Real Estate = "Get Rich Slow" Business

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Bryan Hancock

Real Estate Investor from Round Rock, Texas

Apr 17 '12, 09:42 PM
1 vote

I was reading a book from a popular commercial real estate investor this evening and he made the bold claim that real estate is a "get rich slow" business. One of the most successful investors I know in Austin uses this exact same phrase quite a bit.

Overall is this something you agree with? I think the overall point is that rehab or value-add deals are good for short-term gains, but that the real money is made over the long haul owning property.

Agree? Disagree? Opinions?

Medium_inner10_logo__updated_Bryan Hancock, Inner 10 Capital
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 1-800-577-0401
Our Recent Austin Business Journal Article -

Josh Pittman

Real Estate Investor from San Pedro , California

Apr 17 '12, 09:53 PM
1 vote

Real estate = a business, and like with any business, how quick you get rich depends on how you define rich, how much risk your willing to take and how much volume your willing to work to sustain. But I think the intent of the statement is good since it is probably aimed at people who count too heavily on magical appreciation to make them rich

Sharon Rolel

Rishon Lezion

Apr 17 '12, 10:02 PM

I was just thinking about this the other day, although perhaps from a different angle. Today it's quite possible to become very rich practically instantly (relative to traditional business and RE) with the internet and globalization.

Andrew Jones

SFR Investor from Los Angeles, California

Apr 17 '12, 10:10 PM
4 votes

I would have to agree with the "get rich slow" especially with my businness model of buying 1 or 2 rentals a year. Although, I rather get rich slow than never get rich.

Account Closed

Landlord from Seattle, Washington

Apr 17 '12, 10:24 PM
1 vote

I think that it is easy to confuse getting rich with building wealth. I happen to know from experience that real estate can build real wealth over time.

Appreciation is only one way that real estate builds equity. Good investment properties also build equity through tenant payments. You can also force appreciation in some circumstances.

While I agree that appreciation in today's market is not something to count on. I happen to believe that appreciation will be back at least in many areas. There are some areas of the country that might face long term problems.

J Scott Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Ellicott City, Maryland

Apr 18 '12, 05:03 AM
4 votes

There are (at least) two aspects to real estate -- passive investment and active business.

Approaching real estate purely as an investment will certainly not allow you to get rich overnight, but provides a great opportunity for long-term wealth accumulation.

Approaching real estate as a business will allow you to build cash quickly, relatively to your efforts, time, cash and ability. If you're willing to put in a lot of time, effort and cash (and have the ability), you can make a lot of money quickly. But, this is no different than any business dealing in high-cost, high-margin products -- it just so happens that real estate is the highest-cost product that is easily accessible to all people.

So, the answer to your question is, "It depends"... :)

Medium_lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]

James Vermillion Donor

Real Estate Investor from Lexington, Kentucky

Apr 18 '12, 05:11 AM
1 vote

Put me in the "it depends" camp. "Real Estate" is far too broad a term and "rich" is too vague. This is similar to saying the stock market is a get rich slow depends on what you are doing (day trading options vs holding mutual funds). I know several people who accumulated a lot of money in a relatively short time in real estate. I also know people who have been investing for over 30 years and have accumulated wealth slowly. So real estate can be a get rich quick, get rich slow, get poor slow, or get poor quick game, depending on strategy, risk, timing, luck, and numerous other factors.

Nathan Emmert

Multi-family Investor from South Jordan, Utah

Apr 18 '12, 06:04 AM
1 vote

For me it absolutely is... but that's what I want. I don't care if I'm rich at 35, 40, 45... why? Because I'm not going to retire until my kids completely their undergrads, right about the time I turn 55. What I care about is the lowest risk approach that leaves me rich at 55.

Real estate as an "investment", not a job... is a slow wealth accumulation model... but fairly low risk. I love it.

Jon Klaus Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Garland, Texas

Apr 18 '12, 06:22 AM
2 votes

So what is slow and what is quick? Is doubling your net worth every 5 years slow? I'm sure it seems slow whom you are 25 years old and show $25k net worth on your balance sheet. But what if you are 50 and have grown from $2m to $4m in the past 5 years, and you are targeting $8m by 55, $16m by 60, and $32m by 65? That's a lot of money. But is it fast or slow?

I think developers can get caught up in big opportunities that promise fantastic returns, but carry much more risk. We see or hear about a successful one and say why can't I do that? And maybe you can, but doing so repeatedly is an outlier situation. Look at it this way, if a developer or even an investor who started with $100k, could double their worth every 2 years, within 40 years they would be worth well over $100,000,000,000.00 . This ignore taxes, but you get the idea. So yes, it is possible to get rich quick in RE, but not possible to sustain fantastic returns.

Another observation. Those who got rich quick are far less likely to hold onto their money than those who got rich slowly.

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545

Nathan Emmert

Multi-family Investor from South Jordan, Utah

Apr 18 '12, 06:33 AM
2 votes

Here's the numbers, I like numbers. My near term goal...

I'm looking to get 19 mortgages between my wife and I in the next 3 years while rates stay low. I figure that's a great start to our retirement though by no means the end. I'm going to guess that'll be about 50 doors. I'm shooting for about $2M in debt on those 19 mortgages. Here's the fun part.

I target a minimum of 1.5% rents which at the low end keeps debt servicing right around 33% where I want it. This means $2M in debt would generate $30k in monthly rents, $5,100 in free cash flow (17%). If we assume straight line equity pay down over 30 years, we're also "buying" $5,555 of house each month with our mortgage payments. If we assume the market returns to appreciation matching inflation at 3%, our portfolio is appreciating in value by about that same amount, $5,555 a month.

So add them up... if I hit my plan of 19 rentals valued at $2M rented at 1.5% of purchase price generating a debt to income ratio of 3:1 with long term 3% inflation/appreciation, our net worth goes up $16,210 a month. How many "normal" people would love to be able to say that?

James H.

SFR Investor from Texas

Apr 18 '12, 07:05 AM

It really must depend on a person's strategy, circumstances, ability, access to money and time. Based on some other posts about net worth and monthy income goals here on BP where folks are talking about 20MM net worth and 20K monthly passive income, I'd say, hell yeah, that's gonna take a couple decades minimum - unless you already have a high net worth and/or high monthly income. There might be that one guy or gal out of 10 million that accomplish high lofty goals in 5 years or less, but then again, there are people who win the lottery and get rich instantly too...

Jon Klaus Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Garland, Texas

Apr 18 '12, 07:06 AM

Sounds like a great plan, Nathan. Growing your net worth at $200k a year is remarkable. However, if it is growing at that rate on a foundation of $3mm net worth, I'd argue that isn't fast. A very worthy goal, but not fast. But reasonable speed is good, IMO.

Jon Klaus, SellPropertyFast
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 214-929-6545

Kama Ward

Real Estate Investor from Asheville, North Carolina

Apr 18 '12, 08:54 AM

Get Rich Slow is just a marketing slogan telling the reader/listener "I'm the real deal- learn real estate investing from me" -to distinguish themselves from other gurus.

It could be followed by valuable information or a load of crap, depending on the person.

You can get rich quick or slow in real estate, just like any other business. Most people who do it will fall into most people's definition of slow.

J Scott Moderator Donor

Real Estate Investor from Ellicott City, Maryland

Apr 18 '12, 09:13 AM
2 votes

Originally posted by Zachary Dosch:
How about "relatively slow at first"?

"Compounding interest is the most powerful force in the Universe."

Medium_lishproplogoJ Scott, Lish Properties, LLC
E-Mail: [email protected]

Andrew Wilkin

Property Manager from Denver, Colorado

Apr 18 '12, 11:02 AM
2 votes

I love Trammell Crow's quote "To get rich in Real Estate you need to buy something and live a long time"

Ken Horton

Gilbert, AZ

Apr 18 '12, 11:59 AM

Many times as we know the allure of a quick buck can mean the bucks you have go quickly out the door with all the variables that exist in the world of real estate investing. When you have time and knowledge to do it right, it can happen quick and long-term at the same time depending on what type of investing you are doing. I have done it a few different ways and now as I don't have as much time, it makes more sense to use a turn-key system done by a power team that does this everyday.

Tony Licen

Structural Contractor from Oyster Bay, New York

Apr 18 '12, 01:41 PM

Its definitely not fast but i know many super successful real estate owners who just collect checks now for a living.

Chris F.

Denver, Colorado

Apr 18 '12, 04:03 PM

compounding is dependant upon your reinvestment strategy. The more of your income you can put back into the company the steeper the curve is, but eventually you reach critical mass and decide to stop buying. or you decide to take profilts..

Ann Bellamy Verified

Real Estate Lender from Tyngsboro, Massachusetts

Apr 18 '12, 04:18 PM
3 votes

The wealthiest families never sell anything. They get rich slow and stay that way, and get richer still.

Medium_small_logoAnn Bellamy, Buy Now, LLC
Telephone: 800-418-0081
Hard money lending in NH and MA, and for free networking in MA,

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