Tom Caferella always dreamed of following in his grandfather’s footsteps (a very successful landlord) and become a successful real estate mogul. Instead, he followed everyone’s advice and took on a traditional 9-to-5 job as an accountant. The problem: his heart was in real estate investing. It didn’t take long to get fired from his job due to his daydreaming about his passion.
Instead of staying knocked down, Tom co-founded Ocean City Development, a real estate investment company based out of Boston, Massachusetts. Tom’s team has acquired over 500 properties over the past 5 years to flip, wholesale, and buy and hold. Tom is also co-owner of Cameron Real Estate Group, a real estate brokerage of over 200 agents that focuses on finding investment deals for Tom to buy. This Boston-based investor is a father of 3 who believes you can “do what you love, and never work a day in your life.” He knows for many people, that’s real estate investing.
● Who is Tom Carafella?
Tom grew up in Revere and always believed in the traditional dream of growing up, going to school, and getting a good job. The day he read Rich Dad, Poor Dad was the day everything changed for him.
Tom feels that more people go to college than they should because we tell our kids that they won’t be successful unless they go to school, which is not good advice. College is not right for everyone.
When you grow without having a lot of money, it changes you, and for Tom that lead him to aiming to succeed beyond what everyone else he knew managed to achieve.
● Education, Entrepreneurship, and Real Estate Investing
The more you learn, the more you earn. You don’t have to work your way through the halls of a college in order to gain new skills and become more valuable.
Tom spent the majority of his time at his job reading about real estate, so much so that he was actually fired. When he lost his job, he realized that it’s important to take action and not just get stuck in the learning phase if you are going to succeed.
10 or 15 years in a life can go by very fast, you don’t have as much time as you think to wait to start doing something you love. What is the risk of trying to do something you love compared to the risk of staying with something that is making you unhappy?
If you’re an entrepreneur, the first step is to get around other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs have to work harder at the beginning in order for things to get easier later on, and that means you won’t always have the support of people around you. You can’t live your life for someone else.
● How did you make the transition from employee to entrepreneur?
Tom had no choice but to give entrepreneurship a shot. If you are going to go out on your own, you have to be willing to put in the work.
In many cases, owning your own business is more secure than relying on the average 9 to 5 job.
● Real Estate Investing is a Business
Every business has core fundamentals that you have to learn in order to succeed. This doesn’t mean you have to do them yourself, they just have to be done. In the beginning it’s all on you but eventually you want to be the chess player, not the chess piece.
Hiring the best is your most important task. Having a larger organization that has success relies entirely on hiring the best people.
● Should someone get their license?
Tom feels that every real estate investor should have their real estate license. There are so many benefits that it doesn’t make sense not to have one.
For Tom, 95% of the people he buys property from want to sell traditionally, which means he can take advantage of many aspects of having the real estate license.
● Why Facebook ads?
Facebook is the biggest data aggregator ever, they know virtually every detail of our lives. Advertising on Facebook can be extraordinarily targeted and you only have to pay for people that you actually want to reach. You can save a lot of money by excluding the people that you don’t want to work with.
Most people are not quick to adapt to change, as more people get into the ad marketplace something else will likely take its place.
● Tom’s Takeaway
If Tom were to go back and do it all over again he would find a coach that is successful in whatever field he was looking into and align himself with them. The hardest part of going out on your own is the trial and error process, if you can shorten that time you will make money a lot faster and ramp your business up a lot quicker. By having some you can work with that’s a little bit ahead of you, you can limit your downside.
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