The Real Estate Investor Mindset
by James Miller
Eliminate the entitlement mentality.
If you are the type who thinks that you deserve certain things just for existing, you should stick to a day job.
We don’t deserve anything.
Please understand that everything we have, has come to us either as a gift or in exchange for some service. We need to be grateful for what we have.
It is also good to keep in mind that, from here on out, everything you will receive in your life is owned or controlled by some one else at this very moment.
Understand that everything is your fault.
With very few exceptions, I am certain that everything bad that has ever happened to me can be linked back to something I did that I shouldn’t have, or something I didn’t do that I should have.
Even if you are in a car accident that is caused by someone else, I hear that insurance companies consider you 10% at fault just for being there.
You take control of your life when you realize that you are responsible for the outcome. I honestly feel sorry for people who continually feel taken advantage of, or that they have been victimized. How little control they must feel they have over their lives.
In high school my car had broken down and the stereo and musical car horn (yeah, I was that cool) had been stolen out of it.
I was very upset.
I vowed to find out who did it. I reported it to the police. I watched everybody and anybody with the suspicion of a tv police detective, I even eventually accused innocent people of the crime.
In reality, I was at fault for not locking the car after it broke down. Even though I lived in a small town, it was an obvious and completely irresponsible thing to do.
I could also say that I was responsible for choosing such a faulty car, or not maintaining it. You see, there are lots of significant points that lead up to any given event, and if you can accept looking at it this way, “blame” and “fault” become a very slippery words.
Mindset of Service
There is a saying that goes “you can get anything you want by helping others to get what they want.”
This is vitally true for Real Estate Investors. Our job is to help people to buy and sell their homes. We use the knowledge we have to make this happen for people whom, most of the time, cannot get it done in any other way.
We are at their service.
If we keep in mind our service to others, great things can happen. For one, you stand out.
I remember a guy who had called me about an apartment. I didn’t have what he was looking for, but made some calls to other landlords on his behalf and gave him the names and numbers of a few more landlords that I knew.
He was so grateful he stopped by the house I was working on and told me “Thanks so much, you are the nicest guy I know.” While I didn’t get him as a tenant, I could tell his compliment was genuine, and for me, was reward enough.
If you do this with enough people, word gets around that you are the person who will go out of your way to help someone, even if you have nothing to sell them directly.
Have a thick skin.
You will especially need this when starting out. Creative Real Estate Investing seems to have a bipolar distribution of proponents that love it and those that think people using these techniques are financial scoundrels, scamming people out of their home equity.
It is only fair to assume that there will be those close to you who feel the same way. As Jesus said “Only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
You will need to have particularly thick skin with the people closest to you. It is probably best to wait to tell them anything until you have what Ron Legrand calls the “shut up check”, from the bank or title company.
In this business you can’t wait for all of the lights to be green before pressing on the gas, because the lights will never all be green at the same time.
The best you can do is to start out with low risk ideas, things like Bird-dogging, Assigning contracts, or working leads for another investor. As you gain confidence and experience you can go onto bigger and better opportunities.
You need to be like an airplane in flight, start off in the right direction, build up speed to get off the ground, and once in flight, continually reevaluate where you are at and what you are doing to best align with your target destination.
In this business, you are accountable only to yourself. Know your limitations and find people to partner up with to compliment what you lack.
I learned this lesson when I partnered up on a deal with my friend who is a banker, besides getting us a great deal on the interest rate for our loan, he keeps simple yet immaculate records of everything that is going on in that LLC.
I had no idea how bad I was at this until I did this deal with him. I just knew I didn’t like it.
As a Real Estate Investor, you are also the only person who is going to get the things done that you need done. There is no boss to be accountable to in this business. Only yourself.
Patience and Persistence
Getting something going with real estate can take a long time. In order to find the killer deals you have to kiss a lot of not-so-pretty frogs. Some of these frogs will swear to you that they will turn into a Prince despite the warts.
Every seller I have ever talked to has some reason that his or her house is a great deal. Some actually get me believing it for a while, but very few actually are.
It can be a hassle screening through property after property, but eventually you find the one that is worth it.
There are a lot of things to learn and some can only be understood by doing them.
One example I can think of is going to the closing for your first bank loan. Nothing written can precisely, and fully, prepare you for exactly what you will think, see, and feel during the closing. The party of players sitting around the large conference room type table, the nervousness in the air. the large amount of paperwork you resolve to sign, without fully knowing the meaning of. The realization that everyone there is getting a piece of you via your bank note. Nothing can educate you to that experience that actually sitting in that chair can.
Accept that you will make mistakes.
This is really part of the learning process. You can’t get around it. Accept mistakes when they happen, and take with it the associated learning experience.
You will have likely paid dearly for it.