Other easy business models like REI?

Hear me out, I’ve got a few questions at the end!:

Throughout my whole life I’ve heard of various business ideas where either a friend, family member, teacher, business associate, the internet, etc, told me that it was a very lucrative business. I’ve went through hundreds of these and I always dismissed them all for at least one of two reasons.

  1. It didn’t seem easy. (a lot of risk, or I needed to learn and master certain things for years to specialize in that type of business)
  2. It didn’t seem practical. (It just seemed like a get rich quick scheme that would never work)

But then I heard about REI and contemplated, did some research on it and heard about all the forms of unique marketing (absentee owners, DFD/Yellow Letters, Bandit signs, etc), the formulas to make a deal profitable, etc and what happened when I read all this is I just basically instantly knew that I stumbled upon something. This never happened to me before, every other idea I ran into I thought to be not worth it, or not feasible.

Sure enough, 3 weeks into starting REI and 40 some odd leads later, I landed my first deal which I wholesaled for $9,000, and have continued landing deals ever since.

Now, for me this just proved to me that my gut/reasoning (whatever you want to call it) was right, when I picked REI over the hundreds of ideas I dismissed before it. First attempt, and I get immediate success.

My questions:

  1. Did anyone else have a similar experience starting out, where they just SOMEHOW felt REI was leaps and bounds more practical, easy, and profitable for the average folk than all the other ideas they heard of in the past? And if so, has it turned out to be true for you so far?

  2. Have you ran into any other business ideas where it was just obvious off the get go that it was profitable, practical and easy to implement? If so, what was it? (Yes, I want to know :wink: I’m only working 15 hrs a week on REI so I need some new ideas)
    So here I am working 15 hrs a week, and doing well for myself and I’ve got all this extra time so i’m looking for another easy/profitable/practical business idea)

I always wanted to do REI and finally was positioned to do it several years ago. I had tried things in the past - Amway, Excel Communications, etc. I’d even spent money in college to get a book of what was supposed to be several different legitimate jobs you could work from home. I wanted something I could do in my spare time where I could get paid for my performance - whether that be envelope stuffing or assembling something. As you can guess, the only person who made money out of that deal was the one who sold me the book of “jobs.”

My wife and I made a really good first purchase for a rental. We’ve since made many more. Some months are really good. Some months are “other.” I would not say that rentals are really easy though. They’re more work than most people realize…especially when dealing with older houses and low income tenants. Wholesaling is a very different experience. You’re taking very low risk and then pocketing chunks of money at closing. You have to keep doing deals to make that work. I could never buy another house and just keep our current rental inventory full. We’d do ok like that. I don’t have to keep doing deals. I just have to maintain what I have and keep paying tenants in them.

We still invest in mutual funds for our Roth IRAs and 401k. Do I feel REI is superior over that and most other forms of investment? Yes. I like the ability to leverage with REI. I can put a percentage down and then finance the rest (or in some cases finance 100%) which allows us to control a much larger amount of real estate than our cash would buy outright.

We don’t and have not done wholesaling. It seems like many people start there with hopes to move into flips or even rentals for the long haul. You may want to look into some properties to buy and hold. Still REI, just different from what you’re doing and will give you long term income. I have a friend who is tied in with some other people developing and marketing products. He was very gun-ho in the beginning and was dreaming the “what-ifs” about how that could make him wealthy if they sold X amount of product. After several months of putting more money into it and not seeing huge results, he tempered his expectations and he’s not as excited about it or as involved in the projects anymore.

Most things require a fair amount of education, capital, and work to be successful. I’m not aware of anything that’s just really easy where someone can start and be tripping over money. If you hear of something, let me know though. It is good that you had success early on. That helps motivate you to keep going. If we lost a lot of money in the beginning on rentals, we probably wouldn’t be doing them now.

I would EXPAND what you are doing now…AND take Justin’s advise of acquiring…good…rental properties.

Nothing like steady income to complement what you are doing now…

Fuel the fire by expanding your present set up.

btw…NOT easy.