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How a 2008 $60M Family BK Shaped Justin's Future. Read AP News article 



My Story

I was born on thanksgiving day November 26th 1979 in San Diego, CA. My first memories are at 3 years old. We lived on Dory Road in Bonita, Ca in a 3bd 2 bath home. A typical middle class family. I started digging ditches on my dads job sites in San Diego. My father was a real estate broker turned developer in the early 1980's. He started small and became a self made by the late 80's. I always remember him preaching the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. My dad's abusive father died when he was 3. My dad went off to Vietnam in the 70's as a door gunner. When he got back home, he began his career in real estate. In his 40 year career, he did well until the financial crisis of 2008. During the housing crash of 2008, my father lost everything. I watched him go through a $60,000,000 bankruptcy. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old, but I had a good childhood 1980 - 1998. Their relationship was abusive with lots of yelling, but they showed us lots of love and stability. It was hard living in separate homes and moving a lot. Since my dad was a developer, he used our home as a profit center, moving every few years for taxes. Read AP News article here


I had a learning disability. I never really knew it, but apparently I was really bad with standardized tests and my inability to focus and retain information. I didn't let it stop me and my parents made sure it didn't get me down. I always had to work harder in school than most kids, but I was willing to out work most kids and do better than "smarter kids." I feel blessed to have had a chance at an amazing education in high school and college. I was very fortunate to get to spend half of my college oversees in Europe and Semester at Sea around the world. Having traveled to 6 continents, 30+ countries, 60 + cities around the world, it exposed me to many cultures and people. I appreciate how lucky we are to live in America. My travel experiences have shaped the person I am and the legacy I want to leave. Abundance2Give. "Freely Ye Give, Freely Ye Receive." I grew up under Christianity, but I don't practice it today. I value religions, but see myself  as a spiritual person and less a religious person. Nonetheless, there are many lessons I took from Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego Grad School. 

Watching my dad go through 2008-2010 was a humbling kick in the butt. I had to start over and I needed to re-learn the habits, the skills and the mindset that created success for the top 1%. Thankfully my parents instilled in me the value of the dollar, hard work & self reliance. The one thing I had to shift, was my relationship with money. Read AP News article "Risen from the ashes. How a 2008 $60M family BK shaped the future of Justin Brennan"

You see... there are 3 relationships you can have with money. 

  1. Poverty relationship (Money is the root of evil and does more harm than good. You don't need money. Money doesn't help people. I don't need money. I can be poor and happy). You can be poor and happy... but' I'd rather be rich and help others.

  2. Just enough relationship. (You make just enough to get by in life). 

  3. Abundance TO GIVE relationship.  (I need to accumulate as much money as possible, so I can give back to the world and help others as much as possible. Money is good and I can help a lot of people, follow my passion projects if I have the resources to do it. Money is abundant and I need it to help the world).

I was never comfortable with "The abundance mindset" until I added "TO GIVE."  Which mindset do you have? Most people are at #2. I was at # 2.... Until I shifted my mindset and relationship with money. You see... I've seen money do good and money do bad, so I struggled with the fear if I made too much money it may cause more harm than good in my life. That is until I shifted my mindset... TO GIVE. So now I have a purpose behind it. I want to accumulate as much money as possible to help give back to our military, veterans, wounded warriors and young kids without good mentors and households to grow up in. I know how valuable a great education and mentorship can have on the trajectory of a child's life and the critical age between middle school and high school where some kids are forgotten. This is why I support "Reality Changers" for youth, "Wounded Warrior Project" and "Wounded Warrior Homes" for our veterans.

It's now 2010: "So I picked myself up": After helping my dad consolidate his businesses, I went and worked as an asset manager handing foreclosures for many of the major banks around the country. I also began the side hustle of selling luxury homes and went to my buddy, Christopher Pohle, and told him we need to start a company to buy rental properties. Hence... how The Brennan Pohle Group was founded. Our first property was a $100,000 condo in Murrieta CA. Then we bought a SFR home in Hemet, a triplex in National City, a 4 unit in National City, a 4 unit in El Cajon, so on and so forth. We did most of it with our own money and some with investors. We developed a few multi-unit properties in San Diego in 2016-2018. 


2018 was the year: In 2018 I knew we needed to expand outside CA and grow. So I went to a syndication conference in Boston. I met many investors and syndicators from around the country and begin to learn the markets I wanted to invest in. Kansas City, MO was our first. Most people are surprised when I tell them Kansas City, but it has been one of the best markets. I knew it when I traveled to KC in 2018. Since the conference, we have purchased nearly 500 units in multiple markets around the US and growing. Our first BHAG is 1,000 units, then 3,500 and then 10,000. We now invest into MO, TX, with plans for OK, AL, TN and AZ.


Dream big, put a plan in place and then execute. As my dad says... "Son, there are doers and dreamers in this world. Doers take their dreams and make them a reality. Dreamers keep on dreamin. Dreamers talk, talk, talk, but never execute."  

Where I am today:

After my divorce in 2019/20, I took some time to focus my life and what I wanted. I know I want a purpose driven life. My biggest fear is meeting my 80 year old regretful self. I would hate to meet that person and have that person regretful about not going for things. We have a limited time on earth. Make sure you embrace it and fulfill yourself personally, professionally and in health. I currently live in San Diego. I travel to our properties throughout the West and Midwest. I run several companies focused in apartments, real estate, education and online commerce. Thanks to real estate and apartment investing, I can say I am a muliti-millionaire.  I have two beautiful children and I am in a good place spiritually, health, professionally and personally. I hope everyone gets to experience financial freedom and personal fulfillment. 

I Want to Take a Moment and Thank You For Being Here.

If you made it this far, I appreciate the time you took to read this and deeply value every relationship I make from this. I’m here for you as both a guide and as a friend. I try to respond to every email and want to hear your story – both the good and the bad. I want to provide a safe community where new investors can collaborate, provide encouragement, and work smarter. Read AP News article "Risen from the ashes. How a 2008 $60M family BK shaped the future of Justin Brennan"

Thank you for reading.

I hope that the story of your life brings you peace, freedom, and happiness.

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"How a 2008 $60M Family Bankruptcy Shaped the Future of Justin Brennan One of La Jolla's Top Realtor-Investors."

“There are doers and dreamers in this world. Doers take their dreams and make them a reality, while dreamers keep on dreamin.”

— My Dad Jim Brennan

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