Meet Gary Wilson
I believe that investing in Real Estate is the best path to realizing the American Dream. I was fortunate enough to have a great teacher when I first got started at the ripe old age of 23.
When I was in college, I was blessed to have a roommate named Socrates. Both his parents were Greek. His mother was born here in the States, but his father was born in Greece. So Mrs. Demet went to Greece to attend a high school graduation, and came home with Mr. Demet. They lived south of Richmond, Virginia.
They were a great family. They took me in and treated me like one of their own. Mr. Demet was a great teacher, and fortunately for me, he was a generous teacher. He taught me right alongside Socrates. I could not have gotten a better education. As a matter of fact, the education I got from him has been worth more to me than the education I got from college.
After I graduated I got my first corporate nine-to-five job. Socrates and I again became roommates. Very good deal for me! We bought our first property together.
Now we had gone out to find a property, and being young college graduates living at the beach, we decided to buy a little townhome a few blocks from the ocean. It was great—of course it was going to be a chick magnet. We were going to live the life. But before the day was out Socrates’ dad set us straight. We got out of that deal, thank goodness, because it would have been a losing deal. He then took us by the hand and showed us what to do.
Instead we bought a nice little property in Virginia Beach—478 Leslie Terrace—ten minutes from the beach, and two minutes from where I worked. Soc’s dad cosigned the second mortgage and showed us how to do everything. He did not give us any money, though. Instead of giving us a meal of trout and salmon, he taught us how to fish.
It was a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. We bought it from a guy in the Navy. We assumed his first mortgaged, refinanced his second, and gave him a note and a mortgage for the third—which was his equity portion of the property after the first and second mortgages.
Socrates and I lived there, and we rented the other rooms out. Essentially we were able to live for about $50 a month, because the other guys’ rent covered our mortgage payment. I had only about $3,000 in the deal altogether.
We were on the water every day after work. Soc bought a used boat and a used van to tow it, and we went water skiing all the time. We pioneered pulling stuff behind boats besides skis. We tried surfboards and other crazy stuff we thought would work including just us on our backs. I saved a good bit of change because I wanted to buy more property.
I remember Soc’s dad telling us, while we stood at the dock of one of his beach homes, “If you boys do what I show you, you will not have to work for anybody else past the age of 35.” And thankfully for me, he was a real life example of success, someone who was actually investing in real estate and making money doing it.
I learned something very profound during this time. I learned I was not built to be sitting behind a desk in a corporate job, Monday through Friday, nine to five, for 40 years; I knew I had to do something about it.
But then guess what happened. I found the girl of my dreams and got married. At that point, Mr. Demet did not think it would be a good idea for Soc and I to try to hang on to the home together. Virginia real estate rules were complicated, and with me being married and him not, we decided Socrates would buy me out. I got $8,000 out of the deal. Remember I put $3,000 in, and got $8,000 out in about a two-year time frame. Not a bad return! A 266% return. I knew I would never be able to do that in the corporate world.
I eventually went on to get my Real Estate license but I only used it for myself. In fact I didn’t want other people knowing I had it! When people would ask if could help them buy or sell a home I said, “No.”
Ha. I can laugh now.
As I progressed in my investing I was often invited to be a guest speaker at various Real Estate education seminars. I was even on the radio a few times. That led me down the path of teaching others how to invest.
Students always asked if I could be their Real Estate Agent. Again, I politely said, “No.”
I am notoriously stubborn.
After the third class I decided to be a nice guy and help two students from each class by representing them in the field. I wasn’t too excited about the money – yet!
When I told twenty-five students I could only help two, I learned one of the fundamental laws of marketing – the law of scarcity.
After I realized how much demand I created by making myself scarce, I decided to command a minimum commission from the investors I taught.
Something very important happened during this process. I created a system to use my license as an income producing asset.
This system enabled me to keep investing, and at the same time, break all kinds of records in Real Estate sales.
In 2008, at the height of the great recession – when half of all Real Estate Agents had to get out of the business – I single handedly serviced 110 clients with no team or any assistant of any kind. In the middle of the worst economy in 80 years, my Real Estate business grew while most others were dying.
The secret to success in Real Estate brokerage isn’t just in what you know and who you know, more importantly it’s in how you do what you do and why you do it. Remember, the relationship is the key not the commission. When you 1st meet a new prospect be sure to dig deep, go deep, get to know them. Not just what they do, where they live, their children’s names, do they have a cat or dog. Really get to know them, how they think, what they feel. What are their dreams? What are their frustrations. The secret is that when you are really connected to them at a deeper level you will also be inherently more committed at a deeper level. You will not let them fail. You will help them win because now you are connected to them. They are part of your life and your life is one of success and triumph. That’s what they want too. That’s what they want and they need you to help them get it. Help them build massive new wealth and in come in Real Estate and that relationship won’t just be for one commission it will be for life. And that my friends is how you build massive new wealth and income in Real Estate for yourself. Can I get an Amen!
The lessons I learned from Mr. Demet were beginning to bear fruit and this is what I want to share with you. I believe with undying faith in the American Dream. It is alive and well for people including those who are from foreign lands like Mr. Demet. I further believe that investing in Real Estate is the best path to realizing the American Dream. He was a real life role model, showing me it absolutely could be done.
I know a lot of you guys reading this do not have that, but I hope you will use me as that example. But I don’t just want you to be like me… I want you to be better than me.
This is about the teacher who get’s worn out just thinking about dealing with all those snotty nosed brats for 40 years just to retire on meager pension. This is about the police officer or fireman who fear for their lives every time they go to work. This for the dentist afraid of being stuck behind the chair when they’re 65 years old. This is for the military mom wanting desperately to be with her children. These are the folks who have that burning desire to have something greater in life, who want to really enjoy the good things in life and ultimately leave a legacy for their families. They are why I do what I do.