Let me ask you a question. Try to focus on the first distinct image that comes into your mind when you read the following words:
Real Estate Tycoon
Ok. Did you get that? What did the image look like? Did you see an old man, probably in an expensive car – a Mercedes or a Bentley? He probably had a suit on and was followed around by a couple of his lackeys. Let us try to get into the mind of this man.
What do you think he sees when he looks at a low-income neighborhood? Did you immediately assume that his eyes would light up with profit signs? He’d probably look around and see the malls and restaurants that could be built on this land, right? The people? Well, they can just go somewhere else.
Now, I’d like you to think about why this image is so pervasive, and why you immediately assumed so many things about this man’s personality. Does success in real estate truly come at the cost of your scruples? Do you have to abandon any empathy and humanity to rise to the top of the pyramid?
We think not. We think there’s a better way to do it, a much better way.
Recent events in the media have reaffirmed that riches and fame do not guarantee happiness.
Let’s not fall into the same trap.
Now, let’s consider a scenario. You’ve begun real estate investing with moderate success in recent times, or maybe you’ve been doing it for a while and have managed to create a sizeable income stream for yourself. Now’s the time to ask yourself – How can I give back?
Within your family, your circle of friends and the people you work with, you have a position of authority and respect. As an investor and a businessman, instead of trying to hoard ever larger portions of the pie, you could focus on educating them to create an independent income. Wouldn’t you rather be surrounded by a bunch of successful people that constantly inspire and challenge each other?
Secondly, since you’ve seen how construction and building communities can drastically change the environment of any given place in your time as a real estate investor, you are in a unique position. When you look at a place with potential for development, you can focus on the larger picture. Instead of focusing on gaining the maximum profit, you can think about how you can improve the living conditions of the people in that area. Run initiatives to build schools, affordable medical care and better sanitation facilities.
As a leader of the community, you stand on the precipice of setting a snowball of positivity in motion that will, in due time, turn into an avalanche that will far outlast and outreach you and your original vision. When you speak to your kids, instead of just pampering them with the benefits that your income level brings, you can teach them about business. Teach them how to look at a situation objectively, analyze it and try to do some good while you make a profit.
If you are so inclined, you could take up teaching, which is one of the noblest things you could do with your time. If you could reach out to people who are struggling to get by and teach them the simple lessons of business and investing, they in turn can help the lives of their families and community members. You could even look at a place that you visited often or passed through a lot during your travels and undertake the project of improving it, even if you don’t necessarily make a profit on the transaction.
In summation, there is one thing we would like to put forth. Your riches may not last, but your legacy will. Make it a force for the greater good, and you will reap the rewards, manifold.