TLDR: today I made a smart choice. I committed to learning what works for the investors who inspire me and copy, copy, copy. What decisions have you made?

The ability to make decisions quickly and move forward is a key factor in successful RE investing. This is a real issue for me - my screen name should be "I can complicate anything." I'd like to share my decision today to model myself after successful investors and do what they (and their experience) say works. Now, that's been on my jumbled list of "things I really ought to be doing" but after last night I've made the explicit decision to commit to this path. And here's why.

I started analyzing deals yesterday following Michael Blank's 10-minute analyzer, data from LoopNet, and an Excel spreadsheet. Gotta say I was knocked back a little by how far apart my valuations were from broker/seller valuations. In the heat of the moment I thought I'd misunderstood something and I doubted my numbers, especially % expenses. A few of the listings included proforma market rents with significant opportunity to raise rent; these properties were under pending contract. I started churning a little bit... my numbers are way off, other investors are already on these deals, clearly I can't compete, yada yada yada. What did these obviously wise and well funded investors (why the heck did I assume that? Blame it on 2 am lol) know that I didn't?

So naturally I stopped focusing on learning deal analysis, zipped over to the forums and found plenty of very new investors just like me worrying about how to crank their expense calculations down to 25%. And in every single post, I found seasoned investors saying "Whoa now Sparky, you've got to stick to 50-55% and here's why (fill in rock solid explanations here...)." And after a fevered hour or two of clicking links, I came back to where I was when I started. 

Long and short of it: Stick to what works. It's a struggle staying steady at this untested, enthusiastic, and under-educated point in my investment career. I love me the shiny things. Stop playing with shiny things. I'l trust that what works for the rock stars is going to work for me.