Over the centuries, the word ‘habit’ has earned itself a bad reputation. Together, we’re going to turn that around.
When it comes to investing in property, developing habits that move you toward your goals is a great thing!
On the go? Here’s 30 seconds of key take outs:
- Changing your habits to those adopted by successful property investors will move you forward to achieve your lifestyle goals.
- Habits by their definition are hard to give up. Don’t expect to change your habits overnight, but investing time and effort in shifting your behaviours will give you great returns.
- You don’t need to change your habits, solo. Surround yourself with experts and learn from them. Before you know it, you’ll have aspiring property investors looking to you for advice!
Keep going >>
In terms of the life you want to live where are you right now and where are you heading?
Starting today, you can make some simple behavioural changes so that your regular salary waters and nourishes that seed you’ve planted, to get you closer to enjoying the lifestyle you’ve imagined.
What will move you from your current situation toward reaching your goals is your behaviour, and developing some good habits.
From right now, there are some habits you’ll need to take up, and some you’ll need to break to become who you need to be – and learn your new trade in property investing.
Perform your own ‘habit audit’ and make some positive tweaks
Habits can have positive and negative impacts on all aspects of your life. Because by its definition, a habit is hard to give up, changing your habits is going to take some work. With a clear vision, and some dedicated time and effort, almost any habit can be kicked, taken up or reshaped.
Grab a piece of paper.
On the left hand side, write down a list of the habits you know you need to break or change.
On the right hands side, write down a list of all the habits you have right now, that will help you reach your goals. You’ll want to keep doing these, and adding more. By the end of this article, you’ll have a decent list of good habits to adopt.
Before we go any further, let me share with you a golden rule of changing habits: you can’t extinguish a bad habit but you can change it.
While you may not be able to extinguish the habits in your left hand list, you can make changes to them. For example, if heading out every Friday night you’re back on-shore and spending heaps on a few rounds of drinks has become a habit – you can change this by winding it back to going out every second week; and only ever buying one round. Then it’s up to your mates for subsequent rounds. That’s fair. That’ll keep some money in your pocket – and you can shift it that money to your savings habit in the right hand list.
Here is a great book to consider investing in, if you’re serious about changing your habits – The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
What are the habits of the successful investors?
How do successful investors spend their time? Here are the 7 habits of successful property investors.
Visualise and set goals with enough stretch to move you forward
Goal setting is a learned skill that takes practice. When you peel back the layers and take a detailed scientific look behind goal setting and how it can literally change our brains, there is plenty of research to support its positive benefits. According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it.
Successful property investors don’t settle in to their comfort zone but at the same time, they understand the importance not setting the goals to high or too low.
In order to achieve your goals, you need to be able to visualise them and commit to action.
If you’d like to learn more about the science behind goal setting, have a read of this Forbes Books article – The Science Behind Setting Goals (and Achieving Them).
Start with a vision, create a plan and stick to it
Visualise where you want to be. Visit Capital Properties’ Investor Tools and Apps and you’ll find your own free goal setting toolkit – starting with brainstorming your lifestyle goals, through to how to track them. When you take up or hone a new trade, you need to commit to some learning first, before you can start the doing.
Use my Personal Action Plan planner to commit your plan to paper (or a folder of softcopy documents). Once you’ve done this, use your online calendar to schedule in the actions you’ve committed to; along with reminders for regular reviews of your goals.
Review your goals and be prepared to tweak them
In order to see if you are on track toward achieving your goals, you’ll need to invest some time in regularly reviewing your plan. Our lives are constantly changing (thank goodness, imagine if they didn’t!) and you’ll need to revise your goals so you don’t lose sight of where you’re heading.
As they say in the military, ‘Proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance.’ I don’t know how many times I heard this saying, as crude as it is, it has stuck with me.
The map is sometimes not indicative of the territory and you’ll need to have the flexibility and foresight to make changes as you review the route to your destination.
Kick off a savings plan
I know. Saving money sounds like a mundane habit – a party pooper at the best of times. Yet developing a habit of putting aside a portion of money every pay day is the backbone of your property investment strategy. You won’t succeed without adopting a ‘savings’ discipline.
Give it a whirl for three months – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly those savings start looking pretty healthy. Set up some automatic bank transfers straight from your pay to an account you’ve committed to not touching, starting with 90 days.
Once you can master the ability to save money on a consistent basis you’ve built the foundation of all financial success, including investing. In most cases, you’re going to need some savings to kick off your property investment trade anyway. So get saving. Start right now.
Before you can start saving you need to know how much you have coming in, and how much going out each week. Go to our budgeting app to work this out. If you find you’ve got nothing spare to save, you’ll need to look at where you can cut back your expenditure – or how you can earn more money. You’ll always find a way, when your vision is clear.
Work out how much you can set aside per week, fortnight and month. Be realistic and give yourself some breathing space because as you well know some months you get stung with loads of bills and some other months you don’t.
Stay up to date
The successful property investor has a vested interest in the property market. Develop a habit of staying on top of your property investment game through research, at least quarterly. You should develop a habit of always being able to answer the question, what’s happening in the property market you’re in, or looking to buy into?
Get into the habit of monitoring key indicators on a macro level such as the national property market indexes. Go to our blog ‘Switched on Strategy Series’ to learn more. And, subscribe to property research websites – you can find some great online sources here – Capital Properties > Investor Tools and Apps > Online sources.
And on a micro level, monitor your local area indexes. There are loads of free resources you can tap in to but as a starting point it’s good to benchmark against a property criteria checklist. Check out this one ¾ Capital Properties > Property Selection Criteria.
You can also explore www.realestate.com.au, and look at individual suburb profiles. Residex also offers a free report ¾ Residex > Free Report or get to know your friendly real-estate agent who can do a comparative market analysis for you.
Hold don’t fold
Successful property investors always take a long-term view of their investment and know to hold not fold to make the biggest gains. The reality is every good time eventually finishes (think holidays and parties) and an elevated property market is no different. Property markets are cyclic and you’ve got to be prepared to ride out the storms.
If you absolutely need to sell, you need to time it for when:
- the market is strong
- sentiment is high
- confidence is strong.
In a seller’s market, there are more buyers than stock on the market. The challenge then is not selling out too early, or late.
Hold when the market turns, focus on maintaining tenancy in these times. Stick with your goals and revisit your vision and goals again if you need extra motivation.
This trade is one that absolutely calls for a commitment to lifelong education. You can never learn enough. Get addicted to gathering knowledge from experts and expert sources. It’s a habit that is highly recommended for every facet of your life!
Surround yourself with experts
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again ¾ if you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s time to find a new network.
Want to continue your own personal property investment development.