I’ve gone from being homeless to making deals worth millions, and I think there’s only one secret to creating wealth in real estate
By Kemi Egan
When the recession hit, so did reality: I knew a lot about my occupation (physical therapist), but very little about how to run a business.
The income dried up just as quickly as my debt grew. I started to cut out everything I could and even sold my car, books and anything else I could think of just to pay my tax bill. Eventually there was nothing left to sell …
And then someone invested in me.
To close my business would have cost around $20,000 in personal guarantees, so I literally couldn’t afford for it to go under.
My family had nothing and lived hundreds of miles away, so asking them for help or even a sofa to sleep on was pointless. Ashamed and embarrassed, I moved into my office with one bag and a blow up bed that I then called home.
I always had an interest in real estate and knew that if I could just figure out what all of those investors seemed to know I could be successful — no matter what position I was starting from!
And then, someone invested in me.
In that first year, I managed to raise $1 million to buy $2 million worth of real estate. Within two years, my annual rent roll was $460,000 from 100 tenants, and three years later, I’m in the middle of two $5 million developments and am on target to double the portfolio.
There is only one secret to creating wealth in real estate, and that is this:
Use other people’s money!
Regardless of how much you have, you will run out at some point, so the sooner you master joint ventures, the quicker your business will grow.
Here’s how to do exactly that.
Build your network before you need it.
Have you ever bought something from a salesman that you had absolutely no need for? I recently popped into an electrical store and walked out with a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t even need! Why? Because I knew, liked and trusted the salesman. He knew his products, he was able to match me to something I liked, and eventually, I wanted it. Ultimately, I bought into him.
It’s no different for you. If you’re likeable, knowledgeable and can make an appropriate, ethical, and profitable investment opportunity people will buy into you. By building your network before you need it you have the opportunity to build genuine relationships with people interested in you and what you do.
Specialize in one strategy.
One of real estate investing’s greatest aspects can also be one of it’s biggest downfalls, as well. There are so many individual strategies and ways to make cash it’s incredible, but with every strategy there are things to learn and inevitably mistakes to make. If you keep switching not only do you never become a true expert, you also don’t allow yourself to become the ‘go to’ person for anything.
When I first started investing I made a name buying cheaper houses. Even though I eventually moved away from that to much bigger developments, whenever anyone mentioned a lower value property my name always came up in conversation. When potential investors are looking for where to put their money, being the person whose name constantly comes up is so powerful…
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