When you think about what it takes to succeed in real estate investment, what comes to mind? Many times, we think of our physical assets and resources. We think we need money. We think about opportunity. We think that if we just have enough cash, the right property, and the right people, boy. We’d be set!
What we don’t always realize is that there are intangible qualities that are inside of us as real estate investors that empower us to succeed regardless of the resources we happen to have. Whether we believe it or not, the money we have, the access to what we have, and the opportunities in front of us are only a small part of the equation.
An investor who has the right personal qualities is going to succeed regardless of where they start. What really matters is if they have what it takes, not just if they have the cash.
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7 Qualities that Make Successful Real Estate Investors
Do you have a go-getter attitude? If you want to succeed in real estate investment, it’s a must-have. It takes initiative to make it in this business. It is essential throughout the whole process, whether it’s taking that first step to pick up the phone and call a turnkey provider, picking up your first book on real estate investing, or putting in your first offer. Taking initiative means asking questions, setting goals, and getting it done.
It’s that driving force that makes sure that you do what you set out to do.
You’ll find that as a real estate investor, things rarely turn out how you imagine they will. This industry likes to throw curve balls, and the best of us know how to knock them out of the park. Good investors can work around surprises. Great investors turn them into opportunities. Being flexible is more than just not getting worked up, it’s rolling with the punches and figuring out how to use a surprise—even an unpleasant one—to your advantage, even if it has to be a learning opportunity.
Flexibility means not getting flustered and being able to, at the end of the day, let the stresses and frustrations of investing roll off your shoulders so you can live to succeed another day.
While on the outside, real estate investment seems like a numbers-and-properties-only business, it’s actually a people business. Whether it’s tenants, property managers, accountants, contractors, or your turnkey partners, there is always someone somewhere to talk to. As a real estate investor, you succeed when you communicate well. Whether that’s communicating your vision and strategy, your needs, or just knowing what’s going on with your investments, this clarity is key to your success.
Organization is a key quality for any investor. There’s a crucial need to keep up with documentation of income, deals, and anything that may be needed come tax-time. You want to maximize any write-offs and deductions, and that’s only possible if you have all of your records. It’s also just less stressful if you have everything on hand, neat, and orderly. You never know when you might need copies of those lease agreements or records from your bank.
No matter how you like to keep records, just having a system that you will keep up with is critical to success.
Running alongside flexibility is a quality we’ll call malleability. Instead of the ability to adapt to a situation, it’s an ability and eagerness to grow and learn from experiences and others. If you can soak in and absorb lessons learned, be they by your own trial-and-error or by old-fashioned book learning, you will make a fine real estate investor. So much of investment success hinges on your ability to learn well. You must be able and willing to learn.
People who lack passion for what they do are rarely good at it. It’s no less true in real estate investment. Passion is necessary. Even if you aren’t passionate about the properties themselves, maybe you’re passionate about winning deals. Passionate about watching your portfolio grow, or increasing your cash flow. You can be passionate about many things as a real estate investor, but it’s important to have a fire for something if you want to be successful.
Due diligence is one of the biggest determining factors in real estate investment success. For that, we must be disciplined. There’s no wavering from the path and from doing what we know must be done. We keep our priorities in front of us, knowing full well that this attention to detail and doing what must be done will bring us great rewards in the end.
Discipline keeps us growing as investors, learning and reaching for our full potential, and paying attention to the details that really matter, even when we’d rather be doing other things. Ultimately, discipline keeps it all together when we’re not at our best.
Investing in real estate doesn't have to take a ton of money, connections, or resources. What it does take is character and a drive to succeed. If you lack this, it's not likely you will last long enough to see the fruits of your labor.
Success in real estate investment comes when you are willing to do what it takes to earn it. Want to learn more?