A younger person recently asked me, “After 30 years of real estate investing, what would you do differently?”
It’s a pretty good question, and it really made me think. At first, I was thinking like Frank Sinatra that I wouldn’t change a thing because “I did it my way.”
I quickly woke up and realized that’s nonsense; there are plenty of things I would have done differently. So, here goes.
I Regret Not Starting My Real Estate Business Earlier
When I first started out, I thought I needed to work several jobs and save my own money to do my real estate deals, and I was only focused on buy and hold properties.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that this was a get-rich-slow strategy. I had been too busy making other people rich — everyone from builders and developers to apartment owners and real estate brokers. At the time, I was still a painting contractor and a real estate agent.
One of my biggest regrets is that I waited so long to quit my day job (although I do still keep my real estate license) and go into real estate investing full-time. I would’ve started my “I buy houses” business much earlier. I would’ve done more wholesaling and flips. And I would’ve utilized hard money for my deals earlier on in my investing career.
I Regret Not Delegating Tasks Sooner
Besides saving my own money, I tried to do just about everything else myself, including finding the deal, fixing the property, being the real estate agent, being the property manager, being the bookkeeper, and so on and so forth.
I micromanaged everything, instead of focusing on what I was good at, what I was passionate about, and what I could make money on (you know, the real economic drivers that pertained to me).
I can’t tell you how many times I was cleaning out a house or standing in line at Home Depot asking myself, why am I doing this?
It was a big hurdle for me to hire someone to do something that I knew I could do or something that I had done in the past. In my mind, no one could do it as well for as cheaply as I could myself. It took me a while to realize that you don’t have…