Family & Business


Courses: Knowing Your Lease | Buy and Hold Strategies

“I run a property management company, and one of my daughters, Jenna, works with me. It’s funny: We never planned for her to work with me, but things just came together. She had been involved in my business since high school to varying degrees, but she never had been really with me full-time. A few years ago, she was in a process of transition and I desperately needed help. I already had two great ladies on my team, but we needed another team mem- ber and were really struggling to fill that position. Jenna came on board at just the right time. “Unlike a lot of people who work with their kids, I won’t tell you that everything came naturally. I am sure Jenna wouldn’t either! We struggled (and sometimes still struggle) to find a good balance. What makes it work, though, is that she really is a wonderful, moti- vated, creative employee as well as being my daughter! She has so much energy and a great work ethic, and she has been an amazing addition to the company. “Do I think she’ll stay with us forever? I know I would love it if she did, but I don’t know

Panel in Print: Investing with Family

if that will happen. One of the things that working with family involves sometimes is taking your company or your strategy in new directions to keep everyone personally fulfilled. That isn’t something you would necessarily prioritize in a strictly professional re- lationship with a co-worker or employee, but when you are dealing with family, it comes naturally and is so important if you want to keep the benefits of the working relationship intact. “I hope Jenna takes the company in some new directions that personally work for her so that she stays in real estate with me long-term. In the meantime, we’re doing something else you have to do when you work with family: We’re taking things a day at a time. For me, working with my daughter has been a godsend personally and professionally. She came on board when we needed her most and I’m so glad she did. I hope her future path includes us or, if it doesn’t, I hope we intersect professionally in the future. Because we’ve worked hard to treat each other professionally from a work perspective, I don’t have to worry about our personal lives intersecting. I know we’ll always be close as mother and daughter.”

sk a real estate investor why they got started in real estate, and nine times out of 10 the answer will have something to do with family. Some investors invest in real estate to create more flexibility in their schedules, so they can spend more time with children and loved ones. Others say that real estate is how they support their family financially and provide the things that family members want and need. One successful wholesaler we know started wholesaling to fund dance lessons for her daughter, then loved it so much she

grew the business to a city-wide opera- tion! Of course, we cannot overlook the retirement investors, who are investing in real estate to support themselves and, often, a spouse, during retirement while creating a financial legacy for their heirs in the process. These are all common ways in which family and real estate intersect, but there is an even more common way that does not get discussed as openly: investing with your family. We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom that tells us not to work with family members or loan them

money, but most real estate investors (and really, all family-run business own- ers) know that in most cases, there is no one more loyal to your interests than an- other member of your family. Of course, there may be no one more likely to push your buttons and send steam out of your ears, either, so it’s a fine line to walk. Three of our Think Realty Coaches agreed to discussing working success- fully with family. In this month’s panel in print, they describe the structure of that relationship and how it affected their investing and business.


Courses: Vision | Personal Growth

“I have always said that my family is one of my biggest ‘why’s.’ My immediate family con- sists of two beautiful kids, a boy and a girl, and my wife, Susan. I love taking the kids along on business trips because I want them to see what I do and the possibilities that are out there for them, even if they do not end up following my professional path. My daughter, for example, is already a certified nursing assistant and pursuing a nursing degree. She decided not to get involved in the family business to a particularly great extent. Since my son is still in high school, we don’t know for sure what he’ll do either. No matter what, we know that they have seen how we run our business and they have a good understanding of what we hope to accomplish professionally and personally. “My kids may not be closely tied to my family business, but my wife, Susan, certainly is. She is not just my partner in life; she's also my partner in business. We run our company together, and I could not be more thankful for her.


Courses: Marketing on a Tight Budget | Inbound Marketing | The Importance of Finding Money

“When I first seriously started in real estate, my strategy involved going back to my hometown in Ohio. I saw a need there for student housing around the local college of med- icine. There were so many more students than housing! So, I started buying up a lot of little single-story properties and replacing them with duplexes for the medical students to rent. “One of the reasons I took this approach was because I knew I would be able to work with my father on this project. He was located in the area and, after evaluating the local market as well, he agreed with me that there was a huge gap in the housing marketplace that we could fill. We worked together on that project, and it was a great mentorship relationship for me both because I was just getting started in real estate and because it was really nice to work closely with my dad. I just have really fond memories of that entire experience, and I still have a portfolio of performing properties in that area.”

“The reason that working with my wife works for me (and that working with me works for her) is that we both want the same things from our business and our investing. We both agreed years ago that our goals would focus on giving back, be it to a com- munity or even the real estate industry. Because we share the same goals and passions, we work well together in business and in life. We also get to do a lot of great things together, such as travel, advise investors, and educate business owners. It is wonderful to know not just that we are making a difference, but that we are doing so together. ”

10 | think realty magazine :: february 2018

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