Barry Wilmeth’s Making Others Rich First provides a fresh take on real estate investing for both new and seasoned investors. Wilmeth, who has been investing in real estate across the United States for many years, knows that real estate investing is not solely about making yourself rich. It’s also about helping others to become wealthy by providing them with quality housing or helping them to buy their first homes, and for those who want even more, it is about helping new investors pursue their own financial dreams for success. I love Wilmeth’s attitude in this book. While some people might view real estate investing as competitive, Wilmeth believes there is plenty for everyone, and we all get more when we help each other. As he states early in the book, “We have an existential sense that our happiness depends on the happiness of others and that there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”
Making Others Rich First is designed to help the real estate investor starting out with the basics of how to invest, but it is also designed to encourage more seasoned investors to mentor others in the real estate investment business. Each chapter has nuggets of information for both the mentor and the mentee, and while the overall structure benefits the mentee, I think mentors will find much here to give them new ideas about investing.
The book is divided into five sections, each of which has three or four chapters. Those sections are: Getting on the Road to Riches; Setting the Business Framework; Preparation, Education, and Application; Staying Motivated; and Getting a Return on Your Investment. Throughout the sections, Wilmeth shares personal stories of investments he has made, shows how to crunch the numbers to determine potential payoffs and whether an investment is worthwhile, and continually provides motivation for readers to take action.
Taking action is especially key. Wilmeth knew that no matter how many books he read or seminars he took, he would never truly learn about real estate investing until he took action by buying a property. That first action paid off in the knowledge he acquired from owning it, and today, he owns rental properties across the United States, and he also buys and sells properties on a regular basis.
Wilmeth understands that real estate investing can initially be scary, but he states:
“The fear will subside the more you do similar deals. I tell new investors over and over, ‘Don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.’ Get your feet on the ground by making a real estate purchase and renting it out by using a reputable property manager. This is not a field trip. It is an internship. It is on the job training (OJT). Learning from a book or a seminar will make you think. Learning by doing will make you experienced.”
In addition, Wilmeth talks about how to find money for investing-from private investors and other sources. Once investment money is available, Wilmeth guides readers through how to do their due diligence when buying a property so they can avoid bad deals, and he also talks about how to recover if you do make a bad deal. A bad deal is not a reason to give up, but an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
Wilmeth also takes readers through all the details of business and tax planning. He introduces them to what he calls the MBA Formula, which consists of: Monitoring Your Debits and Credits, Balancing the Books, and Analyzing the Numbers.
He also talks about the importance of following up with others. You need to respond quickly, be on the phone rather than waiting for an email response, and consistently putting yourself in front of others so they will help you find deals and you can make sales. Even if you don’t know the answers to someone’s question, just responding can lead to forming a relationship that can benefit you in the long run. All of these points are explained in detail in these pages, along with advice on networking, volunteering, marketing, and much more.
But beyond all the real estate investment details is the book’s core message-the importance of mentoring, which Wilmeth summarizes in two main points: 1) “If you are new to investing, you really should have a mentor. And if you decide not to, there will come a day when you’re going to hear me whispering, ‘I told you so,'” and 2) “If you are already a sophisticated investor, you can get more deals and expand your business by being a good mentor to others.”
Ultimately, mentoring can only be advantageous to a real estate investor. As Wilmeth states:
“Your firsthand testimony is much more powerful than a seminar, book, or attendance at an investors’ club meeting. You will come across to others as believable and as an ‘If I can do it, so can you’ role model. I believe the best way to be the real deal is to take steps to increase your wealth, share your story, and then help others get rich without charging a fee.”
Yes, you read that right-“without charging a fee.” Wilmeth describes the difference between coaches who do charge fees and true mentors, and his take on mentoring is refreshing as a result.
A lot of successful businesspeople will try to tell you how to get rich by sharing with you what they have done, but it’s rare to find someone who does it for the purpose of giving back rather than to benefit himself. Not that Wilmeth denies the personal benefits of helping others, but his sincere desire to help others get rich first is what makes this book stand out from all the other real estate books already available. Whether you’re new to real estate investing or you want to learn more through giving back, this book will open new opportunities for you.