Jams Lascara on the Military Millionaire Podcast

David Pere: You just gotta leave us halfway through. I'm ready if you're ready. James, we're good. Good? Cool. One, two, three. What's up, military millionaires? I'm your host David Paré, and today, look who's back. Alex is in the same country, and he's on the internet, and I love it. I haven't seen him in a little bit, so I've got my co-host, Alex Felice, and then today we are joined by James Lascara. Who is? a member of the war room. He is a real estate investor in the Tampa Bay area. And you've probably seen a video or two before where he saved a young lady in the military millionaire Facebook group from certain foreclosure. In fact, she had an agent who basically told her to just accept foreclosure when she was like, why don't we reduce the property value by 50 grand? And they were like, I just take a foreclosure instead. And we got her pushed over to James and they sold the house like two days later. And so he's a phenomenal real estate agent. He does, well, I'm not going to ruin it. He does all kinds of really cool real estate investments. And he's just a really stand up dude. And we got done with the Tampa mastermind event. And I was like, dude, you haven't been on the podcast yet. You got to come on the podcast. And here we are. So James, thanks for joining us, bud.

James Lascara: Thank you so much, Dave. I appreciate the intro. I'm humbled to be on the podcast. I think it's really important what you're doing and empowering military and vets to pursue financial freedom through real estate. I personally wish I had sought that out sooner in my career, but I'm blessed to be able to pursue it now. And I'm really honored to be a part of the community with all the resources that y'all provide. So thanks for the opportunity.

David Pere: Absolutely.

Alexander the Great: happy to have you here and it's good to meet you James. I don't think we've ever spoken before.

James Lascara: Not till now. Thanks Alex.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, absolutely.

James Lascara: It's awesome to chat with you as well.

David Pere: That's actually why he's still in the war room, Alex.

Alexander the Great: Me? Yeah, to come talk to me? I don't blame him!

David Pere: Oh no, I meant he's still here because he hadn't had to interact with you yet. Oh yeah,

Alexander the Great: Oh yeah,

David Pere: yeah.

Alexander the Great: yeah. It's

David Pere: Yeah.

Alexander the Great: two-fold. They're like, I really want to hang out with that Alex guy. And then you meet me, and you're like, yeah, I really don't want to hang out with that Alex guy.

James Lascara: Yeah, it works. It's a win-win. I have been super fortunate with my experience in the War Room, and I won't be leaving now that I met you. I continue to get a lot of value out of it and pour into it as well. So it's a very meaningful group for me.

Alexander the Great: Hey James, you said that you had wished like a group or a resource like the military millionaire had existed when you were a young troop. I'm curious, did you go through the normal, you know, the sort of plight of young soldiers that we hear talk about every single week and try to fight, you know, some 18 year old kid that gets a Camaro on debt, spends all his money on liquor and ladies? Is that a theme that you're inexperienced that you have in common?

James Lascara: No, so I had the fortunate experience of having my parents kind of instill in the mindset of us as a family of living below your means. And so I never struggled with getting fancy things or any of that, but I was living with a paycheck and I was investing part of that paycheck in the S&P 500 and not just kind of misguided, put some money in your Roth IRA, put some money in your TSP 401k and... whatever you can with that delta between what you're making, what you're spending, just put it away somewhere. But the avenue of real estate with its tax advantages, which is growth strategies, value add strategies, and your ability to turn up the volume, especially with a team, I wish I knew that early on, but I didn't struggle with any kind of crazy debt or stupid spending. I did buy a dumb car and try to like fix it up a bunch and that was just silly wasted money, but I've always been somewhat responsible with finances. Real estate just cranked the volume up.

David Pere: Yeah. So you had like the groundwork. You just didn't understand the kind of like the Dave Ramsey approach where it's like you've got the like don't make all the terrible mistakes, but not the like what's next piece figured out.

James Lascara: Right, I didn't know there were other levers that I could pull. And then I started learning those levers and said, man, I wish I'd been pulling these long ago.

David Pere: Yeah, you know, it's funny. I look back when I first joined, right? The TSP went into the G fund by default. And one of my biggest gripes, I joke, is that a literal, like two minute conversation would have made the value of my TSP worth two, maybe three, three times what it currently is. If somebody had just sat me down and be like, Hey dude, you're putting 10% in. You're doing all the right things with the way you're contributing. and this, that, and the other, you're in Roth, you're in your 10%, you're, you're upping it every time you get promoted or a pay raise, but you're in the wrong fund idiot. And from Oh wait to 2015, when the market earned ridiculous returns, I earned bond returns, you know, like just garbage. And I've done the math before. I mean, I'm short. Well, when I did the math, that was, it was two, times what it would have been had I just put it into 70 or 75% C 25% S and So it's like man, it's like you can get all the things right but if you're just like just like one little tweak and it's kind of crazy how finances work sometimes like that

James Lascara: Yeah, it can be a real travesty looking back. I think back to, so I got out of the academy and they give you, I think it was like a $30,000 loan and my interest rate was 0.75 or 1% and you pay it back over five years. And I didn't do really dumb stuff with that loan, but I definitely didn't invest it like I should have. And I remember I deployed to Afghanistan and paid it back early. Like, come on, man, you can't be doing that.

David Pere: Hehehe

James Lascara: So it could be a real travesty looking back, but I have a... I try to have different themes in each week of my business. And the theme this week is don't let perfect be the enemy of good. So, Dave, back to your, when you were a younger Marine, you were still investing in your TSP. That's still good. That's still a head above, a cut above, just blowing your money on dumb shit. And so don't,

David Pere: I did that

James Lascara: maybe

David Pere: too.

James Lascara: we don't let perfect be the enemy of good this week.

David Pere: Yeah.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, you're way better off investing imperfectly and earning a smaller return than not investing. And nobody is a perfect investor. Nobody maximizes the returns as much as they could. And it's actually a trap of hyper maximizing some fund or some deals. Or you can go into the weeds about picking the right stocks for your entire life and not get it right. So hyper efficiency might deter you from, go make more money. And earn, you know, earn 6% for a life, which is not ideal, but it's like, go put a couple million in there is better than trying to optimize 8% on small money.

James Lascara: Yeah, I like that.

David Pere: Absolutely and you know that what Dan Sullivan's book Gap in the Gain is just a great reminder of like not getting stuck in the trap of Looking at where you could be when if you look back you're like well. Yeah, but Come a long way things are things are still really good, so Could be a lot worse

Alexander the Great: So how long

David Pere: although

Alexander the Great: you been in the Navy?

James Lascara: I've been in the Navy, I just hit 13 years this past month. So just crossing

Alexander the Great: and how

James Lascara: at

Alexander the Great: long

James Lascara: 13

Alexander the Great: have you been

James Lascara: years.

Alexander the Great: doing real estate?

James Lascara: I've been doing real estate, I would say hardcore for a little over three years. I bought my first house and kind of like accidentally house hacked. I didn't even know there was a term for it at the time, but had a roommate and thought, oh, this is cool. It helps pay a part of my mortgage. I did that for about five years and then moved to Tampa. And then when I bought in Tampa, I said, well, let me buy a house that's specific to this. rent the room strategy. And at the same time, I had a really bad experience with my Virginia Beach property. And from that experience, I said, well, I definitely need to learn more about this. This went terrible. What did I expect without having a lot of knowledge or education about it? And so it just picked up from there.

David Pere: Well, why don't you run us through some of the numbers on this current one, because it's pretty baller.

James Lascara: Yeah, absolutely. Which deal are you talking about?

David Pere: Oh my gosh, I forget you. You aren't just one or two Z's in now. For ease of me having any idea what we're talking about, how about the one that we were sitting in on that I think you dubbed your house?

James Lascara: Yeah, okay. So I have a development company in Tampa and the reason the development company came about was because I buy a new house in Tampa every two years for tax reasons. I basically just restart my clock with the capital gains tax exemption. And I was doing some math one day and I realized, well, these builders got this lot for 250 and then they spent 400. So they're all in for 650 plus some debt. So let's call it 700. But then they sell the house for 900. Like, why can't I do that? Oh, I can. And I started a company for that. And so, to get to the numbers, I have a house that we're constructing through the development company in a neighborhood called Palmasia West of the Tampa area. It's in the best school area, really affluent local population in this neighborhood. And so I picked it up as a rental actually for 370. I'm always big into unfair competitive advantages. Always look for an advantage if you can. I ended up picking this up as a result of poor listing photos. So there were no interior photos because the seller was just kind of a little stubborn, but the house wasn't really messed up. And so I picked it up, picked it up as a rental, paid 3.74 on a conventional loan. So all in, I only paid about 80 or 85 to get into it, rented out for a year and then tore it down. got it on a construction to perm loan to finance a new build. I was only out of pocket about another 20. So all in at this point, about a hundred K into the project. And then we're looking at exit price of 1.4 million. And the total basis is 1 million of everyone's money, the bank's plus mine. And so, you know, we stand to make about a $400,000 ish profit on a hundred thousand dollars of input within. I don't know. Two and a half years, about two and a half years. So that's a pretty good ROI. Annualized is definitely over 100%.

Alexander the Great: Nice. Tell me about the construction company.

James Lascara: Yeah. Okay. So this is a really popular misconception actually. So it's not a construction company. So as a developer, you, you really fundamentally have a math problem and you have to make sure the land plus the prep costs plus the construction equals a higher number than all of those combined. And part of the, uh, the build cost is finding the right builder for the project and we use different builders in Tampa, depending on the project. You know, if we need to save costs and we're building a single family home. We might use a value builder. They build the, the equivalent of like a Toyota Corolla here. Uh, and then if we're trying to target a more niche market with a higher end finish, then we'll use a higher end builder and pay a little bit more per square foot. Uh, so figuring out which builder is the right fit for the project is, you know, that's part of the analysis. Right now we have one project that we're about to exit in Tampa. We have one that's at the end of permitting and about to break ground. That's been, that's been delayed. That's been kind of a, it's a very profitable one on the numbers. We'll probably make over 50% ROI over the 18 month duration of it, but we're building it fully custom, which is, has been a bit of a headache. Uh, and then we have a third one that's in the beginning of permitting right now in an area called Tampa Heights. And then there are actually two that we started getting ready for, but we sold early because it was just too profitable not to sell. I figure if I can make 100% annualized return on a project, so for example, 50% ROI in six months, then I'll sell it. I don't care if it's just the land. I'll sell it early.

David Pere: Love it.

James Lascara: So that's what we've done. That's what we've done on a couple of projects, just sold them early before we even had plans. And I joke with my team, I'm like, can we call ourselves developers if we just sell all the land early because we entitled it or whatever. So,

Alexander the Great: Yeah,

James Lascara: but it's.

Alexander the Great: what is it? Is that just a product of buying deep or is when did this happen?

James Lascara: which part, which when we started selling things earlier, when we really established the company.

Alexander the Great: No, I mean, when things go up and you can make a 50% return, but you said you've been doing this three years. Well, the last two and a half, um, prices have gone stratospheric. So how much of it is, I'm curious, like, is it buying deep or is it, um, tailwinds or is that, is that able to replicate that?

James Lascara: I don't know that we could replicate it. I think it's focusing on certain neighborhoods. So we only really target things in certain zip codes of Tampa. And so what happens there is when there's a deal, and that's kind of why I only target certain zip codes for our development projects, when something comes up, for example, one of the ones we sold, we bought and sold, was on Pine Street. And it popped up on Fizzbo, on Zillow, and I said, that's a good deal. I'm going to call this guy immediately. And I said, hey, what would it take for you to take this? today and he said, I would take 5k less than my price. I gave him an offer the same day we got it under contract. If I didn't target, if I didn't farm certain areas, I couldn't do that. So I did buy it deep. And then, you know, through my own due diligence and analyzing, I said, we have two strategies here. We could build on it and make money, or we could offer a rezone to somebody and sell it early and make money. So we can actually do both. Let's just list it again, as we go through permits, or sorry, plans. And then, um, and then it's just different exit strategies, but, but to clarify, the development company has only existed for a little over a year. That's my most recent thing out of my four businesses.

Alexander the Great: And then you're full time

David Pere: Full

Alexander the Great: in the Navy.

David Pere: time in the Navy.

Alexander the Great: David said you're a cook, is that right?

James Lascara: Yeah, yeah. I'm a really good cook.

David Pere: Yeah

James Lascara: Um, I'm really good at cooking, I guess. Yeah.

David Pere: No

James Lascara: So I'm still, I'm still active duty. I basically, so I'm an acquisitions, uh, I'm an acquisitions officer working on research, development, prototyping, new equipment. Um, so I'm still active duty and I basically have that figured out with different systems in my team to where, you know, I can still fully contribute. but in my other hours, focus on the real estate as well. It's some long weeks though sometimes. I mean, putting in a 100 hour week is not unheard of for me.

David Pere: He figures it out.

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: So you said four businesses. What are the other three?

James Lascara: Yeah. So I have my licensure business. So I'm a realtor in Tampa, which you kind of already spoke about. Our niche there is working with, working with investor buyers, big time working with 1031 exchange buyers, because we've personally done them. So having somebody to consult with who's actually done it is a huge, huge asset. And then working, we love working with our military and veteran clients and just making sure they get the absolute best service for getting a getting most value out of their VA loan. On both the selling and the buying side, honestly. So anyway, licensure rental business, we do buy and hold long-term rentals in Tampa. That one we're undergoing a total shift. We had a pretty good residential portfolio, about $6 million of assets here in Tampa. We're liquidating the entire thing over the next year and gonna take all the funds and go into commercial. So there we're gonna go into commercial triple net, triple net retail storage and multifamily. And then, so that's two, then the development business, and then my business, Liscara Capital, where we're general partners in a few syndications, basically just doing investor relations and capital placement into 506C deals.

David Pere: Love it. I would be interested to hear. We didn't dig into it. We kind of skipped past it. But can you run through the numbers on your current house hack? Like the,

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: I think that one's pretty killer too.

James Lascara: Yeah, I love this how I'm sitting in it right now. So, that's a reason I'm so dedicated to certain neighborhoods. So I was like, let me look for something that fits this criteria, this amount of bedrooms and bathrooms. And I really wanted a three-car garage. So I put some feelers out to builders I know and said, hey, when you got something that fits this criteria, let me know. And a couple of weeks later, this was in March of 2021. They said, hey, We got something, but you got to give us an answer quickly. You know, we're going to be, we're going to be marketing it for 8.50. And I did some math real quick. I was like, that's a good price and that neighborhood's getting better every single month. So I said, yeah, I'll do it. Uh, so I bought it for 8.50 on new year's Eve of when the build was done in, um, December 31st, 2021. So I've lived in it for a year and a half now. Bought it for 8.50. It appraised for 1.08. So I. The day I closed, I had almost a quarter million dollars of equity. Uh, and that, and that's the neighborhood thing going on. I have three roommates. Um, in total, my roommates pay, uh, about $4,000. I think it's 39 50. So I'm bringing in $4,000 on my, on my rent revenue and my PITI is about 4500. So I pay $500 a month or five 50 a month in, in rent to live in this house, which is also going to give me a capital gains tax exemption when I. move away and sell it. So it's a pretty good living nearly for free. It's a pretty good setup.

David Pere: Yeah. Well, and you would have been paying, you know, what, two, three grand in rent, probably in Tampa, what's your BAH there?

James Lascara: Uh, something mid-twos, I think. I don't even know. Maybe 2600.

David Pere: Yeah. So you would have been paying two to 2,500 probably for rent there. And now you're pocketing 2000 of that. It's

James Lascara: Yeah,

David Pere: pretty sweet.

James Lascara: I'm coming up on, let me think here, eight years of house hacking and I'm ready to live alone. Like,

David Pere: RAAAGH

James Lascara: yeah, I'm getting there.

Alexander the Great: No wife?

James Lascara: Now I'm single.

Alexander the Great: It's easy.

James Lascara: Yeah, I could keep going, but I'm like, I'm the results I wanted to experience. I, you know, I track my progress each quarter or track it each year. And I'm like, Whoa, like I'm hitting the results. Do I still need to be living with roommates as a 35 year old dude? I don't know.

David Pere: Well, you could always just go from the single family to the duplex fourplex model and then you still have your own place or

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: you could have your own, you know, not house hack. There's nothing wrong with that.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, James, you seem hyper obsessed about being efficient. Is it fun?

James Lascara: I am. It's fun, I have fun. My friends who know me super well, they joke that this saying pertains to me the most of anyone they know. They're like, with James, winning is more fun than fun is fun. I'm like, yeah, that is accurate. Yeah, I

David Pere: And

James Lascara: like

David Pere: pizza.

James Lascara: to win.

David Pere: Pizza

James Lascara: Pizza's

David Pere: is also

James Lascara: great.

David Pere: fun.

James Lascara: Pizza

David Pere: James is

James Lascara: and

David Pere: also

James Lascara: ice

David Pere: a

James Lascara: cream.

David Pere: pizza guy.

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: I think I saw you eat nothing but pizza in Tampa, actually.

James Lascara: I don't know if I want to publicly claim that that's true. I don't know if I want to admit that that's true. I do love pizza though. I

David Pere: Yeah.

James Lascara: do have my pizza spots, that's for sure.

David Pere: Oh man. All right. So we've got the development and the build to, well build a rent or build a cell or build or not even make it to building because you sold it for a great profit before you got there. We've got the being an agent, we've got house hacking, we've got capital, we've got all of the things plus, you know, uncle Sam, DoD. what's next in the strategy.

James Lascara: Yeah, I have,

David Pere: I

James Lascara: I

David Pere: mean,

James Lascara: have-

David Pere: you know, you need, obviously you need something else. You're clearly not busy enough.

James Lascara: I'm pretty busy, but it's really the vision of, yeah, it's really the vision of where are we going with this? So I started to grow a team here. I have two full-time people that are under me. One is a full-time operations manager and then one is a full-time marketing manager. The next hire will be admin. I've started looking at dollar amounts a whole lot less recently and started looking at the effectiveness of the team and the culture. I'm trying to build way, way more. And which is weird for me because I'm a numbers guy. I'm, I'm really analytical. Uh, but this is, you know, this is kind of the art of it. So big into that right now. But I look a lot into the three and five year plans with the development business, you know, where are we trying to go? We're getting what I call practice runs or scrimmages in with these residential developments because we can frankly control a lot more and mitigate the risk on a, at a very fine detail level. as they are profitable and produce revenue. And so eventually we'll have the systems, the experience, and also the track record in place to do larger commercial development. And that's, that's where I'd really like to be with my Poseidon two five developments company. In the next five years, another part of it too, is reputation. We have two deals right now that are part of partnership opportunities and you know, getting the reps in with updating your partners when things go well and things don't go well. They seem to be really enjoying the deals and they love the pro forma that we're forecasting on the projects. One project appraised for 10% over our conservative, analyzed target sale price. And so we're really looking forward to more partnerships as well.

David Pere: I feel like I know it's your turn.

James Lascara: My turn.

David Pere: I just, I thought he had something to say. But.

Alexander the Great: Um, what do you, uh, let's, uh, two things. Let's talk to an 18 year old kid that doesn't, that wants to get his personal life in order, um, that's in the military that is not hyper focused on building a business, but just wants to, um, you know, get his shit together. And then too, I want you to, um, I want you to sell the war room for me

James Lascara: Yeah.

Alexander the Great: a little bit.

James Lascara: This 18, this 18 year old thing. I'm gonna get real passionate about it. Cause that shit's important. Um, So I would ask, if there was an 18 year old who's like, hey, I didn't have the right tools growing up, my family spent money, we did not live below our means, I would ask them what kind of life they wanna live. What kind of life do you wanna live in the future? Do you want an unbelievable life? Because you're not gonna achieve living an unbelievable life by doing believable things. And so it is gonna be hard. It might be the hardest thing that you ever did. but you need to surround yourself first of all with the right people. All this partying and bullshit and people who are not, people who are not aligned with your future higher purpose, cut them out of your life. It's gonna be hard, that's okay. So that's the first thing. Second thing, start educating yourself on what you need to do to start earning more and saving more and investing in a strategy that's good for your risk tolerance. Find out your risk tolerance. I think those two things are definitely where it starts. And then I could go into way more detail, but you know, start there.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, keep going.

James Lascara: Okay,

David Pere: Hehehehe

James Lascara: join the war room, find a mentor, find a freaking mentor. You don't have to join the war room, but it'd be good if you did, but find a mentor in your unit, in your family, friends, whatever. If they're living the kind of life that you wanna live and they're able to give you advice where it's like maybe you can't fully, you can't see yourself doing that right the exact time, but you're like, when I get that age, I wanna be living that kind of life, find a mentor like that and listen to what they have to say. offer to offer to do something for them, maybe that brings them values. They can pour resources and education into you. That's also what I would say.

David Pere: Yeah, I love that you added in the part about someone who's living the life or a life that you want to live. I think that's a huge piece that people seem to miss in the idea of mentorship or advice, right? Like everybody has advice. You know, I mean, people have, it's like the old, like, if you're, if you're going through relationship struggles, you can talk to everybody in your friend group. And if they've been divorced. they're going to tell you one answer. And if they are happily married, they're going to give you a completely different answer. And it's like, well, you know, you got to choose where the advice is coming from that you choose to listen to.

James Lascara: You

Alexander the Great: Yeah,

James Lascara: know, we talk

Alexander the Great: well,

James Lascara: about

Alexander the Great: when

James Lascara: this.

Alexander the Great: you're 18 and 20 though, saying like, you know, live, it's very hard advice to give actually, like live a life where somebody who is doing what you want to do. When you're 18 or 20, you're like, I just want to, certainly I can only speak for myself, but I just want to have an infinite amount of money so I can play video games all day and fix up old cars. And that's really, if I found a mentor that did that, my life would be tragic because that's really, well, first off it's, it's a It's not really possible. Most people who fix the bull cars are broke. And I stopped falling. I got out of that hobby. You know, that was like a temporary thing. So I liked the advice, but it is very hard. It's the same thing with David said with relationships where you're like, just go find somebody, you know, who has a great relationship and learn from them. But you know, I was on a podcast the other day with Cam Cathcart and Brandon Turner. And they're like, trying to give me marriage advice. And both of them married the only girl they've ever dated. So I'm

David Pere: Hmm.

Alexander the Great: like, you guys don't know, you guys have only ever had one chick. You don't know nothing about relationships. You don't know anything about dating. So it's very hard to like, like you're saying David, to get advice or even mentorship or even find a person that's emulatable. It's

David Pere: You

Alexander the Great: very

David Pere: gotta be

Alexander the Great: hard.

David Pere: really careful

Alexander the Great: I mean,

David Pere: to who you listen to.

Alexander the Great: it's good advice. It's just very hard.

James Lascara: Yeah, no doubt. No doubt.

David Pere: survivor bias.

James Lascara: We have kind of a saying that I think I said on our podcast since I'm not in the business of taking golf lessons from a guy who's never swung a club. So if somebody is unqualified to give the advice because they haven't experienced it, I'm not going to take advice from that person. That doesn't make any sense. That's why I got into real estate investing in 2020. 95% of people told me bad idea. Don't do it. I said, all right, well, you're not doing it either. So I'm not going to listen.

David Pere: Yeah. Likewise, having swung the club doesn't necessarily mean I'm taking the advice from you either. You've

James Lascara: That's a

David Pere: got

James Lascara: good

David Pere: to

James Lascara: point.

David Pere: also know how to wield the damn thing. Right?

James Lascara: That's

David Pere: So

James Lascara: a

David Pere: it's

James Lascara: good point.

David Pere: like there's all these layers to like finding the right person to, you know, latch on to and to

Alexander the Great: Actually, I would like to add my contrarian viewpoint. Here's how I make decisions. I ask everybody. I take all their advice. I assume that they are all idiots. And then I do the action that is left over from what nobody said. So everybody said all this stuff. I do the opposite of all of it. And whatever is left over, that's what I do. And that works out pretty good.

James Lascara: Nice. Contrarian, indeed.

David Pere: Oh, he's that is that. But sometimes, actually, a lot of times, Alex has some pretty wild ideas and I love them. But I like I like a lot of what you said there, though, James, I think there's a lot of really solid stuff. And I do think the mentorship piece is really, really crucial. I hate the word. mentorship at this point in life just because it's been so over buzzed. Uh, but there's not really a better word to fill it in with. So, you know, um, well, we all know that it's so important to find somebody who's a good role model. Uh, and it's just, man, I, I think back to when I was that age and I'm like, like what to Alex's point, it's like, I had no idea who the hell I was. What, I don't know what I would have listened to at that point in life.

James Lascara: Yeah, I'm sure Dave and Alex, you as well, I'm sure you guys get asked now to be mentors and I certainly do in Tampa. And this might be a contrarian view, but I'll share it. I don't mind sharing it publicly. I will test a mentee. If somebody's like, hey, I'll do this for you and I really want you to be my mentor, I'll be like, all right, show up here at 6 a.m. tomorrow. And if they don't show up, I'll never talk to them again. Because if you're going to ask me for something of value... And I'm going to, I will pour into you if you prove that you're willing to do the work and you'll listen to what I'm willing to provide, but I'm going to make sure that you're going to do that. And if you, if you're not, I'll find out quickly and I'll just abandon the idea.

David Pere: Yeah, I think the, and I've said this before publicly, the single fastest way to ruin your chance of mentorship with anyone you're trying to network with is to ask for advice and then ignore the response

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: or have somebody like, like you get ahold of, you know, like Doug Nordman or Brandon Turner when they told me like, hey, you should start a blog way back in the day. Had I then not done that. then had I ever gone back and asked them about something again, all they would have remembered is, well, the last time he asked me about something, he didn't follow through. So clearly not worth our time. And not to say that you should follow every bit of advice ever given, but if you ask somebody for advice and they recommend you read a book, read the book

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: and then let them know that you read the book. Otherwise, you're not going to foster that relationship.

James Lascara: That's a great point.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, this is common. I actually ignore this all the time too. Um, who was it? It was Ash. I didn't even know Ash Patel. He was like, um, he's the

David Pere: video in

Alexander the Great: best

David Pere: the hotel.

Alexander the Great: ever. He's the, he's a commercial investor.

David Pere: guaranteed

Alexander the Great: Um, I think,

David Pere: you and so tells.

Alexander the Great: no, you're being, you're being, that's not

David Pere: There's

Alexander the Great: appropriate.

David Pere: there's literally a Facebook group named Hotel Motel Patel because

Alexander the Great: It's

David Pere: every

Alexander the Great: not that...

David Pere: hotel in the world is

Alexander the Great: it's

David Pere: named

Alexander the Great: just that...

David Pere: Patel.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, he's not... I don't think he's Indian. So, it doesn't apply. Uh, you're being... you're being, uh... Anyways.

David Pere: Maybe three of the four people who made an offer at our hotel had that last name.

Alexander the Great: Yeah, it is a stereotype. I understand. But he said to me, he goes, Hey, I want you to, I don't know, jump through some hoop or whatever like that. And um, yeah, it really is important what you said, James, to like really make sure that you're listening from people you want to be like, because he he's like, go jump over all these hoops. And then, you know, I'll coach you. And I'm like, I don't want your coaching. I'm not gonna do all that. I'm not gonna do that. So it really is important because everybody, a lot of people do that. They'll make you jump through all these hoops and It's important because I don't want to spend my time on a. bad investments. You know, people are an investment and people have to be a really good investment and they have to show you that they're going to have a good return. So I don't like spending my time on bad investments either. Neither does David. Nobody does. So it really is important to show up and show people that you're a good investment. So yeah, showing people some hoops is good. And that's why it's also doubly important for the person who's jumping the hoops to make sure that this is the trail that you want to follow.

James Lascara: Yeah, and it's no nothing taken personally if they decide it's not for them. I don't think I'm everyone's mentor. Like if somebody's like, I need to really get more disciplined and motivated in life. Like you need to already be that. You can choose to be that. I'm not going to help you choose to be that. You need to do that yourself first.

David Pere: Yeah, I like it. All right, James. So the other day you made a comment on a Facebook post about your ROI in the war room, and I have since screenshot it and stuck it in some of my email followups for the marketing funnel. You're welcome.

James Lascara: Nice.

David Pere: So about your return on investment being ridiculous. And I'm curious if you wanted to, uh, you know, share a little bit about how you came up with that calculation.

James Lascara: Yeah, I basically, I took, and by the way, Dave, this is calculated on the, I think the current rate if I joined war room now. So I was an early member. And so the rate might be a little bit different. Um, but if you join the war room today, that's how I calculated it. Um, and so I took how much more net worth that I've gained since joining and then divided that by my total dues as if I joined now over the course of that whole timeframe. And I think the return was I think it was eighty three thousand percent Something like that But if you actually took my real dues is easily over a hundred thousand percent. I believe Which is

David Pere: It

James Lascara: a

David Pere: was,

James Lascara: lot

David Pere: it was, it made me laugh. I saw it pop up and I was like, well, that's going in one of my, in one of my followups as a testimonial, cause that's a pretty wild comment. I like seeing that. It was,

James Lascara: It's

David Pere: it was cool.

James Lascara: yeah, it's, it's great. I mean, it's like with anything, right? It's like with anything, your consistency is going to determine your results. And so if you play a sport and you're counting on every single practice to be perfect or every single practice to be some breakthrough experience, like it's not going to be the way it goes, but with war room and our squad, we just, we show up every time, not every Saturday that we meet is some breakthrough call. But to have an outlet with resources, mutual support, ideas for hiring, different, you know, different things going on in business. When you think like you're all alone and this is just some, some weird path you're on and you're in a funk, man, it is invaluable. It's been invaluable for me.

David Pere: Yep. Yeah, I agree. You guys have been very consistent for a long time.

Alexander the Great: Who's in your group?

James Lascara: Uh, we have a pretty powerhouse group, so we're in the green squad. So it's, uh,

Alexander the Great: Oh, you're in green squad? Yeah.

James Lascara: yeah.

David Pere: Hehehehe

James Lascara: Yeah.

Alexander the Great: Adams and Adam and, um, Travis.

James Lascara: Yeah, they're in my group. Yeah. No, I'm just kidding. Yeah. We're in the same group.

David Pere: And Marty and Brandon and Tom and Justin, the guy that

Alexander the Great: Yeah.

David Pere: is secret and nobody knows.

Alexander the Great: Nice. Yeah. David, it's a war room's overpriced. You know that? Everybody knows that it's underpriced, especially for green squad. I think you should double it for green squad specifically.

David Pere: Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

Alexander the Great: They're getting too much. Did you guys start a podcast? The green squad podcast? What do you, what do you do with that? What is that?

James Lascara: It is all about small business growth, entrepreneurial mindset, real estate focused topics. I think we're on episode six or seven will come out next week. So we just vary up the topic. It's kind of a panel. So anywhere from three to six of us will talk at a time on each call. And sometimes we crowdsource the topic we'll discuss. And then other times we'll come up with something internally and just talk about it.

David Pere: I've listened to two of the episodes so far. It's pretty good. I was actually, the first episode I listened to, I listened to, because I was kind of incredulous about how you guys were gonna try to manage six people on one recording virtually. I was like, this is hard enough when they're in the same room, but across a Zoom chat. And then I listened to it and I was like, oh my goodness. Like they didn't, I don't think they talked over each other once. This was very impressive. And so I

James Lascara: Yeah.

David Pere: was... I was like, man, somebody's directing traffic. And so yeah, it's actually a pretty good show.

James Lascara: Yeah, I appreciate it. We do a little etiquette there. If you're like, oh, I got something really important, do a little thing on the video. And then if you come off mute, that's another little etiquette thing. We have a good editor too.

Alexander the Great: David

David Pere: All

Alexander the Great: and

David Pere: right,

Alexander the Great: I

David Pere: James.

Alexander the Great: have no etiquette. We just yell.

James Lascara: Yeah, hey, that works.

David Pere: as we just showed as we talk over each other there. James, what are we missing? Before we wrap this up, what should we have covered that we have not yet?

James Lascara: I am a big believer in mindset. And for me, the reason I always bring this up is because to me, real estate doesn't exist without the right mindset. And so, you know, I have different phrases and stuff, different things I subscribe to, but don't be upset with the results that you never got from the work you didn't put in. That's one of my big things. I think these days in our society, a lot of people shy away from hard work. A lot of people shy away from taking risks and you need to have a little bit of both those things in order to get after your life vision. So I think I would share that with the listeners.

David Pere: Yeah, mindset's huge. It's amazing how much I held myself back at the beginning, just not believing what was possible.

Alexander the Great: Still do, hotshot.

David Pere: Yeah, getting better, getting better. Constant improvement, constant improvement.

James Lascara: Yeah, all that stuff, pain, frustration, failure exists only in your mind. That's the only place we all do it. We all do it. I do it, but I try to surround myself with resources and tools to get out of it quicker.

David Pere: Sure. Absolutely. All right, James, where can people get ahold of you?

James Lascara: Cool, the best way is probably my Instagram. So on Instagram, I'm at JPL Invest. Also have my email, which, can you throw it in the notes, Dave? Okay,

David Pere: Of course.

James Lascara: email will be in the notes. Those are probably the best ways. I don't wanna give out my cell number on the podcast, but I'm on my Instagram a lot, really trying to branch out the marketing. If you're interested in getting involved with us from a development perspective, we do a lot of really cool deals in Tampa. So hit us up there. We got a couple of little forms you can fill out and it's really easy to get started to learn about what we're doing in Tampa. And then we're always looking to work with action takers on the client side. We love working with action taker investors as clients in Tampa. So we appreciate that.

David Pere: love it. And Alex, I just I know we've been a little bit since we've done this together but I do believe we already made it through our traditional questions. Did we miss one of them or do you want to roll us out?

Alexander the Great: I don't know either of those two things.

David Pere: All right, well, this has been episode. We don't actually keep track of the

Alexander the Great: Yeah,

David Pere: numbers. So who

Alexander the Great: we

David Pere: am

Alexander the Great: don't

David Pere: I

Alexander the Great: keep

David Pere: kidding

Alexander the Great: track.

David Pere: with James Lascara? And we don't normally do an outro, but I'm trying to sound cool so that

Alexander the Great: Yeah.

David Pere: Alex feels like he's inferior. And we're going to sign off right now.

James Lascara: Thanks Dave.

Alexander the Great: Thank you, James.

James Lascara on the Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode: 216

James Lascara


Are you curious about how you can turn a passion for winning into a successful real estate empire? On today’s episode of From Military to Millionaire, Dave, and Alex sit down with James Lascara, a true powerhouse in the real estate world, known for his insatiable passion for winning and his unrivaled strategic approach. Friends jokingly say that “for James, winning is more fun than fun is fun,” and that's precisely the relentless determination that has driven him to success.


James Lascara is a Tampa-based realtor specializing in serving investor buyers, particularly those engaging in 1031 exchanges. His experience personally conducting such exchanges provides a valuable asset for his clients. Moreover, he has a passion for supporting military and veteran clients, offering optimal service to help them maximize the benefits of their VA loans.


In addition to his real estate licensure business, James Lascara also operates a rental business, where they manage long-term rentals in the Tampa area. Currently, they are in the process of transitioning their residential portfolio into commercial investments. Specifically, they aim to invest in commercial triple net, retail storage, and multifamily properties.


James Lascara is also involved in a development project and manages his own business, Lascara Capital, where he acts as a general partner in numerous syndications. How does he manage to juggle all these businesses? And what does he envision for the future of his empire? In this episode, James pulls back the curtain and gives us a peek into his high-stakes world.


So, what is it that keeps James Lascara motivated amidst the challenges? How does he balance his pursuit of victory with his commitment to serve? Dive into this insightful episode and let the story of James Lascara inspire you to think bigger, act bolder, and win more often.


What You'll Learn from Jams Lascara:


  • How does James juggle running multiple businesses and his winning mindset?
  • What prompted James' bold shift from residential to commercial real estate?
  • Why does the unique focus on military and veteran clients give James an edge in the competitive real estate market of Tampa?
  • What’s next for James' real estate empire?
  • How has mentorship shaped James' real estate journey?
  • And much more!


Favorite Quote by Jams Lascara:


“Living an unbelievable life won't be achieved by doing merely believable things.”

             – James Lascara



How to Connect James Lascara: 


Eager to connect with James Lascara? You can find him on LinkedIn for professional insights and on Instagram for a peek into his real estate journey. 


Connect, follow, and join his winning trail!










Real Estate Investing Course: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/teachable-rei 

Finding Off-Market Deals Course: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/teachable-off-market 

Recommended books and tools: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/kit/ 

SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE 

Website: https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com/start-here/ 

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/militarymillionaire/ 

My name is David Pere, I am an active-duty Marine and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don't get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom!

Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE  to the channel for more awesome videos!



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