Why do you do it?

This is a topic that may have been up in the past, but with only a week’s worth of time spent on this site I can’t be sure.

Here’s the question—Why do you folks who have been at this REI for awhile do it? What lit that fire for you? I know the easy answer is big $$$ or maybe even medium $$$, but in my mind I don’t really think that’s the driving force behind what put some of you on this track. I clearly understand making more $$$ is much more comforting than making a few $$$.

Here’s why I ask and my reason for writing here, reading here, taking RE courses and doing anything and everything I can to turn myself into a RE sponge. I don’t like working for other people—period. I work in corporate America but I’ve never been a corporate guy. But husbands and fathers do what they have to do to pay the bills and that’s what I’m doing now. I get no personal or professional satisfaction out of what I do right now. I’ll make the same $$ next year that I made this year and maybe 3-5% more than that the following year (woo-hoo). I see people who’ve been doing what I do for the past 15 years and I shudder when I think----that’s me in 2021.

But, when we bought our first home 5+ years ago I couldn’t wait to get in paint, landscape, clean it up and see what that did to the value (nearly double in 5+ years so I must have picked a good paint color). I consider this my first and hopefully longest flip.

So veterans and newbies alike, fill me in on what’s put you on this road. Thanks


Howdy Naperbill:

I LOVE doing deals. Like a carpenter who frames houses, the reward is in looking back and the end of the day or job and saying I built that. It is a great feeling to take a run down POS and make it useful again. I can not tell how good it feels when neighbors stop to shake my hand because I have cleaned up an eyesore in the area. It is also rewarding just doing deals, to find a bargain and to get the financing working against all the road blocks and meeting the challenge. It is a hassle dealing with inspectors and utility companies but when it all comes together I feel 10 feet tall because I did not give up. I love doing what I do and the money will come.

I also get the same feeling helping other get started and answering what questions I can on this forum. Some of the questions are silly, yes, but I am sure I looked silly doing my first deal. It just gives me a thrill to know I have helped someone and it also keeps me motivated and positive when I get down on myself when things are not going as planned. Stuff happens and you just have to put it in low gear and plow thru it.

I am sure you will get a different motivation from everyone. I, too would be curious to see people’s reasons for trying REI.

I am a computer consultant who gets paid by the hour. I don’t work, I don’t get paid. After years of arthritis slowing me down, I had to work less and less. (thus earning less and less)

I wanted to be able to make some passive income, so if I couldn’t walk, I could still have income. I looked at dozens of home business opps, read all those magazines, blah blah.

Then I saw the Carleton Sheets Infomercial. Don’t laugh. I’d seen it dozens of times before but this time I was ready to try it.

Sure I did it for the money, but my main strategy was to buy and hold so I could provide quality rentals to quality people. I thought I would be a good landlord… and I am.

I’m not rich, probably won’t be for some time, but I am growing and I have multiple revenue streams from REI that include positive cash flow, flipping, rehab, agent commission income on my own deals and property managemnt fee income. Then there’s the depreciation and appreciation, too.

There are soooo many ways to make money in this field.

Plus like Ted, I LOVE doing DEALS! My first one terrified me, my second one nearly drove me to insanity but since then it got better and better and better.

Good luck!


I think it takes a certain amount of passion and determination to make it in RE, and thinking differently to overcome the competition.
In my case, I just wanted to do something with my life as opposed to just being a stay home mom waiting for hubbys check. Becoming a Realtor sounded very flexible and what the heck…it was only a few 100 bucks to take the courses to see if I would like it.
Turns out I woke up and started smelling money that my class mates could’nt grasp. (some do, some dont and give it up)
Got my liscence, specialized in Farm & Ranch and have turned into a multi million dollar producer doing just about any kind of deal I could get my hands on including residential and investment. I’ve learned alot from my clients and have gotten myself to the point where all my business is coming from refferals. Nice commission checks.
Now it’s time for me to do what my investor clients are doing as time is becoming more flexible (kids are in school).
The doors are wide open when it comes to RE. Moreso than any other occupation I can think of.
Like Jeff, I also hung my liscense in a small firm allowing me to basically work from home doing my own deals. It was a tough start but is now paying off. All it takes is a cellphone, fax and computer,…passion and determination!
I was also terrified, and still am,…but it’s not going to stop me from reaching my goals of being able to retire while I’m still alive. 8)
And that’s just my story.


Great answers. I’m not the least bit surprised and I suspected as much. The only deal I’ve ever done is for my own house, but I remember that feeling of satisfaction I had when the neighbors (at least 30 of them) came by to tell us what a great job we were doing bringing it back to life. No more newspapers on the windows. No more 15 foot high sunflowers in the middle of the backyard. The evergreens that blocked the windows made great firewood. That was an awesome feeling. We worked our butts off and I never felt better about working in my life. That’s what I’m looking for in REI. The ability to find that “pig” in the middle of the neighborhood and not just put a dress on her, but do her nails, get her on a fitness program and teach her how to make nice with the neighbors and potential buyers. All of this, of course, at or below budget and on time.

thanks for the insights.


My reasons have pretty much been addressed, but I have a few more that also are important to me.
I love my office with all the bells and whistles that it takes me 30 seconds to commute to whenever I feel the need.
I adore the flexibility, after a military career and several start up company’s. Don’t get me wrong, I work hard, long and smart and love every minute of it.
I truly appreciate the ability to surround myself with highly motivated, intelligent and like minded investors throughout the country.
I like the fact that school is always in session and the hardest deals are my best teachers.
I love the creativity involved in assisting other folks.
AND…Last but not least
I get to drink beer in my underwear any time I want and still make money!!!


In the other post you had mentioned stopping by for beer when you were in town and I said you were always welcome.You never mentioned showing up in your underwear ???

He gets his beer via fax :beer:

Ain’t technology wonderful? ;D BTW, Dave about 2-3 times per week I do put pants on…
Thanks for the beer!

I’ve been at work all morning. Wrote up and submitted a contract plus took care of other stuff and I’m STILL in my PJs ;D. Wonderful way to make money!
Dave H…are you really sitting around in your underwear when I’m talking to you on the phone? :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, my turn.

I am a stay at home mom. Have been since I was 17! :o
I have done various work at home jobs all of which made someone else the real money.

I to depend on hubby’s check and I don’t like being that way. I know being a good mom/wife is a lot of work and one of the most important jobs in the world, but I want to bring home the bacon too!

My husband has a good paying job but he has to work out of town for it. Which sucks big time, especially for him when it comes to our kids. He misses so many things with them from school activites, seeing the baby grow and learn new things and all of those other great things parents should be around to see.

That is the other reason for me wanting to invest. So he can be with me doing this instead.

Also I have never liked the idea of leaving my kids at a daycare or with someone else so I could go work and fortunately I am in a position that I can choose to stay home. 90% of what I need to do with investing I can do at home.

AND I never went to college or learned anything useful in the business world so that pretty much crosses that idea off the list to. (Not that I want to do it anyway)

Obviously a big part in my choice to do this is the money but another thing that makes it worthwhile is I will get to help people in different ways. What other “job” could you get where you set your own hours make what YOU want to make and help people?

None that I know of.

Anyway, those are the main reasons for me.

You sound just like me 4 years ago :o. My hubby was also gone alot (US customs chasing bad guys then) all over the world, missing those first steps and words of our girls. That was back in the hourly wage/overtime plus pre-deim checks. Now since 911 he’s turned into management for Homeland Security on salary. Yeah,…he comes home everyday and only works 4 days a week, but the money is no better. After my RE courses and specializing in F&R he grabbed a major interest in this field because he didn’t like the idea of me showing 100s of acres in the middle of god knows where to god knows whom. He then became an assistant to the firm where my liscence hangs and started showing (and ONLY showing) ranches to potential buyers that I felt uncomfortable with alone out in the boonies. Now we find our selves going in different direction (he’s out showing acreage on his days off while I’m dealing with other clients) doubling the income. We both enjoy it and plan to start rehabbing ourselves.

I can’t believe how similar you guys are to us! My “plan” is to bird dog for a while and get some experience/money saved up and then buy to rehab ourselves, then keep some of the better ones for rentals and THEN get into new construction. I like to make house plans and imagine what they would look like, how they could be decorated etc. and he has the skills/experience and contacts to get it built.

My husband feels the same way about me going to see houses that are for sale. He wants me to wait till he can go with me. ::slight_smile:

I don’t blame him but I can’t wait till he is home if someone wants to sell their house quick. Luckily I found an investor to work with that understands. I do all the research, mailings, talking to them on the phone etc. and he’ll go check out the property. He’ll still pay the same % (or so he says). We’ll see…

That is a big relief for me though. Even if I did go and see them, I have the little one with me and it’s hard to be taken serious when your chasing around a 2yr old ;D

PM me when ever you want I’m online a lot throughout the day. :slight_smile:

Howdy, for me. My reason for getting inteerested in real estate investing is to spend more time with my family. Currently I’m a web tester working in south florida. My home is in Central Florida. That means i get to use my house and see my fmaily 2 days out of the week. The rest is devoted to paying the bills… That is my WHY i amdoing this. Well, the fact that when I actually do my first short sale, will really kick my investing into overdirve.

  1. Carpal tunnel. I’m in IT. I’m fairly certain I have what I call “IT syndrome” a particular fatigue from being near computers ALL THE TIME. I type a lot. my wrists hurt. I know the clock has started ticking for me in this field. When I change careers, I need some passive income to cushion to loss of pay. If my business plan works, I will not need to work in another industry. I’d probably go non profit and help some folks.

  2. My children are getting older. They need me at their games, school plays, or just good old rap sessions about life, boys etc. During the last 6 months of 2005, I missed more time in my children’s lives than any other. Why? Work. I put myself in the greatest risk for dying than any other. Why? Work. I worked so many long hours getting project work done. Leaving in the wee hours of the morning, the only one in the building. Coming home, crashing on the sofa, still in work clothes. Days went by and I didn’t know what was going on at home. That may not be a big deal, but for me, I didn’t even know whether or not my kids ate, had had a bath, or had a bad day. No idea. Why? Exhausted from work. Busting ass at work. And for what, I ask? To have the honor of coming back the next day and doing it all over again.

I apologize for the minor rant, folks. It was just 2 hours ago I was talking with a friend about whether I should risk getting into real estate investing. I’ve dug myself out of debt (by 3-6 weeks from now, I’ll be debt free with money to invest) and I just wanted to recouperate. Somewhere along the line, corporate america has taken the life out of me. The edge is gone. I’ve become a drone. Get up, drive to work, work, drive back. eat, go to bed, repeat.

I don’t know what to do to get that edge back. But I do know, they can’t have any more of what’s left.


For me, the biggest reason is the dream of spending more time with my family. Although I love working for Microsoft, I missed my son’s first steps (I was in Canada) and I’m going to miss my daughter’s first soccer game this Saturday because I had to travel to Redmond this week. My kids are still very young, but I want to be more involved in their lives as they grow up. Hopefully REI will enable me to be there more often for them.

The extra money will be great, obviously, as my wife stays at home with our kids.

I think it boils down to a “quality of life” issue for me, really.

I agree with hanatal it’s the fun of playing the game too :o