How to Beat Out Your Real Estate Competitors — Even if They’re Much Bigger Than You

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You maybe aware there are competitors out there in the real estate marketplace, but competing isn’t the only option.

Whatever industry you go into, there will always be “competitors” — but that doesn’t mean you have to compete with them.

Look at the massive success stories of Virgin, Uber, Airbnb, and Tesla. They faced an insane amount of competition by most people’s standards. We’re talking far bigger, more entrenched companies, with far bigger financial power and brand recognition, more money to hire and vast teams.


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Stop Fearing Your Competition

If you go into anything, especially real estate, fearing competition or trying to take on the wrong competitors in the wrong way, there is a very good chance you are going to get dominated and ran out of business fast. So, then, how is it that new agents and investors can come in and literally make millions in real estate, while they are surrounded by thousands of individual real estate agents and investors in their local markets who are only just making enough to get by?

Related: 12 Competitive Advantages to Develop for an Investing Edge So Strong, It’s Almost Unfair

There are a number of different approaches and strategies to hack your way right to the top (ethically, of course).

My philosophy has always been to go in only wanting to dominate the marketplace.

You have to be bold and take big action to achieve this. Think of what companies like Facebook or Amazon do. If they see you as a competitor, they might buy you out, market you out of business, or go to the courts and tie you up until you can’t afford to compete anymore.


Out-Hustle Your Competitor

My personal approach to this is if someone has more resources than me — such as funding, more employees, or more connections — then I’d better outwork that person or business!

If you are not working to try and put yourself out of business every day, then you are losing. HP used to battle to constantly innovate to replace their own products with something better. Some may believe Apple attempts the same thing. Some love and embrace “competition” for this reason — because it makes them better and drives them to create far more, improved products and services than they would as a monopoly. Think of ways to further innovate in your sector and not remain stagnate. We are in a fast moving time in history when it comes to innovation and disruption. Just think of what crowdfunding is doing to the real estate space.

Related: How to Create a Standout Business in a Sea of Real Estate Competitors

For me, this is also about doing what your competitors aren’t willing to do. For example, is your competition not door knocking to find deals? If not, that is your opportunity. Are they taking calls 24 hours a day? Maybe your competitors are contracting during the holidays. That is your cue to go all in with action-taking.

How can you out-work your competition? What are you willing to do to serve clients that no one else is doing well?

Let’s talk in the comments section!

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. Curt Smith

    We out compete by avoiding competition all together. Move your deal type to a new area up a freeway in a small town but commuting distance.

    Our current area is 1.5hr any. Long days on market for to buy rentals cheap and zero rentals available. A perfect storm till it stops working then we’ll move on.

    Being agile is also being resilient. Research out the freeways to smaller towns.

  2. Michael Yorke

    I’m new to the Real-Estate world. I appreciate the insight into making your brand stand out. The Atlanta market is saturated with lots of development and movement in Real-Estate. I must admit, I am nervous to take this leap of faith. I know if I don’t try I will regret it.

    • Curt Smith

      Hi Michael, I live in Atlanta area and long since left to buying in other much easier to do deals areas with fewer investors. I also joined the local REIA GaREIA dot org to meet other experienced investors to learn by partnering with either experience or with their money. Both ways I’m ahead.

      One can struggle being a small fish in a huge pond full of gaters and bigger fish. Or another point of this article is: find a very small pond where even a small fish can do ok.

      After rental #8 the remaining 26 are all 1-2 hours away in smaller markets where my low ball offers got looked at and eventually accepted,,, the point of working a smaller market (that meet a few other important criteria on the sell/rent side).

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