What has kept you from progress? (And did you overcome it?)

133 Replies

Having had so many investing students and BP members express their issues around funds, education or just plain fear, I thought it would be helpful for everyone to not only hear from investors having challenges or hesitations, but also from the more experienced investors on how you overcame similar issues in the beginning.

Investors: Please tell us what is slowing your progress.

Those Who’ve Overcome Your Roadblocks: Please tell us what challenges you’ve had and how you got past them. And please help those expressing their issues.

For me:

1. Getting to a better financial situation (actively paying off school debt asap)

2. Not knowing the fundamentals of real estate yet

3. Not knowing what my strengths and weakness were...I can identify them now though!

In the meantime, I have the drive and open mind to learn, study and get active as much as I can.

@Lori Greene -  For me it was trying to do everything myself.  My business skyrocketed once I gave into the idea of relinquishing control and being a team player.  However, I'm still a lone wolf by nature so this is something I continue to struggle with on a daily basis. 

@Lori Greene When I started I was young, about 25 years old. All I had were my own drive and determination and the logic and common sense I had developed growing up and one real estate agent. I knew what I wanted and I put my agent through two years of looking and making offers until I got my first offer accepted. I was grateful for her tremendous patience and I'm sure that she was glad to be done once I got that first one. It was a house hack. I

didn't see it as a challenge or even get frustrated over the time it took. I am not easily discouraged. It was that persistence and determination that served me so well. I did not even consider the possibility of failure becasue I knew I could do it. Pateince is key UInderstand that there is a learning curve and persistence will get you there. 

I've been at this now for 29 years if you count those first two years of my search for the first one and I am still learning. I love every minute of it. Investing is part of my make-up of who I am. I am passionate about it and I fee the same thrill now when I get a deal as I did back then. It is not, nor has it ever been a job to me.

I hired my first professional mentor four years later. I paid $1,100 to work with him. That was a lot of money back in 1994. It was the best investment I ever made. He later invited me to become a mentor. 

Originally posted by @Karen Dixon :

For me:

1. Getting to a better financial situation (actively paying off school debt asap)

2. Not knowing the fundamentals of real estate yet

3. Not knowing what my strengths and weakness were...I can identify them now though!

In the meantime, I have the drive and open mind to learn, study and get active as much as I can.

Karen, it's smart to be in a good financial situation before investing into your first property. And I'm guessing you know about bird-dogging? That's a great place to start from when you have no money at all. Keep you eyes out for potential deals, drive neighborhoods, text and email rentals and FSBO's on classified ads and local signs, tell everyone you know to keep an eye out for distressed or vacant properties or motivated sellers. Practice analyzing and doing your homework on them, and when you find one that looks good, present it to another investor for a finder's fee.

You can do this with both wholesalers and cash buyers. Build a list of other investors to bird-dog for by making as many connections as possible here on BP, by going to local auctions and REIA meet-ups and from local rental signs and I Buy Houses signs.

You don't need to have a plan to start doing this. Just start doing it. It's the fastest way to learn!

If you don't mind, can you tell us what strengths and weaknesses you realized you had? Do you have any ideas for how you might overcome your weaknesses?

Originally posted by @Michael Ablan :

@Lori Greene -  For me it was trying to do everything myself.  My business skyrocketed once I gave into the idea of relinquishing control and being a team player.  However, I'm still a lone wolf by nature so this is something I continue to struggle with on a daily basis. 

Michael, that's great to hear. I love it when people are persistent enough to stick with it until they overcome their issues. Building a good power team of investor-savvy agents, title co's, attorney's, CPA's, lenders, contractors, inspectors, appraisers and other investors is the very most powerful thing an investor can do. Relationships are everything in this business and all of these people can make your life so much easier.

Can you elaborate on what types of team members you've found to be the most helpful to you and why? And also how you found them? I'd love to hear more about your journey.

Originally posted by @Jan Kerr :

@Lori Greene When I started I was young, about 25 years old. All I had were my own drive and determination and the logic and common sense I had developed growing up and one real estate agent. I knew what I wanted and I put my agent through two years of looking and making offers until I got my first offer accepted. I was grateful for her tremendous patience and I'm sure that she was glad to be done once I got that first one. It was a house hack. I

didn't see it as a challenge or even get frustrated over the time it took. I am not easily discouraged. It was that persistence and determination that served me so well. I did not even consider the possibility of failure becasue I knew I could do it. Pateince is key UInderstand that there is a learning curve and persistence will get you there. 

I've been at this now for 29 years if you count those first two years of my search for the first one and I am still learning. I love every minute of it. Investing is part of my make-up of who I am. I am passionate about it and I fee the same thrill now when I get a deal as I did back then. It is not, nor has it ever been a job to me.

I hired my first professional mentor four years later. I paid $1,100 to work with him. That was a lot of money back in 1994. It was the best investment I ever made. He later invited me to become a mentor. 

Thanks for sharing that story Jan. It's great to hear how far perseverance can take you even when you have no experience. I have a similar story. My first investment many years ago was the first house I ever built. My husband and I had been living in a tiny house, then we had another child, then his mom moved in, gasp, and then we got a dog. We were so over crowded and my business was doing well so we decided to build a bigger house.

It took forever to find the right lot and when we did, everyone told us it would be impossible. The agent said the seller would never accept my offer, the first lender said we would never qualify for a construction loan, the building dept said we'd never get our permit because there were no utilities in the canyon, no water in the ground for a well, that the perf test for a septic tank would never pass and that the driveway would never pass because it would need to be cut into a cliff.

But we were in love with that lot (40 pristine acres for $100k, my offer was $70k) that we persisted until we overcame every obstacle and built our dream house. Persistence and creativity can overcome almost any obstacle.

Jan, what is it that led you to be so passionate about real estate investing?

@Lori Greene My passion in real estate started for me at age 7 or 8. I have a deep appreciation for the architucture and wood craftsmanship of old houses. I think I was 8 when I asked my grandmother if she would leave me their house. She laughed and said that her sons would get it. That was cool, my dad was one of her sons. LOL! I studied drafting in high school, went right into architectural technology in college and then spent 10 years in the decorating business on the retail end of things. It was during my time in the decorating business that I began investing. My entrepreneurial spirit started very early and never left me. Working for someone else was never my style. I knew I was capable of taking better care of myself and my financil needs than any employer ever could be for me.

Originally posted by @Lori Greene :
Originally posted by @Karen Dixon:

For me:

1. Getting to a better financial situation (actively paying off school debt asap)

2. Not knowing the fundamentals of real estate yet

3. Not knowing what my strengths and weakness were...I can identify them now though!

In the meantime, I have the drive and open mind to learn, study and get active as much as I can.

Karen, it's smart to be in a good financial situation before investing into your first property. And I'm guessing you know about bird-dogging? That's a great place to start from when you have no money at all. Keep you eyes out for potential deals, drive neighborhoods, text and email rentals and FSBO's on classified ads and local signs, tell everyone you know to keep an eye out for distressed or vacant properties or motivated sellers. Practice analyzing and doing your homework on them, and when you find one that looks good, present it to another investor for a finder's fee.

You can do this with both wholesalers and cash buyers. Build a list of other investors to bird-dog for by making as many connections as possible here on BP, by going to local auctions and REIA meet-ups and from local rental signs and I Buy Houses signs.

You don't need to have a plan to start doing this. Just start doing it. It's the fastest way to learn!

If you don't mind, can you tell us what strengths and weaknesses you realized you had? Do you have any ideas for how you might overcome your weaknesses?

Wow, I didn't know that was possible?! Thank you for the very valuable tips Lori, I really appreciate it! My strengths are consistency, reliability and being proactive. I'm working on my confidence, gullibility and I can be a bit too blunt. I am trying to increase networking, listen to more RE podcasts and to have more patience with myself. I'm hoping that doing a little bit every day and surrounding myself with more positive people that might help me conquer those weaknesses overtime. 

 

Originally posted by @Karen Dixon :
Originally posted by @Lori Greene:
Originally posted by @Karen Dixon:

For me:

1. Getting to a better financial situation (actively paying off school debt asap)

2. Not knowing the fundamentals of real estate yet

3. Not knowing what my strengths and weakness were...I can identify them now though!

In the meantime, I have the drive and open mind to learn, study and get active as much as I can.

Karen, it's smart to be in a good financial situation before investing into your first property. And I'm guessing you know about bird-dogging? That's a great place to start from when you have no money at all. Keep you eyes out for potential deals, drive neighborhoods, text and email rentals and FSBO's on classified ads and local signs, tell everyone you know to keep an eye out for distressed or vacant properties or motivated sellers. Practice analyzing and doing your homework on them, and when you find one that looks good, present it to another investor for a finder's fee.

You can do this with both wholesalers and cash buyers. Build a list of other investors to bird-dog for by making as many connections as possible here on BP, by going to local auctions and REIA meet-ups and from local rental signs and I Buy Houses signs.

You don't need to have a plan to start doing this. Just start doing it. It's the fastest way to learn!

If you don't mind, can you tell us what strengths and weaknesses you realized you had? Do you have any ideas for how you might overcome your weaknesses?

Wow, I didn't know that was possible?! Thank you for the very valuable tips Lori, I really appreciate it! My strengths are consistency, reliability and being proactive. I'm working on my confidence, gullibility and I can be a bit too blunt. I am trying to increase networking, listen to more RE podcasts and to have more patience with myself. I'm hoping that doing a little bit every day and surrounding myself with more positive people that might help me conquer those weaknesses overtime. 

 

Well it sounds like you are on the right track. Everything you are doing makes perfect sense. And if you ever find you have a weakness that you can't seem to overcome, try taking on a partner who has the strengths that you don't have. For instance, my partner is great at starting conversations which is great for networking but isn't my strength and I am great at technology and marketing which aren't her strengths so we make a perfect team. Is there anyone that you might be able to partner with so you can combine your strengths?

 

Originally posted by @Jan Kerr :

@Lori Greene My passion in real estate started for me at age 7 or 8. I have a deep appreciation for the architucture and wood craftsmanship of old houses. I think I was 8 when I asked my grandmother if she would leave me their house. She laughed and said that her sons would get it. That was cool, my dad was one of her sons. LOL! I studied drafting in high school, went right into architectural technology in college and then spent 10 years in the decorating business on the retail end of things. It was during my time in the decorating business that I began investing. My entrepreneurial spirit started very early and never left me. Working for someone else was never my style. I knew I was capable of taking better care of myself and my financil needs than any employer ever could be for me.

Thanks for sharing the back story. That makes it even more interesting.

 

@Karen Dixon Hi Karen, I laughed when you said yout weakness is being blunt. I alwasy had the same problem, but over the years I have learned to let words be my friend and I have discovered that you can be direct as long as you learn the art of being tactful. That way you can say just about anything to anybody and they won't take offense.

Originally posted by @Jan Kerr :

@Karen Dixon Hi Karen, I laughed when you said yout weakness is being blunt. I alwasy had the same problem, but over the years I have learned to let words be my friend and I have discovered that you can be direct as long as you learn the art of being tactful. That way you can say just about anything to anybody and they won't take offense.

Good advice Jan. 

Originally posted by @Lori Greene :
Originally posted by @Karen Dixon:
Originally posted by @Lori Greene:
Originally posted by @Karen Dixon:

For me:

1. Getting to a better financial situation (actively paying off school debt asap)

2. Not knowing the fundamentals of real estate yet

3. Not knowing what my strengths and weakness were...I can identify them now though!

In the meantime, I have the drive and open mind to learn, study and get active as much as I can.

Karen, it's smart to be in a good financial situation before investing into your first property. And I'm guessing you know about bird-dogging? That's a great place to start from when you have no money at all. Keep you eyes out for potential deals, drive neighborhoods, text and email rentals and FSBO's on classified ads and local signs, tell everyone you know to keep an eye out for distressed or vacant properties or motivated sellers. Practice analyzing and doing your homework on them, and when you find one that looks good, present it to another investor for a finder's fee.

You can do this with both wholesalers and cash buyers. Build a list of other investors to bird-dog for by making as many connections as possible here on BP, by going to local auctions and REIA meet-ups and from local rental signs and I Buy Houses signs.

You don't need to have a plan to start doing this. Just start doing it. It's the fastest way to learn!

If you don't mind, can you tell us what strengths and weaknesses you realized you had? Do you have any ideas for how you might overcome your weaknesses?

Wow, I didn't know that was possible?! Thank you for the very valuable tips Lori, I really appreciate it! My strengths are consistency, reliability and being proactive. I'm working on my confidence, gullibility and I can be a bit too blunt. I am trying to increase networking, listen to more RE podcasts and to have more patience with myself. I'm hoping that doing a little bit every day and surrounding myself with more positive people that might help me conquer those weaknesses overtime. 

 

Well it sounds like you are on the right track. Everything you are doing makes perfect sense. And if you ever find you have a weakness that you can't seem to overcome, try taking on a partner who has the strengths that you don't have. For instance, my partner is great at starting conversations which is great for networking but isn't my strength and I am great at technology and marketing which aren't her strengths so we make a perfect team. Is there anyone that you might be able to partner with so you can combine your strengths?

 

Awesome, thanks! Yea that is a great strategy but, unfortunately I don't have someone I can partner with. 

Success is slowing us down... believe it or not.

I spend a long time mastering SEO. I locked myself in my room and wouldn't come out until I was the undisputed best at it.

It never crossed my mind what systems I need to put in place to handle the leads coming in once I was successful.

So now.. 

We have an influx of leads coming in, and we can't stop it. We can't pause it or turn it off. We can't get to them fast enough and they are  literally overflowing.

As these are VERY VERY motivated sellers, desperate even... they want offers now and when we do not get back to them in 2 days or so, they get MAD. Calling us up angry "were is my offer you damn monkey"... it is absolute hell. We are struggling to get to these leads but we just don't have the man power.


We still didn't even open our leads for October.

We are still trying to catch up on August:

We are trying to get a team in place, but just keeping up with these leads is just a full time job..

Originally posted by @Karen Dixon :
Originally posted by @Lori Greene:
Originally posted by @Karen Dixon:
Originally posted by @Lori Greene:
Originally posted by @Karen Dixon:

For me:

1. Getting to a better financial situation (actively paying off school debt asap)

2. Not knowing the fundamentals of real estate yet

3. Not knowing what my strengths and weakness were...I can identify them now though!

In the meantime, I have the drive and open mind to learn, study and get active as much as I can.

Karen, it's smart to be in a good financial situation before investing into your first property. And I'm guessing you know about bird-dogging? That's a great place to start from when you have no money at all. Keep you eyes out for potential deals, drive neighborhoods, text and email rentals and FSBO's on classified ads and local signs, tell everyone you know to keep an eye out for distressed or vacant properties or motivated sellers. Practice analyzing and doing your homework on them, and when you find one that looks good, present it to another investor for a finder's fee.

You can do this with both wholesalers and cash buyers. Build a list of other investors to bird-dog for by making as many connections as possible here on BP, by going to local auctions and REIA meet-ups and from local rental signs and I Buy Houses signs.

You don't need to have a plan to start doing this. Just start doing it. It's the fastest way to learn!

If you don't mind, can you tell us what strengths and weaknesses you realized you had? Do you have any ideas for how you might overcome your weaknesses?

Wow, I didn't know that was possible?! Thank you for the very valuable tips Lori, I really appreciate it! My strengths are consistency, reliability and being proactive. I'm working on my confidence, gullibility and I can be a bit too blunt. I am trying to increase networking, listen to more RE podcasts and to have more patience with myself. I'm hoping that doing a little bit every day and surrounding myself with more positive people that might help me conquer those weaknesses overtime. 

 

Well it sounds like you are on the right track. Everything you are doing makes perfect sense. And if you ever find you have a weakness that you can't seem to overcome, try taking on a partner who has the strengths that you don't have. For instance, my partner is great at starting conversations which is great for networking but isn't my strength and I am great at technology and marketing which aren't her strengths so we make a perfect team. Is there anyone that you might be able to partner with so you can combine your strengths?

 

Awesome, thanks! Yea that is a great strategy but, unfortunately I don't have someone I can partner with. 

Well just keep on building your team Karen and soon enough potential partners will reveal themselves. That's one of the main benefits of networking and building relationships. That's how you find a partner. 

Originally posted by @Jerryll Noorden :

Success is slowing us down... believe it or not.

I spend a long time mastering SEO. I locked myself in my room and wouldn't come out until I was the undisputed best at it.

It never crossed my mind what systems I need to put in place to handle the leads coming in once I was successful.

So now.. 

We have an influx of leads coming in, and we can't stop it. We can't pause it or turn it off. We can't get to them fast enough and they are  literally overflowing.

As these are VERY VERY motivated sellers, desperate even... they want offers now and when we do not get back to them in 2 days or so, they get MAD. Calling us up angry "were is my offer you damn monkey"... it is absolute hell. We are struggling to get to these leads but we just don't have the man power.


We still didn't even open our leads for October.

We are still trying to catch up on August:

We are trying to get a team in place, but just keeping up with these leads is just a full time job..

Wow, Jerryll. I am super impressed. Especially with the SEO. I myself am still trying to master that one. I have some ideas for how to streamline your responses on auto-pilot, I'm pretty good at that but I have some questions so I can fully understand your funnel.

Obviously, when these people sign-up they are filling out some kind of form. What questions are they answering? I ask because maybe you can have a 2nd or even 3rd set of questions or responses that automatically goes to them from an auto-responder. That may keep them busy for a few days giving you time to get to them. And will make them feel like they are being taken care of. And does your pitch say they will get an offer right now? Maybe wording things differently will curb their expectations for instant offers.

And what are you doing to build your team? Do you just need people to analyze these deals so you know what offer to send? is that what is taking so long to get to them?

Also I use what I call pre-offer letters. These are basically proposals, not the actual offer. And I always give them multiple choice offers. Maybe my highest offer proposal is 100% seller financing, my lowest offer proposal is cash and the middle offer gives them 10% cash now and seller finance the rest. Then I see how they respond. They will usually respond telling me what they like or don't like about the offer choices. And a lot of them will drop off at that point, leaving me far less offers to deal with. Now I've only got the more serious ones to deal with.

I have a multiple choice offers worksheet I can send you that makes it super fast and easy to do. So maybe if you start off by re-wording your pitch, using an autoresponder for the first few responses, and by not analyzing all of these but using a combination of the worksheet with a super fast plug-in formula and then only spending the real time on the ones who like some of the initial proposals, you'll be able to handle these before you build a bigger team.

I can also give you some tips on how to get helpers faster. 

Updated 4 months ago

I hate to see you using all of these deals. Let's figure out a streamlined system.

This post has been removed.

I was slow because I thought I had to kiss the banks butt and save a pile of money at first , now that I understand creative finance persuasion negotiation etc I can move and build a portfolio in breakneck speed . Applied knowledge is power 

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :

I was slow because I thought I had to kiss the banks butt and save a pile of money at first , now that I understand creative finance persuasion negotiation etc I can move and build a portfolio in breakneck speed . Applied knowledge is power 

I agree Dennis. I love using creativity to solve problems. Financing is a perfect example of where you can get very creative using a combination of strategies based on each individual situation. Like using seller financing when you have a for-sale-by-owner/motivated seller where you can take over on the payments or transactional funding for a double close or a private money partner to bridge the gap when hard money will only pay 70% or HELOC, Cash-out Refi or multiple high limit credit cards or even wholesaling/bird-dogging to let another investor fund it in order to get started. There's no reason for anyone to let funding stop them yet so many investors say lack of funding is their reason for waiting.

How and when did you come to realize you could use creative financing strategies over conventional?

 

Originally posted by @Lori Greene :
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

I was slow because I thought I had to kiss the banks butt and save a pile of money at first , now that I understand creative finance persuasion negotiation etc I can move and build a portfolio in breakneck speed . Applied knowledge is power 

I agree Dennis. I love using creativity to solve problems. Financing is a perfect example of where you can get very creative using a combination of strategies based on each individual situation. Like using seller financing when you have a for-sale-by-owner/motivated seller where you can take over on the payments or transactional funding for a double close or a private money partner to bridge the gap when hard money will only pay 70% or HELOC, Cash-out Refi or multiple high limit credit cards or even wholesaling/bird-dogging to let another investor fund it in order to get started. There's no reason for anyone to let funding stop them yet so many investors say lack of funding is their reason for waiting.

How and when did you come to realize you could use creative financing strategies over conventional?

 
I used to borrow up to a year ago I have a mentor now so I learned this mostly from him now I solve problems and buy on terms then I turn around and sell it on terms . Awesome way to make money from thin air 

 

Originally posted by @Karen Dixon :
...My strengths are consistency, reliability and being proactive. I'm working on my confidence, gullibility and I can be a bit too blunt. I am trying to increase networking, listen to more RE podcasts and to have more patience with myself. I'm hoping that doing a little bit every day and surrounding myself with more positive people that might help me conquer those weaknesses overtime. 

@Karen, Being "blunt" or very direct, if you can also be respectful, is one of the MOST useful skills to have as a landlord. You are dealing with people with all different types of backgrounds, traditions, and communication styles and preferences. If you try to tiptoe around or worse, dodge an issue, you'll foster confusion and miscommunication. If you can speak "bluntly" about awkward topics, and then make sure you both have the same understanding of the problem, many times people will come up with their own resolution and you can "fix" little problems before they become big problems. In landlord world, I think "hating confrontation" would be a huge liability where blunt, direct communication, is a HUGE STRENGTH that is not often appreciated in corporate America, especially from us ladies. I read that Steve Jobs once said the biggest thing that holds most people back is that they are afraid to ask for what they want. A blunt communicator is going to have less problems asking. ;) Good Luck!

 

I'm still in the learning phase.  Just purchased 3 audible books:  "Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat - David Greene, "The Book On Rental Property Investing" - Brandon Turner, and "Long Distance Real Estate Investing" - David Greene.  I'm hoping once I've gone through these books, things will make more sense.  Like @Michael Ablan , I'm a lone wolf.  I don't have many friends and I definitely don't have family that could help me on this path.  I'm use to doing things on my own and not having to foster relationships with people outside of my tiny circle.  So doing what is uncomfortable is what I need to work on.  I've met a couple of real estate agents and I am also still in touch with the real estate agent who sold me my own home.  I know a couple of fix n flip guys too.  But because I work full-time, its hard finding what niche to get started in.  I really want to invest in multi-family units.  In fact, I've been chatting with a real estate agent in Chicago.  I'm in New Jersey so I'm thinking I'm a bit crazy for trying to invest in Chicago right at the beginning of this venture.  But the contact I made there seems to know his stuff and has some good connections. He sent me a presentation to read and also told me his knows a lender that specializes in multi-family units.  So what am I waiting for?  I have so many questions.  

@Dennis M.

You said, "I used to borrow up to a year ago I have a mentor now so I learned this mostly from him now I solve problems and buy on terms then I turn around and sell it on terms . Awesome way to make money from thin air"

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "I buy on terms . . . I sell on terms"? Are you talking about Seller Financing or FSBO contract with the seller or notes or what? "Terms" is a broad term in itself.

@Jill F.

@Karen Dixon

Jill, thanks for helping Karen see what she perceives to be a weakness as a strength instead. I agree 100% that being blunt can be a strength if you use it with respect. Do you find yourself to be blunt by nature or did you incorporate being blunt with tenants in order to set clear expectations?

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here