Personal Development

7 Ways to Stay HAPPILY Married When Investing with your Spouse!

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Landlording & Rental Properties, Business Management, Personal Development, Flipping Houses, Commercial Real Estate
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Investing in Real Estate With Your Spouse

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Liz here to share some success tips when investing and working with your spouse.  Matt (my husband of almost nine years) and I have learned a lot about this topic from trial and error and would love to share some tips that way you can avoid some of the challenges we faced!

As we might have shared in previous posts, Matt and I began investing together before we were even married. When we first started dating we played Rich Dad's cash flow game together and read "Rich Dad Poor Dad." We were hooked immediately! We began going to real estate investing seminars as a couple and purchasing various educational packages. We received a loan from my father to buy our first rental which was a duplex right outside of Philadelphia. Now, nine years later, we own over 100 units together and have been through a lot of "ups and downs."

Here are the 7 Things We Did to Stay Happily Married

Whether we have worked full time or part time with one another, here are some suggestions on how to keep a healthy professional and personal relationship with your spouse.

1. Set Goals and Spend Time Planning Together

Before we purchased our first rental property, we discussed at length what our goals were and where we wanted to be in 1, 5 and 10 years.

It is critical to be on the “same page” with short and long term goals.  Although I am not part of every decision my husband makes in our real estate business, I am part of every strategic and planning discussion.  We continue to goal set and meet regularly to evaluate our progress. We then discuss how to make “course corrections.”  You and your spouse may have different ways to achieve your goals; however, it is incredibly important to be aligned together.  The key is to do this as a team.

The last thing any spouse wants is surprises especially when investing time, money and resources.  This year we implemented something new – a monthly meeting to evaluate our progress towards our yearly and quarterly goals. This monthly “check in” meeting has helped tremendously with managing both of our expectations and keeping one another in the loop.

2. Understand and Respect Tolerance for Risk

In the midst of wedding planning and buying our home in 2005, Matt shared with me that he was thinking of quitting his job and jumping into Real Estate Investing “full time.”

Since we were aligned with our long term goals of financial independence, I was incredibly supportive of his decision.  While he quit his job, I continued to work in my consulting role.  Although we were very aligned with this major “risk” decision, there are other day to day “risk” decisions where we are not always aligned.  I tend to be more conservative and cautious where Matt is overall more of a “risk taker.”

When we first started investing together, we would get very frustrated with the other person over this difference. However, over the years and working through a lot of deals together, we have learned to actually appreciate this difference within one another. It is not always easy to do this.  Once a decision has been made, we support each other and make it “our” decision.

I recall one investment we made together that we both evaluated and felt like it was the right investment at the time.  We ended up losing money in this deal, but I was really careful not to blame my husband in this situation since he took the lead. Every decision ends up being “our” decision especially when it comes to risk that way we don’t fall into the trap of resenting one another.

3. Divide up Tasks Based on One Another’s Strengths and Weaknesses

About four years after my husband started real estate investing full time, he asked me if I wanted to quit my job to help him grow the business.

I also wanted to be my “own boss” and wanted to see us achieve our financial goals sooner than later, so I agreed to join him full time.  We only worked “full time” together for about a year and half and at the time it was an absolute disaster.   Neither our professional or personal relationship was growing – they were doing the opposite!

One major reason for the lack of success in working full time together was not dividing up tasks that are based on our strengths and talents. For example, when I joined my husband full time, I basically performed the tasks that "needed to be done" and the ones that Matt had no time or interest in performing. One of these tasks was being the "book-keeper" and paying bills.

While I performed this task, I became increasingly resentful. I was not a very good bookkeeper nor did I enjoy it. Two recipes for a disaster!!   I have begun working again with Matt in the business for about a year.   In order to this successfully this time around, I had to work on projects that focused on my strengths and that I truly enjoy.  Tasks get done a lot quicker and more peaceful when you focus on what you are “good” at vs. simply what “needs” to get done.

4. Respect Personal and Professional Boundaries

When you work with your spouse, it can be very hard to respect and even be aware of boundaries!

Everything can get blurred together.   When Matt and I began working full time together and working from home together, we allowed our real estate investing business to consume our life and just about every conversation we had.  Whether it was car rides to see family or even going out to dinner – we used every opportunity to talk about real estate. This was not healthy for our business or our marriage.

Related: How To Survive When Your Spouse Doesn’t Believe In Your Dream

We recognized this all-consuming behavior and decided that some boundaries would be helpful.  We realized that we wanted our home to be just that – our home.  We decided to create boundaries room by room.  We made up the rule that we could not even “talk” about real estate in the bedroom and kitchen. The living room and dining room were fine to talk about business.   It seems funny but this helped us create some healthy boundaries.

5. Schedule Money/Business Dates AND Non Money Dates

As I shared earlier, I continue to work with my husband in our real estate business on various projects.

We have become really committed to having once a month “money/business dates” as well as “non business” dates.   Once a month, we have what we call “money” dates to discuss our personal and business finances as well as discuss strategic business decisions. These have been very helpful for us to keep communication lines open and up front.  Instead of asking my husband about progress with various projects, I hold off until these “dates” and I am able to receive status updates then.

We call them money “DATES” because this lightens up the feeling like we are having a “serious meeting” plus we always go out to lunch or breakfast so that helps too!  It is also important to schedule “non business” dates where all you do is enjoy one another’s company.  My husband and I have an 8 month old so we have not gone out on too many dates lately!!  But the ones we have gone on, we enjoy every moment and keep the conversation focused on our personal life.

6. Celebrate Wins & Learned Lessons Together

Being in a state of "appreciation" versus "depreciation" is imperative on the path of real estate investing.

This was a principle we did not always live by, but we do now!!   Both my husband and I are focused and goal oriented people.   For many years, if we did not achieve the goals exactly as we set out to achieve – we would be disappointed and simply keep moving and moving.

It was not until we went to a wonderful weekend called the Millionaire Mind Intensive where we were reminded of the power of "celebrating your wins." Ever since then, we are much better at celebrating our wins – no matter how small they are. Sometimes a flip may not make as much money as we anticipated; we still celebrate wins and discuss "learned lessons" together.

There has never been any deal we have invested in that we have not discussed what we learned from the experience and the value it brought to our investing life.  Also, when he had some huge wins, we really “celebrated” and went out to a nice dinner, etc.

7. Laugh, Lighten up and Enjoy the Ride

Investing with your spouse can be overwhelming, stressful and frustrating at times.

Over the years, my husband and I have both learned to “lighten up” with one another and enjoy the journey. We did not do this early on.  We took our investing business and achieving our goals very seriously.

Related: Tips for Working With Your Spouse in Your Real Estate Business

There came a point where we were both incredibly stressed out and realized we were not as peaceful and happy as we wanted to be.  Over the past few years, we shifted this and have learned that when you lighten up in a situation, you create more peace for yourself and everyone involved!

Thanks for reading this blog post. I would love to hear from those spouses who work together!

What success tips do you have for working with your spouse?

Be sure to leave your comments below!

Thanks for reading,


Matt Faircloth, co-founder and president of the DeRosa Group, is a seasoned real estate investor. The DeRosa Group, based in historic Trenton, New Jersey, i...
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    Jaren Barnes
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Liz, This is an AWESOME post! Great job!!
    Elizabeth Faircloth
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks so much Jaren! Glad you enjoyed the post!!
    Nathan Beach
    Replied about 6 years ago
    As newlyweds (9 months in) AND a new real estate investing team, this advice is much appreciated. It’s hard enough going through either one of these phases on their own but doing them both at the same time requires us to be very intentional about how we approach our marriage and our investing careers.
    Matt Faircloth
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Nathan – Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I love the phrase you used “being intentional about how you approach both your marriage and investing.” Great point and I completely agree! Good luck to you and congratulations on your marriage!! Please reach out if I can help in any way! 🙂 ~ Liz
    Matt Faircloth
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Nathan – Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I love the phrase you used “being intentional about how you approach both your marriage and investing.” Great point and I completely agree! Good luck to you and congratulations on your marriage!! Please reach out if I can help in any way! 🙂 ~ Liz Reply Report comment
    Jason Copeland
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Elizabeth, I was very intrigued about your article. I noticed it from Matt’s post on FB. I recently planned a refresh for my staff positions in conjunction with a career change my wife is making. My hopes were to gain her experience in human resources while she could understand small business accounting and logistics. We haven’t engaged and probably won’t due to timing. Her employer needs her and I can’t wait much longer. I was really looking forward to the more tabu benefits…you know what I mean. It shouldn’t be tabu though, she is my wife. Its just a high stress relieving lunch, right? Ha. I’m going to share your article.
    Elizabeth Faircloth
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Hi Jason, Glad that you found the article to be helpful!! Good luck! Keep me posted if I can help offer any other advice / support! Have a terrific week! ~ Liz
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Great article. It is vitally important to be on the same page as your spouse on your goals if you are working together in the business or not. We started out part time and before kids we were pretty close to equal. Always a little more me but she was very involved early on. Once we had kids I focused more on it (Since it was mostly an evening and weekend endevour) but she has always been involved. It is now my full time gig and she is supportive and does help with some tasks (some of those “have to do” things that can eat up my productivity in actually making deals). We are aligned with our goals and it helps a lot to keep tension down.
    Gualter Amarelo
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Thanks for this perfectly timed article! I am currently in the process of pursuing my RE license and have quit my job in order to pursue RE full time. My wife currently owns her own business so we both lend each other a hand, but we insist on only working on the fun parts of each others business and we leave the “real work” to each other (for the most part anyway, occasionally we will roll up our sleeves and join in the muck together). I tend to be an aggressive risk taker and she is far more conservative so we both complement each other very well. I couldn’t ask for a better friend, spouse and lastly business partner. Open communication and leaving our pride outside on the front steps to our house has been the biggest challenge and also brings the most rewards. Cheers to all of those investors who decide to support each other and dare to dream big together!!!
    Liz Faircloth
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Gualter, Thanks for sharing!! We are following that same strategy in a lot of ways. I am only involved in the areas of our real estate business where I can add value! And I completely agree – cheers to all the couple who figure this out and succeed together! All the best to you and congrats on becoming a RE investor full time!! Liz
    Liz Faircloth
    Replied about 6 years ago
    Shaun, Thanks for sharing your experience with working with your wife. I completely get it! I have a little one and my time is limited, however, I am working on specific projects to help grow our business too! I do a lot of our MLS searches that way Matt does not have to do this and he can focus on money making activities. Thanks for sharing and Good luck to you and your wife!! Liz
    Garth Gissel Property Manager from Weston, Oregon
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Liz, I really appreciated your writing style and the way you openly shared your life lessons. My wife and I have a SFH and a duplex and would like to expand our portfolio. Your story is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Garth, I just saw your comment! Sorry for the delay! Thanks for the kind words and writing this comment. Good luck expanding your portfolio. It is exciting to be real estate investors together. It is not always easy, however, it is rewarding to do it together. All the best, Liz
    JW Franz Investor from Tampa, Florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Liz and Matt, I enjoyed reading your article and will share it with my wife today! We live in Tampa and have been married for 6 months. We have been working full time on our real estate investment company for about 1 1/2 years. We have accumulated 42 SFHs and have a good monthly cash flow. I am a contractor and she is a real estate agent. We have 5 full-time contractors and do all our own property management. Since the wedding we have jumped into the business together. We are both driven people, although I told I am too ‘Lightened Up!’, I focus on the big picture and take things in stride. My wife is very detailed and rightfully wants to know all aspects of the business, so she can learn and help make adjustments. It has been fun at times and awful at others. We have discussed your idea of dividing the work based on each others strengths and also having a monthly financial meeting, but we have not done anything yet. Right now I feel as if our entire lives have become this business and my wife feels it is crunch time and we will get back to real life soon and then begin to enjoy our time together. She is frustrated when I do not answer a tenant call at night or someone looking to rent our homes. I hope to share this article with her today. Hopefully we can set our monthly meeting, divide the roles, and set zones to not discuss our business. Any other advice is appreciated. Like how do you split up the roles? I was thinking of making a list and walking thru it? If you have some time to respond, thank you. If not I will keep you posted on how things are going. Joe
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Hi Joe, Thanks for your great questions. When I read your post, I felt like my husband was writing this about me and him!!! You seem very similar to my husband’s style and your wife sounds similar to me!!! 🙂 I would say that when you divide up roles – consider the following: what needs to be done by the two of you and what can be outsourced, what one another’s strengths are, and what you both enjoy doing! That is important! I would also say that schedule these monthly meetings (we have ours tomorrow!) but additionally schedule a monthly “date night” where you don’t talk about the business at all – just enjoy one another’s company. That is super important too. Please feel free to message me if you want to talk / discuss further! I am happy to help you guys anyway that we can!!! 🙂 Liz
    JW Franz Investor from Tampa, Florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Liz, from reading your post it appears like you worked together, then stopped working together, and then came back to work together. If so can you explain why and if this was from the stress of working as a team? Thank you. Joe
    Elizabeth Faircloth Real Estate Investor from Trenton, NJ
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Yes we did! Long story short – I worked full time with him for 3 years, and then the stress of $ and working non stop together got to us, so I decided to go back to my consulting work. When we had our son (18 months ago) I decided to help him again in the business part time. It has been a lot better 2nd time around. The key for me this time around is working on projects that align with my interests and strengths, and look for ways to support (not control) my husband! 🙂 🙂
    Chantelle Zapata Investor from Killeen, TX
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Hey Liz, Couldn’t have read this article at a more perfect time! It was very well outlined and provided great insight on possible ‘bumps’ that we may encounter. Unfortunately I don’t have the blessing of having my husband being my business partner but nonetheless the advice was still very relevant for the most part. My husband enjoys boxing and training so i’ve been trying to convince him to open a gym and do what he enjoys as his career and that i’ll help him with as much as I can. Hopefully we’ll both be doing what we love and supporting each other all the while. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind. =) Thanks Liz
    Matthew Law from Clermont, FL
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hey thanks for this post (linked from your most recent). My wife and I are still fresh in this real estate investment endeavor, and we’re on track with a lot of what you said, but while we were discussing it on our road trip today we had some good takeaways. We need to make dates for talking about money. I always seem to bring it up at the wrong time, even though it’s important to discuss. We talked about how we don’t want to have so much structure in our lives, but our diligence in planning, setting aside time for work along with setting aside time for fun, is going to help us meet our goals so much quicker, and we’ll have a healthier relationship along the way. It doesn’t work unless we’re both on the same page and committed to doing what needs to be done, including that quality time spent as a family.