As I watch the election results come in from around the country, it’s hard not to contemplate all of the hard work each of the candidates invested to get to this point. The thought of organizing a campaign of that magnitude while doing interviews, preparing for debates, managing campaign personnel, strategizing, etc. seems overwhelming for a single candidate. Most people simply don’t have what it takes to ever legitimately run for elected office. However, certain individuals have the skill sets, temperament and personality to endeavor to a nationally elected position.
I think the same holds true for real estate investors. There are certain character traits that are inherent in most real estate investors that enable them to be successful in what they aspire to. Just last week I was having lunch with an old college roommate who said something that I thought was quite profound. As much as he was struggling to figure out what his next career move was going to be, he said he knew he wasn’t cut out to run his own business. While he is a very intelligent, hard-working individual, he knew his natural skill set simply doesn’t lend itself to being a business owner.
I think the same could be said about some people when it comes to real estate investing. Some folks simply don’t have the character traits that make a great investor.
Now when most people think about the kinds of adjectives that describe a successful investor, they think of words like creative, tenacious, self-starter, salesman, negotiator, persistent, and I would definitely agree with them. These are definitely the type of qualities in an individual that will help them be good real estate investors. However, there are three character traits that are rarely discussed, but I would consider extremely valuable as a real estate investor:
The Three Essential Character Traits of Successful Real Estate Investors
Intuition – Knowing where to buy, what to buy and who to sell to is paramount for any real estate investor. While any smart investor will study existing data carefully before developing an investing strategy, there is certainly an element of intuition involved with any real estate decision. Do I accept this offer or wait for another higher one? Do I buy in this neighborhood or do I think it will decline over the next several years?
Making these types of buying and selling decisions can be a lot like playing poker. You never have all of the facts, but you make the best decision based on the information available as well as what your gut is telling you.
Adaptability – I wrote a blog last week about the speed at which the real estate industry changes. Any investor that wants to stay profitable and relevant needs to continually stay abreast of changing trends and adapt business models to stay current. Having the ability and foresight to make these types of strategic changes midstream is what sets successful investors apart from the rest.
Patience- While patience is rarely regarded as an important quality in real estate investing circles, I think it is one of the most important ones. Whether it be waiting to buy the right deal or waiting to get the right price on a sale, learning to be patient with your investments is of utmost importance. Too many investors have purchased bad properties because they weren’t willing to wait for the right ones.
Investing in real estate is not rocket science. It does not even take a college education to be good at it. Some folks are naturally talented while other develop their investing skills over time. Either way, knowing your strengths and weaknesses as an investor is critical to improving your chances at prospering in this business.