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OFF-TOPIC Switch directions or stay the course?

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yveskleinsky

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Man, I tell you- what a crazy week it's been! I've had a bunch of stressful landlord stories all come down at once- frozen pipes, a water bill that rivals the Bellagio, a shit fountain in the backyard- which probably doesn't rival the Bellagio, just to name a few. I'm sure I'll laugh about it down the road, and I'm trying to now- but forcing a laugh just seems to cause more indigestion!

So, here I am at this crossroads. SteveO and Andviv have me sold on the idea of commerical properties and the economies of scale. MJ has me sold on the idea of creating a system and offering better service to people. ...Part of me is thinking that I need to look into investing in a hotel type property with a staff. All these individual cabins have their own unique quirks which is stressing me out- at best. I would like to own one big building where the water is being used often (so it doesn't freeze) and there is onsite cleaning. I could then offer better and better services for people, as there is a crew in place.

I don't know if switching course is a smart thing to do, or if I am being too premature with wanting to throw in the towel with single cabins. Any thoughts?
 

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Russ H

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You're in the midst of your learning curve, Yveskleinsky. You've had some of these properties for less than a year, right?

Every endeavor has a learning curve.

Better to stay the course and learn about the whole enchilada-- at least the lessons learned will be invaluable, allow you to better budget for future ventures, and give you a MUCH better idea of operating costs.

And if you see it all the way through, it will give you MUCH better preparation for future endeavors.

Make sense?

-Russ H.
 

Diane Kennedy

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Aug 31, 2007
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Yves - I think you've hit the "ceiling of complexity." You are right at the point where you have to go forward and make some changes or go backward so it all stays small enough so that you can keep your arms around it.

I was following the thread you had somewhere else about your cabins. I like the idea (personally) of having more personalized service. The question to ask is "How can I provide this service without taking anymore of my time?"
 

andviv

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I know that creating a business that runs completely automated since the beginning is a great thing. However, what if instead of running away from your business, you dive into it head first, work in all the details, and then you go and automate everything as you want it to be?

I thought your cabins were one next to the other, isn't that the case? if so then you can manage them efficiently once you learn all the details. Also, they are making money, right?

In my case, I switched from SFHs to multis after more than three years. Once I felt that I had learned what I needed and realizing that my strategy would not give me the results I needed then I decided to change. But it took me some time to make sure I was not leaving the ideal business for me behind.

I recall the stress I had when I had to deal with the 'grass police' in one of my properties... and now it is just something silly and insignificant, but at the time I was dreaming about the homeowners association giving me a hard time. I also remember the many problems I had with the insurance for one of my properties in Tampa, as it was hurricane season and nobody was selling insurance.... so yes, I understand what you mention... you are right, you don't laugh at the moment, but this will make you stronger and more savvy about this type of situations. You have to live through them. Experience is nothing else than failures and problems once you are done with them.
 

yveskleinsky

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Maybe a need to do a little of all three of what you guys are saying.

Maybe I need to not focus on acquiring more properties, and just sit tight and ride things out this winter.

I do like the idea of offering more services, as no one offers tours/ day trips - and there isn't much to do up there- so I would think it would work well. I guess I am stuck trying to figure out how to get these plates spinning when I don't live there.

...I do understand that this is a learning curve- I keep telling myself that. That if I can just hang on and learn the lessons I need to learn the stress will calm down. I am embarrassed to say this, but I guess I just thought it would be easier than it's been. All these issues that keep popping up make me wonder if I'm in the wrong field- but I suppose successful people are the ones who stay the course.

...The cabins do make money- and since WildAmbitions and I co-manage them, we pay ourselves a mgmt fee. ...The cabins are not co-located- but they are within 5 minutes of each other.
 

AroundTheWorld

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I used to have those stressful weeks (I only say used to because my biz is sold) when it seemed like everything went wrong at once. During those weeks, I occasionally felt like "switching directions."

Don't make any decisions during times like this. Hold off on that - Fix the problems - learn - and then evaluate when things are a little more like "normal"
 

yveskleinsky

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ATW-

Great advice. Really, really, great advice. I won't make any decisions until April- then I will re-evaluate.
 

Poudda

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Sep 7, 2007
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Hey,

I totally hear ya. I'm having a hell of a time with one of my properties, and my property manager and my tenants. No one is getting along, one tenant left, I have to evict another because they keep breaking windows (and for a whole bunch of other reasons).

I'm hearing through the grapevine that my property manager is less than reputable (and I've also found out that they do no screening of tenants!!! - so long as they have a pulse, they qualify...), and I have no idea if they are doing the tasks that I have asked them to do. I'm quite miffed. I didn't sleep one night last week because of these problems, and I have to continue working (hence one of the reasons why I wasn't able to quit my job this month as set out in my December Goals).

So I know where you're at. I'm in a similar place.

What I have done is taken several deep breaths, refused to think about it for a couple of days (Christmas really helped), reflected on what I am learning, wrote out a mini-plan on what I'm going to do about it, and I'm in the process of doing it.

hope this helps

Cheers!

Dave
 

andviv

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I am embarrassed to say this, but I guess I just thought it would be easier than it's been.

I've read this, that many many successful entrepreneurs have said many many times...
"Had I known it was going to be this difficult I probably wouldn't had got into it" or something like that....
Sometimes ignorance is bliss...
 

yveskleinsky

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I suppose a learning curve is normal. I need to figure out how to ride out the lows better. I suppose I just get frustrated because I feel like I should be more successful than I am. I'm just tired of feeling this way. Sorry to cough up all this negativity. ...I gotta figure out a better way to handle things- normally I go for a run, but I have a bad cold. I'm just going to focus on learning. Focus on learning. Positive focus on learning.

You guys rock. I hope I can be a shoulder to you guys when you need it. I really, really appreciate everyone here. I say it often, but sometimes I feel like I don't say it enough.

Thank you for listening and offering good advice.
 

AroundTheWorld

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Dealing with the "hard times" is something I don't cope with very well either. (Hubby does a lot better then me in this area)

Every path has tough, stressful times.
Somehow, knowing that helps me keep going.... if we want to be in the fastlane, we have to learn from these times and learn how to get to the other side.... stronger and smarter then we were when we went in.

Every success "story" has very low points. The low points may not always be talked about or written about - but they are there. It is doing just as you said... learning how to deal with the bad stuff that comes along.... that marches us all closer to success.

I have recognized that my own weakness (one of many :blush: ) is that I do get emotional when things are not going well or when something bad happens. That is why I made a policy for myself not to make any *big* decisions during these times - because *big* decisions should not be made based on emotion.
 

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GoldenEggs

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Yves, I understand how you feel! I feel like our lives are a country song right now.

Everyday we're finding out new problems at our apartment. Our maintenance supervisor quit last night, there is a lien on the property for a code violation and just now found out that the water bill wasn't paid and they are threatening to turn it off. I went through the tenant ledger last night and found 31 delinquencies totalling 9K for the month of December. A couple of our investors are freaking out and hindering everyone else's attempts to move forward with a plan. I feel frustrated because there are four of us that are living and breathing this project, finding resources and alternatives, but I feel a lack of support from other investors. So far, their solution is to just sue the previous owners and management company but they don't even want to get the documents ready.

Along with the apartment stress, my father in law is at a nursing home right now, recovering from surgery to fix his broken ankle but they want to send him home because he cannot walk on it. The surgeon wrote explicit instructions that he is to stay at the facility because of his age (95) and needing other physical therapy. It would be a hardship on us if he came back home now because he would need 24 hr care and we don't have the funds to hire a nurse.

And today, we had requested a plumber to be at our house to fix the plumbing. He was supposed to be here at 12pm, and it is now 2:30pm and no one showed up. I can't do the laundry or use the bathrooms until it's fixed!

Thankfully, the internet business is doing okay, otherwise we'd really be in bad shape!

Strangely enough, I'm not that worried about the apartment itself but I have been working on gathering the facts, finding resources and other options and other financing.

Basically, the same thing that Poudda does, make a plan. And keep a positive attitude.
 

Poudda

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Sep 7, 2007
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I have a friend that when he went into business, everything went wrong. At one point, his shop was robbed, his personal income was subsidised by his partner (who had a strong unrelated business, so he could do this) and was going further into debt.

At the same time he had purchased a house and there was a major sinkhole in the front yard (took out his entire driveway), his dad was diagnosed with liver cancer (operated on and survived), I believe he had a cancer scare too, and the list goes on both on the personal side and the business side to the point that within the first six months of starting his business he was also being sued by his former employer.

When he told me about getting sued, I said, "Awwwww, baby's first lawsuit!" Got a laugh, and eventually he got through all of this stuff and finished his first year of business. He showed me his T-4's (canadian tax return form) at the end of that first year and his income was just a little under six figures.

He said, "Dave, that's because of you, and I can never thank you enough for convincing me to start my own business."

Perservere Perservere Perservere. If my friend could get through all of that....
 

yveskleinsky

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Going thru all that and sticking with it is amazing. In the scheme of things, my problems are small. I know this, but they just feel huge....I was watching flip that house the other night and the investors were going thru issue after issue after issue with their flip- and didn't freak out. At the end of the show they still hadn't sold their home, and I doubt they ended up making much, if any in the end. Their attitude was amazing.

I need to take some time to have some fun.
 

andviv

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I went looking for that post from biophase about not knowing something before getting into business... Sometimes not knowing is good

I think this post reflects the same point of not completely understanding what you are getting into.
 

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