If You Reach THIS Point, You Might as Well Quit Investing

by | BiggerPockets.com

If this one thing happens to you, then it’s time to put on the brakes and get out of investing in real estate immediately.

When you stop caring about providing an excellent product and service for no reason other than to serve people the best you can, when you stop caring about your people  — it’s time to quit. If you don’t get this (or you are scratching your head as to why you should have ever cared), then it’s probably time to find another gig.

Yes, real estate is absolutely a money and numbers business. If the numbers don’t work, then the deal doesn’t work. You can’t survive and keep serving others if you go broke. If you can’t afford to eat, then you aren’t going to be able to keep on going.

But even more than being a numbers business, real estate is a people business.


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Focus on People (& the Good You Can Do for Them)

If you stop caring about the people and offering good service and housing, you are going to do more harm than good. That may be subconscious at first. But when real estate players don’t care, it quickly becomes a slippery slope with all types of temptations to take shortcuts for short-term gains.

Related: Developing Your “Why”: How to Work for MORE Than Just Money

This doesn’t just apply to working with home buyers, sellers, tenants, outside contractors and other professional services firms. This is especially important in your own team as well. This is true whether they are local or work remotely. If you are building a team or company, then you have to look at the people you work with as real people, not interchangeable parts!

At the company I co-founded and operate, we hire based on attitude and focus on the person, not the ink on the resume in the hiring process. Is this person going to care about not only their job, but also the people they work with? If they care, then determination, good quality work, loyalty, and all of the other good things will come out of that. If they don’t care, all of those things will be issues.


Related: 6 Major Reasons to Invest in Real Estate (& How to Invest With Purpose!)

Don’t Neglect Your Personal Life

Lastly, don’t forget the people in your own personal life. Once you get into real estate investing, things can move really fast. You can go from barely making it paycheck to paycheck to big paydays and million-dollar opportunities very swiftly. Along with that can unfortunately come side effects, including an overinflated ego and feeling like those you love are the ones that are holding you back the most. Don’t fall for these myths. Remember, it’s you moving ahead so much faster; they didn’t change on you. Remember the real reason and priorities that drove you into real estate in the first place. Remember what matters most. And if you’ve got a little kiddo at home like I do, that means giving them your full attention when you’re with them (instead of worrying about that voicemail).

If you’ve lost your heart after being in the business for a while, you can get it back. You might need to take a little break or find a new angle to investing that isn’t so intensive or demanding of your time. But do prioritize it. Fall back in love with real estate for the right reasons, and life will be so much better.

Investors: What are the reasons you’re in real estate (besides the money)? How do you make sure you invest with purpose?

Let’s talk in the comments section below!

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. Douglas Skipworth

    Sterling, you are right on with this one. Most aspects of the real estate business are all about service. Said another way, most real estate people are not selling a widget rather they are selling themselves. We always say, if you don’t like serving people, you need to find a profession. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Stephan Nezuch

    Here is a funny reaction I have seen on a few occasions when going above and beyond my renters expectations. They become convinced that you have alternative motives for the care you are taking in the property, such as preparing to put the property on the market. I recently did a bit of de-foresting at one of my properties as it was long overdue. One of the tenants asked me why I was working so hard on this project. I replied that it was getting to the point of being unmanageable, but I could tell he was not buying my reason for the work. I later assured him that I had no plans for the property, it was simply a matter of upkeep. His reaction in turn was to pitch in with some of the landscaping and the lawn has never looked as good as it does now!

  3. James York

    Well said Sterling. I’m finding out how so much of your attention can be given to deals and opportunities early on in my real estate career. I too have a lil one at home and I have to remember having time to spend with her during her most important years is why I am in this industry in the first place.

  4. Bob Mastroianni

    I have to admit that your headline is what brought me to this post. I had no clue what you were going to say, but you are 100% correct. The people who stop caring eventually become the best seller’s. Those are the ones I call the “don’t wanters.” The don’t wanters are sick of their property, but usually because they just don’t care about it or the people in it. When you find a don’t wanter, stick with them because their pain will eventually lead to a deal for someone who does care. And then the opportunity is available for you to turn that property (and tenants) into what it shloud be. Nice article! Thanks!

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