Passive Real Estate Investment | Casmon Capital Group | United States

Why Apartments Beat Stocks From a Former Broker with John Cohen, Episode 25

Investing Passively In Apartments

After a 9-month interview process, John Cohen earned a job as stock broker with Morgan Stanley at the tender age of 22. However, the day he started he saw grown men crying over the Facebook IPO and ended up quitting that same day. From there John put his energy into real estate, first as a commercial broker and then as an investor and multifamily syndicator. John gives some great tips on investing in multiple markets and growing a real estate business on this episode of Target Market Insights.


Key Market Insights

  • Started career as a stockbroker, but hated the lack of control over company execs and their decisions

  • Facebook IPO was defining moment, saw grown men having meltdowns, quit the same day he started at Morgan Stanley

  • Started in real estate with tax deed properties, purchased a SFR and rented to a rugby team in East Stroudsburg, PA

  • Became a commercial broker, built a network of clients in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, and Queens, NY

  • Began networking with clients, family friend introduced him to his mentor

  • Mentor had great contacts in Cincinnati, started looking in nearby areas and landed on Columbus

  • Drove 20 hours to be in market for only 6 hours to view an apartment

  • Huge believer in direct mail, consistency is more important

  • Likes the growth in the Southeast region from the Carolinas, down to Florida, and over to Alabama

  • Suggest being an expert in a market, uses a color coded map for submarkets

  • Brokers, property managers, put the market in a quadrant

  • Biggest challenge is becoming an expert in various markets

  • If I win a deal on my first bid, I overpaid, but we bid based on fundamentals in the market

  • Not a business you can do by yourself, the more people in your database, the better equipped you are if the deal goes sideways

  • Just finished due diligence on 453 units in Jackson, MS with $4MM in deferred maintenance

Bull’s Eye Tips:

Winning Your Market: Get out and get active, no one will knock on your door with a deal

Tracking Market Changes: Operations team does market surveys weekly, PM gives monthly reports, quarterly reports

Daily Habit: Write down goals every morning and night


Best Business Books:

Principles by Ray Dalio

Digital Resources


Property Shark

Trulia Crime Maps


Credit Karma Lifelock

Tweet This: “Where are people moving, target that then look at supply and demand”

“You have to educate your database, use your resume and background, put a good team behind you” “Call police precincts, find out where crime is”

Places to Grab a Bite:

Center Cuts Butcher Shop

Boulevard 25 opens in February 2018

Connect with John:


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