Letter From an Ungrateful Real Estate Investor: What We Can Learn From the “All About Me” Mentality

Letter From an Ungrateful Real Estate Investor: What We Can Learn From the “All About Me” Mentality

3 min read
John Fedro

John Fedro has been actively investing in individual mobile homes since 2002 and in parks since 2016. Additionally, he’s been assisting other mobile home investors since 2006.

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a four-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own.

Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. Like almost every long-term investor, he’s made more mistakes than he can count. John discusses many of them on his blog and YouTube channel, where he shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the experiences of other successful mobile home investors that he’s helped.

John has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest on BiggerPockets and other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.

John now spends his time actively investing in individual mobile homes and acquiring parks. He focuses on enjoying his time and partnering with other investors around the country to grow their own local mobile home cash-flowing portfolios and reputations.


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Dear Universe,

Thanks for nothing. All the goals and milestones I’ve achieved in this past year are a direct result of my own hard work and daily effort — and no one else’s. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you trying to slow down my success by placing challenges along my easy real estate investing journey. This is my letter telling you I’m not tolerating this abuse one moment more.

Has everyone else changed, or is it just me?

What happened all my friends? I used to be so popular, and they used to be so interesting and entertaining. Lately I’ve been getting tired and bored of their superficial conversations and meaningless gossip.

What happened to my weekends? Friday and Saturday nights were always so social — hanging out and laughing with friends or drinking with buddies. Now instead of parting and wasting time with friends, I find myself marketing for sellers, growing my business, and talking real estate strategies with other investors. My “circle of friends” is shrinking rapidly, and I don’t like it.

Related: A 3 Step Exercise in Gratitude to Refocus Your Mind for the Holidays

Do I look different? I feel different.

My skin is different, considerably thicker. What used to bother me and cause considerable stress now seems to just slide right off my back as I deal with the situations at hand. It’s as if my confidence were changing. With all the mistakes, frauds, and struggles you have put me through in the past year, it is a wonder I’m still here and fighting. Mistakes and frauds like Annabelle, who sold me her property but failed to mention her appliances were still owned by Rent-A-Center, or Paul the contractor who ran off prematurely with money and tools. I don’t deserve this!

I’m being made a fool.

You must think you’re pretty funny the way you’ve been embarrassing me these last 12 months. I would have never considered myself an ignorant or gullible man; however, you keep proving me wrong. But I am not here to admit defeat. Anything you dish out, I’ll happily take!

Do you remember some of the painful lessons you’ve taught me recently?

  • Do not assume you can estimate repairs without experience.
  • “Following your heart” can lead to being taken advantage of by sellers and buyers.
  • Trusting partners and contractors can lose you a great deal of money quickly.
  • Trust no one without verifying what they are saying.
  • Base your real estate decisions on logic and not emotions.

Every time I think I have it all figured out, you do something to change the rules on me and make me look and feel dumb.

Has this been a year of wasted time?

You, real estate investing, have directly taken priceless time from my life. These are hours I will never get back, never be able to spend with my family. Do you think I like hearing “no” from sellers? Do you think I like only receiving a 4 percent response rate to my direct mailings? Of all the countless sellers I’ve spoken to and advertised for over the past year, only a small handful have provided what turned out to be truly amazing deals. The handful of the other deals closed have simply been good, but not great.

Sellers need to smarten up and start accepting the offers I give them. I know what is best for most of them anyway. It always annoys me when sellers or buyers “needs more time” or “have to think about it.” Make a decision already!

I’m surrounded by knuckleheads.

Like the saying goes, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” No matter how hard I push my bird dogs, real estate agents, handymen or closing agents, they just can’t live up to my demands. Is it so wrong that I want things done my way?

Related: The Power of Gratitude: How to Boost Profits & Spread Joy With Thank You Notes

Yesterday we sold a fix and flip property. While on my way to the closing office, my Mercedes got a flat tire. I wasn’t even supposed to be scheduled at the closing; however, my partner convinced me to take his place due to his so-called family emergency. What a waste of time. Couldn’t they have simply wired me the profits directly instead of wasting my time?

I’m surrounded by incompetence.


The Ungrateful Real Estate Investor

Author’s note: I hope you’ve enjoyed this satirical and completely fictitious article. Did you feel any anger when visualizing an investor so shallow, short-sighted, and self-absorbed? While writing this post, I tried to keep one thing in mind: “What’s in it for ME?” This motto, although important for business, is the opposite mentality you may want while real estate investing and working one-on-one with sellers. An investing motto that addresses the seller’s needs and wants first may be a better mindset for serving others and helping the community — and with the holiday season here, it’s the perfect time to remember to serve others with our businesses and be thankful for the successes we’ve been blessed with this year.

Do you know investors with this mindset? How do you stay thankful despite the challenges of investing?

Let’s talk in the comments section below!