There Are No Called Strikes
I recently heard Warren Buffet share the main reason why he has had so much success as an investor.
He attributes it to the advantage investing has over other activities like baseball. If a baseball player is up to bat and gets a pitch that he has any reasonable chance of hitting, he had better take a swing because he only gets a few strikes before he is done.
For an investor, however, there are no called strikes. An investor can evaluate as many deals as she wants and only take a swing (or buy) the absolute best of them.
As long as you are willing to put in the evaluation work, have some patience, and then have the courage to take a swing when the right deal comes along, anyone can be an incredibly successful investor.
Once you realize this, you start to become shocked at what people take a swing at.
Not just when investing, but when deciding what to spend any of their precious time or resources on.
For example, deciding to make their living doing something that they hate or something that provides just barely enough for them to scrape by.
Many times someone will do the same profession for 40 years and when you ask them why they chose their line of work, they will say it’s because their father did it or that they never consider doing anything else.
Think how much better off the person would be over that 40 years, had they taken just a little more time up front to evaluate all of the options and intentionally choose the best path.
In fact, a person would be better off spending a full year of their life just exploring all their different options for their profession and picking something they love doing for the next 39 years than they would be rushing into their first option.
How Does This Principle Relate to Finding Real Estate Deals?
There are no called strikes when finding real estate deals either.
The mantra amongst real estate investors today is that all the deals have dried up… it’s too hard… I wish it was 2011 again so I could find deals… (remember 2011, when these same people were complaining about how there were no deals because the economy was so bad).
I get that it’s frustrating that what worked last year might not work as well this year, but regardless of the real estate cycle, there are always distressed properties and distressed sellers out there.
The key is lots of analysis and patience.
It feels like a lot of work to constantly be analyzing lots of properties to only get a few.
However, if a person committed to setting aside 30 minutes each day to analyze one potential deal per day for a full year, they will have analyzed 365 properties.
Even if you’re not looking at the most qualified leads, 365 analyzed properties will for sure turn into a few great deals, I promise.
Over time you will naturally optimize the type of lead that comes across your desk, because you will constantly improve your understanding what makes a deal great. This is the real estate investors craft, and where all of the money is made.
For example, one of my favorite methods for acquiring leads is bandit sign marketing (yes, those side of the road “We Buy Houses” signs).
It sounds a little hokey right. Afterall, anyone that is a sophisticated investor wouldn’t get their leads from a plastic road side sign right?
However, what I have found when looking back at all of my projects, is that bandit signs have led to many of the most profitable deals I have done.
The callers from bandit signs are the exact type of lead I am looking for in my area. It’s someone typically who does not want to list the property on the MLS because of an issue with the property that I can typically help them solve by setting up a win/win scenario.
More about that in my e-book on bandit sign marketing.
For others, the most effective marketing might be mailing probate lists, having a virtual assistant comb through craigslist ads, or developing a relationship with a couple of great wholesalers.
Any of these are fine option to start getting leads coming in. You only need one per day, and over time, you can tweak and optimize for efficiency.
The problem isn’t that there aren’t any deals, the problem is that everyone wants the shortcut to a deal without putting in the time on analysis and offer making.
So the key to finding a deals right now:
- Analyze at least one deal per day
- Pass on almost all of them (still submit an offer at a price that makes the deal work, it just won’t be accepted 90% of the time)
- Close on only the few accepted offers at a price (or terms) that makes them a fantastic deal.
It’s always better to do less deals that are each incredible, than to do more mediocre deals.