Personal Development

7 Personality Traits to Cultivate for Success in Real Estate

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Wholesaling, Real Estate Investing Basics
96 Articles Written
Portrait of a young confident smiling indian man with his arms crossed looking into the distance

As our nation pivots, there are many new aspiring investors entering the real estate industry. While they look for success, I've identified seven characteristics that serve as common denominators in accomplished investors' personalities.

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I briefly spoke about this in my conversation with Brandon and David on the BiggerPockets Podcast (episode 386). To my novices, I wrote this piece for you. Please listen and conduct a brief self-assessment and make appropriate changes in your character to ensure you’re successful.

1. Resourcefulness

Things hardly ever go as planned. There will always be roadblocks, missed deadlines, crises, and even an occasional pandemic. You have to be resourceful to make sure your transaction is finalized and successful.

I lightly touched on this in the podcast. At the end of February, we were under contract on three deals. Each deal stalled due to the pandemic. We had sellers who were seniors that emphatically declined to let our buyers, contractors, and even appraisers on the properties. We had to strategize on how to get these deals to the finish line. We were able to use a combination of our network (private lenders), thoughtfulness, and rapport to ensure we closed these deals.

On one property, we had a buyer who was using a hard money lender to finance the deal. However, in early March, COVID-19 was just starting to create massive hysteria across the nation, and this lender backed out of the deal due to turbulence.

Fortunately, we had private lenders that were very eager to work with us, so I presented the situation to one and they funded the deal. They did this because of our track record, experience, and their eagerness to work with us. We had to use our network to get that deal closed.

Secondly, since we knew our sellers were in high-risk populations for contracting the virus, my acquisition manager acted to ease their concerns. For each appointment he went on, he brought the sellers masks and gloves, and he made sure our buyers had personal protective equipment on. This showed the sellers that we were considering their needs, which gave us a higher level of credibility, built additional rapport, and exemplified our thoughtfulness. We’ve been able to close two of those three deals for a net of $31,000.

Not bad money while everyone is watching Netflix!

Related: 13 Habits the Vast Majority of Successful Leaders Share

2. Focus

High achievers are focused and goal-oriented. We know what we want and when we want it.

You may notice I didn’t say we know how we are going to get it. I picked this up from J. Massey, a super successful real estate investor from California. He told me you learn the “how” along the journey—focus on the journey and the outcome, and you will see success.

Too many people are focused on the mechanics of how they are going to be successful. They forget what they are trying to do. There is a process to success. You have to go through the trenches, you have to put in the hours, you have to respect the craft.

I wrote my first blog post for BiggerPockets in March 2014. Ninety-five blog posts later, I’m still writing. This is nearly seven years of writing to people I’ve never met, never spoken with, and have nothing to gain from it.

You can’t cheat and disrespect the work others have put in. Do the work and the fruit will come later.

woman looking through rolled up paper suggesting focusing on one thing

3. Self-Confidence

My biggest challenges were all internal self-limiting beliefs.

I’ve found that in order to have some level of success, you have to have an unnatural level of self-confidence. You have to believe that you are the best at what you do, no matter what others are doing. I had to teach myself this, but once I understood the concept, I began to gain so much momentum that I had to tell myself to slow down.

I have an excellent conversation with myself nearly every morning. Why? Because you create your tomorrow by what you do and say today.

Profess what you want each day and things will begin to materialize. However, this will only happen if you also take action. Just talking and cruising in neutral will get you nowhere.

4. Humility

You should approach life as though no job is too big or too small, as long as it helps you along your journey. Pride is too expensive and will not gain you anything. Be humble.

Related: 14 Things Every Real Estate Investor Should Do Every Single Day

5. Gratitude

Many people today focus on what will come next, rather than appreciating the now. You have to take time to grow into what you aim to be. It’s not that you’re undeserving, but sometimes you’re not prepared for success.

Being awarded something prematurely can be a detriment to your success. You have to learn to be thankful where you are. Each morning and throughout the day, you have to take a moment to show that you are very grateful for your life. We tend to only look at the big things, but the little things matter a ton.

I’ll give you an example of gratitude that taught me to change my perspective.

My dad was diagnosed with ALS about seven years ago. When visiting him, I noticed he would have these periodic moments where he would cry. I thought he was crying because he couldn’t use his extremities or because someone had to feed him. No, he was crying because he was thankful that he could still spend time with his grandkids, watch his Steelers, and crack his crazy jokes. I thought he was crying tears of pain, but they were tears of joy.

Just remember to be thankful for where you are. It’s challenging to move on to the next level without appreciating the now.

Mans Hand Reaching For Red Ladder Leading To A Blue Sky

6. Strategy

This may sound contradictory after what I said earlier about not worrying about “how.” But you still need to have a strategy. As long as you have a road map, the resources you need will begin to materialize.

You have to have some sense of direction, or you will become easily distracted by things that don’t align with your goal.

7. Persistence

As the son of a second-generation immigrant from Panama, I was taught the power of persistence. Anything you don’t take time to learn, perfect, and respect, you will not honor.

Persistence is about discipline and overcoming adversity. So many people know this is important, but the moment adversity shows up, many people fold. They make statements like, “Well, it must not have been for me,” or, “There’s too much competition in my market to be a wholesaler now,” or, “It’s a seller’s market so I can’t find my next fix and flip.”

These are excuses. You have to figure it out. That’s the best part of being a real estate entrepreneur. You have to identify the challenges and find a way to solve them. This is how entrepreneurs make money.

As a businessperson, your job is to find problems, run to them, and solve them—not run from them.

What do you think makes a successful investor?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Marcus Maloney is a value investor and portfolio holder of residential and commercial units. He has completed over $3.3 million in wholesale transactions. Currently, Marcus is a licensed agent who ...
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    Alex Craig Real Estate Professional from Memphis, TN
    Replied about 2 months ago
    You forgot the most importance. Common sense. Way to many over complicate RE. It is not rocket science, otherwise I would not be doing it. The others are certainly important. Great article!
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Alex, that's why it's not on the list. I did think about adding the basics but we all know common sense is not that common so some people struggle and over analyze. Thanks for reading and the comment.
    Ruth Lyons Realtor from Highland, MD
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great article, thanks for sharing. I especially liked the saying about anything you do not take the time to learn, perfect and respect, you will not honor. I hadn’t heard that pieces of wisdom before.
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Ruth, Thanks for reading. Yes many people want to cheat and get the life hack, but the true life hack is respect the effort others put in to be successful. Short cuts are not always short.
    Gina Lowe Real Estate Investor from Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Replied about 2 months ago
    I’m going to remember that. “Anything you do not take the time to learn, perfect and respect, you will not honor.”
    Tania Loya
    Replied about 2 months ago
    thank you! for your advice, everything in this article makes sense
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Tania, Thanks for reading please remember this and utilize it in life.
    Daniel Fitzroy
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great post! especially the part about appreciating things that we currently have. I'm always thinking about what i have now and where I was before in terms of things like paying off my truck loan, or other materialistic things but my biggest one lately has been appreciating the chance to work in general and spend time with family. I also appreciate this article and bigger pockets in general you guys are amazing on here. so inspiring. cant wait to do my first deal!
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Daniel, I practice an hour of appreciation, affirmations, meditation, and reading or listening to something positive daily. I was sceptical about this in the beginning but it revealed a lot of things. I used to be very ungrateful because of things in my life in the past but after reflecting I noticed I have it good even with the struggles. Man keep learning here on BP and you'll get that first deal done. I promise you that. Thanks for reading and following
    Saheed Oseni Rental Property Investor from Dallas, TX
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Awesome article and a great read! Sometimes we need reminders, this reminds me of those intangibles I forget to remember daily but do everyday in some form or fashion. Also applicable in all aspects of life. Thank you!
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Saheed, A quick reminder is good. Thanks for reading.
    Lori Johnson
    Replied about 2 months ago
    I agree with all the above comments and am very thankful each and everyday that slowly as I work hard at this real estate rental business, it will someday be my full time job and my reality will be in full view. I also appreciate these types of articles as I think of them as pep talks and simple reminders which we all need. I think I do most of the above but the one that caught my attention tonight was the one about “Anything you do not take the time to learn, perfect and respect, you will not honor.” this IS priceless information for ALL aspects in this life. THANK YOU BIGGER POCKETS, YOU GUYS ROCK AND ARE VERY INSPIRING!!!!
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Lori, Thanks for reading, a little pep talk is always need especially when its to help motivate and inspire. That's what BP is here for to provide strategies, roadmaps, and inspiration to make accomplish your goals. Just remember to share your success so others will know its possible. Keep working and you'll be full time for certain. Remember to enjoy the journey.
    Mario Mejia Investor from asburn, Virginia
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Couldn’t agree with you more sir. Great post
    Travis Lebsack from Chandler, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Great post! Like always, you nailed it Marcus. I especially like the section on gratitude. I find that being grateful for my life, family, and talents drive me and inspire me to keep pushing. Thanks again
    Marcus Maloney Wholesaler from Queen Creek, AZ
    Replied about 2 months ago
    Travis, absolutely. Sometimes we are so busy trying to close the next deal we forget the reason why we have the passion and ambition to get there.