Are you another greedy real estate investor?

Everyone’s greedy. You’re all selfish. 

I’m going to be brutally honest with you here and not sugar coat it. Nothing is ever really self-less. But you can be selfish and still do good things. If I had a business mantra, that would be it. Especially in the real estate industry.

Help others get what they want and you’ll get everything you want…and likely more! It’s simple economics. 

That said, I believe we need more long-term greedy leaders.

Gus Levy, Senior Partner at Goldman Sachs, originally coined the term “long-term greedy.”. What he meant was that they always kept their bottom line front of mind, but the time horizon for calculating ROI wasn’t days, weeks, or even quarters—it was years, and maybe decades.

Levy suggests that we should avoid taking shortcuts. Good business, when viewed from a long-range perspective, never includes any shortcuts. The payoff associated with “doing the right thing” takes the form of reputational and brand equity, valuable relationships, smoother, more predictable operations, and competitive advantage.

Dan Martell, serial entrepreneur with multiple wildly-successful exits, has this to say in his article on the subject of greed here: “Long term means that you invest the time to find the right employees who share your values. It also means finding partners that make you look good and are going to be around in 10-20 years. Short term is all about optimizing for near term gains. It can also mean either pushing your team to exhaustion or always sucking the value from any deal to be all one-sided.

Dan has been my friend and mentor for many years now, and I can tell you this: if there’s a better example of a guy who favors the long-term, you’d be hard-pressed to find it. As Dan says later in the article, “…I plan to be in this “game” for the rest of my life, so I try to be long term in my decisions…”

There are no selfless good deeds.

We all give, and most of us give with expectations. We expect an equal or better return from the person we gave to. And we want to get paid back quickly.

But here’s what’s been my experience: sometimes you give to one person, and that good mojo goes out into the universe and you are gifted something from someone else. Karma, good vibes, patience, whatever you want to call it. It works. At least in my world.

Others start out by giving for free and work their asses off. These are the people who understand long-term greed. I will pass up a short-term wow; I will lose the battle to win the war. 

You can’t keep money and opportunities from coming to you when you provide massive value to the marketplace. Over-deliver. Zig Ziglar’s advice is still true today: If you want to get what you want, help enough other people get what they want.

Choosing to be long-term greedy is the one of the best ways to practice patience, which is the second key to success in our business, after people.

Now, being long-term greedy means things can be painful in the short term. You’re going to take some losses, leave some money and maybe some opportunities on the table.

But patience is one essential emotion you must master if you want to succeed in the real estate industry. Twists and turns are going to happen. The path from where you are to the next level is not a straight line.

How well you navigate those twists and turns, and how patient you are throughout the process, will determine just how high you can fly in this business.

Key traits of long-term greedy leaders:

  • Do you actively hire people who are smarter than you? There’s a short-term cost to your ego, but the long-term greedy leader knows that the payoff is a stronger, more interdependent team.
  • Do you delegate as much important work as possible? “You give up time you don’t have to equip others to do something they won’t do exactly
    the way you’d do it yourself. Painful.”
  • What about when your team members have opportunities to move to other positions? Short-term greedy leaders stand in the way. They don’t want to put forth the effort it takes to train someone new for that role. But a long-term greedy leader knows that the reputational and karmic equity makes it worthwhile to foster all promising relationships while they’re young.
  • They’re not impulsive.
  • They are committed to learning from their mistakes.

Does that sound like you? If so, great! You’re one of the long-term greedy leaders I’m talking about. But if you answered any of these questions in the negative, it might be time to reassess your best practices and incorporate some of the traits I talked about today.

During the month of June, I’ll be talking about long-term greed and why it’s so vital to success. I’ll be taking a deep dive on many of the traits and characteristics outlined above. Plus, I’ll be talking about some long-term greedy leaders in the real estate industry.

I’ll be researching some of my favorite examples from in and out of the business world, and sharing some of their tips and advice here on the blog. P. Diddy, Mark Cuban, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, and more.

Are there any other key traits of long-term greedy leadership that you’d add? Have you ever met anyone who embodies the qualities of long-term greed? Are there any other famous contemporary examples of people who embody these traits?

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think! Come back next week; I’ll be talking about the third piece of the puzzle: perseverance. See you then!

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