If you suffer from the rare genetic disorder known as Urbach–Wiethe you may likely experience no fear in your life. For the rest of us, we may feel fear and anxiety on a regular basis. As a full-time mobile home investor for over a decade, I would like to share my initial fears and story of overcoming with you.
Please enjoy the story below transforming me from a scared mobile home investor to a semi-scared mobile home investor.
Step 1. Make the Decision: After finding and reading through three binders worth of real estate investing information (2002) featuring a popular infomercial real estate investor, I was hooked. I learned the very general concepts of wholesaling real estate, fast-turning properties, and lease options. My head was swimming with the possibilities of what the future would hold.
The real estate investing binders I was reading made very clear the hard work and daily effort real estate investing was to take. I promised my future self then and there I would make no excuses and do what it takes to get through my first few deals successfully.
Pro Tip: Make the committed decision to get through your first few deals. When you have made this decision one time you will never have to make it again. Moving forward you will do what it takes to become a successful investor without complaining.
Step 2. Get Educated/Ask Questions: My education grew rapidly. Within weeks I was a part of three local real estate investor clubs. One of the local real estate clubs was hosted by a 20 year real estate investor veteran that offered his services to coach newer investors. I gathered what little money I had in my possession and paid for his investing course and daily phone access.
Pro Tip: Although I made the right decision with this old-timey investor coach, a prudent real estate investor like yourself will not rush into any investment or training programs until you understand which real estate niche(s) you would most like to pursue.
Step 3. Set a Date: You cannot learn forever. I remember asking myself, “When do I stop learning about different investing strategies and start advertising and making offers?” The solution was to pick a date-in-the-future and begin taking immediate and massive action starting then. I decided on a date 30 days into the future.
In the meantime I soaked up as much real estate knowledge and free information as I could. Please keep in mind I was still living at my mother’s home and did not know the definition of a Deed. How was real estate owned? What is an appraisal? I knew nothing… I chuckle to this day that my mentor must have gotten annoyed occasionally at my daily questions which always led to more and more questions.
Step 4. Take Action/Stay Persistent: My start date came and I was eager to begin. While my finances were limited, I took massive action immediately. Over my first 90 days I knocked on 100’s of doors, mailed hundreds of letters, made offers with Realtors, and had no deals to show for it.
My first property, a mobile home in a park, came from a motivated seller who saw my bandit-sign in her neighbor’s trash can. The seller began to tell me about her four bedroom, two bathroom home on the side of a small lake. The home was in good condition with one small pipe leak somewhere in the home. She was asking $8,000 and was negotiable! Before long I quickly tell her I will be right over and hang up the phone.
Without the knowledge to ask if this property was a mobile home I was in the car and minutes from the property (Google Earth was not a thing yet). It was not until I drove past the mobile home park gates that I figured the home must be a mobile home. As I rounded the last turn my stomach butterflies turned into a punch to the gut. I pulled over and vomited on the side of the street. After wiping my mouth and looking at myself in the mirror I had a crucial decision to make, run home or push through to try and help someone 3 times my age… I made the appointment.
After a few hours of talking and soft negotiations we were at a price of $3000, payable as $300 today and nine additional monthly payments of $300. The reason for the payment-terms were due to my lack of any capital at the time. With only a call to the local plumber and a general cleaning this home resold with payments for over 10 times the purchase price paid.
Pro Tip: Have an experienced investor or group of seasoned investors to ask your real estate questions to and get real-time answers. Without my mentors and friends along the way I would have failed many more times.
Step 5. Improve: It took me far too long to begin outsourcing the daily activities that did not have to be performed by me personally. These activities included certain marketing, advertising, making repairs, selling homes, collecting payments, and managing properties.
The education and friendship-making should never stop as well. None of us knows everything about real estate and we are all in need of more active and experienced investors. Along the way my attitude was/is to “test” different strategies and methods to see what works best and what fails. A real estate mentor of mine once said, “real estate investing is a smorgasbord, take what you like and leave what you don’t.”
Pro Tip: Aim to review your daily activities at the end of every week. Aim to recognize what produces results and what sucks-up your time and energy. Make appropriate changes.
In conclusion everyone’s journey is a bit different. However one similarity is consistent with all of the long-term and successful real estate investors you interact with, we were all scared and we all continually push through our fears. Focus on providing value to others and letting local sellers and buyers know who you are and how you can help.
I hope this article can relate in some way to your fears and apprehensions when it comes to pushing forward. If you feel something was missed from this article or you have any additional questions please never hesitate to comment below or reach out to me personally.
Love what you do daily,