Why Fix & Flip Success Isn’t About Real Estate

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There’s this old Chinese proverb that goes something like this:

A farmer had only one horse. One day, his horse ran away.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

A few days later, his horse came back with twenty wild horses following. The man and his son corralled all 21 horses.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

One of the wild horses kicked the man’s only son, breaking both his legs.

His neighbors said, “I’m so sorry. This is such bad news. You must be so upset.”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

The country went to war, and every able-bodied young man was drafted to fight. The war was terrible and killed every young man, but the farmer’s son was spared, since his broken legs prevented him from being drafted.

His neighbors said, “Congratulations! This is such good news. You must be so happy!”

The man just said, “We’ll see.”

There’s something I like to tell people new to the industry. When you’re trying to close a deal and profit $50,000 or more, you’re going to come across hurdles proportional to the payday.

If you do enough deals, you WILL come across:

  • Funding that falls through
  • Incorrect evaluations
  • Missing deadlines
  • Contract issues
  • General Contractors disappearing
  • Unforeseen structural issues
  • Misquotes on rehab
  • Rehab delays

And honestly, dozens more than that, each one with the ability to submarine your entire deal.

You’ll find out that this business is less about real estate, and more about problem solving. So when something bad happens, don’t get caught eating a pint of ice cream with the lights out. Get out and go solve it.

The people who are most successful often aren’t the ones with massive experience in selling real estate, doing construction, or knowing every real estate law. Those things come eventually.

People with no experience with any of those have completed some of the most profitable deals I’ve ever seen. When something bad happened, they said “we’ll see,” and figured out a way through. They researched it. They got creative. They talked with someone who’d been through it before.

On the other end of the spectrum, it’s easy to get overly excited, or complacent, when a deal goes smoothly. It’s good to feel pride in what you do, and to see your dreams being accomplished, but it can affect your mindset on the next deal.

Think about an NBA player.

Maybe they’re having a game where they’ve missed all ten of their shots. They could ask out of the game and sulk on the bench, or they can shove those first ten shots out of their mind, and be confident the next one is going in.

On the other hand, if they’ve made ten in a row, getting overly excited can affect the way they play – acting overconfident, shooting shots they shouldn’t try.

Does that make sense?

In other words, don’t get too high on the highs, and too low on the lows, and you’ll have the mindset you need to be a profitable fix & flipper.

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