How to Profit From Your Mistakes of 2009

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Besides making your New Year’s resolutions there’s something much more important you should be doing at the start of the New Year.

Any idea what it is? Well, it should be to sit down for 30 minutes to an hour and review last year. What mistakes did you make as a real estate investor, which you need to fix this year? What did you do good last year which you can improve upon to do even better?

My Own Mistakes

For example, when I was reviewing my own mistakes earlier in the week, I recalled that my biggest mistake was a deal where I made about $13,000; however I expected to make a little over $30,000. When I was looking at this particular deal, the reason that I made about $20,000 less is because I did not take my time evaluating the property and did not do my proper due diligence.

Every once in a while I try to do too many things at once and with this deal I was so busy I didn’t spend as much time on it as I should. This is actually the cause of most of my mistakes in real estate and in life. I just get so busy I don’t focus on a deal as much as I should have.

How’s Your Integrity?

Another problem I had last year can be illustrated by my experience with an investor who I trusted and dealt with in the past, who decided not to have integrity when push came to shove. I know that many people had a rough year with real estate and lost money — this person was one of them. When choosing to do the right thing or the easy thing, this person chose the easy thing and did not care about his integrity.

I don’t know if I would call this a mistake, but I do know to never work with this investor again and will not recommend anyone work with him either.

The Good Parts of 2009

Now, when it came to reviewing the positive aspects of last year I had many things to be thankful for. I closed lots of deals and I owe it all to my marketing.

For 2010 I will continue to market as aggressively and to continue testing my letters and postcards to see which ones bring me the highest response. Also, I’ll continue to attend as many networking events as possible since the majority of my deals come from referrals.

If you haven’t done so yet, I would encourage you to take a few minutes today to review your own 2009. Make sure you don’t make the mistakes you did last year, and that you continue to do the activities which put the most money in your bank account.

Photo: Justin Timperio

About Author

Jason R. Hanson is the founder of National Real Estate Investor Month and the author of “How to Build a Real Estate Empire”. Jason specializes in purchasing properties “subject-to” and has purchased millions of dollars worth of property using none of his own cash or credit.


  1. This is excellent advice. I think a lot can be learned from looking back on the failures as well as the successes of the previous year and “tweaking” things for the year to come. There is also something to be said for dealing only with people in your network that have high integrity – they can take you down with them if you’re not careful!

    Mark Loeffler
    .-= Mark Loeffler´s last blog ..A WEALTH of Opportunity! =-.

  2. Jason,

    I agree with your thesis. It is very important to look back upon our experiences in order to see where we came up short. It is one thing to make a mistake. It is another thing to learn from that mistake. If we are continually making mistakes, and not learning from them, then we are nor progressing.

    Good point. We must reflect back upon our bumps in the road.

    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..3 tips to increase your confidence =-.

  3. Not even sure how I stumbled across your blog, but it’s a cool collection of historical posts. Looking at this one, I’m reminded of the worst real estate investment I ever made….in 2009 🙂

    Ended up losing $26,000 cash due to a need to sell. It was a JV that went South. Tough one.

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