The Key to Finding Your REI Strategy: The Intersection of The Head and the Heart

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One of the challenges of real estate investing is that there are so many different ways to do it—so many different acquisition strategies, property types, income strategies, etc.  Simply learning about them all and sampling each one could seemingly take a lifetime by itself!  So how do you know when you’ve found the right strategy for you?  How do you know it’s OK to stop learning about every other strategy, and simply commit to one strategy?  In this episode, Jeff discusses the journey of exploring different strategies, and suggests how to know when you’ve found your place in the broader real estate investing world:  when you’ve discovered a strategy that resonates both with your head and your heart.

Episode Transcript

I’m sure you’ve noticed the world of things under the banner of real estate investing is just absolutely massive. I mean, you got people talking about all types of different properties and different acquisition strategies and different disposition strategies and different ways of generating income from long term rentals to short term rentals to midterm rentals. And there’s just an insanely large spectrum of things that make up real estate investing. And that, of course, for a lot of people sort of leads to overwhelm, right? Because you look at all this do you think, Geez, how am I supposed to know what I should be doing? When there’s always another idea that perhaps I can learn about? Maybe it’s storage or some industrial investing or in syndications or other even sort of ancillary real estate, things like maybe oil and gas? So how do you know what you should be doing for your strategy? Well, in this episode, I want to talk with you about my own journey and one simple but really critical realization that I had that met let me know that I had found the right strategy for me. So let’s cue up the theme song; I want to jump right into this with you.

Welcome to Racking Up Rentals, a show about how regular people, those of us without huge war chest of capital or insider connections, can build lasting wealth acquiring a portfolio of buy and hold real estate. But we don’t just go mainstream looking at what’s on the market and asking banks for loans, nor are we posting We Buy Houses signs are just looking for “motivated sellers” to make lowball offers to. You see, we are people-oriented deal makers, we sit down directly with sellers to work out win-win deals without agents or any other obstacles, and buy properties nobody else even knows are for sale. I’m Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur. If you’re the kind of real estate investor who wants long term wealth, not get rich quick gimmicks or pictures of yourself holding fat checks on social media, this show is for you. Join me and quietly become the wealthiest person on your block. Now let’s go rack up a rental portfolio.

Okay, thank you for joining me for another episode of racking up rentals. Show notes for this episode can be found at thoughtfulre.com/e171. Please do us a big favor real quick by hitting the subscribe button or the Follow button or whatever it’s called in your app these days. It really helps fellow thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs to find this show. Onward with today’s episode.

As I was reflecting on the start of another new year, I was thinking a lot about you know, the types of hopes and dreams that we all tend to share at the beginning of a new year, which is for progress. Generally speaking, right? We want to make progress, we want to work towards our goals, we want to feel like we’re headed in the right direction. And it really got me thinking back to the early stages of my own journey. And I just wanted to share a particular way of explaining what I feel like the first couple few years where like for me and my journey, because I believe that this is exactly also what everybody else experiences.

Now, of course, the way that these journeys sort of come to fruition are going to be totally unique to each person. But there is a really important overall point that I want to make that I think this story illustrates, you know, when I first got started in real estate investing, I discovered it in the same way that a lot of people have discovered it by stumbling upon some information or a podcast or a book. And the book that I stumbled upon was Rich Dad, Poor Dad, as many people can relate to. And it got me really, really excited. And it led me to actually buying a property for the first time, which was great. And then after that, I started getting really excited. And it made me want to learn more.

Well, as I was learning more, I was being exposed to lots of new ideas. So ideas about wholesaling, and distressed sellers and motivated sellers and all these different ways of marketing and generating leads, quote unquote, and all that kind of stuff. And I feel like I’m a good student. So when I would learn something, I would actually do a pretty good job of going out and trying to apply what I learned. But here’s what I found. I found that a lot of times, the things that were being recommended to me like give just a very simple and literal example in my case was to have a website for motivated sellers, right. So they could go to your site. There’d be search engine optimization, they’d find the site, they submit a request to get a quick offer for their home.

So I would work on something like that and I found it that it seemed to make sense to me logically how this would work. But as I was doing it, it didn’t really feel authentic to me, there’s something in the back of my head that says, I see how this works. But it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t really feel like who I want to be. And that manifested in ways like being not excited, maybe even downright ashamed to talk to friends or family about it, because I didn’t want to have to explain what I was doing, because I didn’t think they would get it. But it wasn’t just that I didn’t think they would get it. It was also that kind of down deep, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of what I was doing. So I didn’t want to share it with others.

But as I, you know, continue to explore all the different many ways that people go about real estate investing, and talk to sellers and experiment with more marketing types of things, I would find that certain things felt good, and certain things didn’t. And at this stage, more things didn’t feel good than did feel good. I remember a very specific conversation I had with my wife when we had ordered, you know, a pack of 30 or so bandit signs. And these bandit signs had our URL for our sellers website on it and a phone number. And we knew we had to go put the bandit signs up. And we were thinking about when are we going to put the bandit signs up? And the whole conversation was like, Well, what time does it get dark tonight, because there’s no way I’m doing this in light, because this is shameful and embarrassing. And it took a while for me to realize that perhaps if I felt shameful or embarrassed about something that it wasn’t really the right fit for me.

But there was this tension, because I was seeing in my head, I know that this stuff works for some people. There’s a reason why this is what’s recommended. And so it made sense to my head, but it did not make sense to my heart at all. And I thought to myself, I don’t like the idea of doing these things, this website, these bandit signs and things like that, finding distressed sellers and having conversations about how we could sort of almost capitalize on their distress. It just didn’t really feel right. But I thought to myself, you know, gosh, Jeff, you owe it to yourself to try all the things that might possibly work, you know, you owe it to your futures, self, your future success to try these things, even if they feel a little bit uncomfortable. Because is discomfort a bad thing? No, not at all. I mean, we all have to go through discomfort. If you want to get in better physical shape, if you want to learn new things, it’s always going to be a little difficult, awkward, painful, uncomfortable, potentially, at first. And so I felt this real tension between what was going on in my head, which sort of logically said you should do these things, and what was going on in my heart.

So if we sort of put a pin in that, and fast forward a little bit, in my own journey, I also found that there were times when I was doing exactly the opposite. I was having conversations with sellers in ways that felt really good to me and felt really right and authentic. And I could tell that the sellers felt comfortable with me. And they felt like I was treating them well. And it just it felt like a good thing. But I also was not getting any deals done. I was failing to get either acceptance on offers and proposals, or I could get acceptance on offers and proposals. But the deals weren’t really structured in a way that I could then successfully acquire the financing that I needed to do the deal with.

And so I really had exactly kind of the opposite problem where I was then following my heart, which felt so much better because I knew I was interacting with people in a way that I felt good about it felt much more like me. And I knew that they appreciated everybody felt comfortable, there was no pretense about exploiting somebody’s distressed situation or anything. And so it felt comfortable in that sense, but it was uncomfortable in my head because at the same time, I wasn’t really putting together deals that actually ended up closing and, and actually working on kind of a functional level.

So I had this really weird experience in almost these two chapters of the early days of real estate for me, where it started with doing things that made sense to my head but did not make sense to my heart. And then I let the pendulum swing to the other side. And I was attacked emptying strategies that felt really good to my heart, but did not feel so good to my head. And both of those were very difficult in unsuccessful small sub chapters of my, my overall story. But fortunately, although I wasn’t being conscious about this dynamic now I, you know, I’m much more clear about this in hindsight than I was, in the moment certainly has kind of feeling things in the Moment Like This feels good or doesn’t feel good, it feels like it’s working doesn’t feel like it’s working. But in hindsight, I have a lot more clarity about this.

But what happened was, I then met my own coach, who is still my coach today, Greg Pinneo. And when I met Greg, again, although I wasn’t putting it in these exact words, in the moment, I now see that what happened was, what I the approach that I learned from him, felt really good to me in my heart, and also made sense in my head. And so what I was doing was I was approaching sellers in an authentic, genuine personal way that felt like me, I felt like I was being respectful of them, I could see from their responses that they felt comfortable with me, and that our conversations were things that they appreciated. And I was able to put together deals that actually worked, and that were structured in certain ways using tools that I didn’t know much about at the time, like seller financing. And that ultimately, then I was getting deals done. And that was a big game changer in itself actually getting deals to close.

But as I look back on that, what I realize now, and this leads me to my point for you, and my wish for you was that I began to make a lot of progress, I really began to make traction. As soon as I found a strategy that was at the intersection of what felt good to my head, and what felt good to my heart. And the more that I have reflected on that exact idea over the last several years, I realized that that is absolutely critical. For any of us, this is not unique to me at all, it almost doesn’t even matter what you’re trying to do if it’s real estate investing or anything else. If we’re trying to do something that we know kind of makes sense, but feels extremely inauthentic to us. We’re not going to get anywhere, we will resist the things that don’t feel authentic to us any amount of discipline we have, we can, we can try to override this feeling with discipline and keep doing things that don’t feel like us because we know that makes sense. But ultimately, that’s not a sustainable path.

And the exact opposite is true as well, we can do things that feel really good, they feel really much like us, but we’re not going to be able to sustain our DIS Well, our effort and our commitment to them over time if they’re not actually working and getting results. And so now I know, for myself and for everybody else that I get a chance to work with or talk to you that really we’re on this journey of trying to find a strategy that lives at the intersection of what makes sense to our heart and what makes sense to our heads. And while I’d like to think and maybe it’s an educated guess that if you’re listening to this podcast right now, perhaps the idea of the thoughtful approach to working with sellers off market in a very relationship oriented manner.

And buying properties. with seller financing, in most cases is that thing that is at the intersection of your head and your heart, I realize maybe this podcast is a stop along your own journey, where you were exploring both of those things, you’re looking for things that make sense to your head, you’re looking at things that make sense to your heart. And even if you’re just on your journey right now, and you’re not sure that this is that intersection of head and heart for you, I hope that these conversations we have in this podcast are helpful in navigating you towards that intersection.

So my hope for you in this new year, because I know you’re hopeful like like I am you have you’re feeling like there’s a fresh slate in front of you. Another new 12 months, a very natural opportunity to reboot and try something new and make new levels of progress. My hope for you is that you are getting closer to that special strategy that is at the intersection of what makes sense to your head. And what makes sense to your heart. And my wish for you is that you do find that eventually if that intersection is exactly what we do, then awesome, you have found your home just like I had found my home when I met Greg, and I didn’t need to explore any more strategies. I just needed to master the strategies that were already right there. That is my wish for you. And I’m so glad to have you guys here on this journey because it really is a journey with me and I’m so honored to be a part of your own journey as well.

That is it for today’s episode of Racking Up Rentals. So again, show notes can be found at thoughtfulre.com/e171. Please do us a big favor by hitting the subscribe button in your podcast app and rating and reviewing the show. Did you also know that we have a Facebook group for thoughtful real estate entrepreneurs? It’s true; it’s called Rental Portfolio Wealth Builders. We’d love to have you join us there it’s free of course you could just search rental portfolio wealth builders in Facebook or if you want to take the easy shortcut just type group.thoughtfulre.com into your browser and the magic of the internet will take you right there. I will see you in the next episode. Thank you for being here with me today. Until then, this is Jeff from the Thoughtful Real Estate Entrepreneur signing off and happy new year.

Thanks for listening to Racking Up Rentals where we build long term wealth by being win-win dealmakers. Remember: solve the person to unlock the deal and solve the financing to unlock the profits.

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