Making My First Million by Mistake…

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A steady job in the IT industry was good, but it wasn’t going to build true wealth. At the end of each year, I managed to save a few bucks and max out contributions to my 401K. That alone could be seen as a success! However, I still felt this was the ‘same-old-same’ rat race, and I knew it was time to do something different. I started researching ways to augment my income which lead me to the world of franchises, multi-level marketing schemes, stock investing, online opportunities, and residential real estate. After much research and thought I decided to give Real Estate a shot.

When I started researching my options, I realized just how many paths there are to choose from. However, I had heard about people making a ton of money buying foreclosed homes for pennies on the dollar with no money out of their pocket. It just seemed like a no-brainer, so I bought a book and learned the basics. I then took the next step and attended a course offered by a foreclosure expert. At his event, I discovered the “5 Easy Steps to Buying a Foreclosure,” so off I went on my journey of fixing it up and selling it off for a huge profit!

I located a house in Long Island, NY near the waterfront that was going through a foreclosure – a perfect candidate for my first go at this new adventure. So, I contacted the owner and scheduled a visit. Upon my arrival, I met the owner, a middle-aged man who was smoking a cigarette as he opened the door to greet me. I entered the house, and it smelled like an ashtray. As he walked me through the house, he continued lighting cigarette after cigarette. The entire scene was a disaster. On the one hand, he was calling me ‘Sir’ while showing off the property and on the other, he was yelling at his wife and kids about the house being a mess. I just knew this was not my thing. I wasn’t looking forward to negotiating this deal with this man, and I already wasn’t looking forward to working on the deal that would eventually follow this one. There had to be a better way to create additional financial stability in real estate without having to go through this with each property.

With that experience behind me, I decided to attend the Real Estate Wealth Expo in New York City at the Javits Center where I would have the opportunity to check out additional avenues in real estate. I received my VIP pass in the mail along with the schedule of real estate Gurus who would be speaking at the event. I developed a plan of attack. The topics that most caught my eye were flipping homes, fixer uppers, and abandoned homes. These strategies were not too far out of my comfort zone and claimed to make a lot of money by either selling the homes at market value or renting them for passive income. So, I filled my schedule with as many speakers on those topics as I could and would duck out the speeches once the sales pitch started to buy some training or some home study guide. This way I could run to the next room. If you’ve never been to one of these events before, this was essential to guarantee a seat at the next speaker and also to ensure you’d be able to see all the speakers on your list.

I attended both days of the event. Day one was filled with excitement running from meeting room to meeting room making sure I was checking off the speakers I wanted to hear. On the second day, I still had many Real Estate experts I wanted to hear speak. As I made my way to the guru of “making millions from abandoned properties,” the gentlemen at the door said there were no seats available and to come back at the next time slot. I was carrying a seminar tote bag that was filled with Real Estate pamphlets, booklets, giveaways, and more. I was exhausted and needed a minute to sit and relax. Down the hall, another man was announcing that he had a few seats left, but the door was closing soon. I was exhausted. I needed to sit. As I walked in they announced, “Learn about Commercial Real Estate.” Ok, I knew this wasn’t my calling, but I took a seat closest to the door so that I could rest for a moment then head to my next scheduled speaker.

As I settled into my seat, J. Scott Scheel took the stage, and his energy immediately filled up the room. He quickly delved into his pitch sharing how Commercial Real Estate was the business to be in and that anyone could do it. He started with his story of being broke and went on to share how he bought his first 9-unit apartment complex. He then went on to share step by step the strategies of how he purchased commercial properties such as strip centers, offices, retail, and apartments. He shared how increasing rents by just $0.25 per square foot could quickly increase the value of these properties. There were such simple things you could do, that when amplified at the commercial level made a lot of changes to the bottom line. I was not going to find this flipping houses. I got it. It made sense. And best of all, I didn’t have to tour foreclosed homes with a chain-smoking guide in order to find success.

Scott was genuine in character, and I felt his war stories in Commercial Real Estate were true. He made many mistakes but could guide the audience on how to avoid those pitfalls. Before I knew it, the 1.5-hour presentation was over. I couldn’t believe I didn’t move. However, then, I did move….just to go to the opposite side of the room to purchase a 2-day live seminar with Scott in NJ two months later.

Two months later, I attended that NJ seminar and then also bought into a 5-day Commercial Academy training. Scott had given me the tools I needed to dive into Commercial Real Estate headfirst. I was officially hooked and started the hunt to find a commercial property. Using the strategies I learned from Scott’s courses, I found my first commercial property (65,000 sq ft!!) and quickly got it under contract for $2.75M. The property was a retail strip center with 40% occupied and the bank that had initially provided the mortgage was more than happy to have me take over the loan from the seller. The previous owner had missed payments for months and was in financial trouble.

Fast forward a few years, the same mall is now valued at $9.2 million with 95% occupied. Plus, I built out a stand-alone coffee shop on the extra land that came with the mall. Since then, I have bought additional pieces of commercial properties to grow my portfolio. None of this would have been possible, had I not accidentally walked into J Scott Scheel’s Commercial Real Estate seminar in NYC a few years ago where I learned to change my life with One Deal. I am forever grateful!

Want a chance to accidentally make your First Million? Snag your tickets to the Real Estate Wealth Expo In San Mateo  October 13th & 14th.  Click Here for more details

Meet the Author

Sandy Singh is a student of the Commercial Academy and Scott Scheel for more than ten years. This his story about how he had created financial stability through J. Scott Scheel’s proven Commercial Real Estate Investment strategies.

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