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Patience: It’s Not What You Wanted To Hear as a Real Estate Investor

Danny Johnson
4 min read

But it is what we need to hear…and often.

Whether you are just starting out in real estate investing, or are a seasoned investor with years and years of experience, you still need to always remember that patience is key.

I bring it up because I tend to forget this very simple fact and the result is frustration and stress. Things don’t have to happen right now, every time we need something. Things take time and we live much happier lives when we slow down a little and not let what we are waiting for frustrate us.

When you are impatient, you make mistakes

…or give up.

Too many new investors never make it because they are simply too impatient.

I’ve received more emails than I can count with people asking me what they should do to find deals. This is usually right after they tell me they’ve sent out letters and nothing has happened.

“Sent out letters” tells me nothing. How many were sent? To whom were they sent? How many did each person receive? What was your message? Was the phone number correct or even in the letter?

The point is, there are so many more important questions that need to be answered. But, the fact of the matter is that it really all just boils down to being impatient.

Usually less than about 100 letters had been sent out. They are usually sent to people that don’t have much reason to be terribly motivated. The letters tend to talk about the investor rather than what is in it for the recipient (simple test for this is whether there are more I’s in the letter than you’s).

Not much time is spent on the message and not much time is spent on gathering the list of people to mail to and the result is failure.

Many times there is nothing wrong with the message or the list. It’s just a matter of not being consistent and persistent. Just keep doing it. Add some other motivated marketing into the mix.

When you aren’t getting many leads, you tend to try to force things. This can lead to doing very marginal deals that could cost you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. We don’t want that!

Don’t give up. Give it time. Be patient.

Take a deep breath, it only takes one call

You don’t have to, and you are unlikely to, start getting dozens of leads the first several weeks. It just doesn’t happen.

I think there is a natural tendency to think that once you put a few signs out with your phone number on them, your phone will start ringing A LOT.

Usually, the day will go by and you end it with disappointment because nobody called.

Just remember though that it only takes one phone call to land a deal that could make you tens of thousands of dollars. Just one.

It happens to experienced investors too

We are not immune.

Contractors take a little longer than expected to finish a job.

A closing gets held up because the seller has not received a document that is needed for the closing.

A seller wants to think about our offer, wants run it by their attorney, or wants to get a couple of more offers from other investors.

We want to work on something and people call us about their houses they want to sell and we know we need to drop what we are doing and go and look at them.

Tenants call with minor problems that they need us to take care of. Even though it is usually just a phone call and a check to fix, it can be really irritating to have to deal with. If we just calmed down and made the call right away, it wouldn’t really be a big deal. Of course, when the contractor fails to make contact with the tenant and never ends up fixing the problem, it’s really hard to be patient and calm.

Don’t leave money on the table because you are impatient

There are so many instances where we can end up leaving a lot of money on the table because of our impatience.

The first ones that come to mind for me are when negotiating to buy a house from a seller and negotiating for work to be done on a house with a contractor.

If you are worried about losing that deal or just getting it signed up as soon as possible, you will likely concede way too much to make that happen. Not good.

I’ve almost done this many times and my wife has usually been the one to get me to just walk away (usually the seller calls later the same day or the next day and accepts our offer). Yep, she rocks.

When it comes to negotiating costs of repairs for a rehab, if you are impatient you could end up finding yourself feeling like you must accept a contractors bid for a job. I’ve often found myself accepting slightly higher prices because I didn’t want to have to take the time to find another contractor. This usually happens when you’ve used the same contractor for several jobs. I’m all about paying fair compensation, but sometimes it can be a bit much more than we are used to.

Now you’ve heard it…again

So now you’ve heard it again. Be patient. Don’t be impatient. Slow down. Let things happen.
It’s simple. It’s basic. But, it’s oh so important and can be the difference in your passion for getting started investing or continuing investing being extinguished and exploding your success in due time.

Be patient, my friends.

If you have thought of some times when being impatient has cost you, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.


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