Overcome property investment procrastination
There is one major cause for procrastination when it comes to climbing the property ladder – are you guilty of this?
Blogger: Helen Collier-Kogtevs, managing director, Real Wealth Australia
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We all know the familiar burn of procrastination: it’s what prompts us to waste hours upon hours of productive time on the internet, avoiding our real responsibilities while we watch just one more funny movie trailer or cat video!
But do you know why you procrastinate?
Usually, it comes from fear. It might be a fear of failure, or a fear of not being able to complete the job. Sometimes, you may procrastinate on small tasks because they seem boring, dull or tedious, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find a deeper reason for dragging the chain.
We have all procrastinated at some time or other in our lives, yet when it comes to property investing, I see people procrastinate more than usual.
In most cases it’s because they are about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an investment property – a huge undertaking in anyone’s book – and they can’t decide whether they are doing the right thing. They may fear that they’re about to make a huge financial mistake that will ruin them.
As a result, they procrastinate – which can stop them from taking any action at all.
Here’s the reality of the situation:
It’s important to understand that procrastination will hit all of us from time to time. The real challenge is not to avoid it, but to ensure that we deal with it and move forward.
I’ve seen investors who have come across some of the best property deals that could be found at the time. Yet, they did nothing about the opportunities in front of them because they were too busy finding reasons to press the pause button.
As a mentor, getting clients over their procrastination is my biggest challenge.
For example, one of my favourite clients who I have known for many years (well before he became my client) was a brilliant researcher. Due diligence was his special skill. He would research an upcoming hotspot years before the area would boom, finding evidence that showed it had excellent rental returns and potential for great capital growth.
As it turned out, the areas he researched did boom; in one area he found, housing prices doubled within three years and rental yields skyrocketed.
So he must be a multimillionaire, right? Rich beyond his wildest dreams?
Well, he could have been. But despite his impeccable research, his ability to take action left a lot to be desired.
How many properties did he buy? One!
He procrastinated and missed out on some serious wealth creation. Since becoming my client, he has gone on to build a significant portfolio of investment properties, but when he looks back on what could have been, he wishes he had not procrastinated as much.
There are many ways to deal with procrastination, but I find there are three that will usually do the trick:
- Put off procrastinating for another day and commit to doing something – anything – that represents taking action. It could be as simple as making a phone call, returning an email or filling out some paperwork for your lender or mortgage broker.
- Deal with the fear that is plaguing you at the time. For example, if you feel your due diligence is inadequate and you are in fear of making a major financial mistake, seek expert advice to help you understand and mitigate your fear.
- Write down all the reasons that are stopping you at that particular moment. Let’s assume you have found a great investment property that you want to buy. You have done your homework but your gut is telling you not to proceed. Usually the gut feeling is negative, so it’s important to deal with it rather than ignore it. Start by writing down what you are unsure of, and then work out what piece of the puzzle you are missing. Doing this will alleviate your concerns and give you more peace of mind.
Ultimately, the more we procrastinate, the more we miss out.
If my favourite client had not dealt with the concerns that caused him to procrastinate, he would not have gone on to build a fantastic property portfolio. Don’t fall victim to procrastination. Instead, work out what it is that is holding you back – and figure out the steps to overcome it.
Until next time, happy investing!
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