Regular exercise: No, you don’t have to run a marathon. But getting moving can release endorphins, your body’s feel-good hormones. This helps reduce stress, improve mood, and even help with sleep. When I was working on this huge redevelopment deal, the stress was quite intense. I would blow off steam and clear my head by hitting the gym, playing basketball, volleyball or tennis. Trust me, it works!

With all that’s going on in our country, in our economy, in the world, and on social media, it feels like so many of us are under a great deal of stress. We know that chronic stress can be as unhealthy as smoking a quarter of a pack a day. For many of us, our work, our livelihood, is a particular cause of stress. Of course, a bit of stress is just fine, but what are stress management strategies that leaders use to become “Stress-Proof” at work? What are some great tweaks, hacks, and tips that help to reduce or even eliminate stress from work? As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Warner Quiroga.

Warner is a Real Estate Investor and Licensed Realtor. He is the Owner and CEO of Prestige Homebuyers located in Long Island New York. He buys houses for cash to fix and flip and also owns several rental properties.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to know how you got from “there to here.” Inspire us with your backstory!

I have always been an entrepreneurial person. In high school, I was the kid who sold candy, chips, video games, and shoes, constantly looking for ways to make some money. After graduating from school and attending college, I stumbled upon Amazon and learned how to sell items on the platform, dealing with books, video games, and electronics.

After spending two or three years in this line of business, I began selling cars for a friend who owned a private dealership. I would buy vehicles and resell them for a slightly higher price. Later on, I transitioned into the world of real estate.

A friend who was getting his real estate license suggested that it might be a good fit for me. Houses seemed like the logical next step in my entrepreneurial journey. I got my license, intending to invest rather than become an agent, thinking it would make things easier for me.

Around that time, I discovered that my aunt was looking to buy her first house. We connected and helped each other out when I found her an ideal investment property. She paid me a substantial sum, and my journey in the real estate sector took off from there.

What lessons would you share with yourself if you had the opportunity to meet your younger self?

Oh wow, if I could meet my younger self, I’d have plenty to say. Firstly, I’d reassure him that the path of real estate investing is challenging, but totally worth it.

The power of time can’t be underestimated. The sooner you start, the more time you have for your investments to appreciate. Plus, the learning tools and resources out there today are insane. Get a headstart!

I can’t stress enough the importance of educating yourself before venturing into the market. Read books, attend seminars, take online courses, even get a mentor. Knowledge is power — and profit. Success won’t happen overnight. Don’t rush into any deal without doing your due diligence. Remember real estate is a long-term game that needs patience.

Build relationships in the industry. Join local real estate groups, attend meetings, and make friends with wholesalers, rehabbers, landlords and private money lenders. Your net worth is your network.

Yes, you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll learn and grow from them. Don’t let fear of failure deter you from taking calculated risks. Understand the power of using other people’s money to grow your portfolio. You don’t have to fully fund every investment. Learn about mortgages, loans, and partnerships. As your portfolio grows, managing your properties can become overwhelming. A good property manager is worth their weight in gold.

None of us are able to experience success without support along the way. Is there a particular person for whom you are grateful because of the support they gave you to grow you from “there to here?” Can you share that story and why you are grateful for them?

You’re absolutely right — success is a team effort, and I couldn’t have reached where I am without the support of my family, friends, mentors, and colleagues. But one person who stands out the most is my mom.

From the very beginning, when I first expressed interest in real estate investing, my mom was my biggest cheerleader. She believed in me unconditionally, even though I was venturing into the unknown. Her unwavering faith in me gave me the motivation to push through the challenges that came my way.

Not only did my mom offer emotional and moral support, but she also became my “unofficial” advisor on many occasions. While she wasn’t an expert in real estate investing, her insights and advice on approaching situations with a level head were invaluable. She even attended some events and courses with me just to learn more about the industry and provide her support. Real estate investing can be a rollercoaster ride, and I feel truly blessed to have had her by my side throughout this journey.

So, to every aspiring investor out there, don’t underestimate the power of family support. It can make all the difference in the world as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of real estate investing.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think it might help people?

Right now, we’re in the process of initiating a project we’re calling the “Revive & Thrive” project.

In a nutshell, we are purchasing ‘as is’ homes that are either abandoned or in need of some major TLC. The exciting part of this project is that we’re not merely flipping them for profit. Instead, we’re renovating these houses to be functional, modern, and, importantly, affordable. And we stay committed to using eco-friendly and sustainable materials wherever possible.

The vision behind “Revive & Thrive” is to breathe new life into these old houses, transforming them into comfortable homes, and making them available to individuals and families who are struggling to purchase a house.

I truly believe this project is a win-win! For the neighborhoods, there’s the obvious benefit of beautification and eradication of neglected properties. For potential buyers, they get access to renovated, sustainable, and affordable homes in areas they love.

Ok, thank you for sharing your inspired life. Let’s now talk about stress. How would you define stress?

As a real estate investor, I see stress as a bit of a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s a natural human response to challenging or demanding situations — like managing multiple properties, dealing with unexpected renovations, or navigating a tough market.

But on the other side, stress can also be like fuel for progress. It’s a signal that you’re pushing your boundaries, growing, and stepping outside your comfort zone, which is often the case in real estate investing. It’s the discomfort you feel when you’re tackling a complex negotiation or making a risky decision that could potentially lead to a beneficial outcome.

In the Western world, humans typically have their shelter, food, and survival needs met. So what has led to this chronic stress? Why are so many of us always stressed out?

Great question! You’re right, in the Western world, many of us have our basic survival needs met — we have secure shelters, ample food supplies, and relatively safe societies. So, what’s with all this stress, right?

The thing is, our lives have become increasingly complex. It’s not just about survival anymore — we’re juggling multiple hats and dealing with financial pressures, high workloads, long working hours, and the constant need to stay “connected”. Plus, let’s not forget the hoard of unexpected situations real estate can throw at us — market downturns, difficult tenants, maintenance issues — the list goes on!

The chronic stress many of us experience is often tied to this break-neck pace of life, where we’re always “on,” trying to meet professional goals, living up to societal standards, or striving for personal achievements.

As real estate investors, the stakes are high, deadlines are tight, and we’re making significant financial decisions. It’s somewhat natural for stress to creep into our lives. But remember, balance is key! It’s crucial to take time out, unwind, and re-energize. Work towards creating that harmony where stress is just a nudge to keep going, not a constant push that wears you down.

After all, a successful investment journey is not just about financial progress, but also about personal wellbeing!

What are some of the physical manifestations of being under a lot of stress? How does the human body react to stress?

The physical manifestation of stress is something pretty universal, no matter what field you’re in, including real estate investment.

My body has been an excellent barometer for stress. In high-pressure moments, like during tense negotiations or when closing a high-stakes deal, I’ve felt my heart beating like a drum at a rock concert. Makes me feel alive, but I know it’s not the best for my health in the long run.

I’ve also noticed that during peak stress times, my sleep tends to take the hit. It’s like my brain is a roundtable conference that just doesn’t adjourn even at 2 AM, you know? All about those property values, market trends, and client wishes keep doing the cha-cha in my head.

Oh, and the tension headaches! It’s as if there’s a vice slowly squeezing my temples, forcing me to take a breather and step away from work for a bit.

And let’s not get started about the stomach upsets. Nothing kills the joy of a good meal faster than a worrisome call about paperwork snags or property disputes.

All these manifestations are my body’s way of telling me, ‘Hey, take it easy. Let’s strike that work-life balance.’ Easier said than done, but I’m trying. I find that exercise, a healthy diet, and mindful breaks go a long way in keeping the stress in check.

Is stress necessarily a bad thing? Can stress ever be good for us?

Stress is a bit like hot sauce. Just the right amount can add that edge we often need, but too much, and it’s not just the tongue that feels the burn.

As a real estate investor, I can’t deny stress is an everyday side-dish on my plate. But here’s the deal: Not all stress is bad. There’s a positive kind of stress that can actually juice up our performance.

Sometimes, stress can help us stay energized, keen, and able to work on the task at hand more efficiently. It’s that adrenaline rush when a deal is about to close, or the thrill of bidding against a rival buyer. That added pressure can turn up our focus, sharpness, and drive to succeed.

But just like everything, moderation is key. Too much stress, especially the chronic, grinding kind, that’s a different kettle of fish altogether. It can chip away at your mental and physical health over time, bringing on stuff like heart problems, weakened immune system, and mental health disorders — the works.

Being in the fast-paced world of real estate investment, the trick is to channel stress into a motivator, without getting weighed down by it. A bit of stress can get the gears grinding, but I see to it that I take breaks, look after my health, and keep everything in perspective.

Is there a difference between being in a short term stressful situation versus an ongoing stress? Are there long term ramifications to living in a constant state of stress?

Good question. In real estate investing, you might consider a short-term stressful situation as something along the lines of a bidding war, right? Your heart’s racing, you’re doing the math in your head, and the stakes are high. That’s what we call acute stress. It’s intense, but it’s momentary. Once you’re out of that bidding room, your system gets back to its usual steady state.

Now, imagine you’re managing a tricky tenant issue that’s been dragging on for months, or there’s a serious snag in your investment plan. This kind of ongoing stress, called chronic stress, is a whole different ball game. It’s like a dripping tap — constant, and after a point, can be pretty serious.

Ongoing stress can sneak in some long-term effects. We’re talking folk seeing an impact on their overall health over time. This could be anything from issues like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma, even mental health concerns like depression or anxiety.

But remember, stress isn’t the king here. You are. Becoming aware of your stressors, learning how to manage stress, and taking regular care of your health — both physical and mental — can go a long way in lessening the impact of stress on your life.

So, whether it’s the one-off stress of an intense negotiation, or the long-haul stress from complex deals, remember to pause, breathe, and keep your health in check.

Is it even possible to eliminate stress?

In the world of real estate investing, stress seems to be a built-in feature. The unpredictable market trends, dealing with clients, tricky negotiations, the list goes on and on.

But the key to remember here is that stress isn’t inherently evil. It’s our body’s way of saying, “Hey, things are getting a bit hairy here, we need to be on our toes.”

The aim then isn’t to eliminate stress entirely — which, unless we’re living on a deserted island, isn’t really feasible. What we can do, however, is learn to manage and cope with stress more effectively. Yep, it’s all about getting that upper hand.

This could look like regular exercising, meditation, getting a good night’s sleep, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and even simply choosing to take breaks from work when you need to recharge.

So, while we might not be able to kick stress out of the house for good, what we can do is decide how much impact we’re going to let stress have on our everyday lives. Remember, as the saying goes, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

In your opinion, is this something that we should be raising more awareness about, or is it a relatively small issue? Please explain what you mean.

It’s definitely not a small issue. Working in real estate can be a high-stakes, high-pressure game, and that can bring up some mad stress levels. And while a bit of stress can be a good motivator, if left unchecked, it can get out of hand real fast.

I believe we absolutely should be raising awareness about this. We’re talking about people’s mental and physical health here, after all. Those are two things you don’t want to mess with.

In fact, raising awareness is just step one. What would be even better is equipping people with the tools or coping strategies necessary to manage stress effectively. This could be simple stuff like maintaining a positive environment, encouraging a healthy work-life balance, fostering open communication, or even arranging for stress management workshops.

Remember, a healthy investor is a functional investor. And we all know that we can’t pour from an empty cup. So, let’s not only acknowledge stress for what it is but also take concrete steps towards managing it effectively. Only then can we truly thrive in this game of bricks and bucks!

Let’s talk about stress at work. Numerous studies show that job stress is the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. For you personally, if you are feeling that overall, work is going well, do you feel calm and peaceful, or is there always an underlying feeling of stress? Can you explain what you mean?

You know, when it comes to real estate investing, even when things are sailing smoothly, there’s usually this hum in the background. Some might call it underlying stress, others might name it an alert state, or if you’re an optimist — a challenge waiting to happen!

Work going well doesn’t necessarily mean I’m all chill’n’zen, you know? There’s always this teeny bit of… let’s call it ‘awareness’ — awareness that things can change, and fast. Market trends can shift, a hot property becomes a hot potato, or a proposed deal can take a nosedive.

So, even during those calm waters, the real estate shark in me is always kind of alert, ready to tackle whatever curveball that might come soaring my way. But that’s not to say I’m always on tenterhooks. You can’t let that kind of consistent undercurrent make your life a spin cycle of stress.

That’s where finding your grounding practices help. It could be meditation, a solid gym session, a hands-on hobby, or simply some quality family time. These not only work as your stress safety valves but also put things in perspective.

Okay, fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview: Can you share with our readers your “5 stress management strategies that busy leaders can use to become “Stress-Proof” at Work?” Please share a story or example for each.

Being a real estate investor, stress and work tend to go hand in hand, like a tricky dance partner on a crowded floor. But just like in dancing, stress management is all about finding your rhythm and flow. Below are my top 5 strategies for dealing with stress:

Regular exercise: No, you don’t have to run a marathon. But getting moving can release endorphins, your body’s feel-good hormones. This helps reduce stress, improve mood, and even help with sleep. When I was working on this huge redevelopment deal, the stress was quite intense. I would blow off steam and clear my head by hitting the gym, playing basketball, volleyball or tennis. Trust me, it works!

Mindfulness and Meditation: Studies have suggested that mindful practices can actually reduce symptoms of stress. Whenever I catch myself spiraling into a stress-fest, I pause, close my eyes, and focus on my breath for a couple of minutes. It helps break the cycle and bring some calm.

Breaks are NOT a crime: In fact, they’re necessary. I used to think working non-stop was the way to go. But I realized over the years that taking breaks isn’t ‘losing time.’ It’s more like hitting the refresh button, giving my brain a little room to breathe. Even a quick 5-minute stroll or a cup of my favorite coffee can do wonders.

Stay organized: I’m not kidding when I say an organized work day is half the battle won. It’s so much easier to tackle each task when they’re neatly lined up instead of being all over the place. I am using task management tools, like Asana which are super helpful to keep things under control.

Learn to say No: As much as we’d like to turn every property into a gold mine, it’s not always possible. And that’s okay! There was this one instance where I had taken on too many projects at once, and ended up stressed beyond measure. It was a wakeup call to understand my limits. Today, I’m not afraid to turn down a deal if it feels like too much on my plate.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that have inspired you to live with more joy in life?

I always watch Ed Mylett’s podcasts. I have also read his books “The Power of One More” and “Max Out Your Life”. I look up to him as he’s very genuine and motivational. From the things that he’s been through to how he connect to people, he’s just, I would say, amazing.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Such a thoughtful question you’ve asked! One fun fact about me is that I love supporting charitable movements for a cause. As a real estate investor, I believe the power of good housing drastically changes a person’s life quality; it provides comfort, safety, and, often, a sense of pride. So, I’d say, if I could inspire any movement, it would be geared towards “Affordable and Sustainable Housing for All.”

Nothing empowers people more than having a stable place they can call ‘home.’ But for many, due to financial constraints, this remains a distant dream. The movement I envision would help bridge this gap by developing affordable housing projects worldwide.

Not just affordable, we want these homes to be sustainable too because we’ve only got one earth. We need to protect it while providing quality homes. Therefore, the houses should be built using environment-friendly materials, equipped with energy-efficient systems, green spaces, and more to reduce their carbon footprint.

Now imagine if this idea could trigger a worldwide change! It wouldn’t just create homes but also employment opportunities — from construction to maintenance. It could potentially lead to the betterment of entire communities.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

You can visit our website, and our socials, Facebook and Twitter, search for Prestige Home Buyers, and prestigehomebuyersny for our Instagram.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.