Great real estate investors don’t surrender after having lost just one battle. They know that to win a war they have to stick around.
We had a client a couple years ago, I’ll call her Mary, who decided to sell her rental property because of a tenant who moved out, leaving a small unpaid balance and some repairs. She was furious about the whole situation, and it was simply too much for her. She decided to hold up the white flag of surrender, and give up. I’ll share more about her later.
This got me thinking though, about many others, maybe even some of you, who sometimes have to go through these small battles in the epic war and journey of owning rental property.
We’d like for you to think of owning your rental property like being the general in a war. And the reward, prize or final result of winning the war being cash flow, appreciation over time, and a greater net positive return than you could have gotten elsewhere.
You see, a great real estate investor is like a smart general. They understand there are risks at going to war. They know they may not win every battle, even though they prepare to do so. You may have setbacks, a bad tenant, an expensive repair, unfair legislation and laws. But great real estate investors, like great generals, are prepared. And they are in it to win the war. Not to simply give up when the going gets tough. You see, it’s very difficult and nearly impossible to win every battle in a long 5-10 year war.
A little bit of history
I love the story of General George Washington and his triumph against the British despite the huge list of defeats along the way. He started with 20,000 men defending New York City, was beaten at Long Island, Brooklyn, White Plains, Fort Lincoln, and Fort Lee. Then he was chased by the British all the way down New Jersey to the Delaware River border. He crossed that river putting it between his much-shrunken army and the British.
The British, thinking victory was assured, divided their forces and settled into territory-holding winter camps. It was then that Washington crossed back over the Delaware River through the winter, snow, and ice with 1,500 men and a few cannons and destroyed the Hessian garrison at Trenton. The British reassembled its scattered units and moved against him. But Washington recrossed the Delaware river, played a little hide and seek with Cornwallis, and hit him again at Princeton. Both sides then retreated to winter quarters until the following spring.
That flow of events assured the Americans would take the field the following year (1777). And as we know, the eventual outcome was Washington and the Americans winning the revolutionary war.
Washington lost far more battles than he won but…he never gave up. He wasn’t in it for the battles. He was in it to win the war.
So with Mary, at the end of the day, she still did well on her investment, but she refused to see the 10’s of thousands of dollars of gain. She chose only to see the $2-3 thousand dollars of turn cost, which most of it was recoverable anyway. The sad thing about it for me is had she seen the situation as simply a small battle in the journey, and held onto the property for just another 2 years, her gain could have been an added $150 thousand dollars or more.
Staying for the long run: Great real estate investors don’t surrender
Some Generals in the rental business get tired, worn out, and that’s completely understandable. And that’s where we come in. We let our owners take a step back, let us be the Generals and the front lines, while they can sit back. And as long as they follow our 10/4 financial success formula, they won’t have to stress. Just contact us and we’ll be happy to take over.
So, what kind of General are you? Are you one of those great real estate investors that keep on fighting? or are you the kind that surrenders?