If you are in real estate and investment, occasional financial famine comes with the territory. There could be any number of causes: economic downturn, issues with a partnership, or mismanagement. No matter how hard you work, there’s always a possibility of falling on hard times.
But just as with every area of life, the most important thing is how you pick yourself up again. The strategies below will help you dig your way out of a financial pit.
Maintain strong personal relationships with your lenders.
It’s natural that we want to help the people we are closest to. Knowing someone personally gives us the chance to empathize. For your lender, it brings them to see you not just as a business but as a person. If a lender is able to understand who you are and come to trust you personally, you can build cooperation.
It isn’t about manipulating people or getting the best of your lenders; it’s about sharing the burden of a crisis. Knowing the officer responsible for your account personally will put you in a situation to help one another. Your lender trusted you enough to do business with you in the first place. Take the opportunity to understand their situation and facilitate trust. Relationships are all about sharing the load.
Building an authentic relationship takes time and isn’t an easily begun process during adversity. Be proactive and you might gain a partner, instead of just a lender.
Pursue loss sharing arrangements.
Especially if your financial famine is coming at the hand of a system-wide economic downturn, the burden of a failed investment is on everyone’s shoulders. Regardless of who drove the deal through, all parties involved believed it would succeed. With that in mind, all parties are going to have to bear some of the fallout. Lenders and investors understand this concept well and you might have an opportunity to negotiate for better terms if you pursue it.
There are cases where this simply is not possible. If you have signed a contract with an ironclad liability cause or you’re dealing with a lender who intends to sell your note, you might be in trouble.
The majority of the time banks and other lenders are looking to recoup whatever money they can, however. In that situation, the institution will likely be willing to help make settling the account as easy for you as possible. Most investors would be happy to take a small loss in the long run versus absorbing the cost of default by pressing for repayment quickly.
Keep a long-term view.
The most important element of any recovery strategy is keeping a long-term view of the situation. Life does not end under failed investments. Even the worst case scenario of bankruptcy just means starting over. With that perspective, you are empowered to make more appropriate decisions to better your position.
A long-term view will also help you see that making money is key to recovery. If the only element of progress that you see is paying down your obligations, the road you travel will be arduous and the outcome unexceptional. Contrastingly, if you center your asset deployment on making money, you will be able to pay down obligations more quickly and come out with a stronger portfolio. Don’t forget that recessions often bring firesales and deeply undervalued assets. Keeping a long-term perspective will allow you to capitalize on the opportunities in front of you, even during recovery.
Failure is a universal experience. Whether you’re a real estate developer, broker, or investor, you’re bound to taste the bitterness of financial famine at some point.
Within real estate and investment more generally, keeping your perspectives in-line with reality will help you make smart decisions and recover more quickly. Don’t let a lashing on the post of financial crisis take you out of the game. Always be looking forward.