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Three Lessons On Strategy, Time And Mindset For Real Estate Entrepreneurs

Founder and CEO of Smart Real Estate Coach, as well as host of the Smart Real Estate Coach Podcast.

As a real estate coach, I tell students that we can teach them the skills and deal-structuring steps for the real estate world. But another essential piece is the mental component that helps a real estate professional be successful.

As I prepare for our yearly Quantum Leap Systems Event, I’ve been reflecting on the past 30 years of my career. It has included the highs and lows of several real estate cycles and a number of storms, including September 11, the current pandemic and my son’s coma. Those life events have been an important part of my learning and have helped me come to these game-changing revelations.

The Right Strategy Can Weather Any Storm

Many of the people I’ve networked with over the years were broke like I was after the 2008 crash. Instead of going to seminars and boot camps and looking at all the shiny objects that have been presented, the savvy ones focused on buying with no money down — the terms deal niche. It’s gratifying to hear of the wealth generated through real estate, but more interesting to me is that with all the wealth and success many of these folks have had, they still, as well as my family and I, buy on terms. Why we do that is simple: It’s a strategy that can survive all storms and market cycles.

Time Is Limited, So Use It Well

I like compressing my time into 15-minute blocks in my calendar and making sure that before any meeting I have, all participants are super clear on the outcome we’re looking for. Your time is valuable and understanding how to harness and protect it is essential.

One concept I was introduced to recently is the idea of “mini days.” It’s a way to essentially pack three days into one, and you can do this by compressing time frames. For example, I’m most productive between 6 and 10 a.m., so that’s day one. Day two is from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and then I wrap up on day three from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Those days within the day should be laser-focused on the day’s task. We all have 86,400 seconds per day and it’s within our power to use them wisely.

Consider the time you spend with others, too. I’ve always taught my coaching clients that we tend to be within 5% to 15% of the income range of those who we spend time with. I would even go so far as to say that the people around you directly affect where you will end up.

There’s Internal Work To Be Done, Too

Plenty of people can learn the skill sets required to participate in a real estate deal. It’s often your mental strength, beliefs and habits that become the challenges, and this is where you must place your focus in order to excel. This is nothing different from what great companies and great sports teams do: work the mental side of the business and entrepreneurial path.

Without a burning “why” — a deep reason to go through the normal entrepreneurial struggles — it’s easier to quit. If you’re not sure of your why, write down why you’d like to partake in any real estate venture, and then ask yourself why seven more times. Dig deep. When you’re all done, ask yourself how you’ll feel after accomplishing that. Then ask yourself who else it will affect and how that makes you feel. 

Self-confidence also plays a role in the successful entrepreneur’s journey, and that’s why it’s important to spend time with your own thoughts and beliefs about yourself. For example, I work daily on an app that guides me through exercises to change and strengthen my core beliefs. I liken it to working out — it takes time.

If you’ve ever in your adult life looked in the mirror and thought, I’m not where I thought I’d be, now is the time to change this. Two exercises I like are visualization and gratitude:

Program a reminder in your phone for every few hours (I use three) to remind you to visualize the career you want for one minute.

Set aside time blocks to think for a minute about what you’re grateful for. I do this before getting up out of bed in the morning and before going to sleep. I also reflect by writing in my journal daily. 

One of the most important pieces of advice I give to coaching clients is to not ever let a current or past failure be a permanent setback in your life or your business. By doing so, you alter the direction of your life, your children’s lives and so on — all because of perhaps one small decision you made during a difficult time. Those failures are just events; they’re not you who you are.


Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?


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