Romance: The Little Discussed Factor Necessary to Your Survival in Real Estate

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My wife Patrisha is hands down the hardest working woman in the biz. She does it all. Professionally speaking, she not only runs a nonprofit music school in Lima called The Music Factory, but she manages the back office of everything that I do, and being a serial entrepreneur, I do a lot. I mean, I couldn’t find my way around the QuickBooks if I were sitting under a tree and it fell right on my head. It’s bad, y’all. I’d be totally freaking lost without my wife!

But the more impressive reality is that she does all of this stuff as an afterthought to that which is most important – family. We have twins, Aaron and Isabella, who just turned six on June 1st. Aaron was diagnosed on the Autism spectrum when he was three. The wonderful all-knowing doctors told us that essentially it is what it is

Well, “it is what it is” don’t work too well for Patrisha. Status quo NEVER works too well for Patrisha! Dan Doctor, HBOT therapy, metal chelation, a complete overhaul of diet, and everything in between that could have been done was and continues to be done. And while lots still needs to be done, at six years of age, though the most strong-willed child you’ll ever meet, Aaron now feels feelings, makes eye-contact, understands humor, has a girlfriend at school (whom he kissed at the First Grade graduation and made her blush), and is interested in making friends and socializing. And the fact that at six years of age he reads at a Fourth Grade level and does math at a Third Grade level is nothing special around here…

There is a Price

I am not talking about tens of thousands of dollars annually, although that’s also there and will more than likely continue to be there for the foreseeable future. No, the real currency we trade is our sanity and relationship between mom and dad.

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

Yes, my friends, in the easiest and most “plain vanilla” circumstances, any relationship is work; relationships simply take work. But under constant duress of our lives, the relationship between mom and dad is of the essence indeed; it is the fundamental building block upon which everything either works or it doesn’t. Unbelievably, my wife has the presence of mind to attend to that too, as if she doesn’t have enough to do.

Frankly, my experience tells me that women are stronger than men. Women are also wiser than us guys. The difference, I believe, is that men can think in one, or perhaps two dimensions, while women are able to internalize three dimensions. In other words, when considering an issue, I see about a 120 degree perspective, while my wife sees a full 360 degrees…

This is the essence of wisdom. This is the essence of perspective. We guys need to spend our days pushing ourselves to see wider angles and deeper colors.

She Knows When It’s Time

Well, one thing that my wife sees well in advance of my being able to internalize it is something I refer to as “Daddy is Tired.” I admit that Patrisha carries much more of a load around here than I do or could, and she does it with grace unknown to me. And yet as any entrepreneur should, I push, and push some more, and push again… and the reality that I don’t have gainful employment simply means that I do a lot of the pushing with kids yelling in my ear. Talk about tough!

Unfortunately, unlike my wife, who has the patience of Job and handles “tired” as though it’s a walk in the park, I simply burn until there’s nothing left and then I crash. My patience goes out the window, my already irritable nature flares up even more, and I turn into a Russian Bear, completely unable to be either productive or reasonable.

Well, my wife somehow knows before I do that things are about to fall apart, and she fixes me – it’s called romance, and it looks like this:


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And… I’m not showing you any more pictures, but feel free to use your imagination. Suffice it to say that there was a bottle of fabulous red wine, an assortment of cheeses, a French baguette, a cigar, and a raised deck with 210 degree view of water with no direct line of sight from the neighbors. Get the picture?

Romance: We Have to Have It

You newbies out there — yeah, I’m talking to you. You just listened to Brandon’s webinar and are at the moment are a bit confused about how easy or not it is to do what he does. Well, let me set you straight – it’s harder than freaking hell! The amount of crap he and I have had to eat in order to arrive someplace better than where we were is unreal.

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

Brandon and Heather visited us in Lima last week; they are in the midst of a cross-country trip. You know why? ‘Cause for them, this is romance personified. Romance looks different to Patrisha and me, but the truth is the same — we work as hard as we do in order to live on our own terms as much as possible.

Thankfully, while neither Brandon nor I have made it to where we’re going yet, we’ve made sufficient progress so that we no longer have to count pennies. And you know what? Real estate is doing it; creative finance and nothing down real estate…

Furthermore, eating crap for 10 years has resulted in intellectual worth that now opens doors to much bigger and better opportunities today!


Romance personified is the destination, but the road is uncommonly full of, as they say, “crappy compromises.” Keep your vision in direct view at all times, and be prepared to work like hell.

You can do this!

What role do romance and relationships play in your investing endeavors?

Let me know with a comments!

About Author

Ben Leybovich

Ben has been investing in multifamily residential real estate for over a decade. An expert in creative financing, he has been a guest on numerous real estate-related podcasts, including the BiggerPockets Podcast. He was also featured on the cover of REI Wealth Monthly and is a public speaker at events across the country. Most recently, he invested $20 million along with a partner into 215 units spread over two apartment communities in Phoenix. Ben is the creator of Cash Flow Freedom University and the author of House Hacking. Learn more about him at


    • Ben Leybovich

      Thanks indeed, Karen. Perhaps for some people real estate and business are just that, but my experience is different – this is all about people. All of this is so hard, and so not debonair, that without the right people in place lasting success is not possible…such is my take, based on my experience.

      I simply could not do any of this without Patrisha. Nor would I want to…what the hell do I need more money for, or more units, or more headaches?! It’s Patrisha and the kids, and without this motivation I would have exited the game a long time ago…

      We owe it to the newbies to ground them in the realities of what real estate really is. This is my effort to keep it real 🙁

      Thanks indeed for your comment, Karen!

  1. Ben Leybovich

    We are guilty of writing bombastic stuff most of the time. The reality is that most people lose money in RE, and most of them don’t even know it until it’s too late…

    We have to ground ourselves into a deeper perspective. This is how I do it 🙂

    Thanks indeed for reading and commenting, Stephanie!

    • Ben Leybovich

      Thank you, Detra. I’d say more than that – for me, there is no reason to push if not for my people. I am, as they say, burnt out. This sport is full-contact, and I’ve got bruises. I am, in fact, tired. If it were not for Patrisha and kids, I’d be done…I just don’t get off on the game for the sake of the game.

      I know many here are 22 years old and don’t get it. Hopefully they see this and other articles like it, and something sticks for later in life when it counts…

      Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment, Detra!

  2. rachel zhang

    I always love to read your blog. Congratulations for having such a beautiful sound relationship with your spouse. In my opinion, men has unfair advantage to succeed than women. Men usually do not cook, clean, take care of kids for their needs of food, clothes, class arrangements and vacation plans etc. Work is pretty much what Men focus on, if they want to. But women will do all the above mentioned plus work! Ben, I am glad to hear that you love and admire your wife as much as she deserves. Hats off to all working women!

  3. lee northrop

    Hi Ben
    I enjoyed reading your post as it sounded much like my own life, we also have a kid with autism who’s doing great and another 2 younger boys who are a handful haha, just like in your story my Mrs does everything for our family “I’m like a fourth child” I’ve jut turned 40 this week and realise property/real estate investing is the best way to create a comfortable future. I’m currently an industrial roofing contractor but plan to retire with the help of REI within 5 years. The UK government is not helping at the moment though and has started targeting property investors with heavy taxation, might need to look overseas soon. Anyway good luck on your journey and keep us updated

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