As a real estate investor, I would venture to say that many people who aspire to be real estate investors are very likely aspiring for freedom. The freedom they hear about, learn about and read about, which results from owning your own business – specifically, owning your own real estate investing business. I’ll admit that freedom is, and has been, very appealing to me as a 20-year corporate employee. I was someone who survived in a very rigid, disciplined environment. The excitement and allure of owning my own business as a real estate investor and living or achieving a different state of freedom was very enticing. It was the motivating factor for me over 10 years ago when I become a real estate investor. More specifically six years ago when I became a full-time real estate investor and left that rigidity and disciple of the corporate world.
Two Forms of Freedom from Real Estate Investing
The freedom from real estate investing comes in different forms. These forms of freedom may be different for each individual who pursues a career as a business owner and a real estate investor.
You may, first and foremost, be enticed by the financial freedom the opportunity to earn more and to accumulate more wealth. Perhaps you have identified that real estate investing will deliver that to you along with a financial lifestyle or financial position that is currently not obtainable in your profession.
Your freedom as a real estate investor may come in the form of time. Perhaps it will grant you more time in comparison to your current profession or perhaps it will grant you greater flexibility with your time. Being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Versus your current employment or profession that may not allow you that flexibility. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to pursue a completely new industry or a completely new profession. I’ll admit, that is part of the enticement for me. The opportunity to expand myself, and develop myself outside my current experiences. Exploring an entirely new professional arena, the arena of residential real estate investing and business ownership.
These two forms of freedom are achievable through real estate investing. It is up to you if you want to achieve them both or just one. We all focus on different things, we have different priorities, and we have different goals and objectives when it comes to what we are seeking specifically the form of freedom.
The Cost of Freedom
It’s all fun and exciting to talk about freedom but we all know this and have heard in all different contexts that freedom comes with a price. If you are here in the U.S. and enjoy the freedoms we have, it comes at a significant price, the ultimate price for many.
For a real estate investors, the price you pay is in the discipline. I’ve seen this, heard this, and realized this as a real estate investor myself. That freedom is very enticing, very exciting, and very rewarding, but it comes at a price. When you listen to podcasts, go to seminars, read books or articles about successful residential real estate investors and business owners, you’ll see the scope of discipline throughout the stories they share. You’ll see and hear them talk about rigid processes they put in place which they not only hold their team members accountable to, but also hold themselves accountable. You’ll see they have rigid financial disciplines on how they spend their money, and where they spend it. You’ll see they have very strict and defined business models that are extremely disciplined. They focus on what they know works and build their businesses accordingly. This is what has proven to produce results for them. These disciplines are what helped rocket these investors to success.
Some of them are still actively involved in their businesses, while some have elevated themselves to new type of freedom. They’ve been able to step away from the day to day operations of their business and live a unique and elevated lifestyle. Even despite the more tenured and successful investors who are today are working on their businesses versus working in their businesses have extreme levels of disciplines they still maintain even though they aren’t in the trenches so to speak. They are very disciplined on the people they hire, on the teams they assemble, and how they train them. They are very disciplined on how they coach them and manage the business the processes. It’s because of the disciplines they put in place that got them to the level of freedom they enjoy.
Three Disciplines to Achieve REI Success
Consistency is a key discipline to seek out and achieve, whether you are pursuing investing on your own or assembling a team. Learn what works well for you, do it, then do it again and do it again. This can be in the form of following up on leads from motivated sellers. Returning their calls is imperative for your lead generation. Sometimes you need to keep calling them until they answer. Then, you must be consistent with your offers at your appointments when you meet a motivated seller. I make an offer on every single appointment I go on. I never leave a living room without leaving a cash, as-is offer for that seller for that property.
Consistency could also take the form of marketing: consistent, constant marketing. You’ve got to be marketing day in and day out, consistently overtime, in order to create that momentum of leads coming into your business which ultimately fuels the property you buy. As a real estate investor here in Dallas, Texas for over the past 10 years, I’ve marketed my businesses for 64 straight months. I’ve invested a significant amount in marketing and that’s what keeps my business going.
Consistency like this takes discipline and it’s the discipline of rinse, repeat, and doing it again and again and again. Using those tools, you find work for you as an investor and business owner.
Another form of discipline I know is critical for me as a real estate investor is endurance. You’ve got to be able to stay the course as a real estate investor. I’ll be the first to admit from personal experience, you are going to have bad months. Months where the leads don’t come in like you hoped or they don’t convert to purchases of homes like you hoped. You’re going to have bad deals. You will lose money on homes you purchased and invest in. I have. I am here to admit it and I won’t skirt that issue.
When you are a high-volume real estate investor, there are times when it’s not going to go as planned. You’re going to have bad appointments. Motivated sellers are going to call you and you may be off your game that day or maybe the seller is off their game. That time you spend at their house, it may not go well for whatever reason. The point is, with the discipline of endurance, you won’t give up at these times. You can’t step back, you actually have to lean in further.
What I do as an investor, if I have a slow week or don’t buy as many homes as I thought I’d buy; I get excited because it has gotten me one step closer to a great week. If I have a slow month, that just gets me one month closer to a great month. If I have a bad lead that doesn’t convert to a purchase, I know it just got me one lead closer to that great lead that’s going to produce a great investment property. Or if I’m at a bad appointment, I know I’m one appointment closer to that great appointment where I meet with a seller, satisfy their objective, purchase their home and solve their problem. The point is, you’re your own boss. No one is going to pick you up and dust you off or push you forward when times get tough. You’ve got to have the discipline to do that yourself, and have the discipline to endure the tough times, the obstacles and the setbacks of real estate investing.
Lastly, you’ve got to be dedicated. You’ve got to have disciplined dedication. You’ve got to have commitment to the vision of what you want to achieve with your business and your real estate investing. I can tell you personally exactly how many rental houses I ultimately want to own. I know the income they will create. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think about that ultimate goal or vision. Daily I reflect on the number of rental properties I’m ultimately going to own and manage which will unlock that income, lifestyle and freedom. I am day in, day out dedicated, disciplined and focused to achieve that number of rental properties. You’ve got to dedicate yourself to your mission, to your goal or your purpose, whatever your reason is to become a real estate investor. Your discipline is going to enable you to achieve your goal, and your discipline is going to come from your dedication.
So, keep in mind with real estate investing, freedom is there at a price. It’s not going to be free. Discipline is the currency you need ultimately obtain the freedom you desire. As a real estate investor, your freedom will come but it’s not going to be freedom of wreckless abandonment, it’s a freedom from relentless discipline.
To listen to Kevin Guz’s full podcast, click here.
About the Author
Kevin Guz is a Dallas, Texas-based residential real estate investor with more than 10 years of investing experience. He owns a HomeVestors (or “We Buy Ugly Houses”) franchise as well as the Clear Key companies, which focus on residential real estate wholesaling, rental property management and self-storage leasing. He also is a licensed real estate agent in the state of Texas. He enjoys sharing his ongoing personal experiences, perspectives and learnings from his start as a part-time or “weekend investor” and full-time corporate professional through his ultimate transition to a full-time real estate investor and business owner. You can listen to his podcasts at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kevinguz.