4 Monopoly Concepts That Can Help You in Real Estate Investing

by | BiggerPockets.com

Do you still reminisce about those family game nights where you would break out your favorite Monopoly game set and fight with your siblings over which metal play piece you wanted to be? (I always picked the cool car.) Truth be told, the most ironic thing about Monopoly that I can’t seem to get over is the fact that this money-hungry, business-driven game was actually invented during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

However, regardless of what age you are, whether you have a real estate license or not, you can’t help but compare Monopoly to real life investing. Here are some of the things that managed to inch its way into my mind.

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4 Monopoly Concepts That Can Help You in Real Estate Investing

Embrace the rules.

Don’t be afraid to get friendly with the rules and learn everything you possibly can! While rules might sound restrictive, it can actually be advantageous to have knowledge over other people who might only know a handful of things. By keeping in mind all the rules and regulations, you will be able to build a stronger strategy, and it will also aid you in finding fresh, new opportunities that other people might not be able to see.


Related: 7 Things Monopoly Teaches Us About Alternative Home Financing

Don’t be afraid to invest.

Any old school Monopoly player will definitely tell you that the best possible way to make a return is to buy as many properties as you can afford. This goes for real life, too, in that you need to have a willingness to make a commitment. 

Be sure that you buy up as many worthwhile properties as you safely can ASAP because factors such as interest rates and inflation might just give you a good whack in the head without you even realizing. So similar to Monopoly, start building your collection of properties and begin collecting that rent money. However, be sure that you still set aside a healthy sum for those unexpected bills that might just come your way.

Think long term.

When you want to splash your cash, be sure that you keep in mind the return that you will be making in the long term and not just the present moment. So while it might be awesome to buy utilities at first, once you garner enough railroads, those train stations will give a far bigger return.


Know the importance of location.

OK, so while it might be awesome that you own both Baltic Ave. and Mediterranean Ave., these might not be such great investments in the long term. This is because these two probably won’t actually cause other players to become bankrupt unless they were already on the financial edge. So similar to Monopoly, when you go out to find a property to invest in, search for ones that are in worthwhile locations so that even during great recessions, they will still be able to maintain their value.

Related: How to Never Lose Monopoly Again

I have no doubt that there are probably a number of other things that you can easily learn from this classic board game; however, I hope these few tips will be enough for you to ponder over for the next wee while.

Challenge: To up the stakes, try playing this game with real money!

What has Monopoly taught YOU?

I’d love to hear your feedback!

About Author

Sterling White

With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling currently manages over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $26MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments and single-family homes. Through the company he co-founded, Holdfolio, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single-family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.


  1. Elia S.

    Haha Oh My Gosh Sterling Great Article and analogy I remember those days in the Living room with Family watching the Black & White TV Ahh Good Times & Ole days an always loosing to my Dad But Oh well thats How it goes an yes i learned from that game how to Invest & the Rules thanks for Bringing back that Memory.

  2. E. Barret

    Learn to leverage when appropriate. Any cut-throat game of monopoly will see players maximize returns by mortgaging less-desirable properties in order to develop others. I started investing by purchasing houses with all cash, my own. While it was comfortable to have all that equity, I have dramatically expanded my returns now that I’ve also invested the cash out of my early projects. New investors- don’t stunt your growth like I did; don’t be afraid to take on good debt when the numbers call for it.

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