Real Estate Investors: Mistakes Happen. How Will You Handle Them?

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If you invest in real estate long enough, you will eventually make a mistake or two.  In fact, most experienced real estate investors I know will freely talk about their slip-ups long before they talk about their successes.

Why?

I think it has to do with the mindset of successful investors.  Successful investors seem to know that mistakes are part of the learning process.  They simply learn the lesson and move on, taking the experience and making it a positive part of their future.

Let’s face it; everyone can choose to invest in real estate, but only a select few become successful long-term investors.  I believe this is because most new investors are either afraid of making mistakes, or they make a mistake and are consequently frozen with fear. If you want to be a successful long-term investor you need to get over this fear of messing up.  It is not easy, but there are a couple of keys that I can suggest to help with the process.

The first key to successful long term investing is to learn from your errors and not grind on them.

If you are beating yourself up over mistakes of last year or the years prior, you have my permission to stop.  You are forgiven.  Now dust yourself off, learn from them, and get in the game. You are smarter for having made the blunder.

Everyone has a choice when they make a mistake.  They can own it and learn from it, or they can let it become an anchor that takes them down.  Losing money isn’t fun, but no one said you had to be perfect to be successful in this business.  In fact, if you are perfect, I would guess that you have either never invested or you are lying to yourself, as making missteps is inevitable in this business.

In addition to keeping the correct perspective on your investing faux pas, you need to insure that your support network has the same view.  Your support network or significant other has every right to be upset by mistakes, but they cannot continue to bring it up time and time again.  If someone in your network is treating these momentary lapses in judgment as hand grenades that are thrown about on a moment’s notice, you need to have a direct conversation and make this stop as it helps no one!

Remember, I am a firm believer in ensuring that you have full support of your significant other as you work this business (In fact, I believe you need to work it together in most cases).  That support needs to be a two-way street and when a misjudgment is made, both of you need to own it, discuss it, learn from it, and most importantly, move on together.

The final point I will make about making mistakes is that you need to be focused on not repeating them.

The most expensive mistakes are the ones you repeat. If you repeat them, shame on you; you just paid for that lesson twice, so you had better learn from it this time.

Remember: Mistakes happen and if you treat them as learning experiences, as you grow, your business you will be much better off and will be ready to reap the rewards of long term success.

Good Investing

Photo: Thomas Quine

About Author

Michael Zuber is an active buy-and-hold real estate investor who still has a full-time job. Michael is not an agent or broker, and simply uses the internet and agent relationships to drive his business. He currently averages at least one deal a month and has developed laser focus on his 5 step process.

7 Comments

  1. Customer to Clerk: “Can you help me out?” “Sure,” says the sarcastic Clerk, “Which way did you come in?” As a real estate attorney, one of the first questions I ask my clients is “How did you get into this situation?” Often, documenting the path leading up to a problem offers valuable lessons how to avoid repeating the missteps, and possibly provide a path towards a solution. Backpackers learn that serious problems usually result not from a single mistake, but from a series of bad decisions. Learning from your mistakes involves identifying and arresting the process as soon as possible.

  2. Brilliant topic Michael,

    The ‘let’s face it’ paragraph should be required for all investors to read. I also appreciate the importance of having your significant other on your support side.

    Best,
    John

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