The book, Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, MD had an incredible impact on my life, and still does today. The book is more about changing trends in business and the economy and it will always be relevant and you can apply the principles from this book to your business, your industry or your life.
You see, the only real constant in life is change. Nothing remains the same, except may be some of your friends from high school. Think about how information has transformed the way we’ve done business over the last 40 years. We’ve gone from the first car phones and large, multi-frame computers to fax machines, scanners, ipads, iphones and texting. The world is flat, meaning that information is available to everyone that has a computer. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the United States, India or Singapore as everyone has the same access to information and jobs, and that is a “game changer” for many.
In my office, we are involved in some new technology, start ups, property acquisition and management – businesses completely different from just a few years ago. We now hire virtual assistants from the Philippines for $60 a week, that have replaced workers in the USA that we would have had to pay $500 a week for the same service. This is just one small example of how the information and technology age has impacted my business and most certainly yours as well. Heck, we’ve only had automobiles for 100 years and look at where we are today.
If you’ll look around your world today, you’ll notice that you have been impacted by all the new technology and how you’ve had to adjust your marketing and even the direction of your business. All this cheese-moving stuff changed my life ten years ago when I realized my cheese was gone. The livelihood that I used to make wasn’t working anymore.
You see, my business goals were to buy enough real estate to live off my rents. And, candidly, I was good, maybe even the best in my area of Western New York. I owned as many as 350 houses at one time, but my program was hopelessly flawed from the start. In a nutshell, I bought the wrong property in the wrong part of the country.
There are many prerequisites to having a successful real estate business and basically I did a lot of it wrong. Here’s just a partial list of my screw ups that I hope you won’t repeat:
- I bought low income houses
- I rented to Section #8 tenants
- I rented to people on welfare
- I bought in a rust belt city with a declining population
- I bought old houses with unseen repairs, including lead base paint.
- I bought in a very liberal state and tenants had more rights than owners.
- I built my empire on sinking sand and eventually it crumbled and burned. It took a long time for me to realize I had some bad cheese and I needed to find new cheese.
It’s difficult to do a “check up from the neck up” and realize your kingdom isn’t what you thought and you need to leave the castle and start over. But, for a lot of reasons, that’s exactly what I did.
I left New York for the gold-laced cheese of Tampa, Florida. I went from buying and holding houses in Western New York to flipping houses in Tampa. I thought I went to real estate investor heaven when I moved to Tampa in 2002. My company ran ads on TV to buy houses and we would buy 8 to 22 houses a month and wholesale them to other investors. This was so exciting, and the profits on each house were between $5,000 and $50,000. But, it didn’t last. As all of you reading this article know, the real estate bubble, which was fueled by speculation and loose credit, finally burst. The fall out of investors and the lack of easy credit was a game changer.
So we changed. As the banks began to foreclose and then sell off their inventory, we embarked on a buy and hold campaign providing turnkey management for investors. In real estate cycles, you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. This is the challenge most real estate investors face – to adapt their buying and selling strategies to changing market conditions.
Knowing what and when to buy and hold is important, but knowing where to buy will make you rich. We are only buying in a specific state and the bedroom communities around the major transportation hub of the Southeast – that is, Atlanta, Georgia. There are so many reasons that point to the Atlanta area as a desirable place where prices will come back quickly after the absorption of all the REO properties. Why? Supply and demand. Check out our website, www.BuyCashFlowProperties.com and get your free copy of the ebook, Buy Right, Retire Rich and you will know why it’s so important to select an area in the path of progress to retire rich on rentals.
To get involved in the greatest buying opportunity of your lifetime, call me direct at 813-435-1551 Ext. 1010. This opportunity won’t last forever as savvy investors are snapping up properties all over the country. Don’t get left behind and wake up one day and realize you missed this great house buying opportunity. Contact me direct for special house buying events in Atlanta, Georgia.
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