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Real Estate Investing At The Speed of Opportunity…

Peter Giardini
4 min read

I am always struck by the number of individuals who want desperately to get into real estate investing but for a variety of reasons, they just don’t get going.

The article I wrote last week for the BiggerPockets Blog sharing the success story of one investor in Baltimore Maryland, provided some insights into an investors success that received a lot of feedback.

One insight in particular was the one where I mentioned that instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to happen, this investor got off her duff and built her portfolio one property at a time.  The key here is that she “got her duff and took action.”

I got to thinking about many new and no-so new investors today who seem to be kind of frozen… waiting for the right opportunity to come their way… and yet it never seems to materialize.

With that in mind, I thought I would share blog article I wrote a couple years ago on the subject of “investing at the speed of opportunity.”  I hope it strikes a cord with each of you and provides the needed push for those who are sitting around waiting for some opportunity to fall in there lap.

Here is that article…

In the 1980’s (yes, I am dating myself), there was baseball catcher, sportscaster and actor – Bob Uecker – who played George Owens on the sit-com “Mr. Belvedere.” He had a line that I think fits many current real estate investors.  Bob would always be saying: “You Snooze, You Lose!” I’m sure you’ve heard it before. But have you applied it to real estate investing… lately?

I think Bob’s statement says a lot for where many real estate investors are relative to our current market (hopefully not you).  They are sitting on the sidelines… taking a nap, waiting for the market to “change,” hoping that some perceived risk will be reduced by stable credit, growing employment, less restrictive mortgage markets, and wishing that just one shred of positive news would filter out of the media before they would be willing to wake from their slumber and take action.

Well, guess what?  It isn’t going to happen that way.  Not if you want to capture the market at the bottom, at least.  Let me show you why… and how to avoid “staying sidelined,” so you are in the right position to capture current opportunities.

Imagine for a moment that you are attempting to merge onto the interstate, where traffic is moving at 65 miles per hour…. Now picture yourself coming to a stop…

As scary as that may be, it’s happened to every driver at one point or another.

So you already know, when you are in this position, at a standstill, how hard it is to find just the right opening between the rapidly moving cars.  You know how hard it is to get your car to go from zero to 65 miles an hour in a very short distance without getting hit as you try to merge.  Not easy!

Now, picture yourself in this same situation… only, this time, you continue moving down the on-ramp, and, once you find the right opening to merge, you accelerate and effortlessly merge into the onrushing traffic.

Simply put – it’s hard to find an opening when you are standing still.  You know this – but did you know that this principle is not just a question of physics – it’s a question of money and opportunity? And did you know that it applies to easily 80% of all real estate investors in the market today?  Maybe even YOU!

Movement creates opportunity.  It invites new things to happen.  Movement means you are alive, that you are responding and adapting.

What’s the alternative?  Hesitation.  Stagnation.  And we all know what happens in nature to stagnant water, or living organisms when they stop moving.  They die.  (And even start to smell. Yuck.)

In this market, you must resist the temptation to stagnate.  To wait.  To watch.  To wonder.  To let your attention drift.  Pay attention!  Watch what’s happening, and look for your entry – your opportunity to jump onto the freeway as soon as an exceptional Deal presents itself.  If you are sitting on the sidelines, all you can do is watch.  And assuming you do see a potential deal, by the time you get yourself geared up and “out on the freeway” to take it down… it will be gone. 

Many people hear of fellow real estate investors who take down a rental with incredible cashflow (read the article mentioned above for a great story on just this subject) or pocket a $40,000+ rehab profit check. 

They say to themselves – “Those investors just got lucky.”

But for real estate investors to just get “lucky” is extremely rare. The more likely scenario: (1) they get into motion, (2) they get their financing lined up, (3) they find a great agent who welcomes their business and they start to make offers, (4) They negotiate relentlessly, (5) and THEN they “get lucky,” if you can call THAT “luck.”

Or, put more accurately, these real estate investors REAP THE REWARDS OF TAKING ACTION.  Of getting into motion.  They were awake.  They were moving at the “speed of opportunity,” so when they pulled up next to the exceptional deal (as they “merged onto the freeway”), they saw it for what it was and captured that opportunity.

I have often told those coaching clients I sense may be hesitating about making an offer, “You can’t take a deal down in slow motion!” Just like you can’t easily merge onto a highway from a dead stop… neither can you take any opportunity down in slow motion.

And if you are waiting for things to change – if you are frozen in fear by the news – if you are not making offers right now, in this market – you are in slow motion.  And… you are about to be run over… by the market.

So… are you “snoozing?” Are you moving in “slow motion?” Or are you pulling up next to every opportunity, evaluating it, and, when it fits your criteria, taking it down?  For people who are moving fast, this market is full of profits ripe for the picking.

Are you taking down your share of opportunities… or hoping that one will fall in your lap?

If it is the latter… good luck with that approach!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.