Starting a business is a lot like building a brick wall. The bricks start at the ground level which is awkward and hard to reach so each brick takes a lot of effort. As you make progress by steadily laying one brick at a time, the level gets higher and easier to reach. As you become more fluid and proficient the bricks start dropping into place faster and faster. You pick up momentum and start seeing results.
The key is consistent action taken each day with focus. As a real estate entrepreneur what kind of actions should you be taking?
First you need to clearly define the area you want to buy in and the type of home you are looking for. Then, make sure every wholesaler in your area knows you and knows your criteria. I recommend creating meaningful relationships with them such that they also know your favorite football team, or recreational activities and you know theirs. That’s the kind of networking that creates results. People like to do business with people that they know, like and trust. Also find out what they need and look for and be on the lookout for things that can help their business.
Building relationships has a multiplier effect so that even when you aren’t working, there are others out in the marketplace that know what you want.
Don’t be a lone ranger, real estate is a team sport, the more connections you have the more you will prosper.
What else should you be doing? Managing your mind. Understand that for most people, starting a business is a frightening proposition. Deep in our brain is a warning signal that is flashing red, saying to be careful, don’t get hurt. Don’t stick your neck out, you have a good job. Don’t take the risk, it might not work out. You can lose money, you can have bad tenants that will cause you headaches. You might find yourself in a tug-of-war with yourself, where on one hand you want to purchase an investment property but on the other hand you are holding yourself back. You might hold yourself back and not even be aware of it. Our brains can be very cunning and deceptive. Let me give you an example.
Let’s first say that there are two broad categories of activities an investor can undertake. The first category is easy to do, but usually gives little or no result. Example - checking the MLS for suitable investments. The second category is difficult for most investors, but has the highest chance of a positive result. Example - driving for dollars and cold calling owners of abandoned properties. Given a list of potential activities which include both Type 1 & 2, the brain will cleverly select the category 1 tasks and avoid the category 2 tasks. You might spend hours, weeks or months working on the category 1 tasks and avoiding the category 2 tasks. At some point, you might notice you are getting very little traction and have not purchased a property or even put a property under contract. In reflection you might start coming up with some reasons for your lack of progress. These reasons might sound something like - “There are too many investors in this area and it’s too hard to find a deal”. “Home prices are too high, investing in this area doesn’t work”.
For a lot of beginners, this is where the story ends, or at least takes a long pause. Lack of progress leads to frustration and the future real estate entrepreneur has hit a wall and is stopped cold in their tracks. The brain has won and has stopped their aspirations. Remember the brain wants to keep things safe, it doesn’t want to venture out of the cave. New investors focus on the tactics but don’t understand they can lose the war without managing their minds. Being an entrepreneur means constantly overcoming obstacles and finding new ways to move forward. In a lot of ways, becoming comfortable with discomfort is what the entrepreneurial journey is all about. Remember that on the other side of comfort are the results you are looking for.