Copyright 2019 Cain Publications, Inc.
Ready, Set, Grow! Now is the time to think about where you stand in the race for success next year. It is a race, you know. It’s a race between you and a neighborhood that may be declining or improving. It’s a race between you and properties that always need updating and repairing. It’s a race between you and government and its agencies that are constantly passing new laws and regulations that not only cost you money, but make it more and more difficult to earn a fair profit. And finally, it is a race between you and your tenants.
It is a race between you and your good tenants to not only keep them as tenants, but to keep them happy customers so they won’t even think about moving. And it’s a race between you and bad tenants to get them out before they do too much damage, drive off the good tenants and get even more protection from the courts, legislatures, and city councils.
How to win your race? The first requirement is knowing what you have to do to prepare to win. John Maciha wrote in his book Musings of an Irreverent Property Manager, “Use the budget process to analyze your real estate or property management business. Are you positioned properly for the short range as well as the long range? Are upgrades needed to remain competitive? Do you need to hire more people or get more equipment?”
About the first thing you do, then, is to figure out where you are and where you want to be. What is your position in the market now? Is it what you had in mind?
As the New Year approaches, it’s time to sit yourself down and plan what you want to happen in the next year. I always have a problem doing that myself. I can find all kinds of things to do, playing computer games, working out, going for a walk, playing golf, rather than figure out what I want to get accomplished and where I want to be. It seems as if my brain just dries up. Over the years, though, I’ve learned a few tricks to get my brain off the dime. I’ll tell you about three here. You may know one or more of these already, but read them anyway. Possibly reading them will inspire you to actually do the exercise.
Brain fooling trick #1: The 20-Idea Trick
This one works for me just about every time. I can’t claim credit for it, I first heard about it from the noted motivational speaker Brian Tracy. And I am certain it is not original with him. What you do is to write down the question or problem you want to find an answer or solution to, such as “How can I attract better tenants?” Now you write down 20 possible solutions. It’s called “mind storming.”
You have to be careful with yourself. Don’t judge the ideas as you go along, just write them down. Most important, sit there until you come up with all 20. It has to be done in one sitting. No getting up, mowing the lawn, fixing that leaky faucet in a rental you’ve been putting off for a couple of months; stick with it!
The first four or five will be easy. The old standby ideas will come to mind first. The next few will be a little more difficult. By the time you get to 16 or 17 you’ll be getting some truly worthwhile ideas. That’s why you sit there and mind storm until all 20 are on paper. Chances are you’ll get so many good ideas that it will take you several weeks to implement them all.
Brain fooling trick #2: The 10-Minute a Day Trick
Jay Johnson of Note Finders of America writes, “Zig Ziglar advocates spending 10 minutes a day, immediately after awaking, writing down 10 ways you could become more effective at what you do.
“Would you spend 10 minutes a day if you were GUARANTEED to accomplish what you want? My bet is NO! Because most people don’t believe that this can work ‘it’s too simple!’ But the magic here is that it really does work— really!
“There’s brilliance in what Mr. Ziglar suggests. First, it will get you thinking about what it is you want. Second, it will get your mind on the ‘right track,’ and you will find solutions to obstacles or problems you might be experiencing. Third, you will get a continual supply of fresh ideas. And last but not least, by committing to a daily ritual, such as spending your first 10 minutes focusing upon what you want, you will open pathways to the powerful subconscious mind. The subconscious mind can help you solve any problem or over come any obstacle.”
Brain fooling trick #3: The Play with Numbers Trick
This is nothing more than basic goal setting. Figure out where you want to be financially at the end of a year, five years, ten years or whatever. Write the figure down.
Now comes the more difficult part, break the figure down incrementally to find out where you must be in a year, in six months, in a month. Then you have a goal to work toward and you are able to measure your progress.
Need more ideas on how to progress? Use Brain-fooling tricks one and two.
Positioning yourself for success takes planning. Block out some time now before the end of the year to get yourself ready to be even more successful in this landlording business next year—to win the race against the neighborhood, the government and your tenants.
Good luck and good profits.