Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Mark Ferguson
Every year I list my major goals for the upcoming year on this blog. It helps me stay accountable and makes me focus on creating awesome goals because I know thousands of people will be seeing them! I also go over the previous years’ goals and how I did. Every year I learn more and change things up a bit. There are always some surprises and I never accomplish every goal, which is how I plan it. Yes, I plan not to accomplish goals because I want to push myself all year long.
My goal write-ups for previous years:
I have been writing articles like this since 2013! Here are the previous goals and accomplishments from those years:
An overview of 2019
2019 was exciting but not quite as exciting as 2018, which is fine with me. 2018 was crazy with me starting my own real estate brokerage after buying a 68,000 square foot strip mall. I was able to buy over $1.3 million in rental properties in 2019 all with me having 100% ownership. We flipped 23 houses which is down 3 from 2018 and 2017, but that does not bother me as I want to flip fewer homes. I bought another car and I had another kid! I have some exciting goals for 2020 that I will list after I go through the 2019 results.
The video below goes over my goals as well.
How did I do with my 2019 goals?
I wanted to flip 36 houses in 2019. I wanted to do this because I had set goals to flip 36 houses in 2018 and really thought we could get there. We did not come close! However, I learned something. I do not want to flip that many houses anymore!
We did not flip as many houses because I did not have the many power to repair that many houses. I had to cut down on my contracting crew because of differences of opinion on how work should be done. Flipping houses has also gotten much more expensive. Housing prices are up, labor costs are up, material costs are up, and it takes so much room to make a decent profit now. We had up to 20 house flips at one time in 2019, but most of them were just sitting there waiting to be worked on. About midway through the year, I decided less is more and to focus on quality over quantity.
Here is one of the flips we did:
My goal was to buy 2 $750,000 (or more expensive) commercial properties. I bought a $2.1 million dollar property in 2018 and it has been the best deal of my life. I wanted to get at least two more big ones in 2019, although I knew it would be tough to buy as big of deals as I did in 2018.
What happened was I bought 0 $750,000 commercial properties! However, I bought the following commercial rentals:
- 4-unit mixed-use property for $193,500
- 10,000 square foot commercial building for $592,000
- 1,600 square foot commercial retail space for $130,000
- 3 houses and 1 2,800 commercial building for $410,000
While I did not hit this goal either I am super happy with what I accomplished. I got some amazing deals that should be fantastic rentals for many years to come.
The video below shows the 10k square foot rental I bought:
Real Estate Office
I wanted to break even on the real estate brokerage. What? What kind of horrible goal is that? Well, I decided that trying to do too much often hurts your success. I would love to have a brokerage with ten awesome agents who make me money. However, to get to that point would take a lot of work and resources. I think I am better off using those resources to focus on my own investing or educating others. We more than broke even with the office and I am ecstatic to do so.
I had some turnover at the office as we lost some agents, but I am okay with that as well. The agents who we lost were not core to my business model. Both the agents and I are probably better off with those agents in a different office. In my office now, everyone who is an agent also has other tasks that help my investing or the blog. I am not looking to add more agents at the moment and have turned down a few people who were interested in joining.
Below is a video of Blue Steel Real Estate:
I wanted to buy another exotic car, but I knew I had problems. I did not have enough garage space!
The cars I owned at the start of 2019 were:
- 1999 Lamborghini Diablo
- 1981 Aston Martin V8
- 1998 Lotus Esprit V8
- 1986 Porsche 928
- 1991 Mustang 5.0 convertible with supercharger
- 2010 Audi S4
That excluded my wife’s Mercedes 450 GLS and she has a 1993 Volkswagen Cabrio. The problem is I only have a 5 car garage. However, I still ended up buying a car. Here were the cars on my shortlist I mentioned at the beginning of 2019:
- Lamborghini Countach
- Maserati Ghibli (1960s or 1970s)
- Porsche 930
- Mercedes SLS
- Toyota Supra twin-turbo 6-speed
I ended up getting a 1994 Supra twin-turbo 6-speed that is Baltic Blue! I love the car and I cannot believe it took me so long to get a Supra. I used to have three in high school (not the twin-turbo model)!
I also ended up fixing the garage problem for now!
I had a lot of goals for the blog:
- I wanted to write three more books
- I wanted to increase blog traffic (I had a goal that I did not disclose for actual numbers)
- I wanted to host a mastermind event
I hired a full-time person to help with the blog in 2018. They taught me a lot about SEO and how to improve the site, but it did not work out between us and we parted ways in 2019. However, traffic has increased a lot! I also wrote three books, although I only published two of them:
- Buying into Success: this is a fiction book about a young adult stuck in the corporate world who discovers real estate.
- 101 House Flipping Tips: This book is just as the title reads. 101 tips on flipping houses. A really fast read packed full of information I have learned over the years.
I wrote a third book and even had it edited. However, I don’t want to publish it yet. I am waiting for the right time and may wait until I publish another book! We shall see.
I also hosted a fantastic mastermind even with a small group of investors from around the country. We took two days to go over my business and their business as well. We toured properties, had a great time, say my cars, and house and became friends as well. I am thinking of hosting another event this year, but I am not sure when yet. If you are interested email me [email protected] I have to warn you it is not cheap as it takes a lot of work and time to put one of these together.
I wanted to read 12 books total and run 12 miles a week. I also wanted to improve my golf game since I was able to put together e a golf simulator in my strip mall next to my office. I was able to read more than 12 books. While that may seem like a weak goal, four of the books I read were close to 1,000 pages long or longer!
I also ran more than 12 miles a week but my excel sheet I was keeping track of it on was deleted. So I am not sure how much I actually ran, but I was averaging over 20 miles a week until we had our third child Ireleigh. For some reason, my running decreased after that!
My golf game may have gotten worse as the simulator actually caused some issues. I was using it so much and trying to hit the ball as far as I could instead of straight. I also hurt my shoulder from overuse. Oops.
One really cool thing that happened in 2019 was I hired my nephew to work for me. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines (where my sister also teaches) in three years with almost a perfect GPA. I had talked to him a little bit about my business and working for me in the past but I did not think he wanted to join my office. It turns out I was wrong! He did not become an agent, but he did become my CFO and he helps with money, the blog, the office, and so many other things. He was able to buy his first house last year with some help from his mom qualifying with him and is doing amazing. It is really cool having so many people working with me who are smarter than me!
My real estate goals for 2020
You can see how I did in 2019. I accomplished some goals and on others, I was way off! However, it was a good year and anytime I can buy that many rentals I feel good about what I was able to accomplish.
In 2o20 I have decided to change things up again from what I learned in 2019. So here it goes!
I want to flip 15 houses in 2020. Yes, I want to drastically decrease how many flips I am doing. We have run into a few problems with doing so many flips:
- My contractors cannot keep up especially since we keep decreasing the amount we are using
- Expenses keep increasing (labor and material)
- It takes a lot of resources
I have had houses sitting for months as we wait for contractors to free up who can work on them. It feels good to say I flip more than 20 houses a year, but it may not make the most financial sense. I have decided to decrease the number of flips we do and focus more on quality over quality.
This will affect a few people, especially Nikki my project manager. She has been paid in a number of ways. She gets paid hourly with a bonus for each flip we do and she makes money when she sells houses as an agent. She is an amazing asset to the business as she helps with everything, not just the flips. She even found a couple of flips on her own last year and convinced me to buy one of my commercial rentals. We have both decided to change her compensation to get a bonus on each flip, but that bonus can increase with the profit we make on each property. I don’t doubt her motivation, but this will allow her to make just as much money without as much craziness going on and hopefully help our bottom line as well.
I have come up with a really cool long-term goal for my rental properties. I created a goal in 2013 to buy 100 rental properties which helped me get noticed nationally and really got my name on the scene of real estate bloggers. That goal has been amazing and helped me accomplish a ton more than I would have without it. However, it has been really tough to stick with it since our market has changed so much and I started buying commercial instead of residential rental properties.
I recently discovered many of the plans I wrote out by hand to buy rental properties. I had pages and pages of numbers and chicken scratch that was barely legible. Seeing those plans reminded me how much writing things out helped me visualize the future and motivate me. I decided to create a new plan in much the same way. I have not finished it yet, but I want to buy 1,000,000 square feet of rental properties. You can see those plans on the Investfourmore Instagram page.
I have started to break that plan down and I decided that buying 50,000 square feet of rental properties in 2020 is the perfect start. I already own just over 120,000 square feet of rentals so I have a long way to go!
Real Estate Brokerage
I do not have any big plans for the real estate brokerage. I like the people we have and we all share the same spirit full of ridiculous sarcasm. How do you think I came up with the name Blue Steel Real Estate? There is an idea that I have been tossing around in my head, but I am not going to disclose that publically. But is something comes of it, you will hear about it on the YouTube channel or Instagram for sure, and maybe on the blog.
To be honest I do not have any specific goals for cars at the moment. I love the Supra, I love the other cars as well. I am getting to a point where it is tough to drive them all as much as they deserved to be driven. There are definitely a few more cars I want to buy, but I am not going to make any specific goals this year.
At some point, I will have a Countach, will that be this year? I do not know. If I find the right car maybe. I would also love to have a Muira, but that is a million-dollar-plus car. I hate limiting my dream, so I won’t. One day, I will have a Muira as well! Big things are possible with big thinking and commercial real estate!
Something else that I have always wanted is a garage at work. A little like an underground lair if you will. I can drive one car to work, then drive another home. That is something that is in the back of my head as well but I will not make a specific goal on that either.
The blog is tricky because my main goal has always been to help people and hope the money follows. I spend an awful lot of time on the blog, youtube, Instagram, and other online activities. Yes, I make decent money on the education side of things, but I make much more investing in real estate. Recently, I feel I have come up with some clear and innovative things to do.
I will publish at least one more book in 2020, and not the book I already wrote and decided not to publish. This will be a book that many people have been asking for and one that I have already begun to write. I have high hopes for this book and it should help a lot of people. It may be on par with Build a Rental Property Empire, which has sold tens of thousands of copies.
I also plan to add at least one coaching program if not two. The additional coaching program will be unique and highly valuable to many investors. I have the complete blueprint coaching program now, which I think provides tremendous value with content and personal coaching from myself. One program will be created to make people a lot of money and the other will be created to educate as many people as possible in a fun and interactive format.
Of course, I also want blog, YouTube, and Instagram traffic to keep increasing as well! Who knows, maybe someday I will create a program or book on online marketing as well. Hint, the coaching programs I plan to create have nothing to do with online marketing.
I liked making a goal to read because I read more last year than I have read in a long time. I think that may have annoyed my wife a little because I tend to get into a good book and I read it everywhere. I like to read a mix of fiction and non-ficiton. I am not a robot that only reads self-help books (hopefully I did not offend any robots). I think this year I will make a goal to read 15 books. I don’t plan to read any epic novels as I did last year, but I still may fit in a long book or two.
I like running and it helps me stay somewhat fit because I also like to eat! To be honest, I weigh a little more than I would like to right now. Some of you have commented on YouTube in a nice way that my face looks like I have been lifting too many weights. Now, I have been lifting more and I am stronger than I have been in a very long time, but I also way the most I have ever weighed in my entire life. I have set a goal to run 700 miles this year, which is 13.5 miles a week. Why that number? It seemed like a good number. Already this year, I have run a few times and I am getting back into shape.
One tip. I created an Excel sheet to track my weight and workouts every day. This keeps me motivated as long as I don’t accidentally delete it.
Finally, something that I have needed for a while is a goal to have a certain amount of cash on hand at all times. I will be very honest with everyone right now. I like to spend money. Those who see my cars are probably thinking things I can’t type, but it is true. When flipping 20 houses at a time and buying multi-million dollar commercial properties it takes a lot of cash. I am not the best at being “conservative” with my money. I have always made it through tough situations but this year with all my goals and dealing with big commercial properties I really want to keep a huge safety net. I want to have at least $500,00o in cash or liquid money available. That could be lines of credit or straight cash. If it is cash I probably need to figure out a decent place to put it so it earns some type of return safely. Maybe bitcoin. I am kidding.
2020 should be a very fun year. I plan to get in better shape, to buy more rentals, to flip houses but not as many, to help others learn about real estate, and to have fun. That is one thing that is hard to put into a goal but I try to have fun and be positive with everything I do. Even when things really suck, I try to look at the positive. I hope my sharing these goals help you create goals, help motivate you to do more, or at least entertain you a little while you place bets on how far off I will be this year!