Interview with Robert Gill, Jr., author of "90 Days to Your First Real Estate Investment Purchase"
Robert Gill, Jr., has over four decades of real estate investing experience and decided to share it in his latest book, “90 Days to Your First Real Estate Investment Purchase.” We connected with him recently to learn more about his book and his own investment experiences. Here’s what he shared with us:
What inspired you to write about real estate investing?
I was inspired to write this book after reading a somewhat disturbing article in March of this year in Money, that 66% of millennials have nothing saved for retirement. After doing a bit more research, I discovered another survey that showed that 66% of that group were afraid of investing. I was a bit shocked at that information, especially with the knowledge that many are so well paid.
With my forty years of real estate investment experience, I decided to write a book to help millennials on how they can overcome these fears and build their wealth even as they slept. To motivate the millennial reader with short YouTube attention spans, I used the 90-day goal to get them off their bottoms, dispel investment fears, and get them looking at real estate properties. It is a tough goal – but once the reader begins the investment process – the ultimate goal—owning their first investment property is well within reach even if they run beyond the initial 90-day objective.
Since I was sequestered due to the virus, it was the perfect time to write. I decided I would write a book on my experience with real estate investing as an alternative guide to help remedy their generation’s lack of retirement benefits.
Your book focuses on rental real estate. What makes now the right time to be considering becoming a landlord, especially with so much uncertainty this year?
There is always short term uncertainty. But one must think long-term if they are to be successful. The time of the virus will eventually pass when we have access to a vaccine. For now, this uncertainty makes it a good time to make purchases from nervous sellers who feel compelled to sell due to fear. One thing is certain; things will eventually return to normal again. But a new buyer can benefit from the current market uncertainty.
You mention that your book is different because it’s not just another “how to” but it’s also a “when to.” What do you mean by that?
The book does not just discuss the best methods of finding and purchasing suitable rental property deals. It is also designed to incentivize the reader to complete the investment task within 90-days. There are many wonderful books on real estate investing. But knowledge is not enough – it needs to be followed by action. The book contains many infographics and progress guides to get the reader off the couch and into the field to look at rental properties to purchase.
In your bio you mention being a real estate investor for over five decades. What’s the biggest shift in real estate investing you’ve seen between when you started and today? Do you think that shift is making it easier or harder for beginners? In what way(s)?
Real estate is cyclical, so it swings back and forth over the years. However, the latest trend in real estate investing is the growth of Turn Key Investment companies. These organizations locate investment properties, complete any needed renovations, then find, screen install the tenant. They will even manage the property if desired. I write about the pros and cons of this trend in my book.
How did you personally get into real estate investing? What was your first investment purchase like?
I was in my early twenties, and my wife and I were living in a house on Long Island. I saw a small ad in the local Penny Saving weekly adverting a property for sale in Patchogue near the water. It was on a dirt road. So that eliminated the possibility of obtaining a conventional mortgage. I didn’t have any money then. So my wife and I pooled our paychecks for the week as a down payment. I asked the seller to hold the mortgage. The seller agreed, and we purchased the property for $18,000 with $487.00 down. It was an unheated summer cottage. Over the next three months, I added heat, insulation, and wallboard and rented to year-round tenants. It was an excellent investment.
What are the biggest myths you hear about real estate investing, and what would you tell people instead?
The most significant deterrent I hear is that of the difficulty of managing real estate. That is a myth, as if the new investors read a book or two on rental management, they will learn all they need to know about property management. I rarely have tenant issues, as I have learned to treat all my tenant as I would myself.
You’ve written books on a number of different topics. What is your process like? Is each topic something you’re personally doing or active in, or things you’re researching, or both?
My topics are often inspired by reading the news. When I run across a subject that is so concerning, odd or hard to believe, I often research it to find the seeds of truth. If by then, the subject still peaks my interest, I write it down in my potential subject diary for later consideration. The topic is often something I have been interested in. But all my topics require research to understand them further.
What is it that you love most about writing and publishing?
Writing is incredibly cathartic for me. It keeps me focused and in my happy place. Oh, sometimes it can be a bit frustrating while the words do not flow as readily. But each book provides a great sense of accomplishment as I finish the last page and send over to my editor.
If you today could sit down with the person you were at 25 years old, what advice would you give your younger self – about investing and/or about life itself?
Without sounding flippant or even a bit corny, I would say: if you dream it, you can do it. If you want to become wealthy and successful, here is the simple secret to success:
· Live frugally
· Spend your cash on real estate instead of a new car
· Spend your cash on extra shares of stock instead of extra cups of coffee
What do you most want your reader to get out of reading “90 Days to Your First Real Estate Investment Purchase”?
I want them to understand the benefits of real estate investing (passive income, tenants pay down the mortgage, which increases equity, long-term value appreciation over time due to inflation), and with that understanding, to eliminate the fear of making the first investment.
Robert has several books available that you'll want to check out. To learn more about Robert visit his website at robertgilljr.com. To get your copy of of “90 Days to Your First Real Estate Investment Purchase” visit teachingpress.com.