Sam Liebman’s new book is Harvard Can’t Teach What You Learn From the Streets: The Street Success Guide to Building Wealth Through Multi-Family Real Estate. By approaching a decidedly educationalist category with an unapologetically hands-on, cut-through-the-(blank) philosophy and approach, immediately the topicality of the read while potentially dense and dry to the uninitiated becomes wholly understandable and even downright fun. “I wrote this book primarily as an answer to the limited opportunities available in the current marketplace to obtain a professional real estate education,” Liebman stated accordingly. “This book is written with my personal philosophy and teaching style I’ve developed over the years. The concepts presented in this book are based upon my many years of both traditional and non-traditional education and experiences. I tried to make it both comprehensive and entertaining to keep the reader continuously motivated.”


Liebman’s background is cited regarding his growing up in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Such an introduction, written by Curtis Sliwa, adds a certain affability and sense of identity to the information provided further in Harvard Can’t Teach’s pages. “Growing up in Canarsie exposed you to the good, the bad, and the ugly,” he writes. “From Brownsville, the Jews came, many of whom were store owners and businessmen. Their families stressed that education was the way to succeed, but for some of the young men, the lure of the street action was too strong. The Italians were blue-collar and hardened in their ways. (Sam Liebman) was short and had a mouth, but always wanted to be accepted and compete with the big boys. No matter how many times he was rejected or picked on, he came back for a better day. Playing street games was his release—and how he won acceptance from his much bigger, older peers.” It’s this kind of pit bull mentality Sliwa highlights, and Liebman himself speaks so passionately of, that he continues to stress in statistically-backed, more analytics-centered parts of the read. Particularly when it comes to acute descriptions of the nitty-gritty white collar hustle unique to the real estate market scene itself.

“The lessons of the street are a specialized curriculum of their own. Only a few insiders with many years of exposure and experience learn under this school’s tutelage,” Liebman states in the aforementioned vein. “The graduate’s education has been learned through many painful and expensive real-life experiences. In order to become successful, you have to be beaten up and spend time in the trenches. This is how you learn what really goes on.”


By making the read have actual personality when so many leadership advice books are distinctly lacking, Liebman achieves two things simultaneously. First, he makes all of the information accessible on a left brain and right brain basis, the reader feeling as intellectually invested as they are emotionally. Secondly, the book takes on a homey, tutelage kind of feeling – not like someone talking down to a hypothetical other, but an actual friend or mentor guiding you systematically and deliberately through the pages to a place where actualized success really is possible…

Garth Thomas