Hold On to Your Deja Vu

I was in the middle of a session with one of my students the other day and I experienced some déjà vu. The incident was not exactly the same. But the moment and conversation were similar enough to other past interactions that it felt like it happened before.

When I start a coaching program, I begin by getting an idea of what the other person wants to accomplish from the course. Next I assess their levels of knowledge and competence in various areas of Real Estate Investing. Finally I build a training to take my student from his or her current location and help them on the road toward their goal.

Inevitably I hit a point in the training calls when I feel like I am repeating myself. Sometimes the repetition lasts for several weeks. When this happens, my students usually start asking, “When are we going to move on to the next stage in the process?”

Good question.

Learning to invest in Real Estate successfully is a lot like learning to be a successful architect. In the beginning, there’s the vision of what that job will be like and what you’ll create. You probably have an idea of what’s involved in the process of a project, and it’s exciting to imagine being at the middle of everything that is going on.

But successful architects don’t just sit down and start drawing. There’s more to the process. First they learn the basics of math, static and dynamic physics, building process, and the understanding of building materials. This knowledge allows sketches to enter the real world as structures that won’t collapse against a strong wind. Then they add the artistry of their craft which contributes emotion to the stacked bricks and hewn wood. The building is only the end of a long road.

Real Estate investors must follow a similar path. The focus is the return from an investment. But there’s more to the process than the construction or resale of a property. First you need to learn the basics – marketing, evaluation and contract negotiation. These are the foundation of the profits to come. Without good deals, there’s no sense even discussing the rest of the investing process. Without good deals there’s no money to be made.

This is the point where my coaching starts feeling a little like déjà vu.

Most of us want to be the best at our chosen life’s endeavor. So of course we want to know as much as possible about what we do. I am going to give you the same advice that I charge my students a lot of money for. Here it is…

Don’t put the cart before the horse.

If you have not mastered marketing, there’s no need to start mastering the evaluation process. A basic understanding is sufficient. Keep the focus on bringing in leads. You’ll notice when a decent deal comes in. At that point you can spend more time of the evaluation.

Once the leads are streaming in, a basic understanding of contracts and negotiation are sufficient until you have mastered evaluation. So the learning process goes.

Focus your time and attention on those things that matter and are immediately relevant to your financial success. Stay focused until you’ve become a master. There will be plenty of time to fill in the knowledge gaps when you need the information. In the mean time, get used to déjà vu.