Real Estate Lessons From A Monkey

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What can a monkey teach you about real estate? Quite a bit. To be clear, we

Caico the Capuchin

 are talking about a real, live, honest-to-goodness monkey.

Once a month or so my wife and I volunteer at a local, non-profit zoo in our area. A week ago I was helping them convert a storage building in to a gift shop. It was at the drywall, mud & tape stage. So where does the monkey come in? Among the 175 or so animals is Caico, a Capuchin monkey (think organ grinder). Caico has the freedom to roam around the zoo and is the most popular attraction by far. She thinks nothing of climbing on one of the guests and loves to entertain visitors with her antics.

Just outside the door of the storage area was a large trash bin. It was being filled with pieces of drywall and other debris as we worked through the day. As I was applying mud to one of the seams, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I stopped and looked out the door. A few seconds later I saw something flying OUT of the trash bin; that was quickly followed by a few more pieces of drywall. I stopped what I was doing and went to investigate. The monkey was digging through the debris in search of something.

A Teaching Moment

As I watched her dig, discarding what she didn’t want, I was amazed. Her determination never wavered and she didn’t get discouraged because she wasn’t getting what she was after – she just kept going. Shouldn’t we all be like that?

When hunting for that perfect real estate investment we have to dig through a lot of trash. So many people give up too easily. They assume that because the first few properties they looked at don’t meet their criteria, none of them do. Perhaps one lender wouldn’t give them a loan, does that mean none of them will? If a handful of seemingly motivated sellers reject your offer, should you stop trying? People hate rejection and being told “no,” monkeys don’t seem to care.

The road to success is usually paved with challenges. It is your grit and determination to succeed that will get you through. Read biographies of successful people and you will usually see a history of failure at some point. Rather than being defeated by setbacks, they are inspired and propelled forward by them. So when your real estate investment efforts seem to be for naught, think like a monkey and keep going.

In the end the monkey found what she was looking for. It was a half-empty can of soda; it seems she was just thirsty.

People go to the zoo and they like the lion because it’s scary. And the bear because it’s intense, but the monkey makes people laugh. – Lorne Michaels

Photo Credit: Richard Warren

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