How is your week going? After paying my taxes last week, it made me think about the money we make as listing agents. And not only making, but more importantly, the money we are KEEPING.
I am always preaching about it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.
Jay and Wendy Papasan with Keller Williams wrote a great article about “6 Habits to Adopt Now to Build Wealth” which underscores this very topic. I totally agree with all this:
1. Say no to say yes
At its core, wealth building requires a level of discipline and forward-thinking. One way to make it easier, Jay advises, is to periodically remind yourself that you are doing it to generate passive income and have financial freedom to do the kind of work you like as you age. If you do, putting off a car upgrade or new wardrobe now will feel less like a sacrifice. “The key is understanding what you’re saying yes to,” Jay Papasan said. “What would happen if the income that you worked for today showed up automatically and work became a choice? That freedom is what you’re saying yes to.”
2. Pay your investment fund first
“Pay yourself first” is every financial adviser’s motto for a reason. When you make a habit of transferring a certain amount of money into a savings account or a mortgage on a property, it becomes much more difficult to whittle it away on smaller things. While this may not apply to those who truly need every dollar they have amid the pandemic, the strategy of putting money aside before you set your monthly budget is a sound one to follow. “When you take the money off the top, you automatically learn to live with what’s left,” Jay Papasan said.
3. Focus on net worth rather than income
As agents, it can be easy to get caught up in what you earn in a given month or even a given year. But as the Papasans point out, true wealth comes from what you have when you are not working — and that is why investing is key getting there. One piece of advice is to track your financial outlook just like you would if you needed to fill out a mortgage application — take some time each month to go over your assets, businesses and real estate holdings. “Net worth is really the true measure of wealth,” Wendy said. “If you look at that Forbes richest 500 people list, it’s not the doctor making the most income. It’s not the lawyer making the most income. It’s usually the people who have the most assets.”
4. Learn the rules of money
Like any discipline, the art of real estate investment needs to be learned and studied. If you found yourself having more free time, use it to learn everything from the basics of investing to the types of neighborhoods most likely to see home value growth in the coming years. “What are you putting into your brain?” Wendy Papasan asked. “Are you listening to podcasts? Are you listening to Audible books on investing? When you get home at night, are you watching Netflix or are you reading up on wealth building?”
5. Learn to leverage your time and your money
Find out where you spend your time and money, and then adjust accordingly. Do you find yourself spending too much time with the minutiae of running your real estate business? Enlist someone to help. Are you bringing in profit but finding it whittled away on small things every month? Force yourself to make monthly payments toward an investment property instead. “Do you know what your dollars-per-hour is?” Jay said. “When you have the ability to dedicate for lead generating for more listings and buyers, you realize that it doesn’t pay for you to be running signs out to your listings.”
6. Surround yourself with success
With many people still stuck at home, this is also an opportunity to build a group of those who want to learn about investing and exchange ideas. One possibility is to host regular Zoom get-togethers with people who are interested in investing — the number of people who are looking for that kind of community is, according to the Papasans, much higher than people think. “Who you surround yourself defines your sense of normal,” Jay said. “If you surround yourself with people who spend more than they earn, that’s going to feel normal to you.”