In this episode, I interview Douglas Dowell. Douglas is a real estate investor who happens to have a very strong academic background; he is also a lawyer. Douglas is highly educated, and he brings that education and intelligence to this interview.
The interview starts with Douglas making the point that private money is necessary at some point in every real estate investor’s career. At some point, banks stop loaning you money, and you simply must find alternative means of financing your deals if you want to make this industry your career and not just a hobby.
Douglas shares a story about working for a friend’s father, who happened to be a real estate investor, while still in high school. At around that same time, Douglas heard Carlton Sheets on a late night infomercial; that lit a fire in him for real estate investing.
By the age of 18, Douglas knew that he loved real estate investing. He saw a small multifamily property listed in the paper, and called to ask about it even though he knew nothing about valuing properties, or any of the numbers associated with real estate investing. That deal never happened, and because Douglas got paralysis by analysis he went on to have a career in various other fields including law. It’s only in the last few years that he has become very serious about working in real estate as a full-time career.
One piece of advice that Douglas would give new real estate investors is to find a good real estate lawyer. You do not need to understand every real estate law yourself, but you should have a good lawyer in your network. The best real estate lawyer is one who is also a real estate investor.
We discuss the importance of networking and talking to people who are actually investing in real estate. Douglas also makes the point that, at some point, you have to get out there and start.
“Action is the best cure for analysis paralysis.”
Douglas shares the fact that, over the past few years, he has looked into no less than 15 different strategies for investing in real estate; he says that it is a very important to become clear on which strategy you’ll pursue, and then to go pursue it! Douglas eventually settled on small multiplex real estate development. That is his passion and what he is currently working on.
A good day in Douglas’ business is one where he is building his team and creating relationships and connections that will help him move his real estate investing career forward.
Tip for real estate investors: know your limitations. Then, partner with people whose strengths are your limitations!
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Book by Robert Kiyosaki
Redfin – MLS access for everyone (not available in all cities)