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“OMG! I think I missed the boat!”

Have you ever heard that phrase? I have, many times out of my own mouth and the mouths of hundreds of other people. While I’ve experienced many up markets and just as many down markets, in actuality, they were all just real estate markets of the moment, where prices were going up or prices were going down.

Often, when we’ve come out of a market where prices have been dropping for a few years or more, I’ll hear the phrase on repeat. While I’ve had people ask me why I don’t own more real estate than I do, all I can say is that I’ve invested my money into owning real estate offices.

So, what’s the point of all this? It’s a warning that it’s never, ever too late to start building your wealth in real estate, through leverage. I know a lot of real estate professionals who have a steady amount of monthly income from rentals. You can call it leveraged income, since it comes in without much effort on your part, other than the usual upkeep and management. How did they do it? In many ways.

In fact, I have a friend who owns 65 homes in the Billings, Mont., area, almost every single one of which was purchased with seller financing. The others were purchased by taking subject to a loan and paying the difference between the loan and the price to the owner.

But that’s not the only way. There are many non-owner-occupied loans available now, and some can be had with less than the typical 20 percent down. The fact is, we often don’t look into investing in real estate because we’re so busy taking care of our clients, or we’re too busy making money to pay our bills and we forget to pay ourselves first.

As real estate professionals, some of the most solid financial advice is lost on us. The problem is that we don’t pay attention to our vices and then seek wisdom from those who know more and can do more for us. Having coached for 20-plus years—and selling homes for 38-plus years—I promise that I’m speaking from personal experience, as well as the experience of thousands of agents I’ve coached or mentored over the years.

In wrapping up, remember that there are tons of books out there on investing in real estate and the different methods used by those who have come before us. There are also financial advisors and verifiable loan programs that allow for up to 100-percent financing. Additionally, there are loan products geared to those of us who make our living through a 1099, which allow for a significant down payment of 25 percent or more. These types of loan products aren’t subject to some of the other restrictions of a W-2 style loan.

Lastly, it’s never too late. Start now, no matter your age or experience level. Ask for help and step outside your comfort zone and see what’s out there.

Here’s to an incredible 2019!

Rick Geha of The Rick Geha Real Estate Team began his real estate career at age 22. Over the past 15 years, he’s led more than 1,000 classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada and has presented keynote addresses to thousands of professionals from all industries and walks of life. Rick is currently a coach with Workman Success Systems. Contact him at For more information, please visit

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