The Eight Essential Characteristics of Successful Real Estate Investors

Apr 4 07:34 2008 Jack Sternberg Print This Article

Sternberg brings a unique view and a high level of expertise after 30+ years as a real estate investor. This article is a must read for anybody considering investing in real estate.

As we all know,Guest Posting attitude is everything in any kind of business. There's the old saying "Attitude is altitude." In other words, the more positive your attitude, the higher you'll fly in your investment career. Now, that saying is definitely true, but it's also a little simplistic.

Here's a plain fact: you can't simply think you'll succeed and then do so. Thinking has to be combined with action! You have to get in there and do the everyday spadework that finds and closes deals.

So, a great attitude and the ability to take action are two primary characteristics of successful real estate investors. However, there are some additional characteristics you should know about. A few, lucky investor-entrepreneurs are born with them. Most of us, however, aren't. The good news is that we can learn them! It just takes study, practice and application.

So, my recommendation is to study the essential characteristics I explain below and then work hard to integrate them into personality. It can be done! I know, I did it!

Characteristic 1: The Entrepreneurial Spirit Whether in real estate or other businesses, entrepreneurs are essentially opportunity-seekers with an independent streak. They have a great combination of vision and common sense. Through research and hard work, they seek out niches in the market that no one else has exploited (vision). They then do the numbers on those niches. If the numbers are good (common sense), they exploit that niche; if not, they move on. They favor the KISS principlekeep it simple, stupid!

Characteristic 2: The Planning Spirit Successful real estate investors are planners to the core; they detest a "shotgun" approach to investments, knowing it will spread their resources too thin and not bring in really profitable deals. They possess the "Have a plan and work it!" mentality. In other words, once they've set a goal, they do the day-to-day work of setting objectives to carry out those goals. They plan on a daily basis to keep their focus on achieving their long-term goals. They never get distracted by daily events or people that get in the way of achievement of their goals.

Characteristic 3: The Networking Spirit Successful investors know in their bones that they live or die on the information they get and the contacts they make within a local community. So, they're careful to cultivate a reliable network from the start to the end of their investment careers.

Successful investors know that they have to give back to the network of contacts and fellow investors. It's not always possible, but many investors know that the quickest and most effective way to success is by finding a mentor who can teach them the ropes.

They also know that they have to give in return to their mentors. It's not a one-way street where you take and give nothing in return. They show mentors (and others) their appreciation through tips, leads, gift certificates, birthday cards, theater tickets, etc. Small personal gifts show that they care and are thinking of the mentor.

Characteristic 4: An Objective Spirit Successful real estate investors are entirely objective about their properties. In other words, they ruthlessly review their portfolio of properties on an annual basis. When they find properties that aren't performing to their expectations, they get rid of them quickly. These could include: Properties losing money Properties in neighborhoods that have spiraled down into war zones. Properties that have turned into a management hassle and consume too much time, etc.

Characteristic 5: An Ethical Spirit Successful real estate investors treat everyone fairly and honestly. I've said it before and I'll say it again hereyour reputation is everything in the real estate investment community. Once it's damaged or gone, it's difficult to make deals because few people will want to work with you. Successful real estate investors know that fair and honest treatment of buyers, sellers, agents, etc. is not only the right thing to do, but is also great business sense. The better your reputation, the more business you get.

Characteristic 6: A Family Spirit Successful real estate investors always gain the support of their families for their careers. When thousands of dollars are involved, they know a spouse can get very nervous and fearful, so they keep that spouse informed on what they're doing every step of the way.

Characteristic 7: A Giving-Back Spirit Successful real estate investors give backto their families, their communities, their churches, their schools, etc. They recognize that they should share their good fortune and, at the same time, gain back in terms of good will and more business. It's the classic "win-win" situation. Giving back can take many forms: Time spent on fund-raisers Sponsoring athletic teams Teaching Charitable donations, etc. They can also give back by becoming the people who helped give them a startby becoming mentors themselves!

Characteristic 8: A Learning Spirit Successful real estate investors remain successful because they never, ever stop learning. They know the real estate business is a dynamic and ever-changing market due to economic conditions, federal rules and regulations, and other factors. So, they always stay on top of local, state, and national conditions and plan to meet the changes created by those conditions.

Key Point: You may not be a "natural" for the real estate investment business, but you can make yourself into one! All it takes is a willingness to learn!

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About Article Author

Jack Sternberg
Jack Sternberg

Jack Sternberg is a nationally recognized expert on real estate investment and the creator of the renowned "Buyers First Program" who's been in the business for more than 30 years. Sternberg's deals have totaled over $750 million and he's been to the closing table more than 1,500 times. For more, visit

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