Patience is the Greatest Virtue
Give life some time.
Have you ever started exercising at the beginning of the year with grandiose thoughts of being completely ripped by summer? Have you given up early on because you didn’t see the results you wanted happen fast enough?
Here’s the real crappy part of the whole thing: Have you looked at yourself in the mirror when summer started and wished you had stuck with it? By now you would have likely been ripped. Ok...maybe not ripped, just a thinner, cooler version of your self.
The same exact thing happens to a lot of investors when getting started flipping houses.
This post is going to cover some of the places you are likely to struggle with impatience in the house flipping game.
One of the hardest things for all investors is having patience. It takes time for things to start to fall into place and for some of the work to produce results.
I’m very guilty of being just as impatient as the next guy. There are projects that I’ve worked on in the past that I eventually just left unfinished because I became too impatient. It just wasn’t happening fast enough.
Sometimes its because something shinier ended up getting my attention and I wanted instant gratification. I guess this is what they call being a squirrel.
Anyway, I was struggling a little with getting motivated this last week to work on some projects and it occurred to me that this impatience is the reason why a lot of new investors end up getting frustrated. And a lot of them get frustrated to the point of just quitting.
Most of us know that flipping houses is not usually a get rich quick (and easy) business. But, I think a lot of us fail to realize the amount of work involved in getting it started. Once you push through the ‘getting started’ phase, it becomes much, much easier.
That’s good news. That’s exactly why I wanted to talk about patience this week. If we can just be patient and not force things when they don’t happen fast enough, everything will start to fall into place.
Here’s where I’ve experienced impatience that affected the growth of my business.
1. When Getting Started Flipping Houses
There are a lot of times that impatience causes tragic mistakes when new investors are just getting started flipping. The biggest one being jumping in and buying a house that is the furthest thing from being a good deal.
There is a learning curve and it can be tempting to learn some of the techniques and just go out and start looking for that first deal so that you can ‘get it under your belt’.
Don’t let your emotions affect your decisions.
You might find a house that needs a lot of repairs that appears to be for sale for a good price. This desire to do the deal may cause you to make excuses why you should buy the house regardless of whether the numbers fit the formulas you’ve learned for a successful house flip.
You may overlook some problems the house may have that aren’t apparent. Or, someone may be trying to pressure you to do the deal because they will benefit in some way.
Don’t let impatience tempt you into these traps.
2. When Marketing For Those First Flip Deals
There are a lot of people asking me about how to find their first deal. There are many places that discuss exactly that. My book, Flipping Houses Exposed, follows along week-by-week as I dive back into my business after our leads went dry. You can also check out 50+ Ways to Market to Motivated Sellers
I don’t mind people asking, but sometimes they tell me that they’ve heard about or tried several of the techniques already. The questions I always want to ask is, “Did you actually do it?” and “Did you do it enough?”
That’s usually where the problem lies.
Give your marketing a chance to work.
You’ve got to actually try the marketing. Do the marketing, give it enough time to start to produce results (at least several months), adjust it and try to produce better results.
Please don’t mail out 20 letters and give up because you didn’t get any calls. I’ve been discouraged many times after rolling out a good sized campaign that didn’t produce any results. Most of the time I didn’t give up. I changed things, but I didn’t give up.
Mailings depend a lot upon the quality of the list who you are mailing to. But, with any mailing, I feel you should be sending at least several hundred and mailing the same people with a series of postcards and letters (ideally 7). Now, I will admit that I have a hard time mailing people multiple times because I end up getting too busy... usually from working deals that were generated.
When using bandit signs, you should be putting up at least 25-50 at a time.
As with anything, the more the better.
3. When Negotiating A Deal
Don’t be so impatient when trying to make a deal with a seller that you lose the deal or lose out on saving thousands of dollars on the purchase.
You’ve got to be willing to walk away.
It’s best when you are absolutely willing to walk away. The person that feels he’s got to do the deal will likely lose the negotiation. This isn’t to say that you could still end up with a good deal, it’s just that it won’t be as a good a deal as it could have been.
When you find yourself in the middle of a negotiation to purchase a house to flip, and you are only several thousand apart, it will be very tempting to just give in and take it.
I remember very clearly this one time my wife, Melissa, saved me from paying too much. We were looking at a house that was only 4 or 5 years old. I think it only needed carpet cleaning and some painting. We could have this place ready for sale within a week of buying it. I love those.
I really wanted this house. The seller was from out of town and needed to get back to where she lived. We had been negotiating for about an hour (this is not typical for me - it’s usually 5-10 minutes, if at all) and were only about $5,000 apart (I can’t remember the exact details). It wouldn’t have been as good a deal at this price and wouldn’t have fit my buying criteria. But...I was quickly justifying it in my head by telling myself how new the house was and how little work was needed.
I was being impatient.
Melissa convinced me to let her think our offer over and get back to us. Even after we had driven a couple miles down the road, I pulled into a parking lot. I was starting to turn around and go back.
Melissa asked what I thought I was doing. :)
We went home. Several hours went by and the phone rang. Yep, she ended up taking our offer.
Guys, you need to listen to your wives.
4. When Looking For The Right [Insert Person Here]
People to insert: Contractor/Cash Buyer/Realtor/Tenant/Attorney/Accountant/Any other team member
When you are looking for people for your house flipping team, you should realize you are looking for a person that you are willing to have a long term, business relationship with.
Don’t make the mistakes a lot of us make when we are going down our to-do list everyday. You know, doing something half-assed just to mark it off your list. You’re marking it off your list but not really accomplishing what you should be.
The first contractor you talk to is not likely going to be the one you will end up working with for years, so don’t stop looking after you’ve talked to one. The same goes for everyone else that will be on your team.
Don’t let impatience lead to frustration and, ultimately, quitting.
Success in this business is not going to happen over night. A lot of hard work is necessary. A healthy dose of patience will go a long way in making sure that you stick with it so that you can look back a year or two from now and be able thank God that you didn’t give up.
Coincidentally, the lockbox in the picture for this post was on one of the houses we were working on. I had to take it off yesterday. It should have only taken a second...but it tried my patience. Our typical codes were not working and you can tell some of those buttons have been busted off completely. This thing has been through hell.
I was just about to break it open with a screwdriver and brick, when Melissa called me. She got the correct code for me and it opened right up.
As far as my initial comment regarding exercising and losing weight goes, I’m tempted to say that this business is far easier than exercising...
What do you think? What areas have you been impatient with that have caused you some grief? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Also, I like it when people thank me by clicking the ‘like’ button for this post. Thanks.