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Mr. Fukayama in Hyogo prefecture won the bid for a building at 200 million yen, rented it for a year and then sold it for 298 million yen

Some people think my gain was 98 million yen. But that was not so.

I spent nearly 40 million yen on various costs including for refurbishing, taxes, setting mortgage, and fire insurance.

Rental income was about 18 million yen; not a lot, considering I allocated one employee on it. He belonged to the general affairs department, but he had the license for real estate transaction specialist, so I put him in the custodian room. He thought he might be punished for a mistake, so I told him he was assigned for an important task of offsetting the loss in the main business.

Somehow the food processing plant recovered. And the bank was pleased with the side business in real estate. Perhaps I was fortunate. But I really am grateful to the real estate company that helped us.

I am on the board of a golf club in Rokkozan. In a tournament we were in a same group, then we became friends. I told him about the predicament I was in. Then he suggested buying a property. I am confident of my ability to judge people, and knew him to be an honest man. So I took a leap of faith.

The most important thing about real estate seems to be location. It was foolish to default after a supermarket moves out of the first and second floors. I have been in business long enough to know what kind of business would do well depending on locations.

I also talked with friends at Lion’s Club. I offered three months of free rent; then several people were quite eager. I did not take security deposit or contract fee. The start is important in any business. With initial costs in refurbishing the interior and hiring part-timers, the business cannot go on without repeat customers.

When one company cannot rent an entire floor, we must partition the floor. Within six months, it was fully occupied.

Why did I sell it? The core business is important to me. Earning from real estate would damage the moral of the employees. I know what my business is. It’s the food processing. So I went back to it.

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