30-Minute Conversations to Real Estate Success

by | BiggerPockets.com

You’ve probably heard that one of the fastest ways to get what you want is to surround yourself with people who already have it.

I’m a firm believer in this, and frankly its something I’m still working to do more of.   Whether you’re a novice or an experienced investor, the advice is solid. It’s simply hard to be unsuccessful when you are spending significant time with successful people.

Everyone has their own personal definition of what success looks like, but for the purposes of this post, I’m referring to success in the specific area of real estate investing.  To begin spending more time with successful people, I’d like to encourage you to find three real estate investors who have already reached the success you’re striving for and simply ask them if they would be willing to spend 30 minutes with you to answer a few of your burning questions and discuss their success in real estate investing.

You may have to conduct the conversation over phone, however you may be able to secure an in-person meeting over coffee or lunch (compliments of you, of course but it will be worth every penny spent).  Don’t be timid about reaching out to the investors — if you ask not, you have not.  I’ve found that people are often (but certainly not always) willing and happy to share their stories and lessons learned. Be humble yet direct about your desire to speak with them.

Quality questions create a quality life.  Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
Anthony “Tony” Robbins, entrepreneur, motivator and advisor to leaders across the globe

You want to respect the investors time and also maximize the opportunity, so be sure to know the questions you want to ask ahead of time.  Here are a number of questions you may want to consider, and I’m certain that you’ll come up with some better ones:

  1. What were the biggest challenges you faced when you first started investing in real estate?
  2. How did you work through these challenges?
  3. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made or seen others make in real estate investing?
  4. Can you tell me about the most challenging real estate transaction that you ever completed?
  5. What are your fundamental principles for real estate investing success?
  6. How important is ongoing education in topics of business, investing, and real estate strategies to you?
  7. What is the single most powerful piece of advice you have ever received when it comes to real estate investing?
  8. Do you have any mentors? In what areas of your personal and/or financial growth have your mentors been helpful to you?

What’s great about this exercise is that not only do you learn from those 30 minute conversations, but you also have the opportunity to expand your network. What other questions do you think would be good to ask?  Remember – when you ask better questions, you get better answers!

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Note from the Editor: I thought we’d remind any readers that we regularly conduct interviews with real estate investors that you can find at: Meet the Investor. It’ll give you a feel for the info you might get from interviewing people as Shae suggests.

Photo: lrargerich

About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog, GoodFaithInvesting.com, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!


  1. Hi Shae,

    Yet again, I very nice article! 🙂

    Your point number 7 is HUGE, in my mind.

    I learned to ask this question of all real estate investors that were doing better than I was. Since I felt that there was so much knowledge that I could learn from these individual investors, I wanted to have a few key points as a take away from them.

    If you ask this question (point number 7) of experienced real estate investors, they will usually share with you ‘their secret to success’.

    This is the one underlining principal that they feel contributed towards their success. Often times you will get one sentence from the investor.

    This was helpful to me, as I could remember exactly what their secret was, since it was basically summarized in a single sentence.

    Best Regards,
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..How to buy your first rental property – Step Five =-.

  2. Great info, and absolutely correct. I have found that most, if not all of us enjoy talking about ourselves. So taking the time to listen to other successful people, will be a huge benefit.

    Personally I took the stance of asking, “If you were to start all over again, what would you NOT do again? Also, what is the one item that you felt was the largest key to your success?”

  3. Nick, you’ve been one of those investors for me….the one who spills the beans 🙂 Thanks for your comments!

    Neil, yes the #7 question is my absolute favorite one as well! You can learn so much from just that one question!

    James, that’s a great question as well. Thanks for contributing!
    .-= Shae Bynes´s last blog ..The Wealthy Widow =-.

  4. Great post and comments. Although not a phone conversation or lunch meeting, BP is a great forum for picking up techniques of very succesful investors. Contributors like Nick and James and many others are typically willing to share openly. We have all probably heard at some time to surround yourself with positive successful people and to learn from others success. Thanks Shae, this is a well expressed reminder.

  5. How do you find investors that are more successful than you are?

    There are plenty of opportunities to meet other investors and network but how do you find and identify someone that is several levels above where you are at?

  6. Hey Luis,

    The same ways that you meet the other investors and network….when you actually have conversations with people, you’ll quickly know more about their experiences just through casual introductory conversation. Also, you can always ask others…for example, if you go to REIA meetings you can ask someone who has been a part of the club for awhile who some of the really experienced investors are, etc.
    .-= Shae Bynes´s last blog ..The Wealthy Widow =-.

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