The New Year offers a fresh start and a chance to make resolutions to make this year the best yet. Every year, I like to reflect on the previous year and update my network on what is to come. Every year that I sit down to write these reflections I think, “last year was SO crazy, this year is going to be chill.” And every year, I am more surprised than the last.
As you may know, I quit my corporate job in 2014 to be a full time real estate investor and what a wild ride it has been. Real estate was the vehicle for financial freedom and I surpassed my investing goal and really had to sit down and think about when enough was enough. So unlike previous years where my goals were to add to my portfolio (Already have 90+ units!) last year was about creating the lifestyle I want to live.
So in 2017 my “lifestyle” goals were:
- To never set an alarm clock in the morning
- To work no more than 30 hours a week (which can be hard when you own 3 companies)
- To take 10 weeks of vacation per year
- To be present with loved ones and create long lasting memories
My main focus last year was growing my Real Estate Brokerage, Second City Real Estate, and establishing ourselves as the premier agents for investors in Chicago. After only two years of operations, we are already in the top 10% of agents in the entire Chicagoland market. However, I’m more proud that we have helped clients add over $100k a month in rental income to their portfolio. In addition, Charlie Shields came on board in 2017, after being one of my clients. I am also very excited to announce a new addition, John Warren who is an experienced investor and agent with a commitment to putting the clients needs first.
I still co-host the Chicago Real Estate Investors Meetup every month, after over 3 years I have met hundreds of investors and watched so many grow their business and make strides to financial freedom. I am launching a new group, House Hacking U, which with feature panels and discussion groups with speakers who house hacked and wanted to share their experiences with new potential investors.
I spoke at The Best Ever Conference in Denver and the San Francisco Bay Summit, where I got to share my experiences and knowledge with up and coming real estate investors. I am speaking at the Chicago REIA on Tuesday February 12th and Mid-Atlantic Networking Summit in Philadelphia this April. Most exciting to me is I am part of the planning for the Midwest Real Estate Networking Summit that will be held here in Chicago May 11th – 13th 2018. We have worked very hard to create an educational platform for this event that will benefit hundreds of investors in all areas and experience levels.
My travel last year was not as much as I had hoped… I went to Boston twice, Denver twice, San Francisco, Phoenix, Detroit, and took a four-day motorcycle trip around lake Michigan. Anyone who knows me knows that my Type-A personality does not bode well for “winging it” but I let go of my inhibitions and decided we would just stop for the night when we were tired. Well that backfired when we stopped after 8 hours on a motorcycle with no hotels or AirBnb within 60+ miles!!! Luckily, I had an old client who moved to Michigan who put us up for the night with last minute notice. It defiantly pays to establish relationships with people!
So what’s on the horizon for 2018?
- Trips to The UK, Serbia, and Japan (I will definitely need a nice vacation after back-to-back conferences in April and May).
- Co-creating the Midwest Real Estate Networking Summit in Chicago from May 11th – 13th
- Helping more clients reach their investing goals through Second City Real Estate
The year has started off great! I was featured on The Keeping It Real Podcast, The Lifetime CashFlow through Real Estate Podcast, The Chicago Cash Flow Radio Show, and I have a few more coming out this spring.
A New Year is a new chapter and a chance to change our destiny. We each have the chance to write our own story, so cheers to making 2018 the best year yet.