Changing the World through real estate
Here’s something you may be shocked to learn: Owning real estate isn’t about you. It’s about the resident. It’s about them being comfortable in their home and feeling confident in their choice.
Here’s what happened
Saturday afternoon we went up to our apartment complex to change the sheets and clean up in advance of a new AirBnB guest staying for the week.
Our goal was to go in, take care of our business and get out. We don’t need to draw any attention to what we were doing. Our job is to be in the background making sure the residents can live happily and easily.
We expected the parking lot to be empty when we pulled in. Our plan was to park close to the door to get in and out easily with the fresh linens.
Instead, we found a parking lot full of cars, families going about their business and children playing. There was a little boy bouncing his red ball, a few girls helping their mother dust the rugs outdoors, and men chatting amongst themselves.
There wasn’t anything really out of the ordinary about what was going on. They were just living. And that is what made our revelation that much more impactful. These people are able to have a peaceful Saturday afternoon at home because we decided to take a risk.
We couldn’t help but think: this is all possible because we decided to take a risk.
Literally. If we did not seek out the property, negotiate, purchase it, spend the time and effort to renovate it and find quality tenants, none of this would have been possible.
The majority of our tenants are immigrants from war-torn regions of the world, the others are single mothers and grandmothers seeking stability. Young couples trying to get their footing make up the remaining residents. These are people who need a quality place to call home.
We’re not selling dreams here. Investing in real estate is hard work and takes real dollars to build a portfolio of income producing properties. It can be scary to put your hard-earned money on the line to purchase a rundown piece of real estate in a decent neighborhood in hopes that you can rent it out to good, quality tenants who will pay rent on time and take care of the property.
In short, investing in real estate is an act of faith.
It’s a form of service. Think about it. To be a property owner, you have to not only provide safe, stable housing for your family but for someone else’s family also. Landlord’s get a bad rap in the media, but that in and of itself is generous and selfless.
There’s a saying that starting a business is a sign that you are actually willing to share your gifts with the world because to hold them all for yourself if depriving society of those benefits.
One of our favorite books, The Go-Giver, talks about how wealth is simply a derivative of impact. It’s not that teachers, for example, are less valuable to society than professional basketball players. It’s a matter of impact. A grade school teacher reaches 30 students per year, but a pro ball player impacts the lives of millions every time he steps on the court.
Bringing it back to real estate
Similarly, being a landlord about more than getting a few hundred dollars a month in income. It’s expanding your reach and impact to families in need of a place to live. The more properties you purchase, the more families you can house. The more lives you can influence by providing safe, stable, affordable housing. That is significant.
The more properties you purchase, the more families you can house, the more lives you can influence.
Can one little landlord change the world? Maybe. This, as most things in life, is all about perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of day-to-day life and forget about the big picture.
The big picture
Social entrepreneurship is getting a lot of buzz these days. People are looking for ways to import fair trade trinkets from impoverished places to first world consumers. These are all great ideas, and we are really happy that the world’s poor are on the global consciousness. In light of that, let us not forget that there are people in our own backyards that need assistance.
We are not advocating for handouts. Far from it.
No one wants to spend their Saturday afternoon changing sheets for strangers. Or spend their evenings painting cabinets to complete a renovation. But when you change the way you look at a problem to take a broader view, it becomes clear that these mundane tasks do impact people’s lives.
This is why we invest in real estate. It is why we have this website. AND it is why we advocate week after week for you to do the same. It’s about impact. It’s about your personal accountability to make your neighbor’s life a little bit easier.
Take the risk, even if it’s just so that a 5-year-old can bounce his ball in the driveway.
John & Richelle
P.S. If you’d like us to guide you step by step from sitting on the sidelines to collecting rent checks, click here to be the first to hear about our all new Real Estate Investing E-course.