If you could give your younger self real estate advice, what would it be? We have posed that question to applicants of our Apprentice Program over the years and you're about to discover the top answers. It's some of the best real estate advice you'll ever get!
1 - Get Started Now
The key piece of real estate advice that seven out of ten investors would give to their younger self is to get started in real estate sooner. In many cases, they also added advice like; don't procrastinate, don't overanalyze, and don't be fearful. It’s almost like they're shaking their younger self saying, "Get started! Stop procrastinating!” But it’s easy to procrastinate and push things off; to be fearful and not move forward.
Right now, we are getting hammered by people predicting the total collapse of the real estate market, which is creating fear in people. But let’s imagine your younger self was getting started in real estate in 2011. There was a lot of fear then with the housing bubble bursting and the predictions that real estate would never recover. So there's always a fear or some reason not to get started. That's why so many people's advice to their younger self is not only to get started, but also to stop procrastinating and letting fear hold you back.
Most investors aren’t regretting getting into real estate twenty years ago, they’re kicking themselves for not acquiring property sooner. If you've been considering real estate investing, watching videos, and reading books, it’s time to get started. Interestingly there's a second piece of advice my mentees add to number one almost 50% of the time, and that's their number two answer.
2 - Get a Mentor
The second most common piece of advice they give their younger self is, “get a mentor”. Learn from someone who's already accomplished what it is you want to achieve. What they’re saying is, "Don't just get started, get started right." Because if you get started wrong, you could just sputter out and decide not to follow through. But when you get a mentor, it's a shortcut. Life is way too short to learn all these lessons the hard way when other people have already learned them and can teach them to you.
When someone graduates from my program, they've made over half a million dollars in net profits. And I often ask them, "Was it worth it?" They always say it’s the best financial decision they ever made. They’ve acquired knowledge, real estate, and money. And it's because they've taken a massive shortcut.
Maybe you are in your 40s right now and you wish you had started 20 years ago. Well, if the best time to have planted a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is right now. Get a mentor so that you get started right and skip all the painful lessons you would have learned the hard way.
3 - Acquire More Rentals
Number three on real estate advice to your younger is to acquire more rentals. Time flies and the future is here before you know it. And if you devour everything you earn, then when the future arrives you have nothing to show for it. So along the way, you need to accumulate some real estate assets that you don't sell. Now, this can be tricky because it's easy to make mistakes with rentals. They can monopolize your time, produce little or no cash flow, and give you all kinds of headaches. I have a great playlist of videos on how to invest in rental properties strategically so you can hold on to them.
Yes, you do need to flip properties because it creates the cash to buy more rentals and you need to make a living yourself. You need to create money in the present, but also be acquiring some long-term rentals so that down the road you're sitting on enormous amounts of equity and cash flow. This is such great advice because people often only think about the short-term and it’s important to also prepare for the future. Time flies, so you need to acquire more long-term rentals and that is done strategically and carefully.
4 - Focus on Your Finances Not Career
Focus on your financial life, not your career. This was said in several different ways, but the concept here is a paradigm shift. So often people focus on climbing the corporate ladder or advancing their career, peaking in their 40s and early 50s. However, they haven't built the financial freedom that comes with focusing on your personal financial life. They may have built up shareholder value, but not their own financial life. This is something I've done since I was 22 years old. I didn't worry about building up somebody else's business, I focused on building up my own personal financial life.
5 - Stick to It
Stick to it, don't get distracted. Some investors do get started early in life, and they even get a mentor, but somewhere along the way they get distracted. One year turns into three, turns into five, and suddenly they look back and wish they had done more. They wish they weren’t as distracted with their career and spent more time building up their rental portfolio and doing more house flips. So, their real estate advice is, "don’t get distracted and stick to it".
This is a tried and true formula. It's going to work today, tomorrow, next year, and ten years from now, so continue in real estate investing. Don't allow distractions to take away your focus because the future will be here before you know it.
6 - Don’t Lease Space
If you have a business or are starting a business, don’t lease the space, instead operate your business in a building you own. Several of my students had started their own small business, but they leased the space for it. In the end, they looked back and regretted renting instead of owning the space.
If you have a small business, owning the building is best because sometimes businesses become obsolete. They may be successful at one point, but then they begin to fail because demand changes. Just look at Kmart or RadioShack. However, if you own the real estate, that doesn’t change. It will always be needed, even in today's world. I read an article this morning about how Florida is considering passing new legislation that allows strip centers to be used for residential. So when giving advice to your younger self, tell that younger self, "Don't lease the space, own that building."
7 - Don’t Delegate Your Finances
Take control of your own financial life, even if you're married. Also, I think this applies to who you take financial advice from. Take your financial advice from people who are already successful and financially free. They're the ones that can give you advice that makes the most sense financially. I have been giving advice for a long time on YouTube. You can look back to videos five and ten years ago, and much of the wisdom is still applicable today. It's self-evident that what I teach you is authentic and accurate, and it will help you be more successful. So follow what I and others who have time tested experience and are financially successful share with you. Listen to those people as it relates to finances.