From Immigrant Hustler to Real Estate Titan: Rod Khleif’s Psychology of Building & Rebuilding Empires


From Immigrant Hustler to Real Estate Titan: Rod Khleif’s Psychology of Building & Rebuilding Empires


Guest: From wearing hand-me-downs to owning thousands of doors, Rod Khleif’s real estate journey is one of epic upswings and gut-wrenching falls. He immigrated to the US at 6, faced childhood poverty, and built a real estate empire, only to lose millions in the 2008 crash. But Rod bounced back, fueled by an unshakeable mindset and a deep understanding of psychology’s role in success. Today, he’s a multi-millionaire, podcast host, and mentor, sharing his hard-won wisdom to help others avoid his pitfalls and achieve their own real estate dreams.


Big Idea: Real estate success isn’t just about brick and mortar; it’s about mastering the mental game. In this episode, Rod reveals the powerful mindset strategies that helped him climb back from rock bottom, and how anyone can leverage psychology to overcome fear, limiting beliefs, and market downturns. He emphasizes goal setting, decisive action, and resilience as the cornerstones of building and rebuilding real estate empires.




Dan Breslin: All right Rod Khleif. Welcome back to the REI Diamond Show. How you doing today?

Rod Khleif: Good buddy. It’s great to see you again man. And It’s so cool to know that you’re right up the street. But what’s really cool, is we’re both wearing the same freaking watch which you know [crosstalk]. We both have these gorgeous Hublot Big Bang watches on. Our favorite brand. And so that was really crazy. It’s the first time that’s ever happened to me. So, very cool. Well it’s great to see you man. Thanks for having me back.

Dan: Yeah we are. Hey you too. So if listeners want to go check out the original episode. I want to say this was in 2021 if I’m not mistaken. But the title was “Making them losing 50 million bucks with Rod Khleif”. And I hate to brand you that, the money-losing guy. Because that’s not who you are and you recover from that. But why don’t you give any listeners who may not have caught that original episode, Rod. Give them a brief rundown and what that looks like, and then how your business is grown today.

Rod: Sure. Well, first of all it sucked, okay. It was no fun at all. Let me say that. But let me back up a little bit down real quick and just give a brief history on me. So, I’m an immigrant. I was born in the Netherlands, wooden shoes and windmills. Immigrated when I was 6, with my brother Albert and My mother’s mancha[?]. Ended up in Denver Colorado where we lived for 30 years. Struggled initially. I wore hand-me-down clothes from the Goodwill and the Salvation Army. We eat expired food, believe it or not. They had a store that sold expired food, drank powdered milk with our cereal in the morning. I mean really struggled.

But my mom had an incredible work ethic. So she babysat kids so we would have enough money to eat. And with her babysitting money, she was a bit of an entrepreneur and she’s the reason I got into real estate. Because she used that babysitting money and bought the house across the street from us when I was about 14, for 30 grand. Then when I was 17, she told me she’d made $20,000 in her sleep, it gone up in value. I said, “What? You made 20…”, this is when 20 Grand was a lot of money, okay? And I said, “You met 20 grand and you didn’t do anything?”. Forget College, I’m getting into real estate.


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Rod Khleif & I Discuss How to:

  • Discover how a single, resolute decision can propel you from observer to active investor.
  • Learn to navigate the fear of the unknown and take that crucial first step in the dark.
  • Reframe fear as an illusion and leverage it for action and a positive mindset.
  • Identify and crush the limiting beliefs holding you back from unleashing your full potential.


Relevant Episodes: (There are 236 Content Packed Interviews in Total)


The transcript of this episode can be found here.
Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.