire thing, and built the skyrise. So the first real estate deal he ever did at 28 years old, with no credit, no experience, no money, no anything, was the high-rise, the thing that I was aspiring to do at the pinnacle of my career. He just showed up and did it, sold out, and made 20 million dollars profit. I think subsequently he may have lost in another deal… But I was like action and those limiting beliefs have been my biggest holdback to me, and I think that is very, very apt to all the listeners out there, is where are you holding yourselves back, when you think that I need 20 more years, or do 1000 more units, or whatever. The sooner that you can realize that all limitations are your own limitation – it’s the first step of actually going out and achieving those dreams.

Ash Patel: I love that story. Jake, what are you doing to overcome some of your mindset? Not issues, but just your mindset. How do you get over that? How do you improve that?

Jake Harris: It’s like you said a little bit earlier. Networking, being around other people. I’m in a mastermind group that has a lot of people that are quite successful in different walks of life. That mastermind group is GoBundance, and it’s just that there’s abundance in all these different pillars of life. So where you may be crushing it and work, but what if your relationships suck? What if you’re overweight? What if you’re struggling with your health? What if you’re all these other things? So it doesn’t matter if you’re just successful in one area of life. I believe being kind of a whole life millionaire in every single aspect… And it’s not necessarily about how much money you make, but how can you do that and create this bigger impact in every single facet.

Being around other people that are thinking and doing those other things, crushing it in these other areas, where this guy is awesome at fitness, and he’s like “How many days can we go out and hike? How many days can we go out and go skiing, or other things?” And then what happens is, by osmosis… He’s not peer-pressuring me and saying, “Hey, Jake. You need to work out more or lose more weight.” But just being around those people, you just become part of that. So finding that group and those tribes of people that inspire you… I think too many people are surrounded by people that complain, that are negative, they’re focusing on the news, the propaganda that’s being pushed out there… And it’s basically selling someone else’s agenda, so you just need to take control of that and get yourself around people that fire you up and excite you. And then because of that, you become a little bit of an average of that group of people that you’re hanging out with. So absolutely, that’s been huge for me.

Then I would say books. Books are another way of those being mentors or being like other people, it’s picking up those little nuggets. I wish I’d discovered that sooner. It took me getting kicked in the teeth and sitting on the street corner crying and asking to be worth no money to actually unlock that next level. But books are, by far and away, one of the biggest components of leverage that you can instill in your life. I think leveraging money from the financial sense of a bank, leveraging other people’s network and ability, and people working with other people, but then leveraging other people’s knowledge is a huge, huge level up. So I think leverage is probably the number one thing that you can do to get to those next levels in life.

Ash Patel: I love that. With me, I learned this mindset thing later in life. I was the guy who always helped other people change their mindset. For whatever reason, I never followed all the advice that I would give other people. Were you in the same boat, you came into this later in life?

Jake Harris: Yeah, I was the lone wolf, solo, just the same thing. I actually remember the first book for me that kind of unlocked all of this was Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. I read that when I was in the army, and I was like, “Oh, wow. That’s what I want to do.” And it’s not like it’s revolutionary information, but it’s just that light bulb moment. I actually would hang out with Robert Kiyosaki and go to some of these things in Phoenix and Scottsdale when he was down there… And then they would say things like, “Don’t buy properties that have negative cash flow,” and the market was taking off like a rocket ship, I was like, “What do they know? Ah, these old, curmudgeon guys… I’m so much smarter than them.” So exactly as your point. I feel like that was the best thing that ever happened to me, was getting humiliated, humbled in every single aspect of my life. That caused exactly as you said, a shift to say, “Well, I need to reverse-engineer all of this. I need to be a lot more introspective in my life. Is this the way that I want to live?”

And then I would say turbocharging that for me was when I found out I was going to be a dad. My wife was going off to work, because she was a [unintelligible [00:28:35].19] nurse, she was going to work graveyard, and she said, “Hey, I’m pregnant. I took one, two, three, five tests, they’re all pregnant.” To me, I don’t know if you’ve seen that movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper… It felt like I had one of those moments. Like, I took that NZT pill kind of thing. I was sitting there at the kitchen table and I played out all the permutations and possibilities of my life, and I was disappointed in myself, because I had all this potential, that I was like, “I could do this, I could do this.” I probably would have been comfortable on that path but it was like, “No. For my kids…” I now have three kids. But at the time, for being a parent and what I want for this kid is I want to live up to that potential, and go do that through action, and then I just started doing that. It was not until my mid-30s kind of thing that it really started kicking into high gear. I feel like it’s a journey, I’m always learning.

I just actually got back from a conference this whole weekend where it was focused on health, doing bloodwork and pulling up things to start actually measuring out. You think you’re doing the right thing, but are you really? Are you actually tracking that? So instilling those things into my kids became very, very important for me. And although my mom says I’m a special, unique snowflake, I think the reality is that I’m much more average, and there’s a lot of other people that want the same things out of life as what I want.

Break: [00:30:05][00:33:00]

Ash Patel: She called you a snowflake?

Jake Harris: I don’t think it was at the time of the…

Ash Patel: The beautiful snowflake.

Jake Harris: Beautiful as in unique and very [unintelligible [33:09] I use that because my mom loves me; almost like you could do no wrong. I think with my boys and my kids, to my daughter, to… Actually, now that I think about it, my wife, I think they could do wrong with her. I don’t know, maybe my mom was just overly loving and it didn’t matter what I did, she still loved me. But my dad was the kind of the hard ass, do the punishment and stuff, so I kind of translate that. You need both of it. You need the duality of life, both loving and accountability.

Ash Patel: Yeah. And again, I think it’s so important that everybody takes steps to improve their mindset. Often, success will mask the fact that you need to improve your mindset. Because if things are going well, you pat yourself on the back, your ego is through the roof, you’re thinking “Man, I’m killing it.” But in reality, everybody has room to improve their mindset. Great conversation.

Jake Harris: I would say the one other thing to that is by being around and surrounding yourself with a group like that that’s willing to hold you accountable, as you said, you go and you have accolades, and you get awards, trophies, or make more money, you do those other things//. That may be and you’re successful in 80% of your life, but when you’re with a group that has some authenticity and says, “What about this? You said you’re going to take your mom out to dinner. You said you were going to do these other things. Did you do that?” Does it actually have any effect on them whether you did that or not? But to that point, it’s just helping keep those next levels of those things that maybe you wanted to not talk about. You didn’t want to necessarily. I’m really awesome at coming up with excuses for myself. Having other people around there, that are like, “Hey, Jake. You said you were going to do that. Did you do it?” I think that’s just enough for me, knowing that someone else could call me out on that, that I’ll do it, for all of that 95% or 98% of things. I’ll follow through, whereas maybe my natural inclination would be only 80% of it.

Ash Patel: Jake, how do you stay on task? How do you achieve things? How do you hold yourself accountable?

Jake Harris: I think there’s certain things that naturally I do pretty well. My MO is — being the fact that I was kind of this entrepreneurial lone wolf, and I think there’s people that just have that… So I have a pretty high level of that in existence, because I just have this clock, an inner dialogue like “I’ve got to do more. I’ve got to do more. I’ve got to do more.” There’s a balancing of that, and I think what it was, again, being a parent… Ed Mylett mentioned this at one time, he said he believes that God put us on this planet, and when you go to heaven, or at the end of your life, you get to see your potential. This is the version of you if you’d done everything as the gifts I’ve given you. What his goal was, is to be the mirror image of that; living up to the full potential, and all the blessings, and all the things that he had been given, he lived up to that potential. I think that comes back to your question about how that mindset shift was. When’s enough enough? It’s never. It’s an uphill journey the entire way.

There is no coast, like, “Oh, I’m going to make it to 65 and I get to coast downhill. If I make it to a million, I make the thing, then I get to coast.” So when you actually get rid of the fact that there’s going to be an easier time down in the future… And picture this – I think Ryan Holidays Ego Is The Enemy is a good book for this. You’re just going to continue to level up, and the mountain goes forever until you die. And then when you die, you get to look back, and did you keep making year over year over year progress? Or did you stop on that mountain and start making yearly progress, and just keep looping around and around at that same level? So those systems I put in place… And hiring awesome people, being around accountability kind of groups… Again, I just have this internal motivation, and I look, is this the path that I want to lead to my kids? I can’t live my kids’ life. I know there are some helicopter parents that try to live their lives vicariously through their kids. Some of them try to force them. But the reality is I’m just going to be in the front row. I’m going to cheer them, I’m going to help coach them, I’m going to put them in the right situations, but they’re the ones that have to live their own life. Everyone has to live their own life. Even siblings and other people end up going down different paths. I don’t know what that is for them, but I’m going to try to instill that.

So that system is being challenged; life’s not fair – the sooner you learn that… Life’s an uphill battle the entire way, there is no easy coasting point, and then just preparing for that, for a long journey. I think from your question about mindset, those are the things that have unlocked my happiness. I’m not disappointed that things are hard. I just anticipate that everything’s going to be hard, so I can sleep better at night when I go doing that, knowing that this is the path that I’ve chosen.

Ash Patel: What is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Jake Harris: Action. Do [bleep [38:13]. Just go do it, literally. I don’t care what it is, you’re debating and thinking about doing it; you’re going to learn more, even if it’s losing money, then you would go and try to read it out of the book, or taking another course, or doing anything. Go do [bleep [38:31].

Ash Patel: Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Jake Harris: I’m ready.

Ash Patel: Let’s do it. Jake, what’s the Best Ever book you recently read?

Jake Harris: I read a lot of books. The Gap and The Gain by Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy. I’ll give you a quick synopsis of it. As entrepreneurs, as people that are trying to achieve and do better, we’re always focused on the last little bit. I want to get to 30, get to 25, I’m focused on why didn’t I get those last 5%. Focus on the 25; you started at zero you made it to 25. That’s going to put a position of better gratitude in your life.

Ash Patel: Jake, what’s the Best Ever way you like to give back?

Jake Harris: I send videos every morning. I typically send two to three videos to people while I’m finishing up my workout. I’ll just do my little iPhone and send a video message to them. I’m thinking about them, whatever it is, something funny just popped in my head… So I think that, because I appreciate that. Secondarily is really thoughtful gifts. It may take me sometimes a year, but it’s random… And I’ll send people random stuff, at random times just because I was thinking of them.

Ash Patel: I love that. I would love to get a video messaging. I would love to send one to somebody that I’m thinking about and make their day.

Jake Harris: Yeah. You have no idea. Maybe they’re going through something; maybe you have an answer to a prayer. Maybe they’re like “Is anybody out there a part of the thing?” We all have ups and downs, and maybe just seeing your face, say “Hey, I love you man. I really appreciate hanging out. It’s been too long. We haven’t had dinner or drinks or whatever, and… Just thinking of you. Kick butt.”

Ash Patel: I’m going to start doing that. Thank you for that. Jake, how can the Best Ever listeners reach out to you?

Jake Harris: So catchknives.com is probably where most of the content is, for the book. Instagram, @jake.realestate is where I’m most active. I know some of my team puts in other things via Facebook and other places. But those are the two main places. You can sign up for the blog or newsletter stuff. We also are going to be releasing some other elements of podcasts, specifically around contrarian investing. So that catchknives.com is probably the single point that’s going to give people the best access.

Ash Patel: Jake, I’ve got to thank you for your time today. We touched on a lot of different things – finding distressed real estate, mindset, just living a better life. Great conversation. So thank you for that.

Jake Harris: Awesome. I really, really appreciate the opportunity to spend some time with you. I know, as I said, it’s recording here during the holidays, and so away from your family… And  then whenever this does come out and air – I think it’s going to maybe come out in 2022… But man, get excited, people out there. It is an amazing, abundant time to be investing, and I really appreciate what the Best Ever show is putting out there and how you guys are hosting it. I really, really appreciate it.

Ash Patel: Awesome. Thank you again. Best Ever listeners, thank you for joining us. Have a Best Ever day.

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