Never Break The Final 10 Meter Rule When Investing In Real Estate


It seems everybody I bump into has an opinion on our property markets.

Housing Affordability Buy PropertyThey’re reading all the news and while some believe our property markets are going to perform strongly there are more and more property pessimists who believe rising inflation and interest rates will lead to a housing market collapse.

Only last Saturday Pam and I were sitting in a restaurant having our traditional Saturday morning brunch after our regular Saturday morning massage and I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation at the next table where some young people were talking about property.

I was a little sad when I heard the mistakes and misinformation they were sharing and that they were going to make some significant financial decisions based on these often-repeated myths.

Now it’s not really their fault, because they are being exposed to a range of new so-called “property experts”; some online; others in podcasts – experts who haven’t walked the final 10 meters.

I’ll explain what I mean by that in a moment.

I saw something similar when I was having a chat with the young lady who came up to me a few weeks ago when I was sitting in Church Street Brighton having a coffee.

She obviously recognised me from my blogs or my photos on the Internet and wanted to ask me some questions about real estate, so I gave her a few minutes of my time.

The conversation started with what I thought was going to happen to our property markets, but then when I asked her what her plans were, she explained to me how she recently paid a lot of money for a course to learn how to be a buyers’ agent and was going to help homebuyers and investors.

She was now going to make that – advising and buying properties for others – her career.

I know the course she was talking about because it has produced a whole swag of new buyers’ agents, so I asked her a little bit about her background.

She had brought one investment property a couple of years ago in an outer suburb of Melbourne which hasn’t performed very well, and up until last year, she was a teacher.

But now with her newfound knowledge and enthusiasm, she was going to charge others to buy real estate for them.

As I listened to her story it reminded me of a blog I read probably over a decade ago by Canadian property commentator Don Campbell where he explained how a comedian made a significant difference to his property investing.

Buyers AgentNow investing in real estate is no joke, but apparently, a comedian taught him the final 30-foot rule, which I have changed to the final 10-meter rule, and understanding this will make a difference for you.

Okay, in a nutshell, it comes from the old-school comedian, Buddy Hackett.

My understanding of The Final 30 Feet (or the Final 10 Metres as I’m now calling it) came from a warning given by Buddy Hackett to a young and upcoming comedian on how to deal with the mountains of advice that TV executives, promoters, friends and family will be giving him as he built his comedy career.

Buddy’s advice was simple yet profound:

“Listen politely, smile and allow them to feel helpful… then turn around and seek out and take advice only from those who have walked The Final 30 Feet.”

The obvious follow-up question was: “What do you mean the Final 30 Feet?”

Apparently, Buddy said:

“Only take advice from those who have walked the final and most important 30 feet from backstage to being alone in front of a microphone with nowhere to hide.
Then, and only then, will you know the advice comes from reality and not theory.
They’ll understand the emotions, the work it takes to get it right.
They’ll have made the mistakes and created the laughs, not just read about how to do it.”

Stage MicroThis sage advice is obviously very relevant about whom you should listen to with regards to property and wealth advice.

In essence, there are a lot of enthusiastic amateurs out there who despite their best intentions, and even if they’re confident that their thoughts are correct, will steer you in the wrong direction.

And that’s not necessary because they mean to or intend to, but because they don’t have the experience or perspective to give the right advice.

So my advice to you is to be very careful to choose advisors who have the final 10 meters of experience in whatever field you are asking for assistance with; be it property investment, business, or relationships; because there are just too many inexperienced pretenders out there.

By the way… this doesn’t surprise me

I have seen this happen at the beginning of every new property cycle, there is always a flood of new so-called “experts” trying to make a living giving advice.

And while a rising market may cover up some of their shortcomings, I keep coming back to Warren Buffett’s saying – “A rising tide will lift all ships, but when the tide goes out you’ll see who swimming naked.”


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