Lessons from Pickleball and Real Estate Investing
TEAMING UP FOR SUCCESS
Lessons from Pickleball and Real Estate Investing
New Year Resolutions have been made. People want to start new habits, or get to the gym, etc. It happens every year. People start something new and it might last for a few weeks.
I’ve also seen people say they are going to start investing in real estate. They might read a book or two, might even go to a local investor club where many classes are taught.
But then they just stop going. Why?
Sometimes it just looked like too much work. For others it seems risky.
Some of you know that I happen to really enjoy playing pickleball. So what does that have to do with real estate?
There are several lessons I’ve seen from playing pickleball that also apply to real estate.
LESSON ONE. Stay safe.
It sounds too obvious. Like many sports, there is always the possibility of injury.
In pickleball, I was told to never run backwards. If the ball goes over your head, just let it go or turn around to face it. If you try to run backwards you may fall and end up with a head injury. That could take you out of the game for a while.
In real estate, we remember Warren Buffett’s rule No. 1: Don’t lose money. So we protect our principal. We protect our assets. We keep leverage at a manageable level to optimize returns without taking on excessive risk.
LESSON TWO. It’s a team sport.
While there are some people who play singles pickleball, it is most often played as a team, or doubles.
If the ball is lobbed over my head, sometimes my teammate will go behind me to hit the ball. Since they have left their side of the court open to do this, I will move over to cover that side.
Real estate investing is also a team sport. You need others on your team to play effectively and win. It is a challenge to wear all the hats as a real estate entrepreneur. Finding opportunities, underwriting, making offers, performing due diligence, and finding money. That doesn’t even include the other specialties such as attorneys, accountants, lenders, property managers, and contractors.
We need to know what we do best, what we like to do, and what we are most effective at doing. Once we know what we want to do, and what we are going to do ourselves, then we can build a team to get the other functions done.
LESSON THREE. Get educated.
When I started playing pickleball someone shared some links on YouTube. They were links to videos showing beginner mistakes and how to avoid them.
After watching those I recognized some of my own mistakes. Like waiting to move forward to the non-volley line, or kitchen. After serving, I was standing at the back of the court like a spectator, instead of moving forward quickly as a player.
Videos can be great for learning what to watch out for. What are our mistakes? What can we do better? How should I position myself on the court?
There is also a lot of information available for people who are wanting to invest in real estate. There are books, online training and videos. The Bigger Pockets website offers a wealth of information for new and experienced investors. And local investor clubs offer opportunities to learn and network with other investors in the local area.
LESSON FOUR. Take action.
After watching the pickleball videos on YouTube, I find that practicing what I learned soon after seeing the video helps drive home the lesson. I can recall a video, then try the techniques that were emphasized.
Watching additional videos can help improve my game, but I have to continue practicing and implementing what I learn. Over time I gradually improve and am becoming a better player and teammate.
With real estate, it does not matter how much education we get if we are not willing to take the next steps. For some, it means getting out, knocking on doors and talking to sellers. For others, it might mean sending letters to owners of vacant properties or out of town owners. We have to make offers.
Some people prefer to take a more passive role and be money partners. They also need to take action by finding someone to partner with.
There are many niches in real estate that work and they all offer different opportunities to participate. Whether you choose to be an active investor or a passive investor, to win the game, it still requires a decision and commitment to take action on an opportunity.
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Mike is a retired aerospace engineer with a passion for real estate investing and teaching financial literacy. He lives with his wife in Daytona Beach, Florida.