When I was first starting as an Oklahoma City real estate investor (1996), my first teacher was Carlton Sheets.  He had a home study course called “Nothing Down”.  The general idea was to buy rental properties with no down payment.  It was the only infomercial on TV at the time.  And, there weren’t any real estate investing seminars in Oklahoma City.  

Looking back, the biggest benefit was that it helped me focus on just one strategy to buy real estate.  First, I had that property. Second, strategy to lease out the property.  It was only in the early 2000’s that other types of investing strategies, like wholesaling properties (making a quick buck assigning contracts) and ways other than calling on for sale by owner signs became more mainstream.  

The purpose of this article is to provide some clarity on how to focus the time you have effectively as an Oklahoma City real estate investor.  

Most Real Estate Investors New At OKC Market Don’t Know What To Focus On. 

Many of the books and training courses pushed by the gurus will give you an extensive list of ways to finance deals and ways to locate properties. Many of those are very difficult to implement for someone with limited experience. The bottom line is you don’t need 100 different rent strategies to make an excellent return on investment with Oklahoma City real estate. One or two strategies done well, over and over and over, are all you need to achieve success.

Don’t be the investor who gets led around by their realtor, just making offers on properties their realtor thinks they have the best chance of getting close. This is especially true for out-of-state real estate investors.  The way to fix this is to fire a realtor who is reluctant to make an offer they don’t think will have a good chance of being accepted.  I’m not talking about feedback like “as competitive as the market is right now, I think there is less than a 50% chance of this offer being accepted.”  That’s fine.  But they need to be fired for saying they won’t present the offer because it will be a waste of their time.  

Many Beginners Do A Poor Job Maintaining Focus On OKC Real Estate Investing. 

A major determining factor in how successful you become will be determined by how well you can maintain your focus so you can be consis­tent, disciplined, and committed.  Here are some thoughts on each of these:

Consistent.  You have to put the time in to learn about the market, even if you are an out-of-state investor.  That means making a habit out of looking for deals.  Or, networking to meet potential team members who can help you.  Figure out your priorities.  Also, Here are some tips for real estate investors.

The winning approach is to set a goal (short term – 90 days and 1 year), figure out the obstacle to achieving that goal, and come up with a plan that takes into account ways of overcoming those obstacles.  

Back when I was starting, it was very tempting for me to zone out on TV because what I was doing was outside of my comfort zone.  But I just kept focused on my plan.  And, I found ways to put my real estate investing ahead of my TV watching (most of the time).  

I’ve been goal-setting for more than 20 years, and for the better part of those first 20 years, I missed most of my goals.  What I learned is that you have to dig into those obstacles and defeat them, one at a time.  It’s the only way to make progress.  And, to focus on shorter periods because usually you don’t know every step you have to take toward achieving that goal.  It’s like driving with your headlights.  You can only see as far as your headlamps will allow.  You move forward, allowing yourself to see more and more of the road.  

Disciplined.  Disciplined means being willing to get knocked down and keep getting back up.  I got knocked down plenty when I was first starting.  Challenges with not being about to get financing.  Not knowing how to do a good job as a property manager (it’s a learned skill).  The key is to realize that everything that happens, the good, the bad, the ugly, is just a step on the path of learning.  And that mistake you just made taught you how to avoid making the same mistake next time around.  

Committed.  Commit yourself for at least 6 months, minimum!  It’s going to take some time to get the hang of things.

Many OKC Investors Focus On The Unimportant Tasks Because (deep down) There Is A Fear Of What Doing The Important Ones Would Mean. 

The brain is a funny thing.  The second you start doing something uncomfortable, it puts on the brakes.  That’s why so many salespeople switch careers.  They can either figure out how to deal with the discomfort of people telling them “no” all the time, or they can’t.  

That’s why we put off tough conversations.  It’s much easier to organize your desk than it is to confront a co-worker about substandard work.  

I like the seven reasons the Benham Brothers give for doing the hard things first, such as:

  • You have more energy and focus early in the day,
  • The rest of the day is more enjoyable, and
  • It builds self-esteem and confidence.

The same thing goes for real estate investing. If you feel like calling realtors is like cold-call selling, you aren’t too likely to do it. You are more likely to make lists of realtors and then spend all your time thinking about the best ones to call, rather than making even one call.  

What do the most successful Oklahoma City real estate investors do?

One big myth is that all successful Oklahoma City real estate investors need to do this as a full-time profession. In fact, quitting a full-time job to do nothing but real estate investing can be a mistake because it can (this should be obvious, but…) deprive you of income to pay your living expenses. And, banks frown upon that kind of thing.  

I know a whole bunch of Oklahoma City real estate investors. Some do nothing but manage their rental properties, but others have full-time jobs. They have rental properties because they can’t find a better investment out there. Here are some observations about this group:

  • They use a property management company because they have better ways of spending their time.  
  • The time they allocate to investing is spent on a vital few things, such as finding deals, keeping a close eye on the performance (management) of their properties, and networking.
  • They have a consistent and disciplined approach. They have concrete goals, and a plan to achieve their goals.  
  • They are committed to their success. They get up when knocked down, over and over.  
  • They set realistic goals, and they achieve them.  

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