Personal Development

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

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Mobile Homes, Real Estate News & Commentary, Landlording & Rental Properties, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Marketing
224 Articles Written

Dear Universe,

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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!

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...
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    Fahima Hilal Real Estate Agent from Rutherford, New Jersey
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Nice one to lighten up !
    Kevin Yeats Lender from Fort Pierce, Florida
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    “Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls aren’t there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show us how badly we want things.” – Randy Pausch, author of “The Last Lecture”
    Adam Schneider Flipper/Rehabber from Raleigh, NC
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    John, In a world full of challenges where we rely on others as you pointed out, we sometimes need to take a step back and put things in perspective–your letter resulted in a chuckle, and served as a reminder about placing everything in perspective. Thanks for sharing. Adam
    Randy Phillips
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    I had a good laugh reading your article, my disappointments are outweighed by the successes. I hope it’s the same for all of you. Let’s make some MONEY….. Rando
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    My first thought was, “Are you for real?” Thank goodness I read your article to the end! We just celebrated Thanksgiving and my real estate endeavors this year were in the mix of the things that I am truly thankful for.
    Bill Neves Flipper/Rehabber from Vancouver, WA
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Ok enough of ME telling you how awesome I am… Now YOU tell me how awesome I am! Cheers! Bill
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    John, I always seem to really enjoy your articles. You don’t just think of real estate but how we live life as we deal with it. I have tried to get your book off Amazon, but have been unable to locate it. I think I would enjoy that as well. This may sound odd to you but real estate for me is the nice part of what I do during the week or month. I do not have the massive stress or huge emotional drain I do with my day job. I actually need to be tougher as a landlord. After some days at work it is hard to get worried if a tenant is 5 days late with the rent. Every year I have self managed I have gotten better at managing, but even now I find that I let a lot of things slide. I currently rent to a friend who’s family has had medical problems and his income has dropped due to a shortage of work at the company he works for. He has 4 kids and I know them all by name. He has been late several times and now is coming in a few hundred short each month for the last 2 months. I will probably have to evict him at some point but will work with him as long as I can reasonably. For now I have him working for me here and there as I can justify it to keep him caught up. He is not a deadbeat, but i would be out of business if I let every tenant act this way. This Thanksgiving I was grateful that I was in a position to help him without it being a huge burden on me. Thanks again for your article.
    Ayodeji Kuponiyi Investor from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great article!
    Dawn Quinn from Marietta, Georgia
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Huh, It’s like you read my mind…but at the end of each scenario I think, this is not a waste of time, I have learned so much, I have met a ton of interesting people, I am my own boss, I choose to feel positive about what I am doing for our community and the economy. I am having a blast! Loved the article!
    Todd L. Investor from Baltimore, Maryland
    Replied almost 5 years ago
    Great article. I’ve been practicing gratitude lately and it’s made a real difference in my business and life. Gratitude is the key that unlocks the storehouse of the universe.