G Letter

June 2015

Become The Architect Of Your Future

"We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future."

~Frederick Douglass 

All of us dwell on the past from time to time. As we live our lives, it’s only natural that we sometimes cling to what once was. But when our desire to cling to the past affects our future, we begin an unhealthy battle with anchors that can hold us down and sink us. Dwelling on mistakes gives power to the past and can perpetuate behavior we may want to change.

When you think about it, everything that happens occurs in the present. Memories of events are thoughts occurring in the present. Anger or hurt about the past is happening now. What’s amazing about this understanding is that it shows you that the way out of your suffering is always in the present. You can change your perspective right now, you can focus on something different right now. If you want to transcend the past and move forward, place your attention on the present — this is the first step to getting beyond the past and beginning to take control of your future.

Every day, you have the opportunity to make new memories. This is a gift we often take for granted. Anchors don’t have to hold you down. If you choose to let go, they can simply become bends on the highway of life, on your way to the future you desire.

Develop a nostalgia for the future instead of for the past. Always put something ahead of you to look forward to. When you’re not goal-striving and looking forward, you’re not really living. Good luck. Onward and upward!

*Join me at my three-day real estate workshop: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 25th – 27th, at the Meadowlands Hotel, 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ, where I’ll reveal a technique I’ve never shared before. Get more info and pre-register at geraldlucas.com

G Letter

April 2015

Indecision Is A Decision

“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger but in calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”

- Niccolo Machiavelli 

Let’s welcome the arrival of spring after a punishing winter by embracing the fact that the Earth we all share is constantly in motion. The Earth’s spin axis is tilted on its orbital plane which is what causes the four seasons. Life is movement. If we don’t move, the circumstances and people around us will move things for us. If we don’t move, our muscles will wither and atrophy, so resisting movement is not only pointless but unhealthy. This is why making decisions and being proactive is so important.

One of the main excuses people use for putting off decision-making is the fear of making a mistake. The problem with that logic is successful people make more mistakes than everyone else, precisely because they make more decisions than everyone else—they learn from their decisions regardless of how things ultimately turn out. You shouldn’t be afraid of making a mistake—you should be afraid of standing still and letting the world pass you by.

Make it a point to cultivate decisiveness. Putting off decisions creates a cluttered mind. Decision-making creates order. Your life will be much more organized if you make decisions as they come. Rather than obsessing forever
about decisions you’ve put off, your mind will be free to concentrate on more important things. Time is our greatest asset. Like money, we can invest it, spend it, our waste it. However, unlike money we can’t possess, hold, or retain time—time comes to us for a moment and then passes by us.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll get around to that later” or “I’m going to take care of that one of these days”? This is masochistic, self-sabotaging thinking based on the foolish notion that we’ll have more time down the road, or that an unpleasant task won’t be as bad if we do it later. Unpleasant tasks usually get more unpleasant the more we put them off (think toothache or leaky roof). Nothing gets accomplished “sooner or later.” Things get accomplished at a specific moment in time.

Although it’s tempting, your worst impulse is to wait, procrastinate, ponder, or wait and see. If you hear this inside your head, know that this is NOT how successful real estate investors respond to life’s challenges. Fortune favors the bold. So now, the only open question is, are you ready? Good luck. Onward and upward!

I’m putting on an epic real estate investing workshop on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 17-19 at the Empire Meadowlands

Hotel, 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ. That’s 3 full days for just $197, where I’ll reveal my most profitable
real estate investing strategies. Find out more about the event and reserve your seat by visiting tinyurl.com/gerald-lucas-4-17-15


G Letter

March 2015

Plan, Prepare, Perform

“It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.”

- Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”

- Abraham Lincoln 

I recently returned from my annual winter getaway to South America, where I soak up the summer sun of the Southern Hemisphere and map out my plans for the coming year.

Like planning, preparation is a key driver of success. When you plan your day beforehand, you know what you need to do. Preparation, which is the next step, gets you ready to actually do the work. In general, the more you prepare the better you will perform.

Preparation normally requires more time, hard work and sacrifice than planning. The most successful professionals prepare before they perform—athletes, teachers, and trial lawyers to name a few. As a long-time musician myself, I’ve spent countless hours practicing and preparing before concerts and gigs. Preparation can and should extend to as many parts of your life as possible.

One of the amazing things about preparation is that it makes you more aware of potential opportunities—this is critical for us as real estate investors. As the Roman philosopher Seneca put it, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

For real estate investors like you and me, more preparation normally translates into better results and higher profits. For example, in order to make a smart purchase offer, we have to do research and due diligence on the subject property. If we’re dealing directly with a property seller, our preparation must include tactfully asking probing questions to understand the seller’s individual circumstances, so we can craft a win-
win transaction that satisfies her requirements as well as ours. Without that preparation, we’re flying blind and are more prone to making costly mistakes.

I hope you’ll join me when I reveal my most profitable real estate negotiation strategies at my 3-day real estate investing workshop, April 17th–19th at the Empire Meadowlands Hotel, located at 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ.

So after you plan, how should you prepare?

The first thing you’ll need is clarity—be crystal clear about what you are preparing for and what you are trying to accomplish. Focus during your preparation. Break bigger tasks down into smaller pieces and zero in on what you’ll need to do to accomplish each sub-task. Work on these sub-tasks until you feel good about where you are—this progress will increase your personal confidence, which is key to performing at your best.

Although you should always do your best to move forward and avoid procrastination, preparation isn’t all about seeing how fast you can complete a task so you can move on to another one. It’s more important to focus on doing things well. This may mean going over one particular area many times in an effort to get it “right.” That’s okay, this is precisely what prep time is for— smoothing out the rough edges.

Keep in mind that preparation doesn’t guarantee success, it just vastly improves your odds of being successful. During “the moment of truth,” even if you’ve prepared, you may still be faced with a situation you hadn’t anticipated. That’s okay—do the best you can given what you know and how you’ve prepared. When you finish, look at your results and then go back and update your preparation routine. Incremental progress literally moves mountains—if you don’t believe me, take a look at the Grand Canyon!

Your moment is now! Plan, prepare, and then perform—put it all out there. No regrets. This is your life and your time to be great. Good luck. Onward and upward! 

G Letter

February 2015

Turn Negative Thoughts
Into Positive, Productive Energy

"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." 

- Zig Ziglar

If you live in the United States, you are probably much better off than the majority of the other people living on Planet Earth. In spite of our many blessings, it’s easy to fall victim to negative thinking. Unfortunately, negative thoughts distract you, drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give into your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. On the flip side, a small positive thought can have the opposite effect, blossoming into a positive and profitable outcome.

When you start to have negative thoughts, it’s often hard to stop them. Shifting your focus from negative to positive thoughts is easier said than done, but it’s the only way to avoid going down an unnecessarily painful path.

When you find your thoughts tumbling down a negative slippery slope, here are 5 tips to turn those negative thoughts to positive energy:

1. Acknowledge your negative thoughts: Self- deception is very destructive and you can’t effectively
deal with a problem until you accept that you have one. Although you should acknowledge your negative thoughts, it’s important to remind yourself that the negative thought you are thinking is only a thought and has no power other than the power you give it. 

2. Smile: Smiling really does help change your mood and relieve stress. Smiling is evolutionarily contagious and we have a subconscious innate drive to smile when we see one. Surprisingly, smiling uses fewer muscles than frowning and therefore requires even less energy.

3. Seek out and surround yourself with positive people: When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.

4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive: Changing the tone of your thoughts starts with rewording them. For example, instead of thinking, “This isn’t going to work because of X, Y and Z,” instead try to think, “We will face some challenges including X, Y and Z, but we will come up with solutions that will help us overcome them.”

5. Help someone else: Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. Negative thoughts are often selfish and narcissistic. Take your mind off your own issues and concerns for a moment—helping someone else will brighten your mood and make you feel better.

Good luck. Onward and upward! 

G Letter

January 2015

This Year's Resolution:
Stop Procrastinating & Finally Make It Happen

With a new year comes another set of New Year's Resolutions

You know, classics like

•“This year, I’m going to get out of debt and save money.”
•“This year, I’m going to lose 25 pounds and get in shape.”
•“This year, I’m going to finally make some money in real estate.”

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely have a real plan behind them. The important question to ask yourself is HOW are you going to lose 25 pounds or finally make some money in real estate? Do you have a written plan to get those things done?

Without a plan with tangible, measurable goals that you can work toward every day, it’s easy to fall victim to procrastination. Psychologists have discovered that procrastination is actually a human coping mechanism. When people procrastinate, they’re avoiding emotionally unpleasant tasks and instead doing something that provides a temporary mood boost. The procrastination itself then causes shame and guilt—which in turn leads people to procrastinate even further, creating a vicious cycle.

Before you get down and depressed, there’s hope. One key to beating procrastination is to begin high priority items as soon as possible because that creates momentum. Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing you can do is make a little progress. Progress, even just a little, will fuel your well-being and your motivation.

In order to work on the highest priority items, however, you have to prioritize your to-do list. Let’s face it, you have things on your to-do list that are much more important than others. If a task is worth doing, it’s worth doing at the earliest reasonable time. Do the most important things first and either trash what’s left or get someone else to do them.

If making money in real estate is a top priority, make sure your daily activities are income-generating activities that will add to your bottom line like following up on a lead from a motivated seller or making a new purchase offer on a property. Reorganizing your home office or redesigning your company logo should take a back seat to actions that are more likely to put money in your pocket.

So how do you get to the next rung on the ladder? You reach for it—seems simple, right? Simple but not necessarily so easy. If you’re having trouble getting started yourself, get help from a friend, a partner or a coach.

Action is the key component. Before you think it over for the umpteenth time, make a decision and act.

Best wishes for success and happiness in 2015. Onward and upward! 


G Letter

December 2014

The Best Holiday Gift To Give

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
- Thomas Jefferson 

Seasons Greetings to all of you in The Real Estate Insider family. Let’s count our collective blessings for 2014 and look forward to a bountiful 2015. As you are out frantically doing last minute holiday shopping, consider that one of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of honesty. Before you can be honest with others, however, you must be honest with yourself.

We all like to think of ourselves as basically honest, but we all have areas of our lives where we’re pretending to be something that we’re not. We pretend we’re on a diet, even as we’re sneaking chocolate when nobody’s watching. We pretend we’re working hard even when we’re watching TV or silly videos on youtube.

If you want to be whole and happy, then being “basically honest” isn’t good enough. Every time you do a little end-run around the truth, you lose a part of the truth of who you are. Self-deception is a slippery slope, so when you pretend to yourself, you cheat yourself out of the opportunity to look squarely at the things that you wish were different and take measures to change them.

When you are dishonest with others, you sabotage the trust that’s required for that relationship to thrive, and you undermine your own sense of trust. Setting a standard of absolute honesty for yourself prepares you for moments of temptation. Every lie you tell out of fear strengthens the fear. Every truth you tell strengthens your courage and confirms your integrity.

Practicing absolute honesty is very liberating—you find power in living according to your own beliefs, preferences and desires, instead of trying to mold your behavior according to others people’s expectations. You learn to trust yourself completely and to take full ownership of your decisions. Your relationships get cleaner, clearer and deeper. Your stress decreases, and life becomes more interesting and more fun.

Best wishes for success and happiness in the New Year.

Onward and upward! 

G Letter

November 2014

The Power Of Gratitude:
Why Thanksgiving Matters

Every year, millions of Americans gather for Thanksgiving to celebrate family, friends and connection. Thanksgiving is more than just a cultural tradition, however, and science now shows that celebrating Thanksgiving and practicing gratitude can elevate our levels of happiness. Gratitude enriches human life and mental well-being. It increases self-esteem and increases your energy levels. Gratitude elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. It strengthens relationships, reduces stress and improves health.

So how does gratitude improve health? On one level, it helps people sleep better. A 2009 study of 401 people—40% of whom had clinical sleep disorders—found that the most grateful people had better sleep quality, normalized sleep duration (not too long or too short), were able to fall asleep faster at night, and also had less daytime tiredness compared to those who weren’t as thankful.

Gratitude also puts situations into perspective. When we make a point to see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain and stay stuck in a rut. Gratitude helps us realize what we have and reduces our constant need for wanting more all the time. So, while it may seem easier to focus on problems and grievances, you should make a point to introduce a little gratefulness into every day instead.

Gratitude Is Not Only The Greatest Of All Virtues,But The Parent Of All The Others.


Gratitude not only helps you, it also helps those around you. Other people are moved, opened and humbled by your expressions of gratitude.

So how can we increase our gratitude? We can make gratitude a daily habit. At the end of every day, I try to write down at least one thing that I am grateful for. This simple, daily ritual improves my mood, (which is particularly helpful after frustrating days) and gives me more energy for the next day.

Take time every day to appreciate what you have as well as those you have around you. Happiness, meaning, and value in life don’t come from external things; they only come from within. Happiness is not discovered; it’s created on an individual basis based on the attitude you posess.

So this Thanksgiving, express gratitude for all you have. When you express gratitude for something, you attract more of that thing into your life. Gratitude is one of the surest paths to continued happiness.

Onward and upward! 

G Letter

October 2014


Identify Things You Can and Cannot Control 

Do you ever worry about things that are beyond your control? Unfortunately, worrying creates physical and mental problems without providing any benefits. People often worry about both the past and the future instead of focusing what they can do in the present. There’s nothing you can do about the past—the clock can’t be turned back. Worrying about what might happen in the future is equally futile and creates mental monsters that can paralyze you.

The truth is that there are some things that you have no control over and others that you have complete and total control over—knowing the difference and then acting on that realization is one of the keys to personal productivity and satisfaction. Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy on the things you can control? Whenever you catch yourself worrying, repeat the serenity poem to yourself:

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Letting go of worry will help you to take action and exert more control over your life and circumstances. Action defeats worry, inaction feeds it. When you’re faced with a problem, the first step you should take is to identify the source and cause of the problem and whether the problem is out of your control. If the problem is within your control, come up with possible solutions and options for handling the problem. Weigh all of the facts, evaluate all your options, make the best decision possible, and then take action. This is all you can do. Prioritize your effort and your energy on the things that make the biggest impact first. Being proactive is one of the most effective ways to combat worry.

Here’s to a productive and worry-free month. Onward and upward!

"Suffering comes from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power."

- Epictetus 


• Inflation
• Price of land
• Interest Rates**
• Cost of Insurance
• Price of building material
• Taxes (Property and Income)
• Sale Price (when you sell) and Rent Price (when you rent)*

*The person with the money always decides the price—this is another way of saying that ‘the market’ ultimately controls these prices.

**your credit score has some influence over the interest rate you’ll pay, but you have no say in the Prime Rate which underpins most loans.


• The terms and contents of any contract that you CHOOSE to sign 

• Who you rent your property out to (rule #1 for landlords: screen your tenants!). 

• The price you pay to contractors and other professionals you work with (realtors, property managers, inspectors, contractors, attorneys, title companies, insurance brokers, etc.). Remember, the person with the money always decides the price!

• The condition of your property. Real estate is an active investment—this gives you much more control over property than you’d have over other assets, like stocks.

• The price you pay for property. Buyers always decide the price—the person with the money always ultimately decides the price.

• Guidelines you set for tenants, contractors, or anyone else you do business with. Setting rules and regulations for you and everyone you do business with eliminates risk.

• The professionals you choose to work with (realtors, property managers, inspectors, contractors, attorneys, title companies, insurance brokers, etc.). Only work with the best most trustworthy and reputable people you can find.