Select Page

$742,800 in Renovations & Valuing Your Time

by | Sep 5, 2017 | Random, Real Estate Investing | 0 comments

Several days ago, I had an interesting phone call. Someone who has been coming to SWIG meetings regularly for a couple years called and wanted to know if I’d look at a house he owns in Greensburg. He wanted to pick my brain on repairs, exit strategies (flip or rent), and garner
some wisdom and insights.

I have learned over the years, that I like real estate investing, and I have grown to become pretty good at it. 🙂 Rental after rental, flip after flip, more and more pieces come together, mistakes are minimized, profits are maximized, and I realized sharing that knowledge can be more fun than actually doing the deals myself.

I suppose it’s like anything else. Parenting is much the same. We have 4 children, so we’ve been through a lot of stages, repeatedly. Just like mothers love to pass on their wisdom to other moms after their child moves from one rough stage to another, I have found that passing on knowledge of real estate is very rewarding.

However, the knowledge I have gained over the years in Real Estate has come at a price, whether it was the library of books we have on our bookshelves, or the seminars, the weekends flying to a “hands on” workshop, bills from lunches of mentors, paying mentors, coaches, etc. And then there are the deals that we jumped into, head first, took the plunge…sink or swim. And we learned to swim through and navigate the world of real estate…not without a few cold plunges and barely treading water. But, now, we can throw life savers to others.

A question here, advice there, I’m willing to give to others a piece of that knowledge that has taken me years to acquire. Though I love to help others, there is also the realization that this is my career, just like any one of us, we provide for our families from the knowledge we have acquired, whether we are contractors, teachers, plumbers, real estate agents, lawyers, nurses…we use our knowledge to help others and provide income for our families.

Because so many real estate enthusiasts are supplementing another career with the income they receive from real estate, it becomes muddled, and may feel like a hobby to some. To me, this is my full time path and my way of life. I eat, sleep, and breathe real estate investing.

I have forced myself to be guarded with time on workdays. If I’m not careful, half a day can be gone checking on rentals, flips, etc. and conversations can derail our focus from the daily goals I set. Time management is a huge component of moving into a full-time real estate career vs a “hobby” real estate enthusiast. Be mindful on the time you spend on little things that will make a minor difference, but are a huge time suck.

I give as much time as I can to our SWIG Investment community, my family, my church, and myself. Not knowing whether I would charge the guy or not, I asked him, “Would you be willing to pay me?” I really wanted to know how he viewed me, my time, and if he understood the value he was receiving from time and a conversation. This time and conversation that is pulled from another portion of my work day and life. We need to look at our time as valuable.

I have a friend who is a physician. We are not close friends, I might say acquaintances. The fact is we know things about each other’s lives and when we see each other, we catch up. Usually, it’s when I have a medical question. But I don’t call him up at home, I make an appt with him at his office. I go through his office staff, make an appointment and pay him to give me his expertise. I value his time. I value his experience and I’m willing to pay for that time and advice.

Back to the gentleman on the phone, I wanted to know if he valued the time I was being asked to give, to drive to his property, walk through, give advice, etc. Was he willing to return my time and expertise with payment for that time, if asked? Ask around, this group is filled with people who have needed advice, time, analysis, brainstorming, etc. and have never been charged a dime.

The investors reply, to summarize, was this: “Well, I thought if you’d come, look the place over, give me some good enough tips, then maybe we could explore something further in the future and maybe I’d be willing to pay you for information down the road, etc” (That is strictly my interpretation).

He mentioned he was unsure of what I was wanting, since I talk about helping people with coaching at the investors group meetings. Indeed, I am moving forward with the coaching, which is my passion, but people pay me for my help, which saves them time and money and gets them to freedom and financial retirement, faster.

Long story a little shorter, the man informed me that over the last couple years that he has been attending the SWIG meetings, it sounds like I haven’t been very profitable with my investing, and he doesn’t know what I’ve done, so,”why would i pay you?”

Basically, I haven’t proven anything to him and that I need to be “transparent” about things. In the spirit of taking all feedback I get as positive feedback, I took it all in, and gave it some thought. Every month our meetings are full of answering questions, helping where I can, and providing insane value, for next to nothing.

Starting my career in real estate, I didn’t have a mentor, I didn’t have a group leader to bounce ideas off of, I didn’t have an awesome community of like-minded individuals. I learned things the hard way, by making mistakes, a lot of them, over and over til I got it right sometimes. And let me tell you, if I wanted advice, I paid for it. I bought books, paid for seminars, or paid the price of jumping into a deal and learning through the experience. I’m not claiming to know it all, but I am experienced, decadesnof experience, and now, I have a lot to teach.

I’m not proud of bad deals, but I’m not hiding them either, actually usually they have provided some great entertainment and amazing education over the years! So, I’m going to tell you these things, not to brag, but to be more transparent about how I can help you get to where you want to go in your pursuit of real estate investing…Why I feel I can transform most anybody with a desire and the drive to succeed in real estate investing into a millionaire within a relatively short number of years.

– I’ve been on the buying side of over 100 transactions as a principal, with most being residential flips. I also have experience with some multi-units, rentals, wholesale deals, owner financing, new construction, commercial, and building a business from scratch that today is full of awesome people, customers, and employees.
– Within the last 5 weeks, I have deposited net profits from 2 flips that net more than the majority of the country makes in 1 year.
– My wife and I have a networth over $1,000,000 and 99% has come through real estate investing.
– We purchased a dilapidated barn for $30,000, invested into repairs and extra land, and transformed it into a beautiful wedding venue which currently rents for $6400 for a 3 day weekend. Here is a video of the renovation
– I have built and sold 2 brand new construction homes.
– Our rental portfolio currently stands at 10 units, though it was up to about 25 at one point.
– I have spent approximately $742,800 on repairs and managing contractors on my deals over the last 2 years. That is repairs alone does not include any acquisition costs. That is, on average, over $30,000 per month in renovations and repairs.
– I have coached and mentored folks over the past 10 years (not all in a formal capacity with a few currently purchasing at least 1 house per month, primarily flips, in our local region.

Back to the phone call from the gentleman, even though I wasn’t sure if I was going to charge him to take 2 hours out of my day to drive there, look at his house, give him 15 years of wisdom, possibly save him a $10,000 mistake on contractors, and then drive home…I wanted to know…does he value my time?

I know it’s hard to know what you’re missing, but Annie and I, looking back over the years, would have paid to have someone steer us in the right direction on many deals to save ourselves the stress of trying to get out of it on our own. I do not believe he valued the time he wanted me to gift him, and so I said No I was not coming, also I didn’t think we would be a good fit for any coaching or mentoring moving forward in the future.

I need to know that if I’m investing time into someone, they value the time as well. Toward the end of the call, I let him know I wasn’t interested in looking at the property with him, and that in the long run, we would also not make a good fit for an ongoing coaching arrangement, if he ever thought about pursuing it.

The gentleman was put off by my guarded response in terms of my time. A short time after our phone call ended, he texted me: “The one question I really would have for you is if you truly did make $xx,xxx in the past month or two from real estate then what would be the big deal about giving someone one and a half hour probono property visit?”

When I seek my doctor friends’ advice, I value that advice because I know he has seen patient after patient just like me, he probably misdiagnosed patients like me in his early years, and now, now he finishes my sentences with what the problem is, and has it diagnosed before I have to explain it. I value that.

As I thought about it, I could literally write a book on this question, but to summarize, my answer is this: Because you don’t value my time, and I do…highly. You also wanted me to look at your house after 5 pm. I value my evenings when my kids have ballgames, my family dinner, and I’m triathlon training, even MORE than my regular “day” job hours.

I do thank the gentleman for the valuable conversation, as it did make me aware that I could do a better job of letting you all know the value that I bring to you as a coach, the experience I bring, maybe more details of deals. I struggle with sharing numbers to the group as a whole and maintaining privacy for my wife and family, but one-on-one, or small settings, we can dig deeper into deal details.

If you think I might be able to help you craft a plan to take your real estate investing business to the next level, and you want to talk about how , then I encourage you to schedule a break through session with me. I have about 3 openings each week that we can setup to talk things through and see if we’re a fit to help each other.
Go to:


Photo Credit: Alexander Boden  

4 Unit Multi-Family Rental Property Investment Analysis

How did we do? Case Study: 4 Unit Multifamily Analysis Part II. I's been awhile since you have had an update on the 4 unit. Somebody asked last week on the Part 1 Video if a follow-up was going to be coming. Seeing that we just finished installing carpet...

Filing for Landlord Tenant Judgments in Pennsylvania

You spent months getting to the finish line. You have filed landlord tenant complaints. Possibly even provided a 10 day or 30 day notice. The tenant has been served. You have a hearing.  You have obtained a judgment. And then what?? In many cases, that may be the...

Westmoreland County Online Research – Recorder of Deeds, Prothonotary & More

Would you like to know how to find the owners of vacant properties? Or estimate how much a homeowner owes on their property? In this video, I step you through the Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania online research tools including the Westmoreland County Recorder of...

3D Virtual Tours Made Easy – Ricoh Theta V Review

3D Virtual Tours are becoming extremely popular due to people not being able to leave their homes currently due to the virus. We have been in the process of reviewing various 3D virtual tour softwares and 3D camera systems for some time now. We spent a lot of time...

Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Real Estate Coronavirus Update

The real estate market in Pennsylvania and individual counties is changing everyday. As of right now, real estate sales and leasing are classified as non life-sustaining.  Some agents are still conducting open houses and showing of properites. However, as more...

Small Business Succession: The “If Brandon Dies” Document

If you own your own small business (or businesses), and you died today, would your spouse/significant others/family know where or how to locate the vital information they may need to transfer any wealth you have accumulated?  That's the Question. And the solution...