As many of my more loyal readers know I am a private pilot, though I'm not presently current. And the comparisons between real estate investing and my period of learning to fly are oddly similar. Not in function but in training and application.
Each day I wake up, check my emails and go to work. And each day I work with clients who;
- understand that I have their best interests in mind.
- aren't sure that I have their best interests in mind.
- assume I do not have their best interests in mind.
The last two can, frankly, be difficult to work with. Not personality wise but because they never really buy in to the fact that the more money I can help them make the more money I make. It's really that simple. Real estate agents can sell a house, make a few dollars and move on to other professions if they like. A lot are doing that right now.
But I'm 42 years old with a lot of really good years ahead of me. It is in MY BEST INTERESTS to make sure your best interests are being protected and that you will make money. If those two things are happening, who do you think you are going to call when you need a real estate agent?
Getting back to my flying analogy...
When I was learning from Felicia Barton how to fly an airplane I listened intently. And yes, I also checked her out and cross-referenced her knowledge. How? I bought books about flying and read. I bought DVD instructional pieces that taught me the same thing she did, as it turns out.
But let me be very, very clear about this. When I was in the air and the ground was a significant distance below me, and her, I listened and did what she said. It just seemed to me that if something bad happened she was going to suffer the consequences as well.
It was in her best interest to let me know all of her knowledge. To educate me. And to get me out there on my own. I didn't argue. I didn't debate. I didn't tell her what my brother-in-law's opinions were about her practice of flying. I chose her to teach me. Now it was my turn to let her do her job and learn as much as I could.
And when you have a controlling, Type A personality (High D for those in the know) you have to understand how hard it was for me to make my will and intellect submissive to hers on this subject. But it was the smart thing to do.
Flight instructors and their students get killed every once in while. The reasons may vary but I doubt seriously that the student had done everything the instructor had said or taught. Foreclosures happen in real estate. For the first time home buyer it may be because someone advised them and they chose to ignore the advice. With real estate investors a foreclosure is probably the result of defying the odds when it comes to proper due diligence and running the numbers.
Real estate investing has rules. Follow them. Hire a guide. An instructor. A counselor. Another set of eyes. You might think my fees are high and that REALTORS make too much money. So be it. How much does a foreclosure cost?