If you started all over again, what would you do the same?

2 Replies

A previous post in this category got me thinking. My wife and I are properly into this now. There have been missteps, there have been setbacks, and there have been a lot of possible stumbling points that we've moved past. Just the other day, my wife turned to me and said that for the first time, really, she was certain we'd have ten self-managed rentals all producing income at some point. This was one of our original goals. She is now as certain of it happening as she is of anything.

Our life is very different from what it was last year, and even more different from what it was the year before. It would be practically unrecognizable to us looking at it from where we were in 2014. We're closing on our sixth unit tomorrow, for instance. We have one more deal to do that will effectively wipe out all our business debt and start us on a new round of low-interest bank financing.

Yesterday, going through the forums, I stumbled on a jerk who obviously enjoys putting people down, telling them they "have no clue," insisting they have no business doing what they're doing. BiggerPockets.com has its unfortunate share of these people "contributing" in the forums.

Lastly, I've been trying to help an investor who I met on this site learn how to do meaningful web research on foreclosures. It was incredible how the guy balked, refused to do the work I suggested he needed, and wanted to be spoonfed information one well-processed dollop at a time...when he couldn't get me to do his work for him. Somehow, in his smooth rat brain, he thought that was the secret to making money in real estate -- getting other people to do anything that looks like really hard work with uncertain outcomes for you.

It all put me in mind of a well-known passage from one of Theodore Roosevelt's speeches:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." (Citizenship in a Republic, Paris, 1910)

 So I'd like to pose the question in my subject for those in this forum , not in the spirit of self-congratulation, but to share meaningful information. For my wife and I, it is unquestionably that we were willing to fail, and still are. We're willing to lose money. We accept the risk that we might go broke. We're willing to admit our mistakes and learn from them, and keep on going in the face of uncertainty.  We're willing to pull the trigger despite the shadow giants of fear and failure hovering over us and reaching into us to clench their mighty fists around our hearts, as they do to every person starting out in real estate investing.

What did you do right starting out?

I kept getting up and moving forward despite the numerous falls as a newbie landlord.  My first property, I bought the home with existing tenants and inherited them.  I have since been afraid to take on that burden.  In some instances one may be lucky to find great tenants, but in some, it is a nightmare, and I had a nightmare with my inherited tenants, not good for a newbie, but I pulled through and got them out .  So many times I wanted to quit but thanks to good friends/mentors, I kept getting back up and moving forward.  Seems you and your wife are doing great in that area too, congrats!

@Anna M.

Yeah. You want to stop. Maybe try something else and turn your real estate experience into a cautionary tale you tell other people in order to get them to stop as well. And most do exactly that, but you did not. Congrats!

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