November 5, 2022

JF2984: Scaling a High-Growth, High-Profit Business ft. Don Wenner

Don Wenner is the CEO and founder of DLP Capital, a high-growth IMPACT investor that leverages capital with real estate-backed investments. In this episode, he discusses how he reached $4B in AUM in 17 years, his book titled Building an Elite Organization, and why hiring and developing leaders is integral to scaling your business. 

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Don Wenner | Real Estate Background

  • CEO and founder of DLP Capital, a high-growth IMPACT investor that leverages capital with real estate-backed investments. They focus on sectors and property types that help to address the housing affordability crisis in America. 

  • Portfolio:
    • Manages over $4B in real estate assets
  • Based in: St. Augustine, FL
  • Say hi to him at:



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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, Don Wenner. Don is joining us from St. Augustine, Florida. He is the CEO and founder of DLP Capital, a high-growth impact investor that leverages capital with real estate-backed investments. They focus on sectors and property types that help address the housing affordability crisis in America. Don manages over $4 billion in real estate assets. Don, thank you for joining us, and how are you today?

Don Wenner: I'm doing wonderful. Thank you for having me on today.

Ash Patel: It's our pleasure. Don, 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?

Don Wenner: Absolutely. So as you said, I'm here in St. Augustine, Florida today, where our company is headquartered and has been for the last seven or eight years. I started the company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 17 years ago, as a college student at Drexel University. I started in residential real estate, home brokerage and home flipping, or residential brokerage and home flipping, and steadily grew the business into where it is today, where we invest, as you said, in workforce housing, we do so as a ground-up developer, we do so as a value-add operator, we do so as a joint venture partner to other operators... And then our largest area of how we invest money is actually as a lender, lending capital to other sponsors. We do this largely throughout the Sunbelt region, with a lot of focus here in Florida, in Texas, and the Southeast as a whole.

Ash Patel: Don, 17 years and $4 billion of assets under management. How did that happen?

Don Wenner: It's amazing things can happen pretty quickly. We've all heard the saying of the overnight success... So it took us until July of 2020 to hit a billion in AUM, and then went from a billion to 4 billion here in a little over two years. But at DLP this is, as you said, year 17. We've grown our revenue every single year by over 60%, for 17 straight years. 10 years in a row it was one of the Inc 5000's fastest growing companies in America. So kind of this pace of growth, we call it the 20-mile mark, the disciplined path of consistent growth. It's what we've been doing for 17 years.

I wrote a book on the topic called "Building an elite organization" on the topic of scaling a high-growth, high-profit business. We haven't had a three-year period where we haven't grown by over 300%, we haven't had a five-year period where we haven't 10x-ed the business, any five years you pick in the last 17 years.

Ash Patel: Alright. Well, take me back to the beginning. How did you know all the content that's in your book? Did you have a mentor? Did somebody take you under their wing? Did you read a similar book to what you wrote?

Don Wenner: Wonderful question. So I guess bit of all the above, right? So one of our core values and organization is driven for greatness, which sounds really cool and is really cool, but really what it means is seeking knowledge. From my very beginning, I went out and sought knowledge, I sought out people who had expertise and knew what I wanted to learn. So that was reading lots and lots of books. So for the past 15 plus years I've consumed two or three books a week, and learning from the greats such as Jim Collins, John Maxwell, Sean Covey, Stephen A. Covey... And then specifically read a book about 10 years ago called Traction, a pretty famous book today, by my good friend Gino Wickman, on a system called EOS. We implemented EOS into our entrepreneurial organizational system, and it really helped provide some systems, tools and structure and common language for our organization to operate on. Then we pulled in the best ideas from Vern Harnish on scaling up, and other systems, and ultimately we were we were running our own system, built a lot of custom tools and applications to really be able to scale and get to that next level.

Challenge one for a lot organizations to get to the point of running 10, or 20, or 30, or 40-person organization. When you go from 40 people to 400, it adds additional levels of complication, communication challenges. Not everybody can be in the same meetings, not everybody is in the same offices anymore, which of course is quite commonplace today, since these post COVID days... But it's a lot of input, a lot of great experts, a lot of masterminds, a lot of organizations I'm a part of, such as Tiger 21, and R360, and Gobundance, and different organizations. Now we started our own mastermind group per se, called Our Elite Membership, with high-quality real estate operators, sponsors, developers, a few years ago now, and get to learn from the best at what they do in the world of real estate and outside of the world of real estate.

Ash Patel: Don, a lot of things had to have gone right for you to get to where you are today. Looking back on that explosive growth, what were some of the hardest growing pains you had to endure?

Don Wenner: So I'd say that every issue I have today in my organization, every challenge I have today, and then really when I look back over the years, each of the challenges we faced ultimately were a leadership challenge. So anytime we've had a challenge, it's simply we've lacked appropriate leadership. So that's really the hardest part of building businesses; there's a great or a terrible quote I've heard many times, depending how you want to think about it, which is "Businesses would be so easy if it wasn't for the people." So hiring and developing people, and more specifically leaders, is really challenging. And step one, for a lot of leaders, entrepreneurs that grow a business is to get people to follow you. Then you get to the point where you can lead other leaders, and then lead leaders who develop other leaders is kind of the big challenge we face today, is having multiple layers. There are many people who report to me who are responsible to develop other leaders who manage people, and the ability to develop leadership within an organization is the greatest challenge that I faced over my 17 years; the greatest opportunity, one of the most rewarding parts of growing a business is the ability to pour into and invest in people and develop them in a way that the lessons and energy and effort you provide into them provide 100x impact, because you know, you've developed them, they're going to develop other leaders, and hopefully carry that on to multiple levels of leadership, in the organization, and ultimately outside the organization.

Ash Patel: So Don, when you say leadership, it sounds like you're pointing to you, because ultimately, you're the finite leader of this organization.

Don Wenner: That's a great comment. Jim Collins, who I'm an enormous fan of, says "Most entrepreneurs are time tellers. And they often complain that they're time tellers." And I'll explain what it means, but the reality is, that's what they choose to be. And what I mean by that is, most leaders and entrepreneurs in organizations are running an organization in a way that they're the only person who can tell time. Meaning anytime there's a problem, anytime there's a decision that needs to be made, they're the only one who can solve that problem. So it all comes back to them. And many entrepreneurs I hear complaining, "You know, I have to do everything, I can't find good people, I can't develop people, I can't get leaders." The reality is they haven't invested the time, the energy, the effort to develop other people to be capable of making decisions. They haven't done the hard work of teaching somebody to fish, versus giving them the fish.

Jim Collins says the sign of a great leader is a clock builder. When you're able to build other people capable of telling time; where not every decision, every problem has to come to you. And that's been the great challenge, is the challenge of developing leaders, is getting other people capable of making decisions. It's the only way you can get to the scale we're at today, let alone with the goals we have ahead. All decisions can't be made by me. I can't be the be-all-end-all, the only person who can see through the forest to make the decision. So that's been a major realization I'd say 5, 6, 7 years ago, where I put a tremendous amount of my time over the last many years.

Ash Patel: Yeah, incredible story. Don, you went from all types of different real estate assets to primarily focusing on lending. Now, the typical person starts out single0family, or multifamily, or they might go into commercial, or they might scale to multifamily... But you've found lending. Is that the holy grail of all the things that you've done so far?

Don Wenner: Wonderful question. Let's first start with saying - so today we own about 17,000 single-family and multifamily rental homes for around 2.6 billion. We have 12k or 13k units, lots in development and construction right now; that's mainly a mix of multifamily and single-family build for rent communities. And then we have a couple billion dollar lending portfolio, where we're lending on essentially all the same things we invest in directly.

So what our model has been is we build our expertise, our knowledge and our investment strategy. So at the beginning, we became experts in flipping homes, and then we started lending on flipping homes as well. We became an expert in building a single family rental portfolio, and began lending on that. We became an expert in homebuilding, building new single-family homes, then started lending on that. We became experts in value-add multifamily, and became a lender in that space. Now we've grown heavily over the last number of years as a ground-up developer, and now are very active lender in that space as well.

So for us, what's made our lending business so exciting and has grown so much is the fact that we're experts in the actual investment strategies, so we can bring more to our borrowers than just the capital. We can provide them expertise, resources, support as we're investing directly in these strategies. And then it also helps us, of course, reduce risk, because we have a deeper level of knowledge and understanding to the business model, the numbers, the expectations, than typically a lender would have. But a more direct answer to your question - lending is a phenomenal business. It's a much more scalable business, so it's a much easier way for me to 100x my impact by being able to lend the capital out to 100 other sponsors, versus having to do all of the execution in-house. We looked at it as a great way to scale our ability to impact the affordable workforce housing crisis and grow our platform.

Ash Patel: Don, if there's a syndicator that wants to use you as a lender, how do they approach you? What are the terms? And why are you better than a run of the mill lender?

Don Wenner: Yeah, wonderful question. So to start with - probably people are going to be listening to this podcast and may have not... You know, you and I got the pleasure of meeting at your conference this past year, which we'll be at again, and actually running a bunch of VIP content there... But there's gonna be people listening who have never heard of us and maybe think "I go out to my lending broker and he doesn't bring me any term sheets from DLP. How come I don't ever see terms from you guys, or see you guys out there pricing in the market?" Because we don't do that. We're not out competing with other lenders. We don't think of other lenders as our competition, because we're not out there competing on term sheets, trying to fight for transactional business. We don't do transactional business.

What we focus on doing, and how most people do business with us is we meet them out at an event like the Best Ever event, or another industry event, or they get referred to us by one of our operators, and they join us at one of our events, or one of our joint events, like the one we're going to be doing with you guys, and we get to know each other, and we provide them not just capital, but we actually do -- most of our borrowers are part of what we call our elite membership, which is a community of masterminds I mentioned earlier, where we really pour heavily into our sponsors, helping them scale their business; we help them with hiring, we help them with leadership and development, we help them with scaling their business, we help them do what the book calls "build an elite organization." And by building it, we provide the technology to do that. And by building this deep relationship, we end up building a pragmatic financial relationship, we end up becoming their primary lender. We end up becoming, in many cases, an equity partner with them as well, a joint venture equity partner. But we focus on building really deep relationships with those who know what they're doing, have the desire and passion and ability to really scale a business, that we know if we pour into them and invest in them, they're gonna be able to scale, and in turn we're gonna be able to scale.

So for the most part, we meet these people coming to our events. So anybody can go to and click Events, see the events we do, and we meet them out there, or at an industry event, and start building relationships, and get to know each other, and then we're able to then customize what kind of financing needs they have based on their business model. And we work with single-family value-add guys, flippers, rental operators, home builders, developers, self storage, RV, mobile home... Kind of across the spectrum.

Ash Patel: Yeah. Don, I do non-residential commercial, so strip malls, office building, warehouse, industrial... Is that a possibility to get lending from DLP? Or do you stick with residential?

Don Wenner: We don't do much of that. So our mindset is -- that's not where we're experts. So if a multifamily operator, as an example, that we are lending to and partnering with, says, "Hey, I'm buying an office building in my hometown, because there's some great investment opportunity, or because I'm going to put my company in that building", or something to that effect, we'll lend to them. So we ended up doing all different types of commercial lending. But we're doing commercial non-housing related lending to primarily housing operators. We have loans against hotels, office buildings, retail, industrial, flex, you name it, but we're not looking for that business.

Ash Patel: Alright, so I've got to do a multifamily deal with you first, and then do strip malls. Got it. Awesome. Don, so tell me more about this mastermind. What is the goal with the mastermind and who's your target audience?

Don Wenner: So the goal is to build deep, meaningful relationships with great sponsors, who we can pour into, help them scale, help them create jobs, help them create affordable workforce housing, that we believe if we spend our time and energy and resources in them, they'll be able to scale faster and more effectively, and make a bigger impact. So we're looking for those who already have a business model that's working. They already know how to have a niche, they know how to do well, right? They're a great value-add, or multifamily operator, they're a great homebuilder, they're a great developer... When I say great, meaning they've got a model that's profitable, that's working. That doesn't mean they have it all figured out, it doesn't mean they're doing everything perfect, it doesn't mean they're running a credible organization, it doesn't mean they filled all the needed leadership seats in the organization, it doesn't mean they're executing perfectly. But if they have a business model that really works, they have dynamic leaders who are really motivated and driven to build a great business, to build an organization that can really make a difference in their community or in the communities they invest, and really want to build something. And there's a lot of real estate guys who are happy to do four or five deals a year, or whatever that number may be, and maybe the goal next year is do four or five little bit bigger deals, but just like to do deals - there's nothing wrong with that. But that's not who is a fit for us. It's those who really are going to build an organization and are going to then deal with the gift and the challenges of hiring and developing leadership, and building out operations, and they need support there, and resources. Those are the people who we are looking for, who are value-aligned with us.

We have a chug test at DLP for all of our employees and for anybody we do business with - you want to go out and have a beer with this guy or gal, it's somebody you want to spend time with. Somebody you want to spend time with not just when things are going well, but also maybe when things aren't going so well; you're not gonna want to avoid their phone call and think "Oh man, this son of a gun is going to call me again. I really don't want to have to talk to them."

So we look for great people, we've got a really solid business model, and a desire and passion and ability to scale. And then we pour into them. And by us pouring into them, it reduces our risk in partnering with them and providing them lending, because they build a better business, but it also drives our scale, because we can help a group go from coming to us and owning $100 million real estate and help them grow to a billion; we're gonna be able to deploy a lot of capital together and grow our platform. And that's really why, as I mentioned earlier, in the last year we went from 1 billion to 4 billion, is because we've made finding great sponsors that we can partner with the center of organization. So 75%-80% of that growth has come from partnering with other great sponsors, that we can deploy our capital with them and our resources, knowledge and tools with them to scale their platform, and in turn, ours.

Break: [00:16:49.24] to [00:17:48.22]

Ash Patel: I think back to some of the operators that I've invested in, and man, if I could dive into their organization and fix them a little bit, I'd have a better chance of getting a better return on my money. So I love that model. Don, what overwhelms you today?

Don Wenner: So the alternative question people use - and I like that, what overwhelms you; I haven't been asked that way... But I usually get the "What keeps me up at night? What stresses me?" type question. And my standard answer, which is true to especially last night, is I have a one-year-old who's not sleeping very well of late, so I'm up quite a bit with him... But in all seriousness, other than that, I've really focused a lot over the last 8-10 years, and actually tomorrow I've got the shirt sitting here... Tomorrow is Living Fully Day at DLP, which by the time somebody listens to this will be too late for them to take advantage of what I'm gonna say, which is anybody could go online and join our Living Fully Day virtually... But Living Fully Day is a day we do at DLP where we focus on kind of everything outside of work for a day. And we've got people coming and leading sessions on meditation, and fitness, and financial independence, and all kinds of different experts teaching on different topics, and a really fun day. We do a lot of cool stuff, we have a massage therapist coming in the office... We've got all kinds of cool stuff happening.

But Living Fully Day, we like to say, at DLP, is the day that is really fun, but it's really just the start of the concept of one of our core values, which is Living Fully, which is - I believe real success in life comes when you can achieve your goals in all areas of your life. And we call it the eight F's of life: faith, family, friends, freedom, fun, fulfillment, fitness and finance. So I believe that if you can be achieving your goals and what you want out of life in all of those areas at the same time, that's real success.

So I work really hard to master the concept of living fully, or another way to think about it is what we call work-life integration; integrating all the priorities in my life as a part of one overall plan. So I'm a head coach of two football teams right now for my kids, I have three children, including a baby, as I mentioned a moment ago... We travel the world, we cyber-school our kids, and we travel... We'll actually be coming to the Best Ever Conference after two months in New Zealand, after a couple weeks in Hawaii... We integrate all the different parts. Yes, I certainly work really hard, and more hours probably than most people, but I'm home for dinner most days, I'm engaged with my kids, and my wife, my faith, and my fitness, my health... And when you can feel that you have all those areas working together, a part of one plan, it gives you a sense of peace and fulfillment that I know what I'm doing each minute of every day, including right here with you right now is intentional, and it's a part of achieving goals I've set in different areas of my life.

So that kind of feeling that I'm spending all my time intentionally on things that are moving me towards the achievement of my goals, and it's aligned with my calling, or my purpose, it makes me feel really great. We all have moments of overwhelmness, we all have a day where we're going from meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting, and you don't get to email, and you haven't gotten a phone call since the end of the day, and you're filled up, and you can't get through and unburied - we all get those moments. But being able to have discipline and structure in your life, and usually by the end of the day I do my evening routine, and after our kids go to bed, my wife goes to bed, I spend a couple of hours clearing out the email, clearing out the day, preparing for the next day in quiet... And that allows me to re-center, and end my day with prayer, and meditation, and journaling, and be ready to tackle the next day with both feet hitting the ground and jumping out of bed in the morning, which is how I start most days.

Ash Patel: Yeah, evening routine. It's not something that you ever hear. Everyone's got a morning routine. I like that. Don, back in the day when you were coming up, what were the things that overwhelmed you, and what advice would you give people that are in organizations that are scaling, and they're having growing pains?

Don Wenner: I'll start wit the end there. So teams are having growing pains and challenges and frustrations, and it probably ties in with your overwhelming kind of comment... So I don't have many days where I'm not extremely frustrated at least five or 10 times throughout the day. Now, you talk to most people in my organization, they're going to tell you, "I don't understand how you handl the pressure, with all the things going on. You seem so calm." I believe in stoicism, and keeping calm, and meditation helps... I got this first edition book by Ryan Holiday, one of my team members gave me yesterday called "Discipline as destiny." So I believe in being able to keep calm, and I didn't have that patience as much when I was younger; I'm definitely an impatient person, and very driven to move forward very quickly... But I've been able to learn the discipline of not overreacting, and staying calm. But I'm often very frustrated. And I think if you're not very frustrated - and it's the difference between feeling frustrated, and then showing it, and especially showing it to people who report up to you, and so forth, and to colleagues, and clients... But to feel frustrated, and feel like 'Man, we should be doing this better, we could be moving faster, we shouldn't be dealing with these issues anymore..." If you're not feeling that way, or if you have employees in the organization who aren't feeling that way, odds are they're not that committed, they're not that focused. Because if you're really committed on being great at what you do, and really focused on it, you're gonna see things all the time that frustrate you, that you can do better. And sometimes out of that frustration I might go from one meeting to meeting to meeting the meeting, which is most every day, and now by the end of the day I've been in seven different meetings, on seven different topics, and one of the top jobs of a CEO or a leader is to solve issues. So I spend a lot of my day solving issues, being in meetings revolving around what's not going well.

And so by the time you're done with the seventh issue, and seven different things that are going wrong, it can feel overwhelming to say, "Well, what's the biggest fire that I'm going to spend my time on? What's the biggest priority?" So some of the things we've done to help us deal with that is we implemented a couple really powerful tools we use in our organization. One is what we call "Wildly Important Goals", or WIGs, the acronym for it... Which is we figure out what is the biggest goal for every team in our organization, and then focus on that goal every week. We meet every week in a weekly meeting, and every person makes one or two commitments to what they're going to do by the next week to move the ball forward on that big goal.

And then every quarter at DLP, every team member has three professional top priorities, or rocks, and three personal top priorities are rocks. And by just making sure we spend 10% or 15% of our time on the really important things - in our world, that's our rocks and our WIGs - it's amazing what we can get done in 90 days. That doesn't mean you're ever not going to have a whirlwind of stuff you're dealing with.

A great way I like to think about it is what's urgent is rarely important, and what's important is rarely urgent. But certainly, the urgent feels really important. And the reason why the urgent happens and why it consumes us is because you don't have to do anything for the urgent stuff to happen. It acts upon you. All you have to do is react to it, right? It's coming at you; stuff is hitting you. The important stuff you have to act upon. You have to be proactive and put forth the proactive activity for it to move forward.

So people think "Well, I don't have time to do rocks or WIGs or put these kinds of things in place, because I'm so busy." It's not about replacing the busy, it's about spending a small amount of time on the things that really matter. You're still gonna use most of your time with the urgent, but it's amazing what can happen in 90 days, let alone six months or a year or years, when you can set aside a small amount of time every day, every week, to what's really, really important, that's going to move you towards your goals, is going to move the organization forward. And few organizations do that, and do that well.

Ash Patel: Such great advice. Best Ever listeners, rewind that a little bit, listen to it a few times. Don, how do you deal with, to paraphrase, "We should not be dealing with the same mistake over and over again"? What would Don say in a meeting? Because I would say "Listen, I'm from Jersey..." I would lose my mind, and just speak my mind. How do you do it?

Don Wenner: So one of the tools we use in our organization is a tool we developed called the Executive Idea Summary. And it requires whoever is the leader of this issue, or whoever the owner of this issue is, to fill out this little one-page form outlining the core issue that we're dealing with, why is it an issue, proposing a solution, listing out the pros, the cons, the timelines, and the owner of that solution. So most of our meetings revolve around people bringing forward issues, but they also have to bring forward a solution, and a plan, and an action. And sometimes the solutions that get brought forward is not what we end up with at all. But they had to at least come forward with a solution. Because it's very easy, it doesn't take a really smart person or a really great leader to see a problem. It's very easy to see when things aren't working well in an organization; it hard to come up with a solution, it's hard to solve the problem. It's not hard to see it in an entrepreneurial business. There's fires going on everywhere. That's easy. The hard work is to bring forward the solution. And part of that is not allowing us to continue to have the same issue again and again and again and again. So when we have an issue and something doesn't go right, for us to do the after-action review, to kind of use the military term - "Alright, why is this an issue? What went wrong? How do you make sure we don't ever deal with it again? How do we learn from it, so it doesn't happen again?"

So that is, to kind of your question, one of the areas that does drive me nuts, and why we put tools like this in place. If we deal with a problem, if we do something wrong, we make mistake, and we have to deal with the consequences of it, that's okay; we'll learn from it, we'll improve, we'll fix it, we'll be better next time around. But if we don't do that, and now we have the same issue again, and again, that's what's really frustrating; when we haven't taken the time to learn from what we did wrong the first time. And it's common in young organizations, but that is one of the most frustrating things to experience.

Ash Patel: How do you assign an owner for each problem?

Don Wenner: We have in our organization a to-do, every task can only have one owner. And I believe that if there's two owners, no one owns it. So there has to be one singular owner responsible for any task, any priority. It doesn't mean there's can't be co-dependencies, or other people responsible for it; I might own something and I might need three or four other people to own a piece of that. But ultimately, it rolls up to me to make sure that the overall priority gets done.

So when you have an issue in an organization, the typical owner is the person whose team or department - or in a small organization, the individual who's most affected by the issue, who's the one who the issue is affecting his or her day to day world, has to be the one responsible for solving it, right? It can't be somebody who's detached from the issue, who's not dealing with it personally, they can't be the one making the decision; they can weigh in on it, they can be involved in it, they can offer support, but the person who's gonna actually have to own the implementation of the solution, that's gonna have to live with the decision we make around this issue... Because not every issue gets solved. If somebody brings forward an issue, the outcome can be we do nothing, and we accept it, and we live with it, and we're going to be okay it's an issue. We know it's an issue, but it's not worth us solving it today; or the decision can be "We're going to solve it and we're going to fix it." What can't happen is that there's no decision. So you have to make a decision. We're going to accept this as an issue, but right now, it's not as big of an issue is something else. So we're going to live with it, we're gonna stop whining about it, we're gonna stop complaining about it. We can't do anything about it right now. Maybe we're not gonna do anything about it for 30 days, or 90 days, or a year. But we're not going to talk about anymore, and we're not gonna make excuses about it anymore. We're living with it. Or we're going to solve it.

Sometimes the issues that -- when you have limited resources in an entrepreneurial organization, the solution has to be we're not doing anything about it. Yes, we need a better technology. Right now we don't have the person to lead that, or we don't have even the process built out that would even go in the technology. We don't yet know what kind of technology we even need. Whatever the case is, you have to first decide, "Alright, we're not going to worry about the technology today. We're going to operate out of this Excel document. We're going to get really good at the process, and then we'll move out of Excel into a system. But we're not dealing with it now." That's a decision, and everybody can get behind that decision. It's not in the limbo that no decision is made. You have a problem because nobody's made a decision. Once a decision is made, you don't have a problem anymore. Now you just have to implement a solution.

Ash Patel: Yeah, I love that mindset. And thinking back to my corporate days, I wish the company that I worked for embraced some of that mindset as well. Don, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Don Wenner: I'm ready.

Ash Patel: Alright, Don, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Don Wenner: I'll go with Sam Zell's comment of "We don't buy markets, we buy deals. And there's always deals."

Ash Patel: I love that. Don, what's the Best Ever book you recently read?

Don Wenner: Best Ever book I've recently read... So I read a lot of books. So I guess I'm reading this one right now here, so I'll go with this one, "Discipline is destiny" by Ryan Holiday. But his better book is called "The obstacle" by Ryan Holiday. I highly recommend it.

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

Don Wenner: So I gave a full presentation yesterday on philanthropy for about three hours. This is a very relevant topic. But what I tried to do is leverage my organization, the resources, the knowledge, the special skills and abilities we have as our platform for giving back. So the biggest area we're focused on is the affordable workforce housing crisis, but on a broader scale, we're focused on building communities.

Right now we're in the process of building a large community center in our home market here. We're also part of -- I lead an organization called Build Strong Academy. We're building academies, schools throughout the country to teach construction skills and trades, and to create jobs in that field, which is one of the biggest restrictors to afford housing today, is there's not enough people doing the work who have the skills to do the necessary labor. So I spend a lot of time on this, but those are a couple of the areas I'm focused on right now.

Ash Patel: And Don, how can the Best Ever listeners reach out to you?

Don Wenner: You can go to, you can click on Events, see all our events; you can find me on social media, you can go to my podcast, Impact with Don Wenner, and you're also welcome to email me at don [at]

Ash Patel: Don, thank you so much for your time today. I could probably talk to you for several more hours. I'm going to be respectful and wrap this up. You've had an amazing run. 17 years ago you started, 60% year over year growth, hitting a billion dollars in July of 2020, 4 billion today... Scary to think where you're going to be at in two years, but we'd love to have you back whenever you hit that next milestone. Don, thank you again for your time today.

Don Wenner: Thank you, Ash.

Ash Patel: Best Ever listeners, thank you so much for joining us. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave us a five star review. Share this episode with somebody you think and benefit from it. And as always, follow, like, subscribe and have a Best Ever day.

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