One of the messages I am constantly sharing with my students is the need to
get out there and do whatever it takes to get that first property under their belts.
It is scary and intimidating, but it is also a magical threshold.
Once you get that first deal done you will find a liberating courage that
will make you many times more effective in every aspect of your investing. It is
all based on the power of belief. After your first deal you will have a growing
sense of belief in your ability to put these deals together. Because of this belief
you will be more persuasive with both motivated sellers and hungry buyers.
I’d like to share with you the story of one of our coaches, Gary. It comes
from his first purchase option deal. As my students who work with Gary know,
he’s quite a sharp investor. But believe it or not he made lots of mistakes on his
first deals too! And because he survived them and went on to be quite successful,
you know that you can do the exact same thing.
Here, in Gary’s own words, is the story of his first deal:
“A while back Continental Airlines was moving its base out of the city I was
living in. This meant a lot of employees of the airline had to relocate.
I had a friend who worked for Continental at the time. He helped me get
flyers into all the flight attendant’s mailboxes. Basically all the flyer said was
that if they needed to sell their home I could help them do it quickly and easily.
One of the flight attendants who was being transferred to another base city
called me. She needed to sell her property. She had tried to get a property
management company to rent out the place but they were going to charge her 10
percent of the rents collected PLUS maintenance on top of that. Besides, do you
think some big property management company with hundreds of units to rent
out really cares about a single house?
By putting myself in the seller’s position I realized that she just wanted out.
She didn’t care about making a profit, only that she came out even. We went
back and forth for a little while and finally agreed on a price of $41,000 –
$4,000 BELOW the value of the home.
I also gave her $800 option money to lock in the right to buy the condo at
anytime over the next 6 years (this is called a “lease purchase”.) Now I know
better than paying any up-front option money if I can work it out that way. But I
learned so much from this deal that it was OK that I made that mistake.
I was renting the place from the seller for $550 a month and I got a $50 a
month credit. (That little $50 a month gave me an extra $1,800 at closing which
was a nice little treat.)
I found a tenant who also wanted to buy the property on a three- year
purchase option contract. He paid me $1,500 up-front option money (meaning
after I subtracted the $800 I paid up-front gave me an immediate $700 profit.)
He also agreed to buy the condo for $49,000. He paid $650 a month in rent.
That gave me a $100 a month positive cash flow on the property.
He moved out after a year (he decided they didn’t want the place) so I
found another tenant-buyer and collected another $1,500 option payment. Again
this person left after a year. So I found my third tenant-buyer and collected my
third $1,500 option payment, and this buyer ended up buying the place. (By this
time I was charging $725 a month in rent, which gave me a positive cash flow
of $175 a month.)
The bottom line was I made $12,000 from a tiny deal on a $45,000 property
over three years. The seller loved me. The buyer loved me (she actually cried at
closing! She thought she would never be able to own her own home.) And I
learned so many valuable lessons just by getting out there and doing my first
It only took me a few hours to sign the deal up, and several more to find a
tenant-buyer each year. I had to spend less then five minutes time keeping the
deal going each year after I had my tenant-buyers. I collected and deposited one
check each month from the tenant-buyer, and wrote out a separate check to the
seller each month. It was just so easy. That’s why I love purchase option real
estate so much.”
So get out there and do whatever it takes to get that first deal done. It will
give you the confidence and the skills to go on and make a ton more money.
I struggled to get my first few deals done so I can relate if you’re finding that
your real estate investing is taking you longer than you hoped to get started. Stick with it.
I hope this article helps.
In 1990 Peter Conti jumped into real estate and went from auto mechanic to self made millionaire in 3.5 years. Since then he’s helped thousands of other people transition into commercial and residential real estate. Today Peter limits himself to working one-on-one with a few experienced business clients so they can add real estate as an extra revenue stream onto the success they’ve already experienced. When he’s not traveling to visit his kids and grandkids, Mr. Conti lives on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife.