“Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be broke kids”
When meeting with sellers, your No. 1 goal should be to solve real estate problems.
You should tell them something like, “I’m about to ask you some crazy questions. That’s because my job isn’t necessarily to buy your house; it’s to solve real estate problems.”
I even tell them that allowing me to buy their house may not be in their best interests, but that I’ll try my best to help them find the best solution possible.
I had one of the “you’re not the best solution” meetings the other night with a young couple. The young woman had just inherited a free-and-clear property from her dad’s estate. He’d passed when she was very young, and this property had been held in trust until she came of age. She was also inheriting a $25,000 CD that’d been invested on her behalf.
I met the couple at the property, and after walking through the house, we found a shady place around back to sit and talk. I began the conversation with the normal opener, letting them know my job was not to buy their house but to solve real estate problems.
As we talked, I learned they were your normal teenaged kids. They had minimum-wage jobs and aspirations of going to college and getting married one day. And like most kids, they knew very little about money – other than how to spend the $350 they make every other week.
I asked the girl why she was selling the house and what she planned to do with the money once it sold. In the beginning of our talk, she said she wanted to sell it so she could pay for college. She didn’t know how much college would cost, however. Toward the end of the conversation, I found out her mom was pushing her to sell because of the hurt her mother associated with the area.
It was at this point I stopped asking questions. My job was to solve real estate problems, and the problem here was that no one was helping these kids see the huge financial jump start that was being laid at their feet. If someone didn’t do something quickly, these kids were going to blow it like the lottery winners who are broke a year after they win.
I began to teach them about passive income and investing in real estate. Their faces changed at the thought of one little rental house almost replacing their entire month’s worth of wages. They’d never been told about another way of creating income, aside from going to college, getting a job and paying bills.
We spent well over an hour talking about how trading time for dollars doesn’t work. They found it intriguing that, if they found themselves in employment situations without benefits, this little rental house would supplement those lost wages during times like maternity leave, for instance.
By the time we finished, the kids realized that starting their adult life with a free-and-clear rental property and $25,000 to invest with was way better than what most people end with.
These kids had been placed in a fantastic financial position. Regrettably, their parents knew very little about money, so they couldn’t show them how to take advantage of their situation, which begs the question; are you teaching your kids sound principles about how to use and invest money? If you don’t teach them how money works, someone else will – and it’ll probably be someone who’s broke.
In my heart, I had no choice but to help these kids. Besides, it’s my job – and it should be yours, too. So put on your best Waylon Jennings voice and sing with me, “Mamas, don’t let you babies grow up to be broke kids.”
Great post. Thank you for helping these young people see the opportunity that was there for them rather than take advantage of their ignorance and vulnerability. I hope they remember your advice and keep the property when financial setbacks come into their lives (as they do in everyone's) and the temptation is to find easy money.
Awesome post! Thanks for sharing!
That was absolutely awesome and I agree completely. Solving the issues of people rather than chasin the dollars when buying should be how it's done. Kudos to you for seeing that.
Great advice. I'm sure they will remember you for investing in them. You might have just created a future investment partner.
I wish I would have received some money advice growing up. I traded time for money for way too long.
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