We purchased our first property when our oldest son was a baby, and almost twelve years and another boy later; our boys think it’s just a normal part of life. There are the more obvious benefits for our boys, such as financial stability; however, our children have learned so many lessons from our rental properties that they would never be taught in school. Here are just a few things they are learning:
The value of hard work
This is starting to apply more and more to our oldest son. We are teaching him how to properly paint a room, and he loves helping us demolition a wall! He has learned basic tools and is a great handyman assistant. There are quite a few times when you just need someone to grab tools and hold things so that you can get a job done, and an older child is a great help. Our oldest is also great at organizing and helping us clean up. Our children see the projects when we purchase them, and watch as we revitalize a property and make it a nice place for someone to live in. They are able to see firsthand how hard work can turn into real money down the road.
Patience goes hand in hand with hard work. There are times when we have to bring our children along with us to a property and they have to wait for a short amount of time while we diagnose a problem, show a potential renter though, or even sign a lease. The boys have learned to entertain themselves by playing with toys or drawing while they wait for us to finish. After they have waited for us to finish up, they are often rewarded with something fun, like a trip to the park.
How to build a business
As I’ve said, our children have only ever known a life with us owning rental property. We answer questions that they have about what we do, and learn how small business works. Whether they will be interested in going into rental property, or even another type of business; they are being given the tools now so they will have an idea of what it will take to be successful.
How to conduct themselves properly: Our children interact with current and potential renters on occasion. These are seen as opportunities for them to learn a proper handshake and practice looking adults in the eye and saying proper greetings. I am often surprised at how even some adults cannot get these things right.
Our youngest son is already a great salesman. This past summer, I had just finished fixing up a three bedroom house and was starting to show through perspective tenants. My youngest was with me and had already started referring to this place as his house. When a family came over to look at the property, he immediately went out to greet them. He told them how excited he was to have them looking at his house, and preceded to show them through every room, and his favorite area: the deck and backyard. He was only four years old at the time! Now, some of this is just innate to his personality, but we are also giving him opportunities to develop his skills that will serve him well down the road.
Working as a team
We often have several people involved in rehabbing a property. This includes the contractors we work with frequently as well as the teenagers we hire to do more of the manual labor type of tasks. Our children are learning how we employ the talents of many people in order to get the job accomplished.
So there you have it. Those are six things that our children are learning by being exposed to our business. Are there any life lessons that your children are learning from watching or participating in your work?