What side are you on?

The way I see it as a novice is there are AT LEAST 2 people on all sides of the fence.
First you have those on one side (doesn’t matter which, pick one) who are peering thru the fence saying “I wish I could have money, property, free time with my family, etc.” like those over there. How do they do that?" But never take steps to find out.
Then you have those who wonder the same, find out what is being done, but stop there. Whether it’s because they are afraid to move, listen to their friend who just made head of fry detail at McDonald’s saying “oh, it’s the wrong time, you’ll lose money, they all started with money, you need money, blah, blah, blah” Basically listening to people who don’t make more then them and aren’t smarter than them.

Next you have those ON the fence. You have the guy who has read every book, gone to every seminar, talked to every investor, bought every course and then does nothing. He stands and looks down on the investors paralyzed to jump in or even climb down. Has all this knowledge, can do deals in his sleep, can negotiate with the best of them, but just won’t move.
Next to him you have the girl who has either done just as much or enough to get started, but just hasn’t found the right deal. She’s looking, still studying, still asking questions BUT she is actively looking and just hasn’t found the match to her criteria.

Finally, you have those who are doing it and doing it well. They are the ones relaxing, on vacations, dealing with tenants, dealing with problems, closings, negotiations, looking for their next investment, etc. They are loving every minute of their freedom and life choices. They are looking up at those on the fence and saying “come on in the water is fine! Scared to jump, climb down. Ok, if you are going to jump, but can’t quite swim on your own, here, take this life jacket, we’ll help you.”

Which side are you on?
Me? I’m the one on the fence who is just looking for the right deal, haven’t looked at my “100th” deal yet, but ready to dive in when I find the deal that fits MY CRITERIA. But I know I got my life jacket (this forum and books).

I’m the one screening the 4th applicant in 3 days for the same house. UGH! Is there anyone still out there who isn’t a criminal? I’d like to put all those criminals in a fence (an electric fence)!


i’m the one looking for ways to make the next deal better than the first deal.

screening criminals is easy… it’s the criminal-in-training that’s hard to screen!

I’m the one in the boat, scooping up all of the deals from all the people that are on the fence waiting for them to fall into their “criteria”. If you keep waiting until all of the stars align and everything that all of the "gurus " say to come true, you’re better get a pad for your ars cuz you’re gonna be sitting on that fence for a looooong time.

If you do it right, you can make as many offers as you want without being locked in to a crappy deal. Here is my investment strategy (you might need to sit down for this):

  1. Control the property
  2. Sell the property
  3. Buy the property

Teddy Roosevelt once said," Buy nothing, control everything." He seems like a pretty smart guy.

Late :banana

I am the investor who read every book, and listened to every seminar I could get my hands on before I jumped in. I am also the type that the mode I do deals, the more I learn and improve and strongly believe in systems and setting up my investing as a business.

I must say however, I am not as aggresive as I could be. I have a job that brings me 5 figures a month working from home, setting my own hours so investing is not critical from my every day living and that helped me stay on the fence longer. I have done enough deals though to be extremely comfortable with the business and sometimes i turned deals away because I just did not feel like doing them.

I am the investor who quit her job and went full time at the beginning of the year after only doing a handful of deals, and is learning the HARD way that this business ain’t easy. Although, better than having a j-o-b.

Steph :cool

I’m the full time investor for 10 months now, doing well, have made more money doing this than my old job. I was on the fence for a while, decided to jump in, got my shorts caught on the fence post, got flipped around and landed on my a$$, then got bit by the dog on the other side of the fence, then the neighbor came out yelling at me to get off her fence and out of her yard, etc. etc. etc. :biggrin

Honestly, this year has been the most difficult I have ever had and at the same time the most rewarding. I have freedom at times, and am buried in work at other times. I am thankful for the position I have worked myself in to, and I know it gets easier. I have learned so much from every house I have done, especially this last one we finished up this week.

I’d say that you and I are in the same boat Steph. I hated my j-o-b.

Hi Jared,

Yeah, it sounds like we are having the same kind of year.

I think your boat might be a little nicer than mine, though. Mine is just barely staying afloat. :cool


LOL! Next year I am upgrading to a canoe. Maybe get a small motor…

A while ago I jumped off the fence and landed into the 9 foot deep pool and almost drowned myself to death. My first deal lost me 16 000$.

Then I learned how to swim with the best of them and I’m doing mighty fine now.

Can’t imagine why on earth anyone could look through the fence, or hope on the fence, without jumping in.

I guess the fire doesn’t burn hard enough.

The $16k is cheaper than what most gurus charge and I bet you learned more in the process. Also you took action, more than most can say. Sounds like you did good on your first deal. :slight_smile:

16000$ was the tuition payment to get baptized in the fire. A price I had to pay.

Since then I don’t take anything for granted nor do I take crap from any seller.

I value every single dollar and I never believe a word a seller or anyone ever tells me until I verify it.

The last time I walked into a copy shop to do a refund the clerk accidently ripped up the bill that had another purchase on it. A 5$ purchase.
I told the guy he ripped up my receipt.
He apologized and asked surprisingly if I wanted him to scotch tape that 5$ receipt back.
You’re damn right I want that 5$ receipt.

Those simple lessons seem so obvious yet sometimes you have to live through it to really understand it.

It seems as if the successful investors are the ones that are defined by all their “failures” and the newbie investors are the ones that didn’t get whipped enough to the point where they become tough and fearless.

My grandfather once told one of his grandchildren:

“Life is too easy for you, you need to fail more to learn more from life”.

I didn’t realize the power of that lesson until I had to go through it myself. Many of the newer investors I see are way too soft, way too gullible, and simply just not tough enough.

Many of them quit after the first time they fall face first into the mound of bricks. But they don’t realize that it’s the culmination of all of their failures and mistakes that define them, not their successes.

Whenever I fall upon hard times, I will never forget my grandfather who because of communist Vietnam lost his entire rice business, all of his money (had enough money to buy 40 mercedes cars), all of his Mercedes cars / trucks, was thrown into jail for TWO YEARS, and on top of that, had 15 kids to feed…

All 15 kids today are alive and successful because my grandfather never stopped fighting even though he faced so much adversity.

So all you new investors out there. If you haven’t failed or made enough mistakes in real estate, you will never succeed. Even if you go out there and make a mess, atleast you are 1 step ahead from where you are today. And when you fall on those inevitable hard times in your real estate career, never forget, those moments are the moments that define you.

If I can change the metaphor and equate real estate investing to a swimming pool.

Some people have jumped in and are making money. Of those in the pool, some just jumped in the deep end and quickly learned to swim. The rest waded in from the shallow end and moved into deeper water as they gained confidence.

Some people are standing around the pool afraid of drowning if they jump in. They are waiting for someone to push them in. Often it takes some motivating event (such as loss of job) that creates a financial hardship to give them the courage to jump in.

Some people are wandering around lost, don’t know where the pool is. Most of these people are not even looking for the pool.

I have been swimming in the deep end for so long, that I now pull lifeguard duty and try to help others learn to swim.

So all you new investors out there. If you haven't failed or made enough mistakes in real estate, you will never succeed. Even if you go out there and make a mess, atleast you are 1 step ahead from where you are today. And when you fall on those inevitable hard times in your real estate career, never forget, those moments are the moments that define you.

I can’t agree with this. You do NOT need to fail before you can succeed. This is not brain surgery and you are not blazing a trail. Many people have gone before you and succeeded. It is prudent to learn the business before you spend your money and then you won’t need to lose money on your first few deals. You want to learn from other successful investors, not the guy in the mirror.

To use Dave’s analogy. If you want to learn to swim, the best way is probably to take some lessons from someone that already knows how to swim. Jumping in the deep end doesn’t usually end well.


I’m not talking about failing the first deal in order to succeed. I’m talking about going through difficulties in general throughout your investing career and not being afraid to go through such difficulties.

No successful investor out there that I know has ever blazed through real estate without making a mistake or a going through hard times to be where they are. In fact, I think less of the ones that have gone through no adversities at all than the ones that have.

And yes, Dave’s analogy of swimming is the best way to start, unfortunately, there are still way too many investors trying to proceed into the business without ever making a mistake, and that mindset they carry is more detrimental beause it hinders them going out there and taking action.

I guess it just depends on what you mean by “failure”. I have failed to make money on a few deals, but I learned a ton from those and continue to learn from each house we do.

Jumping in the deep end, taking swimming lessons from someone who knows, wading in, doing a 1 1/2 with a twist, I guess it just depends on what kind of person you are and what works for you. People learn differently and I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to learn this business.

Well, I’m not sure what side of the fence I’m on or if I’m sitting on top. Either way, I’m jumping in and I’m gonna use this wonderful, awesome forum as my life ring.

I’ve never done a deal or anything and I am so full of fear. But the time has come to over come the fear and get to doing.

As far as waiting on a deal that fits my criteria, well, if it doesn’t come to me then I have to search for it. The fence is just a fence.

I’m jumping in as a single mom, little money and with bad credit. The only way to improve my situation is by doing something about it.

I’m facing my fear and if I fail then I have in returned learned something new. I’ve become smarter that makes me a little better. So, come on in and get to doing.

That’s the only way. Watching, listening, reading and asking is wonderful and great but you still have to put all of that in to motion for it to work for you.

I’m not sure of anyone’s situation but as a newbie with nothing to lose (cause I have nothing at the moment), it’s a perfect time. If I fall on my face at least I fell forward which is the way I was going anyway.

Wish me lots of luck and lots and lots of new knowledge.

Before I go, I want to thank everyone for their questions and answers. Everyone here has something to offer and I’ll be back to read and post as my progress goes along.

Thanks to all of you.

Tampa, Florida

Going in with little money on your first deal is not the brightest idea (in my honest opinion).

abinvestments? You know people who are loving every minute of dealing with tenants? Are they on drugs? Can I get some of what they are having?

I think it is hard to get started. Some of it is lack of ambition, some of it is lack of courage. A lot of it is lack of suffifient funds.

Deals with no money at all? That’s a tall order for someone with no funds and no experience. While I have occassioally done a no money deal, they still involve money for closing costs, inspections, repairs, holding costs.

Signing up for a contract for 10s of thousands or even hundreds of thousands when you don’t have 2 nickles to rub together sounds pretty scary to me.

Besides that, there are lot of people in this country (and the rest of the world, too) that are content to not take risks and live the uncomplicated life of a paycheck slave. But look on the bright side: Without them we wouldn’t have tenants and we wouldn’t have retail buyers.

If they want to stand on the other side of the fence or at the edge of the pool, they are the only one who can decide to take the jump. No one else can do it for them. So basically, they are not my problem, nor are they my responsibility. Give them the information. They do it or they don’t.