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I was shocked recently, when I heard a statistic from someone I trust: It seems only 5% of would-be real estate investors actually buy any to put in their investment portfolio.
Does that mean, 95% of the people out there are still struggling to buy their first investment property? Are you in that group? Don’t worry. I’ve been there. I would venture a guess that most successful investors also struggled when they first started.
When I first started as an investor, I failed miserably. I bought courses and read them. Admittedly, there were times when I only made it halfway through a course before I lost interest. I followed that failure up by finding potential deals, making offers, then refusing to follow up for fear that I may lose money or look foolish.
Think I’m kidding? I bought Carlton Sheets’s program twice within a span of five years. I was convinced the second time would be the one. Buying the program that second time around should have been the training that put the puzzle pieces in place for me. It wasn’t.
The truth is it took me almost 10 years to get my footing and I wasted a lot of time being afraid and not really knowing what to do. I don’t want this to happen to any novice investor ever again. I see so many people afraid to get in this business, then struggling to make it in this business when real estate is the easiest hard work there is when you know what you are doing.
Since I started counting, I have bought and sold over 400 properties. I have been involved in hundreds of other deals where I didn’t initiate the deal, but participated as an investor.
Why DO people fail at this business?
There are several reasons people either don’t enter this business or fail to succeed as real estate investors. Today, I’m just going to deal with the first culprit: They know too much.
Most would-be investors have information overload. Information is so valuable, but too much information and not enough strategy will send you chasing your tail.
You bought the 200-page manual, you went to the three day seminar, you attended the coaching program. Yet, there is something still missing. What is it? You have so much information that it’s hard to know where to start. I know, because it happened to me when I started in this business and it still happens when I’m learning something new. Sometimes I just end up learning too much!
A good rule of thumb you should implement as you are educating yourself in this business is to find two or three experts whom you trust and want to emulate and put their advice into action.
What I know for sure is it’s always better to have someone walk you through a new process and hold your hand as you learn. That person can guide you and show you which way to go, tell you when to apply the knowledge you’ve gained, and encourage you when you feel like quitting. Trust me, we all get to the place where we’re discouraged.
After buying over 300 houses, I decided I wanted to conquer the commercial real estate business. My first seminar cost me $5,000 plus airfare and hotel. I came away with a 500-page manual, CDs, videos, a workbook and lots of confusion. So you know what I did?
Absolutely nothing. For three years or so, I was at a complete standstill.
Why? Lots of information and not enough strategy. For instance, when I first started, I made my first offer after going through Carlton Sheets’s program. I presented the offer to the property owner and he asked me a simple question relating to the contract that I was unable to answer. I promised to get back to the owner then quickly went back to Sheets’s manual to find the answer. I read the manual from front to back, but I could not find the answer to his question. The contract became my nemesis. My deal died a miserable death. I was so dejected, that I put the whole manual under my bed for five years.
Has this ever happened to you?
My problem back then was that Sheets had all the wisdom, but could only provide me with a few hours of knowledge. I needed Sheets on the phone to answer my question! I needed his email (this was before email) so I could pose questions. I needed him to show up a couple times a week in a No Money Down forum. But none of that was available to me. All the questions I had about the instructions he had given me went unanswered. I bought a program and I needed that program, but I also needed a coach who could help me apply what I learned.
I imagine some of you are going through the same thing. You may have a head full of knowledge, but you can be stumped by a simple question from a homeowner and the deal will essentially be lost if you can’t find an answer and restore the homeowner’s confidence in you (and your confidence in yourself).
Now, my question to you is how right do you think these statistics are? What is the number one obstacle you’re battling that keeps you from finding and making real estate deals? Why haven’t you pulled the trigger in the days that have passed since the very first time you nursed the idea of becoming a real estate investor?
Tell me in the comments section below and let’s fix it. We’re here to help each other. Let’s find out if your fears are real or imagined.