Frank McKinney, real estate’s ‘daredevil artist,’ overcomes fears to tackle his biggest home project yet

Haiti development to be self-sustaining

Frank McKinney, who has built many luxury spec custom homes, bills himself as a “daredevil real estate artist and best-selling author.” The lessons he has to share, however, reach far beyond what it takes to design, build and sell a $50 million to $135 million home.

Frank McKinney’s houses are truly “works of art.” Every house is a fully furnished masterpiece with unique features such as a James Bond room, shark aquarium, and even 18-karat-gold toothbrushes. At $1,000 per square foot, no detail is overlooked. He is also the builder of the “greenest mansion” in America.

Frank McKinney, contributed photo.
Frank McKinney, contributed photo.

McKinney’s unveiling events “are legendary, professionally choreographed symphonies of the senses.” For his “Pirates of the Caribbean” event, he arrived in a hot air balloon dressed as a pirate complete with pyrotechnics.

Given his flair for building and the dramatic, his business model may surprise you.

To whom much is entrusted, much is expected (Luke 12:48)

This biblical quote is the mantra that McKinney lives by. He also believes that it is at the heart of both business and personal success, regardless of your faith or your belief system.

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“I build houses for the world’s most wealthy to fund houses for the world’s most desperately poor. The homes I build at $1,000 per square foot contain the finest quality, artistry and unique features in the world,” he said. “In Haiti, the most desperately poor, distressed property market in the world, I build concrete and steel houses for $10 per foot to house eight people who are currently living in a mud hut or a cardboard box.”

Motivation washes off in the shower; inspiration fades like the effects of a sunburn; but aspiration can alter your DNA and forever change your life and the lives of those you love.”

As of this date, he has already built 10,000 houses. “That legacy will outlive any oceanfront home that I build,” he said.

ROI vs. ROD

Like most successful businesses, McKinney’s building business focuses on ROI (return on investment).”

He runs his Caring House Project Foundation on a similar model: ROD (return on donation.) His “profit is creating human capital by helping the world’s most impoverished.” Return on donation means that McKinney does everything possible to maximize each dollar donated so it results in the greatest good for the people he serves.

His 2014 Caring House Project is planning to build its 21st self-sufficient village on the northwest coast of Haiti.

McKinney has gotten out of “the charity business into the self-sustainability business.” The villages he builds are designed to be self-sustaining and depend upon creating free enterprise opportunities such as fishing cooperatives.

McKinney’s advice on how you can “make it big”

McKinney just launched what he calls “The Make It Big Event,” which will be four live seminars in which he hopes to “revolutionize the real estate education market with the best content and the best advice” about what works. All the proceeds from the event go to the Caring House. As he puts it, “Build a home for the poor while building a fortune in real estate.”

McKinney believes that “you make your own level and you create your own opportunity.” Here are the steps to follow:

1. Develop your personal “three T’s:” time, talent and treasure
McKinney argues that each person has his own unique combination of the “three T’s.” When you first start out on this path, you may not have talent or treasure, but you can volunteer your time to help others as you grow your talent. The development of your talent leads to your “treasure.”

2. Mindset matters
If you want to make money in your business, your mindset must be right. Creating the right mindset requires you to address three different issues: motivation, inspiration and aspiration.

“Motivation washes off in the shower; inspiration fades like the effects of a sunburn; but aspiration can alter your DNA and forever change your life and the lives of those you love.”

How many times have you attended a seminar, maybe spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on products, and then did nothing with what you purchased?

The challenge is you were “motivated” or “inspired,” but these factors are external. “Snake oil salesmen” sell on the “intoxication” of motivation and inspiration. When the intoxication stage wears off, motivation and inspiration fade away quickly. The result is nothing happens.

3. Become an “executioner”
What does it take to become someone who actually takes action and achieves results? McKinney calls this being an “executioner.” You take action from “aspiration,” which is internally driven. Aspiration is what keeps you going when you hit the “drudgery” stage that is required to keep moving forward to complete your goals.

Aspiration is also what you want to do with your life that invests you with the energy to carry you to your goals and to overcome the fear and risk along the way.

Being an “executioner” means that you are “able to take massive and focused action by relentlessly pursuing what you aspire to — learning to close the loop (complete) on every important endeavor you undertake.”

4. Overcoming what stops you: fear, risk, change and challenge
Aspiration keeps you going when you encounter fear. Fear normally occurs due to the risk-taking action may require. Risk is composed of “change and challenge.”

McKinney says he is “afraid everyday — my fear runs rampant.” It’s his commitment to the work he does (his aspiration) that lets him create the amazing properties he builds so he can invest in his legacy of creating sustainable villages for the world’s most impoverished.

If you haven’t found your aspiration, begin by considering how you can serve others. It’s having a heart of service that leads to long-term success and a meaningful life.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Discover why leading Realtor associations and companies have chosen Bernice’s new and experienced real estate sales training for their agents at www.RealEstateCoach.com/AgentTraining and www.RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.


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