Patience: It’s Not What You Wanted To Hear as a Real Estate Investor

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But it is what we need to hear…and often.

Whether you are just starting out in real estate investing, or are a seasoned investor with years and years of experience, you still need to always remember that patience is key.

I bring it up because I tend to forget this very simple fact and the result is frustration and stress. Things don’t have to happen right now, every time we need something. Things take time and we live much happier lives when we slow down a little and not let what we are waiting for frustrate us.

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When you are impatient, you make mistakes

…or give up.

Too many new investors never make it because they are simply too impatient.

I’ve received more emails than I can count with people asking me what they should do to find deals. This is usually right after they tell me they’ve sent out letters and nothing has happened.

“Sent out letters” tells me nothing. How many were sent? To whom were they sent? How many did each person receive? What was your message? Was the phone number correct or even in the letter?

The point is, there are so many more important questions that need to be answered. But, the fact of the matter is that it really all just boils down to being impatient.

Usually less than about 100 letters had been sent out. They are usually sent to people that don’t have much reason to be terribly motivated. The letters tend to talk about the investor rather than what is in it for the recipient (simple test for this is whether there are more I’s in the letter than you’s).

Not much time is spent on the message and not much time is spent on gathering the list of people to mail to and the result is failure.

Many times there is nothing wrong with the message or the list. It’s just a matter of not being consistent and persistent. Just keep doing it. Add some other motivated marketing into the mix.

When you aren’t getting many leads, you tend to try to force things. This can lead to doing very marginal deals that could cost you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. We don’t want that!

Don’t give up. Give it time. Be patient.

Take a deep breath, it only takes one call

You don’t have to, and you are unlikely to, start getting dozens of leads the first several weeks. It just doesn’t happen.

I think there is a natural tendency to think that once you put a few signs out with your phone number on them, your phone will start ringing A LOT.

Usually, the day will go by and you end it with disappointment because nobody called.

Just remember though that it only takes one phone call to land a deal that could make you tens of thousands of dollars. Just one.

It happens to experienced investors too

We are not immune.

Contractors take a little longer than expected to finish a job.

A closing gets held up because the seller has not received a document that is needed for the closing.

A seller wants to think about our offer, wants run it by their attorney, or wants to get a couple of more offers from other investors.

We want to work on something and people call us about their houses they want to sell and we know we need to drop what we are doing and go and look at them.

Tenants call with minor problems that they need us to take care of. Even though it is usually just a phone call and a check to fix, it can be really irritating to have to deal with. If we just calmed down and made the call right away, it wouldn’t really be a big deal. Of course, when the contractor fails to make contact with the tenant and never ends up fixing the problem, it’s really hard to be patient and calm.

Don’t leave money on the table because you are impatient

There are so many instances where we can end up leaving a lot of money on the table because of our impatience.

The first ones that come to mind for me are when negotiating to buy a house from a seller and negotiating for work to be done on a house with a contractor.

If you are worried about losing that deal or just getting it signed up as soon as possible, you will likely concede way too much to make that happen. Not good.

I’ve almost done this many times and my wife has usually been the one to get me to just walk away (usually the seller calls later the same day or the next day and accepts our offer). Yep, she rocks.

When it comes to negotiating costs of repairs for a rehab, if you are impatient you could end up finding yourself feeling like you must accept a contractors bid for a job. I’ve often found myself accepting slightly higher prices because I didn’t want to have to take the time to find another contractor. This usually happens when you’ve used the same contractor for several jobs. I’m all about paying fair compensation, but sometimes it can be a bit much more than we are used to.

Now you’ve heard it…again

So now you’ve heard it again. Be patient. Don’t be impatient. Slow down. Let things happen.
It’s simple. It’s basic. But, it’s oh so important and can be the difference in your passion for getting started investing or continuing investing being extinguished and exploding your success in due time.

Be patient, my friends.

If you have thought of some times when being impatient has cost you, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

Photo: DCCXLIX

About Author

Danny Johnson (G+) is a real estate investor in San Antonio, TX. Visit his blog: Flipping Junkie - A House Flipping Blog to follow along with him as he shows, in detail, the marketing he is doing, the leads being generated, the lead and deal analysis, the rehabs and really, just about everything. He also provides real estate investor websites at LeadPropeller.com.

26 Comments

  1. Danny,

    A good reminder … and that’s why I run … it doesn’t have to be far, nor is it terribly fast these days, but it uncorks any stress and frustration and allows me to face the day with a more sanguine disposition.

    • Hey, Roy.

      This is an awesome comment for people to read after this article.

      You are absolutely right in doing things in the morning to “center” yourself so that you are proactive instead of reactive all day. This like what Tony Robbins refers to as his “hour of power” every morning.

      I’m sure the running does way more for you every morning than the extra sleep would have.

      Thanks for sharing.

  2. Such an important post!

    New investors really set themselves up to be disappointed because they’ve been seduced by flip-it shows where it looks like they buy, renovate, sell, close, and get a big fat check all in about 60 days. So not true!

    Investing is a life long process and every year we build on the year before. Slow and steady always wins. Just keep hitting singles – the homeruns will come along (occasionally).

    Sow good seed, be patient, know the fruits will come. So long as you’re working at your business everyday, results will come in, just not as fast as all of us would like! To everything there is a season…

    Thanks for your article, Danny. We need to see this over and over. Patience, my friend, patience.

    • Thanks, Karen.

      You know, your comment made me realize that I completely forgot to put one of my main points in this article. Oops.

      I meant to talk about how new investors can see experienced investors doing deals, seemingly left and right, and thinking that they just one day had everything start clicking and working (almost even an overnight success sort of thing). What they don’t see is the years of educating themselves and taking action, making mistakes, learning, making small gains, etc.

      Everyone started at the beginning and I bet it took longer and more working than what people think it will.

      Your comment pretty much summed that up with the reality shows making it look at that way.

      Thanks.

  3. I’m sending out my first direct mailings this year. So far I have had great response from people who are not motivated at all. I keep telling myself it just takes one deal to make it more than worthwhile. I also tell myself the motivated sellers, may not be the ones to respond to my first letter, or second, but maybe my third or fourth.

  4. For me it sounds like too generic. For some people wait 3 hours is long others can go with 3 days just fine, some 3 years and still think that everything they do is fine, just need some patience.
    We should have time line with goal. If you sending postcards for 6 months every 3-4 weeks and does not get calls, maybe you should check phone number on postcard once again or your target audience not interesting in your service? For how long you should wait?

    • Hello, Mike.

      Yes, this is more a general topic.

      But, the idea is to not get frustrated when things don’t happen immediately. Yes, if you have sent out mailings for 6 months every 3 weeks (hundreds of them), and no calls…there is a problem.

      I just don’t think many people ever make it to mail for 6 months. What I am addressing are where people do one or two mailings with 50-100 addresses and get frustrated when they only get one call where the person wants over market value.

  5. Those are great tips Danny.

    I think investors especially the ones that are new, completely under estimate the work that is involved in this business. Taking shortcuts or the “easy way out” are rarely the best solution for any problem.

    Congrats to you (and your wife).

    Sharon

  6. Tracy Royce

    Ha! Try dealing with short sales and pre-foreclosures. You’re preaching to the penecostal choir here Danny 😉 I’ve had numerous Sellers thank me for how patient I am, which is not a normal “day to day” trait for me. I must have learned it along the way in this course of business. Deals get saved, money gets made, and bad deals get let go when you can think and perform calmly. Good article!

  7. Great article Danny. Patience can be dificult and as a new investor it can (and has) caused me to bounce from strategy to strategy. An antidote has been to focus on action steps and not so much on results, a nice piece of advice I got here on bp.

    Russell

  8. Danny,

    Yeah, breathing goes hand in hand with patience, you really need to do both in Real Estate. Also, let readers know that they need to trust their gut. If a deal does not sit well and you are losing sleep or getting stressed, walk away. There will be more deals and better deals, so walk away. Keep up the good work!

    Jack

  9. I have the following quote taped to the wall as a reminder: “patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting”
    Thanks for the article.

  10. Great article Danny-
    Even as experienced investors we have to be patient. I can relate to all your examples and have gone through some of them recently.
    Thanks for the reminder of PATIENCE.
    Patience + persistence = profits

  11. Hey Danny,
    Thanks for the reminder. I’ve truly enjoyed how much the investors at BP have shared over the course of my membership. I have read and listened to the vast amount of knowledge that is shared within the group. I’m taking small steps and slowly, but surely the call are coming in. I’m implementing as I go and taking action.
    Appreciate your time.
    Dave

    • I’m so glad that you are finding the real value in all that BiggerPockets has to offer. It’s all here. Everything you need.

      The best part is that you are doing something with it and taking action. That’s awesome.

      Thanks for the comment.

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