Shock and awe is known as a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power for rapid dominance. The way I see it is that shock and awe relates to successful house flipping in two ways.
One relates to having a burning desire to take massive action and succeed in this business.
The other relates to something that isn’t discussed much, if at all. Real estate investors probably don’t even consider it when getting started. It’s not until those first few leads and visits to houses that they become aware of it.
This second one I thought about after looking at a house this week. The house made me think back to when I got started and how this made an impression on me. Could I be more vague? Don’t worry, I’ve even included pictures below (but don’t scroll just yet…you don’t want to ruin the surprise).
I’ll get to it in a minute.
Shock and Awe Your Self-Doubt and Your Competition
Most people don’t make it in this business because they don’t start out with enough of a burning desire to succeed. They think they do, but they don’t. It really is as simple as that.
With the strong willingness to do whatever takes, you will be able to put in the work necessary to get your phone ringing. You’ll have to make it ring enough with leads that you can have that good deal land in your lap.
In the beginning, you won’t be as good at determining what is a real deal and could lose some because of inaction. This is very common.
If you have enough leads though, it will allow you to succeed in spite of this.
Getting these leads will show you that this business is absolutely possible for you. This will erode your self-doubt and give you the willingness to take more action.
Be in as many places as possible.
In the beginning, you should try to have your marketing message in as many places as possible. This should be done at least until you figure out which marketing to motivated sellers method works best for you.
It’s hard to keep up with doing a lot of different marketing methods. You don’t have to keep up with it. The key is to find what works best for you based on the time and money required for each. Some things might have a lower cost per lead and cost per deal, but they could be time consuming. Only you can figure out what balance you want to have.
Your competition will take notice and you could build some good relationships, especially if you are wholesaling houses. Buyers will want you calling them with deals and sellers will want you to buy their properties. You can have the best of both worlds.
You Will Probably Be Shocked and Awed
This is what I was alluding to earlier. This is the one that isn’t thought of until you are face to face with it. It makes a lot of new real estate investors feel uneasy and question whether they really want to do this.
This will shock and awe you.
What I am referring to is the level of disrepair, squalor, filth and destitution of many of the houses you will be looking to buy (or wholesale)..
You’ve probably seen plenty of before pictures, but they never do the real thing justice. The combination of the assault on all of the senses can be overwhelming.
Some of these houses are downright disgusting. On occasion you will be tempted to throw up. Other times you will want to cry as you can’t believe how people can live the way they do…especially when there are kids living there.
Yes, not all of the houses will be vacant. Some of them should be, but they’re not.
When getting started, you may well believe that there is no way in hell anyone would possibly want to buy a house like this…including investors. You would be amazed.
At the right price, anything is a deal.
The fact of the matter is that somebody will buy anything for the right price. This goes along with the post I wrote about making an offer anyway.
Many new investors have a hard time thinking that a house that needs as many repairs as some of these appear to need would work for a successful house flip. Notice I mentioned ‘appear’ to need. Sometimes the repairs seem like serious repairs, but are in fact nothing major. Spending time looking at vacant houses that need a lot of repairs with contractors that have worked with other investors (read more about how to find and work with contractors) is a great way to understand what is serious and what is not. Scheduling appointments to see fixer-upper, bank-owed properties is a good place to start.
This is a great way to gain experience with what repair costs are as well.
Sometimes the area the houses are in will not be to your taste. It’s hard for some people to understand that it doesn’t matter what your taste is. These houses are a commodity. Nothing more. Just because you wouldn’t dare live there, doesn’t mean that others wouldn’t be happy to. Many people grow up in these areas and it’s all they know. They don’t know what it’s like to live in nicer areas. To many of them, there is nothing wrong with the area.
After you see enough of these derelict houses, you will start to detach yourself from your emotions and understand that there is serious money to be made by bringing them up to respectable standards.
So when you get that lead and you go to visit the house, don’t let the state of disrepair cause you to shy away from it. These can be the best deals. Keep that in mind.
We as real estate investors should always just be looking at potential. That’s what I tell sellers when they are embarrassed to show me their house. I’m not there to knock the place or show disgust. I’m there to see what potential there is.
Just so you can get an idea of what some of these houses may look like, take a look at some of the ones we’ve bought:
Hope you enjoyed the ugly house buffet. If you are so inclined, you can leave a tip by hitting the ‘like’ button. Thanks.
Explosion Photo: Public-Domain-Images