It's been an absolutely insane two weeks.
Nick returned from summer vacation before I did and had settled back into our more normal routine.
I landed home with my family at the end of August and it was like being hit by a brick wall...
Three days after coming home, still massively jet lagged, we moved out of our house.
We were then homeless for two days waiting for our new house to close.
That week involved packing, sleeping on hardwood floors, Nick's living room and the dining room in our new house.
We had professional movers and UHual trucks, sixteen foot ladders, delivery guys, garage door contractors, painters, pot light guys, handymen, pool guy, spa guy, BBQ delivery, Bell Technicians, my own A/V guys, furniture delivery and pick ups ... all happening in a 48 hour window.
It was 100% pure madness.
It was so crazy that I literally forgot about an investment property that Nick and I were closing on during the same time and had to call the lawyer to see if we actually closed on it or not - that's a new experience for us - we've never forgotten about buying and closing on a property before!
And then right as I'm about to sit down with another contractor Nick and I both get a strange email land in our inbox ... something about our YouTube channel.
I quickly checked the YouTube page and this message was sitting on the top of it:
"This account has been terminated due to repeated violations of Google's policies."
And with that little message five years worth of YouTube videos were gone, vanished into the Googleplex somewhere.
So as I'm sitting down with this contractor my mind is racing as to why 5 years worth of work was gone with no warning.
Google has a policy that they'll send you three emails if you have any sort of violations before shutting you down
We didn't receive a single one.
Under the "copyright violations" section of our account we don't have any violations listed.
Our account just vanished.
After calling our Google contact and doing some digging here's what we discovered...
Google decided to update and change Google Plus! and introduced Google Plus for Business for business pages.
And they automatically migrated our old Google Plus! page over to the new platform for us.
Nice of them right?
That set off a nasty chain of events...
Our old Google Plus! page became an empty page reset to all the defaults with all the followers and videos removed.
I think the best part is the big red circle and cross through it over our picture!
When we logged in Google put a nice message at the top for us saying our page had been moved for us and to check out the new page and that they had done their best to put the correct information on it.
The new page is a "verified" Rock Star Real Estate page and all our 5-star reviews had been carried over ... you can check it out by clicking here.
But when we log into YouTube now with our personal accounts we get a message saying YouTube has suspended us because our Google Plus! page is gone.
And when we contacted Google Plus! they told us they couldn't do anything about restoring our YouTube channel because it's suspended.
When we told them it was their migration that suspended our account they told us we now have to wait for YouTube to un-suspend us before they could do anything about it.
So we have an appeal logged with YouTube and are waiting for a reply.
So the Google Plus! team is pointing at the YouTube team and the YouTube account was suspended because of the actions of the Google Plus! guys.
Are you following this circle of madness?
So the bottom line is that all our videos from that channel are gone ... for good or only temporarily we don't know.
We are at the mercy of the almighty Google.
But not all is lost...
A few months ago it struck us that we have years worth of work up on YouTube and we're at their mercy with those videos.
We thought it may be a good idea to get a copy for ourselves ... they're ours after all.
So we hired someone on eLance to go in and grab a copy of hundreds of videos and back them up for us.
We have those backups!!
At the time we thought it was a kind of strange thing to do because of all the space required to store them all.
Today that decision seems priceless.
It looks like we're going to lose about 10-20 videos but in the grand scheme of things we're happy.
So we're now:
1. Updating the brand new and Google Verified Rock Star Real Estate Google Plus page.
2. We created a new Rock Star Real Estate YouTube channel with that page that hosts all of the Tom Karadza and Nick Karadza YouTube videos.
3. And we're slowly loading up all the videos, one by one ... watching them and putting the headlines back on them. We're starting with some of the oldest ones ... which looking at them know, are hilarious!
It's a crazy process but there is a huge lesson here.
We often talk about something a great mentor once shared with us ... that the worst number in business is one.
YouTube was that "one" for us.
A single point of failure.
It was the one place that held all our videos, it should have seemed obvious to take backups, it shouldn't have been a "strange thought" to take backups.
You never want to have a single point of failure with your cash flow, your properties etc. That's why we always have multiple plans for renting out our real estate.
It's why we have multiple cash flow streams in our lives.
You also never want only one lawyer, one accountant, one mortgage broker, one paralegal, one contractor ... having multiple is great because at some point on of them is going to go bad on you and you can keep moving quickly if you have another relationship ready to go.
And you should always plan for these worst case scenarios.
When we buy properties we're always thinking the economy can crash or our tenants can move out unexpectedly and think through the plans of action we would take under those circumstances.
It's part of the reason we like small starter homes as investments instead of flipping large expensive properties.
The big properties are sexier for sure, but they're difficult to hang on to during bad times.
We lived through the 1990 real estate crash ... things can change very quickly.
With our business we're always testing out new ways to attract new clients so that when one marketing media gets too pricey or stops working we have others waiting in the wings. It's part of the reason we're always attending various marketing conferences.
We've had marketing media stop working overnight on us ... it's never fun.
It's a constant balance between moving forward, being positive and planning for the worst case.
We're not perfect at it by any means ... but it's something we always keep in mind.
So today we're left with a YouTube channel that has zero subscribers ... if you'd like to be the first subscriber or help us out rebuild you can check out the Rock Star Real Estate YouTube channel by clicking here and hitting the subscribe button on the right.
Now, on to the next battle!
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!