Property is a simple game of putting your money where the returns stack up so you can achieve your wealth building goals and to reach financial freedom faster.
One of the first things any property investment expert will tell you is to leave your emotions at the door.
The fact you don’t have to live in your investment property will give you an instant emotional advantage over someone who is looking to buy an owner-occupier.
Still, many investors find it hard to completely separate emotion from the process. And there are other ways your emotional intelligence can affect the success of your portfolio.
Your risk tolerance is about the most important part of your investment strategy. And it will be strongly influenced by your emotions.
Do you want fast, significant returns? Well you’ll need to deal with a larger likelihood of setback or failure.
Or is slow and steady more suited to your philosophy? You may need to be happy to play a super long game with smaller, incremental gains along the way, with the comfort of knowing you won’t be undone by a curveball or two.
Portfolio management and emotional awareness
It’s crucial to be aware of your emotions and what they will allow you to do if you want to be successful.
Like any markets, real estate as an asset class will fluctuate over time. There will be highs and lows, growth and correction phases and volatility from external factors such as your own employment status, or interest rate variations.
When the market is volatile and the media is churning out headlines about bursting bubbles and market crashes, emotional intelligence will stop you from panic-selling or making impulsive decisions.
Instead, you may recognise that uncertainty is a natural state of being for markets. If you have made a long term strategy that you believe in, you can weather the storm and your portfolio will benefit from your consistency.
Think of Warren Buffett. He made his billions by recognising an investment opportunity and sticking to his rules just as everyone around him made panicked decisions. It meant he could get the best deals on the assets he valued.
Emotional discipline and decision making
Have you just gone on holidays and fallen in love with a beach town somewhere? Maybe you could buy an investment property there and then live in it one day in the future? Or you think it would just be nice to own a slice of paradise.
Stop for a minute and refer back to your initial strategy. Does the town have the economic fundamentals in place to help you build wealth? What’s the vacancy rate? What are the entry price points? Is the population growing? Can the rental returns on offer keep your portfolio gearing where you want it to be?
Your love of the town is emotional. Emotions are great for deciding where to go on holiday, but you should not allow them to make investment decisions.
If you can stay disciplined, the resulting success might mean you’re soon free to holiday in that place whenever you like.
Talk about taboo topics
Money is a source of discomfort for a lot of people. It doesn’t matter whether you don’t want others to know how much you have, or what your portfolio is worth, or whether you are just trying to keep up with the Joneses.
However, you can benefit from being open and honest about money, if not with your friends, then from someone who can actually help you.
Investors who can discuss their financial challenges, seek advice and share experiences with peers and financial professionals will be better educated about their own decisions.
And the contacts they develop along the way may help foster a sense of community and a support network, while opening the door to new wealth building opportunities.