Announcing the 2018 Think Realty Honors Finalists | Think Realty

Announcing the 2018 Think Realty Honors Finalists

Think Realty Honors

This year, we received literally hundreds of unique nominations across all sectors of real estate.

Think Realty is proud to announce its 2018 Think Realty Honors finalists today. The finalists are peer-nominated investors who excel within their industry niches. The winners will be recognized at an award banquet on September 21st at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, preceding Think Realty's Conference and Expo on September 22-23 in the same location. This year’s list of Think Realty Honors finalists is comprised of real estate professionals in ten categories.

Carole Ellis, editor-in-chief of Think Realty Magazine: “This year, we received literally hundreds of unique nominations across all sectors of real estate. These examples of real estate investors' generosity with capital, network connections, time, and knowledge would be astounding to someone outside of our industry and were humbling to those of us already in it and aware. Our finalists are ideal examples of how real estate investing can be a vehicle, not just for wealth-building, but also for positive community impact. We are honored to work alongside them in the industry.”

To find more information about each finalist, click through the categories below!

Single Family Investor of the Year

Michael Green, MP Green Management Company

Why he invests in real estate:
“I love fixing up homes and taking them from run-down to beautiful homes families can live in. It’s also the highest-paying gig I’ve found for a 10th-grade dropout!”

Proudest Moment:
“I was able to take one of the biggest problems in real estate and solve it by completing a $45,000 renovation in seven days. I broke down every limiting belief I always had about contractors working together as a team to create an unbelievable outcome.”

On Solving Problems:
“One of my students was in a bad spot because a contractor who was supposed to install cabinets never arrived. We had a cabinet-installation learning day for my mastermind group.”

Tom Olson, Good Success, Olson Group

Why he invests in real estate:
“Housing is something people will always need. I want to live my life to glorify God by adding value to my communities, and one of the best ways I know to add value to people’s lives and in communities is through real estate.”

Favorite Sayings:
“Work to have to give.”
 “Be a conduit, not a bucket.”

What people say about Tom:

“Tom is always striving to make a difference not just in our geographical community, but also in our industry’s community.”

“Tom heavily invests in others with his knowledge and believes everyone should be a conduit as opposed to a bucket. He truly lives this every day.”

“Tom is the entire package.”

Real Estate Investing Services

Anthony Cazazian, Renters Warehouse

Real estate investing goals:
“My goal is to help investors achieve their goals of financial freedom through real estate.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“Getting involved in the single-family rental sector early in 2013 while the asset class was just beginning to become more institutionalized. Since then, I have helped two companies that service the asset class through lending and property management, [including] helping build the largest corporate-owned SFR property management company in the U.S.”

Why real estate?
“Single-family rentals offer many advantages over other investments, such as monthly cash flow, tax benefits, ability to leverage, diversification, downturn protection, inflation hedge, and many more.”

Brett Crosby, PeerStreet

Real estate business philosophy:
“I believe in putting all the chips on the table to invent and rethink entire industries. I enjoy the challenge of applying technology, analytics, and innovation in different ways than they’ve been applied before.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“That PeerStreet has become what I believe is and will continue to be a stable, long-term capital source for lenders and an investment platform for investors of all sizes to access real estate debt.”

Why real estate?
“To conceive new ways of transforming the core of the industry in a way that is beneficial to participants and society as a whole. Outside of my main career at PeerStreet, I enjoy developing personal real estate projects with my wife.”

Multifamily Investor of the Year

Hector Padilla, HP Capital Investments, Inc.

Why do you invest in real estate?
“Real estate is a time-proven investment vehicle that can be leveraged in creative manners to earn exponential growth, which leads to time freedom and financial freedom. Plus, it gives me the opportunity to be a blessing to many by providing housing, work space, and jobs.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“My biggest win has been learning that to create exponential growth you need five things: good self-esteem, self-confidence in your business, positive life and business philosophy, [ability to] take massive, skilled action with adjustments, and a time-proven mentor and team.”

What people say about Hector:
“His ability to structure deals with unique terms is what sets him apart as an industry leader.”

“He adapts to his clients’ needs with not just one solution, but multiple solutions.”

Joe Fairless, Ashcroft Capital

Why real estate?
“To help my investors achieve their financial goals. I believe if they achieve those goals, they will have more free time, and if they have more free time (as well as more money), they will use that time and capital to improve the world.”

Proudest moment in real estate:
“Receiving a voicemail on a Saturday from one of my investors saying our team has far exceeded his expectations.”

He’d like you to know:
“All of my revenue streams directly or indirectly have a philanthropic component. Since 2012, I have been offering advertising scholarships to Texas Tech students. All of the profits from my first two real estate books were donated to Junior Achievement, and this year, we launched BestEver Causes, where we highlight and support a new cause or charity each month.”

Commercial Investor of the Year

Madan Goyal, The Seven Group, PRG Balakieson

Why do you invest in real estate?
“It is a safe bet for potential gains, the need and demand for all kinds of real estate is increasing all the time, and, unlike man-made products and services, God is not making any more land.”

Proudest moment in real estate:
“On my very first investment, I intended to convert a house to offices. I got the zoning changed and got two tenants quickly after minor repairs and new entrances for each. [Now it generates] regular cash flow and I have refinanced it twice, to date, with major equity cash-out each time for other investments.”

What people say about Madan:

“He is the best in small- and medium-sized office buildings, warehouses, and similar properties.”

“He is most helpful to anyone interested in commercial property investment.”

Salvatore Buscemi, The Commercial Investor

Proudest moment in real estate:
“Raising $30 million from a hedge fund in NYC at the age of 29 to start my own distressed mortgage fund.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“My strong and consistent track record in all of our transactions. I’ve mastered when to call the tops and then prepare to buy at the bottom.”

He’d like you to know:
“I started my career at Goldman Sachs in NYC as an investment banker, then fell in love with commercial real estate investing.”

What people say about Sal:

“Sal is a highly intelligent, innovative, and sophisticated deal-maker who not only wants to make money but wants all of his investing partners to make money also.”

Property Manager of the Year

Shay Guldberg, Renters Warehouse

Real estate business goals:
“To help tens of thousands of investors across America invest, manage, and grow their real estate portfolios because we believe real estate investing is the sure path to long-term wealth and financial freedom.”

Proudest moment in real estate:
“Turning employees into real estate investors! We have many employees who, after working with us for a couple of years, have begun investing in single-family homes. Some still rent themselves but understand the benefits of getting started early.”

Rules for real estate:
“Always work to ensure both sides are treated fairly. At the end of the day, it’s about doing the right thing for all parties even if it means risking the bottom line sometimes.”

Marc Cunningham, Grace Property Management & Real Estate

Why real estate?
“We encourage our clients to invest in real estate because we believe it is the easiest way for a person to become financially independent over time.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“This is our 40th year of giving purpose and prosperity to our team of 18 people simply by focusing on bringing energy, clarity, and accountability to our office every day.”

What people say about Marc:

“Marc is a true leader in the industry. He runs an elite property management company and has worked with thousands of investors both large and small.”

“Marc has dedicated his life to property management.”

Private Lender of the Year

Troy D. Fullwood, Pinnacle Investments

Why real estate?
“It provides me the freedom to do what I want to do: spend time with my amazing wife and raise my four boys. It also provides me with the time and money to invest in my favorite charities and help other people.”

Proudest moment in real estate:
“One proudest moment was building a home-preservation model for Wall Street and the banking sector. Another is seeing students succeed and grow their investing businesses.”

Lessons learned:
“After investing for 22 years, I’ve learned some of the most important aspects to remaining in this industry is to give back and be flexible. Giving back helps build up more investors and change lives. Being flexible will allow you to change when the economy changes.”

Rob Barney, DHLC Investments, Inc.

Real estate goals:
“First, to help investors in first deed of trust mortgages build cash-flow quickly. Second, to help real estate investors (borrowers) find the right capital for their next profitable fix-and-flip.”

Why real estate?
“Whether you are flipping homes or lending money, you have the opportunity to change lives. It is gratifying to give borrowers access to funds and investors a profitable opportunity that gives them the ability to reach their goals and dreams.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“Having a caring staff and amazing investors that allow me to give back to the community. At the end of the day, it’s about impacting people’s lives both personally and professionally.”

Think Realty Industry Impact Award

“The Libbies” (Libby the Landlord Helper), Secure Pay One, My Landlord Helper

Why real estate?
“Real estate investing is a tool to help people build wealth and legacy. We believe in empowering investors to keep learning and examine and integrate technology tools that benefit them on the journey.”

What we do:
“[Through our daily video trainings] #LibbyLearns and #LibbyU, we focus on the bottom-line challenge: how to do more with less. A win in technology, for example, means a reduction in time spent on small, important tasks for an investor can focus on portfolio growth. We provide a platform to enable investors and property management companies to share best practices in a safe learning environment. We have a commitment to their success and ability to automate and dominate. Our goal is to take the mystery out of the noisy arena of all the new technologies available to real estate investors.”

Ross Hamilton, Connected Investors

Why real estate?
“Real estate is the most exciting and sensible investment. The risk is very low and the reward is very high.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“Being able to start off as a wanna-be real estate investor and make enough money to fund the building and growth of has been not just my biggest win, but my biggest life win. Fast-forward 10+ years, and billions of dollars move through our platform. Connected Investors has surfaced as the online meeting ground for buyers, sellers, and lenders to use to connect and transact.”

What people say about Ross:
“Ross chose to build something that would build new real estate investors rather than selling his company [when he received a lucrative offer]. Now, is growing at an explosive rate and serving more investors than ever.”

Rosario Terracciano, Clickinvest

Why real estate?
“Real estate is one of the few standing asset classes left that is ripe for data-driven disruption. It has always been an amazing instrument to build long-term wealth and net worth.”

What we do:
“Clickinvest is a real estate tech brokerage representing hundreds of investors in our local market. We level the playing field for mom-and-pop investors looking to operate like institutional players in the fix-and-flip/fix-and-rent arena and provide a faster, more efficient way of brokering investor real estate transactions and make an impact on our investor clients by giving them countless hours back on a weekly basis through the many efficiencies Clickinvest has created.”

Educator of the Year

Linda Liberatore, My Landlord Helper, Secure Pay One

Why real estate?
Real estate investing provides you a vehicle to build both wealth and legacy. I am an active investor, and I have seen firsthand how it establishes a work ethic and values for my family."

Why education?
“Education is what enables me to empower other people. Our business has always been a partnership with landlords and new investors looking for knowledge, resources, and direction to achieve growth and refine their definition of success.”

What people say about Linda:
“When we…needed a solution to our growing property management needs, Linda stepped up and showed us how to keep our inbox at 0, when to send files to legal, how to speed up the leasing process, and the importance of documenting all communications and setting up procedures to…ensure accuracy and accountability with our files, accounting, and staff.”

Bruce Norris, The Norris Group

Why real estate?
“I invest in real estate because I have studied market cycles and know how to get in at the bottoms and out at the peaks, it is one of the few assets that can have a known value yet be purchased at a discount, and it has tax benefits like no other asset class.”

Proudest moment in real estate:
I was negotiating with a seller who had called from my ad and sensed the seller was very depressed. Instead of pressing for the purchase, I handed him Og Mandinos book, The Greatest Miracle in the World. The next day when I checked back with him, he said the book had saved his life. He had intended to sell me the house, then kill himself.

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“Going from a one-man flipper to owning The Norris Group.”

Humanitarian of the Year

Damian Langere & Keith Wasserman, Resident Relief Foundation, Gelt Inc., & Domuso

Our Story:
“In 2008, we co-founded Gelt Inc., a real estate investment syndication whose acquisitions reached $1 billion in 2017. Five years ago, we co-founded Domuso Inc., which provides the multifamily industry with automated payment solutions and flexibility in paying rent for the renter. We also saw a real need for a different type of rental assistance, and so The Gelt Foundation (TGF) was formed to address that need. To date, TGF has given over 32 rental assistance grants, including a single mother of four who got behind on her rent after her brother died but had sufficient income [after being caught up] to continue paying on her own, Hurricane Harvey victims temporarily out of work, and a Vietnam vet facing eviction. All of those people have been able to continue living in their homes, paying rent on time, and contribute to their communities.”

Ken Lacy, Veterans Path Up Inc.

Our Story:
“In my mind, I believe investing my retirement into real estate (SDIRAs) is safer than the market and allows me to sleep better. The first investment property that my IRA invested in had a veteran move into it, and this began my passion. When the first veteran family that Veterans Path Up helped get into a home closed on their VA loan 10 months later, becoming homeowners and 100-percent self-sufficient, it was my proudest moment in real estate. On their journey during that period, this couple built a community garden in the backyard, the wife became an ordained minister, and they rallied the neighborhood to decrease crime and increase property values. Our model of ‘teaching a veteran to fish rather than giving them a fish’ resonates with civilians and military of all kinds.”

Master Investor of the Year

Adam Adams, Blue Spruce Holdings

Why real estate?
“Real estate is versatile, exciting, and a team sport. Also, I can control the value of it more than any other investment.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“My biggest win so far is being nominated for this award. I would never have expected this. I believe this came from the unique ways I have found success in networking and building a personal brand through podcasting and investing.”

Lesson Learned in Real Estate:
“I cannot go through my life with a second option because as soon as I do, I allow doubt in my mind. As soon as that happens, I’m going to fail. I never for one second believe I can fail. That’s what makes me who I am: unwavering faith, persistence, and determination. I never say ‘I can’t,’ only ‘How can it?’”

Charles Blair, Real Deal Meetup

Why real estate?
“Our group and our mastermind makes a difference in the lives of our members and their families.”

Biggest real estate “win” so far:
“After four years as a real estate investor, my partner and I became the largest minority owners of apartment buildings in downtown Baltimore. We owned more than 35 apartment buildings and more than 250 units.”

What people say about Charles:
“Charles has trained and mentored some of the top real estate investors in the area and has the greatest track record in the community for empowering his students to have the greatest success possible.”

“The man answers his phone at all hours and will do everything in his power to ensure the success of others.”

“Charles is one of the most creative real estate investing business minds in the country and teaches his students how to be a transactional engineer instead of just a rehabber or a wholesaler.”

Join the Finalists in Atlanta

Think Realty Honors Finalists are invited to attend the Think Realty Honors banquet at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta. Following the banquet, finalists and winners will attend the Think Realty Conference & Expo in the same location, September 22-23. To join them and gain access to the networking, education, and deal-making taking place at this event, click here.

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