How We Do It…

In Early 2002 we both read a book that changed our life…

The book was called “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. After reading that book, the light bulb came on for me and the clearest idea entered my mind that got me set on creating passive income. My concern was that if something happened to me I wouldn’t be able to take are of my family. Within 3 weeks of finishing the book, we closed on our first 5 units, two duplexes and a single family house. We practically did all the work ourselves including minor plumbing and electrical. Although I didn’t know what I was doing in every case, you learn quickly when you get shocked or have a water line bust in your face or toilet back up, etc. We figured it out by shear will power and grit. As a matter of fact, we almost named our boat “True Grit” as a throw back to the movie based in Fort Smith about Rooster Cogburn as a US Marshal and his interaction with the young lady, Mattie Ross, in revenging the death of her father.

As we began our quest in 2002 to start accumulating wealth through the acquisition of rental property, we set a goal of acquiring at least 5 properties (or doors) per year. By 2018, we had accumulated over 150 units including a 74 unit apartment, 24 unit mini storage and over 50 single family houses and duplexes. After close to 10 years of apartment ownership and management on our own while simultaneously raising 3 active kids and managing a real estate office with over 30 agents…we realized… “We’re slowly killing ourselves!”.

It didn’t take us long to start planning a form of retirement, or at least slowing down… So, in February of 2018 at the Miami Boat show, we put our signatures on paper to order a brand new Leopard 50 from the factory at Robertson & Caine in Cape Town, South Africa. Knowing we’d have the boat in approximately two years, we had a few hurdles to jump over. First, we needed to have a transition plan for our real estate office. While we’ve seen broker/owners before just walk away, we wanted better for the agents we’d grown to love and poured so much time and effort into. We truly cared about their future as well as ours. In January of 2018, we officially sold, merged, blended with Weichert Realtors – The Griffin Company from Northwest Arkansas. Not only were they part of the same franchise, they had similar values, believed in training and education, and truly wanted to build the best real estate company in the region. The fit couldn’t have been better. As a part of our deal, I agreed to stay on for at least 3 years to continue training and managing as I’ve always done to keep things as normal as possible. As an unintended benefit, I became eligible to become an instructor for Clark Long Real Estate School (a division of the new company that allowed me to make a little additional side income). I personally know several people who have sold business’ and regretted it… I can say that the owners of Weichert Realtors – The Griffin Company are all men of integrity and do everything they promise and more. I would jump at an opportunity to go into business with any of them. Gary Griffin, Carter Clark, Brandon Long and Phillip Taldo. Each of them should be considered pillars of the community and don’t need my kudos to demand respect around the region.

The second hurdle we had to overcome was to get rid of our dang apartment complex. Sometimes referred to as “The Suck” as it literally sucked the energy out of us as it resembled adult day care. It was a “C-class” apartment complex with rents at $395 for a 1-bedroom and $495 for a 2-bedroom all electric and water paid! We were very nearing burn out and needed a break. We were ready to look into doing something for ourselves after putting in so much time working on building a business and focusing on acquiring more property. We often had the discussion… “Why are we working this hard? What are we doing it for?” Our first sailing vacation gave us a shared spark of possibility…