This post contains 22 pieces of advice, broken up into two categories: your financial life and real estate. If you have any other pieces of advice to add – please do so in the comments below! Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Vital to Your Financial Success: Save more than you spend. Don’t expect the good times to last forever. Watch for emerging opportunities that will work if the market changes. Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. Be flexible and ready to change direction. Have more than one exit strategy in your business. History tends to repeat itself – watch for trends that have happened before. Be aware of areas you can improve. You have a lot of competition. Be better than your competition in something. Do what you do best even better. Related:BP Podcast 002: Starting Out with Karen Rittenhouse – Subject To, Direct Mail, and Investing from a Woman’s Perspective Real Estate Never bet on the future. Buy only when it’s profitable from day one, (Have equity when you buy so downturns won’t hurt as soon or as much.) Have multiple streams of income: rentals, flips, owner financed deals, bank financed properties, partnerships. (And be networked with others who buy.) Always be reading and studying the market as well as mortgage and regulatory changes. (Stay on BiggerPockets!) Housing markets are highly localized. Don’t make investing decisions in your area based on information from CNN. Have many ways to sell: retail, owner finance, lease-to-own, rental. (With multiple exit strategies, you severely limit your risk). Pay attention to history – real estate markets are cyclical. How are you, or can you be, better than your competition? Copy, exploit (their fees are higher, we can close in 5 days, they don’t offer online payments, etc.), improve. Marketing. Never EVER stop. Branding. Is it necessary? How do you stand out from the crowd? Great customer service. An easy way to stand out, an absolute must, and something fewer and fewer businesses are offering. There aren’t many spendable dollars today. Why will people spend theirs with you? Offer training and information that the public needs. Find a need. Fill it. What do you have to work with? What can you add?