I came across the BiggerPockets community as a way to educate myself in REI before taking the big plunge and looking for my first deal. My wife and I have very stable, well paying jobs in the Washington DC metro area, but we've made the decision we want to take charge of our financial futures instead of continually trading time for dollars like our families do. We realize this will be a slow and methodical process, but we believe this is the way forward.
Here's where our paths diverge. I'm a "big picture" guy who has a vision and creates plans and goes after them with intensity. My military training has taught me to come up with a plan, even if not perfect, and execute it with 100% intensity and be flexible enough to adjust direction and tackle problems in the moment. My wife is a perfectionist and gets mired in the details, treating every piece of information with equal weight. She usually requires extensive research and analysis before making simple decisions because she doesn't want to be wrong. A complete, 100% plan covering all "what-ifs" must be written and vetted before taking action. Sometimes a decision cannot be made and we get stuck in analysis paralysis.
You can already see the problems just over the horizon. We agree on the goal, but how to get there? I'd be very interested to hear peoples' thoughts on how they integrated REI with the personal side of things and lived to tell about it.
I think it's great you are thinking about these things before diving into REI as it truly is an endeavor for both of you. It sounds like we are rather similar regarding being the big picture vision caster and our wife being the detail perfectionist and I'd honestly say that's PERFECT!
My wife and I (Through many conversations) were able to work through what our strengths were and to trust each other in them. Part of that is also 'speaking her language' when talking about the big picture (Ie. Big Picture - replace income, her language says "if we want to do that we need to replace $XXXX a month and we would anticipate XX-XX number of SFH to accomplish that"). I believe that has also really helped in communicating how to move forward.
Lastly, we've both learned to let go of our opinions when it's in the other persons' strength. We recently bought flooring for a new house we are closing on and I was expressing strong opinions on the cost and style and I had to stop and told her "You're the expert on the interior design and what will last the longest relative to cost so you pick and I trust you" This has helped my wife who hasn't listened to a single podcast from BP move forward and buy a house and start renting our old one within 60 days!!
Sorry for writing an entire book but I'm a big believer in power couples hashing it out and accomplishing great things. Best of luck on your REI adventures!!
Clyde, thank you for sharing your perspective and experience on this. I agree that we must work together if this is going to work. How have you and your wife worked through trivial matters? Let me give you a scenario...I'm looking for my first deal and think I found a property that meets my ROI numbers and I want to move forward. She's bought into my vision and thinks the property is good to go, so we start looking at financing options. I want to get several quotes from banks/lending institutions, but she wants to interview no less than 15 banks and 5 credit unions and go back and forth with each one and pit them against each other in a "rate/closing cost war" to get the absolute best price. Then she wants to research realtors and interview them one by one so she can ensure we're getting the best representation. Meanwhile the property own has already sold to another investor because he came to the table with hard money and no fussing. Now my wife and I have nothing to show for it but a lot of frustration.
How do a married couple establish who's in charge and who's running the business? Scenarios like the one above will bleed a business dry.
@Jordan_Northrup Thanks for the example! I think in your specific example your wife may need to do some further research to understand the state of the market (where I live you have 24/48 hours to make an offer although it's cooling down). Education is key well at least that's what I hear (Still a new investor here).
Regarding the overall question who's in charge/running the business and I think that's a tough question for me to answer for you, BUT. I've found partnerships generally perform better and have greater combined strength than a Sole point person. I think this applies in business AND business within marriage. It takes both parties to give some compromise while understanding that you are both are on the same team. And that takes tactfulness (which I'm still working on) when communicating with your partner and mutual respect.
Lastly, I'll leave you with one practical thing that works really well for me and my wife (In business and everyday life). When we start to disagree on something or see that we aren't on the same page we say out loud the level of importance the topic is for us from 1-10. This helps remove emotions and creates a common language for you to understand each other. This has helped in so many spheres of our marriage and it might sound quirky or dumb but when we start to argue about 'buying everyone's dinner when we are out with friends I can tell her this is a 7 for me. This helps her understand that it means a lot to me to do it but also that I'm willing to not move forward. [I also had to limit how many 10's she could have because if not everything will be a 10 for my wife ;) ].
Hope that helps, and hopefully others can chime in and bring some additional perspectives!