A Step by Step Road Map for Success in a New Decade!

It’s almost the end of 2009, and the end of a decade! Many people make new year resolutions. Do you have a resolution in mind? Perhaps you want to start a new workout routine. Maybe you want to read more books. Do you think about making a finance-related New Years Resolution?

I challenge you to NOT WAIT until January 2, 2010 to think about what you are going to do. Take action NOW!

If you follow Lifestyles Unlimited® articles, news, and radio shows, you may be someone who plans on making 2010 the year to start investing in real estate in order to generate passive income and increase your net worth. If this is your resolution, then I encourage you to keep reading this article.

I’d like to outline a simple plan to help you ensure that your resolution materializes into a reality! In this article, I’m going to outline six points for you to keep in mind when planning your real estate investments. The order of the points is important so that you don’t get frustrated and become tempted to give up. Furthermore, each point builds on the previous one.

1. State of Mind

This is the foundation of your success in real estate. If your State of Mind is not properly aligned, then nothing else you do, or try to do, will be effective. What State of Mind should you be in? Well, start with the ‘end goal’ in mind. Tell yourself “I will earn $200 of passive income within four months.” Another possible goal could be “I will own one rental house and have tenants within four months. Both of these are absolutely realistic. These are examples of how to think with the end in mind. The good news is that if you mentally prepare yourself for the task ahead, the entire process will operate like an efficient machine!

Make sure that you are reminded of your goals throughout the day. Paste a sheet of paper to your bathroom mirror with these ideas, goals, and phrases. Keep a note on your car dashboard letting you know that your State of Mind is. Study after study indicate that you are much more likely to achieve a goal if you write down the goal and look at it over and over. Reaffirmation and repetitiveness are important elements for achieving your goal. Now that you are focused on the goal, and are reminding yourself of this goal on a regular basis, we can proceed to the next step.

2. Education

It’s entirely OK if you do not know anything about real estate. In fact, it is favorable since you won’t have to ‘unlearn’ ineffective habits. When I came to Lifestyles, I had zero real estate investing experience. It is important to learn what is involved and what to expect along each step of the way. With around 50 hours of education, which I will outline below, you can be well on your way to owning a single family home that generates between $200 and $400 of positive cash flow per month. This is not an exaggeration! Lifestyles Unlimited® has designed a program with very rich content to learn how to be a successful real estate investor in a very short amount of time. During these 50 hours, you might not completely embrace what’s being taught, or you might say ‘Hmmm, I can’t relate to that”. However, when you start the process of acquiring a rental property, you will be able to reflect on those topics and points you learned. Here’s a sample outline of around 50 hours of meaningful education at Lifestyles Unlimited®:

Two day Seminar with Del Walmsley – 16 Hours
Case Study / Networking event (2) – 6 hours
Guest Speaker Vendor event (3) – 9 hours
Property Evaluation Class – 3 hours
Video Education – 12 hours (combination of previously recorded events)
Mentor Communications – 1 hour (a few phone calls when needed)

As you can see, within one month of education between in-office, you can prepare yourself for the actual “Investment Process”. This is no exaggeration. These events will expose you to every aspect of the real estate experience. You will be well-equipped for future situations and decisions related to your investment properties.

I’m not saying that you will stop attending Lifestyles Unlimited® events after one month, but I am saying that you will have a proper foundation for the investment process. After you’ve gone through one or two investment properties, the events, classes, and Case Studies at Lifestyles Unlimited® will take on a new meaning. They will be more meaningful and you’ll be able to help new investors with insight that you have gained and learn from other seasoned investors at the same time! Now that we’ve covered how to become properly informed about Real Estate Investing, we can focus on the next step to success: Planning!

3 Planning

Now that you are in the proper Frame of Mind, and have the proper education foundation and are well-informed about the support system here at Lifestyles Unlimited®, you can start planning your first transaction. Notice how this process builds on each previous component. First, you had to mentally prepare yourself. Next, you had to educate and inform yourself. Now comes the planning phase. I can say with confidence that the outcome would not be the same if the order is reversed. First things first!

The planning process is very important. This is the phase where you will compose a written plan of action points. Your written plan is based on your frame of mind and your education. By now, you have learned every aspect of acquiring a rental property. You are ready to make a step by step guide that will serve as your road map for the next few months. Things such as getting pre-qualified for a hard money loan, deciding what price range to target for purchase. It’s important to understand the underwriting criteria, the closing costs, closing requirements, and different financing options. You will contact Listing Agents and establish a rapport with several agents and let them know who you are, what your plan is and that you want to know if they will work with you to buy investment property. Some won’t want to work with you or won’t call you back. More importantly, some will call you back and will be very enthusiastic about working with you according to your criteria and goals. Different Listing Agents have different ways to search for properties. You will understand how to work with them. You will contact vendors to introduce yourself and learn how they can help you with various tasks. For example, you will want to know who you are going to call when you’re ready for a home inspection. You will want to have a General Contractor relationship so that you can call them when you’re ready for a rehab bid. You’ll want to have a relationship with an insurance agent so that you can obtain quotes quickly for properties that you are considering to purchase. Another important planning area is accounting.

All these relationships will prove to be vital in order for you to succeed in real estate investing. It’s important to have a road map (plan) with which to start. It might change a bit based on outcomes and decisions. But the written plan is an important starting point. This isn’t a lot of work by any means. The best part is knowing that you are investing in yourself, and not in someone else! You are making a plan to improve your situation and bring prosperity to you and your family. Now that you have a written plan and have relationships with vendors you can count on when necessary, it’s time for the next step: Execution.

4. Execution

It’s Showtime! This phase is the culmination of everything previously mentioned in this article. The success of this phase depends heavily on your frame of mind, and your education, as well as your road map. There won’t be many surprises because you have prepared yourself and made a thoughtful plan of action. You are ready because your foundation is firm. You know who to call and when because you already have your contacts lined up for different areas of expertise. When there are questions or unexpected circumstances, you are ready to face them with the resources of Lifestyles Unlimited® mentors and information at your side.

This is the time when you call back your listing agents once again and let them know that you are ready to start evaluating properties and start making offers. Once this process starts, you will be amazed at how quickly everything comes together. You will have credibility with the listing agents now that you have an established rapport with them. But once again, it’s important to note that the execution is based on a well-written plan, your education, and most importantly, your frame of mind!

Before you know it, you will have an accepted offer on a property that you know will give you at least 25% equity capture and several hundred dollars per month in positive cash flow. The positive cash flow estimate is validated by the research you did after attending workshops at Lifestyles Unlimited® and by asking mentors questions you had during the property evaluation process. You also checked some other rentals in the area to make sure that you are just a few dollars less expensive so that you have a competitive edge on the rest. You’ll be able to promptly coordinate the inspection process because you have that relationship already. The rehab estimates will be easy since you know who to call and have heard examples of other people going through rehab, and you know what to rehab and what to leave alone in order to minimize expenses during the process – all things that you learned while attending Lifestyles Unlimited® events and watching videos online. The financing will be easy to organize because you are well into the qualification process and already have your documentation ready for underwriting. You know how the hard money loan and double closing works because you already had several conversations with the loan officer.

The entire execution of your plan is achievable because of everything you have done to prepare yourself and equip yourself with the knowledge and tools and contacts necessary for success. The fascinating thing about the whole execution process is that you are not alone! You have the resources of Lifestyles Unlimited® at your disposal. Mentors, videos, vendors, documentation are all available to you before, during, and after you execute your plan. It might look like a lot of work from the outside. However, success is at your fingertips.

Your plan can lead to success within six weeks! From submitting an offer that is accepted to signing the final paperwork during closing at the title company, you can be well on your way to positive cash flow within six weeks. After closing comes rehab and tenant screening. After rehab comes tenant move-in. After tenant move-in comes the next step in this process: Review & Evaluation.

5. Review & Evaluation

This is the time when you sit down and review all the events during the past weeks and consider all the aspects of your plan execution. The reason you want to perform a written review and evaluation is so that you can reflect on specific performance and how you might do things differently.

You also might want to watch some videos and attend a case study at Lifestyles Unlimited® to share your experience and listen to what other investors have been doing as well. You will be amazed how listening to new case studies will help you reflect on your own recent investment experience. That knowledge can be applied to your future transactions.

By the time you have done a review of the entire process, you will already be earning positive cash flow on your first investment property. The review can serve as a way for you to self-critique your performance and prepare for the next round of investing. Now that you have successfully completed your first investment real estate transaction, it’s time to prepare for the next step: Repeat the Process.

6. Repeat the Process

Now, you are ready for another transaction. You know what frame of mind you need to be in. You know what goals to establish for yourself. Your plan is tweaked and amended with new information. You are equipped with all the contacts, knowledge, and resources to ensure another successful transaction.

Every time you repeat the process, you are one step closer to retirement. You are one step closer to being in complete control of your lifestyle!

As you have read, the path to being successful as a real estate investor is within your reach. I challenge you to take action. Don’t stand on the sidelines and watch! Take your life back!


  1. Great tips for new investors and those wanting to find out more!

  2. I read Lifestyles’s articles, and I must say that they are great articles, have attended two of their meetings and will certainly be a member. I am an immigrant from the island of St. Lucia (Caribbean) and speculatively build couple house and sold. Likewise purchased undevelop land, sub-divide it and resold. Looking forward to share some of my experiences, because one could make a substantial amounts in exploring other markets.

Speak Your Mind