Your Signficant Other Hates Real Estate Investing – Now What?

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It’s pretty common for spouses or significant others to be really nervous and potentially downright unsupportive when you begin your quest as a wildly successful real estate investor. I’m blessed to have a spouse who is my partner in business and we work very well together, but this is not always the case.

I’m not a family or marriage counselor nor am I a psychologist, however I’d still like to share some advice on this topic and you can take it for whatever its worth to you.  Here goes:

(1) Understand the concerns

It’s really important to understand and respect others’ feelings. Ask him or her what the concerns are. It could be a number of things. For example:

  • She fears losing significant amounts of money and jeopardizing the family’s finances
  • He is concerned you’ll take too much time away from the family and household responsibilities
  • She thinks that you’re just doing it because your friend Joe is doing it too
  • He doesn’t believe you’ll follow through because you’ve started and quit things in the past

If you understand his or her concerns, you’ll be able to work together to address them.

(2) Discuss family goals

I hope you’ve already determined WHY you want to be a successful real estate investor. That “why” is of critical importance and your significant other should be a part of it. If you’ve never discussed the goals you want to achieve as a family, now is a great time to do so. Once you know the “why”, it may become clearer why real estate investing should be key part of how to get where you want to go and together you can make some financial goals for the investing. Assuming the idea is to generate long term wealth and passive income source, it is easy to “work the numbers” together and see the benefits of real estate investing long term. Of course if the primary idea is to generate faster cash in the short term, there are strategies to accomplish that as well. Regardless of the intent, it should all be connected to your personal and family “why.”

(3) Discuss the financial impact on the family

Your real estate investing efforts may require some low monthly costs as you’re working towards doing your first deal. Be sure to demonstrate how the family budget can support these costs (and if for some reason it can’t, better be prepared to put in a few extra hours to raise the money or find a way to reduce your personal expenses).

(4) Discuss how you’ll balance business and family/couple time

Make sure to set some parameters on your time – make a schedule and keep it. Even though my husband is very supportive and works right along with me, I have a stronger tendency to work long hours late into the night and we had to agree on a time the business shuts off so that we can spend quality time together.  Sometimes you may be working on something that will take you off your schedule — if so, make sure that you consult your significant other regarding the break of schedule and the time that you’ll need to finish your business.

(5) Provide updates as often as your significant other wants them

In some cases, your significant other may simply not understand real estate investing and may be more comfortable if you share as you’re learning and share as you’re doing. In other cases, he or she may have absolutely no interest at all in hearing about your real estate investing. In those cases, only share the good news and pay close attention to item #6 below!

(6) Be consistent and hustle to get some early successes

There’s simply nothing better than good news and results to help get your significant other onboard!  Take massive and consistent action and get some early successes that will make him or her proud…perhaps even excited!

Don’t be discouraged when you feel like there is a lack of support in the household for your real estate investing.  If you feel strongly about being a real estate investor, invest the time in the steps above, maintain a positive attitude, and lead by example.  The only way to lose is to quit.

Photo cred: joegreer2007

About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog,, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!


  1. This is one of the biggest topics I struggle with. My wife never wants to talk about it at all, what little I’ve squeezed out of her is she is just nervous about it. I’m sure she has heard horror stories since she is in the news business. I don’t press her at all or try to force it down her throat. Every once in a while I’ll bring up some real estate investing things to see if she’ll bite and open up some, but it hasn’t worked yet. I’m sure at this point she realizes how serious I am about REI, so after I can show her (with a check most likely) that it does work I will attempt to have another talk with her. Outside of that I’m not sure what to do.

  2. Hi Shae,

    Quite a thought provoking article. Thank you for writing it.

    What an interesting topic this is.

    In Scott’s case, is it the money that will really help to make his wife feel more comfortable? Or is the discomfort felt by his wife not related to finances but perhaps it is a result of a deeper routed fear?

    I am single myself currently and have found this to be to my advantage with regards to the development of my real estate business. I often spend many hours on real estate related activities 6 or 7 days a week. I know that if I had a significant other, I would have to make sacrifices and as such, reduce the amount of time that I spend on my real estate business. Would this be fair to me? In my opinion I don’t think so.

    I would be interested to hear comments from others in relationships that have noticed that their real estate business has struggled because they have had to make certain compromises.

    Conversely, I would also be interested to hear from others who have very successful real estate businesses, invest many hours into their business, and are able to find a work life balance with their significant other. What things have you had to compromise in your life in order to achieve this?

    Onwards and Upwards,

  3. Nick, I agree that support from a spouse is critical….and even if it takes awhile to get it, you can’t give up on because its THAT important.

    Hey Neil, thanks for the comments. One thing though…if you never want to make sacrifices or compromise because you think its unfair to do so, don’t get married 🙂 LOL!

  4. Hi Shae,

    My point exactly!

    Perhaps I am gaded, but I have seen some fellow real estate investors that I know become limited in their ability to expand their business just because their spouse is not onside.

    In my opinion, some of these people that I know have great potential to expand their real estate investment portfolio significantly, but are limited by the fear or complete disinterest on the part of their spouse.

    It almost seems to me that one needs a spouse that is 100% on the same page with respect to the real estate buiness, and the growth of it, otherwise problems and conflicts will arise.

    -Neil. 😉

  5. In 2005 when our rentals had doubled in value the prior 4 years, my wife loved the fact that I was a real estate investor. I only did one 1031 after that and the other 3 ca properties are now being short sold so now my wife vows to never own a rental ever again. She hates real estate investing, even though a person can buy a house now and have it paid off in 10 years with the tenants rent.

  6. Wow Shae, You really hit home on this one. When I first got started my wife was definitely not on board and like Scott, every time I tried to talk about it, she’d just give me the “not interested” face. lol When I got my first deal, she warmed up a little, but real estate is just not for her (at this time…lol) With that said, I had to go at this hard and let her know that this wasn’t some start and stop hobby. She respects the fact that I’m not giving up on REI and will do whatever it takes!

  7. Hey Gordon, yes people have to realize that real estate investing will always have its ups and downs like any business….but there are more ups than downs! 🙂

    J. Lamar, I think its ok when a spouse isn’t interested…everyone has different interests. She could love scrapbooking and make a small business out of it, even if you think scrapbooking is kinda dumb. LOL! I think it’s only a problem when “not interested” becomes “not supportive”.

  8. Hi Shae,

    I think you hit the nail right on the head here with your last comment.

    From my observation, a spouse that is, ‘not interested’ is much different than a spouse being ‘not supportive’. The latter can be destructive to the relationship, whereas the former does not pose any difficulties towards the harmony of the two people.

    My $0.02.

    Best Regards,

  9. Hi Shae –
    Great article. I am just getting started in REI and I am looking for my spouse to give me the “support”. She does not have the “interest” (yet)… but I hope over time I can show her the money. lol
    As a newbie in real estate investing I need to get over the fear of making a financial mistake that will be too costly to my family. I have talked with my spouse about my fears and I guess that has not made her feel any more comfortable or supportive. You provided some very sound advice and good to read the other comments from your readers. Thanks.

  10. Jimmy, congrats on getting started! There are many ways to get your feet wet with real estate investing that require little to no financial commitments like wholesaling , property scouting/bird dogging, or investing in low-cost mobile homes. Depending on your current financial picture and your future plans, you may want to start off with things like that to build up your cash reserves and confidence levels before delving into riskier (but still excellent) strategies. Whatever you do, don’t fall into analysis paralysis. Figure out a plan, get educated, and get busy…and of course stay connected to communities such as this one here at BiggerPockets! Wish you the best!

  11. Jimmy,

    Like Shae said, there are a multitude of ways to get involved with real estate investing, without putting yourself in financial risk.

    In the States, I think you guys have a great market for things like Wholesaling, which requires little to none of your own money.

    Also, like Shae said, don’t get caught in the same rut. You have to take action on something. Anything. Just make sure you take action.

    The one secret with real estate investing, that most successful investors know is that it is all about momentum. Once you have the momentum….you keep on forging ahead. Once you lost the momentum, it is hard to get started once again.

    Another way to get past the fear of getting started in real estate, is to network with action takers and people that have experience with the type of real estate investing that you want to get involved with.

    This is a great forum to do just that!

    Good luck Jimmy.

    Best Regards,

  12. WOW!! Shae – another awesome article!! And what an important yet seldom talked about subject. I am inspired to write about it myself because this is something we could really dive into after nearly 9 years of being partners in property. In fact, years ago, real estate is ultimately what brought us back together when we broke up for awhile. We had to deal with some issues with a property we owned together and that forced us to get face to face … and over time … well all the other problems got sorted out and we became a rock solid team in real estate and life. Pretty cool really …

    But we were lucky because we both read Rich Dad Poor Dad and got inspired together … so we started off wanting to do the same thing and pursuing the same vision.

    You’ve given some exceptional advice here – especially in the comments!! And I think Nick hit the nail on the head with the fact that your spouse will likely become supportive when the $$ starts rolling in. Which is exactly why you have to hustle and get some early success fast.

    Whether you start out on the same page or not I think that no matter what you have to be respectful of the fact that your decisions are going to impact your spouse. You also have to respect the fact that sometimes you just should not talk about real estate investing. Like at 10pm when it’s time to go to sleep … Dave … you reading this??? 😉

  13. Julie, thanks so much for your comments! I loved your last point…sometimes you just should NOT be talking about real estate investing. LOL!

    After 9 years of working together in real estate, I know that you and Dave can give some fabulous insight into this topic and have an awesome story to tell. Would love to see a video on this!

  14. Okay okay – maybe we’ll do a video on this from our 9 year history! I just had a thought – we also box together (well, we used to box together, not so much these days) – so we’ll do a video montage of us boxing together, doing our adventure races together, skiing together, and real estate investing and educating together. It could get interesting…especially the boxing part. ; )

    Julie is quite intent on getting our own TV show. So, this could be our start! 🙂

    Oh – and I almost forget to mention Shae – GREAT FRICKIN’ ARTICLE!!! Thanks so much for sharing this very important side of real estate investing!

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