I’m reminded of the poem “If,” which I adapt here for investors.
small businesses to thrive. What does it really mean then to be a philanthropic investor? I think it comes down to intention. If you look at a value-add apartment complex and see the profit from improving it and raising the rents, that’s okay. But if you intend to make the complex safer and more pleasant for the residents and if you plan to improve their quality of life and make that your goal more than the profit, you are a philanthropic investor. It is not even necessary to be altruistic or to sacrifice profits. It is a rule of life that the more people you truly help, the better you do in your investments. Thinking about your tenants and how to improve their lives or identifying ways to contribute to the community makes you a more effective investor, too. That mindset enables you to create new value in a property by improv - ing the lives of your tenants. It builds goodwill in the com - munity that can help you weather downturns or difficult times. Acting philanthropically both improves your upside and reduces your downside risk. Paradoxically, when you give to others, you usually receive more than you give; when you grasp for every penny, profits slip through your fingers. And there are benefits far beyond profit and loss or creation of wealth. Helping other people is, frankly, good for your health, your mood, and your outlook on life. Improving lives and communities is energizing—for you and others. You generate a virtuous cycle where everyone wins and succeeds. If doing good is a prerequisite for doing well, then where do all the evil stereotypes originate? Why would investors turn off the heat to get rid of their tenants or refuse to make repairs? Why would people hide haz - ards or cheat those they interact with? Why would they generate ill will, endure ulcers and poor health that worry engenders, or risk the repercussions of cheat - ing someone meaning they must always be looking over their shoulders? Some believe the world is cutthroat and against them and they have to be just as cold and calcu - lating to survive, but others started with good intentions and ran into difficulties. There are times in our lives when it feels like the weight of the world is bearing down on us, when troubles pile on all at once. These are the times that try us, and it is easy to give in to the notion of fighting back, of taking what is due to us. It takes fortitude and integrity to continue to treat our business relations, our tenants, and our communities well, to accept the possi - bility of loss—even catastrophic loss—with grace. And yet when we do that, we grow and ultimately succeed.
If – for Investors (With Apologies to Rudyard Kipling)
If you can keep your head when sellers Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when loan officers doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by real estate coaches to make a trap for fools, Or watch the deals you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build ‘em up with worn out tools; If you can make one heap of all your wholesale fees And risk it on one rehab of a house, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breath a word about your loss; If you can speak at REIAs and keep your virtue, Or walk with Gurus - nor lose the common touch; If neither competitors nor partners can hurt you; If investors count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of knowledge learned - Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And the Investor title you’ll have earned! Focus on doing good. Keep your integrity and you will prosper! Stay tuned for more articles at Think Realty and look for my upcoming book “Cryptocurrency and Real Estate: How Bitcoin and Blockchain Will Transform Real Estate Investing” to be launched in January 2021. • Steve Streetman, president of StreetSmart Investments, LLC, a commercial real estate investing company, is an avid cryptocurrency investor and has worked in cryptography and high-end computer modeling for over 30 years. He teaches commercial real estate investment courses and is a real estate agent with RealInvestors Real Estate Services. His book “Cryptocurrency and Real Estate: How Bitcoin and Blockchain Will Transform Real Estate Investing” is anticipated to release in 2020.
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