You have heard of the “Protestant work ethic”, I imagine. Or, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” The Hard Rock Cafe’s motto is “Love Ever; Hurt Never”. “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” claimed Benjamin Franklin. The fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper” by Aesop teaches the value of hard work and earnestness. I, too, have values I bring to my work as a real estate investor. Some I aspire to; some I adhere to better than others; some I actualize on a daily basis. Most would probably fit into the scheme I call “the values of the wise“: values that the quintessential wise person would probably tend to have. My area of professional focus has for a decade been real estate investing (REI). Brian Buffini believes that “Real estate is the purest form of entrepreneurship” so here are some thoughts on the values I bring to my work as an investor:
As a real estate investor, I have done or do a number of things that involve making investments with money now based on the expectation that that money will be put to use successfully and therefore ‘return capital’ over time. Then, in the end, I would sell or cease whatever deal is in question and receive 100% or more of my capital back. Thus, capitalism is what we’re talking about. That is, there is no guarantee of success; wise choices and luck will equal the accumulation of more money in the coming years, and the opposite will result in the opposite. It’s also hard work. Real estate god, Robert Kiyosaki, believes that “Self-discipline is the No.1 delineating factor between the rich, the middle class, and the poor.” Kinda heavy!
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” ~ Colin Powell
Investing is really a pretty interesting thing. I’m embarrassed that probably the most-known real estate investor is Donald Trump. But then again, my wife is Catholic, and she certainly decries and denounces the stuff that has gone on with the Church that is, shall I say, untoward. So I guess it is what it is. Trump gives investors a bad name, but clearly he has been exposed as a fraud in almost every sense. I will say that investing does allow one’s true, deepest values to manifest themselves — not unlike having power within an old and storied religious institution like the Catholic Church does.
Well, moving on, Warren Buffett famously noted that “Investing is simple, but not easy.” I have read probably 30 books on various aspects of real estate, though investing is obviously larger than the field of real estate. I sometimes feel like though real estate is a team sport, it is said, there really is no one with whom the buck stops save for me! If I make a mistake, I will pay for it. “To achieve life mastery and be worthy of a life well-lived, we must take action, ownership, and responsibility for our choices,” Will Craig said. The seasoned Harvard professors William Poorvu and Jeffrey Cruikshank liken REI to a game, and believe that “Like most games, real estate involves big risk and big rewards. (Of course, unlike Monopoly™, in real estate you’re playing with real money). It requires intellectual and emotional commitment. To invoke a biological metaphor, it involves both your left brain and your right brain.”
“Being successful, you don’t go straight up, there are going to be obstacles along the way.” ~ Stephen Ross
In this game of making money, I have been paying for one mistake pretty dearly for a decade now. My first-ever acquisition was a condominium in the Folly Beach area of Charleston. What my friend Robert Lloyd calls “socialized housing.” It was built in 2007, and I bought mine from the developer, who was an acquaintance of my Realtor. Turns out the developer and the general contractor were a couple of snakes, and the other owners and I engaged them in a lawsuit to prove it. Over the last 10 years, I have, as one of the 82 owners and one of the five Board members, been trying to deal with that error. There were construction defects to the two, five million dollar buildings. We actually have a cumulative $7.5 million debt, which amounts to $60,000 for every owner. Considering we are talking about a condo with a depressed value — $225,000 or so — this is a massive debt. And of course, the termites, the fire marshall shutting the building down until we erected temporary staircases, and twenty-five other bumps in the road. It’s been one of the hardest and surely the longest-lasting problems I have ever had to deal with. It’s an albatross around my wife’s and my neck.
Actually, I also had to sell a restaurant and a piece of raw land at a loss. The restaurant’s “loss” was a Great Recession phenomenon, I believe. And the land? Well, it was a beautiful but fairly out-of-the-way 16 acres in the country. My fiancee at the time made it known that she couldn’t really see living there, and so I probably spent about $50,000 fixing the place up and developing it, and then didn’t get the full price out of it. Basically, I had egg on my face.
“When you make a ‘mistake’, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. ‘Mistakes’ are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” ~ Hugh White
So, as you can surmise, one of the values I bring to my work is a willingness to risk. I have never “lost my ass” or “gotten bloodied”, as apartment investor Rod Khleif terms it. But I have definitely had enough financial and ego damage to know that I’m not immune to a sound drubbing by the market. The market, and folks you come across in the act of buying and selling, don’t give a crap about how you feel about a deal; win or lose, cry or celebrate, it’s all about the market. Only the luckiest, canniest, or most corrupt among us has a “Get Out of Jail Free card”, and most investors have to pay full value for our mistakes. But, as my business partner on a small redevelopment project, Robert Lloyd, would say, “If this were easy, everyone would do it.”
“The willingness to take risk is determined by what could be called the ‘stomach acid’ test. Ask yourself if you can stick with your investment strategy when markets crash,” Warren Buffett acolyte Larry E. Swedroe counsels.
“Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom“, Phyllis Thereoux said. If you’re not willing to risk failure, you won’t begin, and if you don’t begin, you will not succeed. It is indeed said that “We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take.” Even Michael Jordan, the basketball legend, would score about sixty percent of the time he would shoot the ball. If he didn’t play because missing a basket was too difficult to bear, emotionally, he would never have amounted to a sports mega-star. In fact, he tried and didn’t excel at professional baseball. The fear of making a mistake, losing money, disappointing myself, or causing loved ones to think less of me is ever-present in my mind, but I try to persevere and make the moves that a responsible and insightful investor would make, despite the mild fear.
“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” ~ Bill Clinton
Which leads me to another of the values I bring to my work: diligence. If you are going to be willing to risk the loss of capital, having to change out a tenant’s toilet, get bats out of an attic, get on your hands and knees and clean, or evict someone, “you had better do your homework,” as my dad would say when I was growing up. He didn’t mean that literally (though he did often tell me to get my schoolwork done); what he meant was that “the early bird gets the worm”, “diligence is the mother of good luck” (Ben Franklin), and, as he said, “You’re going to have to sweat if you want to get ahead.”
One of the most influential apartment investors, Ken McElroy, indicates the following: “In Wester’s dictionary, the definition of diligent is ‘prosecuted with careful attention and effort.’ But it’s really the synonyms for the word that reveal exactly what is expected during the due diligence period when purchasing real estate. …conscientious, thorough, careful, thoughtful, attentive, and meticulous. And that’s exactly how you need to behave when you do due diligence on a property.”
“Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble investing,” “The Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffet wisely points out.
Diligence is synonymous with accuracy, carefulness, wisdom, hard work, and study. “All great achievements are the result of sustained focus over time—all of them,” real estate mogul Gary Keller said. There is a reason that the process of checking out a property fully after you have placed your money and your signature on the line to buy it is called due diligence. That means you must do the work to verify and clarify all the variables, facts, and assumptions. You simply cannot trust a seller of a piece of property or their Realtor to tell you the full truth and engage with you honestly. There is a reason Realtors have a public image that is worse than lawyers and used car salesmen. I’m not saying it’s an unethical free for all, or like the Wild West, but I am saying it’s “dog eat dog”, so you don’t want to be the one being eaten. Indeed, hard work and precision are the values I bring to my work.
“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.” – Roy L. Smith
Eric Tyson and Robert Griswold advise prospective investors to pay close attention to one of the values I bring to work, diligence, in this manner: “Evaluate proposed real estate investments carefully and methodically before you make the ultimate purchase decision. The uniqueness of each potential opportunity requires the investor to patiently critique the pending investment. You should understand the economic climate and potential for growth, the current physical condition of the property, the tenants, and the value of the property in the marketplace. Then you should ensure that you’ve got a solid negotiating strategy to orchestrate a deal, that financing comes through, and that the transfer of real estate is handled properly.”
Some mistakes are so grave that one may never recover, but those instances are rare. Usually whether one gets spit out by this huge capitalism machine has more to do with attitude than it does with fate. Most mistakes are what Rod Khleif considers “a seminar”: something deeply significant you learn when you make a mistake, but nothing terminal or catastrophic. He recasts so-called failures as “seminars” because this is much more adaptive and likely to result in continued success (rather than quitting the whole business). Rod believes you’re either going to pay for your education one way or another: paying to go to seminars (i.e., trainings) or you’re going to screw up and get taught a hard lesson (a seminar, as it were). Diligence heads off mistakes in the first place, because obviously it is wiser to learn from the mistakes of others than stepping in a pile of dog-coo yourself. As you read from my stories of failures, some of that could have been avoided with better foresight, preparation, and I dare say, luck.
Negative consequences for failing to account for any of these aspects often creates a backdrop of anxiety. Further, it is also unwise or impossible in real estate investing to “set it and forget it”, which is more possible with the complicated and volatile stock market. It all adds up to a lot of pressure, but using diligence on the personal side of things is a strength, and “the team approach” is not only permissible, it is advisable. My recent foray into apartments does afford some passive investing advantages because, like REITs (real estate investment trusts), the asset manager is simply not going to take a minor investor’s phone calls every week.
“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake
Another of the values I bring to my work is patience. It’s not my strong suit, naturally. However, it is days when you’re waiting for a deal to close; it’s weeks when you’re doing your due diligence; it’s months when you are trying to raise up the rents in an apartment complex so that you have enough money to make headway in your business plan; it’s years when you are renting a space to tenants or waiting for price appreciation. It’s definitely not something you can rush, and you simply don’t have control over the time-table of the universe (or of other people). REI is more akin to farming than many other careers; you have to know what you’re doing, you have to plan to do something early on and then wait for the results. You have to go to sleep during both good times and bad. I can assure you that I have stayed awake at night worrying about some aspect of some deal or another.
“Our stay-put behavior [at Berkshire Hathaway] reflects our view that the stock market serves as a relocation center at which money is moved from the active to the patient,” Buffet wryly indicates.
Mark Manson said, “The American Dream is simple: it’s the unwavering belief that anybody — you, me, your friends, your neighbors, grandma Verna — can become exceedingly successful, and all it takes is the right amount of work, ingenuity, and determination.” It also takes patience, because anxiety causes folks to do unwise things in the investing world. All the stock sell-offs and the sleepless nights can be avoided by taking the long view. Real estate is a long-term prospect; nothing good happens quickly. Eric Tyson and Robert Griswold note that “Most people who make money investing in real estate do so because they invest and hold property over many years.” I myself am particularly interested nowadays in the ability of good apartment complexes and small mobile home parks to weather the next recession, and they are quite “illiquid”.
Famed economist Paul Samuelson believed that “Investing should be a lot like watching grass grow or watching paint dry. If you want excitement, take $100 and go to Las Vegas.” That’s a pretty light-hearted way of pointing out that investing isn’t speculating: one is using capital to produce cash flows, and the other is betting on something creating a huge return. The former is solid (and even advised if you ask Warren Buffett). The latter is dangerous and sometimes succeeds, sometimes fails. Indeed, as I understand it, proper REI is when one takes money they have now, and puts it to use (lends it to someone or some organization). They then use it, and for doing so, must pay you money back. It’s pretty much the same with landlording. You give something to someone now with the understanding that they will pay you rents later that will surpass the value that the money would have had if you kept it.
So, if someone offers you $20 now, would you want that, or would you wait four years for $40? How about $200,000 vs. $400,000? The wise decision in this and other behavioral economics dilemmas is usually to defer gratification now for greater rewards later. That is true, but it is also true that money now is more valuable than money later. That is the concept of the time value of money. In fact, there is a difference between the present value of a dollar ($1) and the future value of a dollar (maybe in one year a dollar is worth $,97, or if you’re a successful investor, you would consider a dollar now to be worth 90 cents in 365 days’ time. Things happen over time, and you can also use your capital now to make money in the interim!
“There’s always opportunity in real estate. It’s just a matter of finding opportunity in the current market.” ~ Samantha DiBianchi
Perhaps even more fundamental than patience is “A Big Why”. Real estate mogul and author of The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, Gary Keller (of Keller-Williams Realty) has found that “What I try to decipher from individuals’ stories is a pattern for achievement. What did these people do differently [than the competition]? Were they smarter or better educated? Did they come from high-achieving families? Were they exceptionally gifted or hardworking? The primary characteristic I’ve found in the lives of high achievers is that they had a strong drive to succeed. They had a compelling, personal reason to achieve.” Multifamily expert and serial millionaire #RodKhleif believes this is the case, and that came across very clearly in the “multifamily bootcamp” of his I recently attended.
Wisdom is surely one of the values I bring to my work. It’s probably the prime skill, in fact. I’m not sure “skill” is the right word for it, but you probably get my meaning. Lately, I have begun investing money in apartment complexes. I can’t (or shouldn’t) do it solo, because real estate is “a team sport”. So I have found a couple of “syndicators” I like. These are outfits such as Ashcroft Capital which find, analyze, acquire, rehab, manage, and sell apartments from $10 million to $50 million. This is quite a science (read: not for the faint of heart or the foolish). Wisdom is what Ashcroft would use to determine which apartments are going to be winners, and which are to be avoided (especially as we hover on the brink of a recession, as we are as of this writing). When underwriting a deal, or buying one, or working with one’s property manager, it takes wisdom to see all the moving parts, to know what is of value, and to determine correct courses of action.
It’s something more than or beyond knowledge; it is good instincts, good habits, good judgment. Rod Khleif tells a story about how he was laying on a raft in his pool, on an $8,000,000 piece of property in Florida, Lamborghini in the driveway, with a fit body and all that. He succeeded in many meanings of the word. But he had been so busy, so driven, so materialistic, that he now faced a yawning chasm between his family and himself. He probably felt very loney. He was depressed. Knowledge helped him to achieve as highly as he did; it would take wisdom for him to right his ship and realize that there are many things money can’t buy, that he was basically the same little boy he once was on the inside, and that there were always going to be people more successful financially and reputationally than he would be. Wisdom is the queen of the values because it puts everything in perspective and makes life much less perplexing and harried than it can be for many.
“If investors were asked, ‘Who do you think is the greatest investor of our generation?’, an overwhelming majority would answer, ‘Warren Buffett.’ If they were then asked, ‘Should you follow the advice of the person you consider the greatest investor?’, you would think they would say ‘Yes!’. The sad truth is that, while Buffett is widely admired, the majority of investors not only fail to consider his advice, they tend to do exactly the opposite.” ~ Larry E. Swedroe
Wisdom is probably also what Rod Khleif means when he says that “Sometimes, the best deal is the one you don’t do.” That is, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince (or princess) in this business, and if you get ahold of a property that was purchased for too much money or has undetected issues, you’re going to be paying for it. In the case of companies such as Ashcroft, it takes on an added dimension because they are using large loans from a bank and they are using other people’s money (OPM). Basically, in syndicated apartment “buy and hold” strategies, the stakes are high. Wisdom is the value that helps one to avoid stepping in the piles of fresh dog shit that litter the green, grassy fields of REI. I know that Rod is also a fan of the aphorism, “Wisdom is realizing that life’s lessons will repeat themselves until they are learned.” Considering that he lost $50,000,000 in value in 2008-09, I know he believes that!
“The best way to know how a location is trending is to look at what the big guns are doing. Wal-Mart doesn’t spend $20 million on a location for today’s business, they need business for the next 10 years.” ~ Robert Lloyd
You have to see behind appearances to what is; you must envision the future and find a clever and efficient means of achieving your goals. Robert Lloyd, my business partner in that local redevelopment project I mentioned, advises: “Successful real estate investors develop a vision to see what a property will be, and see past what it currently is.” Many times I have been a part of a rehabilitation or renovation project and said, “Geez, this place looks terrible. I can’t imagine this will ever come together. Surely it was a mistake investing in this place.” But, ideally, one of the values I bring to my work is the wisdom to get that the whole purpose is to a) work with a team that knows what they’re doing so that b) we can do the heavy lifting that the seller or our competition is unwilling or fearful of doing, and c) have the patience and self-confidence to persevere, to get it done, to use our values, skills, and capital to get from A to B. You also have to have “a big why”, as Rod Khleif points out. It keeps you going and motivates you. You want to be attracted by profit but not dominated by it. Robert Lloyd believes that: “It is the love of money that is the root of all evil,” not money per se. So I try to use the desire to be better and wealthier tomorrow than I am today to bring out my best version of myself.
“…you have to have fortitude in the real estate business. You must be patient and always keep pushing, no matter what. We have all heard the saying ‘Real estate is not a get-rich-quick’ business, so if you are just starting out or waiting for your next big deal, never give up.” ~ Joe Fairless
Rod Khleif says that “developing a positive self-image is the best thing you can do for your success.” I think he is definitely onto something there. I’m going to with one of the values I bring to my work (actually it’s two-fold and is somewhat contradictory): I am talking about the values of self-confidence and humility. When the chips are down, as they say in poker, you have to have the self-confidence to hang in there, work your plan, and aim for your goals. Some things you can do, some things you can’t, but believing in yourself will keep you from buckling under the fear and frustration that inevitably marks this field. Here is Rod talking further about one of the values I bring to my work, self-confidence:
“The mechanics of multifamily real estate investment are easy to grasp. Funding, analysis, negotiation, due diligence, property management—these are skills that anybody can learn. All you need is a couple of books, a coach/mentor, and the willingness to get your hands dirty. But, if that’s true, then why isn’t everybody a millionaire real estate investor? Why do so many would-be investors flame out before they even get their business off the ground?
The answer to that question lies in one place: mindset. You can learn the mechanics of this business all you want, but without a mindset that says, “I can do this,” you’ll never put those mechanics to use. What we’re talking about is a psychology of success and the basic idea behind it is this: mechanics follow mindset. The way we think about our world determines how we interact with it. If we adopt a defeatist mentality that says we can’t, then we never will. If we assume a positive mindset that says we can, then anything is possible.”
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow. – Mary Anne Radmacher
Self-confidence drives one to knock on doors to ask someone for something they need; it assists them to get up early and try to make the day productive; it curtails the phenomenon wherin someone who is gaining success starts to question whether they deserve it, whether it is real.
Confidence can also, when appropriate to one’s level of education and preparation and experience, yield an appreciable advantage to its possessor. Here is apartment investing luminary Ken McElroy on fear of failure (basically, the opposite of self-confidence):
“Show me an entrepreneur who says he or she isn’t afraid of failing and I’ll show you a liar! A bold statement, absolutely, but a true one. Everyone is afraid of failing. The difference is that some of us let that fear of failure hold us back. …I admit, when I was starting out I had an acute fear of failing. The difference is I knew that if I did nothing and remained frozen in fear, I would fail. I felt I had a better chance of succeeding by just going forward one step at a time to make some opportunities pay off. That’s the thing about fear of failure: if you don’t use it to your advantage as a motivator, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.”
Another impressive young multifamily syndicator, Joe Fairless, advises thusly: “As an investor, you can look back and question yourself as much as you want. At the end of the day, there is nothing to regret as long as you do the best you can, build in a margine of error, and just take it as it comes. Failure is a part of life and will occur no matter path what you decide to take, so do not let it discourage you. Always do your very best!”
A related attribute/value of confidence is humility. Charles Spurgeon wrote that “Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.” A proper sense of modesty, even of gratitude, as Rod Khleif touts, keeps one from taking unnecessary risks. Humility, ideally, is one of the values I bring to my work because there are a fair number of pitfalls that can occur to unwary investors, folks who think that they’ve got it all figured out and that surely they will succeed admirably.
Indeed, Rod Khleif (as told here) attributes his “depressed” state when he was rich and his catastrophic miscalculations leading into the Great Recession to some degree to not having the right attitude. Not only was he obsessed with more, more, more, he didn’t have the humility to really reconsider if he was “overleveraged” (the term for using too much debt to fund real estate deals, which can leave one subject to the vicissitudes of the world if or when things start to head south in the housing market). I think he would agree that he felt like he was untouchable, with his Lamborghini and $8 million home. It’s the kind of thing that the gods (in that “ancient Greek mythology” sense of the word) do not long tolerate. He got a major haircut.
True to form, Rod made a big comeback and is again wealthy and influential. He has a different attitude, and now it’s more humble and grateful. I think “appropriate appraisal of the truth of things” might be how he would describe his key for assessing whether to be confident or to ask for help, study more, hire or fire, and ultimately avoid “experiencing a seminar”, as he puts it. Getting a seminar is his phrase for making a mistake: he doesn’t like to think of missteps and miscalculations as “mistakes” but rather, prime learning experiences. In other words, he gets a lesson in wisdom and pledges to do better in the future. If one is aware that a “seminar” may be in one’s near future, it makes one have second thoughts, keeps one’s ego in check, and probably is good for one’s relationships. Thus, humility.
“The difference I learned about people who succeed at a high level and those who don’t is that the former learn from their failures, get up, and move on.” ~ Gary Keller
Here are a few quotes from my friend, fellow real estate investor Arthur Charchian:
“Never fall in love with a deal; love will cloud your decision-making.”
“Try to understand the seller. Though you should put emotions to the side, sellers are often guided by emotions, especially on smaller deals.”
“Trust your gut, no matter how good the deal is — and stick to it.”
“Don’t look back; the deal that got away should remain in the past, not something that you focus on in the here and now.”
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.” ~ Marie Forleo
And some additional quotes about real estate investing by some of the luminaries in the field:
“The goal is not comfort, it’s freedom!” ~ Grant Cardone
“Real estate investing is not easy. There are a lot of things you can do to make it, but there is no one trick or secret strategy that will enable you to make easy money. Real estate investment takes ongoing work and dedication.” ~ Julie Broad
“When compared to other investment avenues such a 401k, stocks, bonds, money market accounts, etc., investors have more control over real estate. The investor decides which of the many strategies to pursue; they select the property; they pick the type of financing; they control the entire real estate investment business plan, etc. Because of all of this control, the investor has the ability to directly influence the profitability of their investment project.” ~ Joe Fairless
“Learn about real estate. Repeat after me: real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values and the least risk.” ~ Armstrong Williams
“You should always be doing three things: marketing, getting private money, and expanding your knowledge. If you focus on these three tasks regularly, you will be unstoppable in real estate.” ~ Dave Lindahl
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always No. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.” ~ Nora Roberts
“Success is built sequentially. It’s one thing at a time.” ~ Gary Keller
“Take a risk and go after your dream. This is the only chance you’re going to get. One day, it will be too late – and that day is coming fast.” ~ Greg Dickerson
“I realized that the boom and bust cycle that most entrepreneurs operated on was not something I wanted to continue through the latter half of my life. I wanted to invest in an asset class that was safe, stable, predictable, evergreen, and based on strong and long trends that had nothing to do with a war in the Middle East, the latest tech breakthrough, or the mood on Wall Street in a given month. I wanted something with demographic trends that would last the rest of my lifetime, and like through my children’s. A perfect investment!” ~ Paul Moore
“Investing isn’t about beating others at their own game; it’s about you controlling yourself at own game.” ~ Benjamin Graham
“We can get consumed with looking for the “perfect deal” to invest in. In all reality, there is no such thing.” ~ John Fortes
“In the business of investment real estate, you can’t afford to be a lone ranger. In fact, it’s impossible to accomplish your goal on your own no matter what your goal is. …Having a team of experts on-call is not free or cheap. Those are the two biggest reasons why many inexperienced investors make a rookie mistake: They try to do almost everything themselves. Sure, they may save a few dollars in the short run, but they usually lose in the long run.” ~ Ken McElroy
“The real estate business is like any other business; a major key to unlocking success is to get and keep relationships. Successful relationships rely on three principles: 1. Make it easy to do business with you; 2. Do what you say you will do; 3. Don’t be a pain in the butt. ~ Dave Lindahl
“Humility leads to strength and not to weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.” — John J. McCloy
“…the people who succeed don’t do so because they have a brilliant idea, are super smart, or thought of something that no one else has thought of. They succeed because every time something goes wrong, they keep coming back and stick to it. If you keep coming back to something long enough, eventually, you will catch a break.” ~ Joe Fairless
“Persistence and patience are more important than anything else – in business and in life. Never give up; follow up, follow through. I can’t tell you how many times a deal or a company – whether it was real estate or a business I looked at – it didn’t work out at the time, but maybe it was a year, maybe even two or three years later, those deals came back around and they worked out. …Sometimes they were tough situations to wait out, but in the end, I had patience and I persevered, and those deals turned out to be some of the best deals I ever did.” ~ Greg Dickerson
“Finding good partners is the key to success in anything: in business, in marriage and, especially, in investing.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
“Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as a punishment. And that’s the difference.” – Lou Holtz
“Do what you are scared to do and watch your confidence grow.” ~ Grant Cardone
“Walt Disney told his crew to ‘Build the castle first!’ when constructing Disney World, knowing that vision would continue to serve as motivation throughout the project. Oftentimes when people fail to achieve what they want in life, it’s because their vision isn’t strong enough.” – Gail Blanke
“Nothing can stop you if you want it bad enough. Keep that dream firmly planted in your mind.” ~ Greg Dickerson
“Building multi-generational wealth through multifamily investing involves careful planning, diligence, and patience. However, the gains you will receive over time are impressive. And the risk is surprisingly modest.” ~ Paul Moore
“An investment is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Investments not meeting these requirements are merely speculative.” ~ Benjamin Graham
“Let’s say you have $100,000 to invest. If you decide to invest all of that money into a stock, you would control $100,000 worth of that stock (you can leverage a stock by investing in options contracts, but there is significantly more risk). On the other hand, if you wanted to invest all of that money in real estate, you could spend $100,000 on a down payment at 80% loan-to-value and control $500,000 worth of real estate. That’s the power of leverage from financing.” ~ Joe Fairless
“I’m actually a very conservative guy when it comes to investing. I like to stack the odds in my favor as much as possible. Does that remove all risk from real estate investing? Of course not. Anyone who tells you there is a ‘risk-free’ investment is either a liar or a fool. On the other hand, many investors take more risk than is necessary. That’s dumb. They do deals that just barely work – on paper!” ~ Dave Lindahl
“When selling a property always take the first offer with profit. Lost opportunity cost is too often overlooked. The one you miss out on while trying to squeeze a bit more from the last one could very well be the home run you’ve been waiting for.” ~ Robert Lloyd
“In the early days of my first property management and real estate deals, there was a lot of trial and error and I made my share of mistakes. But for every one mistake I made, I learned ten lessons and got smarter every day. I started to see patterns, discover formulas and systems, and develop a network of people I could count on. It took time and it took work, but the more I pursued my dream, the luckier I felt.” ~ Ken McElroy
“Real estate investing, even on a very small scale, remains a tried and true means of building an individual’s cash flow and wealth.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
“As a tax strategist, the single best tool I have at my disposal to help my clients reduce their tax burden is rental real estate, and the most efficient type of rental real estate is large multifamily properties. Sure, even single-family, three-bedroom/two-bath homes offer tax benefit, but if you are looking to protect any type of real wealth, you should consider multifamily – and the bigger, the better.” ~ Warren Taryle
“Success is something you attract by being the person you become.” ~ Jim Rohn
“[Investing wisely] isn’t a question of how many analysts are going to recommend it, or what the volume of the stock is, or what the chart looks like or anything; it’s a question of how much cash it’s going to give you. It’s true whether if you’re buying a farm; it’s true if you’re buying an apartment house – any financial asset. Even oil in the ground: you’re laying out cash now to get more cash back in the future. And the questions to ask are: How much are you going to get, when are you going get it, and how sure are you?” ~ Warren Buffett
“Apartments, as far as we can tell, are the only property type with meaningful structural tailwinds that have nothing to do with next quarter’s GDP growth. Whether it’s a shift in home-ownership patterns in the U.S. or the demographic wave coming through the pipeline, there are a half-dozen bullet points driving apartment demand….” ~ Scott Lawlor
“Investors should always keep in mind that the most important metric is not the returns achieved but the returns weighed against the risks incurred. Ultimately, nothing should be more important to investors than the ability to sleep soundly at night.” ~ Seth Klarman
“Slow and steady wins the race.” ~ Aesop
“Be especially easy to do business with real estate brokers, who are really the geese that can lay one golden egg after another at your feet. The good brokers are all jaded and cynical about what careless idiots most investors are. You want to be the tiny minority that is a breath of fresh air.” ~ Dave Lindahl
“Lucky breaks come to those who do their homework and, through preparedness, recognize opportunities.” ~ Ken McElroy
“As a young boy, the best advice [an investor] ever received from his father was, Don’t be a fool when it comes to investing. What his father means is that if you want to invest in real estate so you can achieve financial freedom, education is a must. Do everything you can to understand the numbers and the risks; do what it takes to raise your financial IQ. Think of your education as an investment in yourself.” ~ Joe Fairless
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” ~ Abraham Lincoln