If you think this is about money, read on.
Every year I want to improve. I want to be stronger, smarter, more impactful and better balanced. I can look back on each year of the last five and easily characterize my life and happiness based upon those attributes. 2020 for me, just like many, was a tough year.
For starters, I had a tough day job. Late 2019, I had taken a Sr. Manager of Supply Chain role at a company that needed help with improving processes and morale. Working in a turnaround situation, having the responsibility for managing others, improving morale, creating processes for compliance, plugging in holes to better support operations, all the while dealing with a slew of fires that could (and did) come up at any time. This was a lot. As I would tell myself and others, this season of fast pace, unforgiveness and pressure was a marathon and not a sprint. I had to take it one day at a time, and I needed the self-control and discipline to keep myself sharp emotionally and mentally.
In spite of the daily challenge of patching a broken system with my job, goals were being met in my personal life. By purchasing a new primary residence, we were able to obtain a second rental out of our hold owner-occupied property. From here, I decided to make the shift in focus on multi-family.
Growing the rental portfolio was great, of course, but we must acknowledge the pandemic. March 2020 became a very scary month for many people, including myself. We had just moved into our new home and felt like we were thriving. Just soon as we secured a second tenant, we learned about the nationwide possibility of tenants missing rents due to shutdowns and not going to work. This was especially concerning for those who could not work remotely (This would have high impact affect non-professional jobs, precisely my tenant base).
Since I was self-managing my rentals at the time, I needed a solid plan to manage the possible missed rent payments. I read and listened to mixed reviews of how landlords would engage their tenants in this new environment. Some were already talking about filing for forbearance with the lender. I thought that was way too premature. Others said to stick to your guns on rent collection, which is understandable. Some advised to have a conversation with tenants early on.
I decided to do the latter and proactively address the potential for hardship with my residents. I sent them a notice first expressing my concern for their well-being and that they are in my thoughts. I advised them that during these tough times, it can be scary and difficult, and for that reason, for the next three months we would lower rent by $100 per month. It would be unexpected for them and only a $600 total impact to me. Both residents were extremely grateful and guess what…they did not miss a single month of rent. Take care of people.
Another more personal impact impact from COVID was watching my sister-in-law get laid off from her job while she was visiting us for spring break. That was an unexpected event and hard time for her. Hearing of unemployment shooting through the roof is one thing, seeing it firsthand is another. Thankfully, she has moved on to bigger and better things and has even had the opportunity to move to beautiful Melbourne, FL because of it. With every challenge is an opportunity
With all these experiences – work, rentals, COVID, sudden unemployment for loved ones – I had a realization. Life is tough as heck. I have four tiny babies and what feels like the weight of a the world on my back. I bet you feel the same. Earned income is great and pays the bills, but there are two problems: 1) It’s a grind every day when your job is tough 2)It can end. I saw these things first hand. In July 2020, I said to myself, let’s shift and make some changes.
Already wanting to shift to Multi-Family, I learned about apartment syndication and decided I would build the foundation for this business model. I started getting up at 4 a.m. every weekday to work on my business, started this blog, went to my first apartment syndication conference, began networking and soaked up all I could. In October, I formed Robinson Capital. Since then so many great things have happened. With my work as a supply chain professional, I made it through successful milestones and found a great point in my role to transition. I was then able to take a more enjoyable role at my old company, where I am happier and adding value as a leader within a supply chain organization I have supported in the past.
For the real estate business, I refinanced both rentals, organized and structured some business systems and obtained property management for the rentals so that I can focus on scaling. Multiple industry leaders have graciously invited me as a guest on their podcasts where I talk about multi-family investing. Finally, I feel great satisfaction from regularly helping others make a shift in their mindset for wealth-creation through passive income and take steps towards diversification and the other great benefits of real estate investing.
I’m smarter and a deeper foundation is laid for my mission. I am excited about the future.
What about you?
This is why I am richer in 2021. When I think about all of this, I do not think about money. Of course, financial wealth is also being created. But I am talking about personal growth and freedom. This is not about quitting your job. It is about the freedom to live your best life, without the pressure of working so hard to get that paycheck check every two weeks. When your passive investments begin to snowball, the pressure is off of you for getting that ration of earned income. You know what happens then? You behave differently at work. You stand up for what you believe in! You do better work. You think about living your best life. You choose to take a vacation. You do not settle.
I want this for you. The mindset of wealth (that is not just money, but time) creation for all is my deepest passion. You have to get educated. Stop buying liabilities and begin saving and investing. Read the Learn to Invest blog and grow. Learn about the concept of passive investing, diversifying, the wealth-building power of real estate, real estate investing fundamentals and how working professionals can invest. Sign up for my newsletter below, ask me questions. Let’s grow together – for our future generations.
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Rodney Robinson II