I’m gonna try something new here. I have always used this blog to give practical advice and updates about real estate. I’ll confess, the original goal of blogging was to attract clients. The past several years, most of my work has come from people I know and have worked with before and those referred to me from those same people. I occasionally get found by great people through this blog or a dormant Youtube channel I made 10 years ago. Long story short, I have enough of a pipeline that I don’t have to chase new work. It finds me. I am also at the point in life where I can really just enjoy my work. Whether I sell 25 houses or 100 houses a year doesn’t matter to me.
I still plan on using this platform to give practical advice and my thoughts on real estate. I think since most of my readers are now people I know, I might occasionally get into a bit about what I am up to personally. This will be one of those ideas that will be great or terrible, so let me know what you all think.
Here we go!
A lot has changed with me since the beginning of COVID. I don’t think much of it really has to do with COVID, just more of a timing thing where many other things that were on the burners all came to a boil at the same time.
I had a mid life crisis. Nobody ever noticed though since I already had several sports cars, lol. My business peaked about the same time my kids were grown and didn’t need me as much as they used to. I realized that I could no longer grow my business without forming a team, which I did not want to do. I want all my clients to have me 100% of the time when they need me. I was doing as much work as a team of two or three realtors. I simply could not do any more work so I realized I had reached my peak. I sort of didn’t know what to do with myself. I had spent the past many years trying to get to where I had just arrived. All I knew how to do was climb. I wasn’t prepared to maintain. I had no other hobbies other than cars. I sort of felt bored with life really. I didn’t know what to do with myself other than just work. I went back and forth on if I should just be happy maintaining my business like it is or if I should start a second business. Well, I did something else. Instead of basing my personal feeling of success on how much time I spent working or how many houses I sold, I made the goal just enjoying the time I spent working and being with my clients. I am much happier now.
Then I had the perception of a financial crisis. I guess this is the only thing that was sort of related to COVID. I have 11 rental homes in Lexington, Winchester and Nicholasville. When the government started the eviction moratorium, I thought nobody would pay me and I would end up in a mess. I am a good planner. I try to think of every possible risk and have a plan for it. I never once entertained the idea that I might collect no rent from any house AND not be able to evict for non-payment. Fortunately I have a knack for picking the best tenants and maintaining a great relationship. I am told all the time that I am the best landlord my tenants have ever had. I respect that while I own the house, it is their home. I am responsive to fix things when they break. None of my people missed a payment. Crisis averted. What this did for me though was make me not afraid of losing it all. I learned that while losing these assets would most definitely change my life, it was not the end of the world. I might not have had as nice of a retirement or felt as financially secure had I lost the houses, but I could still be happy because ultimately happiness is a choice and it is within you. Things and money can make your life easier, but I know several people of lesser means who are some of the happiest people I know. If they can do it, then I could too. I am much freer now.
Right before the quarantine, I got really sick. No, I don’t think it was COVID. I didn’t really have any of the tell-tale symptoms but it was before any testing was available. I really just felt like I had the worst cold ever, the worst flu ever, and the worst stomach virus ever. I lost about 5-10 pounds. I had always been fat. For the past several years I would tell myself that I could lose a lot of weight if I would just commit to it. Well, this was a head start. I decided I was sick and very tired of feeling fat, being bloated all the time, and eating way too much. I started eating less and better. Then I kept eating even less and even better. Then I started exercising more. Funny thing happened, I started losing weight and feeling much better. I’ve lost close to 130 pounds now. I wish I had done it years ago. I’ve never been into looking good since I didn’t think that would ever be possible for me. I’m still not into that. What I enjoy the most is feeling better. I have energy to do things now. We tend to think weight loss is all about physical health, but I feel mentally better too. I am much thinner now.
I spent most of the quarantine walking around a very large house. It was nice when both my boys lived at home but we didn’t need all that space. Cleaning and maintaining it felt like a giant anchor to which I was chained. It was a burden. I also had so many cars that I never drove. Some were what I call “Precious cars.” Those are ones that you want to preserve and you spend more time not driving them. They are the ones that you don’t want to drive in the rain or you worry about parking safely so you end up leaving them at home to collect dust. I had worked so hard to achieve the American Dream and I didn’t really want it any more. I was realizing with the weight loss that eating less was better. It made me start to think about how having less might also be better. I sold a few cars. I still have more than I really should. We also ended up moving to a humble little home out in the country worth half what our old house was worth. It is less to maintain other than mowing. I would rather mow for hours than vacuum and trim 70 bushes. Life is much simpler now.
So, if you see me and wonder why I am much happier, much freer, much thinner and my life is much simpler, now you know!