What is your Strategy, are you doing things differently?


I read this article last night (I said that I would read every single article available on this site as quickly as possible) and began to ask myself the various questions that Mr. Gurevich presents here. What am I doing or what will I be doing to differentiate myself from every other moron with bandit signs who has purchased a program all over town? How am I going to guarantee my own success? As I have said on this board before I am a complete newbie to real estate investing but my experience and aptitude in sales is much better as this is what I currently do for a living. I believe that the most important thing in life is sales in my opinion in everything you do. If you can’t sell yourself and what you believe in you will never be successful.

After reading this article I began trying to find parallels to being successful in REI and my corporate sales job and then I had a thought. You must have a rock solid strategy. Many people often confuse tactics with strategy. Strategy is not “I am going to put out 20 bandit signs this week.” That is a tactic. Strategy is not “I am going to place an ad in the major newspaper and wait for the calls to roll in.” This is just another tactic. Probably the most prominent of all is the “I am going to purchase this gurus programs and follow it exactly.” Again many call this the follow the leader STRATEGY but in the end, only another tactic.

Strategy means….
Doing things differently
Doing different things

My question to everyone here reading this is, are you just confusing tactics with strategy? What will you do to differentiate yourself from everyone else in your REI adventures?

Also I apologize I am not a writer but doing the best I can. I hope you enjoyed my rant.

Sean Mathes

Well, this is getting a little theoritical but a strategy is a broad vision and a tactic is more how you implement it. I’m just going to throw out a strategy so you can see the difference. I’m not saying it’s the best one or anything but it is one some people use.

Strategy: Focus on buying homes that are in the redemption period after auction. (The state must have a redemption period of course.)

Tactic: Contact owners after auction to aquire their redemtion rights. There’d be a whole host of additional tactics to help you do this. All tactics point to the overall strategy of buying homes in the redemption period though.

Another way to say it is tactics are what you do and strategy is why you do it.

This is exactly my point. Your example of strategy is where most people’s thinking IMO is totally flawed.

“Strategy: Focus on buying homes that are in the redemption period after auction. (The state must have a redemption period of course.)”

What if every single investor in your area is concentrating on this exact same practice? This provides absolutely no differentiation from your competitors and therefore no strategy.

Also, once you implement your tactics with this “strategy” in my example due to lack of differentiation you will fail to create value in the eyes of your customer.

2 keys to remember:

1-get to the folks that need ur help b4 everyone else does via lis penden/NOD’s;

2-people have to trust u and truly beleive u can help them b4 they will ever let u. even up to the auction block folks are still in denile, this is where selling urself is golden. (not at the auction block but in their living room!) ;D

Well said Tony. As to #1 this deals with positioning yourself with customers in relation to the competition. Something that many strategies never even touch on.

“Let’s focus on foreclosures through positioning of our patented marketing system.”

This is a strategy because you are positioning yourself by differentiating from the competition by use of a patented marketing program.

Someone who I believe to be one of the best competitive strategists said a combination of the ends (goals) for which the firm is striving and the means (policies) by which it is seeking to get there."

So, with only a plan you don’t have a strategy without position.

Am I crazy or what?

Gurevich is just trying to sell his stuff. He is right is trying to get everybody to clarify their base goal or write down why they are doing this. But people can be successful carrying out their activities consciously only at a tactics level. Most successful marriages that last for decades are only conscience from the tactic level. Gurevich is flawed in that he implies that you are not into real estate to get rich. That is precisely why we are into real estate. He states that you should be trying to make $100million so should be in oil and that real estate agents make more money than investors. Our difference with him is in his definition of rich. The people he is talking about are high earners not rich people. If they stop doing what they do, they stop making money. He has not read the Millionaire Next Door. The things discussed in Millionaire are more applicable to my goal. He doesn’t take into consideration that we are not starting from diapers and buying houses. We are already here (wherever here is). In my case I have been in the corporate world for 20 years. I have attained a certain lifestyle and because of numerous relocations and promotions, and moving to a low cost region (Houston) I have a relatively low cost to maintain my rather high standard of living. I do, however need to work long hours in my corporate job. My definition of rich is to have the lifestyle of a rock star and not work more than ½ the month each month to achieve it. That means that if I can find something that covers my monthly expenses and I work less than ½ the month to achieve it, then I am rich. The first thing I did was quantify how much it takes to maintain my present lifestyle which is the lifestyle of a rock star (3,000sqft house with pool, and home theatre, drive 2 new Jeeps, go on vacation every year, golf every weekend and go out to eat 6 days a week) That cost which include everything from mortgage to dry-cleaning is $5000/month. So if I can get enough real estate that will allow me to keep this lifestyle, but work half the month instead of working 1 ½ months every month then I would then be rich. So If I have rentals that average $300/month I need 20 houses. I would do 2 make readies a month and 2 evictions a month. That is about 2 weeks of my time each month.

He says real estate investing is saturated, it is not. If you go to your local real estate investor’s club, you will find that only 10% to 20% of the people there are even buying any property. Most people that buy the Carlton Sheets course never buy even 1 property.

When you are sitting next to me at Ko Olina Hawaii drinking a tropical drink with a paper umbrella in it and you ask me if I had a strategy developed fort getting me here, and I say no. I am not a figment of your imagination; I am a person that used the tactics well without a strategy.

Very well put bluemoon you are absolutely right. It is easy for people to discuss and theorize what works and what is necessary for success.

You are clearly a living example of success without a strategy. You can’t argue with real life testimonials and experience. I commend you for your accomplishments and hope to myself achieve the same level of success one day.

The #1 thing that I am beginning to realize in this business, is that almost everyone who claims to be players are really just sitting on the side lines, they are talkers not doers.

Sean, I think you are overanalyzing the business. Is it truly necessary to do different things? To do things differently? To differentiate yourself from your competition (other than just by working harder/smarter)?

In my business experience, the person who does the basics consistently and systematically will win. I have seen many people never get untracked while they are looking for the next big thing, the breakthrough marketing technique, that surefire advertising source which will burn up the phone lines with qualified leads.

Meanwhile, the ones who work the basics every day find success, sometimes tremendous success.

why should i waste my time reinventing the wheel? you learn new creative techniques along the way out of necessity and gaining experience thinking creatively. as a new investor however i imo would recommend finding a good mentor and copying exactlty his/her strategies and techniques. you don’t have to be original to be sucessful.

i read that thing by Gurevich and honestly it kinda pissed me off. maybe he’s trying to give people the ‘hard truth’ in his opinion…but to be honest with you, this is what i plan to do…and i’m going to do it. it’s just that simple. i’ve set my goal and it’s only time before i achieve. there’s no what ifs, what’s my backup plan…no, this is it. REI is what im going to do.

some may say this is wishful thinking or naive, but im motivated enough where i’m going to make this happen and that’s all there is to it.

as far as thinking outside the box. i think not reinventing the wheel was a good point made. stick with creative methods that work. on the same token, for your usual bandit signs “we buy houses” and other common things in REI…i would experiment here to see if you get some good responses.

my two cents.


hi… i agree. when i set my goals 18 months ago it was a matter of putting them in writing, which is important. i was going over them the other day ( cleaning out my files ) for the first time since i put them in writing—much to my surprise i had beaten all of my short term goals except one.

i have heard, and i believe that once you commit your goals to the written word, your subconcious takes over and you almost have no choice ( unless you self sabatage sp??) to meet your goals.

the only goal i didn’t meet was to raise my fico to 700. but because of the nature of real estate investing i didn’t realize that that in itself could effect my score and now that i know i’m working on that.

basic point i’m trying to make is weather its strategy or technique- step one is to set your goals and commit them to writing. it’s o.k. to put your goals away as long as you ask yourself frequently, does this take activity take me the direction i need to go to accomplish my goals?

please dont get all wrapped up in symantics- you could better spend your time looking for deals.