When investing in real estate, it can be easy to get side-tracked, or set off-course by those shiny opportunities filling our newspapers, social media feeds, and email inboxes. More is always better, right? In that light, diversifying your portfolio can only increase your earning potential—or so we think. But, when it comes to real estate investing, there is one thing that all successful investors do that keeps them on top of the game—stay focused.
While diversifying is great and snapping up business opportunities as they arise can be profitable, more often than not, it is better to stay focused on your investment goals. Keeping your eye on the prize will help you to avoid any spur of the moment business choices which may not pan out in the long run.
Focusing on your goals will allow you to make decisions that directly benefit the direction in which you are heading, without deviating from the overall end-game.
Now, this is not to say that goals cannot mature and grow over time. Obviously, the goal you set for yourself when you first set out to become a real estate investor is no longer going to be the goal you have once you have collected six or seven properties under your belt. However, the general principle will usually be the same.
Of course, when you first start getting involved in real estate investing, it can be like a bug. It is virtually infectious, causing you to want to scratch that itch faster than you probably should. But, it can also have an adverse effect. A bad investment or a slow start can set your momentum back, forcing you to feel let down or unsuccessful, making it hard to retain your excitement for the industry. Regardless of which way you feel, do not panic—these are growing pains and they are perfectly normal.
So how do you go about maintaining focus on your real estate investing goals?
Avoid the hype
One of the biggest steps in staying focused on your current real estate investment goals is to avoid the hype that seems to flood the real estate world. Have you ever heard of a hype man? They are designed to create a buzz before a concert or show, getting the crowd worked up into a frenzy and setting the mood for the headliner before they even take the stage. In real estate, there are similar situations.
The properties which get the most hype are often designed to get your blood pumping and your checkbook slinging long before the dust settles and you have had time to consider the deal. These properties or situations are often misleading and can cause you to stray far from the path you’ve been working so hard to walk.
If something seems to be hyped up, consider evaluating why the agent or owner had to create such a hysteria. This also includes major trends, such as areas citing great investment opportunities or ads claiming you need to get onto the ground floor now. While some of these may turn out to be great deals, it is always important to take the time to evaluate each and every deal and do not buy into the hype that you have to purchase it right now.
Goals and milestones are two very different things—although connected in nature. Goals depict where you want to be X amount of time from now, whereas milestones are the steps you will take to get to that point. By now, you have no doubt heard the sentiment that you should always write down your goals in life and/or business. While it is important to write down your goals in order to help keep your focus, it is equally important to document the process you will be utilizing to achieve those goals. In short, write down your milestones so that you can keep track of where you stand at any given point. Having these goals and milestones in written format also gives you something visual to refer to when you feel you may be losing your way.
When setting your milestones, make sure you do so in achievable and verifiable means. What good is a milestone if you can’t measure the progress, after all? The key to keeping motivated, and in turn focused, is to create milestones that are visible, encouraging, and allow you to judge your progress on a regular basis.
Keep track of both achievements and failures
A good method for keeping focused is to keep track of your achievements. This allows you to see how far you have come and how successful you have been in certain cases. It’s motivational and will help keep you pushing forward even in the rough patches.
Of course, the same goes for your failures. They say to always learn from your mistakes, but if you don’t keep track of those mistakes, how are you supposed to avoid making the same ones in the future?
Keeping track of your achievements and your failures will also come in handy when it comes to measuring your progress toward your goal. It will also help you to see where your strengths and your weaknesses as, when used to evaluate your progress.
When working toward a goal, it is important to keep some fluidity. As previously mentioned, goals can change and adapt over time and the same goes for the real estate industry. In order to avoid wasting time working toward a milestone which no longer benefits your overall goal, it is important to stay up to date on the latest industry trends, processes, and market changes.
This means that you should never stop learning. Regardless of how close to achieving your goal you are, continually researching and staying apprised of changes in the industry will go a long way to propelling you forward and keeping you focused. A little regular study time can be the difference between achieving your real estate goals or losing focus along the way.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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