It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with to do lists and everything that still needs to be done or all the things that aren’t quite right yet. I was in this “overwhelm” mindset recently
and Scott reminded me of what we have accomplished in the < 2 years that we’ve been involved in real estate.
So, we took a moment to recognize our journey and accomplishments. I thought I’d summarize the path we’ve taken over the last 2 years as we work to create a business and lifestyle as [active] real estate investors.
We Jumped In!
Our first foray into rental properties is probably typical of a lot of couples who combine their lives a little later in life. We were at that awkward point in a relationship where we each had homes (and everything that fills up a home), yet we were spending all of our time at one home or another. My single family 3BR, 1BA house was in a desirable area of the city and well suited as a vacation rental, especially for families. So, one night I listed it on Airbnb… just to see what would happen. Booking! Within fifteen minutes of being listed. From there, the calendar filled up and we made the decision to dedicate that property as a vacation rental and move in together – so romantic! 😉
Three months later, we bought a duplex in the same area of the city to renovate and use as another vacation rental. This was all within 1 year of our first date! Risky or not, jumping into Real Estate investing so quickly was a huge factor in developing our mutual passion for the industry and getting us started on our journey.
Then, We Got Obsessed!
After we had our duplex renovated and renting, we took a month-long “Snow Bird” trip to Georgia as a “time out” from all of the hard work we had put into the duplex and to get out of the frigid Minnesota Winter for a month. During the drive from Minnesota to Georgia, we discovered Bigger Pockets and other real estate podcasts. We binged! For the next several months we absorbed as much information and knowledge about real estate investing as we could. (It’s funny, maybe this part should have come before we bought property?!) During this time we made a decision that real estate investing and vacation rentals were something we wanted to seriously pursue.
Books We Read:
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Cash Flow Quadrant
- The 10X Rule
Podcasts We Streamed:
- Bigger Pockets
- Flip Nerd
- Vacation Rental Success
People We Followed:
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Grant Cardone
- Tony Robbins
- Matt Landau
We Built Our Skills, Our Business, Our Network
About six months after buying our first duplex, we bought another one. This second duplex needed a bit more TLC to become “vacation-rental worthy”. We spent much of the summer rehabbing the duplex and learned a bunch of new skills in the process – from refinishing cabinets and countertops, to basement water mitigation to receiving bids and finding contractors. It wasn’t exactly the summer of our dreams, but we learned a lot and added sweat equity to our new property. During this time we also started to think about using our experience, systems and knowledge to manage other investor’s properties as vacation rentals. We slowly added management clients and continued to build out our operational processes. Scott started getting involved in local meet-up groups and making connections that could provide us with advice, potential clients and future sources of deals.