There is a very fine line between success and mediocrity, and the real estate business is no exception. You will find that the little things make the biggest difference. Knowledge of a few specialized areas, returning a phone call, or simply showing up to a meeting can separate you from the pack. You don’t need to have tons of money or contacts to be a successful real estate investor. In fact, one of the things that makes real estate so great is that anyone can do it. If you are looking to get the most out of the business, there are a few things that you need to remember:
1. Persistence: The real estate business is not as easy as it looks. The process, from start to finish, is filled with potential landmines. As much as you may think your phone will ring from your direct mail campaign, it usually doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of getting frustrated and annoyed with the results, you need to dig in and stick with it. Persistence is a valuable asset to have, and it can help in nearly every area of the business. Are you willing to stick with it until you see results?
2. Reputation: Have you developed a positive reputation in your investing community? Do real estate agents and fellow investors want to work with you, or do they run from deals you are associated with? The little things you do in every deal will help define what people think of you. You may not consider this a big deal, but a bad reputation spreads very quickly. Being dishonest or deceitful will eventually come back to haunt you. Instead of doing things that you know are suspect, go the extra mile on every deal. Make an extra phone call to keep everyone in the loop. Offer a small concession to make everyone happy. These little things will help improve your reputation, which – in turn – will give you access to more deals.
3. Emotions: It is important to remember that you are running a business. There will be deals you are attracted to for one reason or another. However, there will come a point that the numbers no longer make sense, and you need to walk away. It is human nature to wonder about the deals you lost, but your focus needs to always be on the bottom line. You can’t get hung up on trying so hard to acquire a property that you let your emotions get the best of you. Every decision you make should be for the betterment of your business, and nothing else. This isn’t easy to do sometimes, but it’s critical for success.
4. Exit Strategies: Things can change suddenly. If, and when, this happens, you need to have a plan of attack. There are many investors who purchase properties under the assumption that everything will go smoothly. When things veer off course, they are thrown for a loop; scrambling to make the best of it. Before you buy anything, you need to have a plan for what you want to do. In that plan, you need to make contingencies in the event that things change. If your property doesn’t sell within 90 days, are you willing to rent? If the rental market cools, what is your magic number to sell? Before you even make an offer, you need to have a few solid exit strategies lined up and ready to go.
5. Market Knowledge: You don’t need to close a dozen deals to be an expert in your local market. There are a handful of things you can do every day to learn about the area. Something as simple as driving through neighborhoods at different times of the day can give you an idea of the strength of an area. When a property comes, you will be able to make quick decisions. Almost all deals are, in some respects, time sensitive. The quicker you can act and react, the more properties you will close. Take the time to learn something about your local market every day.
6. Commit To Networking: How many people know that you invest in real estate? Whether you close two deals a year or two a week, people need to know what you do. The fastest way to grow your business is through networking. Even though this is widely accepted, many people still neglect it. The biggest reason for this is because the payoffs aren’t immediate. You may not see a real lead from networking for several weeks, or even months. That doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Successful networking is about making the commitment to do it, and sticking with it over time. Connections will grow the longer you do it, and when a connection is made it is usually for the long-term. A lead you get from a networking partner will be much stronger than any other type of lead you can get.
Even though real estate investing is simple, it is far from easy. There are plenty of good investors out there, but only a few really great ones. Focusing on these six areas will help take your business to the next level in no time.