Where the Grass is Greener

Where the Grass is Greener

“Grass is greener” syndrome is a cancer to real estate investors… and it might be the sole reason why you’re not finding success.

Where the Grass is Greener

Three Traits of a Successful Investor

I’m Matt Theriault, founder of Epic Real Estate, and I’ve helped hundreds of ordinary people become badass real estate investors.

Through all of these people, one of the most common questions I get is: “If I work my butt off and do everything you tell me to do, how long is this going to take?”

This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables at play – the person’s experience, drive, background, resources, resourcefulness, and the reason they’re investing at all.

But out of the hundreds of students I’ve taught, I’m starting to see some common traits among the most successful:

  1. They take instruction. They’re coachable.
  2. They’re quick to implement. They take the instruction, go out, and put it to work.
  3. They’re quick to ask for help when they get stuck. Once their questions are answered, they’re quick to go and implement the answers all over again.

“But I Do All Those Things! Where’s My Money?”

When I share those three attributes of successful students, I often get a lot of pushback. People insist that they’re doing all three of those things – and more! They’re learning everything they can and implementing it all, day and night. They’re doing everything they feel they can to be successful in real estate.

But there’s one hangup: They don’t believe in their market.

They see people doing three deals a week in our Facebook group and hear stories of massive success in their REA club from people who switched markets. They constantly hear about better markets and convince themselves that the grass is greener in every market but theirs.

When you lose faith in your market, you don’t fully commit, and you can’t reap the vast benefits of real estate investing if you’re not fully committed. 

Where the Grass is Greener

All the Grass is Greener

The reason real estate investing works is because some people are willing to sell their real estate at a deep discount.

They’re willing to do this because selling at a discount will alleviate some sort of problem for them, like financial, personal, or property distress.

So really, as real estate investors, all we’re ever looking for is problems – specifically, property owners with problems – and these can be found anywhere because there are property owners with problems in every single market.

About Southern California

Now that we’ve established that every market works, I just want to say…

… I get it.

I totally understand the frustration of feeling of like you’re in the worst market of all your friends.

It’s hard to see everyone around you succeeding and always feeling like you’re at a disadvantage because of where you live.

I live in Southern California, and it’s tough here.

But it’s doable.

It’s where I started. It’s where I built the entire business. And there are a lot of houses here – like anywhere else – and there a lot of problems here, too – like anywhere else.

The only reason I’ve moved most of my investing out of Southern California is because the purchase price to rent ratio is so off-balance, and I’m experienced enough now in real estate investing that I feel comfortable in other markets. But there’s no doubt in my mind that if I wanted to be a wholesaler or flipper, I could make it happen here because houses are getting flipped, purchased, and sold every single day here, and it’s real estate investors who are making that happen.

Now, if I moved my investing back, I might have to adjust my expectation on how often I’d get to do it, but on the bright side, think of how much more I’d get to make at this price point! 

I’m just using Southern California as an example because I can talk about it confidently with firsthand knowledge. But really, this could apply to any city. People in Southern California might feel at a disadvantage because of what I’ve just explained, but the reality is, EVERYONE feels like they’re at a disadvantage in their market.

The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can make my five commitments for success.

Where the Grass is Greener

A Tale of Two Investors

Before I get to those five commitments, I want to share a story about two of my students that perfectly depicts “grass is greener” syndrome.

Student A

The first student – we’ll call him Student A – lives in a Midwest market.

When he first came to me, he didn’t believe in his market for a whole list of reasons:

  • Too tough to find a list
  • People keep to themselves and don’t want to talk to each other
  • Houses are too expensive
  • Houses are too run down
  • Area is too dangerous

Really, he just hated everything about his market, and he really wanted to start a virtual flipping business.

I advised Student A against it and told him, “We can go there eventually, but first, cut and learn your chops right here in your own backyard. After you’ve learned real estate, then we can go ahead and elevate it to a virtual business if need be.”

Student A took my advice and his results are coming slowly, just like he thought they would. He’s very discouraged. I have lots of conversations with him to evaluate results, adjust his actions, and make sure he’s going in the right direction, but he’s still not getting great results.

Student B

My other student, Student B, has a very similar story.

He also lives in a Midwest market and he didn’t believe in his market, either. He also believed that a virtual flipping business would be his answer.

I gave him the same advice I gave Student A – to stay in his market until he had a firm grasp on real estate investing.

But he really, truly believes the grass is greener on the other side, so he did not take my advice.

He said, “Matt, I’m going to do it my way.”

And his results this year have been extraordinary.

The Kicker

At this point in the story, you probably think I’m awful at giving advice. You might even be wondering why I’m sharing this story at all!

But hear me out.

Student B – the one with great success – is virtually investing in Student A’s market.

You get that?

Student B, the one who went against my advice and decided to invest virtually, is crushing his new market. But that new market is the very same one in which Student A has no faith and is struggling to find results.

Student B is crushing it in Student A’s backyard, and all Student A wants to do is leave.

This is not an isolated story, either. I’ve seen similar things happen to many of my students in all different markets. I even have a student who is somehow both Student A and Student B – he moved his family across the country to invest in a different market and now, after hearing rave remarks from a former colleague, is moving back to his old market just a year later.

It’s Not the Market – It’s You

The grass is greener on the other side. It always will be.

So if there’s one thing you can take away from this story, it’s this:

Your market will not make you successful. Your faith in your market will.

As long as real estate is in your market and people live in that real estate, real estate investing works.

So if you’re having second thoughts or doubts about your market… don’t!

Where the Grass is Greener

Five Commitments for Success

Make these five commitments to overcome “grass is greener” syndrome for good.

Commitment #1

Commit to your market. If you’re only interested in real estate investing, it will never meet your expectations. You have to make a commitment to your market.

Commitment #2

Commit to the right activities – the money-making ones! There’s a difference between being busy and being productive.

If you don’t have a copy of the Daily Success Report yet, download it right now here (it’s free). Print one off every single day of the week to keep track of your activities and make sure your efforts are on point.

Commitment #3

Commit to doing those activities consistently. Consistency wins.

Commitment #4

Commit to being persistent.

Commitment #5

Commit to hold more than you sell. I’m not saying you CAN’T sell, flip, or wholesale. Just commit to holding more than you sell. You’ll regret it one day if you don’t – trust me. The earlier you get started on this commitment, the more your future self will thank you.

Acres of Diamonds

I’d like to share the very first piece of personal development material I was ever exposed to. This was before I even really knew what personal development material was and, in hindsight, it made a very large impact on me. It opened my eyes to the world of working on yourself, investing in your own education, taking what you’ve been given, and producing the desired results you want.

The story is called “Acres of Diamonds” by Earl Nightingale.

Acres of Diamonds

“In the year 1843, a man was born who was to have a profound effect on the lives of millions of people. His name was Russell Herman Conwell. He became a lawyer, then a newspaper editor, and finally a clergyman. It was during his church career that an incident occurred which was to change his life and the lives of countless others.

Temple University

One day, a group of young people came to Dr. Conwell at his church and asked him if he’d be willing to instruct them in college courses. They all wanted a college education but lacked the money to pay for it. He told them to let him think about it and come back in a few days. After they left, an idea began to form in Dr. Conwell’s mind. He asked himself, ‘Why couldn’t there be a fine college for poor but deserving young people?’ And before very long, the idea consumed him. ‘Why not, indeed?’ It was a project worthy of 100% dedication, complete commitment.

“And almost single-handedly, Dr. Conwell raised several million dollars with which he founded Temple University -today, one of the country’s leading schools. He raised the money by giving more than 6,000 lectures all over the country, and in each one of them, he told a story called ‘Acres of Diamonds. It was a true story which had affected him very deeply and it had the same effect on his audiences. The money he needed to build the college came pouring in.

The Story

“The story was the account of an African farmer who heard tales about other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines. These tales so excited the farmer that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and go prospecting for diamonds himself. So he sold the farm and spent the rest of his life wandering the African continent searching unsuccessfully for the gleaming gems which brought such high prices on the markets of the world. Finally, the story goes, worn out and in a fit of despondency, he threw himself into a river and drowned.

“Meanwhile, back at the farm, the man who had bought his farm happened to be crossing the small stream on the property when suddenly, there was a bright flash of blue and red light from the stream bottom. He bent down and picked up the large stone. Admiring it, he later put it on his fireplace mantel as an interesting curiosity.

“Several weeks later, a visitor picked up the stone, looked closely at it, hefted it in his hand, and nearly fainted. He asked the farmer if he knew what he’d found. When the farmer said that he thought it was a piece of crystal, the visitor told him he had found one of the largest diamonds ever discovered.

“Well, the farmer had trouble believing that. He told the man that his creek was full of such stones.

“Needless to say, the farm the first farmer had sold so that he might find a diamond mine turned out to be the most productive diamond mine on the entire African continent. He had sold them for practically nothing in order to look for them elsewhere.


“Well, the moral is clear. If the first farmer had only taken the time to study and prepare himself; to learn what diamonds looked like in their rough state; and, since he had already owned a piece of the African continent, to thoroughly explore the property he had before looking elsewhere; all of his wildest dreams would have come true.

“Now, the thing about this story that’s so profoundly affected Dr. Conwell and subsequently millions of others was the idea that each of us is, at this moment, standing in the middle of his or her own Acres of Diamonds. If we only had the wisdom and patience to intelligently and effectively explore the work in which we’re now engaged, to explore ourselves, we’ll usually find the riches we seek, whether they be financial or intangible or both. Before we go running off to what we think are greener pastures, let’s make sure that our own is not just as green or perhaps even greener. It’s been said that if the other guy’s pasture appears to be greener than ours, it’s quite possible that it’s getting better care. Besides, while we’re looking at other pastures, other people are looking at ours.”

Committed? Good! Now What?

Now that you’re 100% committed to your market, it’s time to dive in! Learn all the best real estate investing trade secrets at our three-day live Epic Intensive this January. We have a limited amount of tickets left, so sign up now!

>>Click HERE to claim your ticket to the Epic Intensive<< 

Matt Theriault

Real estate investor and educator.