5 Tips To Help You Survive Year One
The first year for any new business is the most important. What you do in the first twelve months will often set the tone for the next decade plus. If you can get past the startup period you will be well on your way to success. Surviving this period is as much about having the right mindset as any individual decision you will make. Accepting the fact that there will be ebbs and flows and ups and downs is half the battle. It is also important that you focus on what really matters. Too many investors get caught up in the minutia of the business and fail to see the big picture. Year one should set you up for years to come and not drive you out of the business. Here are five tips to help you survive the crucial year in the real estate business.
- Focus On Deals. As you are just getting going there are dozens of things to consider. How your website looks, do you have business cards, have you met a real estate agent and do you have financing lined up are just the tip of the iceberg. While some of these are more important than others they all pale in comparison to what really matters. Without new deals coming in your real estate business will be short lived. Every day you should do something that directly or indirectly leads to deals. Your goal should be to close a deal within the first 90 days of entering the business. By keeping this goal in mind with everything you do it helps keep your business moving forward. You can set everything up but without new deals coming in things will eventually fall off track.
- Embrace Experimentation. Look back on where you were personally and professionally just one year ago. The odds are you most likely made a few changes during that time. These changes will be magnified as you enter a new business. The vision you have for your business today may not be the same one year from now. You should always have a plan of attack but you also need to be willing to adjust on the fly. Not every type of marketing and lead generation will work. Some business strategies may work for someone else but may not be a hit for you. This doesn’t mean you should hop on and off things every few days but you need to know when to cut rope and try something else. Give yourself a predetermined period of time and at the end evaluate the success or failure. Look to see that you did everything you could have before moving on. List everything you tried and make note of what you could have done better. In time you will find something that works for you. When you do stick with it and ride it out for as long as possible.
- Expect Disappointment. There are few very people in any profession that enjoy success their first year. If you are like most investors there are times when you question your decision and wonder why got in real estate in the first place. The reality is that investing in real estate is hard. For as much success as you see from the people on TV that is the cumulating of years of hard work. You don’t see the struggles they went through or what it took to get there. As you are just getting started there will be new situations and experiences in the business that you never expected. Not everything will go your way but it will make you a better investor. You will learn what properties, markets and even people to stay away from. As long as you learn from your disappointments you will be better for it over time.
- Don’t Be Short Sighted. As much as you desperately want to close your first deal you need to consider the big picture. There is nothing worth ruining your reputation over. Even if you only invest part time you never want to do something that will jeopardize your reputation for the long term. The people around you will remember it and run away from you. It is also important that you only take on deals that really make sense. The goal in any business is to make a profit. By taking on risky deals you can ruin months of hard work in just a few moments. Deals may be hard to come by right now but no deal is always better than a bad deal. You may not recognize this now but you will in a few months.
- Reward Success. You can’t be focused on work all of the time. Even though hard work is one of the pillars of real estate success you also need to know when to let up. You should reward yourself after every successful milestone in your business. This doesn’t mean going overboard and spending money you may not have. Something as small as a dinner out or a piece of technology you may have been eyeing is more than enough. By doing this it will keep you hungry and motivated. It should keep you pushing for more and working even harder. Without enjoying the small successes you greatly increase the chance that you will get burnt out and frustrated with the business.
By the end of your first year you should be ready to take a big step forward. You will have gone through many new experiences and feel comfortable in almost any situation. Learn something every day and before you know it twelve months will come and go in the blink of an eye.