Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Burleyists - Mike Hay

Of all the Burleyists I've looked into so far, Mike Hay is perhaps the most interesting. Mostly because there's actual evidence that he is actively involved in the business of buying and selling residential property.

Take a look at what Mr. Hay has to say about John Burley on the Mastermind forum, in this post from November 26th, 2003:

I first was introduced to John Burley's methods when my partner went to the April 2002 bootcamp. At that time, we had 6 properties. Almost all were poor investments and learning experiences.... no money down, taking poor credit people out of foreclosure and re-selling to them, junky properties, and so on. Now, after one and a half years of listening, learning, working hard and believing in the system, we have 37 properties with a handful of others that have either been flipped or cashed out. And in five minutes, just a couple weeks after turning 30, I will be leaving my bene-filled corporate job that my parents and society have always taught me to aspire for. True financial freedom is probably a couple years out, but this day has been something that I have been working for for a long time. Thanks to all that have taught and supported me and I look forward to continuing to grow with this community.
Now, there are a number of things in that post that I'd like to highlight. Note first the not trivial fact that he was already a fairly experienced real estate investor prior to his exposure to Burley.

He, like all Burleyists, makes a big deal about leaving the corporate world. But what is he leaving it to do, really? Burley and Kiyosaki give the impression that "leaving the rat race" means being able to jet off to Hawaii to sip Mai Tais while you're dozing in a lounge chair on the beach. That's the dream they sell (hinted at in the quote above where Mr. Hay says "true financial freedom"). The reality is, however - and this is also true for John Burley - that Mike Hay has become a business owner and entrepreneur. He may love the business of real estate and so consider that an improvement over being a wage slave, but that doesn't mean he's not going to encounter long work weeks, sleepless nights, and uncertainty. He has ended his responsibility to an employer and replaced it with new responsibilities - to his employees, partners, investors, and homebuyers. There is unquestionably an upside potential - but that's true in any entrepreneurial venture, not just real estate.

And what about the "true financial freedom" that, in 2003, Mr. Hay guessed was "probably a couple years out"? Well, I note he is still a fairly regular participant on the Burley forums, so my guess is he hasn't quite made it, yet. Another hint - and a sobering one, at that - is one I found by keeping tabs on the list of properties displayed at Easy Way Homes. For about 6 weeks, now, 20 properties - basically the entire inventory of houses they've had for sale while I've been watching - have sat unsold. I was beginning to think that the web site was defunct until yesterday I noticed a "SOLD" sign go up on one of them. Ouch. I guess Mr. Hay and his business partner need to go back and review that section of Burley's teachings where he shows "How To Build A Database of Eager Qualified Buyers Who Will Be Anxious To Move Into Your Properties." Print up some more door hangers, guys!

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