By Richard Dolan
Real estate investing is not a destination. It’s a journey.
Each and every one of us who embarks on investing in real estate does so to fulfill our innermost critical financial ethos. As I’ve said before, ethos is Greek for “purpose” but also serves as a powerful acronym: invest in real estate to eliminate debt, transcend financially by leaving something behind, be happier with purchases that bring joy, and have the opportunity to grow net worth and/or income and ease the suffering (in health or financially) of those we love.
But the journey is long, tiring, and at times outright difficult.
That is why we must pause and take stock of our progress, revisit our intention, and find reason to celebrate where we are before setting foot to the next part of the journey. The purpose and power of the annual REIN Awards reminds me of my 10-year-old son Mateo’s experience with his karate, which he’s be doing since he was five.
You see, every week we would go to the dojo so he could learn something new about the martial art. He would exercise, work out, and then be taught one kata, a series of strikes and defensive moves often practised alone until nearly perfect, then practised with a peer. But like with most kids his age when it comes to such activities, he began to lose interest after a while. And loss of interest fatigues progress and catalyzes disengagement. That’s why the business of karate invented Stripe Week.
It’s almost as though the management team knows precisely when kids are mentally checking out and parents are considering pulling their kids from the program—there’s some magical meter alerting instructors that they’re about to lose their bread and butter. That’s why Stripe Week is critical. Its announcement reactivates enthusiasm among the children.
It’s a week when kids at all levels are invited to perform a certain kata full length, usually consisting of about 50 moves and lasting two minutes. Apprentice instructors correct the delivery as needed and award the pupil with a “stripe” (typically a strip of black electrical tape!), to be added to the circumference of their belt. The point, though, is this: during Stripe Week, the kids are re-engaged both mentally and physically, and, best of all, proud to be still in the game.
The world of real estate investing has its own form of Stripe Week. We call it the REIN Awards.
It’s the annual special event in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto where we announce, anoint, and applaud the progress of members who have embraced the journey, completed the kata in real estate, and stayed the course.
REIN Awards night is truly a celebration of progress, position, and performance. It is a night to stop and applaud the accomplishments of those in the various categories of real estate investing. Those who are deemed winners are proud. Those who are nominees are noticed. For those who are neither but aspire to be, the awards provide another context for personal performance. And for those who are neither and don’t care, remember this: real estate investing is a one-man sport, but it’s a team event. We all contribute to each other’s journey, success, and failure. The real estate investment community is a collection of like-minded people who stand for one thing: living life on their own terms financially, forever.
The REIN community is the largest of its kind in Canada—and the longest running—not because we celebrate winners, applaud nominees, or present pins. But because we do all those things together. We believe it takes a village to raise an investor (a new spin on an old sound bite), and there is no mystery as to why REIN celebrates having engaged, equipped, and empowered over thirty-five-thousand member graduates since its inception.
To experience the spirit of REIN Awards night, simply start with this formula—and may this special issue of REIN Life serve as a powerful reboot for your journey:
Be clear with your financial goal
Devise your plan
Rally your resources for the areas you have gaps
Expand your comfort zone
Whether or not we receive a pin, accolade, or call-out, let’s each and every one of us inside the realm of real estate investing pause for a moment to take inventory of the steps and choices we’ve made in our personal journey toward living a life of financial certainty.
I say, buy champagne and celebrate your personal journey thus far. You need not own your first door, your best door, or a multitude of doors. You need not have raised one dollar, hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars. All you need in order to celebrate your journey thus far is to answer this question: Are you now a better person, more optimally prepared for a financially certain future? If the answer is yes, drink. If the answer is no, drink the champagne anyway—and then get back to work.