Most people only do what is comfortable for them and rarely try something new. Things like interviewing for a job, giving a speech, riding a bike, etc. are not easy when we first try them. These are things that take us out of our happy little comfort zone. It’s not a place most of us get exciting about being.
If you are just getting starting in the real estate investing business, you will find that you will have to do a lot of things that you have never done. You may feel uncomfortable doing a lot of those things, but most of them are necessary for success. There are a lot of people that quit simply because they feel so out of place and want to get back to what they are used to.
Here are some tips to get through this uncomfortable stage and become excited about trying new things, and ultimately become a successful real estate investor.
Expand Your Comfort Zones
Create new comfort zones. Be proactive about it. Force yourself to try new things. Start out with smaller things that you don’t normally do. Say hello to strangers. Go to a Rotary club meeting. If you don’t normally post on web forums, start by introducing yourself.
I read real estate investing forums for years before ever posting. Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there, but there really is nothing to worry about. You will find it much easier to find answers to actually what you are actually trying to figure out. After you post several times and start conversations, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to do it.
You can start to move up to things that make you more nervous and apprehensive as you progress. When I started taking flying lessons, I was extremely nervous. All of the thoughts about what would happen if I had a horrible landing or if the engine quit were making me very anxious. As I thought about it more, I realized that over time and with more experience, I would feel comfortable and be able to enjoy it completely. For the first few weeks, I would literally pull up to the airport, stop the truck and meditate with my eyes closed. This clearing of the mind really calmed me down and took away a lot of the anxiety. I quickly became comfortable flying and got my private pilot certificate a couple months later. If I had just decided to go back home and sit on the couch, I would have never accomplished this long term goal of mine.
Get Comfortable With Real Estate Investing
When my wife and I started real estate investing, we began by marketing directly to homeowners. Just sending out mailing pieces with my phone number on it made me nervous. When my phone rang for the first time with a number I did not know, I immediately froze up. I literally tossed the phone to my wife and told her she had to take it. She proceeded to show me how easy it was. Maybe she didn’t ask every single question that could have been asked, but it didn’t matter. ‘We’ had done it. ‘We’ had taken our first call. Now I take calls like a true professional. It only took a couple of calls for the nervousness to go away. Just know that it does.
I used to not be a very sociable person before I got into this business. Now, when it comes to real estate, it’s hard to get me to shut up. This really is a people business and you will find that you are going to have to be comfortable talking with all sorts of different people. The only way to get used to it, is to do it. If you are truly fired up about this business, it should not be much of a problem.
Some other aspects of the business probably induce high levels of anxiety as well. Things like: meeting a seller for the first time, inspecting a house for necessary repairs, getting a house under contract, receipting the contract, talking to contractors, taking to Realtors, talking to other investors. All of these things will become easier over time. Take them each step by step and know that you will eventually be the one the others are nervous to talk to.
When getting started, I always advise people to go and meet the first couple of callers, even if there is no way possible to make a deal (i.e., they owe too much). This is a great way to relax yourself, because you know that there is no way for you to make the deal anyway. The idea is to get comfortable talking with sellers and learning what questions you really need to be able to answer. If you don’t know the answer to a question, there is no shame is telling the sellers that you will have to check into that and get back to them. Next time you will know and you will exude confidence which is what sellers are going to want to see.
Take a Break From the REI Education Couch
It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t know everything you should know before you start taking action. You don’t need to learn about every single niche buying technique. You should focus on one area of investing and become an expert in it and then move on to the other techniques and areas. Most people advise starting out wholesaling real estate because you limit your risk and exposure and you don’t need much money to start. I agree.
Once you know where you want to start, you need to learn the ropes. The forums are an excellent place to learn everything you need to know. Ask questions. Learn the basics and start marketing. You might feel that you are not completely ready, and you probably never will be, unless you take action. It will seem scary and you probably won’t be able to answer all the questions that will be asked by sellers and buyers. But, because you took action, you can learn the answers to those questions and will be quick to answer them when it really matters.
It’s so much easier to spend more money and buy another course or spend another month reading about what other people are doing, but you won’t get anywhere. Pick a couple of cheap marketing techniques and start getting sellers to call you. Alternatively, you can start by making calls to local Realtors and talking to them about what you are wanting to do. You don’t have to commit to anything and it may just get you launched into this business.
Break In Those New Shoes
Keep taking action and you will quickly get to where you feel right in your new skin. You will actually feel like a real estate investor. Your confidence will skyrocket and you will become even better at what you do. Don’t forget to continue learning and becoming comfortable with other aspects of real estate investing.
I recently started a real estate investing blog and, even after a few months, I am still a little uncomfortable with putting it all out there for everyone to see. Sometimes it’s tempting to just take a break from it and go back to what I am comfortable with. But, that would be no fun and I wouldn’t grow. It’s already becoming easier for me and has really helped to keep me motivated and accountable.
So don’t be afraid to take those absolutely necessary awkward first steps and become a comfortable and successful real estate investor. What seems difficult and impossible now will seem like second nature tomorrow.
Photo: Jane Rahman