Seattle Seahawks fans are all too familiar with the sting of defeat, as the recent Super Bowl loss still resonates in the Pacific Northwest. For all intents and purposes, it is a defeat that will be felt for a while, or at least until there is reason to celebrate again. Between the lead they had in the fourth quarter and their final offensive play, there is certainly plenty to lament. Having said that; many investors are not unfamiliar with the concept of defeat. It is statistically impossible to invest in real estate for a prolonged period of time without facing some form of adversity. For one reason or another, chances are you have lost a deal at the 11th hour. However, it is how you confront that loss that will shape your future as a real estate investor. It is important to shake off any defeat, learn from it, and move forward.
What you learn from an unsuccessful deal is more valuable than what you take away from a profitable transaction. When you lose a big deal, it is absolutely imperative that you get back on the horse. We don’t advise rash decisions based on emotion, but do what you can to avoid any sort of sulking. Wallowing in self-pity will get you nowhere. In realty, losing a deal that you have worked hard on is the nature of the beast. No successful investor can tell you they haven’t lost a deal at one point or another. That said; it will do you no good to point fingers or blame someone else. Everyone has been in your situation. The successful investors simply realized that any defeat is a minor setback. The only thing to do is to get back at it. It may be a tough reality, but it is just that – reality.
It should take you no more than a day or two to get over any lost deal. Any more than that and you are hurting your own business. Sometimes things are just out of your control, in spite of your best efforts. There will even be times that you do everything right, but fail to close a deal. There are times when there is nothing you could have done. Just be sure to reflect on the deal enough to make an assessment as to why it didn’t go in your favor. There are plenty of moving parts in a real estate transaction. Find out where things went wrong and address the issue.
Losing a deal can be very emotional. Instead of sending scathing emails or texts that you may end up regretting, you should reach out to all parties and discuss what happened. If someone on your team, or in the deal, really did drop the ball, odds are they didn’t do it on purpose. Instead of lambasting them, work out the problem. More importantly, make sure they are prepared for the next time this issue arises. It is easy to work together when things are going well, but the real test comes in times of trials and tribulations. Your attorney may have had a lot on their plate and failed to reach out to the seller in a timely fashion. You can call and blame them for ruining the deal and throwing away six months of work, or you can get an answer as to why and see if it could happen again. If you are the only one that accepts their apology, you better believe they will remember your acceptance.
The biggest thing in business, and in life, is not to make the same mistake twice. As an investor, you will inevitably be put in the same position on a future deal. If you truly got to the bottom of what went wrong, you can eliminate these mistakes from your business. If you just chalk up a lost deal to bad luck or bad timing, you will make the same mistakes over and over again. As much as you want to give your contacts the benefit of the doubt, you should also make a determination if they are the best fit for your business. If someone else dropped the ball, you should get a sense that they know they made a mistake and want to try to fix it moving forward. If they treat it like just another deal, you know you need to make a change.
To their credit, the Seattle coaches owned up for the play call as soon as the game was over. This doesn’t necessarily make it right, but they didn’t throw the QB or receiver under the bus. If you are the one that caused the deal to blow up, you need to get out in front of it as soon as possible. Don’t wait for texts, emails and voicemails to pile up until you get your story straight. Reach out as soon as possible. If you are the reason, take the blame. Don’t throw anyone else under the bus and don’t point fingers. These calls will be uncomfortable, but you may gain the respect of your team. Remember, real estate is a people business. There is no need to burn any bridges at any point in your career.
Losing a deal you worked hard on is never fun. It is never easy to do at the time, but try to take something out of it.
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