Taking on the New Year …

A brand-new year brings with it both anticipation and apprehension.  Both are emotional responses to the unknown.

There are MANY things we could discuss in this year’s opening missive …

… tariffs, trade wars, a new Congress, the Fed, interest rates, the stock market, the bond market, gold, oil, taxes, Opportunity Zones, and on and on.

Most of those things are completely OUTSIDE of your control.

So as we stand together at the threshold of the New Year, rather than dive into the weeds of the daily news or pontificate on predictions of the future …

… we think it’s important to consider how to use things WITHIN our control effectively to make the MOST out of the next twelve months.

The goal is to OPTIMIZE your odds of success by focusing your best efforts on the few things you can control, and which create the most positive leverage in your endeavors.

Read that again and let it sink in.  It’s something we work on all the time.

Now let’s take a look at this idea from a real estate investing perspective …

Everything starts with your goals.  But not really … because before you can set a MEANINGFUL goal, it’s critical to choose your values, mission, and vision.

Values, mission, vision, goals, focus, and effort are all things YOU can control.

Sadly, most people don’t proactively and strategically identify their values, mission, and vision.

Instead, they bounce from thing to thing … role model to role model … idol to idol … hoping to stumble onto the secret to happiness.

That’s why we put so much emphasis on taking time to create your future.

Once you have your values, mission, and vision clear, NOW you can set meaningful goals … what are often referred to in business as “key objectives.”

These are activities YOU can control … things you CAN do … which are specific, measurable, and have a deadline for completion.

For example, “owning more real estate” is NOT a goal.  “Buying four properties by the end of the year” is better.

But “acquiring 100 doors by the end of the year” is even more powerful because it creates possibilities and leverage … while focusing your activity on the REAL heart of real estate investing.

Think about it …

If your goal is to “buy four properties”, you might end up with four single-family homes … which is only four tenants, or “doors”.

And saying “buy” puts a subconscious limitation on HOW you acquire the properties.

But focusing on “acquiring 100 doors” is VERY different because you might achieve it through only ONE property, which provides time leverage.

This goal also focuses you on what REALLY matters … acquiring TENANTS.

Remember, it’s not real estate that makes you rich … it’s the rent.  Even equity is a derivative of income.

And when you think in terms of “acquiring” instead of simply “buying”, it opens your mind to seeing alternative acquisition possibilities … like options or syndication.

After all, you can acquire a property without paying for it. 

For example, if you syndicate 1,000 doors for a 10% share, you effectively gain 100 doors personally.

But instead of paying to own them, you get PAID to own them.  BIG difference.

So it’s actually easier and faster to think bigger.  Yet most people believe just the opposite.

Of course, thinking and feeling are interconnected.  That is, how you think affects how you feel … and how you feel affects how you think.

Blair Singer says, “When emotions run high, intelligence runs low.”

So if you’re afraid of an uncertain future or of making a mistake, you’ll tend to think about avoiding risk.

But investing is about navigating risks … not avoiding them.

Similarly, if you’re hyper-enthusiastic, you may only think about the upside and fail to think about the risks  … or strategies for navigating them.

We think passion and logic go together.  The most successful investors we’ve seen know how to balance both effectively.

It comes down to knowing the difference between what you can and should control, and what you can’t.

The future is always in motion and largely out of our control, so we can NEVER be certain.  Striving for certainty in an uncertain world is a recipe for paralysis.

On other words, it’s ineffective to worry about things we can’t control.

Better to stoically observe uncontrollable events, and then focus our passionate attention on things we CAN control in a way which maximizes possibilities and leverage.

We KNOW there will be LOTS of things happening in the new year.  We just don’t know what they are.  However, we can sure they’ll present both challenges and opportunities.

But it’s not the uncontrollable events themselves which most effect our results … it’s how we choose to react to them.

History tells us there will be ups and downs, and there will be winners and losers.  In the same set of circumstances, some will prosper and others will fail.

The individual challenge is figuring out how to define what winning looks like on a personal basis, and then doing what’s in our control to win on our terms … in whatever environment we face.

It takes clarity, knowledge, connections, emotional control, and the discipline to focus on those few strategic things under your control that provide the most leverage.

It’s simple, but not easy.   If it were, more people would do it.

Our experience and observation is that the best place to start is by putting great ideas in your mind, getting around the right people as much as possible … and narrowing your focus to the very few things that make the most impact.

So as you enter the new year … be sure the time and resources you invest in developing the real estate between your ears is commensurate with the size of your investing goals.


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The Future of Interest Rates and More with David Stockman

We love talking about real estate. But, real estate is only a part of the sea of our economic landscape. Rising interest rates have a HUGE impact on real estate and the economy in general.

That’s why we are talking to one of our favorite former Wall Street and Washington insiders.

He tells us his take on the future of interest rates and the economy … and shares how YOU can capitalize on changing interest rates to make smart real estate decisions.

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show you’ll hear from:

  • Your swimming host, Robert Helms
  • His sinking co-host, Russell Gray
  • David Stockman, former U.S. Congressman and best-selling author

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The U.S. economy is a fantasyland

David Stockman is an expert not only in economic policy, but also in articulating and explaining complex topics in a way anyone can understand.

David’s political path began in college when he worked for a congressman and learned what it took to be a policymaker. He won an election to congress after the incumbent in his district retired.

Later, he was drafted to be a part of Ronald Reagan’s economic team. President Reagan appointed David as budget director, where he helped launch economic policies.

When it comes to economic policy, there are generally two schools of thought … Keynesian and Austrian.

“Keynesianism says basically that you can’t rely on capitalism to grow; you need the helping hand of the government,” David says. “We say get out of the way! The less government the better.”

And of course, limit borrowing and spending.

The other major factor in economics is interest rates … which directly affect home buyers and investors.

“Rising interest rates have historically told Congress to get its fiscal house in order,” David says. “It elicits a reaction in the country that says, ‘You’re crowding out investment that we need in the private sector.’”

But money printing and distortion of the capital market can cause major crashes like the one we endured in 2008. The subprime disaster SHOULD have been a wake-up call to the country.

In the 94 days after the crash, the Fed increased the balance sheet by 150 percent more than in the previous 94 years.

David says that put us on the path of crazy money printing and low interest rates … and has fueled more speculation.

Now, the Fed is trying to stabilize interest rates and has put the economy in a precarious position.

And there’s an important concept for today’s investors to keep in mind as they evaluate the economy … the recency bias.

“If you’re looking just at what happened yesterday or last year, you might lose track of the fact that we’re in fantasyland, and fantasyland is a dangerous place to be,” David says.

Essentially, the Fed realizes that they went way too far for way too long, and that they won’t be ready for the next big crisis. And the deficit continues to grow out of control.

Which means the next crash could be even bigger.

David says that for investors who are borrowing large sums of money to finance their investments, there’s no more dangerous time than right now.

He calls for prudent underwriting today, and keeping an eye toward the future.

Higher interest rates and lower property values are the types of problems that can erase yields.

“Debt can produce wonderful returns,” David says. “But, if you get caught blindsided, it can be a very dangerous thing to wrestle with.”

Shore up investments before the crash

While many pundits are talking about how robust the economy is, it’s important to listen to the people who are sounding the alarm. So, what can happen?

“If we have another crisis, innocent people will be hurt,” David says. People who lost in the dotcom bust and the housing crisis will have similar and possibly even bigger losses.

This time, the fed will not be in the position to bail out the system. And David says that perhaps in the next crash, the Federal Reserve will emerge as the real culprits of economic instability.

One of the big lessons is to stay educated and understand the fundamentals. You can turn a crisis into an opportunity.

What should a prudent investor be doing now to prepare for the next downturn?

“I think that the idea of cash-flow oriented investment is a sound one,” David says, “but the underwriting going forward will have to be more discriminating and careful than ever before.”

This is especially true for commercial investing. It’s important to ensure that tenants can continue to pay their leases.

Above all, David says that being a careful and prudent investor is a more secure place to be.

For investors who didn’t live through 2008 … or even if you did … you can learn from David’s expertise.

Want to learn more from David and keep up with his advice and takes on the economy? Send an email to Stockman [at] realestateguysradio [dot] com.


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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


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Building Your Network and Credibility by Attracting the Right People

Real estate investing is a social endeavor. The more people you know … and the better those people are … the more likely you are to succeed.

But how do you turn your business relationship dreams into reality?

The secret to building relationships is alignment.

In other words, YOU have to bring value to the table to build strong relationships … and you want to seek out people who can bring value to you, too.

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, we’ll talk with a powerful connector who is an expert at helping folks nurture and build relationships.

You’ll hear from:

  • Your connected host, Robert Helms
  • His cantankerous co-host, Russell Gray
  • Kyle Wilson, promoter and brand builder

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The three ingredients of strong relationships

Kyle Wilson has had the chance to work with a lot of great people throughout his career. Recently, he wrote a book about the lessons he has learned from them.

One of Kyle’s mentors and partners was entrepreneur Jim Rohn, who died in 2009. Jim said, “Success takes time, and the twin killers of success are impatience and greed.”

Today’s society wants instant success, says Kyle … but it takes time to do anything worthwhile, including building your network.

That doesn’t mean every relationship you spend time on will be great. A second lesson Kyle learned comes from Zig Ziglar, who said, “Never do a good deal with a bad guy.” It’ll never work out for the best.

We’ve got the first two ingredients … time and good people. The third ingredient of a successful relationship is value.

You need to BE a good partner before you can HAVE a good partner … and that means bringing value to the table. Solid relationships aren’t usually based on people just being nice to each other … they’re about value.

A good relationship or partnership should be win-win on both sides.

Dream big … and put in the time

Kyle shared another lesson from his book, 52 Lessons, with us. (Pssst … to read the book, simply click here for free instant access. Kyle is publishing the book entirely online, one chapter a week.)

He learned this lesson from Mark Victor Hansen, founder of the well-known Chicken Soup for the Soul book series.

Mark told Kyle, “We’re going to sell 100 million books.” Kyle didn’t believe him.

Today, the Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise has sold more than 600 million books.

Kyle calls the lesson he learned “stretching the rubber band” … Mark forced Kyle to think beyond what he thought was possible.

It’s essential to build relationships with people who can get you outside of your comfort zone and help you dream big.

To turn your dreams to reality, however, requires dedication, a lesson Kyle learned early in his career from success expert Bryan Tracy.

Bryan said, “Success is like getting a plane off the ground.” It takes a ton of fuel and energy to get that plane from the runway to the air … but once you’re at 300,000 feet, you can coast a little.

Kyle applied that wisdom to the beginning of his career. He spent the first two or three years putting in the hours … so he could reap the results later.

Most people spend their whole lives going 80 miles per hour down the runway and never breaking free from gravity. “That’s not efficient,” Kyle says.

Great relationships will propel you upwards

52 Lessons is a compilation of stories from individuals who’ve been through a defining experience and made the changes necessary to bounce them to success.

Kyle can share a similar story … he sold 7 million books as a publisher, then sold all his companies and retired in 2007 to become Mr. Mom. He even signed a non-compete.

Several years later, he wanted to get back in the game … so he used the knowledge he’d amassed to start a new publishing business. His first book was Passionistas, a book about millennial women hustling to make their businesses succeed.

Kyle says he’s able to leverage his experiences and relationships to create more success for himself and others around him. That’s one reason he loves attending our annual Summit at Sea™.

The Summit isn’t just about information, Kyle says … it’s about the people you meet and the relationships you build.

At some point, most investors will want to move from solo investments to syndication with other people. That’s where our Secrets of Successful Syndication seminar comes into play.

Most people attending that event already have half a dozen properties … and almost everyone has something they can offer to other investors.

It’s a way to put yourself in a target-rich environment.

Leverage social media

Kyle says that for the modern entrepreneur, online relationships are important too. “Whatever business you’re in, it’s all about building an audience.”

Whether that’s through a podcast, social media, an email list, events, or a combination, online networking might be your secret sauce to building a network.

Kyle says that for him, “It’s counterproductive to pay someone to do social media … it’s about the pulse.”

But whatever strategy you alight on, you have to be authentic about it. You can delegate the minutiae … but you should be the architect of your connection strategies.

And EVERY strategy you make should begin with the philosophy of bringing value to others.

Align yourself with others

As The Guys, we’ve built a successful brand and a network full of investing rockstars because we work to find common values.

If you’re looking to make connections, DON’T jump into a partnership right away.

Instead, do a deep dive to determine your own personal mission, vision, and values. Then you can determine whether others will help you advance your goals … and whether YOU can help THEM.

Not everyone you meet will offer that kind of win-win relationship.

If you’re looking for help figuring out your mission, vision, and values, come to our Create Your Future goal-setting retreat.

Discover the big picture of who you are as a person … and learn what you want, how (and how not) you can get it, and how to evaluate potential relationships.

Convert your passion … into action. And attract the right people into your life by removing uncertainty about what YOU want.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!