Successful real estate investors take action immediately. Consider incorporating the following seven action steps into your investment strategy for maximum success.
Action Step #1: Make More Offers. Probably the greatest of all action steps. The one comment I hear the most from new investors is, I am not getting or finding any deals. I usually respond with, How many offers are you making? Oftentimes the answer is in the single or low double digits.
Increase the number of offers you are making. Is the real estate agent(s) on your team forwarding you MLS listings based on profiles you have established? Are you checking the newspaper or internet for FSBOs? Are you driving through neighborhoods looking for potential properties? These actions should be done daily with offers following. You never profit from offers you do not make. Shoot for a goal or 20-30 offers a week. Make them and make them regularly. If your agent is unwilling to submit that number of offers, find another agent.
Action Step #2: Hone Your Craft. Every day you should be taking time out to hone your craft. In other words, learn more about what you are doing in the real estate investment world. There is always someone out there doing it differently, more efficiently and/or more effectively. For whatever investment area you are choosing to pursue (e.g. wholesaling, foreclosure consulting, or rehab), take the time to learn more and more about what you are doing, how to do it, and the different ways to do it.
One of the areas that I am looking at on a very regular business as it relates to my areas of real estate investing is how I can best use technology in order to hone my craft: How can I get my offers out faster using technology? How can I keep in contact with more people with technology? How can I reach more people using technology? How can I better plan my projects using technology? You do not want your business systems to become stale or antiquated. Instead, become the subject matter expert in your investment arena. The best investors always continue their education. Continual education is paramount to continual success.
Action Step #3: Maintain A Balance. This applies to us workaholics, be we novice or veteran investors. It is very easy to begin to focus all of your efforts on building your business. Your mission becomes working on your business, building it up, chasing leads, marketing, etc; much to the detriment of your home life; or even to the detriment of your work life (if you’re still employed full time).
I strongly believe that you have to maintain a balance if you are going to remain successful for the long term. A balance must be struck between your work life, home life, investment life, family life, spiritual life and your own personal life (i.e. you need time for you and your individual needs: exercise, proper nutrition, etc.). There is no sense in making a whole lot of money in real estate if you are not going to be around long enough to enjoy it. Plan your days and weeks keeping balance in mind.
Eliminate time wasting activities from your life and utilize that time to meet your key objectives. For example, I can attribute my current level of business success to my decision to severely limit the amount of time I spent in front of the television. Balance is extremely important. If you really would like to know how well you are doing at maintaining balance, ask your spouse, family and children. LISTEN and make the necessary adjustments. Real estate success reached to the detriment of your family is no success at all.
Action Step #4: Join Your Local Real Estate Investment Club or Association. You want to surround yourself with like-minded people. Trying to do this business in a vacuum is going to almost be fruitless. You will end up working harder, having more hurdles to overcome, and attempting to become a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. Surround yourself with other investors; in particular those with more experience and knowledge then yourself. They have the skill sets, contacts and networks for which you want to be a part. Assembling a team is one of the fastest ways to grow and move very quickly in this business. Most of your team will come from your local real estate investment associations (REIAs).
If you are not familiar with REIAs or know where one is located, I recommend that you go to http://www.nationalreia.com and look for REIAs in your state. Hopefully there is one close to you. If not, resolve to set aside time to travel to the nearest one (mileage is a tax write-off) or explore starting your own. It is an effort well worth it.
Action Step #5: Stay in Your Lane. This is definitely a big issue with new investors. There are over 10 ways to invest in real estate (e.g. wholesaling, rehabbing, foreclosure consulting, etc.). Oftentimes as new investors, we will jump out and try whatever happened to be discussed at the local REIA meeting that particular month. If the topic this month is wholesaling, we want to be wholesalers. Next month we want to be rehabbers. What I would recommend is that you find a lane that works best for you. Get some general information on various investment areas, make a decision and stick with it. Better yet, first find out what investment techniques may NOT be working well in your location (some techniques work better in certain economic environments than others) and avoid those for now. This is the kind of information you can get from knowledgeable people at your local REIA.
Action Step #6: Establish a Website and a Business Email Address. If you are going to get into the real estate investment world, treat it like a business. One thing that personally makes me question the seriousness of an investor is when he or she gives me a business card with an email address that ends in @yahoo.com, @msn.com, @gmail.com or other common addresses of that ilk. There is a place and purpose for the aforementioned type of addresses, but not for the purpose of representing your business. If I were to receive a business card from two investors at my local REIA and both provided the same service; one said John.Doe@yahoo.com and the other said Jane.Doe@foreclosureconsulting.com, I am going to lean initially toward dealing with Jane because her email address is a reflection of her taking her business seriously.
I understand that many investors use @yahoo.com-type addresses because they do not have the knowledge or skill-set to establish a website, but these days there are very many tools available for investors who possess absolutely no website or HTML knowledge (myself being counted in that number) to establish a web presence. However, in the span of a weekend (with no TV), I was able to create the first few pages of my website. To start creating your own website, go to your favorite search engine do a search on “website design” and “domain name registration” (to register your domain name).
Action Step #7: Increase Your Marketing. Marketing is the life blood of any real estate investor. I constantly tell my investor colleagues that if you want to separate yourself from the rest of the pack, you have to market yourself and your business. You want to establish a marketing presence. Begin marketing with your local REIA. Start with a good solid business card. Wear a name tag. Network–let people see and know what you do. Consider creating a logo for your business.
If you really were to look at the marketing models of most investors in your local REIA, few have anything beyond their business card and perhaps a magnetic car sign. You want to get your name out. Start a newsletter or an email special report campaign. There are very many inexpensive ways to get your marketing campaign functional. Explore technology as an avenue for more efficient marketing. Establish a presence. It is what makes people pick up the phone and call you instead of someone else. It is what causes an investor to consult with you versus someone else. The Atelier