Business Management

8 Survival Tips for the Overwhelmed Real Estate Investor

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Flipping Houses, Business Management, Personal Development, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate News & Commentary
208 Articles Written

Real estate investing, like many other endeavors, can easily and quickly slip past our comfort zones. As investors, we often have to deal with clients, other investors, tenants, bankers, contractors, code enforcement officers, the tax man and a few dozen others. All of these folks can at times be intimidating, annoying, disheartening, ignorant, stubborn or some combination thereof. It can all be enough to make even the most seasoned investor feel like they are sinking — and trust me, at times it does.

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So what to do when you feel like the water is up to your chin and rising? When you feel like you are out of your league or without options? Here are some suggestions.

8 Tips for Staying Afloat When Investing Gets Overwhelming

Project Confidence

Yes, I know it sounds like a cliché, but it really does work, even if you have no idea what you are doing. People respect a confident person. They also act differently around confident people.

It may take a little practice on your part, but keep your chin up and your head high. You are the investor, after all; it is your property, and it is your deal, and you make the decisions. Act like it!

Ask for Help

There is almost no situation or person that someone out there has not encountered before. Do not feel like you are in any situation alone. Ask for help from other experienced investors. You can do it on the Forums here at BiggerPockets or perhaps at your local REIA. This is the main reason I have found my local REIA to be a great resource. I have met and become friends with so many other investors that there really is not a problem our collective brains cannot figure out.

Study Up on the Situation

We humans are often fearful of the unknown, but nothing takes away fear and anxiety like a little knowledge. Is code enforcement giving your fits? Read up on the housing codes. Don’t assume code enforcement has read them and knows what they are talking about. They very well may not, and even if they do, you have educated yourself on the process and helped lower that water level a bit.

Keep Calm  

A mind in panic mode will almost always make a poor decision. Try your best to keep calm in any situation. If possible, remove yourself from the situation until you can calm down and think clearly. It is, for example, better to hang up and call back than say something that will only increase or inflame the problem.

Remember Past Circumstances  

You have likely been through some type of adversity before. Are you still standing? Did you get totally wiped out? It can happen, and if it has happened to you, then I am sorry.

Related: Overwhelmed? A Step By Step Guide on How to Focus and Complete Many Tasks Quickly

But think about it — it is rare. Most problems seem very big at the time, but later on we can laugh about it. Plus, you need to remember…

Believe You Will Be Stronger for it

Another cliché, I know, but it is true. Think about all of those other investors I mentioned up above that I met at my local REIA group. They have been through it before; they are still standing, and their businesses are likely stronger today that they were before. You will still be standing as well.

Know That You Are in the Driver’s Seat

Sometimes, it may not feel like you are in control, but in many ways you actually are. It is your property, it is your deal, it is your business, it is your life. You can choose what to buy, who to work with, who to hire, who to do business with! If someone is intimidating you or just being a jerk, get them out of your life. You do not need a deal or anyone that badly. Move on and be glad you did.

Keep in Mind: The Other Person is Likely Just as Scared as You Are

They may have read this blog post, too, and are just trying to keep their head above water as well. Don’t go in with an antagonistic “I have got to win at all costs” attitude. Keep it cool, honest and above board, so everyone wins, learns and is happy.

Related: 9 Great Ways to Get Over Being Overwhelmed

I know some of this may seem very difficult or a bit too cliché to some of you — but give these ideas a try. Being out there on your own as a sole proprietor of a real estate investing business is really hard. Be proud of yourself for taking the first steps if you are new (remember most never leave the couch). But understand that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Everyday you will get more and more confident.

Ever felt like you were drowning? What helped you keep your head above water?

Please share with your comments.

Kevin Perk is co-founder of Kevron Properties, LLC with his wife Terron and has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Kevin invests in and manages rental properties in Memphis, TN and is a past president and vice-president of the local REIA group, the Memphis Investors Group.

    Roy Schauer Problem Solver / Investor from Anchorage, Alaska
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The stepping back from the problem works best for me when incorporated into the “chunking” idea. In other words, break the problem down into smaller chunks, arrange them by priority or order of resolution, and concentrate on one or two chunks at a time. Sometimes by looking at the whole process it can get overwhelming and the fear starts to creep in. Keeping focused on the smaller steps makes it seem more manageable and as you deal with each one your confidence with grow and make the rest of them that much easier to deal with. Then look at the bigger problem every so often to get a measurement of where you are in the whole process. Thank you for covering this Kevin! It’s easy to talk about the wins, but not so easy to talk about the problems that came up on the road to accomplishing the wins.
    Kevin Perk Investor from Memphis, Tennessee
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Roy, Great way to look at a problem. Break it down into manageable components and then it does not seem quite so large. Thanks for reading and for sharing the great advice, Kevin
    Jen Shrock from North West, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 4 years ago
    I totally agree with you Roy. When overwhelmed by a situation, I will keep breaking it into smaller and smaller units until it gets to a manageable point. If I am trying to think to far out and am overwhelmed, I will narrow that focus to the current month, or week if needed, or day, or hour…narrowing that focus as much as necessary to calm the overwhelmed or panicky feeling.
    lissa hall
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I think every real estate investor feel like this. It happen many times. Nice Article Kevin.
    Kevin Perk Investor from Memphis, Tennessee
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Lissa!
    Frankie Woods Investor from Albuquerque, NM
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Projecting confidence is so hard for me to do because I’m so dang honest. This is so hard! Thank you for the article!
    Kevin Perk Investor from Memphis, Tennessee
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Frankie, Being honest is a great asset! That alone should make you confident. Confident that you are doing the right thing and not trying to screw anyone over. Perhaps thinking of it that way will help you. It also gets easier with practice. So keep up the good work! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Kevin