If you turn on the TV – almost any night – you can probably find a show dedicated to real estate. Most of these shows concentrate on flipping and rehabs but there are a few that veer off track. Every day, there are a handful of new investors who get their motivation to enter the business from these shows. While there are plenty of lessons to be learned, it is important to remember why these shows are on TV. The various hosting stations are looking to generate interest and bring eyeballs to the screen. There are times when the story lines are dramatized for effect. However, If you can see through the drama, there are quite a few lessons you can take away from watching these shows. Here are five lessons you can learn:
- There Are Challenges With Every Deal. There is no such thing as an easy real estate deal. There are potential potholes in every phase from purchase to end sale. How you deal with them will define your business. You can get a small taste of the issues on these shows. Yes, they may be played up for effect but they are very real. If anything, there are times when experience saves the best investors from issues that many novice investors face. Not everything you do is a major crisis, but there are a few critical junctures in every transaction. Instead of freezing up and doing nothing, you need to make quick decisions. Even if you think you know everything about a deal or a property, something will come up out of the blue. This isn’t just made for TV drama, but part of the real estate investing business. Not all of these issues are wrapped up neatly in a 30 or 60 minute TV show.
- Hard Work Is Necessary. Finding deals and putting in the work is as hard as it looks on TV. If there is one lesson to take away from sitting on your couch, is that it takes hard work to be successful. It may look like a deal fell into someone’s lap, but what you don’t see are the months of work behind the scenes which put those investors in such a position. Once securing a deal, it is a race to the finish. This often means working on a weekend or missing your favorite sporting event. It means getting up earlier than you would like to assemble your team. As the property owner, you are the person everyone takes their lead from. If you work hard, you can demand the same from everyone else. Getting the property from acquisition to end sale is a process that is often much more difficult than it looks on TV. As hard as they appear to be working, you can bet it is actually twice as hard.
- The Importance Of A Good Team. Every individual investor or group that you see on TV has a good team surrounding them. Even if they do a bulk of the work themselves, they lean on their team for support. Starting with the acquisition, they rely on their real estate agent for guidance and market knowledge. Even before they make an offer, they have already viewed the property with their contractor to get a better understanding of the cost of repairs and budget. Getting them to come to the house to see a property on short notice requires a strong relationship cultivated over many deals. From there, it takes numerous sub-contractors to get the work done to your standard. Finally, when it is time to sell, you need to work with your real estate agent to come up with a price that will get the property sold quickly and for top dollar. Without the help of many people, you cannot reach your real estate goals. You can see how many of the people on TV work smoothly with their business partner, real estate agent and contractor. They may not agree on everything all the time, but they do share the same common goal.
- Market Knowledge. One of the things that make the investors you see on TV so successful is that they fully understand the market they invest in. Very rarely, if ever, do they put work in that isn’t in line with what the market wants. They don’t overpay for properties or underestimate the end sales price target. They know and practice all the local town laws. What makes them successful is that they have created a brand in the market they are in and fully understand the area. This type of knowledge doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months of research and commitment to get to that point.
- Work/Life Balance. As serious as the investors you see on TV take their work, there is also some balance. You can’t be all work all the time. Eventually, this will cause you to get burnt out and frustrated with the business. The most successful investors find a balance between their investing, family’s, friends, and whatever hobbies they have. In almost every show you see, there are moments that aren’t related to real estate. This may be done to give them personality, but it should also be an example for you that you can’t be all work all the time.
There is never anything wrong with learning about the business. If you are spending hours on the couch, try to take something away from it. With more real estate centered shows on TV than ever before, there is certainly enough opportunity.