A Tale of Two Bobs: My Magnificent Millionaire Mentors
Seriously — both of the guys who have made the biggest difference in my real estate business are named Bob.
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Well, sorta. They are both named the same name. But their name(s) have been changed to protect their identities because of they wouldn’t necessarily want me just blabbing all over the BiggerPockets world about how awesome they are? Well maybe. Anyway…
Where was I?
Oh yeah…well, the Bobs have built their own real estate empires.
I bet they would both think they don’t deserve that credit. I bet they don’t know how important they’ve been in my life. Or that I look up to them as much as I do. Or how much I critically watch and listen to how they run their businesses (or even the way they carry themselves), or how inspired I’ve been that their successes haven’t changed their moral compasses. Or the fact they are both really awesome human beings that I care for, trust and respect. Or how impressed I am that, after speaking with them, they come up with a creative solution to a problem I wish I’d devised.
If Superman was actually named Bob, instead of Clark, these would be the guys…like, the world would actually have two Supermen.
I am telling you, the Bobs get me fired up. (And really, it’s a nightmare making sure I don’t accidentally leak their REAL NAMES!)
Over the years of investing in real estate, I have found a few things to be true about my personality. I get wound up pretty fast. I want to call a 5 alarm fire, and I want the whole fire department to arrive — immediately. I want the problem solved, I want to be told what’s wrong, how it’s going to be fixed, and most likely how it was someone else’s fault and how they should most likely, inevitably pay for it.
Because let’s be honest, if there is a call, a problem, it always means somebody gets to bust out their checkbook (who really has a checkbook these days, I guess?). And guess what, it’s fun when the funds are headed towards the bank account, not so much fun when they are headed out for, say, a major plumbing issue.
So, anyway, a little on the Bobs…
Bob 1 began in the business as a realtor, got his broker's license, started flipping and buying rentals — and now owns many, many rentals — and has well into the 1000's of properties under management in this company.
He has his broker’s license, realtors doing deals under that, and is also getting more into lending money. He is so calm. He doesn’t rush, but he doesn’t wait, either. He taught me not to be afraid to say no (as he has told me “no” many times when asked for funding, deals, or whatever else).
Bob 1 is the guy I have worked with the longest. I met him after looking at a property he had listed for rent, and then read about his business from his website and invited him to lunch. I paid. I was broke.
I won’t ever forget meeting him for the first time. He was wearing shorts, a sporty polo and a Casio watch. How at the time I longed for a Rolex or a whatever-fancy-whatever. This guy could have whatever he wanted, but he didn’t need it. Who knows if he owns one or not, and that really isn’t the point. His persona was so gracious, but delivered such a feeling of strength and power. And he was soft spoken, but such a presence just to sit with.
His business is a well oiled machine, at least from what I can see. Let me put it this way. He can leave for vacation. He lives his life. His family travels. They can leave, not tied to answering phone calls and putting out fires. The business doesn’t run him — but it does give him a great life. He started a business that built, grew and became something fantastic.
I’ve know Bob 2 for less than a year. He and I have spoken about real estate probably 10-12 times.
And let me tell you, he is so fast — and I mean lightning fast at solving problems and creatively finding solutions. Funding. Structuring. Solving. He is an animal.
Bob 2, from what I understand, started doing commercial real estate with a few guys and worked his way up to the point that now "his name is on the door." I really don't have a concept of the extent of his real estate…empire, if you will. But I do know that signs with his company's name on them are very apparent, in numerous places, all over our city.
Related: How Do You Find a Real Estate Investing Mentor?
Bob has become a guy who I know answers the phone. He is a positive, go-get-it guy who is willing to spend some time with me talking through ideas or figures for an analysis, even if it is a 20-30k rental house I’m looking at (knowing full well deals in his world likely have more zeros than I have fingers). But he CARES. And he wants to help me. And he gets fired up with me, talking about the deals I am working on.
From both Bobs I’ve gotten a real estate education. I learn a lot.
The Most Important Traits the Bobs Have Taught Me
These guys know when to wait it out — and when to move on.
Understanding this as an investor is so important. Whether it is finding funding for a deal or a deal you have been working on that hasn’t quite come together yet, we have to have patience. Have you cold called a seller before? And worked through your script for the first time live, oh yeah! That will get your heart going — and test your patience.
“No” is okay to hear. It just means you will look for your “yes” next time.
Nerves of Steel:
These guys have both talked about deals they have had, worked through, gotten out of, figured out — whatever it might be.
If you have a weak stomach, or if you don’t like being in the hot seat, then real estate is just not for you. It’s not. We can say whatever we want, like real estate is awesome (which it is) and that it will make you financially independent (which it can), but if you don’t have the capacity to take the heat, then this is NOT the business for you.
Go buy some bonds.
You don’t have a plan for your day? How are you going to get any real work done?
We have to have a game plan and data on what is working and what is not. If it isn’t working, tweak it, change it, and find a way that does. I lay out every single day on my calendar, so I know what my day looks like. And I build in gym time, and I build in the time for fun, too.
Each and every day I look through the list of homes in my areas I buy — it doesn’t take a long time, and if I’m interested in any properties, I fire off an email to my realtor. In my market right now, the great rentals don’t last long. And I want to be the first to get a shot at it.
These guys didn’t get to where they are by working a few hours a week and then boom, all the sudden their respective businesses were running themselves. NO WAY!
They worked their tails off. They worked long hours. Drove the streets. Ran the numbers. Did their homework. And they wanted it badly. Badly enough to keep after it after who knows what, whether it was deals that didn’t pan out or that didn’t make them money — or that did work but took a lot of effort.
In my own life and my real estate business, these are the things I remind myself often — to stay in it mentally even when there are moments that are tough. But also not to be so hard on yourself when something goes wrong, either. Because it’s ok. We learn from our mistakes so we don’t make them again.
We hone our property searching skills so we can do it faster. We buy more houses so we know what kind of house to buy, how to bring it into our business, how to rent it, and how to have cash flow coming in rather than coming out.
So the Bobs are my mentors, and they have changed my life for the better.
Who are your mentors, and what have they done for you?
Share your stories in the comments section below!