The Quick Exercise to Help Put You & Your Spouse on the Same Investing Page

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Hey there, BP! It’s Liz back this week because Matt is “tied up,” haha! I am super excited to share a simple, yet powerful exercise that you and your spouse can use to ensure you are aligned on your real estate investing goals.

Related: The 5 “Better” Questions to Ask In Order Achieve Your Goals In Real Estate!

Through the exercise I teach in this video, you will learn the three types of income that real estate investing provides and how to make sure your real estate investing activities are moving you towards your current goals — and your five year goals.

What other exercises have you done with your spouse to ensure you are on the same page?

I would love to hear your feedback in the comment section below! Thanks for watching!

As always, happy investing!

About Author

Matt Faircloth

Matt Faircloth, Co-founder & President of the DeRosa Group, is a seasoned real estate investor. The DeRosa Group, based in historic Trenton, New Jersey, is a developer and owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to “transform lives through real estate." Matt, along with his wife Liz, started investing in real estate in 2004 with the purchase of a duplex outside of Philadelphia with a $30,000 private loan. They founded DeRosa Group in 2005 and have since grown the company to owning and managing over 370 units of residential and commercial assets throughout the east coast. DeRosa has completed over $30 million in real estate transactions involving private capital including fix and flips, single family home rentals, mixed use buildings, apartment buildings, office buildings, and tax lien investments. Matt Faircloth is the author of Raising Private Capital, has been featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast, and regularly contributes to BiggerPockets’s Facebook Live sessions and educational webinars.


  1. karen rittenhouse

    Communication in this, as with anything else, is so important – knowing where you’re headed and why.

    And it changes. Jim and I absolutely love the times when we sit down to create/evaluate our goals. The first time we ever did it was mind blowing. Now, it’s addictive. I highly recommend this kind of communication between spouses as well as with other business partners.

    Thanks for the great video.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Thanks Karen! I can’t agree with you more about the importance of communication. You raise an excellent point that it does change. Matt and I are continually sitting down together and reevaluating our goals and focus. Thanks so much for commenting!!

  2. Liz,
    My wife was skeptical at first. She is very much on board now. Luckily I had 2 properties before we married. My solution was to keep her in the loop on anything important within the business. People fear what they don’t know. Eventually she started seeing the positive results to our networth and income. I give her 90% of the credit though. She was open minded enough to listen and make judgement after reviewing the facts.


    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Thanks so much for your comments! Yes, one way to shift a spouse’s skepticism is to get them involved, which you have done! I love that quote: “people fear what they don’t know!” I can’t agree more!
      All the best to you and your wife!
      Thanks again for commenting!

  3. Kristi White

    Thanks Liz, that was a great video. My husband and I run a construction company as well as invest in real estate. I always find that when things are kind of off, sitting down and aligning our goals, helps to restore our momentum. I agree with Karen, it really can be just a mind blowing experience, not to mention highly motivational and productive.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Good for you and your husband! Yes, I agree with you. Sometimes, one of us feels a bit “off” and it just means we need to sit down and align our current focus/goals.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      All the best to you and your husband!!

  4. steve anes

    Thanks for the great video, my wife and I are really in this spot as we need to sit down and start to evaluate where we are at and where we want to go with our RE business. Thanks for the lesson on how to simply plan our percentages. In the last few months she has quit her job to stay home with the babies. Because of this, our 5 year plan needs to be revisited as well as our “job titles” within our RE business. Thanks for sharing.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Hi Steve,
      I am so happy to help you and your wife. When I first worked full time with my husband I had certain “job titles” and some of these roles did not work for us. The second time around I made sure my role was clearer and it aligned to my strengths and areas that I was passionate about. Sometimes in a small business, you do what you “have to do” so to speak! However, as you grow and develop your business and roles – continue to focus on what one another is good at!
      Hope that helps!
      Congrats on the little ones! Matt and I have a 15 month old and are enjoying him while growing our business!

  5. Deshan Kennedy

    Liz – Thank you for the video. It is very hard (especially) at the beginning to get both spouses on the same track together. I’m trying to move my earned income into the passive income while building future wealth so I don’t have to work as hard on a daily basis.

    Have you had any experience with couples where one partner is OK with earned income and the other partner is move focus on passive income? If so, what suggestions/tips did you give them to assist moving in the same direction as one. I have several friends going through similar situations but their business is outside of real estate investing. Your experience and guidance maybe helpful to all entrepreneurs who maybe experiencing the battle between passive and earned income issues.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Hi Deshan,
      Thanks so much for watching the video and your comment. And yes, I have experienced couples where one partner is OK with earned income while the other partner wants to focus more on passive income. I think the most important conversation a couple needs to have (before the earned vs passive income discussion) focuses on what one another values. Some partners value security and comfort the most. Other partners value growth and expansion. I think it is incredibly important that a couple gets really (I mean really) clear on what one another truly values. Along with this discussion point is to discuss where you want to be as a couple in 3, 5, 10 years. Earned income, passive income, etc are simply paths to help us achieve our goals and what we want out of life.
      I hope this helps. Please let me know!

  6. Dan Perrott

    Liz – Good vid. question – how would you classify when one or both spouses work full time (non REI related) jobs? Do you count those jobs as earned income? We are focusing on the REI passive and wealth building areas exclusively at this point in anticipation of retiring from the full time jobs.

    I think our conversation is a little different. When can we get to the point where we don’t have to work full time jobs? What does the level of passive income have to be to go into RE full-time? The vids perspective was introduced as if we are into REI full-time. I would think most people have not hit that level as of yet.

    Overall – good vid to get us thinking.

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      Hi Dan,
      Great questions!! The earned income, passive income, wealth building discussion is useful even if you and/or your spouse are still working full or part time. To answer your first question – when one or both spouses work full time (non REI jobs) I would consider that earned income. I like to explain earned income is trading your time for money. This can be consulting work, a W-2 job, or in the real estate world – flipping a house, wholesaling a deal, or selling a property. When my husband and I started out, I worked full time as a consultant and the money I made for our family was “earned income.” At the same time, my husband’s efforts in our real estate investing company was focused on the other two categories – passive income and wealth building. As I have stepped away from full time consulting (I still do some consulting), we (as a couple) are still focused on all three categories. While we do have passive income coming in from our rental portfolio, we are also focused on REI earned income strategies (fixing/flipping property) to earn chunks of cash for our business. Our ultimate goal in 5 years is to decrease the need for “earned income” strategies, and just be focused on passive and wealth building strategies. There is no “right or wrong” here. However, it is critical to have clarity with this topic that way you can remain focused on the real estate investing activities that will help achieve your specific goals. I can’t tell you how important “focus” is in this business.
      I hope this helps. Please let me know. I am happy to help further!!
      All the best,

  7. george p.

    I have been getting in trouble lately. we have 16 or 17 (always forget) and with 2 kids and me doing some of the work and always having a 1-2 rehabs going, its hard to spend time at home.

    it’s been the source of a few arguments lately and every time i make an offer on another house it seems like it’s fuel to the fire. we were not aligned between house #4-#10. but it was great between #10 and #15.

  8. Karen Morgan

    Liz – great post! Although I will be the RE investment business owner in my household, funds will come from income earned by both my husband and I. Ensuring he and I are on the same page regarding our shared income and future investments is the best foundation we can create for this business. Thanks for sharing a great numerical way to keep that discussion going year-after-year, and at different seasons of our lives!

    • Elizabeth Faircloth

      You are so welcome! I can’t tell you how important it has been for my husband and I to be on the same page with our real estate business. Our business (and each of us individually) are continuously evolving. One major decision I made recently had a lot to do with our earned income goal. I probably would not have made this decision had we lacked clarity on the % of earned, passive, and wealth building.
      Glad to hear this exercise helped. All the best to you and your husband!!

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