No one wants ot hear about RE anymore

21 Replies

Are we real estate investors all alone? Lately I've been talking about real estate a lot to my friends and family, and today I was told by someone that they didn't want to hear about it anymore. Have you ever experienced this with people outside of REI? Are we the only ones interested in talking about RE? Should I stop bothering to talk about it with other people and just stick to talking about it to people who are already interested in RE?

Would you like to hear someone else repeatedly tell you about how big their yacht is?

Would you like to hear someone with different political views drone on about how wrong yours are?

Most people won't want to discuss your financial strategy.

@Colin Simon   I don't even own any RE yet, so there's  nothing for me to brag about.  I'm also not telling them that they are wrong and I am right.  Nor am I asking them advice on strategies (they don't know about that).  I'm just talking about it like they talk about what they are doing with their day.

I was specially told that it makes them feel jealous that they don't have anything like it that they are excited about and that they would prefer to talk about "light things".   I guess "light" meaning, things that don't make them feel bad.  I didn't realize it would make them feel bad and I certainly won't be bringing it up again to them.

So now I'm wondering do all people feel this way and should I not bother talking to anyone outside of investing about this?

Most of the people I spend time with ask me about real estate, not the other way around. The people you spend time with should be happy for you. This sounds like a case of one depressed individual, not an epidemic. This person said themselves they don't have anything they are excited about to talk about. That's sad. 

No, not all people feel that way. It sounds like your friend/family member would be equally put off by someone talking about any number of things in their lives that fire them up - whether their jobs, kids, hobbies, whatever. Just consider the fact that you might be going overboard, and the jealous friend is just the first to get annoyed and say something. Find some real estate meetups and hang out with other obsessed people that would happily talk real estate all night long. Good luck!

Remember one thing: when you discuss something that you are doing, and if you are successful - or appear to be successful - it is going to engender a lot of jealousy. People are going to think or say "@Jenelle Harris is no rocket scientist, so why is she making this money/doing these deals/trying this, and I'm getting nowhere?" 

Most people take the easy road in life. Thinking about this stuff is hard. It may be fun but it's hard. And talking about it is really hard, if you are like most people and surrounded by people who take the easy road in life. 

The uninspired are the most plentiful type of human there is.

It’s like dating. If you are interested in someone, but you don’t get any nibbles, time to move on. You might try again later, but after a few tries with no nibbles, why even go back again.

@Jenelle Harris why not just bring it up very lightly and see how they react? 

"what have you been up to lately?"

"oh, just trying to hustle my way into the real estate game"

This person is a coworker and yes they are a little down on themselves.  I really won't bring it up unless they ask and even then, it'll be lightly.

Thank you all for your support and advice!

@Jenelle Harris ,

You're feeling the effects now.. just wait until you have some investment properties!   

Should you stop talking about it with your friends-- IMO yes, limit it, they won't have any good feedback.  If you talk and push for real estate, something they know nothing about,..  you won't get any feedback or help, and it will just isolate yourself.. ....  The psychology of it is because you make them feel inferior, why does she get to do this, but I can't, or geeze, how'd she get that much money? . also, if you don't talk about it, people will just see the after pictures and think it's easy.. (hint-- it's NOT!)..  get used to it.. it's not going away!  Most normal friends don't understand it,  and they won't.. .so you will learn who you can/can't talk about it with... some may shock you and try to learn from you.... BP people (like me!) are so active because this is the place we get to talk about it, with others who love real estate, and get it!  Embrace BP for what it is... a fix for real estate junkies!

Also, just be ready for it..  when you get your first investment property, I highly doubt any of your friends will come help, or if they do, they'll expect payment.. (psychology: you are making money, why shouldn't  I?)   that was a shocker for me, i thought everyone would help like they did at my house.. nope.. not for an investment!   Not being a debbie downer, but it's just different!

The problem with BPers (and I'm guilty of this) is that we often approach Real Estate like religion.  We are devout converts who live, eat, sleep and breathe what we believe.  And just like any other fanatic, we can be really annoying about it.

Back off from your friends/acquaintances who have said they're uncomfortable with your level of engagement and spend your time and energy with those who are anywhere from slightly to completely enthusiastic.

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

Jim Rohn

Find like-minded people who value things like real estate and living an extraordinary life and foster relationships with them.  It's life changing to surround yourself with aspirational people (and vice versa to not).  I understand this one just happens to be a co-worker.

@Jenelle Harris

Very seriously, you should not bother talking to anyone outside real estate investing about it. They don't need to know. There is a LOT of cultural baggage around owning multiple properties and landlording, if you decide to go down that road. Bags and bags of it. Talk to fellow investors in person and online. That's why I'm here. I haven't even told my brother what I've been doing with my life for the last few years.

The deeper you go into this the more aware of all the cultural baggage you'll become. The assets that you're talking about buying and selling and improving and reworking are HOMES for non real-estate people. They build their lives around them. If they rent, they compulsively worry about "being thrown out on the street." If they own the house they live in, they compulsively worry about "the bank foreclosing if I miss another payment."

When they move in, they pay for renovations they don't need to "make the house truly mine."

They celebrate paying off their outsized mortgage because for them it's a great life-changing accomplishment.

They mourn when they have to leave the house that they spent so much of their lives in, like their cheap ticky-tacky tract-built place is an ancestral estate handed down from time immemorial and their lives are bound up with the soil it rests on.

They fill their houses with just ungodly amounts of their crap, trying to own it more fully.

They hire people to do the simplest jobs in their house because they're worried to death about structurally compromising the joint: "Oh no, if I replace this faucet and the faucet leaks there will be massive damage and a contractor will have to give me a quote and I'll have to file a claim with my insurance, and, and, and..."

You know those guys who save up to buy a cheap  American sports car, get someone to take a picture of themselves standing in front of it, and then use it as their profile pic? You stay away from those guys, right? When it comes to houses, everyone who doesn't invest in real estate is just as emotionally mature about the subject as a bozo on a dating site in a leather jacket and sunglasses sporting three days' stubble as he sits in a beater convertible and gives the camera his best Magnum.

Account Closed  Thanks, very insightful.  I'm glad I'm learning all this before I've gotten houses, rather than after.  After would have hit me pretty hard.

I'm going to disagree with most people and say you should keep bringing it up... but not to the same people over and over. Feel people out. Bring it up to a friend/coworker/family member and see how they react. If they brighten up, or seem genuinely interested in it, continue to talk to them about it. If they brush it off, never bring it up again with them. 

I've found I do have a ton of family members/friends who will scoff at the idea that real estate can make you rich. With those people, I just never talk real estate with them and try to value whatever else they bring to our relationship.

I've also found that 9/10 times I tell a stranger that I'm flipping a house, they say "Oh wow, that's something I really want to get into" or something along those lines. And by stranger I'm talking about someone I run into at Home Depot or someone I buy something off Craigslist from. Or sometimes people who work in the same office as me, but we don't really work together. In those times I so badly wish I had a card I could give them and say "hey, reach out if you're serious and maybe we can work together on something or we could help each other out in some way." 

Be open minded, because never talking about real estate again would be a mistake in my opinion.

I've seen an interesting transition over the last year. One year ago I had a bunch of friends that I'd always talk real estate with, but it was all "we should do this, or how cool would it be if we did that." None of us owned any property. A year later, now that I've got two duplexes, they've pretty much lost interest in even talking about it. I'm not sure it's jealousy, but when the subject comes up, they don't get to have any excuses anymore. 

Now, when I talk to new people it's a mix of responses. But I find that ambitious people in general are interested, regardless if they're in real estate or not. Because they like having conversations about making cool stuff happen, whatever it is. Most people are content with a mediocre life, and there is nothing wrong with that. But they don't want to hear people like us spouting off about real estate. Though, that's why you've got to be careful about who you spend your time around. 

I am in a similar boat. Few months ago, my siblings and I were on the road trip to beach. I figure maybe we can listen to BP podcast hoping that they would get enthusiastic about REI..... They slept through whole way. They thought it's the most boring thing they have ever heard and complained that I talk about money too much. To me, it's one of the most excited things that keep me going.

But like @Linda Weygant mentions, I probably sound like a religious maniac to them.....  

My wife for while was not interested in REI either. She even played BP before she sleeps, because according to her, it's so dull that it helps her sleep better at night. But after while, she actually engages in REI activity with me. I think she finally realizes the point I was trying to make such as the benefit of having passive income etc.

All of my best friends from high school/college do not see REI as the way I do. And I try not to force down on them. I figure if I can't even convince my own blood, other people certainly not going to see my point. Nowadays, I try to hang out with like-mind people who are interested in REI, but that doesn't mean I am not going to offer advice/help to my family and friends later if/when they show interest in REI. Like they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink....

@Jenelle Harris , I LOVE real estate. In my real life, no one cares, except when they have a question about a house sale, taxes, rehab, etc.

That's why BiggerPockets is such a find. I get to talk about real estate with people who get it. Look at some of the post counts. @Jay Hinrichs has 17,000+ posts on this site. @Russell Brazil has 6,000+ and he's only been here for two years. 

This is your tribe. Feel free to chat with us. 

@Jenelle Harris   seems to me the tragic fire should be the conversation how to house all those folks

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people". Eleanor Roosevelt     I like to talk about what interest me - business, real estate, insurance, karate, cars and politics.   Iv'e figured out what each of my family / friends like to talk about with me.  I try not to cram my stuff down their throat every time I see them.  If you don't have friends who enjoy talking RE with you, find new friends.   It's easy to "talk" about RE (or whatever plan you have to financial success).  Very few however will put it into action and do the work.  Network with those who are willing to do the work and learn from them.  Find people who have what you want and ask them if they will help you out.   Also, I heard it said "if a friend isn't happy for your success, you probably need new friends".    Lastly, I was in the insurance business for 20 years.  I went to some seminars / expos over the years.   I started to recognize the "junkies" in the groups.  Some of them would go to all the seminars and get all the ideas but they would never implement anything.  They had all the "book knowledge" but no application of it.  Unfortunately for them they remained stagnant.   Good luck-

@Mindy Jensen   Thank you so much, that's very kind of you, and I totally agree that Bigger Pockets is my tribe now!

@Jay Hinrichs True, I'm very worried about it and talk about it all the time.  We are supposed to get rain this weekend and now they're worrying about toxic waste run off.  My friends who's homes burned down have told me that the developers have already started coming in talking to them about buying burned out lots, but of course, the city hasn't even figured out how the clean up is going to be executed yet.  Then there is the issue of a lack of contractors that have deep enough pockets to do the work ahead of time while waiting to get paid afterwards by the insurance companies.  It's a mess.  I'm sure some people will be moving away.

Hey @Jenelle Harris I just made a post very similar to this and then saw yours lol. If people ask what I do I say I'm a RE Investor but other than that I almost never go into details. It's incredibly painful to discuss with non entrepreneurs / motivated people as the conversation goes flat or you know it will harbor resentment and a lot of BS. 

I actually caught up with a old work mate (quit f/t work 15 months ago) the other day & he asked what I had been up to and I said "Well, I never told you when I worked there that I actually own a business and have multiple investments" He was so surprised but when I told him I didn't mention it at work because people will hold it against you he completely agreed!

In summary find new like minded friends and NEVER mention it to anyone in a job you do :)

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