REI pros share what keeps them going. It’s no secret that starting a business is hard. Often, it’s really hard. Many more people fail than succeed. When times get tough, it’s important to know what you’re working for. It’s important that you enjoy what you’re doing (despite the difficulty) and know why you’re doing it.
I asked a few investors what motivated them, and here’s what they said…
To provide financial freedom.
This is probably the biggest motivation for most new investors. The FIRE movement has never been so hot (hey, I tried), and it seems like there’s new podcasts, websites, communities, and the like popping up everywhere.
Financial freedom is what drives Andrew and his wife in growing their two brands, Ozark House Buyers and 806 House Buyers, “we decided to start investing in real estate to provide financial freedom to our family,” he says, “we enjoyed remodeling houses and saw an opportunity to achieve our personal goals while doing what we enjoyed. We were initially successful because we were motivated to build a lifestyle where we could control our time with our family and friends. After we began buying houses, we quickly realized we had the ability to help others as well. Our passion has become to provide an easy, convenient, guaranteed option to those needing to sell their house, often to those in difficult situations. Every time we help a seller, especially after we receive a testimony or review, we are super motivated to find the next one we can help.”
Andrew’s is a good example of starting with a driving motivation (in this case, financial freedom to spend more time with family), but then discovering enjoyment in the work along the way.
Fred is an investor who splits his time between an operation in a different industry down in Brazil, and investing in Southern Florida with Tyto Home Buyers. Like Andrew (and many other investors), his motivation is also the wealth and subsequent freedom that investing can bring. In his words, “real estate is the most viable vehicle for passive income and wealth achievement.”
As we’ll see, for many investors, the chance at financial freedom and a good income is only part of their motivation to keep going through the ups and downs.
To live life on their own terms.
Claudine is originally from Australia, but now operates Austin All Cash with her husband. Their main motivation to starting a real estate investment company was, “the freedom of living life on our own terms, and the challenge and adventure of flipping homes within an exciting US city.”
Erik, investor and owner of Sero Developments echoed how important freedom is to him, “I love every aspect about it. For me, it gets down to the core of property, ownership and our founding rights as a country. It blossoms into a way to make a life and build a legacy; to be able to reap what I sow.”
So for some, it’s an attainable way to start a business, set your own course, set your own hours, and reap what you put in. While many from the outside looking in are sold the impression of lounging on a beach, working 1 hour a day for all this wealth, those who are in it aren’t afraid of long hours and hard work. Because what they put in, they get out. In many jobs, you can put in more and more and more, but still be capped in salary, position, or your growth may be dictated by the market or your company culture.
That’s the case with Anthony, who founded Sky Equities in Central Florida, “I love the flexibility investing provides so I can spend time with my family, help others get out of tough situations in their houses and turn something old and distressed into something new and beautiful.”
So for many, it’s the combination of freedom, ability to structure life how you want, and finding meaning in what you do.
Because we empathize with our clients.
Stephen and Gayle are the husband and wife owners of Eagle Home Buyers in Massachusetts. Stephen had a career in the military, while Gayle spent her time rehabbing houses. One of the major pieces that drove them to not just rehab, but go all-in on investments, was the desire to help homeowners. They had gone through many of the hardships their clients were facing, and saw the business as an opportunity to provide help for more homeowners.
“Gayle has been rehabbing for years but we decided to start a business together after I retired from the military and then from Verizon. We have gone through what many of our clients have gone through,” Stephen said, “We had aging parents and had to deal with their declining health as well as their estates after they passed. We lost all three of our living parents in a 14-month time frame and had to deal with their possessions, their houses, and then probate for my dad that took three years to complete. We understand the grieving process, we are compassionate towards those with various mental health issues such as hoarding, Veterans issues, and those having the inability to simply keep up with their houses. We are driven by wanting to help people and by our desire to improve neighborhoods.”
Take note of that.
Of course the business needs to be profitable. Of course they need to make money. But for them, money is the motivation to keep them going. They find meaning outside the money. For them, it’s specifically in providing compassionate council and solutions to people who are facing the same things they did.
What about you? What’s your motivation?
If you haven’t gotten started yet, let me encourage you: don’t let money be 100% of your motivation.
Especially if you’re starting your operation as a side-hustle, and working long hours to make it happen, it will go a long way to find enjoyment and meaning in what you’re doing. Just simply enjoying fixing up old homes is enough. Or, your drive might be the desire to help out those in need, like Gayle and Stephen.
Just know it helps if you enjoy what you’re working at. If you don’t… if money is the sole motivator, you’ll have a much harder go. Many people who get into investing find that they actually enjoy rehabbing properties. That enjoyment goes a long way in helping you persevere.