Having mentored thousands of real estate investors over twenty years, I’ve been privileged to work with people who have become great real estate investors in their respective markets. Although they are all unique people with different backgrounds and in varied markets, they all share 7 qualities in common. The good news is that you don’t have to be born with them; you can practice these qualities until they become a part of you. So, what 7 qualities separate the great real estate investors from just the good ones? Here they are…
Quality #1: Be a Problem Solver
This means you don’t just marinate on your problems, but instead find creative solutions. There will always be a reason why a deal doesn’t close, so you need to find reasons why it will close by solving the problem. Often people make excuses as to why a deal didn’t close instead of overcoming the problems and producing results.
One of our apprentices is the perfect example of a problem solver and overcoming obstacles. He is working on a great deal right now with the buyer lined up and seller in a place. The deal was going through the probate process, and the probate court was taking longer than anticipated to finalize all the paperwork. We were prepared to close, however the judge needed some additional information. So, our apprentice tried to contact the seller several times but couldn’t reach him. He really needs to get this deal done. He’s a problem solver, so what does he do?
- He calls family and friends of the seller trying to locate him.
- He contacts the mom only to discover she can’t reach the seller either. Our apprentice then became very concerned.
- He asks the mother if anyone might know where he is and she gives him a number.
- He calls that person who tells him the word on the streets is that he is in the hospital, but he didn’t know which one.
- This leads him to call every hospital in the area.
- He locates the seller and gets the information he needs.
- Our apprentice takes the information back to the judge, and it looks like this thing is going to close.
Quality #2: Poise
Real estate can be an emotional roller coaster with high highs and low lows. The ones that do the best are the people that can keep an even keel and stay poised regardless of the circumstances and uncertainty. This quality has played a huge role in my longevity in this business.
The reality is, that even with great deals there will be a point when it could completely fall apart. This is outside of your control and it takes poise to stay the course. Riding the roller coaster of emotions that real estate creates will burn you out very quickly. Instead, stay poised and don’t get on the roller coaster ride.
Quality #3: Embrace Challenges
Embracing challenges is a crucial quality of a great real estate investor. Challenges mature you, so that you’re not lacking anything. In the Bible, James 1:2-4 says,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Sometimes when people join my apprentice program, they’ll hit a home run very early on. This can end up harming them as an investor because they think that what they want is big results fast. They get cocky and a little arrogant and they think it’s always that easy. However, what I want to see in the beginning is consistent results so they fully understand what they’re doing.
When there are challenges every step of the way you can embrace those challenges, allowing each challenge to prepare you for the next day, the next week, and the bigger deal. This cultivates a quality that will help you manage the highs and lows in your real estate career. You need to get excited about challenges and see them as a teaching tool, as opposed to something that’s blocking your results.
Quality #4: Long Term Commitment
A lot of people don’t like the word commitment, but it’s big in real estate. When people join my mentorship program and tell me they’re going to work ninety hours a week and close deals faster than anyone, I immediately try to correct their thinking. If you have the bottle rocket mentality and take off like a rocket, you will fizzle out just as fast.
Real estate doesn’t work that way. It has a natural flow and takes time to get the fly wheel turning. Even in the best-case scenario, the average real estate deal takes 30 to 45 days to close. More often it’s more like 60 to 90 days and that’s after you’ve spent several months to get the deal dialed in. On top of that, some rehabs can take 120 days or more.
You need to have a long-term commitment, consistently making strides. I’ve discovered that I learn much better by adding new information over time. In fact, I have a video on the power of investing in real estate part time. There’s a lot of power in that, so have a long-term commitment quality yourself and you will be a great real estate investor.
Quality #5: Have an Empty Cup
This means that you are open to learning. A full cup, by contrast, is someone who is arrogant and already has it all figured out. The reality is, there’s a lot that you may not know and acting like you do puts you at a massive disadvantage, particularly when making assumptions that are going to hurt you. Having an empty cup enables you to be flexible and learn and grow within a deal.
Don’t act like you’re the know-it-all. In fact, the more you are open to learning, every other know-it-all on the deal will try to teach you things and you’ll learn. Remember, you have two ears, one mouth. Another quality of a great real estate investor is being good at listening and open to learning.
Quality #6: Be Creative
Creativity allows you to get more done in less time and is one of the most valuable qualities you can possess. It has helped me, and my team be successful. We’ve invented techniques that have literally transformed our business and allowed us to dominate many of these marketplaces.
It’s not that you aren’t creative. The problem is you’re using your brain wrong and aren’t thinking creatively. Most people spend their time with their brain focused on to-do list items. Instead, you need to clear your mind, putting everything into an external memory system.
When Your Mind is Clear You Can Be Creative
You have what’s on the top of your mind, in the pre-frontal cortex and then what’s going on in the back of your mind. Think of the back of your mind as a bunch of employees that are working full-time to help solve your problems.
However, if you leave everything on the top of your mind, you don’t have all your workers working. It’s like you have this huge staff with nothing to do. You must get ideas and problems to the back of your mind. Let that be working while you’re sleeping and doing other things so that creativity can flow. When your mind is clear, then you can be creative.
I have a great video on real estate productivity that goes into much greater detail on this subject.
Quality #7: Take Responsibility
We live in a society that has completely ignored the idea of being responsible for one’s own actions, and it’s crippling as a real estate investor. When you haven’t achieved the results in your life that you want, take responsibility. When things go wrong, take responsibility.
You’ll never be a good real estate investor if you blame everyone else. If you want to be great, you need take responsibility for all your decisions and everything you’ve done that have led up to this point. It’s painful to take responsibility, especially if you don’t think it’s your fault. But the truth is, somehow it is your fault. By taking responsibility for where you’re at today, you then can start to grow.
You can begin to think differently about your situation and ask yourself what you can do differently. I’m not saying you beat yourself up and say, “I’m just terrible.” If you do that, you’re not taking responsibility. You need to look at yourself from the perspective that you can change, because you can. The brain is incredibly flexible.
People Can Change
You have control over your emotions and over what happens. This is a game changer, because when you take responsibility you:
- Start being a problem solver.
- Have poise regardless of the circumstances.
- Embrace challenges.
- Have commitment.
- Empty your cup.
- Get creative at finding solutions.
When you take responsibility, all these other things fall into place. It’s an absolute game changer, not just in real estate, but in your life. Please, don’t play the victim role. When you play victim, you lose all of what makes a real estate investor great. Being a great real estate investor means taking responsibility.