Lena:  So, Mark, we touched on this last week, and I wanted to continue this portion of our interview in this week’s newsletter because it deserved its own time and attention, and that is on the topic of how real estate can be used to create financial freedom for individuals.  I want you to speak to that because basically that’s what you did.  How would a person go about using real estate to create financial freedom for themselves?

Mark:  Well, as I said previously, I think you should start with a duplex or triplex, live in one unit and rent out the others, then build from there.  

Lena:  But what if someone said, “Mark, I don’t want to take five or ten years to get enough units to quit my job, I want to do it now.  Why can’t I start with a 20-unit or 50-unit building?

Mark:  Well, if you’ve got the capital to do it, then great.  But, the problem is that, there’s usually a level or expertise that comes with, not only, going after a 20 or 50-unit building, but also, running one, that a first time investor, generally, doesn’t have — unless you’ve got a mentor or family member who’s got the experience to guide you through it.

Lena:  Right.  But, in terms, of capital, I’ve heard of this thing called, “syndication” where you pool together a group of investors to purchase a building.  Do you think a “first time” investor could do that?

Mark:  Well, you could but, again, you gotta know what you’re doing or you can “wholesale” real estate which doesn’t require money to get started and make enough money over time to amass enough of a down payment to put on a building, then, if you can’t get the rest financed, you might be able to negotiate a seller-finance type situation where the Owner agrees to carry the note.

Lena:  Yes, that’s definitely another way to go, and that’s what I recommend even for flipping if you don’t have the money to buy a house to flip, “wholesale” for a while until you can build enough cash, then do it.  A lot of people use the excuse of not having financing and that keeps them from doing this business but instead of sitting around complaining about lenders or investors not giving you money, go earn the money yourself through wholesaling and then you can create options for yourself.

Mark:  I agree.

Lena:  So, I heard recently on a podcast where people where talking about knowing your “why”.  “Why” are you wanting to do this?  Some people might say their “why” is to have a better future for their kids or to be able to work for themselves.  Because knowing your “why” will give you the motivation to stick it out when it gets tough.  What is your “why”?

Mark:  My “why” is God.  

Lena:  What do you mean?  Do you mean this is how you serve God?

Mark:  Ok, so, in our business, people have problems, right?  We help people solve problems.  So, in my mind, anybody that I talk to around this, I’m a blessing to them. Pure and simple.  If they pick up the phone or answer the door and I get into a conversation with them, I am a blessing to them.

Lena:  I love that!  What a wonderful way of looking at it.  So, lastly, what I try to do with this newsletter is give my readers real-world, helpful advice that they can put into practice immediately to help them with their real estate pursuits.  What advice would you give newbie investors who are trying to get started in real estate?

Mark:  You might not like my answer but I would say, “meditate” or learn to meditate.  The reason I say that is because, if we are going to do this business and do well in it, we are going to have to change the game.  What I find is that when I meditate, I will get ideas that I can use that day.  I find that I don’t get as upset with things and release things pretty quickly as oppose to holding on to them.

I think as people of color, we have to change the game.  To just do what Robert Kiyosaki says or Warren Buffett says or all these other guys… it’s sort of like with music, you learn how to play scales but at some point you just start playing.  So, I’m saying, learn how to play scales in real estate, learn the basics.  But then actually go out and play the game and when you play the game, the way we are wired, we will play it very differently than anyone else and we will change how the game is played.  But the only way to do that is if we are close enough to our intuition that it will guide us.

Lena:  Wow, that’s good stuff!  And it speaks to what I try to do every week with this newsletter by including “The Manifestation Corner” and that is to provide a spiritual foundation along with the real estate knowledge because I know they go hand in hand.  So, thank you for that.  

Mark:  No problem.

Lena: And on that note, I’m going to wrap it up.  Mark, as always, it’s a pleasure talking to you.  You’re a wealth of information and I thank you, once again, for being on the show.

Mark:   My pleasure.  Thank you for having me.

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