Real Estate Investing Principles: How to Build a Solid Business Foundation

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In a day where we are WOW’d and AMAZED by marketing minds through TV, billboards, magazine ads, internet flash ads, etc., we can easily become distracted by the glamour and fantasy of things and lose touch with reality.  In my last blog post, I explained that by watching HGTV and other home improvement shows, we can learn trends and styles and glean great ideas to improve our product as investors.  But as one person so aptly commented, you have to filter out all of the junk.  You have to chew the meat and spit out the bones!

When our family initially set out to conquer the world of real estate investing, we knew we needed some direction, some guidance, some help!  There is so much information, so many ideas that it is 100% overwhelming for the newbie investor.  We began looking into all of the guru products and were turned off by 95% of them.  After much toil, we bought Dave Whisnant’s investor course and dived into all of the nuggets he had to offer.  Though we learned several good how-to’s and tips and tricks, what really launched us towards success is this:

Applied Principles

Oh man, how boring!  Sounds like a graduate level physics course.  To me it sounds like money in the bank…

What the newbie investor needs above all else is to learn the Basic Principles of Investing, People, and Business.

I realize that this is probably a worn out topic, but we need to keep wearing it out because good ideas come and go, but principles never, ever fail!

Example: You don’t have to wonder if the universal principle of gravity is going to work.  It will work 10 times out of 10 because it is a universal principle!  There is no reason to test a principle.  You can bet on it.

So, this blog post and the one to follow are aimed at the newbie investor or the experienced investor that might be struggling to break through to a new level.  We have all experienced this “resistance,” whether new to REI or with years of experience under our belt.

I proclaim that the most important thing for a newbie investor is a foundation of solid principles.  I also proclaim that what it takes to launch your investing career is also required to grow your investing business for years.  Forgive me for being vague, but bear with me.

  • Have you hit a rut in your investing business?
  • Are you not able to break through to that new level of investing that you have been desiring (and desiring for a long time)?

We tend to look for the next “new” idea or a quick fix to propel us forward.  Gurus are always marketing new ideas that are “revolutionary” and can take your business to the next level.  They sound exciting and you believe it only to end up going around the same mountain back at the same place.

Educating yourself is a given.  You must do it and it is easier than ever to learn how to invest in Real Estate.  With sites like BiggerPockets, you can learn more than you really want to know.  So, please keep in mind that I am assuming that you are doing all you can to learn and stay on top of the real estate trends and markets.

With that being said, I want to propose some principles in this blog and the next one that will help you be successful and grow your business.  Although this is not a comprehensive list, I believe these are a few of the big ones.

Core Principles for Real Estate Investors

The Golden Rule Principle – We all know this one!  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Real Estate investing is not about real estate as much as it is about people.  Whether you are buying or selling, you are dealing with people.  We should make it common practice to put ourselves in other people’s shoes before we open our mouth.  As a rehabber, I am daily dealing with people in distressed and terrible situations.  Many times they are fragile and desperate for help.  So, when you are talking with a potential seller and you realize that they owe more than the house is worth, do you treat them differently?  If someone has nothing to offer you financially, do you treat them differently than if they could be a potential home run?  The answer needs to be NO!

If you are the General Contractor on your flips, how do you treat your subs?  Do you pay them on time and as agreed?  Many sub-contractors depend heavily on timely pay, so we need to be sensitive, and do what we say we are going to do.

This is a universal principle and needs to be applied to our investing career.  The most successful investors I know, treat other people well.

The Principle of Sowing and Reaping – If a farmer does not sow the seed into the field, he will surely never reap a harvest.  With anything in life, you have to put something in to get something out.  We have all heard the saying, “You are paying your dues”.  In actuality, “paying your dues” is nothing less than sowing into your business.  The problem with sowing into your business, can be that it feels like that is all you are doing.  You give, give, give and seemingly nothing is happening and nothing is ever going to happen.

That is a lie!

You can bet on a principle to work, and the principle of sowing and reaping is as sure to work as gravity!

Newbie Investor:  Don’t give up!  Just keep sowing into your business and be patient.  Life seems to be set up in a way that you have to work hard for anything that is good.  This is where most gurus have lead the newbie investor astray.  They want you to believe that as soon as you start, you are going to make a $40k profit.  Rarely is this the case!  You have to work hard and sow into your field, and then the fruit will come for you.

Experienced Investor: Are you in a rut?  Time to start sowing into your business again.  We can become comfortable with our results and stop sowing into our marketing and our systems.  Those field need more seeds sown into them.  Get out of that comfortable chair and sow, sow, sow.  You know what to do and what you do not need is another guru course.  You will reap in due season!

Please tune in next week for several more principles that will never fail you!

Photo: alternative_heat

About Author

Jason Grote

Jason Grote, co-founder of of, has been involved in real estate investing for 10 years. Through his experience, Jason has gained the expertise to sell a home fast and can also help people wanting to begin investing in Austin, Texas real estate.


  1. Brandon Turner

    Well put Jason. I need constant reminders that this really is a simple game, and by sticking to simple principles we can achieve our desired goals. It does take time, and there is always this temptation to start doing weird, fancy, or new stuff. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Jason, you highlight several universal principles that have been around for a long time (even from biblical days) but rarely practiced. Once we remain committed to ethics, things just have a way of working out…

  3. Brian Linnekens on

    It’s no secret that real estate investing has become the “weapon of choice” for many investors. With the stock market growing more and more uncertain it’s not hard to understand why. While real estate investing can be very lucrative and when done right can present very little risk, it’s important to remember that timeless adage “knowledge is key”. As with any financial decision to be made, no one should jump into real estate investing without gaining as much knowledge as possible on the front end. While it is true that experience is the best teacher, having a good knowledge base to begin with might just make your experience a little less scary. With this in mind, following are five things to consider BEFORE doing your first deal.

    Brian Linnekens

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