Our reason for getting into real estate is probably quite similar to why anyone starts any business — we wanted to …
1. work on our own schedule
2. create wealth
So, we started doing our research. Real Estate Investing (REI) is a great — if not THE greatest — way to create financial freedom. At minimum, even mediocre REI has better returns than the measly 401k I was getting from my teaching job. Good luck retiring on that!
Let’s get into real estate!
As I said in my last post, Mike, my husband and business partner, is the one who started us down this path in 2017 (he’ll tell you more about this in his own post). For me, it didn’t take much convincing. As someone who almost pathologically put my career first, the thought of what could be if I put my time and hard work into something exclusively for us and our future …. well, it got me really excited and I truly was on board from the start.
Ok, so now what?
As someone who had limited real estate experience, I knew that I needed to get educated. As is often the case with a new venture, I was eager to learn everything I could — and I want to know it all RIGHT NOW! I have always had somewhat of an entrepreneurial spirit and have done quite a bit of personal development throughout my life, but now it was time to put it into practice. One of the greatest (and still greatest) resources we have used was BiggerPockets.com. We were CONSTANTLY listening to the podcasts, attending the free online webinars, and visiting the website. It was through that site that we found our local REI group, Professional Investors Guild. We started using these resources regularly while both still working our normal W-2 jobs. Another crucial resource that I always recommend to, well, everyone is the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. It had been years since I had read it, so I gave that, as well as the follow up book Cashflow Quadrant, a dusting off.
Putting ideas into action
When all of this started back in 2017, Mike was the one that was taking the lead. First, as a helicopter pilot with a schedule of two weeks on/two weeks off, he had the time to focus on real estate during his off time. He is a pretty handy guy and found our first property and decided to use that as a “hobby house” to learn the ins and outs of a DIY rehab. It was a complete gut job – perfect to learn on! As it goes, life gets busy and, well, progress was made, but this house is still not complete. However, it definitely got us to “pull the bandaid off” and jump into our first property. More on this house later.
So, 2020 started off like any other year. I was in the middle of the school year and was working as a Teacher on Special Assignment at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Things were going great … until, they weren’t. Due to the pandemic, the schools closed in March and for the remainder of the school year and I wound up working from home. If there was ever a sign for me to get our REI business going, this was it! As the school year was winding down, we started putting things in place and coming up with our business plan. It was becoming real at this point that I was not going to be returning in the fall. Was it a hard decision? Yes … and no. I enjoyed spending my days getting to talk about my favorite subject (science!) and feeling like I was making a difference in the lives of kids. But, on the flip side, I was strongly on my way to burnout. So many demands, never enough time. It was time for a change and COVID-19 made that decision easier.
June 2020: Take Flight takes flight!
So, while we had been dabbling in REI for the past few years, we consider our business start date to be June 1, 2020. This is when I got involved in a mastermind through our local REI chapter and got our business officially up and running! If you are interested in starting in REI, I *highly* recommend getting involved in your area’s local investment group. The education and networking opportunities are invaluable — especially to a newbie.
Onward and upward
As of this writing, we have been in business for almost 5.5 months. In that time, we have learned a lot about marketing, getting our website in tip top shape, and stepped out of our comfort zone with respect to talking to people (both on the phone and in person). There has been a lot of imposter syndrome feelings, especially in the earliest days. Oh — and did I mention we closed on our first (well, I guess technically our second) deal on 10/30/2020? This thing might actually work after all! 🙂