By Robert L. Cain, Copyright 2021, Cain Publications, Inc.
PROPERTY NEWS SERVICE
On your mark, get set, go! The time has arrived to be thinking about where you stand in the race for success next year. It is a race, you know. It’s a race between you and a neighborhood that may be declining or improving. It’s a race between you and properties that always need updating and repairing. It’s a race between you and government and its agencies that incessantly pass laws and create new regulations that not only cost you money, but make it markedly more difficult to earn a fair profit. And finally, it is a race between you and your tenants.
Between you and your good tenants, the race is to not only keep them as tenants, but to make them such happy customers that the idea of moving will never even be a flicker in their subconscious. Between you and bad tenants, the race is to get them out before they do too much damage, drive off your good tenants and receive ever more immunity for their outrages from the courts and legislatures.
How to win the race? Knowing what you have to do to win leads the requirements. John Maciha writes in “The Eleven Commandments of Budgeting,” “Use the budget process to analyze your real estate or property management business. Are you positioned properly for the short range as well as the long range? Are upgrades needed to remain competitive? Do you need to hire more people or get more equipment?”
First thing you do, then, involves figuring out where you are and where you want to be. What is your position in the market now? Is it what you had planned?
Sit yourself down and plan what you want to happen in the next year. I always have a problem doing that myself. I can find all kinds of things to do, including Freecell, watching sports on television and sweeping the patio, rather than figure out what needs to get accomplished and where I want to be. My brain dries up. Over the years, though, I’ve learned a few tricks to get my brain primed to gush forth with some pretty good ideas. I’ll tell you about three
Brain fooling trick #1: The 20-Idea Trick
This one works for me just about every time. I wish I could claim credit for it, but I can’t. I first heard about it from the world-famous motivational speaker Brian Tracy. And I don’t imagine it is original with him. Write down the question or problem you want to find an answer or solution to, such as “How can I attract better tenants?” Now write down 20 possible solutions. It’s called “mind storming.”
You have to be careful with yourself. Don’t pass judgment on the ideas as you go along, just write them down. Most important, sit there until you come up with all 20. It has to be done in one sitting. No getting up, mowing the lawn, fixing that leaky faucet in a rental you’ve been putting off for a couple of months; stick with it!
The first four or five will come easily. The old standby ideas come to mind first. The next few will be a little more difficult. By the time you get to 16 or 17, you’ll come up with some pretty good ideas. That’s why you sit there and mind storm until all 20 are on paper. Just watch—chances are you’ll get so many good ideas that it may take several weeks to implement them all.
Brain fooling trick #2: The 10-Minute a Day Trick
Jay Johnson of Note Finders of America writes, “Zig Ziglar advocates spending 10 minutes a day, immediately after awaking, writing down 10 ways you could become more effective at what you do.
“Would you spend 10 minutes a day if you were GUARANTEED to accomplish what you want? My bet is NO! Because most people don’t believe that this can work ‘it’s too simple!’ But the magic is that it does work!
“There’s brilliance in what Mr. Ziglar suggests. First, it will get you thinking about what it is you want. Second, it will get your mind on the ‘right track’ and you will find solutions to obstacles or problems you might be experiencing. Third, you will get a continual supply of fresh ideas. And last but not least, by committing to a daily ritual, such as spending your first 10 minutes focusing upon what you want, you will open pathways to the powerful subconscious mind. The subconscious mind can help you solve any problem or overcome any obstacle.”
Brain fooling trick #3: The Play with Numbers Trick
Nothing more than basic goal setting, figure out where you want to be financially at the end of a year, five years, ten years or whatever. Write the figure down.
Now comes the more difficult part, break the figure down incrementally to find out where you must be in a year, in six months, in a month. Then you have a goal to work toward and you are able to measure your progress.
Need more ideas on how to progress? Go back and use brain-fooling tricks one and two.
Positioning yourself for success takes planning. Block out some time now before the end of the year to get yourself ready to be even more successful in the rental property business next year—to win the race against the neighborhood, the government, and your tenants.
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