Your habits determine your actions, and those that have been formed over the years can be difficult to break. Without realizing it, your habits could be pulling your business down. If your business is in a rut and you are looking to change things up, the first place you need to look is in the mirror. You may not realize it, but an unbiased self evaluation could do you some good, and your company could benefit immensely. In doing so, you may be made aware of some very bad habits; habits that could be hurting your company. The key, however, is making sure the habits you have developed are productive ones. Here are five bad habits you may need to rid yourself of:
1. Not enough sacrifice: The real estate business can be very difficult at times. It is not enough to simply state that you want to invest in real estate; you need to put the work in. With the increased competition for deals in many markets, you need to work longer and harder than you anticipated. This means sacrificing a few hours of sleep, either in the morning or at night. Those extra two hours a day equals a full days’ worth of work at the end of the week. This extra time can make all the difference in finding that one extra deal every month. If you already start your day early, you may need to sacrifice some things you do during the day. Getting off your electronic device, eating in, or skipping your favorite TV show will free up time for you to work on other tasks. It is usually a small price to pay for the success you desire.
2. Lazy networking: Networking is one of the foundations of any good real estate investor. However, not all networking is productive. Sending a mass email to 50 contacts probably won’t give you the return you are looking for. Instead of sending emails or messages on social media, why not reach out and set up a face to face meeting. I know it may seem like a crazy thought, but it could pay to be more personal. Real estate, like most businesses, is about building a local database and network. The best way to do this is by enhancing the relationships you have in place. People like to know who they are working with, and the best way to show them is by meeting. You don’t need to spend hours at a fancy lunch or dinner to get you point across. A quick cup of coffee can do the trick. While it may not be in your comfort zone, you need to do something every day to network in person.
3. Not focusing on the big picture: There are only so many hours in a day, and it is important that you maximize every one of them. In addition to gaining a few hours in the morning or at night, you need to prioritize your daily tasks. It is easy to lose focus when you don’t have a list of items to accomplish. Without organization, you will end up stopping and starting many different projects. At the end of the day, you will end up carrying a few tasks over to the next day and by the end of the week wonder why you didn’t get more done. There should be a constant focus on the most important tasks, all the while focusing on the big picture. This is a delicate balance, even for experienced investors. Changing you habits means changing the way you structure your day.
4. Answer all calls: Today’s investors are almost spoiled; the advent of technology has made things easier than ever. It seems like generations ago when people used to have to talk on the phone. Now with text messaging and email you can close a deal without physically talking to your real estate agent. That being said, if you are looking to gain credibility you need to answer your phone every time it rings. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get a hold of someone in a deal you are working on. Most phone conversations last well under two minutes. Anyone can find a few minutes to answer the phone. If you have bad news to deliver, you need to do it as soon as you hear it. It is easy to put this off or put a call in voicemail until you are ready to pick up the phone. This is a terrible habit many new investors have that should be corrected immediately.
5. Watch your spending: There is a tendency to spend when things aren’t going your way. It is not how much business you generate, but how much you keep. Investors with poor spending habits will end up wondering where all of their money went. It is important that you develop and constantly maintain a budget for personal and business spending. Not only will you see a reduction in your bottom line, but this will also impact all of the decisions you make. It is important to separate personal and business funds, and to remember that you are running a business.
It is never easy changing habits, but it is an important step for business growth. Try taking one of these areas on at a time, at least until you feel a change. After a few months, you will look back and wonder how you ever did things before.