(img: camilo rueda lopez)
You know that feeling you get when you think you have a good idea but you're not sure how to proceed?
Well how about this... you know how you think you may need to eat "healthier" but with so much conflicting advice, you don't know where to begin?
Do you switch to whole grains, cut milk, add more milk, eat more fruits, eat less fruits, add yogurt, cut bread, eat meat, go vegan, drink smoothies, cook kale, stop coffee, add tea etc. etc. etc.?
It's a confusing mess ... as most new things are.
In our lives, whenever something is confusing it's because we don't have an information advantage over the topic.
For diet and food stuff, Nick sent me on a mighty mission of exploration around food back in 2012.
I was experiencing massive stomach pains, so much so that Carol (my wife) had to rush me to emergency on several occasions, with a massive pain in my stomach.
The doctors couldn't find out what was going on, and so, I decided it was time to clean up my diet.
Perhaps scooping Carol's supply of chocolate chips (for her amazing homemade cookies) by the handful and stuffing them into my mouth wasn't the best diet after all.
So I found people who seemed pretty fit and asked for book recommendations. I then plugged them into Amazon.ca at a furious pace.
Within a few months, I had a food, nutrition, and diet library to rival our real estate stuff.
I learned all about fasting, blood glucose levels, and insulin.
I got multiple blood tests, body fat tests, bone density tests, checked in with my doc, met my first Naturopath, heck! I even picked up a breathalyzer thingy... not for alcohol ... but to measure ketones in my breath to determine if my body was burning fat or glucose as fuel.
Bottom Line: My stomach problems went away and I dropped over 20 pounds. I had to buy new clothes after Nick said that my baggy pants and shirts didn't exactly look cool. And as an added bonus, my energy levels went way up.
Secret Bonus: Huge time savings and peace of mind. Now, when people talk to me about food, I don't have to guess what's right or wrong for me. I don't have to spend wasted energy debating all the different diets. I've done the research, tested things on myself, measured the results, and I have confidence that I know what's right for me and what's not. I'm open to change of course, but I have a pretty decent baseline of knowledge.
Real estate works much the same.
New investors will sometimes call us with problems.
The bank is denying them a mortgage. Their tenants are demanding some repairs. A property is sitting vacant for too long. The list goes on and on.
And they are genuinely struggling with what action to take.
Many times they can't make a decision at all.
Or, they end up feeling trapped. The most common issue is often around uncertainty when dealing with tenant requests.
Way back, we had a tenant call us and explain that Environment Canada was coming to the house to tent the entire exterior because we had asbestos siding on it.
They explained that it would cost $100,000 to fix the problem and they wanted this done ASAP, or else.
I'll never forget that phone call because I almost crapped my pants. LOL.
And the reason for that response was a lack of information. I had no clue what was going and I had initially accepted the problem at face value.
Over the next week, after all kinds of confusing discussions with people, we found a company that specialized in this stuff and they went out to the property. They explained that there was nothing wrong with the siding on the house at all. They were old pieces of siding and they did need to be removed with a special process ... but when left alone on the house, there was nothing wrong with them.
It turned out that our tenant had a contractor who was going to cut out a new window on the exterior wall of the house (seriously) and saw the siding and freaked out. They then proceeded to freak out the tenant will all sorts of inaccurate information.
It also turned out that Environment Canada was never called, and in fact, they don't do house calls for siding.
So the problem went from a huge issue, $100K that we didn't have, to literally nothing.
As soon as we had an information advantage over the problem ... the confusion, the stress, the cortisol levels, all faded away ... magically.
If you're dealing with an issue around a property right now, ask yourself, do you feel you have an information advantage on the situation?
If you don't, put in a phone call to a contractor, a real estate brokerage, a property manager, a lawyer, an accountant.
Make five calls and get five opinions. Don't just get one opinion on anything.
Remember, you want an advantage over the situation. Too many people make one call, to one person, and accept whatever they hear as a definitive answer.
Never do that. Collect lots and lots of information.
Without an information advantage, you get stuck and start you feeling stressed and uncertain.
If you are ever feeling that way, go out and get yourself an information advantage on the situation you're dealing with.
It will melt away the stress and save you both time and money.
Bottom Line: Real estate problems, like most problems, are usually never as big as the first appear. By collecting information from multiple sources, quickly, you can make confident decisions and reduce your stress.
Secret Bonus: Nothing phases you anymore. You act faster, and over time, you collect a Rolodex of professionals that can help you navigate almost anything. You begin to build a confidence that you can do more than you ever dreamed possible.
On that note...
A huge part of the reason we started Rock Star Real Estate was because, as we began buying more investment properties and then helping others do it, brokers and entire real estate brokerages, told us that we shouldn't waste our time with investors.
We sort of thought that was insane because we were investors.
They said investors wasted your time, didn't know what they wanted, and when they did, they asked way too many questions about things like "cash flow" and "interest rates" and "leases" and "flips" and "students" and on and on and on.
None of that seemed like a problem to us.
They said we should put our head down and make cold calls, and walk up and down the street door knocking because that's what everyone else does.
So we began looking around for a brokerage that would work with investors.
It seemed like there were commercial ones that did. But absolutely zero residential ones.
We started looking for an information advantage over the situation.
So we read, took courses, studied up some marketing strategies, and then opened up Rock Star Real Estate (in an office that was about ten feet long by nine feet wide, rented out on a month-to-month lease inside an executive office space where the front entrance was a coffee shop).
We hired an assistant who had no real estate experience, showed her some software we had purchased, and said we were a brokerage and needed to process real estate transactions ... go!
Last year, Rock Star completed over $200,000,000 worth of real estate transactions, starting from zero. In short order, we'll cross over $1 Billion in total property transactions. Funny right?
If we can do whatever it is that we want, so can you.
Bottom Line: Working with investors is a blessing. Us investors are often people who are looking to better themselves, their families, and their lives. It's an amazing group to work with!!
Secret Bonus: Freedom. With the experiences and knowledge we've picked up on starting a business from scratch, we feel that you could drop us into any situation and we would be able to survive and even thrive.
If you're looking to change your diet, exercise, buy a rental property, flip a house, start a business, or fly to the moon ... invest in an information advantage.
Whatever the size your problem, issue or opportunity ... collect information on it from sources you trust.
Collect lots of it. Do a deep dive on the situation.
Over the years, we've paid (sometimes more money than we could afford at the time) to attend conferences, events, and meetings, solely to meet people that are good sources of valuable information.
And we try to reciprocate as much and as often as possible.
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!