Thinking of becoming a real estate investor? Here’s the straight truth:
It is not right for everyone and it may not be for you.
Yup, you read that correctly.
You see, sometimes you will have to “deal with shit” figuratively, and yes, at other times you will need to deal with a lot of shit quite literally.
Make no mistake, there will come a time when your resolve to continue as a real estate investor will be tested, quite possibly even many times.
The stark reality is you will have to deal with shit.
In fact, sometimes you may find yourself knee or even neck deep in shit and having to deal with more of it than you ever thought possible; way more than what you ever believed you were capable of dealing with.
Yes, I know that this may sound harsh.
Yet it is definitely something you might as well know now rather than finding out the hard way after buying an investment property and then coming to a point where you find yourself knee deep in it.
The good news is that there is a simple way of knowing whether you are qualified to be a estate investor.
All you need to do is ask yourself, what and how much shit you are willing to handle.
The key is to be absolutely honest with yourself. There is no right or wrong answer here; only that which is right or not right for you.
- Are you the type of person that stays clear of any confrontation or problem that may arise?
- Do you stick your head in the sand or brush your issues under the figurative carpet whenever something “uncomfortable” arises?
- Are you more likely to deflect or delegate the matter to someone else to resolve your crap for you?
If your answer is yes, to any of the above questions then being an active real estate investor may not be right for you.
On the other hand:
- Are you the type to embrace challenges?
- Do you love to solve problems?
- Do you actively search for opportunities where others find problems?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above then you may very well already be on your way to becoming a real estate mogul.
Still not sure whether you are cut out to be an active real estate investor?
As a real estate investment expert and coach, many of you already know that I consistently practice what I preach.
So l will let you catch a glimpse on just some of the things I deal with in my world as an active real estate investor, and these are just the first two days of this week alone.
- While investigating some moisture on the basement floor the day after some major thunderstorms we removed some old insulation from an exterior wall and discovered a foundation crack. Yet one more thing to add to our already ongoing contractor and building inspection delays at our latest single family to 2-unit conversion project.
- Multiple plumbing service calls at another one of our properties to unclog overflowing toilets and clear sewage pipes only to find out that the sewer line to the house had collapsed requiring some fast yet quite costly measures to fix
- Stormy weather that blew down the wood fence at one of our student rental properties
- A tenant at yet another property moved out Monday leaving behind a few broken windows, something that they failed to mention to us and only noted upon arriving at the property, also on Monday, immediately before a scheduled showing to new prospective tenants.
We also had to deal with a stackable washer and dryer that died at yet another property.
Plus our tenant at another property, who just happens to be a priest, has water bills that are miraculously not being paid because as he claims he has never received the bills in the mail, yet these charges are included in his monthly hydro bill which he does receive is supposedly paying. Go figure?
Nope, I could not make this stuff up even if I tried.
Let’s just say being a real estate investor could be quite the adventure at times.
Yet in spite of, and dare I say even because of, all these supposed new challenges I feel even more blessed and truly grateful for it all. Really!
Now you may think that I must have gone crazy, but before you call those people with the white strait jackets, let me explain.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
I view the newly discovered foundation crack as a blessing in disguise. It will not cost much to fix and better to identify it now, and nip this issue in the bud, rather learning about this issue after the fact and then requiring tearing apart newly finished walls after the entire reno project is completed.
The overflowing toilets and collapsed sewer line were thankfully issues noted and resolved quickly and well before they could have posed much more serious and costly flooding throughout the house, which in turn may have displaced our tenants who would then require alternate short term accommodations, not to mention onerous insurance claims.
The collapsed fence at our student rental is also a relatively quick and not overly expensive fix that will be paid from the monthly cash flow that property generates; a property that otherwise continues to be very nice cash cow for us.
The broken windows at our recently vacated property are no big deal and should not be too expensive to replace either. This is even more palatable when I remind myself that this specific property was previously positioned as a Rent-to-Own home, a home where we have already recouped our entire initial investment and then some, which makes this a free house that will continue generating infinite ROI, because a percentage return on $0 dollars invested is infinite! I should also mention that we already had a ton of interest for this property at our first showing this Monday, even with the broken windows.
Another satisfied tenant now has a newer stackable washer and dryer that I sourced and had installed.
Lastly, we served our tenant who is a priest with form N5, which requires him to resolve the issue of unpaid water bills within 7 days. Alternatively, he has the option to leave the ultimate resolution to a “higher power”, the Landlord Tenant Board, to decide on whether he should remain at the property as our tenant
Here’s the point.
Although real estate investing is simple, novices should take note that issues can and will sometimes arise that will test your resolve to the point that you may be ready to throw up your hands up, give up and sell all your properties.
Yet that could be a very big and costly mistake.
In fact, before making any hasty decision based solely on emotion instead of logic, when shit happens in any aspect of our lives, which it will, we must always ask ourselves:
Does this really matter in the grand scheme of things? What is my big picture? If I were to give up, is their a better alternative to achieving my goals and all that I have set out to achieve? Or am I comfortable on giving up on my dreams?
As always, life is about making choices and living with the consequences of the choices we make – all the good, bad and ugly.
Even a decision not to choose is really a choice made that may have major consequences. Just ask anyone who chose to do nothing by not voting in the last federal elections in both Canada and the US, who now have to live with the consequences of the choices made by others who actually decided to vote.
Looking back on my week so far, I can honestly say that “Murphy’s Law” is alive and well.
When shit does come up at one of our properties, it is uncanny how shit also happens at some of our other properties in municipalities all across the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area almost at the exact same time.
The key here is to act quickly, decisively and professionally to both take care of our valued clients (our tenants) and our investments (our properties).
The great part is that I was able to address all of these issues by taking action quickly by contacting my team of trusted professionals who I knew would get the job done well and quickly.
I should also mention that this week is not a typical example of what usually happens with, or at, our investment properties on a weekly basis, which in all honesty is not much really.
The vast majority of the time, we simply collect monthly rent from our tenants and do not hear much in the way of any issues because we make sure to take great care of our properties and tenants needs alike up front.
Once we successfully deal with any crap that does come up, even crap that we may have originally felt was way outside of our comfort zone or realm of expertise; we may not hear a peep from any of our tenants or properties for months on end, but remain on standby to take immediate action when require to do so.
Yet it is the act of dealing with it all effectively and in a timely manner where we truly grow, not only as expert real estate investors, not only professionally but personally as well.
You will be surprised at what you can achieve if you have the will and dedication to get the job done, regardless of what shit is thrown your way – even some convoluted, nasty and seemingly impossible crap.
You will be amazed of what you may be capable of accomplishing.
Personally, simply the act of dealing with shit, lots of shit on a regular basis has entirely changed my outlook on life.
I can honestly say that I, along with my fellow investors and clients, have been “tested” many, many times in this regard. Yet we have chosen to do something that only successful people tend to do.
We put up with shit.
A lot of shit!
In fact, what defines our success is just this:
Simply put, we derive our success by being willing and able to put up with more shit than the vast majority of the people out their.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt
You see most people have led themselves to believe that they are either incapable or unwilling to handle some form of crap or another.
Yet that is exactly where successful people find opportunities that go well beyond real estate. Opportunities that most people constantly seem to search for yet remain blind to, even if it were to hit them over the head like a sledge hammer.
Instead they look at successful people, people who not only reach but exceed their own goals and expectations, and inaccurately attribute their success to things like dumb luck, being at the right place at the right time or any number of other perceived real or fabricated reasons they have convinced themselves to believe into justify why they too cannot accomplish what “those successful people” have already accomplished.
Yet the reality is that to get the prize, to get the gold, you must be willing to dig, dig deep and deal with messy, nasty and uncomfortable shit that other people either simply refuse to deal with or have convinced themselves that they are incapable of dealing with.
Perhaps one of my closest mentors said it best:
“He who deals with the most shit wins!”
I could not agree with him more.