Nov 23

The who’s who of Milwaukee rental housing were in attendance at Joe Peter’s funeral.  So many that one person commented that if a bomb hit the church nobody in Milwaukee would have to pay rent again.  A lot of folks I had not seen in years.  It’s sad that the only time we see these people anymore are funerals for friends.

One such person was Mike, a former board member of the Apartment Association.  He asked if I remembered having lunch with him a number of years ago.  I admitted I didn’t and kiddingly asked if I had skipped out on my portion of the bill. He assured me I hadn’t and that he just wanted to thank me for the sage advice I had given him that helped him succeed when others failed.  I had him remind me of what I shared with him that he felt was so valuable.  Once he told me, I felt it still rings so true that I would share it again.

At that lunch back in probably 2005 or 2006, the height of the silliness we were seeing in real estate pricing, Mike wanted to know how to acquire more units.  I cautioned him that his focus was wrong.

It’s not about how many units you own.  It’s about being sustainably profitable.

Unit fever is a disease that has wiped many owners in both good and bad economies. So don’t aim to have 50,100, 200, a thousand units.  Rather do the math and aim to only own profitable units and create scalable infrastructure before getting big.

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