The reality of the real estate investing business is that for every new investor that knocks it out of the park there are five others that struggle getting off the ground. Even though they all start on a level playing field some manage to find deals just a little quicker. The longer you are in business the more you will find that numbers, strategies and formulas aren’t the most important qualities for success. It is usually the seemingly little things that make all the difference. There is no metric for work ethic, grit, persistence and personality but they all play a major part in finding new deals and growing your business. In an industry flooded with new competition daily you need to find any edge you can. Here are five characteristics that will separate you from your competition.
- Work ethic. Fortune often favors those who are willing to work the hardest. By getting up early every day and putting the work in eventually you will get an opportunity. What you do with that opportunity is up to you, but often that is all you can ask for. Most people know the importance of working hard but few rarely do it. You know that if you cold called 100 real estate agents, attorneys or mortgage brokers a day you could probably get a handful of leads, but few investors will do it. They may try one day and quit after a dozen or so calls. The successful investor not only works hard but works smart. Anyone in real estate can sit in front of a laptop and fool themselves that they are working hard. Deep down you know if you have done everything you possibly can every day to grow your business. The work you put into your business is a direct reflection of your success.
- Persistence. Work ethic and persistence often go hand in hand. It is no secret that some of the best and most successful investors today had a tough time getting started. For a variety of reasons, it took them months before they found their footing. Ask yourself if you are willing to keep grinding and working for six, or even nine, months with only minimal income. The successful investors often do what others don’t. They follow up with old leads until they get an answer, however long that takes. They find ways to market that fit their budget and stick with it until it starts to bear fruit. They don’t get beaten down by their current business. It sounds like a cliché but if you do a little of something every day you will eventually start to see results. Losing a pound, a week may not sound great, but after three months you will be happy with your results. The same is the case with your business. Planning and strategizing are great, but if you don’t stick with it you won’t have the desired results.
- Networking. Your success in real estate often comes from working with the right people. Direct mail and other forms of marketing can be effective, but nothing replaces quality networking. When you are just starting out it is easy to get intimidated by the business. You don’t feel you know as much as you should, so you shy away from getting big meetings and investment clubs. You also don’t want to be put on the spot at local clubs, so your networking is minimal at best. The truth is that at every meeting there are dozens of people with your exact experience level. There are also seasoned investors who don’t know every facet of the business. They have learned that instead of a long, rambling answer “I don’t know” works even better. All it takes is a couple of reliable and productive networking contacts to change your business. They won’t just fall on your lap, you need to go out and find them.
- Focus/task driven. We are a victim of our routines. This can either be a pro or a con depending on what we do. Investors who have a tough time wake up and take the day as it comes. On the flip side, investors who have a roadmap for their day and clearly define tasks often get more accomplished. The goal for your day shouldn’t be to simply get through eight hours. It must be to be productive with the time you work. The more focused you are, the more you will do, and the greater your results will be. This means putting your phone in your desk drawer, turning off your TV and eliminating the distractions. It means starting the most important task of the day first and no stopping until it is done. Once you get into a routine of finishing your daily tasks you will see the results.
- Organization. Do you have a system for generating leads, finding properties, due diligence on those properties and making offers? How about if your offer is accepted? Do you know how you plan to approach a house flip? One misstep in any one of these areas can turn a good property into one you instantly regret. It is essential that you have systems and organization for everything you do. Without being able to evaluate failed marketing or offers that may have been rejected you will ultimately make the same mistakes down the road. Everything you do should have a system and organization, so you can repeat the process without any issues.
You can gain experience and expertise over time. In the meantime, focus on the little things that can help change your business for the better.
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