Getting Your Spouse on Board With Real Estate Investing

By on July 24, 2015

A few blog posts ago, I wrote about a friend of mine who I referred to as “Jealous Jeb” (alliteration is fun).

I was talking to him about real estate a number of months back when he said something that stuck with me.

“Sure, man. Just get all of that investing stuff out of your system before you get married because it’ll never happen when you’ve got a family.” – JJ

Well… I got engaged in December, so clearly I haven’t listened to his advice. ;)

However, Jeb is not the only person with these concerns. There are always a number of people asking on the Forums about the best ways to get a fearful spouse interested in real estate.

Which, in all honesty, is a great question.

I obviously have no experience being married (the wedding is a mere 10 months away), but I can imagine that “being on the same page about your future” is probably pretty high up there on the list of requirements for a successful life together. Right?

So that begs the question: What are the best ways?

Before I begin, I feel like I must be truthful. And the fact of the matter is that I got off pretty easily. When I first decided to start investing in real estate, I told my fiancé (girlfriend at the time) about it, and she said, “Ok babe… I’m sure you’ll do great.”

I feel like she has an unhealthy level of confidence in me — and in retrospect, it kinda makes me question her judgment. Hmmm.

But regardless, I didn’t have to poke, prod or plead. I did most of this stuff voluntarily so that she might be able to participate in the business one day in the future.

So here it is. These are a few of the steps that I took as a boyfriend of 1.5 years in order to get my future fiancé interested in real estate.

5 Simple Ways to Get Your “Better Half” on Board With Real Estate Investing

Read (or listen to) a simple real estate book together.

If you just throw a real estate book in front of your significant other and tell him/her to read it, they’ll probably say OK. Then continue to watch NASCAR or “Say Yes to the Dress.” (Sorry for the ludicrous stereotypes, but you get my point.)

The easiest way to get around this is to do it together. The two books that I would recommend would be Rich Dad Poor Dad, then the BiggerPockets “Ultimate Beginners Guide to Real Estate Investing.” In that order.

Obviously, you can change it up however you want. Just, whatever you do, don’t start with something like the 9th Edition of Real Estate Finance & Investment Manual by Jack Cummings. Albeit a fantastic book, there is no way you’ll be able to recover from introducing calculus into real estate this early on.

Watch TV shows about real estate together.

Yes, the shows are unrealistic. Yes, they don’t talk enough about financing. Yes, they tend to enhance the drama. I get it.

However, these shows are an awesome stepping stone towards getting super motivated about real estate. As a matter of fact, there’s probably a good chunk of people already on BP who decided to get into real estate solely because of shows like that!

“Flip or Flop,” “Property Brothers,” “Flip this House,” “Income Property” — whatever it is, just watch it. Reality TV (as much as I hate it) can serve as a great motivator when it comes to real estate.

After all, real estate is sexy! But it’s a lot sexier on TV, which is drastically more sexy than when you’re sitting on your computer at 3 in the morning trying to figure out how to use QuickBooks.

Look at houses together. (Do you sense the “togetherness” theme yet?)

I tried to involve my fiancé as much as I could when I got started. I had her look at properties with me, scoured Zillow with her, and asked for her opinions on paint schemes and appliances. It helped her realize that we were in this together, and I wasn’t just looking out for numero uno.

If she didn’t feel comfortable walking around a particular neighborhood, then I crossed it off my list of places to invest. It built up her level of confidence with me and has also helped to serve as a great barometer for potential investment areas.

Build a “Vision Board” together.

If you haven’t made one with your spouse, do it right now. Just get on Pinterest and search for “Vision Board.”

Build it well, make it appealing, and put it as a centerpiece in your house or apartment. Fill it with photos of vacations you want to take, places you want to live, boats you want to own, and opportunities that you want your kids to have. This simple action will provide you both with a vision of the future benefits that will come from the present sacrifices you make.

Own it from Day One.

No spouse or significant other is going to believe in your dream of becoming a real estate mogul if you continue to spend 5 hours every night playing “Call of Duty.”

It’s just not going to happen.

Own it from day one. Spend your down time reading books, listening to podcasts, researching markets, networking on BP, and learning the trade. If you treat real estate as a business that you are dedicated to from day one, they will put their faith in your decision and back you up 100%.

I promise.

Now, I’m clearly not the only person who has ever had this dilemma, as evidenced by the litany of posts on this topic. Therefore, here are a few of the recommendations that came straight from the BiggerPockets Forums:

  • Have a backup plan so you don’t end up in the “poor house”
  • Show that your relationship comes before real estate
  • Delegate landlording to a PM (if necessary)
  • Have monthly meetings about your financial status
  • Consider creative financing with less money at risk
  • Prove your worth by action
  • Go to a REIA meeting together
  • Always be patient


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