Real estate investing, like many other endeavors, can easily and quickly slip past our comfort zones. As investors, we often have to deal with clients, other investors, tenants, bankers, contractors, code enforcement officers, the tax man and a few dozen others. All of these folks can at times be intimidating, annoying, disheartening, ignorant, stubborn or some combination thereof. It can all be enough to make even the most seasoned investor feel like they are sinking — and trust me, at times it does.
So what to do when you feel like the water is up to your chin and rising? When you feel like you are out of your league or without options? Here are some suggestions.
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8 Tips for Staying Afloat When Investing Gets Overwhelming
Yes, I know it sounds like a cliché, but it really does work, even if you have no idea what you are doing. People respect a confident person. They also act differently around confident people.
It may take a little practice on your part, but keep your chin up and your head high. You are the investor, after all; it is your property, and it is your deal, and you make the decisions. Act like it!
Ask for Help
There is almost no situation or person that someone out there has not encountered before. Do not feel like you are in any situation alone. Ask for help from other experienced investors. You can do it on the Forums here at BiggerPockets or perhaps at your local REIA. This is the main reason I have found my local REIA to be a great resource. I have met and become friends with so many other investors that there really is not a problem our collective brains cannot figure out.
Study Up on the Situation
We humans are often fearful of the unknown, but nothing takes away fear and anxiety like a little knowledge. Is code enforcement giving your fits? Read up on the housing codes. Don’t assume code enforcement has read them and knows what they are talking about. They very well may not, and even if they do, you have educated yourself on the process and helped lower that water level a bit.
A mind in panic mode will almost always make a poor decision. Try your best to keep calm in any situation. If possible, remove yourself from the situation until you can calm down and think clearly. It is, for example, better to hang up and call back than say something that will only increase or inflame the problem.
Remember Past Circumstances
You have likely been through some type of adversity before. Are you still standing? Did you get totally wiped out? It can happen, and if it has happened to you, then I am sorry.
But think about it — it is rare. Most problems seem very big at the time, but later on we can laugh about it. Plus, you need to remember…
Believe You Will Be Stronger for it
Another cliché, I know, but it is true. Think about all of those other investors I mentioned up above that I met at my local REIA group. They have been through it before; they are still standing, and their businesses are likely stronger today that they were before. You will still be standing as well.
Know That You Are in the Driver’s Seat
Sometimes, it may not feel like you are in control, but in many ways you actually are. It is your property, it is your deal, it is your business, it is your life. You can choose what to buy, who to work with, who to hire, who to do business with! If someone is intimidating you or just being a jerk, get them out of your life. You do not need a deal or anyone that badly. Move on and be glad you did.
Keep in Mind: The Other Person is Likely Just as Scared as You Are
They may have read this blog post, too, and are just trying to keep their head above water as well. Don’t go in with an antagonistic “I have got to win at all costs” attitude. Keep it cool, honest and above board, so everyone wins, learns and is happy.
I know some of this may seem very difficult or a bit too cliché to some of you — but give these ideas a try. Being out there on your own as a sole proprietor of a real estate investing business is really hard. Be proud of yourself for taking the first steps if you are new (remember most never leave the couch). But understand that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Everyday you will get more and more confident.
Ever felt like you were drowning? What helped you keep your head above water?
Please share with your comments.