026: 3 Things We Wish We Did Differently at the Start of Our Real Estate Journey
We’re back with new content, lessons, and learnings from us– your financial BFFs for high-level entrepreneurs. 🤟
For today’s topic, we’re getting a little nostalgic. We’re thinking of our early days and how we started out, the decisions we made– good and bad– and the conviction we held for what we envisioned our life to be.
Hint– our life is nothing like we once imagined it to be. We were in fashion for so many years before trying our hand at the real estate world.
From textiles to taxes, it’s quite the leap‼️ And, we can’t lie to you, we’ve had our fair share of regrets. While other people make the proud claim of “no regrets” when it comes to past mistakes people have made, it’s really the regrets that bloom the biggest life lessons, perspective shifts, and new understandings. So we come before you, with plenty of regrets but thankful for the lessons that we’ve learned in the process.
We aren’t talking about our fashion regrets, but our apartment investing regrets that we had when we were first starting out. More specifically, the things we did or did not do at the beginning of our investing journey. While we know it’s okay and totally normal to not hit every deal out of the park, we want to share specifically about the things we wish we would have done differently at the start of our real estate journey so you can avoid going through them as much as possible.
Start Date: Today
You know what they say, you have to look at the past to better your present. And honestly? We were killing it as fashion manufacturers as our first career. We were managing a 7-figure company and it was funding our lifestyle.
And while we were making a great income, we were also doing the thing we tell everyone who is within earshot not to do– trade your time for money. 😣😣 And on top of that, we were breaking another cardinal sin of ours, paying way too much in taxes.
There’s absolutely no shame on the entrepreneur game. We totally get the hustle! While we did have more freedom than our W2 peers, it still took a lot of time to run the business successfully.
While friends who were living that W2 life had bosses to report to, we had clients to report to. While we would never compare who had it harder– managing clients in the fashion world is a different beast.
We were dealing with some in-real-life Miranda Priestly’s. Clients who would threaten us day in and day out to cancel their 6-figure order if you didn’t ship it on time. Meanwhile, the factory is on pause because of the Chinese New Year, not like they care.
There was also that time a client demanded that all trims and all fabric must match in color even though they were different materials. Rayon vs. cotton.
Even worse than that, we had a client that refused for us to take any holidays off because they were so nervous that when we weren’t around something would go wrong. Except that didn’t make any sense either since our manufacturing is done in Asia, not the US.
So all that to say, yeah we wish we were our own bosses sooner through apartment investing and passive income.
Some of you might be listening to this and thinking to yourself: but you were making 7-figures! I’d also take a beating a few times a year. And, yes, while we were making a great income– we were doing it all ourselves, we didn’t have a team. So scalability was an issue. We had to pay a 6-figure tax bill, which is massive and we don’t wish that experience on anybody.
We had no clue 😑😑 what passive income was, and in a moment of vulnerability, the pressure was becoming too much to deal with. So when we finally stumbled into apartment syndication and sold two apartment complexes in the average hold time of 24 months with the return average of 2.17x equity multiple to our passive investors. Now we can confidently say that apartment complexes were easier to accomplish than matching colors on a rayon/cotton button-up shirt.
Now that we know about apartment investing, passive income, long-term wealth, and all the other goodies that come with apartment syndication, we wish we started sooner so our path to financial freedom was also secured sooner.
The other reality that hit us in the process of making the transition to full-time real estate, was that people will always need a place to live. And that felt safer job security-wise than replaceable cheaper production happening in Bangladesh, Indonesia or Sri Lanka.
So even if you’re not ready to start your apartment investing journey right now or you’re not 100% sure if this is the path for you, it’s important to understand the different asset classes so that when you’re ready to make that leap, you can take action way faster than we did.
Like any plot twist in any story or 📽️ movie, it was all in the journey. If you’re beginning your career and trading your time for money, your unexpected twist may not have happened just yet, but that’s okay– it’s kind of necessary when starting out because then you appreciate the leveling up in your career. We spent a lot of time and energy trading our time for money. Which makes passive income that much sweeter.
However, there will be a time when that life isn’t cute anymore. Because soon enough, you reach a place where the time and skills you’re putting in doesn’t match the hourly rate you know you deserve. That’s where apartment investing makes its grand entrance– there’s no ceiling on how much you can make!
Buy More and Often
The number two lesson: buy more and more often. Did you know that wealthy people, when they sell their businesses, reinvest their profits into real estate? And the number one place where they reinvest those profits is in…
🏢 Multifamily apartment sector!
Yep! Nailed it. It is their number one strategy for building long-term wealth. So, even though you hear a lot of buzz around cryptocurrency or the never predictable stock market, those options can potentially yield higher returns, wealthy people own real estate.
Here’s an article from Insider “An entrepreneur who interviewed 21 billionaires says there’s a common misconception about how the world’s richest people spend their money” by Hillary Hoffower. Almost all of the billionaires’ wealth, lies in the companies they own, in stocks, or in real estate and other assets: “Billionaires don’t see money as something to spend on themselves. Money is there to invest and create.
Now, another article published by Olumide Adesina stated 👇
“For many years, billionaires have favored real estate investing as their best place to keep their money. A primary residence is initially purchased and then other residences, usually for tenants, follow. Having bought some personal real estate, they have started buying commercial real estate.”
Many billionaires including Larry Ellison own large real estate portfolios. In recent years, Ellison has invested steadily in real estate, building up a portfolio worth over $1 billion.
Like we’ve said from day 1, real estate particularly apartment investing is our #1 wealth creation, and while we already have over $110M assets under management, we wished we did buy more, and often.
The Best Self-Care Starts with Boundaries
Another big lesson was standing firm in our boundaries. The transition from no longer being available 24/7 all year round to working on our time was an adjustment. If you’re listening, thinking I can adjust pretty fast! then we hear you.
But, for us, it wasn’t as simple. Because we had to learn a little word called “no.” And learning to say “no” so we can say “yes” to greater opportunities was the best thing we did for ourselves. We had to learn the hard way that setting boundaries is not only necessary, but is intended to protect you and help keep you focused.
“No.” Is a complete sentence.
There are so many ways to incorporate your own necessary boundaries that can keep you from overworking yourself and hitting burnout. Or worst of all, saying “yes” to a bad partnership that drains your energy rather than inspires you.
The truth is, when you start an apartment investing journey, you’re usually so passionate and on 🔥 fire that you find yourself becoming obsessed with winning deals and the feeling of progress.
Or, maybe that was just us, but we doubt it.
Take it from us, the feeling of success has got to be one of the most addicting feelings out there. When you’re balancing the pressure of doing your own thing on top of proving people wrong, the journey can become mind-blowing, but also hard.
And, just to be clear, the ‘proving people wrong part’ was really just the cherry on top. It’s not like we sought out to break necks.
When we first started, we were on this upward trajectory with no signs of slowing down. We were tempted to say “yes” to just about every partnership and investment opportunity that we became quite obsessive and at times, disheartened when we didn’t win a new deal. We even came scary close to the wrong partnership and we struggled to really look at what our times were worth.
For us, it took almost being in the wrong partnership and hitting total burnout and exhaustion to really recognize that saying yes to good enough is not a good look.
Seriously, the way we were slathering on eye cream during that season… 😝😝
If you can get out ahead of it, our best advice is to try even small ways to protect and value your time by saying “no” to deals and partnerships that are just good and saying your “yes” to great only. Deals and returns that set your soul on fire.
Learning how to set boundaries is the best gift you can give yourself. Don’t deprive your future from not setting boundaries in the present.
Be Intentional With Wealth Creation
While we wish we started this journey way sooner and discovered the joys of passive income through apartment syndication, we have no regrets about our timeline and origin story.
What matters is that we’re here today. Making changes and helping others. 🙌
We grew up with the mentality that if you want something, you have to work for it. We bore witness to too many late nights of our parents coming how late after a long day, trading their precious resource of time for money. Now, we’re turning the tables and showing them their long days weren’t in vain as we help secure the financial futures for our future generations.
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