Why Some People Do and Some People Don’t: A Case Study of Three New Real Estate Investors

by | BiggerPockets.com

Over the years I have had the pleasure of helping several people begin or take their real estate investing to the next level.  I don’t know the exact ratio, but I would estimate that for every one investor that took action – twenty people I spoke with never took the first step.

This got me thinking, why?

I suspect the reasons why people don’t do things is long, so instead of focusing on the “why not” I have chosen to focus this article on three individuals that took the next step.

I will focus on each investor individually but first – I want you to know that each of the investors being profiled works a demanding full time job, each has a family (children) and all three of them have full support of their significant others.  Lastly, since I didn’t reach out to each of them prior to writing this article I am just going to use their initials.

My goal with this post is to help highlight why some people take the next step and some never do.

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The Local Investor

First I will start with “MT.”

MT and I actually connected via BiggerPockets two years ago.  After several email and phone conversations, we met at a local restaurant – as we lived within 30 minutes of each other.  Our initial conversations centered how we could work together to leverage his IRA as investment capital (until we worked with MT we had never used IRA funds in our program.)

In addition to investing the IRA proceeds in First Trust Deeds, MT was interested in learning what we were doing in our market so we took them with us on several trips and introduced them around to several contacts.
MT took these initial contacts and dove in head-first and now has a growing portfolio of quality rentals, an impressive rolodex of contacts and an ever growing stream of cash flow.

In MT I see a person who is focused, has high integrity and has the full support of their family – as it takes both time and financial commitments to execute at the rate MT has.  It has been fun to watch and I know MT is well on their way to financial security.

The reasons why MT is so successful are long – but I believe the key element is that MT did the research, performed due diligence, and then when they found a market that worked they stopped just researching and looked to execute a solid deal.  I have seen many people fail to stop researching and start submitting offers when they finally find a market that works for them.

Another reason I believe MT is successful is they found a model that worked and used it as a foundation for their own.

The Out-of Towner

Next let’s discuss “GH.”

GH is another investor who took the message and did the work and dove in.  However, unlike MT, GH invests in a totally different state and market than I do so I had zero contacts or relationships to share as they got started.  This small delta could have been a distraction for GH but instead they took the message and adapted it for their market.

GH, quite simply, did the work and got started – unlike many investors who find starting the toughest part.  They took the message of looking at 50+ homes prior to investing in order to get grounded and understand their market.  Once establishing their foundation they have been contantly finding deals, securing financing and growing their monthly cash flow / net worth.

GH could have

  • A.) let the simple fact that we invest in two different sates distract them or they could
  • B.) have taken the message, done the work and adapted the model to meet their needs.

I am glad they chose Option B.

The Detailed Goal Planner

Lastly, we will discuss “MS.” 

MS shares the traits of the other two investors with one small difference.  Unlike the others, I can see and feel their plan has a target/end goal in mind.  MS has worked with their family and they have set a goal for cash flow for each of them to retire.

I believe both MT and GH have ideas about what it will take to retire but with MS there is a specific number and they are marching toward it together with clear focus and execution.  When we speak with them it is always about taking that next positive step to financial security.

I believe a key to the success of MS is they have a mutually agreed upon goal and they are making the small sacrifices every month – in time and money – to constantly march hand in hand to their joint family goals.


In the end MT, GH and MS have 100% family support, they took action, got comfortable with their market and started doing deals.

Good Investing
Photo: Tambako the Jaguar

About Author

Michael Zuber is an active buy-and-hold real estate investor who still has a full-time job. Michael is not an agent or broker, and simply uses the internet and agent relationships to drive his business. He currently averages at least one deal a month and has developed laser focus on his 5 step process.


  1. Great information here. Very motivating for investors It is always good to have a plan of action for how you want to succeed and when the family is behind you and your not quitting your day job, while still pushing for new revenue, you will succeed. Thank you for such great information

  2. I think it is really important to have a clear plan and goal in mind and focus on how to achieve that. I am a real estate broker and investor and help many other investors achieve their goals of financial independence through real estate. I practice what I preach as I have 24 rental properties myself. These are going to be my retirement income.

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