Risen from the Ashes: How a 2008 $60M Family Bankruptcy Shaped the Future of Justin Brennan, One of La Jolla's Top Realtor Investors
LA JOLLA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / March 15, 2021 / When we interviewed Justin Brennan, he didn't really want to talk about the past. It's not easy to discuss failures, even if they're not really yours. But after a few moments getting comfortable learning about Justin, he began to open up and let us into why he thinks the way he does, and why his investment strategy is so methodical nowadays. Justin is no stranger to hard work. This luxury real estate agent and multi-family investor got his start digging ditches and laying pipe on his dad's job sites, quickly learning the value of a hard-earned dollar. After college, Justin became VP of operations at his dad's development company and learned the ins and outs of taking raw dirt and developing it into 400-unit multifamily complexes. But when the financial crisis hit and real estate was brought to its knees, Justin's self-made, hard-working father lost everything he had built over his 40-year career.
"I'll never forget it. My dad walked into my office April 8th, 2008 at 8:30 am, sat down, closed the door, and told me the bank called and shut down everything. He told the bank they can't do that. The bank told him they had no choice and my dad could sue them but would run out of money trying. The bank knew what was happening with the markets and decided to cut losses."
That humbling hit has molded Justin's strategy ever since and ultimately opened doors for him to explore the real estate side of the development business. He watched investors, families, friends and even himself lose lots of money. But as they say, "In moments of suffering, greatness is born.
Justin helped his dad consolidate his businesses, then began looking for something to pay the bills. "I ran into a friend who was an asset manager for many of the major banking institutions helping banks with their REO's around the country. He told me there is always opportunity in real estate, it just depends which side of the coin you're playing… positive or negative." From 2009-2010 Justin became an asset manager for banks managing thousands of residential REO properties around the country until he saw the market shifting into short sales. The opportunity came along to put his real estate brokers license to work helping families mitigate tough financial times. Being a Realtor has given Justin the unique opportunity to help families buy, sell and invest in real estate, but also invest for himself. In 2010, Justin and fellow University of San Diego graduate, Christopher Pohle, began buying small 2-4 unit properties. "I told myself I would do everything I could to build a new company based on cash flow fundamentals, diversified risk, and avoid for-sale condos." Justin and Chris, co-founders of The Brennan Pohle Group, have built an impressive portfolio of multi-family apartments, as both investors and contractors, secured on the foundation of lessons Justin learned from the 2008 financial crisis....