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Mastering Private Capital: How I Raised Millions and Achieved Real Estate Success

How’s everybody doing? I’m Cory Peterson, and I’m excited to share my journey on raising private capital. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you. Let’s dive in.

The Humble Beginnings

I’ve had my share of successes in real estate, but it wasn’t always that way. I grew up in West Plains, Missouri, in the Ozarks, far from a life of luxury. On the farm, I learned to dream big because there weren’t many people around to hang out with. I had massive dreams and goals and always wondered how I could make them a reality.

When I was in seventh grade, I proudly told my teacher and classmates I wanted to be a professional baseball player. My teacher just looked at me and said, “Based on the odds, that will never happen.” That moment was crushing, but it taught me an important lesson: sometimes, your dreams are bigger than other people’s visions for you.

The Turning Point in Hawaii

Seventeen years ago, my life changed forever. My mom married a wealthy man named Bruce who had a house in Hawaii. My girlfriend (now wife) and I got invited to visit. This was the first real vacation of my life, and Bruce’s beachfront house blew my mind. Bruce’s lifestyle consisted of nice cars, expensive art, and no ringing phone. He had time and money, the perfect life balance.

When I asked Bruce what he did for a living, he told me he was in real estate and owned apartment complexes. Bruce wasn’t going to teach me real estate, but he gave me a dream to aspire to. When I returned from Hawaii, I read “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” and everything clicked. I started Kahuna Investments in 2005 because I wanted to be the Big Kahuna, just like Bruce.

Starting Small with Wholesaling

I began as a wholesaler because I had no money and no credit. I got good at it, but I was only making small fees while my investors were raking in big profits. The game changer came when I raised my first piece of private capital. Borrowing $85,000 from a friend named Carl showed me that private money was within my reach.

Raising Private Capital: The Secret Sauce

When Carl gave me that $85,000, it shattered all my limiting beliefs about raising capital. I realized the real money was in the money, not necessarily in the real estate itself.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Never ask people for money directly. Instead, ask them, “Who do you know that might be interested?”
  • Build a credibility kit. If you’re in single-family real estate, use before-and-after photos.
  • Create a private money program. Outline your terms clearly so investors know what they’re getting into.

Where to Find Investors

Finding investors means getting out there and meeting people:

  • Chamber of Commerce: Start mingling with local business owners.
  • Charity Boards: Find a charity you’re passionate about and join its board.
  • Golf Clubs: If you love golf, this is a fantastic place to meet potential investors.

How to Frame the Conversation

When you meet new people and they ask what you do, don’t just say “I’m in real estate.” Instead, say, “I buy apartments across the country that provide my investors with a strong return and a nice back end.” Then ask, “How’s the market treating you?” This simple question opens the door to discussions about money.

My Three Rules for Success

  1. Make Work a Game: Turn hard work into a fun challenge.
  2. Swing for the Fences: Be ambitious and don’t fear failure.
  3. Always Hustle: Outwork and outhustle everyone.


In conclusion, my journey from humble beginnings in the Ozarks to creating a thriving real estate business demonstrates that anyone can achieve their dreams with determination and the right strategies. Raising private capital is about building relationships, establishing credibility, and presenting opportunities in a way that resonates with potential investors.

By following my guidelines and principles, you can transform your real estate ambitions into reality. Remember, if I can do it, so can you. So get out there, start networking, and begin your journey to becoming the Big Kahuna of your own life.

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