The Top 10 Values of a $600 Million Apartment Investor
It’s important to define what your values are. Because if you don’t, you are like a marionette whose strings are being pulled by an unknown force. Hence, why Gandhi once famously said “Your values become your destiny.”
Your values shape how you perceive everything in the world – how you approach new relationships, how you react to failure and ultimately determines whether you will attract or repel success.
The number one value I live my life by can be summed up in my favorite Tony Robbins quote: “The secret to life is giving.” For every endeavor I undertake, I automatically focus on how this will benefit others. And the resulting inspiration and passion has gotten me to where I am today.
What are your values?
Carlos Vaz, who is the CEO of a multifamily company that controls nearly $600 million across around 5,000 units, attributes his business and life success to defining and living out his top values. In our recent conversation, he provided the top 10 values that took him from an immigrant waiter and truck loader to a multimillion dollar entrepreneur.
1 – Faith
Carlos’ number one value is faith. In fact, his said his Best Ever book is the bible. “My faith is important because it has really shaped me.”
2 – Excellence
Number two is excellence. That means, Carlos said, “doing your best in all you touch. It’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. Sometimes people say, ‘Well, I’m going to do this halfway.’ Really? It takes twice the amount of time and effort to come back and fix something that you didn’t do well the first time, so take the time to do well he first time around so that you don’t need to come back.”
Everything you do in real estate needs to be done at 100% effort and with 100% of your attention. Because If you approach things halfheartedly, you may land yourself in more trouble than if you wouldn’t have something in the first place.
3 – Perseverance
Number three is perseverance. And in order to persevere, especially when the going gets tough, you must minimize the time you spend complaining. Every second spent on complaining could have been used to get yourself out of the situation you’re complaining about.
“It’s so easy for people to complain about what they have in front of them, ‘I hate my job, I hate this here,” Carlos said. “If you work at a job that you don’t like, and you get home and you just watch TV and you go to bed, and the next day you do exactly the same thing, guess what? Five years from now, where are you going to be? Exactly in the same place. I think at the end of the day, it’s up to us to make decisions, right? Not [complaining] because the world is fair, [but] we need to look at your habits and say, ‘How can I improve? How can I make things better?’”
When Carlos was early on in his career, working as a waiter and unloading trucks and working on construction sites, instead of complaining about his current situation, he was grateful for what he had and was determined to continue moving forward. For every job, he told himself that “this is going to give me some money so I can take another class or this is going to give me some knowledge that I can take somewhere else.”
4 – Establish Great Relationships
Number four is to establish great, reciprocal relationships. This goes hand-in-hand with my number one value about giving.
“Be a team player and help others, and let others help you,” Carlos said, “because nobody wants to be around a jerk.”
5 – Effective Communication
Number five is having effective communication skills. Carlos said, “I think many times [when] there’s an issue, it’s because of lack of communication. It’s not [about] communication itself, it’s what you call effective communication.”
6 – Integrity
Many successful entrepreneurs say that your word is all you have. That brings us to number six – integrity.
“You always do the right things, even if it means making hard choices,” Carlos said. “Integrity is everything. When I shake your hand and we do business, we’re going to do something together. It’s not a contract that’s going to put us together. That contract is just going to be a formality. I think that you have to have the integrity to do the thing that’s important.”
7 – Love for Family and Country
Number seven is the love for both your immediate family and your extending family – your community or your country. Carlos said, “I always say, ‘What can I do to provide for my family, for my parents, to my mom and to my brothers?’ And also, I do believe that this country, in my books, is the best country in the world. Seriously. We live in an amazing country called the USA. There are opportunities every day as long as you’re willing to wake up in the morning and go get them. So, I think that it’s important to give back and help this country.”
8 – Knowledge
Carlos’ best ever advice is to never stop learning, which is value number eight – knowledge.
“What are you doing to pursue growth and learning?,” Carlos said. And not just learning more about real estate. It’s also about “how to become a better leader, how to become a better friend, a better father, a better brother. There’s so many things that we can become better [at],” he said. “There’s so many good nuggets, there’s so many things if you’re looking for learning from other people that are actually doing things. That helps me not to make mistakes.”
Carlos creates his foundation of knowledge for continuing his formal education (he’s currently enrolled in a three-year program at Harvard), skills and lessons from past jobs and surprisingly, his kids. “It’s funny. Now that my kids are young – 2 and 4 – sometimes just talking to them and learning from those little guys. It’s amazing how much a child can teach you sometimes, and I love that.”
9 – Health
Number nine is health. Carlos said, “Health is really important when I look at my life and everything. If I don’t have health, there’s nothing. So, what are you habits? What are you doing to yourself?”
This is a value that I’m sure we can all work on. We can work our butts off to create a real estate empire, but if our diet and exercise habits are poor, we’re reducing the time we’ll have to enjoy the rewards.
10 – Commitment
Finally, number ten is commitment. Carlos said, “When you say that you’re going to do something, get things done, because there’s no point about you saying something and at the end there’s no commitment.”
The 10 values that Carlos Vaz attributes to his real estate success are:
- Establish Great Relationships
- Effective Communication
- Love for Family and Country
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