5 Lessons I’ve Learned by Being Sidelined From the Real Estate Game

5 Lessons I’ve Learned by Being Sidelined From the Real Estate Game

3 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog, SmarterLandlording.com, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

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It has been a rough week here at the Perk household. I have basically been put out of commission for the next few weeks (months?) because I broke my ankle. Not a little break, either. A big break. A break that required surgery and 10 screws to fix. The prognosis is good, but Merry Christmas to me! It will be several weeks before I am anywhere near back to my routine. For now, the prescription is rest and an elevated ankle to keep the swelling down and the healing process on track. I am not even allowed to drive.

So, in one short instant, I lost my mobility. Then, over the next few days, the reality of this new normal has begun to set in. But I have things to do! I have rental properties that need to be checked on, maintenance issues, tenants, etc. I am in the process of rehabbing two houses. There are still a thousand decisions that need to be made. Decisions that need me on site so they can be made. How will all of this get done?

Obviously, I am going to have to rethink things a bit. How is my business going to stay on track while I am in this condition? Here are my initial thoughts.

5 Lessons I’ve Learned by Being Sidelined From the Real Estate Game

I Need to Focus on Getting Healthy

This has to be my number one goal. Everything else simply has to become secondary. No deal, no tenant, no problem is going to be worth my health. Things are simply going to have to slow down for a bit. Perhaps not for the entire period of my recovery, but at least initially.

“Normal” Is Not Normal Anymore

What was once normal for me is simply not going to be normal for a while. I no longer will have the ability to get up and go anywhere at any time to perhaps look at a potential deal or solve a problem. Does this mean I will not be able to get deals or solve problems? No, I will just have to find new ways to do it. I am working on it.

Related: 3 Tales of Landlording Catastrophe — And the Invaluable Lessons They Teach Us

I Am Going to Have to Let Go

I am not going to be able to do what I was once able to. I am going to have to let some things go. Perhaps that will be another rehab project. Perhaps it will be the next potential deal that comes along. Perhaps it will be making every decision. Whatever it is, I am simply going to have to let some things go.

I Am Going To Need Help

Hopefully you have someone who can help you. I am lucky. I have a wonderful wife who works with me, so she can take on some of what I was doing. But I need to be careful not to overload her either. Otherwise, I need to not be afraid to ask for help. Most everyone I work with will understand my situation.

I Will Have to Get Creative

Things will still need to get done, but I may not have the same capability to do them anymore. I am simply going to have to find new ways to get things done. What exactly that is I am not sure yet. Thankfully, technology these days makes doing some of this much, much easier. Today everyone is carrying around a phone, camera and video recorder in their pockets. I plan on using these things a lot more. Apps like Uber and Lyft will also become much more important to me if I need to get around. Need some parts for something? Going to Home Depot is out of the question. So why not use Amazon? Amazon will deliver most anything to your door, many times within two days and for free if you sign up for Prime.

Related: The Surprising Lesson a Six-Figure Salary in My 20s Taught Me About Wealth

I am not going to lie, this injury is very discouraging. I have always been a very active person. But now I am going to be forced to take a rest. I could sit here in the dumps, and there is going to be some of that, but instead I am going to see this as an opportunity: An opportunity for me to catch up on things. An opportunity to get some things done that I have been wanting to get done for a while. An opportunity to fine tune and retune my business and perhaps make it better. My journey with this injury is just beginning. Thankfully, I work for myself so I can take the time to figure it out. We will see what this journey brings.  I will let you know.

Have you ever been sidelined in your business? How did you deal with it? Any suggestions?

Please share with your comments.

It has been a rough week here at the Perk household. I have basically been put out of commission for the next few weeks (months?) because I broke my ankle. […]