How Arnold Schwarzenegger built a $300 million Real Estate Empire

Pete Weishaupt
2 min readSep 13, 2017


In a short video, Peter Harris, author of Commercial Real Estate Investing for Dummies, shares a story about Arnold Schwarzenegger and how he built a $300 million Real Estate empire.

According to Peter, long before he became the Govenator, The Terminator/Mega Movie Star, or the Godfather of modern bodybuilding, Arnold planted the seed of his empire with a 6 plex apartment building. He was once a ‘beginning commercial real estate investor’.

Peter says the 6 plex, not the 6 pack, was the foundation of Arnold’s success. When Arnold first came to the US, he needed to figure out a way to pay for his competitions and auditions without having a regular 9 to 5 job. He saved every penny he had from competitions, seminars and workshops in order to save enough money for his first 6 plex in Santa Monica.

Peter says Arnold also realized he should first buy an income producing property before buying a home to live in. And that’s exactly what Arnold did. He lived in apartment №6 and rented out the other five. Three years later he sold the 6 plex and bought a 12-unit apartment building.

Somewhere down the road Arnold sold the 12-unit and bought a 36-unit building. Peter says Arnold saw the possibilities and the power of commercial real estate, which led him to build an empire now consisting of hundreds of apartment units, office buildings and retail space in West Los Angeles. Arnold’s Real Estate empire is estimated to be worth over $300 million now. You can view Peter’s comments here.

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This article first appeared on The Mad Minute blog