Last week, I was on a coaching call with one of our students… and the light bulb went off in my head. It was that “ah ha” moment. I finally really understood one of the 3 main reasons people are not successful in real estate: Not Taking Action. Truth is, it’s a huge cause for failure in lots of ‘biz opp’ strategies.
It’s what I’ve since defined as the “outsourcing virus”.
This student wanted to know what he could do to get money coming in NOW.
Here’s what got me thinking… and why so many people are struggling in their businesses.
The student I was talking to had invested tens of thousands of dollars in real estate courses, seminars, and systems. Yet, he was still struggling. (Do you know anyone like that?)
… Information was not his problem
… Desire was probably not his problem (you’ll understand why I say “probably” as you read on)
… Motivation was not is problem
His problem was ACTION!
Now, I’m not talking about the cliche “take action” commentary that we all give lip service to. He was actually willing to – and was to a degree – DOING something. So as I dug a little deeper, I discovered his problem.. the Outsourcing Virus.
Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for leveraging. And I’m all for hiring the right people in the right places, but in the past few years, people have gotten so focused on “outsourcing” that they don’t actually want to DO anything.
… They don’t want to talk to sellers PERSONALLY!
… They don’t want to negotiate with banks.
… They don’t want to create relationships with hard money lenders.
… They don’t want to answer emails.
… And on and on the list goes.
We’ve all fallen into the Outsourcing trap at some point or another. I am right there with you, admittedly. For nearly an entire year, I decided that I no longer wanted to certain tasks. I wanted to outsource it all cause I got so sick of it. Well… it didn’t work! I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. And part of business is sometimes doing the things you have to do, not necessarily what you WANT to do!
All this talk of outsourcing has made people think they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to do. Just outsource it all!
When you’re making enough money – and you’ve built REAL SYSTEMS that someone else can follow – then you have earned the right to outsource it. PLUS, you’ve earned enough money to pay for it!
NOTE: If you really read all the stuff on outsourcing, it usually involves paying for someone else to do the work. Sure, simple software programs can automate some TASKS, but your entire business cannot be run on technology autopilot. Real estate is a PEOPLE BUSINESS!
If a “system” or “tool” sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!
If you are going to be successful in real estate, you are going to have to:
- Pick up the phone and talk to sellers
- ANSWER your phone when potential buyers call
- Talk to banks (if you’re doing short sales)
- Write up contracts
- Build relationships with Realtors, Lenders, Other Investors, and Professionals
- Take risks
- Etc. (You get the point!)
I’m sorry if this goes against what you’ve been told. And I know that lots of folks reading this aren’t going to like that answer. But its 100% true.
I saw a quick success in my business not because I was lucky, but because I was willing to put myself out there… to do the things I didn’t want to do… to make mistakes… and to build relationships. Without each and everyone of these factors, I would not have been successful.
What did I do to get started?
Early on… I had no money.
There were no tools that made everything “push-button” simple.
I had to be creative. I had to WORK.
As primitive as this might sound to some people, I would literally buy the Sunday newspaper and got a handful of my deals early on through this source. Here’s how it worked.
- Buy the Sunday paper (Cost = $1.25)
- First pass through, I would circle all the motivated seller ads that stood out…
- Second pass, I’d skim again to see what I’d missed
- Third pass, I’d go to the For Rent section
- Then… EVERY DAY, from 9 am to 11am (and most days from 4 to 7pm), I called seller after seller
- I learned to “talk” to sellers and not just run through a stupid checklist that sounded like I’d just left a 3 day workshop
- I categorized EVERY call into (No, Maybe, Research)
- Then, from 7 to 9pm, I researched
- During the days, I would drive to the neighborhoods, look at the properties, and meet with sellers that were available. If they weren’t available until the evenings, I took my phone with me and returned calls while I was driving.
- I would prepare A-B-C offers for EVERY seller that fell into the right categories.
Now, I realize that lots of people will read that and say, “Well, sure Heather, that worked THEN, but NOBODY puts ads in the newspaper anymore”.
First off… that’s not true!
Second, it’s even better now. You can find ALL the local papers online, set up tabbed browser sets and knock through it in no time at all and you can save the $1.25 and buy yourself a cup of coffee for the drive when you’re meeting with sellers.
Sure… you probaly don’t hear things like this that often because it would be pretty hard for someone to give you this advice and charge you $1000 buckcks for it. That’s why so much of the stuff that works isn’t taught! It’s the flashy, exciting, “get rich quick” or “get rich with no work” courses that “sell” because people don’t want to actually DO what it takes and the magic pill is always more enticing.
We ALL fall for it! Myself included… But you have to have the sense to pull yourself back and focus and do what it takes.
Is this the most effective way to get deals?
Truth: probably not!
But when you’re truly on a shoestring, it sure is! It works… It worked then, and it works now.
This “exercise” also has a bigger benefit, and that’s this…
It gets you over your fear of talking to people, evaluating deals, and making offers.
If you do this for ONE MONTH, I can guarantee you that you’re real estate business would look entirely different.
Plus… you might find that you actually GET a deal under your belt. Oh yeah, and when you start spending money to drive traffic to a website or roll out a direct mail campaign, you’ll actually know how to talk to people and how to put the deals together faster.
If you’ve heard the story about my first wholesale deal that I made $12,000 on, it was this EXACT model. I found the deal within 2 days of starting this plan. And I closed it in less than 30 days from the first all I made to the Realtor that had the listing.
But Heather, I can’t spend THAT Much Time on Real Estate…
That’s fair. I didn’t have a job. This is all I had and I had to work.
But… could you find ads on your lunch hour at work (bring the paper, use your office computer, or go to the library to get the leads)?
You could call on them all when you got home at night and then visit properties on Saturdays and Sundays (and make a few more calls).
As the old saying goes… where there’s a will, there’s a way.
The choice is yours as to which way you want to go, but if you’re always looking for the easy, or automated, way out of doing work, then real estate just might not be the business for you. When you put in the time and the effort, the results come back tenfold.
The folks that are selling you “done for you” services are doing you a disservice. Don’t get me wrong, there are a LOT of business tools that make your business easier and more profitable, but there is no DONE FOR YOU tool that is going to make you rich.
(I realize that everyone’s circumstances differ and everyone’s results will be different, so this is in no means a blanket statement about your potential success.)
So… I encourage you to take a step back, and if you truly need to make money, hunker down and start taking action. Stop looking for the magic pill or the easy way out. Once you get a deal or two under your belt, you can afford to hire someone that can take the things you don’t want to do off of your plate!
But for right now… put on your blinders and do what it takes. You might just be surprised that it’s not so hard!!!