When we think of the real estate industry we usually imagine a world governed by multi-million dollar investments, towering skyscrapers and great entrepreneurs. Those are all aspects from everyday life. But really, getting into the business can be much simpler – and extraordinary – than we could imagine.
If skepticism still exists, let me tell you what happened in my office last week.
Despite having been a heavy day, on Thursday I agreed to have a meeting with a major real estate developer. As I constantly find myself entering and leaving offices, meetings, conferences and workshops, I thought I was would be having an ordinary meeting. But everything changed when the developer started confessing that he was there because of a wedding dress.
“A wedding dress?” I questioned him, not understanding what he meant.
What he answered me I found was amazing.
It’s a long story, Carlos. More than 60 years ago, when my parents got married, my dad offered $ 2,000 pesos (roughly 100 USD) to his then girlfriend to buy her dress.
My mother replied that they could better save the money, because her cousin got married just a few days before and she was going to lend her the dress: it has only been worn once!
The boyfriend (my dad) absolutely rejected the idea and gave her the money without bothering about her opinion. “Buy the dress you want, the one that makes that day an unforgettable moment” he said. My mom thought a lot about the phrase and decided to go with her uncle to ask for investment recommendations.
Uncle, what can I do with 2,000 pesos? Look, not really much, but I just bought a small farm on the outskirts of town. I can sell you a small parcel of that ranch in exchange for your 2,000 pesos. And just like that, my mom bought a small piece of her uncle’s farm.
Back at the wedding, she wore her cousin’s dress with some arrangements she made personally and the day arrived, no one had noticed. My dad even commented that the dress was much prettier than her cousin’s. The wedding was a success.
The plot of land remained a secret until the silver wedding came 25 years later. At that moment, my mother gave the plot certificates as a gift to my dad and told the whole story of the dress. Besides the laughter this anecdote brings, the surprising thing was the financial and emotional intelligence necessary to achieve this success – in addition to keeping it a secret for so long.
A few years after the revelation, the family decided to develop the property. It was now totally urban area, located right inside a high value zone of the cit. On the plot little more than 300 houses of residential level plus were built. The financial results of the sales of these properties were invested in other properties in 3 cities. Today there is an entire organization that is dedicated to developing and reinvesting the financial results of those investments.
The story of the dress still does not end. The financial and urban achievements of a truly lifelong decision continue to be woven.
Three morals can be extracted from the story:
We always believe that real estate investments require investments that are limited to large capitals. In reality, we are all just a dress away from being real estate investors.
Big investments take time to mature. Maximizing the returns of a property involves having the skill to read the most appropriate timing.
There is no better wedding or anniversary gift than a real estate investment. In the future it can represent the financial freedom of the family, or better yet: a whole new business for the following generations.
* Carlos Muñoz 4S is minister of the real estate church. He dedicates his life to preaching investments and perfecting the art of real estate development. Find me at: email@example.com