Real estate was actually my fall back plan. When I left for graduate school I planned to become a management consultant. I did my research on the different companies, found someone to do practice interviews with, and landed a consulting internship. I'd followed my plan and I was on my way. Or so I thought.
My timing was absolutely horrible. In fact, my timing could not have possibly been worse. The dotcom bubble burst and the bottom fell out of the management consulting industry. My 12 week internship was cut to 6. They even sent rescission letters to people they'd already hired. As if to say "Thanks for buying a house near our office, but we no longer need your services."
Meanwhile my mother who was a real estate agent briefly in the 80's had been learning about how to buy properties with tax liens. So, the two of us took a road trip to Florida going county by county, visiting county recorders offices along the way. We ultimately invested in three properties, jumped through some legal hoops to gain clear title, and flipped them to developers. That was how I started my real estate career.
The real estate adventure continued as we invested in more property, eventually reaching a total of 72 units. This was achieved by buying the worst properties in great neighborhoods and renovating them. And yes, I was personally involved in designing floor plans, hanging sheet rock, hanging cabinets, painting, and more.
As an investor & property manager, I frequently visited the bookstore’s real estate section. One day I noticed something I’d missed during all my previous visits. There were plenty of books for property owners, managers, & investors. But, no books for the 43 million rental households who pay half a trillion dollars, with a “T”, in rent each year. That epiphany led me to teach market based strategies to help renters save money & help landlords get more from their investments.