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Property Management Blog

Learn by Doing – A real life example

Mendell Gosnell - Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Learn by Doing – A real life example

A picture containing person, sitting, baby, indoor

Description automatically generated One of the first lessons my mentor in Real Estate taught me was to work to learn not to earn. By working to learn you will never lack the ability to earn later on and usually much more than you could otherwise.  It is also nice when you can put this principal into action and still earn while you learn. In the real world there are a lot of opportunities like paid internships, mentor programs both formal and informal that can literally change a young person’s life trajectory. Recently, I tried to put this real-life training into practice in my home. I had my 3 oldest kids (ages 13, 11 and 8) help round up stuff around the house that we wanted to get rid of and helped them determine fair prices for each item. I gave them some guidance and answered questions along the way but tried to get them to do the work. 

Offer Guidance but have them get their hands dirty by doing the work

I had them use the internet to search for similar used items online for sale and come up with a reasonable price range for each item. Once they had all the work done and the items listed out on paper with price ranges, we downloaded an app called Offer Up and had them take pictures and post the items to sell. For certain items we chose to use Craig’s List which offered another option and learning experience. 

Failure is part of the learning process

On the first couple items I paid the kids after they sold the items. Then, began teaching them how they could have earned more if they would have negotiated the price or percentage fee with me in advance. I also used the experience as a way to teach them about negotiating with the buyers and how they shouldn’t just accept the first low-ball offer. They groaned in agony of having left some money on the table and feeling a little taken but the lesson was certainly learned. Learning these types of lessons when there is so little at stake is a great way to teach your kids.

Enjoy the fruits of your hard work and summarize what you learned

We spent the better part of a month letting the kids work to sell off the bulk of the items and see the earning pile up before we closed out the exercise and paid the kids their hard-earned monies. Mom and I let them choose something to spend some of their profits on and give, save and invest the remainder. We spent a little time around the dinner table talking about some of the more memorable sales and memories and had the kids recount what they learned and their overall experience. All-in-all, I think it was a success and yet another step in the learning journey.

Hopefully this real-world example will encourage and inspire you to try it or something similar with your kids and have a great time together as you learn and grow. Here is to your success and to the success of the next generation!

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