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Setting Goals for Real Estate Success
The power of goal setting has been well documented and communicated so before you skip over this point because you've heard it all before I'd like you to consider how well you are doing it. I'm a firm believer that you don't truly understand something until you are doing it.
If you are an avid goal setter you will want to read this to learn some specifics associated with real estate investing. If you are not a frequent goal setter please read on and consider that setting goals really is a powerful tool, does have some magic about it, and is critical to your investing success.
Consider the following example. In 1953, researchers interviewed the graduating class of Harvard University about their career goals for the future. It was found that only 3% had written goals and specific plans for achieving them. Twenty years later the researchers re-interviewed the class of '53. They discovered that while all students had shared the best education money can buy, the 3% with written plans for the future were worth more, in financial terms, than the other 97% combined. Whilst this only examined financial or career goals I think it illustrates the true power of written goals.
I'm tempted to offer some goal setting basics here but for the sake of brevity, all I'll say is that your goals should be: specific, measurable, realistic, in writing and have a deadline. Know also that they will evolve over time so you don't need to worry about getting them perfect; just start with something!
With respect to real estate, you need to first figure out what your primary investing objective is:
i) quick cash / equity
ii) cash flow
iii) capital growth
Note: There is a discussion regarding the role of these different objectives in the handbook Investing Secrets of the Property Masters Revealed.
Let's say, for the sake of an example, that you want to focus on cash flow properties. Consider the difference in the following goal statements:
I want to invest in some real estate that will supplement my income and help me retire faster.
I will acquire sufficient property in the next 12 months to produce an average of $4,000 per year of additional income.
That's much better because it is getting specific, is certainly measurable and has a deadline. It is also realistic and in writing. But when you go to see a realtor or other people who will help you acquire that property they will ask things like, "in what area?" and "what type of property?" so as you learn more you need to add those details.
This is another very important point about setting goals for your real estate investing. Once you have these clear goals, people such as realtors will suddenly treat you much more seriously. Even if you don't have all the answers; imagine walking into a realtor's office and hitting them with those two goal statements. Which one will get you further? Even if you don't know which area or what type of property they won't treat you like a tire kicker. They will ask those important questions of you and you can learn from them and go away and make your goal even clearer before getting back in touch with them. And the next realtor you visit won't even know that you hadn't thought about that. They'll just see someone who knows exactly what they want and will be able and willing to help out.
The final point I want to make about goals is more to do with the measurement part than with setting them. I know that sounds tedious but it can be really exciting. The most successful companies in the world track their progress against their goals because it is effective to do so. Imagine putting a simple graph on your wall that has the months along the bottom axis and the cash flow you've developed on the vertical axis. You can draw a red line across the graph representing your target of $4,000 per year and then you can draw an angled line that adds another $333 to the cash flow each month. This gives you some very good feedback as to how you are progressing and motivation while there is still time to do something about it. That's obviously much better than just seeing how you went 12 months later and finding that you only acquired property that produces $1,000 per year. It's a very simple and powerful tool.
If you are really disciplined you can take this one step further and use the same approach for the activities that produce the outcomes that we are measuring on the other graph. This really helps ensure the result. For example, if you know you need to evaluate 100 properties and make offers on 10 to acquire that amount of property then you could graph those drivers as well.
To your success,
Scott Roemermann is president of Investing-Secrets.com; a website dedicated to helping consumers in their search for sound investing advice from honest and experienced professionals rather than self-proclaimed 'real estate gurus'.
Scott does not claim to be a guru or advisor himself, he says he's 'just an average guy' who has also experienced the bewilderment and uncertainty of trying to get started in real estate investing when there are so many alleged experts claiming to hold the secrets of the rich. To solve this problem Scott has authored a guide in which he compiles and reviews 17 of the leading strategies being promoted by the true gurus that he has come to respect after many years of research.
That guide is available at http://www.investing-secrets.com/
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