There are all kinds of opportunities in real estate: To invest, to build or rebuild. I have learned that there are major classification of types which go into these provinces of real estate.
In 1969, Peter Drucker wrote: "measured by the yardsticks of the economist, the last half-century has been the Age of Continuity." To me that means that there was a predictability -- rules you could learn and live by. The first half of this new century will be known as the Age of Discontinuity, which is the title of his great book written back then -- rules that were no longer valid. Even Drucker would not have expected volatility and mistrust to become the watchwords of the new millennium.
Continuity, like success, breeds arrogance. So much of success is pure luck and timing -- being at the right place at the right time. But the right place has no arrow above it, pointing it out as "the place to make money." Timing is mostly cumulative experience that becomes intuition -- the gut-feeling that this is the right place and time.
I have known many people gifted with that sense and even more who grew an arrogance that smelled up their organization. There was no room for personal growth; people hung around because they were well-paid and got used to the tyranny of the master -- though it ate them up inside and sacrificed their very souls.
Herein I begin a series of articles which will bring my experience and observations into focus during this age of volatility and discontinuity. My first goal is to help you to recognize which type of real estate player you are or intend to be:
1. Platinum Players: Already notably experienced, they have discretionary money to invest without any one deal crushing them. They have earned self-confidence with their success and accumulated knowledge. These are calculated risk-takers who gather as much feeling and evidence that they can feed into their intuition until it sparks the conclusion.
2. God-Complex Players: Decision makers to whom others look to save their lives and heal them. Notably, they are doctors who are used to making judgements and building a defense mechanism that protects them from feelings of failure and guilt. They are innocent of how this mechanism can make them terrible investors in something about which they know nothing. They need professional assistance in deciding risk and abstinence.
3. Innocent Players: Long for success and have role models they believe are successful in the field in which they will invest. Their innocence calls for professional guidance to illuminate the way, for they are on a severe learning curve and there is no exception to this.
Each needs to take a different path in making money in real estate. Of course, there are all kinds of other types, but these are good ones in general. There are key common ingredients to finding that path:
In conclusion, take your time to find who you are, what you want to accomplish and on whom to rely as your sounding board. Since you will experience discontinuity between today and the last time you went through the process, your learning curve must be cultivated out of patience and astute observation.
Goodkin is president of Ackman-Ziff-Goodkin, an international real estate adviser and strategist, and has been a housing analyst since 1956. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.