COVID-19 Action Plan: How to Survive and Thrive
In Part I of our two-part series, we shared the top five action items that will ensure not only your survival as a real estate investor but also increase your chances of thriving during this time of crisis. They were:
- Say no to paralysis and inaction
- Call your leads
- Take advantage of virtual tools to screen and “visit” a property
- Refinance your loans
- Get the attention of private lenders
Let’s round out our plan with items 6–12…
6. Activate Your Network
While in-person networking events have been postponed until large gatherings are safe again, maintaining your network is more important than ever. Use your extra time at home as an opportunity to reach out to your network and see how they’re doing. Stay-in-touch regularly and use technology to your advantage by using some of the tools we mentioned earlier.
If there’s anything relevant or helpful you have to share with your network, don’t hesitate to do so. Keep them engaged. You should be in service mode. Service mode is when your main intent is to give, or provide, as much as you can without an “ask” at the end. Ask yourself: how can I help someone today? Got sellers for deals you can’t or won’t buy? Link them to other buyers you know. Do you know a contractor who’s struggling for work? Introduce them to the flippers in your network who may have a project for them. Do you know an investor who needs to close fast? Introduce them to your super reliable title company. You get the gist.
Homeowners, wholesalers, buyers, lenders, realtors, contractors, handymen, inspectors, appraisers, landscapers, salespeople…everyone is looking for work right now. You’ll find how connecting people and adding value to what they do is a great way to attract business for yourself. Everyone will remember you as someone they can count on, and that’s the best reputation we can hope for.
7. Work on Your Marketing
Now is the time to fine-tune your marketing and build your brand and sales strategy. These are the types of activities you may have put on the backburner in the past but can have such a large impact on your success as a real estate investor. Your marketing efforts are essential in getting your name out there and building your reputation and credibility as an investor. For example, one of the benefits our Premium members enjoy is the ability to create their own investor website. No tech wizardry is needed as our easy-to-use template makes creating your own website a cinch. We offer this because having a website these days is a requirement to be taken seriously. If you don’t have a (good) one, this is a great opportunity to make it happen.
The same goes for your social media presence—can your motivated sellers find you on Facebook? Can your buyers find your inventory online? What about that direct mail piece you’ve been dreading writing for the last three years? Write it now. How about the postcard you’re going to send to your driving-for-dollars leads? Create it now. How about your credibility kit to present to potential lenders and partners? There’s never been a better time to do it.
Beef up your marketing now so when things start heating up, you’ll be a much more confident and credible investor.
8. Be Inspiring
There’s enough doom and gloom. Everyone’s had enough of it. Yes, times are tough. Yes, we’ve never been through anything on this scale before. Yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty. But guess what? Freaking out is not going to result in anything but anguish and fear. Having a positive mindset is essential to success both during good times and bad. But it becomes even more important during tough times as it’s human nature to think negatively when we’re facing a lot of stress.
The law of attraction states that you attract what you preach. If you have a negative attitude, you will attract more negativity. Be a light and share positivity with your network. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have your moments, everyone does. Just be aware of your mindset, get it out of your system, and focus on the opportunities and growth to be had during challenging times.
You’ll find people gravitate towards you if you can be practical in your thinking and positive in your interactions with them. To do that, empathize with people and train yourself to find the possibility and opportunity in everything, even the worst situations. And if all else fails, use humor as a tool to heal and connect with people. After all, those memes aren’t going to send themselves. You’ll be amazed at what the power of making people laugh can do.
9. Practice Discipline
For those of us who aren’t used to working from home, it has likely been challenging over the past couple of weeks as personal and professional lines have become blurred. It’s easy to sleep in if you don’t have to wake up to take the kids to school. And yeah, it’s tempting to stay in your sweats all day long. But this lack of structure will ultimately drain your energy and slow you down.
The best way to combat this challenge is to be disciplined. Create a new routine for yourself that you abide by. There are many tips to share in this area so I’ll only cover a few—create a divide between work and pleasure by avoiding working in your bedroom; if you’re quarantined with family or roommates, create boundaries so you can be efficient while working and the people in your home are respectful of your schedule; and, if you work with others, maintain that sense of connection by checking in with your team through virtual meetings and tools like Zoom and Slack.
We would even recommend that you wake, shower, and get dressed for work like you normally would. Those daily morning rituals are ways to signal our brains that we’re about to go to work, so we need to wake up and get alert. And we’re big believers that if you win the morning, you win the day. By creating structure in your life, you’ll have the discipline to maintain your routine and gain fulfillment from the consistency you’ve created.
Something we like to live by at MyHouseDeals is “never stop learning.” While you may not have access to conferences and networking events at the moment, you do have access to a wealth of resources online. Check out webinars to increase your real estate investing knowledge. Keep up with the news—our Weekly Digest that our email subscribers receive is a great way to do so. Schedule calls or virtual meetings with your mentors, coaches, and colleagues to see what they’re doing and what advice they have for you. Keep on chugging along at the same pace you did before the coronavirus hit.
Many websites, universities, and learning institutes have made content available for free during this time. Take advantage of that to hone your skills as an investor, learn a hobby, or grow as a person. Need a direction? We think Subject 2 will be a useful strategy to master for the months ahead. We also think short sales are poised for a comeback. Read up on those, learn how to structure deals, find a coach or mentor and you will be well-positioned for success.
11. Apply for a SBA Loan
The CARES Act signed into law last week allocates $377 billion to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, and Congress is currently looking into adding to that pot significantly in the next couple of weeks. This is the largest stimulus bill for small businesses in the history of our country. Any small business can apply for the PPP (paycheck protection program), and loans can be forgiven if at least 75% of funds are used to cover payroll and related expenses. With the PPP being expanded to cover independent contractors and sole proprietors on Friday, you likely qualify for it. Visit the SBA website to find out more about qualifications and guidelines and go through your existing bank to file your application.
12. Join a REIA
With social distancing guidelines in place, it is likely your local REIA (or real estate investing association) is hurting right now. Consider joining one and taking advantage of all of the local resources they have to offer. In fact, we bet your REIA will help you make progress on all of the items of our action plan. They will expand your network, connect you to vendors and services you’ll need to get your investing business off the ground, give you a space to market your deals and source deals from other members, and give you tons of education and local market insights. Better yet, most of them are currently offering an array of digital training and webinars and many are free of charge. Check out our monthly REIA meetings round-up blog post listing all of the meetings happening in your area this month. It’s a great place to start if you don’t know which REIAs to go to in your area.
We hope that these action steps have provided just the spark of inspiration you need to keep productive as a real estate investor. Please connect with us on Facebook and tell us what you are doing to crush this crisis and get on top of your game! Let us know what strategies you’re using to set you up for success!
As always, thank you for being an integral part of our community and we are always here to support you.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and happy (and profitable) investing!