With all of the students that I have taught, I've noticed a subtle, yet problematic trend. I hope you pay close attention and watch for it in your own investing. I believe every investor will, at one time or another, face the same temptation….
Everyone Starts With “Sweat Equity”
Of course, when you get your start in real estate investing, you're hungry. You put your nose to the grindstone, and you really work the business hard.
Your “action” is focused on finding a deal. You're diligent about making offers and generating leads, whether by mailing homeowners regularly or scouring the MLS, or just doing a great job of networking. There are many ways to find a deal, and you'll do what it takes to make it work. (If you haven't already started doing it, choose a method and start doing it now.)
After a while, you have taken a lot of little actions, and they eventually mount up to massive results. As the paydays start to follow one after the other, you begin to feel like you're riding on “Cloud Nine.”
Pride Before The Fall
Then all of a sudden things change. Now, as a successful investor, you will be tempted to believe that the rules you followed that got you to where you are today… no longer apply.
It's at this point- when their investing business starts to gather momentum- that many investors decide that they are too good, or too smart, or too lazy – whatever the reason- to do what they did to produce the results that brought them success in the first place.
Once some success has “crept in,” investors decide to overhaul their plans for finding properties in the search for bigger, faster, easier money, and, shortly thereafter, many of them are out of the business.
Leap Too Far And Fall Out Of The Business
Rather than getting right back out on the streets doing what worked to generate the initial success, many investors scrap the whole plan and do soemthing new, something more glamorous- something that ultimatey doesn't work for them.
They trade the tried and true for a gamble. The investor loses confidence in what they had proven to work. They figure, “I must have gotten lucky,” and they pack their bags and become a real estate investor “drop-out.”
Taking Baby Steps
Successful people find something that works and they do it over and over and over again. Even when it's “boring.” It's natural to want to do things better the next time around, but what you have to be careful of is that you don't stop doing what works. Remember, successful people find something that works and they do it over and over and over again.
You should tweak your marketing plan, not overhaul your marketing plan all at once. The definition of tweak is to make minor adjustments. Think “baby steps.” You continue to do a lot of the same thing, you just make minor adjustments to what has already worked for you and determine if the adjustments are improving your efforts.
The Moral Of The Story
I recently e-mailed a mentee and shared the following advice- follow it, and you'll soon have masterd the lesson of this article:
“As far as marketing goes, don't change what you are doing. It's working. Improve what you are doing rather than doing something different. Do more of the same, communicate and react better, tweak your message, but do not abandon what has worked.”
It's very common for investors to have some success and then change everything. In time they think that nothing works anymore, when the reality is that they are not doing what worked for them in the first place. Stay on the same track as you've been on, just get better at it.