Why I Know You Can Make It In Real Estate Investing?
I want to share with you a little bit about my story. The reason I’m sharing this is because there’s a lot of you out there that are struggling. You may not have gone to college, and you may not have done a lot of things, and you don’t know if you’ve got what it takes to make it in real estate. I just wanted to share with you that the bar isn’t that high.
No silver spoon
I grew up in the middle part of Florida, in Hardee County. It was seven miles to the nearest little store. I just grew up a country kid, working the fields with my family, and going hunting and fishing. My family was basically migrant farm workers. We had a small vegetable farm, and some orange groves. In the middle of summer we would board up the house and travel to Michigan for a few months to harvest blueberries and apples. I did ok in school, but never that great. I could pass the tests, but I didn’t want to do the homework, so I never got good grades. My dad died when I was I think 13, suddenly, it was just me and my mom. I wanted to go to college, so I took a GED and graduated high school in the 11th grade, because I just wasn’t learning anything. I had started to fall in with a bad crowd and it just wasn’t working for me. I was good with electronics, so I thought that I could go to junior college and take some electronics classes.
I did this for a couple months and then realized what a burden it was on my mom, as we had very limited resources. We’d had the 40-acre farm and we sold it after my dad died. There was this preacher that my dad had given some of the property to that basically took advantage of mom, and stole most of the money from her, but that’s another story. Anyway, we didn’t have a lot and I was a really big burden on her. So I thought the best thing for me to do would be to go in the Army. After the Army I came home and got into more trouble. I was just your average guy struggling to find his way through his 20’s.
Real Estate Freedom
Finally, I hit on real estate because I ran across some people in my life and they had a lifestyle that looked good to me. Real estate gave them freedom. It allowed anybody to build their own future and call their own shots. That’s why I gravitated towards real estate. It’s always been either the in the forefront or the background of my thoughts for my whole life. I was either in real estate or wanting to be in real estate. I’d go in and out and in and out based on what the market was doing and what my life was doing. I had a lot of different businesses along the way, but I did well in real estate during the run-up before the crash of 2008. In 2008 I really took a hard hit. I lost everything. However, I rebounded in 2012 and started all over. By 2017 I was back on top and I’m doing well. I had good rentals, so I didn’t have to work anymore.
But I knew that sitting around wasn’t going to work for me. Throughout my life I’ve been able to take long spans of time off. I even took a year off one time and played golf every day. Not because I wanted to be a pro golfer, it was just that I had hit a windfall of profit that I thought would continue forever. Sadly enough, I didn’t get any better at golf, and the money didn’t last, so it wasn’t a big high point in my life. I learned along the way that early retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All your friends are still working, can’t come out to play and being the youngest guy at the country club isn’t that much fun either.
I knew that I had to be productive but making money just for the sake of making money has never been a big thing for me. I’ve got the boat, the beautiful girl, the nice house, a decent car. What debt, I had was good debt on real estate. So, what should I do?
Too Legit to Quit
I didn’t want to just quit because if there is one thing that I know, it’s that I love doing real estate deals and talking about real estate deals more than anything. I knew that it gave me great joy to help someone complete a deal, especially if it was their first one. To see that look on someone’s face when they close on that first deal and get a big paycheck that’s anywhere from a month to a year of their regular income is just awesome. They know the money is coming, but it’s not real for them until the check’s in their hand. I’ve seen people laugh, cry, and everything in between, when it hits home that it really is happening to them. They did it…their life just changed forever.
I loved that feeling, and I knew it wasn’t about money, because I wasn’t getting a check! It’s the feeling you get when you coach someone, and they succeed. Whether you are teaching a child how to ride a bike, or an adult how to succeed, helping people achieve something is a real rush. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing now. Being a real estate teacher and coach allows me to take my own personal game to the next level, while I help people at the same time.
So, know you know a little about me, and that I made it in real estate. Did I make it to the level that some people do? No. But I made it to the level that I needed to be at. Being a flashy real estate billionaire doesn’t appeal to me. It’s like painting a target on your back. I like the fact that I can walk down the street and no one knows who I am. Just know that most of the flashy “billionaire” real estate people you see aren’t real estate people, they are MARKETERS. They make most of their money selling books, giving giant seminars, infomercials, and insanely expensive coaching programs.
I’m proof that the bar to success in real estate is not a bar of intelligence. I made it and I don’t have a college diploma. Making it in real estate isn’t about being a genius, it’s about persistence. You have to want it. You have to be persistent about it. If you’ll go out and do something in real estate every day, you will succeed in real estate. It doesn’t have to be big. If you just mail five letters a day to absentee owners, or go through the courthouse records and mail to owners with lots of evictions, something like that, and just mail five letters a day. Eventually you’re going to come across a seller and you’re going to make money. It’s probably not going to take you that long because even though you’ve got a few people out there that are doing mass mailings, most are doing them poorly. Most of them get thrown in the trash, because very few people out there that are doing quality, concentrated mailings.
Just know that if you’re willing to be persistent and find something that works for you, you’ll make it. Find something that fits your style, something that feels good. If you don’t think that being a landlord would be good for you, then maybe you don’t want to be a landlord. If you’re a meek person and people can talk you in anything, then land-lording is not for you. But maybe being a wholesaler is. If you can find a motivated seller and get a contract on a property for a good deal, you’re going to make money. You can do that over and over and over and you don’t even have to have any money on your own. It’s a business you can get into with next to nothing. As long as you play your cards right. Just wholesale those deals, make a little bit here, a little bit there. If you don’t get greedy, you’ll have people that’ll eat out of your hands every time you get a contract. You pick up the phone and 30 people show up.
The bar that’s been raised isn’t that high. It’s not that hard. And if I can do it, you can do it.
I’m just an old redneck guy from the middle part of Florida. I’m not a genius by any stretch. I’ve got a good eye for real estate, but that came from years of looking at deals. You’ll get that same knack for what’s right, what’s wrong, and what things cost. Where you can walk up to a house and immediately have a pretty good idea of what it’s worth and what it’s going to sell for. It just comes with practice. So, get out there and do something. Do something every day, just a little bit.
You may not become a multi-millionaire, but you will build your freedom. You will make it.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney or CPA. The content herein is merely opinion, and should in no way be considered legal or financial advice. Please seek professional legal and financial advice for your specific situation.