Wholesalers are the “Canary in the Coalmine” by Vena Jones-Cox

            When the real estate market starts to change, as it is right now, wholesalers are the first to be affected—and if you’re not ready to adjust your business when it does, it can be devastating for your income.

            When the real estate market is “Hot” (which is another way of saying it’s a seller’s market, with less inventory than demand), it’s harder to find deals at true wholesale prices, but very easy to find buyers, many of whom will pay MORE than the usual 70% of value minus repair costs for deals. This is the situation a lot of new-ish wholesalers are used to; the market has been increasingly hot for over 7 years now.

            When the market is “cold”—that it, there are more sellers in the market than buyers—getting deals under contract at pennies on the dollar is easy, but the hoards of anxious investor-buyers available in a “hot” market shrink enormously, and the ones who remain are relatively sophisticated, and get very picky when there are a lot of deals to choose from.

            It’s when the market is in the process of changing, as it is right now, that wholesalers find themselves thrown for a proverbial loop.

            As it transitions from cold to hot, wholesalers who actually know how to evaluate properties have a booming business; there are still lots of motivated sellers in the market during this period, but more and more buyers looking to grab some deals.

            It’s the transition from hot to cold markets that present a real challenge to wholesalers, and that’s what we’re facing right now.

            We’re already at the leading edge of a mid-cycle slowdown, and my prediction for the next 2 years of the real estate market is that it will continue to slow down until this looming recession finally hits. Once the stock market takes the dive it’s due for, we’ll be in full-on buyer’s market mode, and won’t come out of it until 2022 or so.

            Here’s what you’ll see as this happens:

  1. Days on market will increase first; then when inventory increases enough, prices will start to fall, as they already have in some of the traditionally hot markets like San Francisco.

  2. This will start to make buyers who are retailers more conservative; in a market with falling prices, today’s after-repaired value isn’t trustworthy; by the time the property is ready for market, it might be worth less than it is today—AND, because the hard money loans they typically use to buy and fix properties have a high monthly carrying cost, and extra 2-3 months on the market eats into their profit significantly.

  3. Landlord buyers will also be affected by a full-in recession; vacancy rates will increase and rents will probably decline slightly. With more vacancies and turnovers to handle, they have to see a no-brainer deal to take on additional rentals
  • Initially, most sellers won’t get the memo, and will still be basing their asking prices on what their neighbor sold for 6 months ago
  • Months after your buyers have started expressing concerns about the market, the media will notice that there’s a decline in prices, and will start trumpeting that from the rooftops, and  at that point, the thousands of new investors who seem to be entering the market every week will disappear, leaving only experienced buyers who are bargain hunting as potential customers for your deals.

I’ve been through 2 other mid-cycle slowdowns (and, of course, one major market crash), and here’s my best advice for not just surviving, but thriving while the market is down:

  • Make sure you’re bulking up your buyer’s list with experienced buyers. They’re smarter and pickier than first-time investors, but they’re also looking forward to this slowdown, so they can pick up some bargains for their portfolios. Just ask them. They’re practically bursting with excitement about it.
  • Make SURE you have your evaluation skills honed. A first time investor-buyer might believe the Zestimate is the real value of the property, and that a bathroom only costs $1,200 to gut and replace, but experienced buyers know better, and they’re your customers. At least, they are if you’re offering good deals. Which you can’t, if you don’t know what they’re worth.
  • Dial back your offers. It’s been easy to sell properties at 75%, or even 80%, of ARV less repair costs over the past few years. It won’t be when there’s more inventory. 70% is a good estimate of what a property will sell for as the market declines; when it gets full-on cold, you’d better plan at selling at 65% less repair costs.
  • Dial up your follow up. The market will eventually tell those sellers who still think their property is worth a zillion dollars today that they need to modify their expectations; you need to be following up with them regularly so that when they do get their reality check, you’re the one they contract with.
  • Think about grabbing some of those bargains for yourself. The thing that typically happens after a mid-cycle slowdown is the hottest part of the market cycle. When prices start to recover, they do it FAST, and then continue to shoot up until the eventual crash, 4-5 years later. While properties are cheap, why not get some to hold? After all, you don’t want to always be looking for the next deal, forever, right?

Getting you prepared to make MORE money in the coming slow market is one of the main goals of my upcoming wholesaling academy, on August 22nd-25th in Cincinnati. If you’ve been meaning to register, but haven’t, better get on it…I expect it to be at capacity within a week or 2. Learn more and get a seat HERE.

How to Work with Other Investors Right

            I was in Minneapolis a few weeks back, trying to explain to a room full of real estate investors how to leverage each other’s time and resources in a way that was mutually beneficial.

            The problem that I’d stumbled on, AGAIN, was that the brand-new investors in the room were either afraid to talk to the experienced investors, or expected them to cheerfully give up a ton of time to “help out” the endless stream of unknown new investors that walk into that huge group each and every month.

            And the experienced investors in the room all admitted that, while they wanted the new-ish people to succeed, they often felt overwhelmed by the “one quick question requests” 50 times in every 90-minute meeting, and had all had the experience of helping someone out, out of the goodness of their hearts, for many hours, only to have that person drop off the face of the earth with zero indication of whether all that effort had made any impact.

            This is a super-common state in real estate associations: a vague, general mutual frustration among both new and experienced investors, because they’re not taught how to work with one another in ways that BOTH value.

            So I decided to make a point: I asked who thought they were the newest investor in the room. A guy near the front raised his hand. I asked him whether he was really serious about doing deals. He assured me he was. I asked whether he wanted to learn from a really experienced investor. He said yes. I asked if he was willing to work really hard to get the undivided attention of someone who had a LOT of knowledge about how to make deals close. He said yes.

            The I called on Glen, a guy I happen to know is both experienced and true to his word.

            I said, “Glen, do you need more deals coming to you?” He assured me that he did. I said, “Glen, are you willing to sit down with this guy for 20 minutes and give him a list of what you’re looking for and in what neighborhood?” He said yes. I said, “If he brings you addresses of vacant and/or ugly houses in those areas, are you willing to pay to market to them, take the calls, and try to make the deals happen?” He said yes. I said, “Is there any limit to the number of these you’d be willing to process?”. He said No. “And if you get a lead from his efforts, are you willing to take him with you on the appointment, show him how you’re evaluating the deal, let him sit in on the negotiation with the seller, share the contracts you use, and do a post-mortem with him when the deal does or doesn’t close?” He said yes.

            So I turned back to the new guy and said, “Do you know that Glen is one of the 5 most experienced investors in this room?” He said yes. I said, “Do you understand what this will do for you?” He said yes. I said, “Are you willing to drive for dollars tomorrow get Glen 100 property addresses, even if it takes 5 hours?” He said yes. I said, “Are you willing to look up the properties in the county website and find out who the owner is and what HIS address is?” He said yes. I said, “Do you understand that there’s no guarantee that 100 addresses will lead to a deal worth looking at?” He said yes.

            I turned back to Glen and said, “If you close one of his leads, are you willing to pay him $500?” Glen said, “Depending on the deal, I might be willing to pay more than that.”

            Then I asked the young man whether he’d also be willing to be PAID for a deal he generated that successfully closed. Guess what he said?

            Both of these guys were really excited about this potential arrangement—because BOTH had the opportunity to get something they valued, and were willing to trade what they had (in Glen’s case, expertise and marketing money, in the new investor’s case, time and ambition) to get what they wanted (deals and knowledge, respectively).

            The only question now is, will both of them follow up on this mutually beneficial deal?

            Because either side could cause it to fall apart: I recently heard from a coaching student out of state that a leader in his group offered to help evaluate wholesale opportunities in return for half the profit, a deal that the student was happy to take. However, when he found what he thought was a hot prospect, the more experience investor basically ghosted him.

            And it’s super-common that the less experienced investor doesn’t follow through, too: I constantly offer members of my local REIA opportunities to work with me. I’ve made the same offer I set up between Glen and the new member; I’ve offered to help renegotiate wholesale deals that weren’t working (AND sell them, once they’re ‘fixed’) in return for half the wholesale fee; I even recently offered a guy who was stuck on negotiating a seller finance transaction to do the whole thing, including have the contracts drafted, provide any needed money, and help with the exit strategy, which he also didn’t understand, in return for a minority ownership interest in the property.

            Why? Because I want more deals, and I’m willing to trade pretty intense one on one training and resources for those deals.

            And you know how many people have taken me up on it in the last 12 months?


            This is largely, I think, because in order to “play”, the new investor has to be DOING SOMETHING—generating leads, putting properties under contract, actually FINDING deals that they need help with. It’s partly because our group offers so many resources that, with enough focus, it’s often possible to get answers without giving away any part of a deal. But I think it’s partly because new investors are—rightly—concerned about not understanding enough about what to expect (or, possibly, afraid of being taken advantage of).

            So yeah, it doesn’t work for, or with, everyone.

Nonetheless, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to successfully work with other investors, beyond just the “You have the money, I have the property” type of partnership that’s so common. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Both people have to understand and be good with the expectations. If you’re the new investor, and the main thing you want is a blow-by-blow account of what’s happening, and why, and access to every step of the deal, make this clear. If you’re the experienced investor, and what you want is specific deals to work on in specific parts of town, say so. Unstated, and therefore unrealized, expectations are probably the #1 reason that these arrangements go bad.
  • Both people have to be willing and able to do the work. I’ve heard tons of stories that go, “I sent so and so 500 leads and never heard a thing” or “I put up the money and he was supposed to do the work, but it’s been 8 months, and it hasn’t even been started” or “She said that if I found a hot lead, she’s walk me through it for half the profit, but she won’t return my phone calls”. In some cases, the problem is that one person has just promised something he doesn’t have the time to deliver; in others it’s that they don’t have the SKILL to deliver it. It happens, and if there’s a significant investment of money involved, you’d better have an ironclad agreement up front about what happens if the other person doesn’t deliver. If not, move on and find someone who can and will deliver what you need.
  • Both people must be ethical. It happens to both sides in these deals—experienced investors sometimes invest dozens of hours putting a deal together with a new investor, only the have the new investor sell the deal to someone and not “pay” the agreed-upon profit to the guy with the knowledge.

But mostly, I worry about new investors getting taken advantage of in these situations, because I’ve ALSO heard all the stories that go, “He said if I worked for him for free, he’d teach me all the ropes, but I spent 100 hours hanging bandit signs and all I learned was how to hang bandit signs”. And “He said he’d mentor me for free, but all he did was sell me a bunch of bad deals and tell me how good they were”. And “He said he’d mentor me for free and we’d split any deals I found, but then he sold one and made $10,000 and only gave me $500.” In some cases, I think these stories are user error or mismatched expectations, but in others I’m pretty sure they were unethical investors taking advantage of people. If you’re new, you should never, ever hesitate to ask other people about the reputation/experience of your proposed partner. It’s not insulting, and it’s not unusual, and if your wannabe partner tells you to keep what you’re doing together a secret, that should be enough evidence all by itself to keep you from working with them.

Don’t let the potential downsides keep you from trying to build these relationships, though: they’re extremely valuable, and can last a lifetime.

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Fixin’ to do a Rehab by Jerry Fink

Jerry Fink has been involved in various aspects of real estate for over 30 years.  In the early 2000’s, after being caught in another corporate downsizing, he went into real estate full time.  He’s my go-to for all things rehab, because his background as a CPA makes him very process-driven. He leads to all-day property tours at my Hands-On Wholesaling Academy, which is coming up again August 22-25

O.K., so you have gotten it into your blood, mind and soul that you want to be a Rehabber.  Take that ugly, smelly eyesore and turn it into the gem of the neighborhood.  No problem, right?  After all, you’ve watched all the shows on TLC and HGTV.  You know all about what countertops to choose…what color schemes will wow your buyers…and, that bathroom layout you have etched into your mind is killer….

Well, there may be just a bit more to it than you think.

In this article, I want to address some of the areas you will want to start with before ever lifting a hammer or paint brush.  Some of the things which, if done correctly ahead of time, will make your project run infinitely smoother, save you time and money, and allow you to keep any hair you currently have.

What Needs to be Done?

Believe it or not, this is one of the areas where most of us…even experienced Rehabbers…have some of our biggest challenges.  Do I replace the windows?  What about the furnace?  Should I use Home Depot countertops…Corian…mid-range?  There are a myriad of things to consider here, and the more experienced and wise you become, the closer you will be to “guessing right”.

For instance, one of the first things you must consider is:  Who is my end buyer / user – are you rehabbing for a landlord or for a retail buyer?  Vinyl flooring in a rental unit is just fine, but a retail buyer will really be impressed by ceramic tile in the kitchen and bath, and *may* be worth the extra cost.

So, once you have thought through who you are rehabbing for, and what “level” of rehab you are doing, you need to put together your “Scope of Work”.  In my business I have 2 levels of these; one for “Light Rehabs” (under $10K of work), and one for “Full Rehabs” where I am gutting a property, or getting into replacing complete systems.  For this article, I will be primarily discussing the Light Rehab Scope of Work.

How will you do this?  Do you think you will remember what needed to be done once you get home?  Not likely.  You could jot down some notes on a yellow pad, which would be better.  How about using a program that prompts you through all the common things which need to be done to a house?  Now we’re talking…

Over the years I have developed a program for doing just that.  It has line items for each component in each room.  I simply notate whether I am going to replace the duplex outlets or just the cover plates?  Is a new kitchen faucet in order?  What color should the living room be painted?

What Materials Will you Need and Where Will you Buy Them?

After you have decided what needs to be done, you will need to figure out what materials are required, right?  If you decided to change out the duplex outlets in each room, you need to add up how many and what color.  You need to calculate the number of single plate covers, and the number of double plate covers.  How much of that “oops” purple paint will you need to do that second bedroom?  And, how many trips to how many carpet outlets to find a suitable carpet at a price you are willing to pay?

I have to admit, early on I spent waaaayyyy too much time carpet shopping, and bargain shopping for this and that.  Finally, it occurred to me that MY TIME is worth more than that.  So, I went on a quest to find materials, and color schemes, and fixtures which work…and did the shopping just one time.

And, you may do just that.  Off you go.  Hours and hours at Home Depot and Lowes, the carpet outlets, the appliance store, the cabinet stores….and eventually you have come up with your list of appropriate materials.  So, now you simply marry your scope of work, to the materials needed, to the appropriate materials list, and the supplier list and you’ve got it made.  Well, pretty close to true.  You still have those pesky “sundries” items to consider:  Do we have any paint rollers left?  What about painters’ tape?  Did we use the last of the drywall compound (for patching)?  If you and your contractors are going to be efficient, all those things need to be available, too.

How about one better?  What tools will I (or my contractors) need to do what needs to be done?  Over time, I’ve even created a tools checklist, so I don’t have to hear my contractors sing “can’t do this today, because I forgot my whatchamagigger”.  Again, time saved, and productivity increased.

Who Will Do What, and When?

Ok.  So, you have decided what needs to be done.  What materials you or your contractors will need to do what needs to be done.  And, where you will buy those materials.  One main step to go before that first hammer is lifted.

If you have dabbled in construction, rehab, repairs, mechanics, etc. most of your life…your first inclination will be to do all the work yourself in the evenings and on weekends, and save all that labor cost.  Yeah, you can do that, and maybe do one or two rehabs a year.  That is fine if it is your hobby.  But one of the truisms of this business is that time is money.  Your single biggest enemy is not the cost of doing the rehab, but the cost of carrying that house.  Interest costs.  Gas and electric bills.  Taxes.  Insurance.  They will eat you alive.

However, if you are disciplined enough to get your scope of work completed, and organized enough to have your materials ordered and delivered, be smart enough to hire people to do the things that they do day in and day out.  I can hang and finish drywall, but the pros can have a house finished before I am through with one room.

I recently saw one of the Extreme Home Makeover shows where they built a 7 bedroom, 4,500 square foot home in under 55 hours elapsed time.  My head was spinning thinking about the logistics of pulling that off.  While we won’t be doing anything quite like that, the concepts are still valid – creating a coordinated workplan which will allow the right people, with the right skill sets, to have the right materials and supplies available and do their part in the overall project.  You can plan this on a napkin, or you can do it in an industrial strength program they may use to build a new stadium.  For the level of rehabs we do, a simple one-page overview chart works just fine.

Rehabbing a house can be an extremely satisfying experience.  To this day, I absolutely love going into a neglected or abused house and visualizing the end product.  I see the fresh paint and the new carpet.  I see the neatly cut-in landscaping beds.  I see that welcoming red front door setting off the blue siding and white trim.  I see the product that today’s buyers  and renters are looking for.

But the best part is this.  With the experience I have, and with the systems I have created, I can see all this in my mind…and I can watch it unfold…and I can manage it so much more easily.

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Fight Socialism: Be a Mentor by Pete Fortunato

            Don’t tell him I told you so, but I love Pete Fortunato. He’s the smartest man in real estate and a true guru’s guru. He’s also an unabashed libertarian who speaks and writes about things other than real estate, as in this article.

            Pete is making a rare REIA appearance in Cincinnati on April 4th. It’s just a 90-minute, no-sales presentation on how to use what you have to get what you want—including a mentor. If you can get there, do; there’s more information at  www.CincinnatiREIA.com

            It was a radio talk show. An apologist for my generation (baby boomers) was explaining about how we were all victims of the lies of the 1950’s.

            The speaker said that as children his generation had heard and read many Horatio Alger stories; stories in which a young, ambitious person dreamed of becoming a financial success and went on to turn that dream into reality.

            The speaker argued that he had believed that he, like the heroes in those stories, would create success for himself. Reality, however, is different than fiction and the difference had left him and his fellows disappointed and depressed.

            “We believed those stories!”, he said. “We set goals, worked hard and we still failed. Now people have given up. They no longer believe that they can create a better life.”

            The ingredient that existed in fiction but was not available to them in the real world, he alleged, was the mentor.

            In each Horatio Alger story, the successful entrepreneur discovered a mentor who was willing to teach an ambitious youngster. In the real world people are too jealous of what they have to share trade secrets with anyone. Successful people do not share and we fail and despair for lack of mentors, he concluded.

            I listened to the radio in disbelief. What I was hearing was in direct conflict with my experience. Every successful man or woman who I have met has been delighted to find a person who is interested in what they are doing. I have been advised and helped again and again.

            I was taught to choose carefully the people with whom I associate.

            I know that one takes on the attributes of those who surround him. Optimistic, forward-thinking, purposeful people have always been my friends. It can be (and should be) that way for everyone. Such people are generous in their encouragement and aid for anyone seeking to create a better future.

            The talk show haunted me.

            Maybe, as role models have changed from accomplished people to teachers in government schools, the majority of Americans have changed from people who work for what they want to people who vote for what they want.

            Maybe, as we have changed from a society of producers to a society of consumers a jealous American majority has come to believe that successful people are dominated by envy rather than by optimism.

            Maybe, as civilization has become more and more litigious, successful people who have much to offer have taken on such a low profile as to be unrecognized by others.

            In your world I know you have found business and financial friends. I urge you to cherish and nurture them. I hope that you will seek out and encourage others to stop hoping and start working to create a better tomorrow.

            Don’t let a promising person despair of finding support and encouragement.

3 Stages in Your Journey to Success

For whatever reason, a lot of real estate investor have this idea that a career path in real estate is strategy-based; we’re all supposed to start with wholesaling, move on to the bigger checks (and bigger complications) of retailing, then buy single family rentals, and then, we we’re really knowledgeable, wealthy and experienced, end up in apartments or notes.

In real life, there’s no such prescribed life cycle; lots of people start out in rentals, or even note-buying; I myself discovered wholesaling only after nearly 5 years in the lease/option business.

But there IS a path that we should all recognize and be on that has nothing to do with our age at entry, or our favorite asset class or exit strategy, and that’s the journey from trading our hours for (highly-taxed) dollars to having our lifestyles completely paid for by our assets.

This metamorphosis takes place in 3 stages, the terms for which were coined by the great Pete Fortunato.

     Starters are folks who are still learning and exploring the trade. They’re willing to do what it takes to get educated and to do the hard work of finding deals, which means that, in a sense, they’re still trading hours (spend finding, constructing, and managing properties) for dollars. If they’re smart, they’re doing all this work to set the stage for the next step in their evolution, where they can produce more of their income from more tax-efficient, less strenuous money created by owning assets.

Once starters begin to gather some real assets and see that those assets actually produce rental or interest income that the government doesn’t take so much of, they Estate Builders. Estate builders are in the process of acquiring enough property (whether that be single families, multi families, commercial properties, or even notes) to produce enough income to completely pay for their lifestyles. How much property that is depends on the type of property and what “lifestyle” means to the individual; as few as 10 or 15 paid-off single family homes could produce enough income to launch an estate builder into the final, and hopefully longest, stage.

When that happens, the estate builders become Enders, meaning that they no longer, for the rest of their lives, have to get ANY income from trading hours for dollars, nor do they need to get any more assets to live happily ever after. This doesn’t mean that the ender never does another deal, but she does it because it’s interesting, or helps someone else get started, or to set up the next generation of her family for wealth, not because she has to.

Obviously, most people who get into real estate, at whatever age and in whatever strategy, have as their goal to be an ender, as quickly as possible. They may not always be able to state that goal quite in the way I did; they’ll say things like, “I just don’t want to have to worry about money anymore” or “I just want to be making enough to stay home [or have my spouse stay home] with the kids” or “I don’t want to have to work until I’m 85”, but it all amounts to the same thing: “I want my assets working for me, so that I can do things with my TIME other than work for money”.

Each of these stages has its own set of challenges: with Starters, it’s  getting over the fear, getting the initial education, just sticking with it long enough to actually become estate builders. With estate builders, it’s about getting enough money to get all the properties they want to become enders, and about the fact that they typically have a lot of debt against their properties during this stage, and about finding the time to find deals when they’re also now managing x number of properties or assets AND, possibly, still working a job. With enders, it’s continuing to find significance when they’re reached a goal that they’ve worked toward for, often, decades.

Sadly, people in the various stages of their journeys don’t interact much.

A say “sadly”, because starters, estate builders, and enders have a lot to offer each other—and most of them don’t know it.

Let’s take a typical starter, who goes to a typical real estate association meeting, and quickly realizes that 70% of the people in the room are starters, just like him. But he’s determined to make connections with the “do-ers”, which is what he considers the estate builders in the room to be.

So what does he do? He introduces himself to every person he can find who’s done more than 10 deals, who seems to really understand the local market, and who no doubt has a lot of connections and resources that the Starter would like to know about. And then he says the fatal words: “I’d love to take you out to lunch sometime, and pick your brain. You can even choose the place”.

This poor starter quickly becomes shocked and disillusioned by how unfriendly and unwilling to mentor a new guy the successful people are. He gets reactions ranging from, “No, I don’t have time for that” to “I have a mentoring program; if you want to talk to me, you’ll join it” to, as I recently heard, “I’ll go to lunch with you for an hour if you pay for lunch AND give me $100”.

But let’s flip that around for a second and look at what’s happening in this scenario from the point of view of the typical estate builder. He’s done his time, had some success, learned a lot at the cost of a lot of hours and, sometimes, a lot of money. He’s busy—he’s still very actively working in at LEAST his real estate business, but might still have a job, too.

And he gets approached 10 times at every real estate meeting (that’s not an exaggeration) by a starter who’s worked up the courage to talk to him, with the request for “Just a minute of your time to ask one quick question”. If he answers all of them, he literally won’t get to go to the meeting he took time out of his busy scheduled to attend. And then he gets the inevitable “Can I take you to lunch sometime?” question, which to him sounds like, “Can I spend $30 to try to learn everything you know about real estate in an hour, and also to try to get you to help me anytime I need it from here on out?”

If the estate builder has been around that block a few times—and most have, if they regularly attend seminars or workshops or association meetings—he’s well aware that he can spend dozens of hours with a starter that he really DOES want to help, only to have that starter take none of his advice at all, and disappear off the face of the earth after a few months. Oh, and let’s remember that the estate builder may even believe he can really ‘help’, since he’s not an educator, and doesn’t have well-formed thoughts and opinions about what other people should do to get started, and maybe he’s an introvert on top of that, and the idea of eating a meal with a stranger is just totally unappealing.

The problem here isn’t that Starters are needy and greedy or that Estate Builders are closed off and unhelpful. It’s that neither person in this scenario is thinking about trading value. One is thinking about getting value, and the other is thinking about having to give one kind of value—actually financial instruction—without getting similar value in return.

What the starter SHOULD be thinking is, “What does this Estate Builder need, that I can provide, in return for what I need, which is help?”

And once you start thinking THIS way, the opportunities for each stage to work with the others are endless. Starters can bring leads, deals, sometimes money, energy, willingness to trade hours in construction, or putting lockboxes on doors, or taking pictures of vacancies, and trade them for the ability to tap the knowledge and resources of the estate builders. Estate builders can trade their knowledge for more opportunities—because if there’s one thing starters are good at, it’s beating the bushes for opportunities that they don’t know what to do with.

So starters, your main job is to get yourself educated in every way that you can, so that you can stir up opportunities that estate builders can participate in, while you learn, and so that the estate builders don’t feel like they’re obligated to teach you from scratch. Estate builders, your job is to understand what starters can do for you that you can’t or don’t want to do for yourself, and then give them what they really want—access to you—for those things, instead of just assuming they have nothing to offer. Oh, and to present this trade to them in a way that doesn’t make them feel belittled or victimized.

And enders? Your job is simple. Help the estate builders and serious starter get where you are, by helping them construct deals that they otherwise can’t, because what you want is purpose, and intellectual stimulation, and this will provide both—plus investment opportunities for all that cash you don’t know what to do with anymore.

If we all recognize that it’s OK to ask for value to give value, we can all be enders, faster.

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