He becomes a sheriff in 2006 and saves lots of money. He then gets in at the bottom of the real estate cycle in 2010 and buys lots of houses. After this, he starts a real estate brokerage and ends up as the host of BiggerPockets.

Danger In The Streets To Pioneering The Real Estate World, With David Greene

Key Points on Pioneering The Real Estate World

real estate
Photographer: Breno Assis | Source: Unsplash
  • David started working as a deputy officer in 2006 after studying psychology.
  • He always wanted to buy a house and he was saving up, but the 2008 crash came and the real estate market was bad for a couple of years.
  • He accidentally got into real estate as his friend was about to lose his deposit on a house due to moving. David decided to buy the house because it was a great deal for $195k.
  • He started renting the house but as a new landlord, he did everything wrong and had bad tenants.
  • He soon bought two more properties and hired a property manager. After this, he got a fourplex and realized that this is what he wanted to do.
  • However, in 2013 the market shot off in California, so he had to look around elsewhere. He soon got 2 houses in Arizona and that was the beginning of his long-distance investing.
  • David still had a full-time job working 15-18 hours a day, 7 days a week. He could afford to buy 2 sometimes 3 houses a year. However, his health was declining.
  • David kept working as a deputy officer for a year more while helping other cops buy their houses, doing 2 deals a month. David eventually hired an assistant and made the jump into real estate.
  • He got interviewed by the BiggerPockets podcast one day and became friends with one of the hosts, Brandon Turner. When the other host, Josh, stepped away from the podcast, he filled his space.
  • Recently, he started his own mortgage company out of frustration that he couldn’t find good loan officers. As he is the best in problem-solving situations, this is a very fitting position for him.
  • David has his own masterclass that he designed after GoBundance, an organization that he is a part of.
  • His future goals are to sell $50 million worth of real estate, do a minimum of 24 loans for the year, write a book about How To Be a Top Producing Real Estate Agent and grow his mastermind to over 100 members.
Moments of Truth with David Greene
  • Who is your success role model? Jocko Willink and Bruce Lee
  • What is your biggest success? His personality is the biggest success. He was very shy and introverted growing up, but his experiences in life shaped his personality to be confident and calm.
  • What does a typical day look like for you? He wakes up around 8:30 or 9:00 AM and goes for a run while listening to a podcast. Then he works in his office until around 9:00 PM.
  • What’s your favorite quote? “I do not fear the man who knows 10.000 kicks. I fear the man who’s practiced a kick 10.000 times.” – Bruce Lee
  • What are your hobbies? He loves basketball, working out and being around positive, inspiring people.
  • What is the best business book you’ve read? Cal Newport – So Good They Can't Ignore You
  • If there was one key piece of advice you could leave our listeners with about achieving success, what would it be? Raise the standard of what you expect of yourself.

About our Guest, David Greene

David Greene, real estate expert
David Greene

David Greene is a former Police Officer and co-host of the BiggerPockets Real estate podcast. The author of best-selling books “Long Distance Real Estate Investing”, “Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat”, and “Sell Your Home For Top Dollar”, David is passionate about helping others build wealth through real estate and runs the blog “GreeneIncome.com”. A nationally recognized authority on real estate, David has been featured on CNN, Forbes, and HGTV as well as over 25 different real estate podcasts. David runs “The David Greene Team”, a top producing real estate company in Keller Williams where he has won multiple awards for production and teaches agents how to excel in building their business. An active real estate investor, David owns single-family properties across the county, shares in apartment complexes, notes, and shares in note funds.

His Real Estate Website, His Investing Website, His Facebook


David is a former police officer and a top producing realtor in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of a few best selling books and the co-host of BiggerPockets, the biggest real estate podcast.

The Beginning

Photographer: Matt Popovich | Source: Unsplash

David started working as a deputy sheriff in 2006 after getting a psychology degree. He didn’t know what he wanted to do long-term, but he always aspired to buy a house. So he started saving up his money. Before the 2008 crash, housing was very expensive and David knew he needed a lot of money.

After the crash, in 2009-2011 the real estate market was in a horrible state. Many people were selling their houses and even though the prices were low, nobody wanted to buy a house. Everyone told David not to invest in a property because it would lose its value and he would lose his hard-earned money.

Looking back now, many new realtors in 2020 say that it was way easier to get into real estate investing in 2009-2011. However, according to David, they forget that nobody wanted to buy a house during that time and property was supposedly a bad investment.

David explains that it is easy to find reasons as to not start something new. “It was way easier 10 years ago and almost impossible now,” is a common thing to say. However 10 years from now, we will probably forget what those reasons were.

Therefore he encourages everyone to avoid looking for excuses and just start doing what they want to do. He always reminds himself whenever he is scared about starting something new that he will not remember these feelings in a couple of years’ time. This gives him the confidence to make the jump and go against his fears.

An accidental real estate investor

real estate in green environment
Photographer: Wynand van Poortvliet | Source: Unsplash

David says that he got into real estate investing by accident. He had zero aspirations and didn’t even know anything about real estate investing.

His friend from church got accepted to a college in another state and as a result, was about to lose his deposit on the house he had been trying to buy. David always wanted to buy a house so he decided to take a look. The price was good at first, $215k, but after talking to the agent it actually went down to $195k and he bought the house right away. However, he didn’t want to live in it so he decided to rent it out.

As a new landlord, he made every mistake possible. He didn’t do a credit check on his tenant and didn’t check on him very often either, because he was working full time as a deputy. The tenant ended up not paying the rent and even stole a check that arrived at the rental address instead of David’s actual address. This bad experience made him want to sell the house, however as the economy was in a bad state, he couldn’t.

One day, his mother brought to his attention that there was a cheap house for sale on her street. The price was very good at $183k and he bought that house too. The third house he bought was his grandmother’s who passed away. For the last 2 houses, he hired a property manager which turned out to be a great idea. He didn’t have to worry about bad tenants anymore, could focus on his daytime job and finding new deals.

Soon after, he found a fourplex for a great price. That was the first property where he actually did the math and he concluded that the ROI (he didn’t even know the term at the time) was only 3.5 years. This amazed him and he decided that real estate investing was what he really wanted to do.

Branching out

Photographer: Toa Heftiba | Source: Unsplash

As 2010 was the peak of people going into foreclosure, in 2013 (3 years later) they were eligible for a loan again. A lot of them did short sales and, learning from their previous mistakes, fixed-rate mortgages. They are called the “Boomerang buyers”. Unfortunately, as a result, the market shot off in California.

David thought he missed his chance and put real estate on hold for a year. One day he was watching TV and saw a realtor from Arizona who was talking about how Arizona real estate was still at the bottom with tons of opportunity and a lot of foreclosure inventory. This made David think. He wrote down the realtor’s number and called her the next day.

David ended up flying out to Arizona to check on some properties. He had saved up a lot from working tons of overtime hours and he bought 2 houses. One of them was appraised for less than what he was paying for, which was a mistake on his part. However it was enough for him to start thinking outside of California.

That was the beginning of his long-distance real estate investing. He later wrote the book “Long-Distance Real Estate Investing” about it. David started buying houses every 6 months or so. He worked hard, saved up, put a downpayment on a house and kept doing that until Arizona was too expensive.

He then started buying fixer-uppers and realized he could get all his money back this way. This was the inspiration to his famous book “Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat: The BRRRR Rental Property Investment Strategy Made Simple”. This book is the second best selling real estate book on Amazon.

Making the change

A man in front of a screen with a red arrow
Photographer: Frank Busch | Source: Unsplash

David was still working full-time as a police officer. He decided he wanted to buy as many properties as possible. According to him, law enforcement is not the best paying job, but at least he could do as much paid over-time as he wanted to. So he worked 15 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. This allowed him to buy 2 or even 3 houses a year, however, it was starting to ruin his health. His feet were hurting very bad, due to being on his feet all day and some days it was hard for him to walk.

Even his cop friends started to tell him to get into real estate full time. He also knew he had to think about his future so he decided to get his license as a real estate agent. He started talking to cops about his properties and they started to turn to him for advice if they were about to buy houses. David helped them and in a year he ended up doing 2 deals a month with them. As a result, he had to hire an assistant.

That’s when he realized that if he didn’t make the jump then, there wouldn’t be a better time. He left law enforcement and got into real estate full time.

Building a good foundation for the business

David believes that the best way to learn something is to teach it to somebody. Working with his assistant, he realized that he didn’t even know why he was doing things in a certain way. So he wrote down everything he was doing and organized it to create a system that he could teach to his employees.

David knows that there are millions of real estate agents out there in the market and it is hard to stand out from the competition. According to him, most real estate agents are trying to be friendly, nice and agreeable, which he is not. So he trained his assistant to make the clients be the friendly one. On the other hand, he’s been on CNN, hosts his podcast, writes best-selling books, which help people to see his expertise. When potential clients don't see his expertise, they go with whoever is the most agreeable person. He had to learn that he cannot win everybody over and his business style is to be frank and honest. He built his business around his weaknesses and he knows that it's okay to not be good at everything.

David’s goal is to create value for his clients, protect their money and to build their wealth.

Getting into mortgage

According to David, he is probably one of the most frustrated individuals that anyone will ever meet. He is a big proponent of the DISC profile, and he is a DC. As he explains C wants everything to be perfect and D wants to do it fast. This can easily make him frustrated, as it is impossible to make things perfectly in a short time.

This frustration became prevalent in his business too, as he couldn’t find enough loan officers that met his standards. He was always geared more towards numbers and analytics than emotions, so he decided to become a loan officer himself. This allowed him to focus on solving problems and to make things happen. David says, that many people are afraid of responsibility or to decide fast on things. He is the opposite of that, as his experiences in law enforcement taught him to think fast and not be afraid to take responsibility.

He started a mortgage company with a partner a couple of months ago. David finds the clients while his partner closes on the loans and teaches David.


Podcasting setup with headphones, wires and professional microphones around a table.
Photographer: Jonathan Farber | Source: Unsplash

As he started to become an accomplished real estate investor, he got interviewed by the biggest real estate podcast, BiggerPockets. He had the hosts’ numbers and later invited one of them, Brandon Turner, to a GoBundance meeting. Brandon ended up joining the group, and soon they went on a group trip together. During this trip they realized how similar they were. They both are introverted and like to do similar activities. So they became good friends.

The BiggerPocket podcast was struggling at the time. The other co-host, Josh, was leaving and David wanted to fill his space. However, BiggerPockets only wanted their employees to do the show and were not looking for outside people. So David started to get to know the leadership at the company and offered his help if they ever needed it.

A couple of weeks later, he got a chance to do one episode. It went well, but the guest was a bit too nervous because he was not fully prepared for the show. David offered to call the guests before each show to make sure they knew what to expect. His constructive attitude won over BiggerPockets and he became a co-host. The show has been incredibly successful ever since.

His mastermind

Alongside his real estate and mortgage businesses and his podcast, David started a mastermind in 2019. He has learned a lot during his GoBundance meetings and wanted to help other entrepreneurs flourish too. GoBundance is an organization for successful, millionaire entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors, who would like to share their successes, struggles, ambitions, and failures to other likeminded men. They are very honest and transparent with each other and help each other a lot. There is a financial requirement to get into GoBundance, so David decided to help entrepreneurs who are set for success, but aren’t there yet financially. The mastermind has around 70 members now.

The bright future

Charting Goals and Progress
Photographer: Isaac Smith | Source: Unsplash

David set big goals for 2020. He has 4 areas he’d like to succeed in.

The first goal is to sell $50M worth of real estate. The second goal is to kick start his loan company and do a minimum of 24 loans a year, 2 a month. His third goal is to finish his new book for BiggerPockets about How To Be a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. This is a tough goal because the book might turn out to be a 2 book series. His fourth and final goal is to grow his mastermind to over 100 members. This would allow them to invite some bigger names, like book authors or famous entrepreneurs, to teach the members.

Along with his main 4 goals, David has many smaller goals for the coming years and we have no doubt he will reach them too.