A Lease Purchase Christmas Carol ©
(with Sincere Apologies to Charles Dickens)
By Claude “What the Dickens” Diamond
Part III – The Ghost of Lease Purchase Real Estate Past
I was trying to get to sleep when a flash emitted from the stove. A misty fog cleared and someone was again in my living room. I was personally hoping for St. Nick, but instead a man with beard dressed in a 1974 purple leisure suit appeared.
Max sent me! he exclaimed, I am the Ghost of Lease Purchase Real Estate Past.
My Gawd, that is a mouthful to say, I thought.
Please take the hem of my garment. We have much to see. Not one to argue with a badly dressed poltergeist, I grabbed the hem of his really tacky retro suit. This ghost investor really needed a trip to the Men’s Warehouse, but that was another matter. Besides, what was I thinking, he was a ghost!
I should really be concerned as to where we were traveling. He raised his oversized lapels and flapped them 3 times. We were whisked away to the back seat of an extended Ford F-100 cab pickup truck that was roaring down highway 95, to who knows where. The ghost instructed me to listen as we sat a few feet away from two young men in the front seat.
Can’t they see us, I asked?
They will not be able to hear or see us, now be Silent and Listen as you have been instructed.
The driver spoke…..
So listen Ralphy boy, it’s all about guts and consistency. If you knock on enough doors, eventually someone is going to say ‘yes’. You will make more money in one sale than in any job working for someone else. It’s not easy but heck, it’s your own business, you work when you want to, are you game?
Sure, the fellow called Ralph, replied.
I grabbed the spectre’s jacket. THAT’S ME, OMG!! That’s me, Ghost dude!! I remember. (I was babbling now.) I was only a kid, maybe 21 or 22 years old. I left my corporate job because it was so boring and the pay was even worse. Really cruel boss, too. I rode with this guy who I found from an ad in the newspaper. I remember, it went like “Start your own tool business”.
I rode along with him and he was teaching me how to sell tools like a peddler all day long. I thought what the heck. I was now an entrepreneur. I didn’t have to go to meetings anymore or wear suits. I made decent money everyday just knocking on stranger’s doors near manufacturing plants and gas stations. Oh boy, was my Dad pissed off at me when I quit the corporate job that he had arranged for me, in the middle of another of those recessions, when no one was hiring. I had a helluva lotta adventures in my truck. Man, were those the good old days, I exclaimed.
The two young men stopped the truck, parked in front of an industrial warehouse, got out and walked toward the office of the owner. Casper (the weird purple ghost) and I followed or hovered, whatever you call it.
First Young Guy: Hey mister, I have some great equipment on the back of my truck and I can cut you a helluva deal, if you are interested.
Burley Owner: Well, let’s take a look, but no promises.
Young Ralph: All new equipment, Sir. We buy directly from the Manufacturer so you don’t have to pay retail or shipping costs.
The Burly Owner starts looking and caressing the menagerie of industrial tools: a collection of drill presses, vises, socket sets, a red 2 ton hoist, aka: a cherry picker and a 5 ton press, as well as assorted hand tools, all new and packaged.
First Young Guy: We can let you have the entire load for $2500.00, retail would be closer to $5000.00.
Burly Owner: Are youse guys nuts, I wouldn’t give you anything close to that.
Young Ralph: We really want to sell this stuff and get back home. Suppose we discounted it another $250.00 and made it an even $2250.00?
Burly Owner: I’ll give you $2000.00 cash and that is it fellows. Take it or get out of here.
Young Ralph: We will take it Sir, you are really getting a great deal. Thank you.
The owner went inside and paid Ralph with 20 crisp $100 bills. They unloaded the truck and left to get something to eat.
The Ghost of Lease Purchase Past asked Ralph, do you remember all of this, Ralph?
To which he replied, You bet. What the owner didn’t know was that the entire load only cost about $900.00, since we bought the equipment in large quantities directly from the manufacturers. He still got a good deal, but we made $1100.00, a great profit for just one sale in the old Disco days.
The Ghost of Lease Purchase Past acknowledged him, Yes, you went on to start you own tool import business and even brought in a few other truck drivers to work for you. You did that for 5 years and then sold the business when you got into Creative Real Estate.
Let’s move on to your next business start-up. With that, they flew to a convention center crammed with people and where a guy in a black suit was speaking to the crowd.
Speaker: Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, you too, can be rich in real estate and we can show you how. It’s easy. Don’t you want to become rich? It’s all about ‘little or nothing down’, folks. Look at me. You can do it, too. Just step to the back of the room, speak to my associates and they can help you. Don’t worry about money, we can show you how to increase your credit limit. Get loads of easy cash and do deals. Hurry now, we can only sign up the first 50 people.
Ghost: Do you remember how you ran to the desk and signed up, Ralph? Do you remember what happened next?
Yes, Ralph relied, it was a waste of money. I got a book with generic information and I couldn’t get the guru or anyone on the phone to help me do deals. They would never return my calls or call me back from my voice mails. I learned a hard lesson, that I should never do business with someone who hides their contact information, is not accountable or doing business in an honest fashion.
I was so confused, Ralph continued, but I had sold the tool business and I had some money left over to invest. I needed to do something fresh and with a challenge. A new business that would make at least 10K to 50K per month, minimum. I heard so many success stories about real estate. I really had the real estate fever then, but I was so ignorant about strategies and marketing. I wasted so much money on that crook and others like him.
Ghost: That man on the stage is now serving a life sentence, in the federal penitentiary for tax evasion and mail fraud. Let’s move on, my time with you is fleeting. With that, they flew in a flash, to a large condo development. Do you remember this building, Ralph?
You bet, Ralph answered. I bought these condos with my remaining cash and credit like the guru in another book said to do and I was loosing my shirt. I had to get a second corporate job just to keep up with the mortgages, taxes, homeowner association payments and insurance. No one paid me on time, if at all and the repairs were a constant annoyance. I had to move out of my apartment and move back in with my folks. OMG, that was embarrassing. It was just a matter of time before I was wiped out, busted, a loser at 27 years old.
Ghost: Then something unique happened to you. Something that changed your life very quickly. One of the most successful and wealthiest people in the world of real estate investment came into your life. Do you remember when you first met Max The Mentor?
Tomorrow Part IV (my favorite) Ralph has to devise a plan to meet Max the Mentor if his life is ever going to change. Most importantly where is he going to find the requisite Bagel ? Will Ralph be able to turn his fortunes around ?