Overwhelmed by Info? Here’s How to Focus Your Learning for Maximum Business Impact

Overwhelmed by Info? Here’s How to Focus Your Learning for Maximum Business Impact

4 min read
Matt Faircloth

Matt Faircloth, co-founder and president of the DeRosa Group, is a seasoned real estate investor. The DeRosa Group, based in historic Trenton, N.J., is a developer and owner of commercial and residential property with a mission to “transform lives through real estate.” DeRosa creates partnerships to finance select real estate investments and has a proven track record of providing safe, profitable investment opportunities to their clients.

Experience
Matt, along with his wife Liz, started investing in real estate in 2004 with the purchase of a duplex outside of Philadelphia with a $30,000 private loan. They founded DeRosa Group in 2005 and have since grown the company to hundreds of units in residential and commercial assets throughout the East Coast. Under Matt’s leadership, DeRosa has completed tens of millions in real estate transactions involving private capital, including fix and flips, single family home rentals, mixed-use buildings, apartment buildings, and office buildings.

Matt is an active contributor to the BiggerPockets Blog and has been featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast three times (show #88, #203, and #289). He also regularly contributes to BiggerPockets’ Facebook Live sessions and teaches free educational webinars for the BiggerPockets Community.

Matt authored the Amazon Best Seller Raising Private Capital: Building Your Real Estate Empire Using Other People’s Money. The book is a comprehensive roadmap for investors looking to inject more private capital into their real estate investing business and is a must-read for anyone looking to grow their business by using private lenders and equity investors. Kirkus, the No. 1 trade review publication for books, had this to say about Raising Private Capital: “In this impressively accessible introduction to a complex subject, Faircloth covers every aspect of private funding, presuming little knowledge on the part of the reader.”

Matt and his wife Liz live in New Hope, Penn., with their two children.

Education
Matt earned a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Business from Virginia Tech. (Go, Hokies!)

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A mother repeatedly called upstairs for her son to get up, get dressed and get ready for school. It was a familiar routine, especially at exam time.

“I feel sick,” said the voice from the bedroom.

“You are not sick. Get up and get ready,” called the mother, walking up the stairs and hovering outside the bedroom door.

“I hate school, and I’m not going,” said the voice from the bedroom. “I’m always getting things wrong, making mistakes and getting told off. Nobody likes me, and I’ve got no friends. And we have too many tests, and they are too confusing. It’s all just pointless, and I’m not going to school ever again.”

“I’m sorry, but you are going to school,” said the mother through the door, continuing encouragingly, “Really, mistakes are how we learn and develop. And please try not to take criticism so personally. And I can’t believe that nobody likes you — you have lots of friends at school. And yes, all those tests can be confusing, but we are all tested in many ways throughout our lives, so all of this experience at school is useful for life in general. Besides, you have to go, you are the head-teacher.” (Story taken from businessballs.com.)

Hi BP! It’s Liz back this week to talk about an important topic for success in real estate investing: learning. Now back to the fable I just told. For many of us, this was exactly how we felt about going to school. As young people, we associated “school” with “learning” and vice versa. Somewhere along the way, we became frustrated with school and the “learning” that was supposedly happening.

Thankfully, most of us as adults have disassociated “school” with “learning.” The two don’t go hand-in-hand anymore. As adults, we actually appreciate the idea of learning and know that in order to achieve new goals and expand our lives, we must learn new information. It is just that simple. Brian Tracy said it best: “To earn more, you must learn more.”

Whether you are an aspiring real estate investor or a current real estate investor looking to expand, you are probably a life learner. In other words, you are committed to learning and expanding yourself. Sometimes learning new information can be exciting, but it can also bring up overwhelming feelings of frustration at times. I don’t know about you, but when I Google something that I am interested in learning, the fact that millions (millions may I repeat) of results appear is overwhelming.

I think one reason “learning” something new is overwhelming to most of us is because there is so much to learn about that subject. Let’s face it — most people don’t have a plan for learning. Learning anything new is all about taking baby steps and being focused with what it is you want to learn. In order to avoid being overwhelmed, I would suggest for this year choose 5 areas to focus on learning. Not twenty-five, but 5 areas only! Success is all about focus. Learning is all about focus as well. The biggest trap in learning new information is that people do not set a plan for learning (and stick with it)!

Related: Does Education Paralyze Us? An Argument for Action in Real Estate

I don’t know about you, but I am excited about this year. I am excited to learn and expand what I know, but in a focused way. Here is my list of 5 areas that I am excited to learn about.
Matt and I look forward to hearing what you are excited about learning about, too!

5 Investing Areas I’m Focusing My Education on This Year

1. Learning more effective marketing strategies

I am looking forward to learning how to make our presence more “known” via our website, social media, etc. As we begin to market properties or whatever, I am excited to learn more how to maximize our efforts online.

2. Learning new processes and systems to automate our property management business

Ever since I read The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, I can’t help but think on a daily basis, “How can we make this more efficient and automated?” Obviously there are some areas of a property management company that can be automated, and others that need that personal touch. I am excited to speak to folks who run property management companies and learn as many best practices as I can.

3. Learning more creative ways to find properties to fix & flip and buy & hold

We have two strategies we are focused on this year: buy-fix-flip and buy-fix-hold. We have existing strategies that have worked in the past to find properties; however, I want to learn more unique and out-of-the-box ways to find properties. I am looking forward to finding these “off the beaten path” strategies and then sharing them with the BP community!

4. Learning from other successful business people and real estate investors

I will be the first to tell you that I don’t have all the answers. I love to surround myself with people who are on a successful path as well. I used to be part of a mastermind group – a group that was made up of successful business people who offered ideas and suggestions to one another to grow one another’s businesses. I would love to either form or join another group like this in 2015. Success breeds success. In order for this to happen though, you have to surround yourself with the right people.

Related: 4 Ways to Build a Strong Real Estate Investing Financial Education Today

5. Learning ways to take our real estate investing to the next level

Last year we bought more units than we did in several years prior. That was a great achievement for us. However, there are always ways to be more efficient, profitable, and effective in every area of our business. I am excited to find ways to be make this portfolio even more profitable for our investors and our team.

In summary, we never stop learning. It pays to have a plan for your education and set goals around it. So what are you excited and committed to learning more about this year?

Matt and I are committed to offering as many ideas and support as we can throughout the year on our weekly blog. We would love to hear from you on what you want to learn more about from us!

Happy Investing!

Now it’s your turn to weigh in: What areas are you focusing on for further education in 2015? What new skills have you learned recently?

Leave a comment below, and let’s chat!