Over the years the most influential and loving person we as humans will be around is our mother. My Mother, Elva Mae Porter, was a heavy component in my life, and that remains even after her death which occurred last March in 2017.
She decided to become involved in my business and it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but one I would not have changed. I oftentimes compare us to Sanford and Son lol. She was Fred and I was Lamont. We argued, we disagreed, but at the end of the day we got it done.
In this article I’ll write about some lessons I learned from her that did make complete sense at the time she was trying to teach me, but now are worth more that gold.
Real Estate Investing Lessons From Mom
Investing Lesson #1 – Slow Down
First lesson I’m going to talk about is something my Mother said so much it became her mantra lol. My Mom would often tell me, “Jarnell, slow down. You are moving too fast.” Frequently we as real estate investors and professionals are always in a hurry trying to buy each and every house we can and trying to become a millionaire in one month.
In reality it is the tortoise that beat the hare. Often times we need to slow down, analyze, and grow our business at a pace that is manageable to our current situation. I have seen so many investors not be destroyed by the lack of deals, but by buying too many deals too fast, and not having the capital and experience to sustain the explosion of their growth.
Also real estate is a very detailed oriented business, Often times I see investors sign contracts without even reading them. There are a lot of harmful or one sided clauses that can be placed into a contract, and believe me I have been a victim to some of those clauses lol.
Slow down, take one step at a time, and focus on the deal in front of you. Two deals done successfully is better than doing five that end up so-so or end in regret.
Investing Lesson #2 -Value People
The second lesson my Mom taught me was to value people and not to view them as dollar signs. Many times we can look at people on the basis of how much they make and how much they can make us and not by their character.
A great example of this lesson is embodied in my experience as a Landlord with a tenant that I have rented to for years, that on paper just did not meet up to normal rental criteria. The lady and her daughter did not make three times the rent, did not have a car, but had great references.
This tenant was referred to me by one of our maintenance guys. He would tell me almost daily that he knew someone that needed a house to rent and that if I rented to them I would not regret it and they just need a chance. I gave them the chance they asked for and since that time I haven’t regretted a day.
Matter of fact I have highly enjoy renting to them and consider them one of the best tenants we have in our homes. They pay usually on the first of the month or no later than the third of the month, keep the house clean, and when they do rarely call for repairs – my maintenance crew is happy to address their needs because they are so appreciative.
Investing Lesson #3 – Money & Benefits
Another side of this coin is that often times people with money aren’t always a good fit for your business. The notation that all money isn’t good money is one that should always be in your head as a business owner.
Some lenders, business relationships, and even deals should just not occur if the situation does not benefit you and them in the long run. When looking for hard money private lenders we often have three interviews or meetings before we purchase a house together.
We interview our private lenders and we also suggest they interview us as a company before investing, Often times it’s not the interest rates and terms that destroy deals, but the “true’ expectations that ruin deals. A good example of this is if your lender needs his or her money back to them within a year with interest. What if your rental you may or may not be able to refinance that quickly – it may not be a great option for them or for your business to do the deal. Keeping everyone’s wants and needs in consideration is critical in our business deals.
Investing Lesson #4 -Honesty
The fourth lesson my Mom taught me was to always be honest. Don’t lie. If you say something do it. My Mom often told me, “I hate liars.” Don’t we all hate a liar lol. I have to admit that I have told some people some things and unintentional not done them.
When you find yourself in this situation as a business owner find a way to actually do what you say you was going to do even if it has been years ago and they forget, but you still remember. I have paid referral fees to people years after the deal was done.
I either forgot or just life happens and we can’t at the moment fullfill our obligation or simply forget. I paid one gentleman a $500 bird dog finder’s fee around Christmas time and he to this day said it was perfect timing. The guy totally forgot about it.
Since I paid the gentleman the referral fee we have become great friends and even are in negotiations to do a deal together. I never would have thought paying a referral fee would been so beneficial. Also it looks good and builds character when people know that you are a man or woman of your word.
You will get deals, opportunities, and peace of mind others who just see dollars won’t be able to take advantage of because people don’t trust them. Remember everyone hates a liar lol.
Investing Lesson #5 -Legacy
The final lesson I’ll talk about today is that my Mom taught me was leave a legacy. We all are on this Earth on borrowed time. When Jesus called my Mother home she left a legacy as a kind, wonderful, loving women, and one that did not take any mess lol.
In business are you doing what is right or stepping over others to get a dollar? Are you building bridges or burning them? Are you forming long and beneficial relationships or stabbing people in the back? I’ve come to the realization that in real estate there is a lot of money to be made, but to be seen as a reliable and trustworthy business professional is worth more than money, it is priceless. Money keeps your doors open, but your good name and word builds legacies.
In closing I would like to thank you for reading this article. This article has been such a blessing to write. It was about someone my mother, Elva Mae Porter, who molded me and loved me for 36 years of her life. So I have so many more stories to share, but these lessons are ones she drilled into me every day. Again thanks for reading and letting me share a little bit about my mother.
Have a profitable day and leave a wonderful legacy just as my Mom have left.
As always thanks for reading and successful investing.