Category: Investments
Air Date: 7.30.2021

After growing up struggling financially, Ralph DiBugnara knew he wanted more for himself and he didn’t want generational poverty to be his future. Today he is a successful serial entrepreneur and real estate expert. He is now the president of Home Qualified, a digital resource for buyers and sellers, and vice president at Cardinal Financial, a nationally recognized mortgage loan company. Ralph also hosts a series called The Real Estate Disruptors where he interviews guests on investing, property guidance, and advice. In today’s episode, he joins us to talk about how he is helping the next generation of aspiring real estate investors through a scholarship he created called The Generational Disruptors Scholarship Program. With 20 years of experience in mortgages and real estate, he shares why he believes this is a great time to get into real estate investment, why it’s not the best time to be flipping properties, and his thoughts on the short-term rental market. In addition to these investment tips, you’ll also find out how building his own brand on social media helped him grow his business and how to overcome the trap of being comfortable that prevents you from growing. For all this and more, tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to Ralph DiBugnara and his career in real estate.
  • Ralph’s goal of making a generational change and how real estate helped him achieve that.
  • How Ralph is trying to help the next generation not make the same mistakes he did through a scholarship he created.
  • How building his own brand on social media has helped him grow his business.
  • How he changed his mindset to put himself out there on social media.
  • The trap of being comfortable and how it prevents you from growing.
  • What he’s doing right now in real estate and where he sees the market heading.
  • Ralph’s tips for anybody wanting to get started as a real estate investor based on his own successes and failures.
  • Insight into his current strategy in terms of his ROI and exit plan.
  • The importance of patience and the opportunities Ralph foresees for the coming years.
  • The one question that Ralph would want to ask someone he’s investing with: What’s the long-term exit strategy?
  • What he’s most proud of in his career: the young people he is mentoring.
  • A book that Ralph recommends: Relentless by Tim Grover.
  • Why Ralph’s number one key to success is making yourself uncomfortable so you grow.
  • A practical tip to help you step out of your comfort zone.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ralph DiBugnara

Home Qualified

Cardinal Financial


Never Split the Difference

Kent Ritter


“RDI’m sure in most markets across the country and in the market that I’m in, the property prices are a little bit inflated because there’s a lack of inventory and there’s a feeding frenzy. But I still think because money is so cheap, if you’re willing to stay in real estate long term, you won’t lose long term. I experienced that because I was in a very, very high market crashed and because it had some staying power in it, I was able to dig out of it. It didn’t hurt me over the long term. So, I still think borrowing because rates are still at historical lows on large scale, small scale, residential, commercial is still in historical lows. I still think borrowing money this cheap will still always benefit you in the long run.


[00:00:36] KR: Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate, the show about how to passively invest like a pro. On each episode, I interview real estate experts who give their top investing advice, strategies, and tools that break down the insights into practical steps to avoid the pitfalls and make better investments. I want to help you passively invest like a pro. This is Ritter on Real Estate, and I’m your host, Kent Ritter.


[00:00:59] KR: Hello, fellow investors. Welcome to another episode of Ritter on Real Estate, where we teach you how to passively invest like a pro.

Today, my guest is Ralph DiBugnara. Ralph is a successful serial entrepreneur and real estate expert. After growing up struggling financially, Ralph knew he wanted more for himself and he didn’t want generational poverty to be his future. He wanted to make a generational change. Now, he’s the president of Home Qualified, a digital resource for buyers and sellers, and Vice President at Cardinal Financial, a nationally recognized mortgage loan company.

Ralph also hosts a series called The Real Estate Disruptors where he interviews guests on investing property guidance and advice. And last but not least, he started a mentoring program for inner city young adults called The Generational Disruptors Scholarship Program.

Ralph, thanks for being on the show today, man.

[00:01:46] RD: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

[00:01:49] KR: Yeah, it sounds like you’ve got a lot going on. You’ve come a long way. Now, you’re giving back. Before we dig into learning more about what you got going on now, give our guests and give our listeners an idea of kind of where you’ve come from and and how you’ve gotten to where you are today.

[00:02:05] RD: Yeah, sure. So, I’m born and raised in New York my whole entire life. I grew up in Brooklyn. I’ve lived in and around Manhattan, kind of the rest of my life, right across the river right now in New Jersey, but I’m kind of in around this area. I’ve been in mortgages and real estate now for about almost 20 years, which seems crazy. But it went really, really fast. I got into mortgages in 2001 and it was kind of right at the beginning of the rise, the first rise up where we were doing a crazy amount of business and they were offering these crazy loan programs, and I kind of rode that to 2008 like everybody else and the crash came and it kind of shook my whole entire world up within real estate and within my business.

As a property owner, it was really a start. I still have some properties from that time that I probably wish I didn’t have. But I still have those properties. And as far as mortgages went, it was really a start of my career because the industry completely changed at that point. I stayed in it and my biggest function still this day is running the mortgage company, which is my group does about $3 billion a year at this point now, and that’s mostly in the northeast, but we’re spread out a little across the nation. And then besides that my real estate portfolio was kind of a grow for a little while, it took a downturn, and then it started to slowly grow again. And over the last few years, I’ve acquired a significant amount. But those have always been my two real functions in this business.

[00:03:19] KR: Gotcha. Right on. Well, that’s great. You get experience on the owner side, the operator side and also on the lender side. So, it would be great to get your expertise here. You’ve mentioned something in your bio, this idea of wanting to make a generational change, and I love that idea. Because I think that just in the industry that we’re in, in real estate, when I encounter people, a lot of us think differently, right? We think kind of outside the box. We’ve taken a different path in life. We’re not doing the normal kind of 9 to 5. We’re investing in real estate versus stocks and things. So, definitely there’s a right turn or a different path taken somewhere. So, when you talk about wanting to make this generational change, I mean, what were you seeking, and how did real estate help you achieve that goal?

[00:04:09] RD: So, I think for me, my father was a teacher, he was an educator. He did that for about 40 years. He’s still doing it in some aspects. But my view of what you did for employment was really you went to work for one company, you stayed there for 30 years, you got your retirement and you kind of moved on. So, when I entered the mortgage business for the first seven years of my career, I worked at one company, it was a publicly traded company. In my brain, I was like, “Well, I never have to leave here. I don’t need a network outside of here. I don’t need to make friends. I can just stay here. I’ll stay here for my whole entire career.” It’s getting better every single year and that’ll kind of be the end of it.

And when the market crashed, my company closed like most companies, and my network that was in the company kind of scattered and they were all out of work like I was out to work. And I didn’t really know anybody. At that point, I was just like, I looked around, I’m like, “Well, I really did this the wrong way.” I have to really build myself up as a brand and a business so I have the leverage that has never really been happened to me again. And then I started the process of doing that. But it took a lot of hard lessons to get there. So, when I look at generations, I think that the new generation now is more entrepreneurial, and they want to be entrepreneurs. But I think in that, where I think it’s a mix of the old and the mix of the new right. I think that if you look at the people who are in their first years of businesses, that herd thins out a lot when you get to the 5 to 10, 15, and the 20. year mark, right? It’s like, the group gets more and more elite. And it’s good in one way that there’s less competition, but it’s bad in one way that people think that they can work a few hours at something or work a year a week at something and become a master of it.

The people who are really acquire generational wealth and large businesses and make an impact are people who master their craft. So, I’m trying to teach the people who are coming after me first, first not to make the mistakes that I’ve made and I want them to be able to get to that level and we’re not making the mistakes that I made. And the second time is having them realize that it’s maybe not what you’re seeing on social media every single day, and it’s not just a quick money or quick system that you can’t get there quick that you have to kind of build something when a foundation, but it’s a little bit of both.

So, I’m starting to educate people on— and I have been on how you do that. That was really part of why I created the scholarship. There was some more around it, but that was part of why I created scholarships to try to really help people avoid the path that I took, because it was a lot of hard lessons and lost money along it.

[00:06:21] KR: I think that’s awesome. You’re bringing up the bring up the folks behind you, like you said, and even created a scholarship to help fund some of these people to help drive change. I mean that’s a great service. You mentioned something, you mentioned, this idea of which I think is the mindset of a lot of folks is like you kind of – maybe it’s not the same company, but can you work for 30 years, and then you retire? That’s kind of it is, right? You kind of save up, save up, save up and, and hopefully that you have enough to live on until you kick the bucket, is kind of the traditional path. But you mentioned something about, you realized that as the company you were working at, where you felt like there was all this security. You felt like you can work there for 30 years, and things are always going to get better. And all of a sudden, that that was just wiped out, when ’08 came. What you said was, it sounded like you realize you needed to take ownership and in doing that, you wanted to build your own brand so that you could have the leverage. So, explain that to me, what does that mean?

[00:07:23] RD: Yeah, absolutely. So, I had no leverage, because nobody knew who I was. I was just kind of a cog in the wheel of this company. As a large producer of anything anywhere, you could become somebody who has leverage, but if you don’t create that for yourself, and I always tell people that want to be entrepreneurs, whatever it is, you could put 12 hours into anything a day and make money. Don’t think you have to stay in a job because if you’re going to work 12 hours for somebody else, you could work 12 hours for yourself. So, I kind of wanted it to be a combination of both where I kind of worked in a system still, but I have to build myself up.

So, I started to do that in general. And then social media became part of that, like, how do I build myself as a brand through social media, and I’m not a guy – I’m kind of shy and I didn’t really want to be in front of the camera. But I realized in 2014, 2015, I had this large division of mortgage professionals, right, but I wasn’t selling anymore. It was really just leading the division, recruiting, running the business. I realized I didn’t have any leverage, because I was this behind the scenes guy, where people kind of knew what I was doing. But to the outside world, nobody knew who I was. So, it’s like I have to stop putting myself out front, in the camera and doing that I can bring everybody else with me.

So, that’s kind of what I’m qualified started and as a company, as a media company, and I started making these first these tip videos, and then education, I started pushing, and I started putting myself up front, like this is my experience, this is how I got here. These are the mistakes I made. This is what I think you can do through substance, through the things I’ve done already not through just preaching and stuff. So, through that I really started to create my leverage.

An example of it is that I moved with my partner. I moved about 200 employees from one mortgage platform to another, almost three years ago at this point. And my leverage in the negotiations to cut our deal was really my social media that I had almost a bigger voice than the company had at that time, even though they were a top 10 lender, I had more more of a voice than they did going into negotiation. So, it really helped me negotiate a deal that gave me ownership in it. And then on top of it, it helped me grow – now I had a good technology piece behind me. So, it helped me grow the business from 600 million to 3 billion. But it was really all started with me investing in myself and putting myself out there and make myself kind of my own voice, my own business, my own backing.

[00:09:34] KR: I think that’s an awesome story and a great approach. I love hearing about how you were able to leverage your brand to negotiate a better deal there. But I mean, just from personal experience, I understand, I’m not a limelight guy by birth, I’d say. It’s some something you have to learn. So, talk to me a little bit about your mindset shift and how you changed your mindset to become putting yourself out and maybe you weren’t comfortable, but to be able to put yourself out there in that way.

[00:10:06] RD: I think I talk about a lot with people around me, it’s almost like a growth trap, right? From when we’re born, to the time we get to probably like 18, maybe even 21, for some people, we almost automatically grow. We get bigger, we get stronger, we get smarter. It’s almost like osmosis. It happens almost automatically and then we get to a point in our lives where we don’t necessarily continue to grow automatically anymore and we have to put the work in and make ourselves really, really uncomfortable to grow further than that.

So, for me, I wasn’t great in school so I don’t necessarily think I grew automatically through that process. But when I got into the work world, through a lot of hard work, I was able to really grow every single year and it kind of created this new growth trap for me, where I was making more money every single year, and I wasn’t doing the right things around me to grow further than that. Because I was like, “Oh, this is great. All I have to do is work hard. I’ll make more money every single year and I’m just kind of growing automatically. So, it only took hard work.” What I realized after the market crashed, and I kind of lost everything. I mean, I was living in a penthouse on Wall Street, and I had to go move into my girlfriend at the time’s apartment became my wife later on, but like I really lost everything. I lost home I lost money and kind of started completely over again. And what I realized with that is that you don’t automatically grow. To become something great, you have to kind of push yourself to do it and do things that you really don’t like.

So, social media, doing videos, putting myself out front was something I was really uncomfortable with. And as I teach people around me to do what I started and show them some my first videos and the first things I did and how awful it was. I’ll never forget, this is just a quick story. This is like 2015, 2016, I started doing these videos on my website. And I put it out there to like, I wanted these PR companies help me promote these videos that I thought at the time was great, right? Some guy calls me. I never forget it. He was from the west coast and he calls me and he’s like, “Hey, I got your email about helping you. I wanted to speak to you about it.” And he proceeds to tear me apart. He’s like, the videos are lit poorly. You’re speaking too fast. The information didn’t make sense. I mean, completely trashes me.

So, I get to the end of him like, like ripping it apart. Instead, I was just like, “What was the purpose of your phone calls? Are you trying to sell me something?” He’s like, “No, I just wanted to give you feedback, because I think I felt like you needed it.” So, I was like, “Alright, well, thank you have a good day.” I hung up the phone, I saved the number and I was pissed. And then I realized later on that he did me such a huge favor, because he was right about all of it. He was completely on the money.

So again, I had to grow, I had to improve, but it was just part of my process. So, like now that growth mindset is kind of instilled in me where I get up every single day, and I try to eat or through reading books, or listening to podcasts, or whatever, or exercising, I try to get better at something every single day and grow, and most of that stuff is painful, and most of it, I don’t like it, but I realize that it’s necessary to kind of get myself to another level.

[00:12:41] KR: Yeah, I think that’s such a powerful message. I mean, I’ve talked about it on this show before but this idea of that growth trap you talked about, right? Like getting comfortable, getting comfortable, and you don’t grow when you’re comfortable. You have to put yourself outside of your comfort zone and continue to find those opportunities to grow. You’re right, that does get harder. As you get older, and you have a family and maybe you have an established career and things get kind of easy. It takes a different type of person to continue to want to push and continuously make yourself uncomfortable. That’s a different personality.

[00:13:17] RD: Hundred percent. After 2008 happened happened, all I wanted to do in my brain was get comfortable again. I was just like, I had it good, I just want to be comfortable again. So, for like the next five or six years, all I worked on was getting enough money in the bank and enough savings where I didn’t have to worry about money so much anymore and I was comfortable again. And I got to this point where like, “Okay, now I’m comfortable making good money again. And I’m not really have to work that hard, like everything is good again.” And I’m just like, “I was miserable again.” I got to this point where I was just like, I’m so miserable. I was like depressed, like being comfortable. And then I realized the point that it wasn’t about getting comfortable, it was about making myself uncomfortable. So, I can have challenges every single day. So, you said it like the trap and then just being comfortable for me never feels good anymore. But I had to recognize that it took me a long time to recognize that.

[00:14:03] KR: Yeah, that’s awesome. I love sharing your story. I’m glad we got into this a little bit. Because I mean, that’s where it starts for everybody. Whether you want to be a real estate investor, or really you want to be successful at anything. It’s about continuing to make yourself uncomfortable, and especially what you said around just the idea of networking, I think everything starts with networking. I think if you want to be an effective real estate investor, you’ve got to have a strong network. How do you find deals? Well, it’s your network. How do you manage your deals? Your network, right? How do you make sure that you’re not making mistakes when buying deals? Well, it’s your network. It’s the inspectors, it’s the lawyers. It’s everybody. So, this idea of getting out there and intentionally building your network, I think is essential. I mean, just in anything in this day and age. I think we’re in a society that’s so networked through social media, it’s so easy to create these relationships and you never know which relationship is going to is going to propel you to the next level right?

[00:14:59] RD: Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more with that. Just like you said, like I needed to buy properties where you are right now, I’m sure I would make a million mistakes before I did it the right way. Because there’s little nuances to every single place you’re buying and to every – so you need to have a good network of people to make sure you do it the right way. But if you’re not open to doing that, or expanding it, then you’re just doing yourself a disservice.

[00:15:17] KR: Yeah. If you’re not open to putting yourself out there, then you’re never going to reach that level of success. Right?

[00:15:22] RD: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:15:23] KR: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, mindset is so important. I’m glad we went there, but pulling it back into real estate mode. So, you obviously have multiple perspectives from an agent perspective, a lender perspective, an owner, an operator, investor yourself. So, from all that you’re doing right now, where are we from a real estate market standpoint? I mean, where do you see us going? I mean, really focusing kind of on those investment properties.

[00:15:52] RD: Yeah, I still think because money is so cheap, from experience that it’s still a good time to buy. Now, I’m sure in most markets across the country and on the market that I’m in, the property prices are a little bit inflated because there’s a lack of inventory and there’s a feeding frenzy. But I still think because money is so cheap, if you’re willing to stay in real estate long term, you won’t lose long term. I experienced that because I was in a very, very high market crashed and because it had some staying power in it, I was able to dig out of it. It didn’t hurt me over the long term. So, I still think borrowing because rates are still at historical lows on large scale, small scale, residential, commercial is still in historical lows, I still think borrowing money this cheap will still always benefit you in the long run.

I don’t think flipping properties right now, and I know there are a lot of people out there that see that through social and programs. I’m not doing it. I don’t think the margins are there right now to flip properties the way they were four or five years ago. I think that you have to be very careful with that, because I don’t think there’s a large enough of a margin for you to make mistakes. I think you have to buy the properties really, really well. And you have to do the work the right way and that’s not a market that I’m in right now and I think that’s tough.

I like the short-term rental market a lot right now, obviously. But with that, and I tell people this all the time, because I have a bunch of properties that are Airbnb, or VRBO or short term, it’s twice the amount of work. And literally, it’s twice the amount of work, I think it’s twice the amount of return on your investment. I make a lot more on those properties. But it’s like running a hotel, people are going to complain about the sheets and the pot. So, I think if you’re looking to go that route, just be ready that it’s a lot of work. It’s more. So, I have a team, so it’s easier for me, but even with that I hear the complaints all day, every single day. So, I still think it’s a really, really good time to buy. It’s just depending on what market you’re looking in and depending on what you’re trying to do.

[00:17:37] KR: Yeah, right on. What are some of the tips that you can give to folks that are wanting to get started as real estate investors? I mean, help them avoid some of the mistakes that you made.

[00:17:47] RD: So, I really look at two things when I’m looking at real estate investing. I’ll tell you some of the mistakes I made the first time. I bought in the hottest markets. I bought in Florida, I bought in Arizona, I bought in the market that crashed the hardest. And when you see properties almost moving too fast, like in the Florida market, I’ll use a different sample because it’s kind of happening in some areas again, whereas I bought something in in March, last March that was 325,000, and this market was 425,000. At the time, in 2007, 2006, 2005, I was flipping those properties. I was just kind of buying them and selling them right away. But I got caught holding the bag on like four or five of them at the end of the day. So, all that profit I made got wiped out.

So, I think in markets that are moving really, really fast value. If I was somebody who is inexperienced, I’d be very weary to be in that market, right? Because you can really get hurt really, really quickly. So, I think that if you see the values appreciating too fast in your market, that’s something I would avoid. And the way I look at stuff now is I look at stuff as more long-term rentals long term – and I think in that strategy, you don’t have to be an expert, that you can be a beginner, as long as you’re willing to hold something long term, you’ll outrun most of your issues. The market turns around, you lose your rent, or whatever it is. So, I like multi families and then you talk about large scale multifamily a lot. I like multi families, if it’s in that market to rent, the first and how I bought my first home was I bought a two-family home that I lived in, and I went to the other side of and that left me a lot more room for error because I had somebody helping me pay my mortgage every single month. So, that’s always a great way to get in.

And the other way I look at every single investment is what’s my return on investment. So, if it cost me $100,000 to get another property, I want to make between 15 percent and 20 percent of my money. So, if I put $100,000 in, that means I have to make $15,000 a year to make 50 percent of my money. And then I want an exit plan within five to eight years usually where I get all my initial investment back and it’s just profit from there. So, that’s kind of what my strategy is at this point. I have a little bit more capital to play with what helps but that’s really my strategy at this moment.

[00:19:41] KR: Yeah, I think very similar. I mean, just like you said, we focus on larger scale because we do syndications and so, we’re bringing other investors into our deals. But really, I mean, the same principles, same return profiles, wanting to be able to exit and you know, we focus on more kind of three to five year, but a longer-term period. And I liked what you said about house hacking as well. I mean, that’s what I tell people that ask me, “How should you get started?” I mean, I think that’s the best way. If I could go back and do it over again, that’s what I would have done. I would have bought a duplex. And just like you did, live in half and rent the other half out and just rinse and repeat that. And all of a sudden, you have a decent sized portfolio.

[00:20:22] RD: You know what’s good about those properties, like the primary residence becomes your investment properties and you know the property, you know how much you can rent for and you’re very knowledgeable. So, when you move on to another property, it’s really easy to move on from and still make money from it. So, that’s the safest way to do it without taking a huge amount of risk.

[00:20:37] KR: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a great strategy. I mean, I think if you’re looking at things, like you said. I like how you said it, you’re looking at from a long-term perspective, right? I think that’s the only way to invest safely in real estate. I agree that there’s other strategies like flips and things. But I mean, at the end of the day, flipping is a job. When you stop flipping, you stop making money, right? And you got to be there, you’re trading your time for dollars. I don’t really consider that investing. I think investing is buying and holding, creating passive cash flow, whether you’re doing that on your own, or you’re doing that by investing in other people’s deals. It’s still a sound strategy, like you said, as long as you – when I heard you saying, the undertones of like, don’t over leverage yourself, make sure that you’re buying it right, you’re not putting too much debt on the property. And as long as you do that, you can ride those ups and downs. You can ride those up and downs and eventually things are going to improve, you’re going to find that right time in the market, you’ll be able to exit and you’ll be able to have a nice return and you’ll be able to make cash flow along the way, right?

[00:21:40] RD: Yeah. You hit it right on the head. Put yourself in a position where you can last long term. And especially, I think there is a wave of something coming. I don’t see a market crash. But I do see, most states have not been able to— foreclosures haven’t been active at all. That’s been a complete moratorium at this point now. People aren’t paying their rent. They’re on unemployment. I think that there is a lot hiding that we’re going to see uncovered over the next couple of years. And with that being uncovered, there will be an opportunity to buy even more, because I think there’ll be foreclosures, there’ll be bank owned properties. There’ll be things like that happen. I think there’ll be an opportunity to buy. So, another key is don’t be impatient. If you’re patient in real estate, you will always succeed. I think being impatient and impulsive is what really hurts most people.

[00:22:24] KR: Yeah. Fantastic advice. Awesome, Ralph, appreciate all the wisdom that you’re sharing with us today. Before I let you go, I want to put you through our keys to success round. There are four questions I want to ask you. The first one is put yourself in investor shoes, and if you had one question that you would want to ask a deal sponsor someone you’re investing with, or even if you’re looking to buy a property on your own, what’s that one question that you should be asking and understanding?

[00:22:53] RD: I think the question always is, is what’s my long-term exit strategy? So, how am I getting my money back with profit at the end of this transaction? So, if somebody came to me and said, “Hey, I want you to invest in this property.” Okay, great. What’s my return on investment? What’s the exit? And what’s your exit strategy? Is it refinancing the property? Is it selling the property? Is it using equity from his house to buy another property? What’s your exit strategy? I think that that would be first for anything for me to add, that would be the first question I would give somebody.

[00:23:20] KR: Yeah, great advice. What are you most proud of in your career?

[00:23:23] RD: I think at this point, what I’m most proud of, and sometimes it works, like what you’re working on that moment. What I’m most proud of right now is the amount of people that have around me that are young, that were our scholarship program, it’s through more the mentor-mentee program that I have in my company, the people that we’re bringing up and teaching the business, I really feel the right way. What I try to explain to everybody is that it takes thousands and thousands of assets to be good at something. Somebody who’s trying to tell you you just assist them and if they’re not telling you that you’re going to have to work that system for a long time that maybe not giving you all the advice, right? So, I think the people that I’m seeing succeed around me, because of the work we’re putting in is really what I’m most most proud of.

[00:24:00] KR: Yeah, that’s awesome. You’re definitely giving back and helping bring people up the right way. What is one book that everybody should read?

[00:24:07] RD: So, I read a lot. It’s part of like my daily routine. I do audiobooks, but I read pretty much every single morning. My favorite book ever, I would say is Relentless by Tim Grover. For those who don’t know who he is, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, he was a bunch of like – he was really their coach. He’s more than mental coach than anything and I think just kind of about mindset. And it was a book that really set me free in a lot of ways because he told me that a lot of the things that I was doing that people were telling me were wrong for somebody is were right. Why do you work all the time? Why do you do this all the time? And what he kind of let me understand was that that’s where I function best. I kind of function best in a certain area, and if you allow me to do those things, and I’m better as a family person, better for my kids and better as a husband. So, Relentless is a great book. I love Never Split the Difference also by Chris Voss.

[00:24:50] KR: Yeah, that’s great.

[00:24:51] RD: And that really talks about negotiating. So, those are the two books I would recommend for sure off the top of my head, but I love Relentless and I love Split the Difference.

[00:24:58] KR: Awesome. Yeah, thanks for sharing those. And then lastly, what is your number one key to success?

[00:25:03] RD: I think my number one key to success is something we touched on a lot in this conversation, is just making yourself uncomfortable so you grow every single day. I think that is the most important thing. Anybody who’s ever want anything or accomplished anything in a very, very high level will be the first person to tell you that while they were doing it, they were struggling, they were depressed. They felt like they were losing every single day. It was painful, right? But anxiety and stress is sometimes growth. That’s really what growth is. We just don’t realize that we have to embrace it and go for it. So, I think the biggest path to acceptance, was making myself uncomfortable and accepting that it was going to feel uncomfortable, so I can get better.

[00:25:39] KR: That’s awesome. So, I’m going to go into the bonus round here, because I have one more question, I want to ask you. Just around that same topic, like, what’s a practical tip you can give to somebody, if they’re at that point where maybe they’re feeling complacent, and they want to start to step out of their comfort zone, but they haven’t done it yet. Is there a practical tip you can give to help people, like just start down that path?

[00:26:03] RD: We’re always best at what we’re passionate about. Sometimes we can’t make money at what we’re passionate about, but we can we can refocus that. So, what I’ve done to kind of bring out for myself is listen to people that I think that podcasts and audiobooks and all these things have given us access to all these people who are normal, everyday people who have reached great success. So, I started to look around for people that were like me have the same backgrounds and just listening to their stories, and then almost like gives me the ideas to empower myself to push out of my comfort zone go other places. So, I think that all the success is kind of all around us. We just have to enable ourselves to access it right. And to do that, we just have to feed our minds with the right things, and then believe that we can be good at something that we’re passionate about, and then move towards that goal.

So, that’s really my routine every single day. I look for things that I can feed my brain with that will empower me to be a better me every single day. So, if I give people one tip, it could be a slow process, but start the process today.

[00:27:00] KR: That’s an awesome tip. I love the idea of feeding your brain with positive, like growth focus things because I think we ingest not even knowing it all day like negativity, right? I mean, in the news, on social media. I mean, social media, it’s more I think it’s the comparison. It’s the keeping up with the Joneses. This guy’s way more successful than I am. I could never do that. So, you combat that by feeding yourself this positivity every day and doing that in a very intentional way. I think that’s a great tip.

[00:27:30] RD: I think you can’t look at anybody else’s growth or growth model, you have to look – we’re only competing with ourselves every single day, we’re the only people who are going to want us to be great every single day. Nobody’s going to want us to be great more than us. So, it’s important that we just try to block that stuff and work on ourselves every single day. That’ll get us to success faster than any.

[00:27:46] KR: Yeah, absolutely. Ralph, thanks again for being on the show. I love hearing about your growth mindset, all that you’ve accomplished, and all that you’re doing now to give back. I mean, it really sounds like you’ve got a lot going on and you’re making a huge impact on the world. So, appreciate you taking some time to be with us today.

[00:28:01] RD: Thank you. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me. It was great.

[00:28:02] KR: Absolutely.


[00:28:03] KR: Thanks for listening to another great episode of Ritter on Real Estate. Hit the subscribe button and make sure you don’t miss out on the content that will make you a better investor. Also, visit for articles, videos, and tools curated just for passive investors. Until next time, this is Kent Ritter with Ritter on Real Estate. Now, go out and invest like a pro.