2017 – The Year in Review and Looking Ahead

Well, here we are at the beginning of a new year. As many people do at this time of year, I find myself looking back over the year to take an inventory of what was good, what was not, what I accomplished and what I wish I had accomplished. Near the beginning of 2017 I had scratched out a few (5 to be exact) goals I wanted to accomplish before the end of the year. Also, uncharacteristically, I put a goal date beside each as to when I wanted to accomplish said goal. Looking back, I was able to accomplish 4 of the 5 goals by the end of the year and all 4 that were accomplished were before my stated goal date. I’ll cut myself some slack regarding the 5th unaccomplished goal as it is somewhat out of my control and is still a work in progress and will be completed in the coming months. So, what have I learned from looking back on these completed goals? Some of these goals were related directly to real estate and others were not, but the lessons learned can certainly be applied to your journey in real estate or life in general.

1. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with people you are interested in having in your network.

I’ve gotten a lot better about this in recent years and thankfully so as it was a resource within my network that helped me accomplish at least one of my 2017 goals. Although I personally dislike the term “networking”, I can certainly appreciate the concept of having a good network. A network is really just a community of people that you have developed over time that you have some connection to: work colleagues, common hobbies, childhood friends, professional resources, wise and experienced individuals of any sort, etc. It takes time and effort to develop a strong and diverse network, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Just think about the many things you either have or want to accomplish. Often times it is because of the connections to others that we have been able to accomplish so many things in our lives. Developing and nurturing those connections is what will put you in touch with the right people at the right time to move you along your path. Knowing and staying connected to wise, good, and resourceful people will give you so many more options for anything you want or need to accomplish in life. And vice versa, being well connected to a diverse network of individuals will allow you the opportunity to assist and connect others along their path which is always a privilege to do.

2. It is almost always better to try to resolve an issue with a calm, direct, and personal approach instead of seeking a forceful solution with ultimatums.

Without going into extensive detail about the scenario that drove this point home, I’ll just say that it was a situation in a real estate transaction that put me in a position of feeling like I had been strung along in a process and was left at a significantly disadvantaged point. Being the sometimes stubborn creature that I can be I even obtained some initial legal input to see what my options were. After reflecting on that information and, more importantly, after a discussion with another real estate investor friend whose opinion I value, I decided to approach the situation from a completely different angle and appeal personally and rationally to the one person that could affect the situation singlehandedly. After a series of back and forth emails we were able to come to a mutually agreeable solution that I was comfortable accepting and moving on. Although the situation was somewhat stressful at the time, I was glad to have learned an important lesson about taking the time to pause, reflect, seek wise counsel, and approach a situation with calm resolve. I think it was extremely beneficial in this case and something important to carry forward.

3. Partnership can be found when you least expect it and it can be totally AWESOME.

A couple of months ago I wrote a separate blog article about partnerships in real estate: http://physicianrei.com/real-estate-partnerships/. I was not planning to acquire a real estate investing partner this past year, but it happened. Once we hit it off and decided to journey on together we didn’t waste time and were able to round out the year with a completed property acquisition and have several others on the horizon for the coming year. It’s hard to quantify how much more enjoyable everything about this journey has been by having a partner, but it has been exponentially more fun than I could have possibly imagined.

In addition to partnering on individual investments, I also proceeded with formalizing some relationships with larger real estate acquisition teams/syndicators which will allow me to participate in putting together some larger real estate investment opportunities and bring those projects to qualified investors in the coming year. I’m really excited about this partnership and the additional experience it will allow me to have and the opportunity it will provide to other investors in my network. More to come on that in the coming weeks.

4. Putting a timeline on your goals is highly effective.

This was something I have always heard makes one more effective in reaching their goals, but I had kind of brushed it off in the past as being an unnecessary restraint (or perhaps I was passively being noncommittal?). I have to say this is one thing I will definitely keep doing as it was highly effective in moving me forward. It made each goal seem more concrete and defined and I could plan out the steps to getting to each goal since I had given myself a timeframe in which I needed to work within. Looking back, I think this was actually one of the most significant factors in me getting these things done within the year. I highly recommend it!

5. I have so much to learn!

Not that this is new, but it always seems like the more we learn the more we realize there is to learn. But that is part of what makes life interesting, the continuous opportunity to learn (or relearn) things. As I have mentioned in articles before, one of my favorite ways to learn is through podcasts. I am not ashamed to admit I am an absolute podcast junkie and have frequently been known to advise friends to find a relevant podcast to help them sort through any situation. If you haven’t already taken up podcasts I really recommend it. Put an app on your phone and download away. It makes your time in the car commuting or doing chores or errands so much more interesting and productive. For more about what I have learned from podcasts, check out one of my favorite posts from 2017: http://physicianrei.com/what-i-have-learned-about-real-estate-and-life-from-1000-podcasts/.

6. Take charge of your own life, including your health, relationships, careers, investments, etc.

This isn’t specifically real estate related but so important and related to one of my accomplished tasks in 2017. Take charge of and be your own best advocate. No one will be a better advocate for YOU than YOU, even if you are paying them money to do so. Don’t be afraid to make difficult decisions, especially not for fear of what others will think, say, or do in response. Live your own life on your own terms and respect others enough to let them move along a different path. Be a contrarian at times if necessary, but most importantly just be your best self.

I’m looking forward to accomplishing many more goals in 2018 and wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead. Happy NEW YEAR!