Real Estate Investing Basics

Why Tiny Actions (NOT Massive Efforts) Make the Difference in Real Estate Success

Expertise: Business Management, Commercial Real Estate, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics
126 Articles Written

Sam and Frank dream of financial freedom through real estate. They're both about the same age and have similar house, families, time, and economic resources.

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One evening they both decide to attend their first real estate club meeting. They quickly become convinced that investing in apartment buildings by raising money is the way to achieve their financial goals in 3-5 years and quit their jobs.

After 12 months, neither of them have a deal or any money raised. On the surface, neither of them have made ANY progress whatsoever.

But remarkably, 6 months later, Sam does his first deal: a small 15-unit building about a 3-hour drive from his house. He was barely able to raise the $100,000 he needed to buy the building, and it looked a bit dicey a week or so before closing because one of his investors pulled out at the last minute.

Nine months after that, Sam closed on a 56-unit deal, which required $750,000 in investor capital to close.

An overnight success.

What About Frank?

Frank still has a good job he doesn’t like very much, but he’s comfortable. He attended several more boot camps and even signed up with a coach. But after 18 months, he STILL didn’t have his first deal or raised any money.


Because he never took action. And I’m not talking about MASSIVE action. I’m talking about TINY action.

Here’s what I mean:

After attending the real estate club meeting, Sam decided that he needed to make time for his real estate investment goals. He decided that he would watch 30 minutes less TV before he went to bed and instead listen to a real estate podcast or read a book.

Frank did not make a change to his leisure time.

After 3 months, Sam watched another 30 minutes’ less TV, and after 9 months, he found he had no interest in watching TV at all. Instead, he was voraciously consuming all he could about real estate.

Related: Stop Dreaming & Start Doing: How to Turn Big Real Estate Goals Into Actionable Steps

Sam was offered a promotion at work and was thrilled. But he thought about it and decided that the extra responsibility would give him less time to learn about real estate, and so he declined.

Frank, too, was offered a promotion and is now head of his department. But he works 10 hours per day, takes work home and travels 2-3 times per month.

Sam bought a notebook and wrote down the next 3 things he needed to do. They were normally simple things, like “Read 10 pages of this book,” “Call a friend and tell him about my real estate investing,” or “Attend the real estate club meeting this week.”

Small things. Easy things. Things that ANYONE could do without trying very hard and without any kind of big sacrifices.

Just three things.

And then he would cross them off and add three new ones.

After 6 long months of doing this every day, he looked up and was surprised at the progress he had made: Brokers were sending him deals; he had spoken with about a dozen potential investors; he had analyzed close to 25 deals and made a dozen offers. But he was frustrated that he didn’t have a deal or had raised any money yet.

Frank wasn’t any better off. He didn’t have a deal, either.

But he also wasn’t tracking his next three to-dos in a notebook, either. The whole thing overwhelmed him, and he didn’t know where to start.

What About You?

Are you like Sam or perhaps a little more like Frank?

How are you doing with your goals for this year?

Is it possible that you’re not on track because you’re too busy? Don’t know where to start? Or overwhelmed by the whole idea?

Related: Why the Small, Seemingly Insignificant Actions You Perform Daily Are VITAL to Your Success

Then may I suggest that you start by taking TINY action.

Not MASSIVE action. While this is widely taught, it only works for something like 9% of the population.

TINY action is doing TINY things each and every day until they produce MASSIVE results some time in the future.

What TINY action can you take?

  • Could you carve out an extra 30 minutes per day to dedicate to real estate?
  • Could you buy a notebook and write down the next 3 things you should do next and do them?

I guarantee to you that if you do these two TINY things each day for the next 30 days YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW FAR YOU’VE COME.

What small actions do you plan to take TODAY?

Try it. And let me know how it goes.

Michael Blank is a leading authority on apartment building investing in the United States. He’s passionate about helping others become financially free in 3-5 years by investing in apartment building deals with a special focus on raising money. Through his investment company, he controls over $30MM in performing multifamily assets all over the United States and has raised over $8MM. In addition to his own investing activities, he’s helped students purchase over 2,000 units valued at over $87MM. He’s the author of the best-selling book Financial Freedom With Real Estate Investing and the host of the popular Apartment Building Investing podcast Apartment Building Investing podcast.
    Nathan Blumanhourst Rental Property Investor from Wichita, KS
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This article is exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been learning as much as I can about real estate over the last 5-6 months and have recently starting networking but it all felt like it wasn’t changing anything. But I understand that every little step gets me closer to buying my first deal! Thank you for the words of wisdom!
    Andrew Hypnarowski from Buffalo, New York
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great article! Thank you
    Jeff T. Rental Property Investor from Culver City, CA
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This is similar to what is discussed in the book, The Compound Effect, which I thought was very good. The nice thing is that each thing that you do is very simple and doable, but gets you a little closer to your goal. Then those small steps compound into results as illustrated here. Nice article.
    Eli Tafesse from Queen Creek, Arizona
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This is a great article. Thank you for writing it, Michael.
    Jose Beltran III from Canyon Country, California
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This is a great article! I’ve been working on changing my ways in order to make small actionable steps everyday. This article gives me inspiration to keep on doing just that. Thank you!
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Michael, Nice article. It breaks things down not only to manageable steps but it makes the process less scary too.
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This is an inspiring story. I also believe that taking tiny steps can lead to huge results. These tiny steps should be coupled with patience. In real estate investment, you will not see results right away. As long as you are doing it right – slowly but surely- you will achieve your goals.
    Replied over 5 years ago
    This is an inspiring story. I also believe that taking tiny steps can lead to huge results. These tiny steps should be coupled with patience. In real estate investment, you will not see results right away. As long as you are doing it right – slowly but surely- you will achieve your goals.
    Aaron Smart from Orlando, Florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I just started taking tiny actionable steps this week and then I come across this blog post. How fitting!
    Rachel Gill
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great post! Loved this! And the idea of writing down your next 3 steps is a great motivator.
    Erin Kelly from Melbourne, Florida
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great article! Ive only been at it for about 2 months. Tiny actions, I shall start first thing in the morning! Thank you
    Mike Cardona from Antioch, California
    Replied over 5 years ago
    awesome post!
    Harvey J. McIntyre Investor from Advance, North Carolina
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.
    Timothy Lewis Banker from Bowie, MD
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Great article, Michael. Though massive action is certainly desirable, tiny action beats no action hands down. Went to my first REIA meetup last week. Learned a lot. Looking forward to the next one.
    Account Closed from Eau Claire, Wisconsin
    Replied over 5 years ago
    For someone like me entering the vast field of real estate, this is a good way to simplify the starting point. Thanks for the post!
    Shawn C. Investor from Cedar Park, TX
    Replied over 5 years ago
    I think this is a great reminder that slow and stead wins the race as well as some action no matter how small or minor is much better than no action at all. Many times as people we get caught up with instant gratification and business is not like that at all.
    Pyrrha Rivers Investor from Yokosuka, Japan
    Replied over 5 years ago
    Very nicely done and inspirational article. Thank you for posting it and breaking things down so we can all see that our goals and dreams are achievable. My take away small action from it is to start the To Do notebook. I love To Do lists and having them in a notebook is simple and brilliant as I can always find them and see my items being crossed off all in one place. Thanks!