Proficient Note Buyers
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May 03, 2010
Flex Your 'Muscles'
I turn 40 in exactly 20 days. As that milestone looms in very near future, I'm reminded daily how much I still don't know. More accurately, maybe I should say I'm reminded how much I choose to forget.

Spokane, Washington is the home of the annual Bloomsday Road Race. Bloomsday is one of the largest runs (with regard to attendance) in the country. Yesterday, my wife, my sons and I all participated in this 12K (about 7.5 mile) excursion.

Rewind to December of last year. As some of my faithful readers may remember, I suffered a herniated disk in my lower back which took me a full three months from which to recover. In those three months, I was limited to daily walks for exercise. Even then, my range of motion was so limited that 'exercise' probably isn't the appropriate word.

In March, I started feeling well enough to exercise on the elliptical machine at the gym. I also resumed lifting weights and started spending time on the rowing machine. As my back passed more and more of the tests I was giving it, I returned to riding my road and mountain bikes. Two months later, my routine consists of 2-3 days of mountain biking each week, weightlifting and elliptical/rowing machine 3 days per week, and usually one day of rest.

Notice that nowhere in the preceding paragraph did I mention jogging. In fact, I still struggle with pushing off on my right foot (as a result of my back injury) when I run. Of course, since I haven't run at all in the past five months, there really was no way to know until I tried running again...which I did yesterday. At an organized road run. With 50,000 other people.

I felt pretty good for the first few miles. After all, my cardio was good, we kept a manageable pace, and the excitement created by all the participants and the bands playing along the course gave us all a sense of euphoria. That all ended around Mile Marker 5.

All of a sudden, even though I could hold a conversation with my son (indicating my cardio was just fine), my legs simply didn't want to do what I was telling them to do. I kept thinking to myself "I ride my mountain bike three times a week, with climbs of more than an hour at a time! I shouldn't have any problem with my leg strength!" Of course (and this is where I was reminded how occasionally I choose to forget such things), I knew I was using an entirely different set of muscles to run, muscles that hadn't been used in over five months.

The last 2.5 miles were very difficult, but I plodded on to the finish line. I could hardly walk yesterday afternoon. Not only were my quadriceps sore, but the joints in my left leg hurt from compensating for the restricted motion in my right leg. My wife laughed as she tried in vain to massage away the pain last night. "You know better than to think the activities you currently do would have translated into success in a running race."

What in the world does this have to do with a blog written for holders of seller financed real estate notes? Stay with me here - I do have a point. When our company saw that note holders were becoming more and more resistant to the discounts required to buy their notes, we realized we had to change our way of thinking. In other words, we were still trying to buy notes the way we always had in the past, but the market dynamic was completely different.

So what did we do? We decided to start using our 'muscles' in different ways. How could we utilize our knowledge to tap into a different (but similar) market, working a new 'muscle group' in addition to those that were already well-trained? What segment of the market screamed for attention but was largely ignored?

We now actively market for non-performing notes and REO (real estate owned) from individual sellers, banks, and asset management companies. As we learned about the products and the players, there was a fair amount of 'lactic acid build-up' if you will, where we encountered brokers pretending to be buyers and/or sellers, etc. However, once we conditioned our 'muscles' to the market, we have become a fine-tuned performer with minimal 'pain'.

Adapting to change is essential. Yes, there will be pain. Yes, there will be resistance, usually generated by your own self-doubt. Fight through it, and you'll be ready to finish (spectacularly) any race you choose to run.

Make it a great week,


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