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  • Writer's pictureMack Benson

Shiny Object Syndrome!

MIH Mastermind Social Media Workout Challenge #2 I previously talked about the decision to take my families financial future into our own hands which lead me to real estate investing, but that isn't the end of the story. There are many vehicles you can take in real estate investing and we wanted to focus on buying apartments but I didn't have any idea where to start. The obvious first step was research. Where could I find the information I need to get me from knowing nothing to a successful real estate investor? I fired up the ole google machine and started trying to figure it out on my own and I stumbled across a website called BiggerPockets. With a name like that I first thought the site seemed a bit shady but it was consistently in the top search results with everything I searched for so I started clicking and reading. I found BiggerPockets had one of the largest real estate podcasts in all of the interwebs and began consuming their content at a voracious pace. In hindsight this was one of my first mistakes. The BiggerPockets podcast wasn't focused on what I wanted to invest in and, because I was listening to what seemed like experts, I thought I needed to reproduce what they had done. When I first proposed the idea of investing to my wife I knew I could utilize the skills I already had to partner with people to buy apartments but when I started listening to these podcasts I learned about BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) and small rentals and thought I needed to build my cash reserves so I could start buying property on my own. My wife and I started looking at duplexes and single family homes in Saint Paul, MN that we could do a BRRR on but I found that the homes we could afford that were listed on the MLS were in the absolute worst neighborhoods. This wasn't going to work so what is the next step on the path? Of course, we need more money so we can get into better neighborhoods but where do we get it? Flipping! That's got to be the answer. Back to the MLS and networking with flippers and wholesalers. I went to the MLS and started looking at homes with the specific purpose of flipping, I went so far as to create my own calculator so I could estimate rehab and profit. During this shiny object journey I even toyed with the idea of leaving my W2 so I could focus on flipping where I would be doing the vast majority of the work myself so I could save money. This would be leaving one job to replace it with a far less stable job and I couldn't pull the trigger so I didn't. The MLS was a bust, I couldn't move fast enough or compete with the cash offers so what could I do? Direct mail! That had to be the ticket, I heard a lot about it on the podcasts and people were having success so it has to be a no brainer. I kicked off a direct mail campaign and started handwriting letters and envelopes and mailing them to homeowners I had targeted. The silence on the response was deafening so I thought I needed to do more and found a way to print letters with my handwriting on yellow paper like the experts said to do and I did get a couple good leads. Along comes our second child and I realize I wouldn't have the time to work on a flip at night and on the weekend but I kept the direct mail going for a few months figuring if I was able to get something under contract I could at least turn it over to one of the flippers I had met and possibly make a few bucks. At this point I was lost. I had deviated from my initial goal and didn’t have a clear vision of how to get back to it. The overarching goal was to buy apartments. The shiny objects of single family rentals, flipping, and wholesaling had distracted me from what I really wanted. The solution presented itself through the network I had built by attending a local meetup. I met someone who was barely out of college and had already quit his W2 job because he had found success in buying apartments. I learned that he hadn't done it on his own and that had syndicated his acquisition. Before speaking with him I thought you already needed success to be able to syndicate but this conversation blew that preconception out of the water. I learned that he had joined a mentorship program and that was the main reason he was able to get his first deal across the table. I realized I could keep beating my head against the wall trying to pull this anchor myself or I could join an already established network of people who were already doing exactly what I wanted to do. This is when I decided to join Jake & Gino's Wheel Barrow Profits Academy in order to accelerate my education and expand my network. The journey continues…

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