Business Management

How I Lost Over $1 Million in Sales—and Why I Don’t Feel Bad About It

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing
225 Articles Written
productive-2017

Over the past four years, I have established my reputation. There are many ways I’ve done this, but there is one key component that I’ve always stuck by, which has enabled me to have an awesome reputation without anyone throwing dirt on my name. Before we get started, I want to tell you this: Real estate is a long-term game. Success does not happen overnight. It’s going to take you 5, 10, or 15 years to really get you to where you need to be. So stop thinking about real estate as a one-night stand. It has to be a marriage. As I said, it will take time to find true success in this game. Nothing happens overnight, and nothing comes easy. It just takes time.

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Turning Down Business

On one particular real estate transaction not too long ago, I probably lost about $1 million in sales—and I feel absolutely amazing about it. This is because I turn down more business than I take on. This is something I’d strongly suggest you implement in your real estate endeavors right now. I don’t care how broke you are; I don’t care how badly you need the money. I was in your shoes, and sometimes I feel like I am to this day. But still, whenever I’ve compromised my four core beliefs and made the sale to someone who I didn’t believe possessed my four core beliefs, I lost a ton of money. And I don’t mean literal money; instead, I lost money in the way of time and resources. When you lose time, it is gone forever. So, if you are spending time dealing with someone who is disgruntled, who you don’t want to do business with, who you don’t see eye to eye with, who you don’t agree on that long-term picture with, it’s not going to work. You’re going to lose money, and you’re going to lose time.

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Related: How to Motivate Yourself and Others With an Internal Locus of Control

Establish Your Core Beliefs

First, you’ll need to establish your core beliefs. Let’s think about that for a second. My four core beliefs are loyalty, honesty, no greed, and respect. Everyone that I surround myself with has to possess those four core beliefs, including my employees and my investors. If you do not possess those four core beliefs, then I don’t want you in my life. So, I am very picky whom I allow into my inner circle in regard to employees and investors. What are your core beliefs? Think about it.

Keeping Your Business Fit

Now, whatever business you’re looking at doing, whether it’s buy, fix, and flip, or wholesaling, figure out what your core beliefs are and implement systems and procedures that follow your process. We have a certain procedure that we expect every investor to follow. If they are not willing to follow that procedure or if for whatever reason we feel that they do not possess our four core beliefs, we turn down the business. Yes, as hard as it is sometimes when you need that extra dime, don’t do it. In regard to turning down questionable business, someone once told me, “You’re not starving your business; you’re keeping it fit.” And I’ll never forget those words.

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Related: The Beginning Investor’s Guide to Creating Lasting Value in Real Estate

So, if you want to turn down millions and millions in sales, only work with people that you really want to work with. Only work with people that you can genuinely help get to where they need to be, and in return, that is going to help you get where you need to be. Don’t compromise your beliefs, and don’t make the sale. While doing that business could be instant gratification right now, it’s going to cost a lot more in the long run.

Do you regularly turn down business to uphold your beliefs?

Let me know your thoughts with a comment!

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a.”the Real Estate Dingo,” quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.

    Katie
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Trump has taught us all the limits of loyalty, but you will never go wrong with honesty, no greed, and respect.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks for your comment Katie, Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks for your comment Katie, Much success
    Erik Whiting Real Estate Investor from Springfield, Missouri
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    $1 million in sales lost? I think a better title for the article would be: “Click bait-and-switch: How to get folks to visit a site by throwing out big numbers and then changing the topic to basic business ethics 101.”
    Matt NA Investor
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I would have to agree.
    Ron Flanagan Real Estate Agent from Rockwall, Texas
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Obviously, you would be one of the ones she wouldn’t want to do business with. You totally missed the meaning of the article. I agree with her 100%
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    lol Ron, My name is Engelo and not Angela Thanks for your support and your comment is spot on Much success
    Robert Scaife from Atlanta, Georgia
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I’m not a plumbing expert, but I believe that Engelo is male.
    Chris Gibbs Investor from Portland, Oregon
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I laughed
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    If only I wasn’t turning bald. I could have started to support the Antonio Banderas look hehe Thanks
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    If only I wasn’t turning bald. I could have started to support the Antonio Banderas look hehe Thanks
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    If only I wasn’t turning bald. I could have started to support the Antonio Banderas look hehe Thanks
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Erik, I’m glad the “click bait” title worked and that you commented on my blog. Much success
    Matthew Kelly from College Station, Texas
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    No greed = generosity – that’s a great trait. Good article.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Mathew, When you find folks that don’t ask “how much do I make” straight away. You might be onto something. Much success Reply Report comment
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Mathew, When you find folks that don’t ask “how much do I make” straight away. You might be onto something. Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Mathew, When you find folks that don’t ask “how much do I make” straight away. You might be onto something. Much success
    Michael Steven Harris
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    As for greed being bad remember the wolf of wall street there is no nobility in poverty. At least when I face my problems I show up in the back of a limo wearing a ten thousand dollar suit and a forty thousand gold watch. I’ve been usda extremely low income bracket there is merit to this speech
    Christopher B. Rental Property Investor from Knoxville, TN
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    That’s from Wall Street, not wolf of wall street. Both entertaining movies though.
    Amie
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    If I saw someone show up to a meeting with me in a limo wearing a ten thousand dollar suit and a forty thousand dollar gold watch, I would say thanks, but no thanks. Their priorities are not the same as mine. I have always said that if I get my income above $50k (yes, just $50K), I would use the rest to do good. That means everything from helping my parents to setting up a college scholarship fund to offering generous, above-market employee salaries. How much does one person actually need to spend on themselves before it’s just pure narcissism?
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Amie, I would disagree. I tend to spend on myself as the materialist “little wins” keep me going. The more I get the, the more I give away. I’ll still have whatever car, watch or holiday home that I desire. After all, I easily have been pulling 80+ hrs now for 5 years and most of my days and hrs are spent helping others. The materialist awards are sometimes necessary lol Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Amie, I would disagree. I tend to spend on myself as the materialist “little wins” keep me going. The more I get the, the more I give away. I’ll still have whatever car, watch or holiday home that I desire. After all, I easily have been pulling 80+ hrs now for 5 years and most of my days and hrs are spent helping others. The materialist awards are sometimes necessary lol Much success
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Michael, I don’t agree as I have seen many unhappy/wealthy folks that keep doing deal after deal for the purpose of adding another $20,000 profit to their already HUGE stack of $10m+. Once you’re at that level, I really don’t think that more is needed. The numbers should change from “more money” to “how many people can i help” Just my opinion. Thanks
    Avi Garg Rental Property Investor from Concord, CA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Engelo .. isnt that exactly what you are trying to do by adding $$ to your profit by taking cash only investors so you can reduce the time to close? No matter how big the stack is everyone wants to increase it … All 4 traits you mentioned I expect the other party to be true to that not just say it … The people who thinks “how many people can I help” do not look at the numbers/profit .. they do it for the sake of helping … That’s my belief Reply Report comment
    Avi Garg Rental Property Investor from Concord, CA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Engelo .. isnt that exactly what you are trying to do by adding $$ to your profit by taking cash only investors so you can reduce the time to close? No matter how big the stack is everyone wants to increase it … All 4 traits you mentioned I expect the other party to be true to that not just say it … The people who thinks “how many people can I help” do not look at the numbers/profit .. they do it for the sake of helping … That’s my belief
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks for your comment Avi, We only take on 10% of business that comes in. Can we take on more? EASILY. We could increase sales by 30-40% with our eyes closed. That’s not the point tho, it truly is about making sure that you do business only if it compliments your model and core beliefs. I have a non-profit that gives houses away to those in need and we are giving another house away this year. We have pledged to give 100 over the next 10 years. You need to help yourself first before you can help anyone else. I’d much rather be the “bank” and help those in need than actually not have “any bank” and not be able to help those in need. Without having money, it’s hard to help anyone. Much success
    Brandon Hall CPA from Raleigh, NC
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Nicely done Engelo. I feel that once you get to a point where you can turn down business, that’s ironically when your business begins to flourish. Keep it up!
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Brandon, We have been turning down business even when we had less than $1,000 in the operating account haha It’s about principal and not giving in to what you don’t believe in. An extra dollar will never hurt, but as I said in a comment above. It’s not about the $$$ It must be bigger than just the $$$ Much success mate
    Deanna Opgenort Rental Property Investor from San Diego, CA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Michael – bragging about the price tag of your suit & watch sounds…tacky. Like a drug dealer or rap star trying to impress their peeps.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Deanna, I think Michael was referring to a scene from the movie Wolf Of Wall Street
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Deanna, I think Michael was referring to a scene from the movie Wolf Of Wall Street Reply Report comment
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Deanna, I think Michael was referring to a scene from the movie Wolf Of Wall Street
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Thanks Deanna, I think Michael was referring to a scene from the movie Wolf Of Wall Street
    Flor Monterrosa Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles County CA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hello Engelo. I personally appreciate the video. Since I don’t know you, I don’t know how real you are about what you said. But I love it. Even people who those who have no interest in those values, they want to receive them from others. I seen the comments, some quite frank. But for me I’m focusing on the message. I appreciate what you said also because its been a though for prayer and meditation lately, and your boldness to speak in favor of these values reaffirms my decision to turn down an offer that appears to be lacking honest and transparency. I hope you continue share, I know people come here to learn how to build income from investing in real estate. My interest is building wealth, which I see as building myself along with creating a solid source of income. Thank you. Reply
    Flor Monterrosa Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles County CA
    Replied about 1 month ago
    Hello Engelo. I personally appreciate the video. Since I don’t know you, I don’t know how real you are about what you said. But I love it. Even people who those who have no interest in those values, they want to receive them from others. I seen the comments, some quite frank. But for me I’m focusing on the message. I appreciate what you said also because its been a though for prayer and meditation lately, and your boldness to speak in favor of these values reaffirms my decision to turn down an offer that appears to be lacking honest and transparency. I hope you continue share, I know people come here to learn how to build income from investing in real estate. My interest is building wealth, which I see as building myself along with creating a solid source of income. Thank you.