Using Experience to Recognize my Introverted Personality and Overcome

Is Being Middle Age a Secret Weapon?

Coming up next week  is a local real estate investor’s meeting.  In a previous post I mentioned how exhilarating attending an earlier meeting was – meeting people actively working in real estate who were speaking the language I have been reading for a decade.  

Despite my excitement, this meeting will actually be a challenge for me – I am not an  extrovert. By nature I am not outgoing, I do not enjoy being placed in groups, and am generally happier observing rather than calling attention to myself.

How the heck am I gonna work in real estate?   It is the ultimate people and relationship building business where your network helps determine success.  

Can I overcome that?

Yes, and the reason I know I can is in part because I’m middle aged.  This is one of those circumstances where my age works to my benefit and I can capitalize on the experience that I have already earned.  

Knowing myself (after rolling up a few miles) has allowed me to discover that I am a “learned extrovert”.  I have recognized my introverted personality, and have developed a skillset to overcome that tendency (and for this meeting, a challenge).  I understand when the situation calls for me to be outspoken or introduce myself to people, I can step outside myself and become outgoing.  

I am going to use a checklist as a crutch – nothing difficult, but three simple items that will force me to introduce myself to people and carry a conversation rather than hiding in the back of the room.

  1. Hand out five business cards to people
  2. Ask two people for recommendations for a real estate specific tax advisor
  3. Start the search for a couple people I could ask for advice as I move forward

Next week I will give you an update on what the meeting covered, if I hit my goals, and whether attending a real estate investing meeting is worthwhile.  

How to Feel About Being Middle Age

Is the best yet to come?

When I was a teenager I had a marked conversation with my grandfather.  At that time would have been in his late sixties or seventies, my grandfather was an amazing man that I admired greatly.  He helped shape who I am (sometimes in unconventional ways) and always took the time to talk with me. He was a good man who worked hard, was a successful entrepreneur and enjoyed his life. 

I had asked him what period of time in his life was he the happiest, and with the brief pause he answered his fifties.

Being young I had absolutely expected him to say his twenties. When I pressed him further, he explained to me that in his fifties his kids had grown up, they were in college and doing well.  The business he had started with his partner was on solid ground, he was in relatively good health and had the time and money to do what he wanted.  

This conversation stuck with me immediately and tightly for over 20 years, even though I still don’t feel I can wholly define its depth.  Despite the new morning ritual middle age has gifted me of listing of what body parts ache as I totter out of bed, I take away from our conversation is hope.  There is reassurance to the thought that being 50 isn’t the end of something. It was the happiest period of my grandfather’s lucky, outstanding, fun life.  

I am not at the same place at 40 where my grandfather was at 50, but I am not in a dissimilar place to where he was when he was 40.  I am hopeful that with diligent work I can earn the success I am aiming for.  

Reality and Goal Setting

How to Eat an Elephant

   During my research for real estate I frequently run across sites and gurus who often identify the importance of having a clear vision of goals and making measurable progress toward them.  A goal I set last year was to obtain my real estate license by the end of 2019.  

   Unfortunately, I did not meet this goal on time.  

   Am I disappointed?  

   Yes – I wish I would have been able to tell you that in the middle of December I successfully took my test. 

   During the fourth quarter of 2019 I did accomplish several other important steps necessary in becoming a real estate agent and investor.  I contacted a nationwide real estate agency and ordered the testing books from them. I also had an interview with the person who on-boards their new agents at the local office. That was terribly exciting and felt like I was making measurable progress.  

   In November I went to a real estate investors meet up at a local bar. It was excellent. I heard people talking the language that I have been reading for the last 10 years, making deals, and actually doing the things (investing in real estate) that I want to do in real life.

   Even though I did not meet my goal, I am not allowing myself to be overly critical of this failure.  I have a full time job outside of real estate and I coach youth hockey. My family is incredibly important to me, and I need to spend time with them.  Finally, the one thing that was taking up the majority of my spare time is that I was attending graduate school for my 9-5 job.  

   I have often set goals that are not realistic, but I do not want to lower my expectations.  Sometimes I hit my goals, and sometimes I am going to miss. For example, I was able to achieve certification in my 9-5 in just over a year (and would have been faster if it wasn’t for the speed of government), when I was told it would likely take three to five years.  

   The goal of earning my real estate license was not achievable within the timeline I set.  One of the benefits of being middle age, is that I am (slowly) realizing missing a goal is not a terminal failure.  Right now I am extremely excited about studying for and obtaining my real estate license, but I am not going to lose sight of what is most important.  

I have set these goals for 2020: 

  • Acquire my real estate license by May 1st 
  • Participate in three real estate transactions within the year
  • Obtain a cash flowing rental property within the year

   Ultimately I have to remember that this is not a one year all or nothing experiment, but there are many things that I have to accomplish one little step at a time in order to be successful.

So how do you eat an elephant?  

One bite at a time.

How to Ask for Help or Finding a Mentor

Reaching Out to Find Knowledge

After conducting research on the industry, I solidified my plan to become a real estate agent toward the last quarter of 2019. Obtaining my agent’s license felt like the right path to make connections and gain understanding in the business while also earning money for my efforts.

Part of that research included contacting the real estate agent who helped me purchase my home.  Successful real estate agents seem to hustle and focus their efforts. Knowing that helping me would take time away from them focusing directly on their business, I tried to streamline the process.  

Following tips learned from bigger pockets about how to reach out to people when asking for help, here are the steps I took:

  • I sent them a text asking if they would have a few minutes to speak with me
    • I also requested a specific amount of time so they knew I had an agenda
  • Once they agreed, we set an appointment to talk
  • As anxious as I was to get right to the point, building relationships is important, so I made certain to speak with them about their family
  • I asked questions I had prepared before the conversation and stayed on topic

The phone call went extremely well, and I had a great conversation with them.  Even better – the agency’s broker basically grabbed the phone from them and started talking to me, trying to answer all my questions. It was a very cool experience because it showed how much interest these people had in their industry,  and their willingness to help out a newbie with no immediate personal gain. Best yet, it solidified my determination to obtain my license.  

Is this agent or broker my mentor?  No, but they gladly answered my questions and provided advice.  Because I told them how much I appreciate their help, had prepared before we spoke, and did not waste their time I am confident I could obtain more advice moving forward.  

Do you see any steps I missed?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Or please share your own experience on reaching out to gain knowledge. 

Becoming a Part Time Real Estate Agent While Working a Full Time Job

My Situation

I am currently employed by a small municipal government and work a full 40 hour week.  I am hoping to work in real estate as an agent part time to supplement that salary. Additionally, I have ambitions of owning rental property and I feel like becoming a real estate agent will be helpful.

Most of my time in the workforce has been with either a city, state or county government. 

There are many aspects of working for the government that are outstanding:  

  • I really love helping people
  • I (and my wife) enjoy having solid benefits
  • Having a reliable paycheck and knowing what is going to be on it

At the same time working with the government is frustrating: 

  • The government moves at its own speed (slowly)
  • Citizens blame public employees for high taxes in one breath, and expect greater services with the next
  • The benefits and pay are not as good as they used to be
  • No matter how hard I work, I will make the same amount of money

I am looking forward to starting something where limits can be set high, and where hard work will have a direct impact on what I bring home. 

It will be difficult to balance both becoming, then being an agent with my position.  I hope documenting the challenges and successes will be helpful to anyone else who is thinking of doing the same.

In the future, I am going to talk about why I chose real estate as the avenue to help me increase earning and my net worth.

“Am I too Old to become a Real Estate Agent?” or “Am I too Old to Invest in Real Estate?”

The Journey Begins

I distinctly recall the day I walked to my work car and caught my reflection in the window; for the first time in my life this thought occurred:

“$%&*, I look middle aged!”  

Not old, not young, but distinctly, severely middle aged.  

I have been interested in building wealth through real estate for the last ten years.  Probably like many of you, I have lurked on the site, listened to hundreds of podcasts, and read books.  I have practiced running the numbers on too many rental properties to count, without actually making an offer.  

I recently decided to obtain my real estate license, and am hoping to marry this along with purchasing small multifamily properties in my area (the Midwest).  Google is peppered with questions from people my age asking “Am I too old to become an agent?” or “Am I too old to invest in real estate?”

Well, let’s find out together.  

A bit of research seems to indicate becoming a real estate agent is not an uncommon path for people who are middle aged and looking to either transition careers or supplement their income.  My age will probably provide both advantages and disadvantages; I hope to explore it all. I am attempting to go down this path methodically; however, life is going to dictate how efficiently I will proceed.  My goal is to use this blog to document my progress and share the realities of balancing family commitments, professional aspirations, personal financial goals and trying my best at everything. I look forward to sharing my triumphs and my failures so we can all learn together.  

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P.S.  I don’t feel being middle aged is a bad thing:)