There is an abundance of information about real estate investing that has been made available to anyone looking for it. Between TV, print articles, the Internet and even the people you come in contact with; everyone has an opinion on the real estate market. If you are just starting out, there is a natural desire to soak up as much information as possible and to become a jack of all trades. While it is certainly important to educate yourself and know your craft, it can also be counterproductive at times. Instead of trying to perfect many different strategies it is far better to pick out one or two and go with those. If not, you will find yourself pulled in many different directions. Don’t let this happen to you. Stay focused on the plan you entered into the field with.
Like any other business, real estate investing is one filled with trial and error. As long as these errors don’t cripple you financially, you should be able to learn from them and apply them to your business in the future. However, many investors get stuck before they start. They spend too much time trying to figure out where the want to go instead of deciding how to get there and taking action. Every day presents investors with countless different directions to take and each can seem daunting. Hesitation is natural, but not necessarily a good thing. The reality is that what works for one investor in one area may not work for someone else. You won’t know what works for you unless you try. Accordingly, the only way to try is by picking out one area you are comfortable with and diving in.
If you like wholesaling, spend your first few months learning everything you can about it. Become an expert in one particular area and you will be viewed as a “go to” source in your area. If you are looking for more of a quick fix, you can look at rehabs and flips. If you are looking for a long term portfolio, you can look at rental properties. Within each of these areas, there are many different ways in which you may get business and market yourself. However, don’t get discouraged. Give it enough time to determine if it works for you, but know that you can change whenever you want.
Almost any strategy, whether it deals with your marketing or implementation, will have its pros and cons. Instead of getting bogged down by the negatives, try to look at the positives. If all you focus on is what can go wrong, you will be absorbed by it and go into almost every situation fearing the worst. There is nothing wrong with keeping the worst case scenario in mind, but you can’t invest playing for the worst. Bad things can happen on almost any deal, but the best investors are the ones that can adapt quickly and change gears on the fly. See every situation through to the end. When it is done, you can evaluate what worked and what needs to change.
It is easy to get sidetracked or have a change of heart when you don’t have conviction in your actions. As an investor, you have numerous options and ways to run your business. Instead of trying them all out at once, take your time and pick one and go with it.
Regardless of the path you chose, you need to constantly be working on getting leads and closing deals. With nobody looking over your shoulder to tell you when and how to work, it can be very easy to do just enough to appease yourself. There are many things you can do over the course of the day that can keep you busy, but instead of busy work, you need to concentrate on actions that will lead to business.
There are many little things that are important to running a successful business. The key is not to get too caught up in all of them. Having a nice website is a plus, but you don’t need to spend four hours deciding on which font you want for your banner. The same idea applies if you are picking out colors of paint for a rental property, choosing fixtures for the kitchen or finalizing the wording on a letter campaign. These are all important tasks, but alone, they will not grow your business. If you spend too much time on tasks like this, you will not dedicate enough to ones that can lead to deals.
Making ten phone calls to people in your network is nice, but that alone will do nothing for your business. If you are just making phone calls to cross the task off your list, you will not see the results you desire. You should make every call with the intention of growing your relationship and seeing how you can work together. This may require going to lunch or stopping by their office for an introduction. Anyone can leave a voice mail at 8:30 before they are in the office and wait for a return call. A couple of voice mails and you will cross them off your list. You need to stagger the times you call or, even better, stop by their office and reach out to them. It is pretty easy to find things to do to keep busy, but you need to decide are you trying to have your day go by quickly or are you actually looking to get business.
With networking meetings and investment clubs readily available, you have the opportunity to get out of them what you put into them. If you just show up and sit there for an hour, you might as well stay in your car. This is a chance to showcase your business to people who have a desire to listen. This shouldn’t be viewed as a chore or something you have to do. This is a real chance to meet new contacts that can help you get deals and grow your business. The people at the meetings can tell if you want to be there or not. If you are showing up because you feel like you have to, your time will be much more productive somewhere else. You get out of these meetings what you put in.
Making lists every day is great, but taking action is much better. Between writing a prospective mailing letter, making phone calls and typing emails, you can have a pretty full day. Focus more on work that will lead to deals than work that will just keep you busy.