Investing in real estate is not always a primrose path. Yes, it’s one of the best avenues to financial freedom. Yes, it’s about as passive as passive income gets. We really believe that there’s no better investment!...but that doesn’t mean it’s not challenging work. There will be times when your investments, your managers, your tenants...well, they just make you mad.
Maybe your tenant damaged the property in an easily avoidable incident. Maybe your manager didn’t listen to instructions, or your maintenance guys did a slipshod job that ended up costing you far more in the long run. From small frustrations to downright disasters, the frustration and anger you may feel in the moment can lead to drastic, emotionally-charged decisions that end up doing more harm than good.
For real estate investors, it’s best to guide your business with logical decisions, not emotional ones. As anger is one of the strongest and most seemingly uncontrollable feelings we can experience, so it’s essential to have strategies in place to deal with those moments that just get your blood boiling.
5 Keys to Minimizing Real Estate Frustration
Make Sure Expectations Are Clear
One of the biggest sources of frustration is when you’re misunderstood and, as a result, instructions aren’t followed and expectations aren’t met. So cut frustration off at the pass by making yourself clear! When you develop your lease agreement, put it in simple, easily understood terms. Be thorough. Let others read it before you ever give it to a tenant to ensure nothing in it can be misconstrued or misunderstood, especially from a legal standpoint. The better tenants can understand what’s expected from them, the better chance everyone has of leaving satisfied at the end of the day.
Other than tenants, you’ll have to deal with a lot of fallible people...yourself included. From managers and maintenance to contractors and sellers, there’s a lot that can go wrong. It’s in your best interests to make your expectations and intentions clear. Think about what your ideal outcome is: then convey that idea to the people you work with. Hold others—and yourself—to a higher standard.
Have Regular Communications
Another source of anger is surprise. When you’re out of the loop, you may find out about something far, far later than you’d prefer. That’s why it’s so important to be diligent in things like talking to your property management company when they call you. Even as a passive real estate investor, keep up with your investments. Get regular reports from your managers and don’t leave room for unpleasant surprises. If your management company does not have a program designed specifically for keeping you in the loop, then it may be time to get a new management company.
Have a Plan of Action
When faced with a frustrating situation, it can be exasperating if you don’t know how to tackle the issue. While you can’t plan for every unexpected situation, you should plan as much as possible on a general level. What caused the issue? How can it be rectified? What are the first steps towards making it better? Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed: take it all step-by-step.
Take a Step Back...and Breathe
Sometimes, you’ll be so mad that thinking straight becomes a challenge. Whoever or whatever has caused you to feel frustration and anger, don’t act immediately. You may feel like firing someone, throwing in the towel, or otherwise making a bad emotionally-charged decision. Take five. Let yourself decompress and cool down until you feel like you can think about the situation logically and objectively. A little break may be the difference between crashing and burning and a successful recovery.
Channel Your Energy Into Something Good
You don’t have to keep it all bottled up. Instead of allowing anger or frustration to consume you, let it fuel you. Allow it to channel into something good: whatever happened likely highlighted a problem that could crop up again. Maybe you need to revise your lease agreement or hire a new management team. Maybe someone skimped on tenant screening. Maybe your expectations weren’t clear enough from the get go. Take the energy you feel from frustration and put it towards progress: if not for your real estate investments, for yourself. Use that energy to find a solution or do something good for yourself.
Take the opportunity to take a little break that you didn’t realize you needed: whether that’s a run, a long shower, a deep cleaning sessions, or connecting with a good friend.
In the End: Learn from Those Frustrations
It’s too easy to look at something that caused us grief and paint ourselves as the victim and deny any responsibility for what went wrong. Be honest with yourself if an incident exposed room to improve and grow on your part. Mistakes are not failures unless we refuse to learn from them.
What has frustrated you most when it comes to your real estate investments? Share how you handled it in the comments.