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Steve Valentine – Episode 72 – How Giving Away 25% of Their Income Made Them More Money

Thanks to today’s guest, real estate entrepreneur, Steve Valentine, your opinion of realtors is about to be challenged. It was never Steve’s intent to get into real estate, however after a brief time in the automotive industry he was called to join his family’s real estate business as a third generation real estate entrepreneur. Steve found great success, however after a huge real estate crash in 2007 and a foreclosure of his own, he had to fight to get his business back and become a “wealth builder.”

Steve’s business journey is so inspiring, but what’s more is all the stories of generosity that go along with it. Be sure to listen in and find out all the ways he’s giving back and providing his community more opportunities each and every day.

Question Highlights:
• What did your family teach you about business? What lessons did you learn?
• What did your family teach you about money?
• Why was losing everything a blessing?
• What’s your advice for people who are facing a huge obstacle?
• What is this new way of doing real estate? How are you different?
• What’s different about your employee policies?
• What are some tangible or profitable benefits of running your company this way?
• What’s behind you and your giving away 25% of your income?
• Where did your extreme spirit of generosity come from?
• And more…

Steve’s Thoughts…

“I lost everything, I learned from it and this is how I can help you do it better than I did.”

“Every failure we have no matter if it’s big or small, as long as we learn from it it’s one more step up the ladder to something successful.”

“If you can look at your failures as rungs on a ladder, the more failure, the higher you’re going.”

“When you’re generous and your kids see it and catch it, you know you’ve arrived.”

“If I can hire efficient people and make my business super profitable, I can write checks.”

“I just want to write the checks.”

“If I give this, I can make it again tomorrow.”

“If we start with generosity vs. income, it changes your life and makes the world a better place.”


I’ve always said I was proud to be a third-generation Realtor. Although, looking back, I finally realize I am not a third-generation Realtor, but a third-generation Real Estate Entrepreneur. My grandmother, Essie Spencer, held her real estate license for 50 years. She practiced until the age of 80. My late father, Dan, practiced in real estate for over 40 years working together as a team with my mother, Debbie (who still practices). This is where my real estate venture began.

After short stint in the automotive industry, I gave real estate a shot. For the first two years of
my career, I sat at my dad’s desk listening to his calls, and sitting in on meetings, and learning how to conduct business. I don’t remember thinking I wanted this type of mentorship at the time, but now I know how valuable it was. I learned customer service and how to conduct business. After my internship, I worked for my parents nearly 10 years. My wife, Wende, and I decided it was time for us to take what we had learned and forge ahead out from under the umbrella of my parents.

The real estate market crash of 2006 left us financially and emotionally devastated. In 2008, Wende and I founded Valentine Group. Through trial and error, and failing forward multiple times, we learned to become real estate entrepreneurs with a new way of doing business for a new generation of homeowners also recovering from the fallout from 2006. Since 2008, our group has served over 2500 families and continue to serve more than 200 families each year. We provide solid real estate solutions, designed for each individual client, each and every day.

One of the greatest things Wende and I have to offer, though Valentine Group’s diversification, is experience. When my father passed, one thing he said resonates in my head, “…there are very few people who will see the multiple markets we’ve seen in during your short 17 years in the business. We’ve witnessed the rapid rise in the real estate market in 2003 and 2004, and the astronomical prices and lotteries to purchase homes in 2005 and 2006. Then, the sudden crash in 2007.” How true. During this same crash, Wende and I made our way through our own foreclosure. This experience allowed us to truly and honestly help others though theirs. A sense of “normalcy” in the market began to return, for us, in 2010 and on into 2011 as we worked through decreasing inventory foreclosures and an increase in clients asking how to not only buy a primary residence, but how to purchase investment properties as well. By being as brave as our clients through the re-birth of the real estate market, we now, in 2016, have been blessed as our business grew from three to more than 11 employees. Eleven individuals in a strategic group, working together to serve our diverse clientele as we specialize in various real estate transactions. While we still proudly represent our clients in traditional buying and selling of homes for families, we are also now working with wholesalers and investors in building wealth through a variety of wealth building tools.

I’d leave it at that…. But the rest follows: This includes, but is not limited to, repurposing (or what some of you might know as “flipping”) homes, finding rental properties, using private funds to purchase long-term holdings which increases wealth for our investors. At the end of the day Valentine Group strives to provide multiple solutions for our clients from real estate advice, to wealth building strategies, to property management. Most Realtors measure their impact by the number of homes they sold, or the dollar volume homes sold, or he amount of commissions earned. While we can’t deny the significance of those stats, we feel it is more important to impact our clients lives by providing practical knowledge. We make sure we are there when they need advice or encouragement whether it’s buying, selling, or renovation suggestions.

You’re Going To Hear About:

  • How Steve got his start in real estate and recovered from foreclosure
  • How failure can make your rich
  • Why being transparent can allow you to better help others
  • Why Steve hates the word realtor
  • What makes Steve’s real estate business so unique from others
  • Why Steve offers his employees unlimited vacation time
  • Why faith is necessary when determining your donations for the year
  • The power and importance of writing your goals down
  • When and where the idea of becoming a “wealth builder” began
  • And so much more…

Resources Mentioned:

For more stories and tips on becoming unapologetically wealthy, follow me @Chriswharder on Instagram and check out www.fortheloveofmoney.com.

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