Hello friends, how are you doing today? So, something I knew that I wanted to create for you was a list of the top 10 traits of successful investors, and what I have uncovered during our journey from a single house to financial independence. Do me a favor and leave your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to maybe hear which one you liked the best. More importantly, I’m probably going to miss a few so if there’s anything that you believe I’ve missed in the list of top 10, I would love to hear from you. We are trying to get to 3,500 subscribers by the end of 2019, so if you haven’t subscribed to the channel yet, it’d be greatly appreciated. If you have subscribed, do me a favor and ask some others to do the same.
Now, here are my top 10 key mindsets of successful real estate investors. This is all coming from my experience doing a hundred interviews and really looking at what others have done, digesting a lot of books, and watching YouTube videos from others. This is my list, but I’d love to hear what yours is.
First and foremost, you need to think in abundance and be positive. You have to be happy. Real estate investing offers plenty of opportunities to get down on yourself. You can’t find deals, or deals blow up, then tenants do this, property managers do that, etc. If you’re going to be negative and go in that direction, it’s going to be a hard slog.
I couldn’t imagine doing it for the length of time that it takes to be meaningful. So if you can think in abundance, be positive. Here’s what I mean by abundance, I think the greatest example is I’ve been talking about Fresno as the area that we’ve been investing in pretty much since day one, back in 2008 or 2009. I had a blog that was out there talking about deals and telling people to get started. Now, I’ve had this YouTube channel going on a year or so, asking people to join. I’m very clear, I think Fresno is a great market. I think anybody who lives in the Silicon Valley should look there. If you want my help, I’m game. If you’re in Southern California, heck, if you’re out of state and you want some of the California appreciation that we’re known for cause of the weather tax and all the other things that we have going for us, I think Fresno’s a great place to be. Cash flow and all of those things. So I think it’s a great market.
However, what I mean by that is I’ve been sharing that openly creating competition. I can’t tell you how many times, just today in today’s market, I find out that there’s a student of mine possibly looking at a house that I was thinking about bidding on. But I’m always saying, great, go for it! There’s always another deal out there. Back during the crash, as I kept talking and writing about deals that we were doing, more and more people were bidding on the stuff that we were bidding on. But it was all good. I have found life to be far more enjoyable when you think abundance versus scarcity and at the end of the day, you’ve gotta be happy. Life is so much better when you’re happy and, and sharing and growing.
I believe that you’ve got to do everything you can to make sure everyone wins. If someone feels like they lost, that’s not a good thing in my book. You may have to take a discount or you may have to delay this or that, but you’ve really got to listen. You have to do what you can to make sure everybody feels good about a transaction. Going in and doing zero-sum games where it’s I win, you lose, might work in the short term, but it isn’t a way to longterm success. I believe real estate investing is a people business. Sure, you may be able to take advantage of some people some of the time, but you’re not gonna be able to take advantage of all of the people all of the time, and your reputation matters. Hence, I think you should do everything you can to win, and to make sure everyone wins. It’s important to note that that doesn’t mean you lose while everybody else wins. You’re included in that, and the deal must make sense for you as well. If it doesn’t, don’t do it because everybody else wins and you lose. That should be obvious, but I just want to put that out there.
I’ve been saying this a long time and I kind of feel like a broken record: You have got to live below your means. You have to sacrifice short term, and the short term could be up to a decade long so that you can ultimately have longterm success. I’ll put it in context… I sacrificed from my 30th birthday to my 45th, and now I’m able to buy what I call two decades of freedom. It’s a trade-off I would make every time. If I had to start over knowing what I know now, I think I could do it in 10 instead of 15. If everybody went out after one rental at a time, you could get there in 10 years. Of course, you don’t have to gain financial independence.
That’s the message I want you to take from this is even if you just got one or four rentals, you’ll have a better financial future because somebody else is paying for your assets. Be supportive of your significant other and have one set of goals. I’ve told the story many times about our first rental. The main point is if we were not on the same page, we would not have gotten our second. Do it together, have one set of goals and make it a joint mission. You’re going to be on this road for 10 years. It’s far more enjoyable to have your significant other by your side.
There are a lot of bad things that can happen in real estate. You just need to move through them, and you need to learn from them. Put in the processes and procedures so they’re not repeated. The most expensive mistake is the one that’s repeated. You’re going to have lots of successes whether you’re going to rent or you’re going to a 10-31 exchange, you’re going to pay off your mortgage. There are lots of days that are great, but there are also days that are bad. If you’re too high or too low at any one time, that could be very stressful and hurt some other parts of your life including your health and relationships. Try to stay in the middle, closer than the peaks and valleys, and I think you’ll be able to get through the journey much faster and with a lot less stress.
Never stop learning your market, it’s always telling you something. This comes to me in a couple of different ways. Sometimes I hear people that get in, they get excited, they buy my course, they do their homework, they buy their first investment and then they stop. They’re like, Hey, I don’t have any more money. Keep learning because you have to be able to understand, or at least keep watching, your market to see what’s going on. You can see it turn, go up, go down, we’ll see what’s different. You never know when that once-in-a-decade deal comes along and you could put it together somehow. Some way, get a partner, get a joint venture, a borrow gets you forward, sell one of your cars, I don’t know, but you’ve got to keep watching because the market is always telling you something and it’s the people that listen that will learn.
Something I saw a lot during the crash were people who would come in and buy something, not do anything with it for six months, and then try to come back. The market is going to be different. Same thing from 2012 to 2018. The market is going up all of the time and if you’re not paying attention you’re not going to see what’s happening. Don’t just look when you have money, look all the time. This is one that I didn’t fully appreciate until the last couple of years. You really do make your money when you buy. Find somebody who doesn’t want something for some reason, right? AKA the sellers, and that’s where you can find the best opportunities. You should have the ability to find those and work with them, listen to the problems, and help them. Those are where you can create the best opportunities, create win-win transactions and really add a good or great deal to your portfolio.
This is a big one for me. I documented in our book (If you haven’t read it, check it out. One Rental at a Time on Amazon) that we bought 99% of our portfolio off the MLS before we retired. There were two deals that we got, not from the multiple listing service or realtor.com because we had no access. We had no feeding deals, no marketing, nothing. One was an auction during the crash at auction.com, where I just went on and made a bid. The other was a bank that came to us on a property we were working on because they had the one next door. Other than those two, everything we bought was just out of the listings that any of you could see on Redfin, Zillow or your multiple listing service.
So the reason that I bring that up is because 99% of the listings don’t fit our model, right? If you follow what I tell you, then you know I teach that most of the deals are either bad or average. It takes you learning your market to understand what an average deal is so that you can find the 1 or 2% that are good or great. If you’re following what I teach in One Rental at a Time you’re going to see the good and great deals and those are the 1 or 2%, that’s all I teach. I believe that’s a skill. Finding good deals or great deals in your market is a skill and it’s one that you can learn. And more importantly, once you learn how to do it for your market you can take it into any other market, which is pretty cool. If you’re having difficulty and you think your market is too expensive and you can’t find anything, buy the course.
I’ll even give you a coupon code, BOOK20. It’ll save you $20, making the course only $179, and I will send you an autographed copy. I have about 20 left to be signed and sent to you. Again, you save $20 and you get an autographed copy, you’re not gonna see any other deal like this. I think that this single bullet makes it well worth the price. 99% of the stuff you look at is average or bad, and unless you know how to uncover the 1% you’re stuck. That’s what I teach. List price is just that. Make offers that work for your model. When you take my course, you’re going to understand how to compare deals. If the average is 5%, you’ll understand how to write an offer to make that a 6 or 7.
Remember, the sellers have every right to say no and no is a perfectly acceptable answer, but many times you’ll get a counter and you can start working these things together. So the two things you’re going to learn in my course, above and beyond all the other stuff that is there is, is how to research and learn your market and how to compare deals and make sure you’re only offering on good or great deals in your market. I’m so proud to do that, it’s just right in your face. Do this homework, do this, do this, do this and go to the playlist on this channel. I think I have a playlist called students or student interviews where they’re talking about their business and how this little course changed their lives. You have to think of decades, you have time.
You know, Gary V likes to talk about the 40 somethings which we’re in. I’m in with him. We have a whole other life to live. So thinking in decades, you know, put 20, 30, 40% down, have your tenants pay it off over time, and lock in 30-year money. That’s ridiculously cheap today, nearly half of what I was paying when I started. Don’t be in a rush. Fas money is dangerous money, I’m thinking decades. Have your tenants pay stuff off and you’re going to be in a good position.
So that’s my top 10. Which one resonated with you? Which ones did I forget? Are there other traits of successful investors? If so, leave comments below I’d love to hear from you. Hopefully this helps, I really have been loving this channel and creating daily content for you. If you’re still watching this and you haven’t subscribed, please do me a favor and hit the subscribe button. Creating daily content for you is tough, but it always gives me a jolt of energy when I see five or six people subscribing every day. Alright, everybody take care! Have fun.