Real Estate Investing Basics

One Secret for Improving Your Real Estate Success

14 Articles Written

My husband is an abstract artist. When he first started to paint, he was afraid to make a mistake and ruin a canvas. He was slow and tentative. He eventually overcame his fear by realizing that painting something was better than staring at a blank canvas.

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Starting out investing is like looking at a blank canvas. You have a lot of choices and can get bogged down thinking about mistakes you might make. The problem with taking too long to act is that nothing gets done.  I’ll let you in on a secret.  As an investor, the faster you can make a decision, the better off you are.  The investor who acts quickly lands the deal.

Six Hints to Help you Speed up your Decision Making Process

1.) Have guts

Have guts. The emotion of fear is ever present when you buy a real estate investment. For me, I still feel fear every time I close. Excitement, yes, but fear too. Learn to deal with the fear and press on. If the numbers work and your intuition is saying “go,” don’t let fear hold you back.

2.) Understand the Numbers

Get a grip on the numbers then quickly act on the numbers. Know what purchase price makes a good deal. Have a good feel for repairs costs. Input the numbers in a spreadsheet and wait to find the investment with a good return. When you find that investment, get it under contract quickly. You can always terminate the contract with a contingency, but if you don’t sign a contract, you will never get the deal. Like they say in the lottery: “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

3.) Decide Based on the Numbers, not Emotion

Use numbers not emotions when making decisions. The numbers will tell you whether the deal is good. If you only rely on emotions you might pull the trigger on an overpriced “cute” little house with a great kitchen but pass on the ugly tiled ceiling, paneling house that will hit a 20% return.

4.) Use your intuition.

So you did your homework and ran the numbers. Great! The numbers work, what now? If your intuition is saying “buy,” then buy. The numbers have to work of course, but your intuition will help steer you. Sometimes I start thinking about a property I have seen. I have a gut feeling of sorts about the property. When I feel that, I listen and follow up on it. Listen to your intuition and you will make better decisions.

5.) Don’t be perfectly stagnate.

No investment is ever perfect. When analyzing a deal, forget about needing the perfect investment. Take action and do something. Needing perfection can keep you perfectly “nowhere.”

6.) Focus your Efforts.

Figure out your game plan and stick to it. Come up with a plan for the next 12 months. How many will you buy? Where? What type? Write down your goals and focus on attaining them.

Just Decide

When it comes to making decisions on buying, the most important thing is to actually make a decision. Many investors miss out on deals because they can’t make a decision. If you decide “no,” then move on. If you decide “yes,” don’t hesitate, go ahead and make the bid. Want to improve your real estate business? Increase your decision making speed.

Photo: Earnest

    Karen Rittenhouse
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Great point – don’t get stopped by analysis paralysis! To overcome the fear of “pulling the trigger”, investors need a solid purchasing process in place including calculators to figure their numbers. Armed with the right tools, we can better know whether a “deal” is truly a deal and, when it is, Jump All Over It because good deals go fast! Well said, McKellar. Thanks for your post.
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Very important to understand the more “psychic” side of things. Intuition is a key component of real estate investing across the board. I call this “flow” and I see it as akin to being in “The Zone” that athletes get into, when things are cranking on all cylinders. It’s important to note that this, to this investor, isn’t the same as “stupid optimism”. On the contrary, it is confidence in one’s abilities to not only size up and execute a deal, but also the confidence that one can clearly handle the obstacles that pop up. Equal parts optimism and pessimism – the pessimism, paradoxically, builds confidence too. I wouldn’t be in this business if the mathematical variance that could get me burned wasn’t in play at all times. Overcoming that fear and getting into the zone is what gives me the buzz that I need and what drives me to play ball above the rim and makes victory all that much sweeter. Kind of like golf – it’s you against the course at the end of the day. I like a lot of hazards.
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    As Nike says, “Just do it”. Sometimes it’s hard to take those first steps. But each time you do, it gets easier and easier.
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    As Nike says, “Just do it”. Sometimes it’s hard to take those first steps. But each time you do, it gets easier and easier. Reply Report comment
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied over 7 years ago
    As Nike says, “Just do it”. Sometimes it’s hard to take those first steps. But each time you do, it gets easier and easier.
    Brandon Turner
    Replied over 7 years ago
    Hey McKellar – Excellent post. Ironically -it’s going to fit perfectly well with an article coming out later today by Clay, where he tells a story of losing a deal because of speed! Thanks for the post!
    Replied over 7 years ago
    You couldn’t have said better points! If I were to relay this list to the investors I work with, i wouldn’t change a word. You’re spot-on and all points are very true.