I am always impressed with people that can run with a pebble in their shoe. That’s my expression for someone that keeps on “keeping on” despite not having the best tools and conditions, even though the best tools may be as easy to come by as stopping and taking the pebble out of their shoe. They are so focused on the task at hand, they don’t notice the pebble. In fact, they run better, faster, and longer than the folks with the latest version on the Nike running shoe – and they are running in a five year old pair of Keds!
The good news is that if your run well with a pebble in your shoe, when you get it out you can really move! If you can do long division in your head, using a calculator is a piece of cake.
Let me give you an example. A few years ago, I was setting up two new computers in our Lehigh Acres office. I was installing the latest version of Microsoft Office on both machines. Earlier I had configured them to run our CRM cloud based system and linked them to the shared drives on our server . Nathan Baschieri, one of our top producers was in the office as well. Nathan is a strong team leader that, well, does deals. I mean this guy was rocking Lehigh Acres real estate and moves more property than anyone else I know out there. In fact, he still does. He is focused, determined, knowledgeable, and a great relationship builder.
Nate used to represent many of his clients at the courthouse steps and has a large following of investor buyers. There was a short sale I was negotiating and he asked me how it was going, I gave him the address and owners name and he clicked few a few websites, looking up the mortgage holders and liens. I asked him if he subscribes to a third party service that is available to foreclosure buyers that puts all this information on one spread sheet and with a few clicks of the mouse it will give him all the information he may need, short of an onsite inspection, to make intelligent bids at the courthouse steps.
He looked up at me and replied affirmatively;
“Yeah. I get it. But I have to tell you, in the old days there were just a few of us at the courthouse buying foreclosures. I had to do all the research by cutting and pasting and looking at several sites. Then this service came out and made it easy for every Tom, Dick , and Harry to think they knew what they were doing. Just before they went to online auctions for foreclosures, there would be over 60 people at the auctions. But it has made my buying a lot easier. I’m much more effective.”
Nate was, in effect, doing long division before he had the calculator – that’s why he can use the “calculator” so well.
I’m a big one for doing the long division before I use a calculator. All the internet tools we have for looking at homes and lots makes our property searches easy, for sure, but nothing, none compares to face time with the property or client.
I am buying lots for our hurricane proof, eco homes (Website here). From my desk I can use Google Earth and “scrub” lots for sale. I can see a recent aerial, look for paved roads, look at the neighborhood , see if there are electric utility poles nearby, and get a rough idea of the elevation. There are so many lots to see, I use the desktop search process to eliminate the ones I don’t want to buy. But there is nothing like driving the neighborhood and walking the lot. You cannot and should not skip that step. I also call experts I know in a certain area for their insight.
As good as today’s tools are, and we certainly have some of the best, nothing can replace getting out into the field, meeting people, and looking at property. Some of the best deals I have found are not by scouring the MLS or Loopnet, but by driving around and meeting people and walking property.
Heck, maybe walking around is how I got a pebble in my shoe.