5 Lessons I’ve Learned by Being Sidelined From the Real Estate Game

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It has been a rough week here at the Perk household. I have basically been put out of commission for the next few weeks (months?) because I broke my ankle. Not a little break, either. A big break. A break that required surgery and 10 screws to fix. The prognosis is good, but Merry Christmas to me! It will be several weeks before I am anywhere near back to my routine. For now, the prescription is rest and an elevated ankle to keep the swelling down and the healing process on track. I am not even allowed to drive.

So, in one short instant, I lost my mobility. Then, over the next few days, the reality of this new normal has begun to set in. But I have things to do! I have rental properties that need to be checked on, maintenance issues, tenants, etc. I am in the process of rehabbing two houses. There are still a thousand decisions that need to be made. Decisions that need me on site so they can be made. How will all of this get done?

Obviously, I am going to have to rethink things a bit. How is my business going to stay on track while I am in this condition? Here are my initial thoughts.

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5 Lessons I’ve Learned by Being Sidelined From the Real Estate Game

I Need to Focus on Getting Healthy

This has to be my number one goal. Everything else simply has to become secondary. No deal, no tenant, no problem is going to be worth my health. Things are simply going to have to slow down for a bit. Perhaps not for the entire period of my recovery, but at least initially.

“Normal” Is Not Normal Anymore

What was once normal for me is simply not going to be normal for a while. I no longer will have the ability to get up and go anywhere at any time to perhaps look at a potential deal or solve a problem. Does this mean I will not be able to get deals or solve problems? No, I will just have to find new ways to do it. I am working on it.

Related: 3 Tales of Landlording Catastrophe — And the Invaluable Lessons They Teach Us

I Am Going to Have to Let Go

I am not going to be able to do what I was once able to. I am going to have to let some things go. Perhaps that will be another rehab project. Perhaps it will be the next potential deal that comes along. Perhaps it will be making every decision. Whatever it is, I am simply going to have to let some things go.

I Am Going To Need Help

Hopefully you have someone who can help you. I am lucky. I have a wonderful wife who works with me, so she can take on some of what I was doing. But I need to be careful not to overload her either. Otherwise, I need to not be afraid to ask for help. Most everyone I work with will understand my situation.

I Will Have to Get Creative

Things will still need to get done, but I may not have the same capability to do them anymore. I am simply going to have to find new ways to get things done. What exactly that is I am not sure yet. Thankfully, technology these days makes doing some of this much, much easier. Today everyone is carrying around a phone, camera and video recorder in their pockets. I plan on using these things a lot more. Apps like Uber and Lyft will also become much more important to me if I need to get around. Need some parts for something? Going to Home Depot is out of the question. So why not use Amazon? Amazon will deliver most anything to your door, many times within two days and for free if you sign up for Prime.

Related: The Surprising Lesson a Six-Figure Salary in My 20s Taught Me About Wealth

I am not going to lie, this injury is very discouraging. I have always been a very active person. But now I am going to be forced to take a rest. I could sit here in the dumps, and there is going to be some of that, but instead I am going to see this as an opportunity: An opportunity for me to catch up on things. An opportunity to get some things done that I have been wanting to get done for a while. An opportunity to fine tune and retune my business and perhaps make it better. My journey with this injury is just beginning. Thankfully, I work for myself so I can take the time to figure it out. We will see what this journey brings.  I will let you know.

Have you ever been sidelined in your business? How did you deal with it? Any suggestions?

Please share with your comments.

About Author

Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is co-founder of Kevron Properties, LLC with his wife Terron and has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Kevin invests in and manages rental properties in Memphis, TN and is a past president and vice-president of the local REIA group, the Memphis Investors Group.

14 Comments

  1. Kevin,

    I am so sorry to hear about your injury! You are a smart guy and a resilient one, so I know that you and your family can bounce back. Hoping for a speedy recovery!

    Merry Christmas!

    God speed!

  2. Randy Phillips on

    Hey Kevin,
    What happened to make you break that ankle? I believe I got it too easy. When the tenant calls about the plugged up toilet and sink, I send over a plumber. When a bird dog finds a prospective deal I will have him go back over and take more interior and exterior photos. Only after I have run the numbers and did some preliminary negotiations will I meet with seller. Most times I will simply email the sales contract for them to sign. Probably 50-80% of my deals I never meet sellers or even see the house.
    The first year like many others I spent countless hours chasing every deal, spent a lot of gas money and time, what a waste. Maybe you can call it lazy or being efficient, but I make more money now with a lot less work. The worst deal I ever did was when I rehabbed a duplex and tried to do everything myself. I didn’t lose any money and I didn’t make any. Wasted 3 months, worked my butt off and learned those lessons.
    But still I find myself doing too much work, negotiating with sellers, recruiting and managing finders, looking over deals, managing and recruiting my letter & post card writers, putting out bandit signs, I know I can systemize the process much more, that’s a goal for 2016.
    Let’s make some MONEY…..
    Rando

    • Kevin Perk

      Rando,

      I do a lot of what you do as well. But it is difficult for some things to be farmed out. I am just going to have to figure that out.

      And, I tripped playing soccer. Oops!

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to write,

      Kevin

  3. Curt Smith

    Some national wholesalers learned how to be 100% remote: cell phone, email and the interenet. All from the comfort of your lazyboy. 🙂 Good luck. You might keep a diary and share your learning process of how to automate???

  4. Barry Wood

    Kevin,
    I have been meaning to reach out to you for a while. I’m a newbie investor in Southaven. I started investing in July and now have 5 SFR’s…4 rented and I’m showing the 5th one tonight. My primary income is W-2 but I plan to change that very soon. If there is anything I can do to assist while you’re recuperating, I would be happen to. It would allow me to glean some valuable info from a seasoned investor! PM if you’re interested.

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