Personal Development

Everything I’ve Learned About Real Estate Investing in 10 Powerful Sentences

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP
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Size doesn’t always matter — and I’m here to prove it.

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I’m most-well known for my massive blog posts here on BiggerPockets, but today I want to do something different.

Today, I wanted to go short. 

I’ve been investing in real estate for a decade now, and these are 10 most impactful lessons I’ve learned, succinctly summed up in ten quick sentences (with a few semi-colons included because I’m a cheater).

Related: The One Thing All Experienced Investors Know to Be True (And All Newbies Will Learn!)

Enjoy. 

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Everything I’ve Learned About Real Estate Investing in 10 Powerful Sentences

1. It’s never too early to start investing, but if you wait too long, you’ll look back and wonder, “Why didn’t I rise above the fear and start back then?”

2. A lack of money is not a reason to postpone your real estate investing career; it’s merely an excuse that allows your brain to shut off.

3. There are hundreds of different ways you could invest in real estate, but the truth is there is no “best” way, because they all work — so pick something that fits your personality, your location, your time-availability, and your passion, and run with it with every fiber of your being.

4. The 80/20 rule (Pareto’s Principle) applies perfectly to most real estate deals in that 20% of your deals will give you 80% of your profits; thus, focus on buying fewer but better deals.

5. Avoid the common pitfall of “hobby investing” by treating your real estate investing like the business that it is — with systems, processes, outsourcing, mentors, and math.

6. Don’t just buy real estate, buy incredible real estate deals — which takes a lot more work, patience, and a system for procuring those leads.

(P.S. For those interested, I’m hosting a LIVE webinar this Wednesday on this exact topic. We’ll be looking at the best ways to find real estate deals — even if you are in a competitive real estate market. If you want to find more deals in your area, don’t miss this 90-minute webinar! Register now to hold your spot.)

7. To buy more real estate, you must make more offers; to make more offers, you must analyze more deals; to analyze more deals, you must make the time daily to do so.

8. When trying to succeed at real estate, don’t reinvent the wheel; study to see what others have done and find ways to improve upon their proven systems.

9. The best real estate deals in the world are useless without proper management, so understand that the investment doesn’t end with acquisition — it begins there.

10. Wealth building is a slow, exponential curve that you’ll work for years at it and may never feel like you are getting anywhere, but one day you’ll wake up and look back to see the mountain you’ve climbed, and in that moment realize every step was worth it.

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Not that you’ve read my list of 10 sentences, what’s the biggest lessons you’ve learned from real estate?

Please share below, and if you have family or friends you think could benefit from this post, pass it along.

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    Mike McKinzie Investor from Westminster, CO
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great list Brandon. I think my statement would fit with your number five item. Along with NOT being a hobby, “Leave your emotions at the door” when investing. Emotions have been the CAUSE of more wrong decisions than any other excuse. Let me paraphrase a line from “Cinderella Man”, “My emotions are for my family and my courage/determination/strength are for my business!” So make sure that you are not buying or selling on FEELINGS!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hey Mike, thanks for the comment! And totally true about emotion – that’s a hard one to master 🙂
    Joe Harper Landlord and Appraiser from Bartow, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I must go to the local REIA if I want the real deals. Force myself to make time for it. And when I get there, reach out and actually talk to strangers. Your network is your net worth! As a 18th appraiser I saw the flips in the property records but never knew how to buy them myself. I was shocked to hear the deals available at my first REIA meeting. It was as if there were two markets – the retail mls and the “black market” of wholesale deals, tax deed deals, probate deals, sub-$10,000 deals. I was both astonished and embarrassed as a professional appraiser. Closing tomorrow on number 20 rental with $293 all in! Get in the game and hit somebody!!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Dude congrats on number 20! That’s fantastic!
    Kim Martin Rental Property Investor from Wenatchee, WA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Fantastic post! I do the research and look at the numbers. I stick to my criteria and I have fun!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Love it, Kim! Especially the part about having fun. My wife and I just sat down and talked real estate for almost two hours – and it was a blast! I love this game 🙂
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied over 3 years ago
    The lessons I have learned. Sooner is better than later. You won’t know if you don’t ask. If you don’t educate yourself, someone will teach you a lesson, and it will be expensive. Build a network of people to help you. There will always be room for more in the network.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 3 years ago
    All quotable remarks! Thanks for the comment Jerry!
    Chris Carollo from Western Springs, Illinois
    Replied over 3 years ago
    While it doesn’t apply to just real estate, this is a quote I think about almost daily including in my real estate business. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Henry Ford
    Al Williamson Rental Property Investor from Sacramento, CA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Big B – This is awesome. You summed up my life as an investor as well.
    Gia Hughes from Pinellas Park, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I’m glad to find this site. I have been trying to research real estate investment for sometime now. It seems that everyone wants you to buy an expensive package to learn anything. I have been to local meetings also. I haven’t networked well within them however. So I decided to just jump in with my first deal and learn as I go. The contract I have going now isn’t the best I’m sure. 20% down, traditional financing and near asking price. But there are good returns on the rent, has a tenant and is near an up and coming area. I’m nervous beyond measure so I plan to utilize this site and other information as much as possible.
    Donald Cooley Railroad Conductor / Future investor from New Baltimore, MI
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Great list Brandon, all very true. I’ve learned so much from this site. I managed to get my first deal in January, seller financed and very little down. Got the property rented in February and out cash flows great. I would’ve never had know how our the guts to pull the trigger on that deal if it weren’t for what I learned here. I’m now working hard to get another deal sealed up soon with another seller financed deal! Thanks for all the great info.
    Manuel Rovira from New Ringgold, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Brandon, I look up to you, thanks for the article!
    Jerry Padilla Lender from Rochester, NY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Nice read!
    Duke Marquiss
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Good 10! Number 11: Always ask, “Why are you selling this great property?” Find out hat their pain and solve the pain.