Jeff Schechter is an investor, entrepreneur, podcaster, yogi, and musician. He is the co-founder and CEO at High Return Real State, an elite real estate investment firm providing investors with top-quality refurbished investment properties in high growth markets throughout the United States. In addition to investing, Schechter also operates a private consulting practice where he coaches hundreds of business owners and thrives on helping people realize their full potential not just in business, but in all aspects of life.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up as the firstborn son of a Rabbi. When I was a little kid, we lived in Duluth, MN. I remember walking to synagogue on Saturday mornings with my Dad in 40 below zero weather, wearing a tiny little snowmobile suit.
My parents were great… I had a very loving family.
I grew up knowing all of the Jewish prayers… I can still sing all of them to this day… in Hebrew. The most common question I got was, “So, are you going to follow in your Dad’s footsteps?”
Needless to say, there were a ton of expectations that my parents (and their congregation) had for me. For a long time, I tried living the life that they wanted me to live, but it just never worked out. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t fit the mold that I was supposed to fit into.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I would have learned to listen to my inner voice much sooner. It would have saved a lot of heartache.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
There’s a trend for people in the real estate investing space to parrot what all the gurus say. Like, “Just buy a small rental property… the writeoffs alone are worth it.” The problem is, real estate investing is NOT one size fits all. Different investors have different lifestyles, different resources, different goals, different tolerances for risk, and different skill sets. What works for one, may not be the best strategy for another. It’s best to understand all of the nuances about yourself before just following the herd.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I got caught in the crash of 2008-2009. I made some dumb mistakes. I put too much trust in a crooked business partner, and put too many properties in my name. When the bubble hit, I was left holding the bag. I nearly lost my primary residence. Thankfully, I was able to save it…just a few hours before it got sold on the courthouse steps. That was an incredibly dark period of deep depression. I don’t ever want to live through that again.
I learned a couple of things…First, I’m more resilient than I give myself credit for. Second, I’m a little too trusting of others up front. I’ve learned to validate what people are telling me, and not just take things at face value.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Being associated with other successful entrepreneurs. I’m a people person, and I feed off of people that are forward thinkers who are making things happen.
What is your morning routine?
I’ve tried every morning routine in the book, and have come to realize that it’s best not to overcomplicate things. My alarm goes off at 6:30, and I usually hit the snooze bar until 7:15 or so. Then I get up and drink 3 glasses of water. Then I get dressed and work out. I either stretch and go for a walk, or I head to the gym. When I get back, I do a quick review of what I’m thankful for, review the top 3 things I need to get done that day, and make some black coffee with a little MCT oil drizzled on top. I work right through until lunchtime without eating…fasting until lunch time. This is simple, energizing, and healthy.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Reading. A little bit of wisdom ingested every day adds up over the years.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Walking away when I get overwhelmed. Usually, I’ll take a little break and meditate for 10 minutes, or play my guitar just to switch to a different part of my brain. Ironically, slowing down, helps me stay more productive. I don’t consider myself a super-performer, but I feel really great when I cross off all 3 of my big items for the day.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
The One Thing by Gary Keller. I tend to be a spaz, and am all over the place. Too many things going on at once. This has really helped me focus on what I need to do RIGHT NOW, and concentrate on one task at a time.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
My favorite is…
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I think it’s by Wayne Gretzky. Just a reminder that if you don’t go for it, or don’t take a stab, it’s never going to happen!