Have you ever had multiple people in the same week or two say or ask you the same thing? It makes you think for a moment a little bit more intently on something that, before, you hadn’t given much thought.
It just happened to me over the last week or two.
I have studied the likes of Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Eric Thomas, Les Brown and many others for years. Much of what they talk about is finding inner peace and happiness, gratitude, passion, grit, and mental strength. I will not write another article on “mindset”—there are millions already. I want to be a little more focused than that and make a direct connection to our real estate journey.
What I have been asked or talked about with peers over the last few weeks was something I think is a “make or break” character trait in this business, especially with rental real estate.
That trait is: temperament. As defined, temperament is “the way you tend to behave or the types of emotions you tend to exhibit.”
Believe it or not, I have seen this one characteristic bring success and failure.
I had worked with an investor setting up her triplex with tenants, finding her contractors, and even discussing financing. That was a massive mistake on my part. What this amounted to was multiple 60- to 90-minute phone calls a few times a week about how unsure and skeptical she was about the process and the prospective tenants. She just had a really negative outlook on the whole thing.
The property needed some work, so I asked my contractor and his team if they could help her out. They agreed and got started going over details with the owner. My contractor, being an extremely respectful person, never said a bad word about the investor. Regardless, he was clearly unhappy with the arrangement.
Come to find out, nothing was ever good enough for this owner. The contractor was always getting calls about small, inconsequential items and the owner was haggling on price. None of this was the real point though.
Finally, after an arduous rental process, the property was filled up and leased out. Yes! The process was complete!
Nope, not so fast.
Three months later, the owner calls to tell me all but one tenant has left. Apparently, there had been some occurrences of food stealing and the like, and the whole thing spun out of control.
Stuff like this simply happens. This has happened many times with renting out rooms and putting strangers together in one house or unit. Every landlord on this planet has dealt with issues, whether it was stealing or lies or damage to the property.
Things like this—and worse—just simply have to be dealt with. Is it frustrating and even angering at times? Yes. Do you want to throw your hands up and say screw it and walk out? Sometimes, yes.
The thing is, this can happen weekly for landlords. Heck, at 5 a.m. today, I received an angry text from a tenant, saying that his car was blocked in by another car. What matters here is how you deal with it.
There is something I do that is very helpful in getting me to remain calm, gather my thoughts, and act like a business owner. I practice this strategy more often than I would like. But remember, that is okay, because we are running a business here and things will go wrong from time to time.
Here’s what I do. If something goes wrong and I am feeling angry or frustrated, if I want to just quit or maybe yell back at whomever is causing me to feel this way, I simply breath, count to 10, and then respond. I truly believe responding right away to a situation that has upset you can potentially have grave consequences.
I have often looked back and cringed at what I have done or what I have said to someone. I knew it wasn’t right—only because it was a short time later or the next day and I was able to fully recognize that I did not handle it correctly.
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. However, in this business, when you have rentals you are running yourself and having a property manager oversee, you are the boss. The buck stops with you, as they say. You are the shot-caller and need to act as such.
If the CEO of any major company just started kicking and screaming over each fire he had to put out, he would not have any employees left.
All in all, temperament is huge in the real estate business. Whether you are flipper trying to stay as tight to your numbers as possible and your contractor just is not getting it. Or you are a rental property owner like me and have to deal with some downright crazy tenant issues. Either way, you have to keep your cool.
Next time you get that call or text and an issue arises out of the blue: remember, you are the boss here and your business is a reflection of you. Take a few short seconds to breathe, count to 10, and then proceed knowing problems happen to everyone, but success and failure truly depend on how you go about handling them.
Which real estate-related situations set you off? What do you do to cope with business-related stress?
Share in the comment section below.
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.