Focus, knowledge, due diligence, and clear goals are key factors when pursuing any investment category. Real estate investors should focus their time and effort to a narrow market area, which ideally will be close to where the investor spends the majority of his or her time, and decide exactly what kind of investment real estate they wish to buy.

The first step is for the investor to form an investment comfort zone in a part of town that meets the guidelines of this section. Once this has occurred, the investor can begin working in that area. in a short while, by following the plan outlined in this content, you will begin to see opportunities. The primary goal of this section is to illustrate five steps that any investor can take to establish his or her comfort zone and to show how that zone will be critical to the investor’s success in real estate investing. After introducing some key terms, this section will show you how to establish a geographic territory, become the expert of that territory. document what you Investigate, build the Investment techniques required. and act on opportunities.

In this section, the following terms related to developing a comfort zone in real estate investment are defined and explained:

• Goal orientation

• Priority of time

• Sphere of reference

• Search for the void

Knowing and understanding these terms and issues related to them will help you to learn and apply the concepts presented in this section.

Goal Orientation

A major factor for attaining success in anything is the strength of a person’s focus on his or her goals. As important as focus is, the reader should understand that without a well-defined goal. success will continually slip away. Proper goal orientation requires work and practice. and continual fine-tuning must take place along the way. In real estate investing the adjustments occur as investors learn about their own aspirations, future desires, and abilities and expand on each. In each situation the individual will discover that it is too confining to set goals within the current reach of those abilities. Every goal process must include the improvement of the individual’s abilities so that greater and more challenging goals can be set, attempted, and achieved. Some of the most successful people in any form of endeavor arc continually learning, and they take pride in this process. People who think they know it all already know all they will ever learn. In contrast, the person seeking success should make an effort to learn something meaningful every day. and then apply that new bit of knowledge as soon as possible. This is the formula for happiness as well as for success.

These wonderful phrases lead to success: “I didn’t know that, will you teach it I need to learn how to do that. What would you suggest I do?” “Boy. you make that look so easy: would you show me how to do it?” When you don’t know something, admit it; then ask how to learn it. People will respect your desire to learn.

Priority of Time

‘When the goal is clearly in sight. and the steps to get from Start to finish are well planned. the proper use of time becomes a critical step in the attainment of that goal. If time is not valued, a goal may take too long to attain, and frustration and disappointment can become stronger than the desire to attain the goal.

A common error is to underestimate the time it will take to attain a certain intermediate step. For example. one of the elements of creating a comfort zone is to become an expert on the property and events that are going on within that zone. This is not an overnight process. In fact, it is a process that continues for the entire time of involvement in that investment zone. However, the process must start somewhere, and a certain definite time must be set aside for the process to occur. That time should build rather slowly to allow the investor to adapt to the new and growing sphere of reference.

Sphere of Reference

As the comfort zone develops, investors will see and feel the growth of the sphere of reference around them. If the reader faithfully completes The Real Estate Investor’s VIP List of sources of “Insider” real estate information introduced in Section 15, for   example. this sphere of reference will be I .000 percent greater than it was the day this content was opened.

Step-by-step this sphere grows. The sphere of reference is the envelope of everything that goes on around investors over which they have some control. or if not control, direct contact. The process is not automatic, however, as to gain benefit from the natural process, investors must follow up on the growing contacts around them. Keep this firmly in mind when the line for the name of the secretary is completed in the Investor’s VIP list. Much is accomplished through the VIP’s secretary.

Sphere of reference must be treated as a two-way relationship. While it is important for you to expand the number of VIPs in your community, it is even more important that the people you add to your list recognize that you too are a VIP. This factor alone will launch you into the real estate “insider’s club” quicker than you dreamed possible. it is easy to get to know someone, and a hit more difficult to make sure they got to know you. You attain that status by working at building your reputation in this insider’s club.”

Search for the Void

Any endeavor will have Its best chance for success when It fills a void. Remember the supply and demand theory of economics-well, it is similar with opportunities. The greater opportunity is the one that, when taken, will fill someone’s need so there will no longer be a void. Think of an opportunity as a black hole, a star whose gravity is so great that even light cannot escape. We know black holes exist even though we cannot sec them. It is the effect that they exert on surrounding celestial bodies that exposes their existence. So ills with opportunities. They are really there all the time, only we often do not recognize that there is something about that location, or property. or use that has not been fully, if at all, taken advantage of.

Have you noticed how often two competitive businesses suddenly appear, one right after the other, at an intersection of two busy streets? Drugstores, banks, fast-food restaurants, and many other kinds of businesses suddenly have noticed a void in a neighborhood and rush to fill it. This kind of “filling the void” is more a copycat situation, but it is worth paying attention to because being the second (or even third) to recognize the opportunity might even be better than being the first. As you move from this content into the real world of real estate investing, you will begin to automatically notice these voids. Often they are very subtle, however, and you have to train yourself to see what is missing and how you can fill the need.

The void is not always a need that is completely unmet; it might be something as simple as giving sparkle to an otherwise great property by making aesthetic changes to the buildings. Investors who purchase tired, out-of-date shopping strip malls know from experience that a fresh, modem look can turn around a property that otherwise is a candidate for a wrecking ball.

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