Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

077: Turning Raw Land Development into Affordable Housing with Ben Julius


Purchasing raw land as a real estate investment isn’t quite as popular as flipping homes or getting into the short-term rental game, but it can be lucrative if you have a solid strategy. Land investments aren’t for everyone, but they can offer opportunities existing properties don’t.

On this episode of Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing, Jonathan welcomes Canadian real estate investor Ben Julius to the show. Ben is the founder and CEO of Lion Heart Development, which started as A-Game Investments. The company initially focused on flipping homes, short-term rentals, small multifamily conversions, and buying holds. Over the past three years or so, the business transformed into land development in a land assembly company.

Jonathan and Ben explain why you can’t get attached to properties if you’re a real estate investor, what makes land Ben’s preferred investment vehicle, and the urgent need for more affordable housing. They also cover the importance of continuing to look back even as you look forward to the future, the issues facing land development right now, and where Ben’s investment focus is right now. Finally, you’ll hear what he hopes to accomplish in the future.

This lively conversation is full of thoughtful takeaways and one you won’t want to miss.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Ben Julius’s path to real estate investing and how he discovered his ideal asset class

  • Why having a lack of attachment to real estate a crucial component in real estate investing

  • The appeal of land assembly and land development and the reason it can be the fastest way to both make a lot of money and lose a lot of money

  • How Ben applies the principles of coaching a team to finding the right team for each of his projects

  • His introduction to real estate at 19 and why it took him until 2019 to really dive into it full-time

  • Ben’s goal to create affordability in his housing market and his love for all types of homes

  • Each property purchase is a learning experience and the importance of continuing to move forward while considering lessons learned

  • What Ben Julius does to combat shiny object syndrome and repurpose investments

  • Why the current market is confusing for investors, and why there is a demand for smaller or multigenerational dwellings

  • The types of property he looks for in the Greater Toronto Area versus Florida

  • His future plans for his real estate company and aspirations outside of real estate

  • Ben’s favorite part of real estate investing

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If you enjoyed this episode, we’ve created a PDF that has all of the key information for you from the episode. Just go to the episode page at to download it.

Supporting Resources:

Lion Heart Development –

Find Ben Julius on Facebook –

Get in touch with Ben on Instagram –

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn –

Website –

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Zillow –

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