How to convince my wife to join me in real estate?

28 Replies

I'm just starting to set my goals and plans into real estate. My wife is all in favor with me. But I would like to involve her too, but she is not interested at all. She is a part time student, part time job, and part time mom. Need advice to atleast have her a little interested. Thanks

So it sounds like you’re saying she is supportive, but not interested in participating in the business. Correct me if I’m wrong.

When this question comes up I tend to have a different opinion than most. You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do, spouse or not. You have investing goals. Well, pursue them! Throw yourself into the work. Lead by example, not with the goal of getting her to join you in your endeavors (though that would be nice), but because YOU have a goal and nothing should stop you from achieving it. At least you have her support. But forcing anything else beyond that will only lead to resentment and frustration.

Perhaps you should pick out a few BP podcasts to watch on Youtube together. Many of the successful investors are couples who work on the business together. Look at #288.

My husband struggled to get me into REI, he asked me to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I’m now a realtor and deeply involved in our own investments as well as helping others get their investments started.
It helped to read a book that showed me point blank the value of what we’re doing.

She seems like she has her hands full to be honest. Part time school, part time job, and raising a child. If she's not interested in getting into yet another venture, it may be because she doesn't have the mental capacity. 

Being that she's supportive, IMO you guys should leverage the partnership you have, you can focus more deeply on real estate, once it pays off, she may inadvertently have more time/energy to be directly involved with REI in ways you may desire.

Working together can be done in many ways. 

I also want to say that I wouldn't advise going into this unless you both are committed to it. DH and I did a deal a couple of years ago and during the first year the cash flow was negative in a big way. We spent considerable savings renovating units. If one spouse is doing it and the other is not interested, that is the time when someone says "This was a terrible idea! You said we were going to make money on this." The property is doing well now, but it took about 12 months to turn it around. You both need to be ready for it and willing to weather it.

You can't force her to be interested. You would be falling into the same trap as women who marry a man thinking they can change him. At best she dislikes it more, at worse she starts to resent it and you. Not healthy. 

Just be passionate about it and let it happen organically. Don't stuff it down her throat but talk about your goals and plans with her. If you both like playing games, play monopoly or Cashflow those games consciously and subconsciously will make her think about real-real estate especially if she is competitive. 

When I met my wife she outright disagreed with me about it. She didn't understand why I wanted to waste my time with these annoying tenants and deal with gross problems like toilets and drain lines. As time wore on though, she saw benefits here and there, then when she started seeing appraisals and how much stuff was worth she started believing. I taught her how to win at monopoly, a game she always hated but now loves because she understands the underlying principles. One day she came home from running errands and says with a very serious tone "We have to start buying rent properties around here, have you seen the construction and what they are building?" After I picked my jaw up off the floor and asked who she was and what she did with my wife, I was happy to admit that her transformation was complete. Bwahahaha. Now she still isn't going to start knocking on doors or collect rent from tenants but we go to look at potential properties together and she is more than just supportive now. It only took 5 years...

People have different interests.   You said she supports you, so do your thing.  It's your passion, not hers.  And don't forget to be supportive about whatever her passions are.

I’m borderline obsessed with REI and my husband is happily along for the ride. I’ve found that going to our local REI meet ups has really increased his interest level because he gets to hear everything from other people (as opposed to his wife who can’t stop talking about it haha) and meet awesome people who are living the life that is still only a dream for us. It makes it real and reinforces the idea that we can do this!

@Rebecca Zemek   Good suggestion. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is probably the best book for helping people to see money, real estate and assets in general in a different light. 

@Abimael Rodriguez See the money, that would work if the individual loves money, not everyone loves money. She might enjoy the design aspect of RE, during a flip ask her opinion on color of the backsplash. If you're buying a rental ask her if she likes the interior exterior of the house. Most people have a personal connection with SFH and the american dream of owning a home. It's not always about the money, most investors fail because of the money aspect. 2k repair on a move out turnover, I cant do this anymore I'm too cheap to pay for 2k on paint and minor repairs, I quitting REI and selling my rental for half off and telling everyone about my horror story.
@Abimael Rodriguez I tend to agree with @Peter M. And @sta@Stan Bril . If she supports you, throw yourself into it and chances are she will show interest on your interest. Do not force it. Let her come to you and when she asks how your day was, use that opportunity to let your passion and excitement come through. Best of luck to you!

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate your advices and inputs. Who knows, maybe down the line she will like it. If not, that's ok then, as long as I get the support. Thanks again to each and everyone one of you. Best of luck to you all. God bless.

I suggest reading books together, see if you can spark her curiosity! My wife and I work together 100% on our investments and she loves it! She even helps me do repairs on the houses themselves. It is a great thing to do with your partner in my experience! Good luck!

@Abimael Rodriguez - a couple years ago, I asked for 1 thing from my wife for my birthday: "please read Rich Dad, Poor Dad... cover-to-cover."

Long story short: She read it. Flash forward a couple years and we now have a real estate portfolio together, and we are 50/50 partners in a thriving business. 

A few other suggestions: 
  •  Set goals together, for your life together - once RD,PD gets you both on the same mental wavelength... setup a nice lunch/dinner together and open a conversation about goals for your life together. And keep this conversation going over the course of time. Set your "big why" together... and THEN worry about the tactics.
  • Other books (in audiobook or paperback)
  • Podcasts - listen to them. a lot of them. And then pickout the best ones that you think will resonate with her. Occasionally share them (not every day, and probably not every week, even... send them over occasionally. Be thoughtful of timing and don't overwhelm). 
  • Be Patient - she will get there on her own timetable, but it's important to let her drive it. If you push, you'll probably push her away from it instead of igniting the spark of REI interest
  • Be available, on her timetable - there will be moments when she's ready and interested to talk... but those moments might come when you're at the end of a long day and don't want to talk shop. It's in those moments that you've gotta think about her, not yourself, and get interested in the conversation. She's ready to rock, so make it happen!

The "rich dad, poor dad strategy" was mentioned by @Rebecca Zemek on this thread already, as well. It is simply the best starting point for starting the mindset shift into real estate investing (and entrepreneurship, in general... i'd argue). The power of this book can not be overstated.

First of all....Don't worry about it, most investors have the same problems (and persuading the wife to come on-board is one of the common one).

I can provide couple of tips that will ease the process:

1. Start small - don't take on 100 units multi-family on the first deal nor invest 100% of you capital. Start exploring small properties that require small portion of your resources. It will allow you to show success (which is extremely important) and you'll start on your learning curve.

2. Don't force your wife into it. We all want our spouse to take interest in what we are doing, to enrich our relationship and have more common interests. If your wife is willing to support you, it is good enough for now. Give her time and space and if she'll be into it, it will occur naturally and will make you, as a couple, 10 times stronger.

3. Partnerships in REI are very common and I might say mandatory. Partnering allow some balancing between two or more people who complete each other (everyone brings something different to the table). I think it will be beneficial for you to explore other types of partnerships to strengthen your resilience and add more tools to your REI toolbox.

Good luck.

Benny

I think there are a lot of ways that you can engage someone's interests, and her level of voluntary engagement will probably depend largely on which aspects of the process you try to include her in, and how you go about presenting it.

Try starting by asking her her thoughts or opinions on things related to the deals you're already working on. Not only will she be more receptive to an opportunity to share her opinions, but she might also point out things that you haven't thought of because she'll look at things through a different lens than you or I would. I've found that letting my SO cast the tie-breaking vote between two viable paint colors has increased engagement and ownership in the process, even though they didn't realize they were being included. Try extending that general principle to other aspects of your business.

Over time, through indirect exposure to your process, she'll either become more interested in REI, or she won't. If she doesn't, there are plenty of other ways she can support real estate as a shared goal, including by taking over more responsibilities in the non-RE portion of your lives.

Real estate investing is a job. There is no reason to expect or require your wife to want the same job you have. As long as she is supportive there is no reason she needs to share your job.

@Abimael Rodriguez A lot of us were in the this boat . Everyone is interested in Getting extra income and security .. show her a stack of money you make each month and tell her this can be forever without worry how the car payment will get paid or house payment . That oughta light get fire

I can relate to this. For me it was less specifically about real estate and more the general dynamics of our relationship. I would share things that I found (Podcasts and articles) that I thought she would find interesting. I was ready to engage her in conversation whenever she asked a question. And most importantly I made some money.

Let her do her thing.  Focus on your own development.  If she sees your excitement, she might get interested.  Or she might not.  

Thanks a lot everyone. I love all the advices and opinions from everyone.

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