Are You A Little Too Comfortable?

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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

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About Author

Danny Johnson (G+) is a real estate investor in San Antonio, TX. Visit his blog: Flipping Junkie - A House Flipping Blog to follow along with him as he shows, in detail, the marketing he is doing, the leads being generated, the lead and deal analysis, the rehabs and really, just about everything. He also provides real estate investor websites at LeadPropeller.com.

15 Comments

  1. Everything you wrote is so very true. It is so easy to say “I need to keep learning” or “I don’t want to make a mistake”. You just have to go out and do something.

    I had analysis paralysis for a long time. But my momentum as of the last couple months as really picked up. I’m mailing out over 700 mail pieces a month and trying to make as many offers as possible.

    Also, you need to see yourself as a real estate investor. Self-image and self-talk is everything. I still work a day job, but when a person asks “so what do you do for a living” I say that I am a real estate investor. Because I am, albeit part time right now, I still view myself as a real estate investor.

    I highly recommend to anybody to read “Over the Top” by Zig Ziglar and to listen to his live presentations of the “Over the Top” content. That stuff has literally changed my life.

  2. Thanks, Jason and Chris.

    Chris, I completely agree with your statement about viewing yourself as a real estate investor no matter where you are in process of actually becoming one. This goes a long way in realizing your goals.

    “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

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  4. Steven Blanton on

    Awesome post Danny! Thanks for giving us the encouragement and motivation we need to get going, even if its a little nudge. That is all some of us need.

    Last year I began doing some marketing by sending letters I created to homes in pre-foreclosure through http://www.foreclosurealert.com. It felt good sending out letters but I did kind of freeze up when I actually started receiving calls. I was hoping to do some lease options, subject to’s, or if the property was distressed enough do some whole selling. I must have sent out 100 or so and I got maybe 7-10 calls back. None of those calls could be turned into deals, unless it was short sale, b/c they either to far behind on payments to catch back up or their mortgage payments were to high to lease option to someone else. I thought those numbers were pretty bad. I was getting discouraged and then with me not having any income at the time and my wife wanting me to stop trying to “get rich quick” as she called it and quit REI and save it for another day I stopped taking action. By following your blog I see that the percentages just aren’t that great for the truly good deals and its just the law of averages. The more people you write to or talk to the better your chance are of getting a good deal.

    I did meet with several home owners and between that and talking with them on the phone it does get A LOT easier with every phone call. Many of those home owners are more than happy to speak with you because they are hoping that you will become their savior and help them get rid of what once was place of comfort that has now become their worst nightmare for whatever reason. Anyways, keep up the blog because you’re sowing into people who will reap the benefits of your gratitude for years to come and possibly even their kids and grandkids.

    Take Care,

    Steven

    • Steven,

      Thank you very much for the compliment. You hit the nail on the head with your acceptance that it really is a numbers game. Most people quit without taking any action. Of the people that take action, I’d bet most of those quit after a small first attempt and a little bit of discomfort from doing something they are not used to. Congratulations on pushing on and knowing what will get you to where you want to be.

      As a side note, do whatever can to include your wife in the business because you really want her to be totally on board and excited. It will be easier when you start making money, but try now to get her involved in wanting to find those deals so that it feels like an accomplishment you both achieved. It helps to share the same goals, and I don’t mean just short term goals of finding deals, but long-term, life goals.

      Danny

  5. Aside from the overall fact that I’d one day be SOLOING a flying machine, my biggest hesitation was talking on the dang radio, not knowing what to say or how to say it. “Uh, ground, this is, ah 123rb, er, 123br, ah, waiting for clearance to, ah, takeoff, wait, taxi for takeoff. And I have information…(long pause I’m trying to find the ATIS identifier)…Whiskey.” Pure terror.

    Fast forward 20 years, guess what obstacle I’m trying to get past before I get into real estate?

    Thank you for your post.

    • Tim,

      Ah, I love the radio stories. I too had difficulty speaking my about who I was, where I was and what I was going to do. Always seemed like I would forget some crucial piece. More recently, I confused people in the pattern when I said I was on base, when in fact I was on crosswind. Oops.

      Don’t worry. I’m sure the phone calls will be much easier to conquer.

  6. Kaye Dennan on

    You are so right Danny. It is so easy to become complacent, sit back and listen to everything around us, read all our internet news but not get of our …… and get out there and make it happen.

    I bet we all know Mr Gunna, gunna buy a property, gunna check out that house down the road, gunna fix that house up so it is worth more! Phew, there are so many.

    A friend of mine says her husband has a new addiction >> property investment!!

    Your article will make a few of us investors think and act some more.

  7. Great article! You are so right! I find that once I accomplish something I never thought I could do I feel very strong and more confident. It’s very empowering!

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