Omar Bradley was a U.S. General during World War II, and was known as a no-nonsense leader that had a continual focus on planning. He once said “amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics” when trying to focus his officers on the difference between just talking and making actual plans based on facts. So how does this apply to buying an RV park?
Don’t just talk about buying an RV park but make real plans with action steps
It’s a disservice to yourself to make big plans without breaking them into smaller action steps. I’ve never seen any investor that could say “I’m going to buy an RV park” and put that into successful practice without writing down exactly what to do. Instead, the steps would normally be 1) educate yourself enough to place any deal into one of two boxes: 1) has potential or 2) has no potential. Define your “territory” (where you would geographically want to invest) and what dollar-size deal you are seeking. Then you would build a deal funnel of 1) on-line listings 2) brokers 3) direct mail and 4) cold-calling. Once you establish reasonable deal flow, you would have a continual volume of RV parks to evaluate and, from these, one would be your acquisition target. That’s logistics.
Be realistic in your expectations and timing
You can’t just say “I’m going to buy an RV park” and expect to pull that off by the end of the week. A professional knows that there is a required amount of time for each step and the sum of those is the actual time it takes to realistically make a purchase. When you make unreasonable expectations you put yourself under undo stress and may even abandon the idea of buying an RV park because you feel that you are a failure. Instead, put a decent timetable to each action step and, even then, acknowledge that there is some element of luck involved in finding an RV park and will remain persistent even if you start to violate your initial time allocation. I know many RV park buyers who spent twice as long finding the right property but were happy they never abandoned their dream as it completely turned their life around.
Hope is not a method
The U.S. Army management handbook states that “hope is not a method” – which means that if you are pinned down by enemy fire you are not allowed to believe that just wishing they would go away is a reasonable management decision. Instead, you have to forge a realistic plan based on logistics and practical thought. If you want to buy an RV park, hoping that one falls in your lap is not an actual plan. Instead, you have to put forth effort in learning how to identify, evaluate, negotiate, perform due diligence on, renegotiate, finance, turn-around and operate one, and then define your geography and deal size, enact the construction of your deal funnel, and start the actual logistics of finding the correct RV park to evaluate and purchase.
But hope is part of passion, and passion leads to energy
Omar Bradley assumed that the professional soldier would enact logistics because it was their duty. However, buying an RV park is not a matter of survival or national threat. Instead, you do have to include that “amateur” trait which is unbridled enthusiasm. As Warren Buffett once said “without passion you have no energy, and without energy you have nothing”. So channel that initial passion – absent the “downer” of logistics and scientific analysis – and never let go of it. Never forget the reasons you want to buy an RV park (financial independence, etc.) and let that drive your forward to face the less exciting steps needed to actually attain that goal.
Omar Bradley was correct that logistics are the hallmark of the professional investor. However, it’s also important to remember that enthusiasm is what allows you to put forth the effort to make those scientific steps possible. Be reasonable in your scheduling and methodology, but also do so with persistence and passion. The end result of buying an RV park is worth it.