When I first began real estate investing in the early 1980’s, I did what I thought were all the right things. I read books, listened to tapes and gurus but for some reason even with all that education behind me I found that I didn’t close as many deals as I thought I should have and I certainly was not building my real estate wealth at the rate at which I had hoped. As I look back, I have learned many important lessons but the most important comes from professional sports. They say that “practice makes perfect.” Let me explain why that’s not necessarily true.
Back in 1983, I had the opportunity to attend my first professional golf tournament: the Doral Open in Miami, FL. I was the guest of AT&T one of our corporate vendors (yes friends, I had a “real” job back then) and I have to say I was impressed. They did it all first class; a hospitality tent, gifts for all the guests, cocktails and gourmet food. I had never experienced anything like it! It was all a bit intimidating for a junior executive just starting out.
During the second day at the tournament I came face to face with one of my all time idols, Jack Nicklaus, I was nearly speechless but at least had the presence of mind to wave my pairing sheet under his nose for an autograph, which he graciously provided. So how does any of this relate to real estate investing or closing more deals, you ask? It doesn’t, but here’s what does, the next morning I arrived at the course early, 6:30 am and there were at least 10 pros on the practice tee and they were hitting ball after ball after ball. By 7:00 am there were 20. Over on the practice green there were another dozen or so professionals putting ball after ball after ball. That afternoon after they would finish, they headed back to the practice tee or the practice green and again they would strike ball after ball.
These were top professionals, the best in world, yet they practiced before the match and again after the match. They didn’t show up unprepared when the money was on the line. They were as prepared as they could possibly be. Can you make the same claim when you are talking with a seller, a buyer, a Realtor, banker or contractor? Are you always ready for the big game?
What I have learned that helps close more transactions than anything else is to be prepared for the big deal. When that motivated seller calls and needs to sell quickly, do you have the ability to analyze the opportunity quickly and correctly then get it closed? Do you see more than one way to make the deal? Can you see multiple exit strategies?
We’ve all heard the old expression, practice makes perfect but it is untrue. Unfortunately just plain old practice won’t help you get better. However, perfect practice does make perfect! What I failed to mention about many of the golfers on the course were that they were there with their coaches. They had objective feedback to help them make those subtle swing changes that might serve them well next time a $500,000 prize is on the line.
One of the goals of this guide is to provide you tools and ideas to help you achieve that “perfect” practice ability. If you do it wrong and continue to practice it the same way day after day you’ll just get better at doing it wrong and keep a low batting average. But if you start developing and sharpening your skills the right way, you’ll be hitting them out of the park in no time!
As a good southern buddy puts it, “even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.” Don’t be a blind squirrel, practice, study, learn and grow! You’ll find enough acorns to grow a forest!