A Thanksgiving Reminder…

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Blog | 7 comments


Thanksgiving1For the last 11 years I have been involved with real estate in various capacities, including as a realtor, broker, investor, and trainer. I am extremely passionate about what I do and there are few things that give me a greater sense of fulfillment. My business gives me the opportunity to help people. Whether it’s assisting a homeowner with the sale of their home, saving someone’s property from foreclosure, or helping a buyer purchase a slice of the American Dream, I know that what I do truly makes a difference in people’s lives. For that, I am extremely thankful.

Below is a letter that I wrote to some of my real estate investing students a few years ago. I set aside time every Thanksgiving to read it again, and I am always extremely uplifted and encouraged by my own words. It’s a little longer than most of my posts, but I encourage you to try and carve out a couple extra minutes and read it through to the end. My prayer is that it will bless you in reading it as much as it did for me in writing it. If you get a chance, post some feedback at the bottom about what you’re thankful for this year, in business and in life. And, of course, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

“This past week I was reminded again why I became a real estate investor. Of course I was always excited about the possibilities of earning vast amounts of income and building a substantial net worth. I used to stay up at night dreaming of residual or passive income and the financial freedom that could come from it. But when I really started working on a full-time basis with motivated sellers, I discovered that the rewards reached so much deeper than I could ever imagine.

I still remember my first deal like it was yesterday. My hairdresser (yes, the one from Fantastic Sam’s) told me that her boyfriend was about to lose his house to foreclosure. After meeting with him, I found out that his primary goal was simply to get rid of the house. It represented an anchor to him that was preventing him from setting sail, metaphorically speaking, to the responsibility-free world of truck driving. Within 30 minutes of hello, he had deeded me the house, I had agreed to take over his payments, and we had creaxbox-christmasted a true ‘win-win’ situation. But the winning didn’t end there.

After I fixed up the house, I listed it on the market for $43,000. Within 3 days I received a call from a nice gentleman named Richard who was interested in buying the house. Richard was recently divorced and had sole custody of an adorable 5 year old boy. He had decent credit, but he didn’t have much in the way of a job history, nor did he have any money for closing costs. After some hard work and diligence by my good friend Chris Carter, we were able to get him financed. I paid for all of his closing costs, and just before Christmas, Richard and his son had a place to call home.

I knew that the move had depleted the meager amount of savings that Richard had built up, and so for a closing gift I bought Richard’s son an X-Box and a few games to go with it. I can still remember how his innocent face just lit up when he ripped open the package. As the MasterCard commercials puts it…PRICELESS. So, let’s now factor in the look of excitement on that young boy’s face and the ability to give Richard’s small family a home of their own right before the holidays. Make that a win-win-WIN deal.

Until recently, I had mistakenly thought that there were only 3 winners, but oh how small is my vision! This past weekend I held an open house at one my rehab properties and I thought it would be a good idea to send a postcard to the surrounding neighborhood. My ingenious, entrepreneurial thought was that perhaps they have friends or relatives that may want to live where they live OR they’re renters and would like to own a home of their own without moving their kids to a new school district. Well lo and behold, the neighbors did show up, but it wasn’t to buy. They simply wanted to say… ‘Thanks.’ One after another neighbors came by to let me know how appreciative they were that I had fixed up the house. One of my mentoring students even went by the day after the open house, and they were approached by a neighbor who requested that they tell me thank you as well. So, let me correct myself once again. We investors are in the sf_happythanksgiving3_02business of creating Win-Win-Win-WIN deals.

You see, I had taken the neighborhood eyesore and made it pretty again. Suddenly everyone’s property values went up, along with their own pride in the neighborhood in which they reside. Slowly but surely we as investors are making our streets & neighborhoods, and eventually our states & our nation a better place to live, proving once again that we CAN change the world.

So, on the eve of this Thanksgiving, as we gather around the table in thanks for our family and friends, let us also thank God for our unlimited potential as human beings and the capacity within us to achieve greatness in our lives. Let us all work on the one thing that we have power to change…ourselves. As we ‘rehab’ our mental mindset and view of the world, adopting the golden rule as our mantra, we can make great strides in changing our circle of influence. As we encourage others to do the same, we can eventually raise not just our property values, but our personal values as well. It is then that we can truly change the world, one person (and one house) at a time.

God Bless You All and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!”

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7 Responses to “A Thanksgiving Reminder…”

  1. Lisa Rodgers says:

    Matt, what a great share,. Thank you for being the mentor you are and sharing your passion with us all. I so agree to Realtors, Investors, Trainers, whatever your calling and passion may be. We have such an awesome opportunity to make a difference in so many with and only 1 transaction. I too love to help others realize they can and are a part of the ” Dream ” of owning Real Estate. The beauty is not the House, Brick and Mortar, Waterfront Condo, all that is Nice to look at. The real beauty is the experience and the VALUE added to each person touched by that experience. I am and always will be a “student” and learning the trades and ways to Invest, sell, market and hold Real Estate. I also will share, encourage, mentor and be a part of the greatest experience helping others along the way. Thanks Matt for leading. God Bless you and Family, Happy Thanksgiving…. Lisa

  2. Hi Matt. Great post. When I was working in the mortgage business, that was my favorite part as well…helping people. When you help to change other people’s lives for the better it can change yours too. I got so much out of those years and truly loved my job. I am hoping real estate investing can be the same. Thanks for all your help so far. You definitely seem to live out the principles of win-win relationships.

  3. George Conner, Jr says:

    There is nothing better than an investor with a Big heart. It is a great feeling to see a family buy one of your houses with your help.
    I paid the closing cost for a young nurse with 2 small girls because she was scrapped and couldn’t close. She started to cry. I reached over, touched her hand and told her with a smile” suck it up and enjoy the house”.
    The uneducated politicians, other group of people in real estate and non-motivated sellers see investors as rip-off artists. If only they would take the time to see what investors accomplish, ALL LEGAL. But then again that wouldn’t be such a good idea. Happy Thanksgiving to ALL.

  4. Wade Bradley says:

    This account represents a totally new perspective for me as a design professional. I decided to study architecture in part because of a desire to help people solve problems and also to have a tangible impact on the world around me. In my profession it is widely believed that architects have a duty to plan for the future development in urban areas and in some ways help deal with social issues by planning housing density, transportation and infrastructure. I have never felt particularly connected to this type of planning simply because the scale is so large you lose the ability to relate on a personal level to what is designed. This re-use and repurpose idea of helping someone solve a problem by buying our finding a buyer for a property is very appealing and not something I ever thought about before just a few months ago. It has opened my eyes to the profound impact one person can have on the surrounding neighborhood and the lives of those that live near a distressed property. I appreciate the insight and look forward to making a positive difference on my world in the near future.

  5. Very inspirational and Yes, professional and ethical Real Estate Investors do have the power to change our world and make it a better place.

    Despite any challenges, we should all be Thankful for the opportunity our fine nation provides us today. Although we have roadblocks from a certain group of politicians and others, at least we all have the chance to improve our lives and our World.

    To all our fellow members and future members of the Professional Investors Guild, enjoy your Thanksgiving, your Families and Friends.

    See you @ the next meeting.

    Semper Fi!!!

  6. The Private Citizen because of their self-interest benefit other Citizens. Private Enterprise backed by Private Property Rights enables the Person to conduct their activities to uplift themselves only if that Person is able to give value to the other Person.

    The Freedom to Choose.

  7. Adrian, NHI Properties, LLC says:

    Paying it Forward,
    Always a nice feeling, especially when it involves kids at this time of year!

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