What Does it Really Take to Succeed in The Real Estate Investing Business?

So I realize this is not one of the most glamorous topics when it comes to real estate investing, as most people just want to know what the latest and greatest secret strategy is for putting a gazillion dollars into their bank account by next week, and without having to do any work….but the reality this topic is by far the more important! Knowing what it really takes in order to be successful in this biz, and being able to keep a positive and motivated frame of mind when riding the real estate investing roller coaster is EXTREMELY important to both you personally and your business. If you have been in the Real Estate business for any length of time then you know that there can without a doubt be some days that make you want to bang your head against the wall either our of frustration or fear…..but on the flip side there are other days where you are on top of the world when you are able to cash some seriously LARGE paychecks (and I mean 5 & 6 figures large). Riding this roller coaster of emotions is not for everyone, which is why so many people ultimately fail or never really get their businesses going. So what does it really take to be successful in this great business? Well I am going to spend the rest of this article trying to uncover the answer to this thought provoking and extremely important question……

We all get into the real estate investing business because we have seen all of the opportunity for true freedom and potential profits that can be made….but in order to get to all of these GREAT things that come from a successful REI business we generally have to get through a period of time where life (and your new business) will test you and take you to your financial and mental breaking points, not just once but over and over again!  So what is the key to breaking through these tests that life throws at us while at the same time building your real estate business into a well oiled profit generating machine?

Well I believe it first starts with keeping a positive outlook each and every day…..and yes I know this it not totally possible, but you should do the best you can. In addition you need to stay foccussed on where you want your business to go…..and not so much about where you are right now.  If you are always looking at things as if the glass is half empty then you will be very reluctant to actually see and take advantage of the opportunities that life & your business will throw at you. For example when I really committed to really growing my own REI business I knew that there would be some financial costs associated with it. I brought on a full time marketing manager and I took a leap of faith that by adding this person into my business ultimately we would grow into the much larger company that we are today. Through the process however I had a lot of negative thoughts about the added responsibility of paying another persons paycheck week in and week out…..but deep down I knew it would allow my business to grow our revenue far beyond the costs of adding that person. I constantly tried to focus on the number of deals I wanted my business to be doing in the future and not so much how many deals we were doing at that exact moment. It took a little while to ramp up our volume and see the affect of adding this person, but now I am so happy I seized the opportunity and hired this person when I did to help me grow my business. The bottom line is that you have to have faith in yourself, but you must also commit to making it work! When I started my business there was only option for me….it was going to work and there was no way I would quit and leave the biz with my tale between my legs. If you keep that state of mind there is really only one possible outcome….and that is success!

Now that we have all the mental stuff out of the way we need to talk about the practical applications of becoming successful. The first real skill that you must learn and ultimately master is your salesmanship! This business has everything to do with interacting with other people, so you better get good at it. I started in the real estate biz selling people mortgages….which was probably the most cut throat dirty business ever (at least during the early 2000′s anyway). I had a tough time at first because I had yet to learn how to be a real life hustler (which is basically a great sales person), but eventually I figured it out and became a top producer for many years. Once you get comfortable talking to sellers on the phone you can pretty much write your own paycheck, so commit to learning how to become the best salesperson you can. And I don’t mean the slimy used car salesman type….I mean a real skilled sales person who can use problems and issues as an opportunity to build stronger bonds with your client (i.e. motivated sellers). It is important to keep in mind that you will probably suck at talking to sellers at first regardless of your previous sales experience, but that’s OK. Just focus on finding a way to connect with them in some way, and build a relationship that will allow you to buy their house from there. People do business with people they like…. and if a seller hangs up the phone and thinks to themselves “I really like that guy”, you can bet they will want to sell you their house over the next investor that only wants to talk with them about price.

The next thing that you need to get really REALLY good at is marketing. To start I would suggest reading everything that you can get your hands on about direct response marketing, so that way you can understand the art of how to get motivated sellers to contact you! Obviously the most important part of marketing is making sure you have identified the right list of people who may need your services, but after you have done that correctly you need to actually get them to pick up the phone and call you. Once you get good at not only understanding direct response marketing, but also writing your own marketing material, you will be blown away at how many more deals will flow into your business. I have spent the last 3 years learning everything I could about marketing (because previously I didn’t know s%i&t), and it has been the best decision I have ever made in regards to my building my business. You would be amazed at how many Real Estate investors  really don’t have a clue about direct response marketing (I was one of them) when it is such an important part of being successful in this business. This is mainly due to the fact that they don’t have to in this current real estate market, because they can just buy properties at auctions or off the RMLS. You can and should focus to some degree on these types of deal for your business, but Do NOT fall into the trap of only focusing your business on these acquisition sources…..because if you do when the market shifts you will be left  in a tough spot! Now don’t get me wrong, these sources can be very profitable right now….but like all things eventually the large profits deals from these niches will end. As real estate markets improves and foreclosures decrease you can be sure that investor prices will go up since competition for these types of deals will be fierce! By becoming a skilled direct response marker for your real estate business, you can pretty much guarantee the amount of money you make and deals you do will increase dramatically…..so get to learning!

Lastly once you start putting all of these skills that we have just discussed to work you will absolutely need a marketing plan and systems to keep you on track. Within my business we have marketing plan that basically tells everyone what we needs to be done every single day in order to keep up with all of our direct mail and online marketing campaigns. In addition we have systems in place to get the marketing out the door and to qualify the leads once they come into the business either via phone or email. If you don’t have these two things your business will be completely unorganized and your deal flow will be totally inconsistant. Putting all of these skills to work in order to create a better business is not easy and it will take some time….but by committing yourself to doing it you will be climbing the ladder of success when it comes to real estate investing. If you are serious about achieving success in this great business you need to put yourself in a position to source deals, and by doing these things you will be on your way to doing exactly that.

If you have questions about any of the things that have been discussed in this article feel free to post a comment or email us at MyInvestingMentor@gmail.com and we will get back to you! We will also be rolling out our MIM Mentoring Program at the beginning of 2012 in order to help other investors master the skills talked about in this article, along with helping them build their own highly successful REI business! Sign up for our newsletter in order to be alerted as to when we will start accepting application for this life and business changing program!

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