Life is all about change. Whether it’s the traffic patterns on our way to work, the kids favorite meal, one’s ability to excell in the World of Real Estate Investing, or life itself. Life is life -right?
It occured to me the other day when a friend I know said… “Should I change who I am???”
Hmmm. I cannot answer that for anyone definitively due to ones individual issues (as you could understand)…. BUT, what I can say if one’s not happy with the results thier achieving then perhaps that’s a hint that change is in order. Most of us resist change -it’s natural, and it’s uncomfortable.
If you know me, you know I say “Pain creates Change“. Really -It does at least for me. Pain causes me to pause. Reflect on the issues. Think about those friends or whom I respect and what constructive critisim they’ve given me. Often I find the answer’s to positive results by stopping my ‘same ol’, same ol’ patterns, shutting up, and actually taking the advice of others…..
One of my greatest transformations in my World of Real Estate Investing was back in 2002-03′. I still had a full time job and had @59 rental properties with a property manager. My goal was to continue adding rental units, improving cash flow, with the goal of leaving the ‘9-to-5’. Sounds familiar?
Seemed possible right? I mean here we were at the beginning of one of the largest ramp up’s in the economy (after 9-11) with all the economic winds pushing at our back. What did we see? The Fed (not to mention World Powers) throwing all the cheap money possible to stop the economic wheels from falling off. Those who resent that -clearly don’t understand the need; nor the reality of what a real depression looks like. Resentments typically can be answered by looking in the mirror -but I digress.
You see at the end of 2000 was the time when easy ‘anyone who can fog a mirror can get a mortgage‘ money started to flow into the streets. What was starting to sink in (at least for me) was that when you move average homeownership rates from 62% to 72%, over the period of 2-4 years, you have a huge sucking sound in the tenant pool. Combined with some property management issues, I was fighting some 15-25% vacancy rates for a good 2-3 years. Yes -Really!?! All the guru’s, fellow landlords, nor mentors had a solution that worked… Talk about scary!!! When something isn’t working in the business model (whether short or long term) and that can be fatal to one’s investing.
Talk about pain! Heck it got to were I was afraid to buy more rentals -I mean I couldn’t even fill what I had! It was at this moment that I finally let my guard down, took the blinders off, and realized that all my local real estate investment groups did have something to offer (beyond that pessimistic thought of “they just want me to buy a $1,000 course or overpriced property”). What I realized was that I had been networking in an association (www.metrolinareia.org) that offered a gathering place for real estate professionals to do business with fellow real estate professionals (sure there were/are sharks; however, one just has to watch to seperate fact from fiction).
I remember it like yesterday in February of 2002, when Jay at a meeting raised his hand and said I needed $17K to buy a house on Frazier Avenue and some $3-5k to fix up for a decent little lower income rental. After the meeting I said I was interested; however, couldn’t get by the property till my lunch hour the next day… He welcomely responded that he’d love to have me check out and see what I thought but also advised that I was not the only one looking to lend the money. So there I was.., underperforming rental portfolio, money to invest, and the desire to leave a 9 to 5 without the tools (or what appeared so at the time) to achieve my goals. That next day I rushed out in my coat & tie early to see that little 600 sq/ft house (I mean it was tiny), quickly called him to say “let’s do it”, and was advised another loan commitment was already taken….
Was I discouraged??? No –certainly a bit bummed that I had missed out in participating on a good deal; yet, I was excited!!! You see the Blinders had been removed and I realized that my commercial credit lending background and experience with Charlotte Real Estate Values and Rehab knowledge culminated into a perfect blend of opening up a new avenue of real estate investing for me.
You see that was the spark for my Hard Money Lending operations. This pain.., this willingness to listen to an opportunity outside my normal box (as these deals were presented all the time over the years -I just didn’t listen), and my internal drive lead to an opportunity that accelerated my growth and ability to financial independance via real estate investing in Charlotte, NC. For additional thoughts on change check out this article for 2010: A New Year & New Challanges….
Yes -it was the perfect storm… I am just grateful that I was open to see it.
No matter the circumstances, the experience (or lack there of), the money and/or credit, harness that pain -to create change…