Analysis Paralysis: the state of over-thinking a situation so that an action is never taken and progress is never made.
Analysis Paralysis is a genuine issue for many investors because investing, especially real estate investing, can sometimes require quick-fire decisions. Being careful and weighing the rewards is part of being a smart investor. But so is problem-solving, making executive decisions, and following your gut. When you can master both, you can identify the symptoms of analysis paralysis and quickly take steps to move forward.
Recognize the Signs
Analysis paralysis is not something that happens just in business. It can be a part of your personality that keeps you from making long-term commitments or being able to make quick decisions. If you can acknowledge that you are prone to analysis paralysis, or have a history of struggling to make big decisions, you can be proactive in preventing it. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you struggle with being spontaneous?
- Do you have trouble sleeping because your mind is continually racing?
- Do you have a hard time detaching from toxic/draining relationships? Both professionally and personally?
- Do you dread change and avoid confrontation at all costs?
- Do you regularly feel overwhelmed with the available options presented to you?
If this sounds like you, acknowledging this is the first step in retraining your brain to stop over-thinking and work towards being confident in your decision making.
When it comes to making a real estate investment, there is a lot to consider. There are specific criteria you’re looking for to deem the investment as successful, and real estate investment deal breakers to look out for. The key is to spend as much time as you need, but no more than you have to, to weigh the pros and cons of an investment and make a decision.
Set a Date
It’s easy to flip-flop about a decision if there is no deadline. Setting a concrete date as to when a decision must be made can help you focus on what is important and what issues can be overlooked. If you can’t decide by this date, take the idea off the table and come back to it when your situation has changed.
Decide What You Need to Know Now Vs. What You Want to Know Later
One of the most significant symptoms of analysis paralysis is diving deeper and deeper into the details of a given situation. Ask yourself what is imperative that you know now before you move forward, and what would be okay knowing in the future after the investment is made. Things you need to know before signing on the dotted line are things like the neighborhood crime rate and predicted rental income potential. Things that can wait include how much the home will sell for in 5 years or if there is another property that might check even more of your boxes. If the information you have right now about the property is enough for you to feel confident moving forward, move forward.
Release Some Control
The sooner you realize that not every investment is going to align perfectly with your expectations, the sooner you’ll be able to see a property for what it is and see the potential in what it could become. When you let go of the idea that investment has to be perfect, you’ll be able to focus on what the property has to offer and how it can benefit you. If you’re waiting for the stars to align and for everything to be perfect before making a decision, you’ll be waiting forever. Sometimes you just have to “jump” with most of the information and collect the details on the way down. Struggling to have too much control over a situation will keep you stuck in one place instead of moving forward.
Prioritize Your Decision Making
Not every decision you make in real estate investing has to be a major decision. When you can differentiate between decisions that require in-depth analysis and things that hold very little weight in the grand scheme of things, you will find yourself less overwhelmed with things to decide. To determine whether the decision in front of you is worth spending much time and thought on, ask yourself:
- Will this decision matter 6-12 months from now?
- What’s the worst thing that can happen if this is not the right decision?
- Does this help me make significant movement towards the end goal?
Once you’ve defined how important the decision is to your final goal, you can stop focusing on small issues (do I really like the color of the walls in the bathroom?) and spend your time analyzing bigger, more critical issues (is this investment property right for me?)
Ask for Feedback. But Not Too Much Feedback
If this is your decision to make, consulting other people could just add to your analysis paralysis. But if you’re struggling with making a decision, getting the opinions of one or two trusted people in your life might help you see things from a fresh perspective. The more people you ask, the more opinions and choices you may find yourself dealing with, so just keep that in mind when looking for feedback.
Being able to spot analysis paralysis before you’re stuck is key in avoiding it all together. Just because you’ve had trouble making big decisions in the past doesn’t mean that is who you are, or that you can’t improve over time. Analysis paralysis happens to even the most experienced investors but learning how to spot the signs and continue moving forward is what separates the good investors from the great ones.