This section was written about cabins but the information was mainly taken from my search and research done on business practices. So read on and feel free to interchange cabin and business as running a rental cabin really is running a business:
This is a basic introduction to our section on Mindset. It covers a few of the most common Cabin Mindset issues that we see Cabin Owners dealing with.
First of all, what do we mean when talking about mindset. Your mindset allows you to look at a situation from different points of view. My hope is that you will be able to open your mind to new points of view; because learning to see situations in a new light will empower you to make more informed decisions.
So, you ask, what is it that I need to learn about Cabins that is so different from what I already know?
Well. If you own a home, you know that a mortgage payment is not the only expense that a house incurs. If you have a job you know that you do not get paid every dollar you earn. So how could a Rental Cabin be different than owning a house and having a job? The answer is simple, when you buy a Rental Cabin, you just bought another house and another job. Honestly though, that is only partially correct. In reality, You just bought a commercial property and another job. Now, let us make this even more interesting; Most often, that new commercial property and new job are not located near where you reside. It is often used by someone that does not care about it. The renters often are not familiar with the Cabin and its amenities, so it gets misused and abused even if it is not intentional. It is located in a mountainous area which makes it harder to get to. It requires a great deal of maintenance, and since it is another job, it always needs attention when you are busy with something else. It really is like learning an entirely new job. You see, it is not that you do not already know how to deal with a Cabin, you just need to learn how to deal with a Cabin in addition to your current responsibilities and from a distance.
Ok, now that you are having second thoughts about buying a Rental Cabin, be assured that if you follow a program you can be successful, AND it will be worth it!
How do I know this? Because I have worked with hundreds of Cabin Owners and seen it happen. More on this later.
If you are asking yourself what we recommend as a mindset the answer has several parts.
Decide What You Want.
This may seem very elementary but it is true. You must decide what you want. If you do not have a clear idea of what you want then it will be hard to work towards your goals- because you may not have any goals to work toward. That leads us to the next step.
Set Clear Goals.
If this is your first venture into Cabin Ownership it may not be easy to really decide what you want and set clear goals yet, but that should be very high on your priority list. The sooner you decide what you want and set clear goals, the sooner you can make a plan to reach those goals. That leads us to the next step.
Create a Plan to Reach Goals.
If you do not create a plan to reach your goals then you did not really set goals. If you really
want to reach your goals create a plan to reach them so that it will help you make decisions and stay motivated along the way.
Yes, this is very simple stuff. No, this is not super magnificent or shiny new material; it is the same old boring stuff that you have been taught since Kindergarten but it works, plain and simple. On to our next step.
Enact the plan.
Give your plan some life. Use it, grow it, do it. Change it if you need to because life changes sometimes and our plans often have to change with it, but make sure you enact the plan.
It is vitally important that you understand that this is not information that was simply read from a book and regurgitated. This information has life. It has been accumulated from tens of thousands of hours of hard work. Everything that is said here has stories and names behind it. If all of the information you read from this source seems simple and unsophisticated, it is; because it has been boiled down to basic elements that can be understood and applied in broad fashion. We have found that If it is not simple then it is not practical.
Now let’s look at what this all has to do with creating a mindset that will make you a successful Cabin Owner. The biggest issues Cabin Owners have are time and money. That is why we suggest the aforementioned steps. Completing those steps gives the Owner a clear direction and reduces the amount of decision making required that eats up so much time and costs so much money. If you make the choices ahead of time then when decisions arise they are simply measured against the plan, making the choices much faster and easier.
Here is a short story to illustrate the point. Let’s say that there is a young man attending college, he lives off campus and works on the Security Detail at the college. He goes to work one night working the midnight shift at the college and brings a change of clothes for his classes the next morning. He has a speech to make and wants to dress impressively in a suit and tie. That night at work there is a disturbance and the young man has to stand out in the rain for hours. When he is finished with the shift he is thankful that he has brought a set of warm dry clothes to change into. Alas, as he begins to change, he realizes that he has forgotten to bring a set of underclothes; no Tee shirt, underwear or socks. He does not have time to run and get any so his is forced to choose to wear his clothes with nothing under them. Now, when he gets up in front of the class to make his speech no one else in the room is aware that he is not wearing undergarments, no one even seems to notice he is not wearing socks. Yet to him it is a major distraction and he loses focus making his presentation less than stellar.
What we are trying to convey here is that if you allow distractions to alter your mindset or decision making process, no matter how large or small they really are, those distractions will certainly have an affect on you. You have to decide what you want and then prepare to get it. Failing to properly plan for success, even if it is as simple as bringing a set of underwear, can momentarily distract you. Do not allow that distraction to make your decisions for you; simply learn from the mistake and plan so it does not happen again in the future.
On a personal note. I, want to take a moment to interject a personal message. I typically write these articles about Real Estate from a collective viewpoint. There are several Realtors in the office and I gather information and experience from them and therefore feel it is my obligation to present the information from a collective point of view. However, on this next matter I felt that it was important to write from my heart so that you could better comprehend my dilemma in dealing with disheartened Cabin Owners. I will begin by telling a short story about a conversation I recently shared with two of my longest standing landscape clients, Homer and Pam. They are fantastic people and truly live a blessed life. They recently contacted me and asked if I could meet them at their Cabin to give them some ideas for building a retaining wall. They told me when they would be leaving their home in the city and I met them at their home in the mountains. After bidding the job I asked them what they did to hold on to their Cabin for so many years, I told them it has been our observation that many Cabin Owners become frustrated, even overwhelmed, and they often sell after only owning the Cabin for as little as a 12-18 months. What did they do to keep it over a Decade? Pam smiled and said, We LOVE it. We loved coming to the mountains. It felt like Christmas every time we came so we wanted to share it and be a blessing. Homer chimed in, We have family members that want to go to the
ocean, so they bought a beach front property. We have been to the ocean with them and it is fun but we would never sell this Cabin and buy a beach property; we just love coming to the mountains. Buying a Cabin in the mountains is not for everyone. If you love the beach buy a beach property. If you love the mountains buy a mountain property. Then Pam explained, There are issues that happen. We had to change rental companies, that was a major deal. We have had to update the Cabin, we have had damage to the Cabin, we have dealt with lots of little issues, but that stuff does not matter. What matters is that we love owning this Cabin and because we love it we just take the other stuff as it comes. We put our heart into this place and want to make it a blessing so that others will want to come to the mountains and love it as much as we do.
I was taken aback. They very simply stated everything I have been trying for years to explain. I started a business in 2012 working on Cabins. I had worked on them before but never dealt with Owners directly, so it came as a shock to me when so many Owners that I worked for held disdain in their hearts for their Cabin. They looked at it like a cheating spouse that they despised for hurting them. I could not understand it. I had grown up in these mountains, and I love them with all of my heart. I have maintained that my heart will alway have a jagged Rocky Top, referring of course to the song Rocky Top, Tennessee, but also because the mountains are hard and it makes the people that live in them hard and tough. I do not hate the mountains for making life hard, quite the contrary. I LOVE the mountains FOR making life hard and tough because that is what makes life interesting and engaging. Do you imagine that people would still be reading Homer’s Odyssey thousands of years after it was written if Odysseus’s journey back from Troy had been uneventful? No way! What made it a great story is that he learned and overcame great obstacles to return home- only to find more problems to deal with at his own house. I am not saying that the mountains will force you to ride a sheep to outsmart a Cyclops. Owning a Cabin in the Smokies should not be that dramatic, and I will do every thing I can to make it easier on you, but you have to decide whether you LOVE the mountains or not. No one else can make that decision for you. So why do so many good people feel that their Cabin is an adulterous spouse… Because someone had given them unrealistic expectations about the Cabin and how it performs financially.
In conclusion, I state that Mindset is a major factor in deciding to own a Cabin, but you must have your heart set to keep your mindset.
John is a recognized and highly respected author, educator, and businessman with a reputation for helping individuals and organizations create helpful and sustainable results.