Personal Development

5 Valuable Real Estate Lessons I Learned This Year

Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, Business Management, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing
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I’ve learned a lot more in real estate over the last 12 months than the previous year. It’s meant a lot of growth and has helped me get far ahead mentally and logistically as we go into 2017 and beyond. I hope some of these takeaways will help you streamline your way to success and your goals as well.

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Be Self-Reliant

No one else is going to make things happen for you. They just aren’t. If you want something, you just have to figure out a way to solve the problems that will enable you to get to your goal. That’s just the way it is. Sitting there visualizing or waiting won’t make things happen. You are just wasting time. Figure it out. Take action.

Think Big

I’ve always been a person with big goals. Now I aim even higher. When you do that it impacts others around you. I’ve even started to see this has filtered through the culture of my partner and my company. With all the technology and knowledge out there today, it’s never been easier to aim really, really big. By big, I mean huge!


Related: How I Lost $25k Investing in My Early 20s — And the Invaluable Lessons I Learned

Remain Objective

Most of us have heard this before, but it takes discipline to put into action. No matter how much I like the location, the layout of a property, or how it looks, I have to take emotion out of it and keep focused on the numbers. Jake and Gino’s words of wisdom are to “never fall in love with a property” (which Gino still does occasionally). If the numbers do not work, there’s no need to try and force it. There’s plenty of other deals out there with numbers that do work. You have to know when to pass, walk away, and say no. 

Use the Power of Delegation

I’ve been freeing up my time to focus on higher value activities. It has really been working for me, and I plan to go even further with this in the new year. If I can hire someone to get a task done at 80 percent of the quality and efficiency of what I could do myself, that is completely fine. In fact, it is an absolute must. There is only so much you can do. They say we all have the same number of hours in the day. The most successful are just those that leverage others to get more done in those hours.


Related: 10 Unforgettable Lessons From My Loser Rental Property

Exhibit Patience

While I have hit goals (and set higher ones) and have been able to get more done by delegating, I have learned patience. Some things take time. Doing things well takes time. That’s OK. We’ve just got to get comfortable with what we can’t rush and focus our energy on doing the things we can. However, when the right opportunities do appear, you’ve got to be ready to jump on them with speed. For example, I might look at 100 deals to find three or four good ones. When I find those good ones, I am going to make an immediate offer so they don’t get away.

What have you learned over the last year?

Let me know with a comment!

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.

    Replied over 2 years ago
    The one I struggle with is delegation – I know in my head that other people can handle some of my tasks, but in reality I have trouble let go of control
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 2 years ago
    2017 is the year to let go, Laura! Best of luck.
    Seth Taylor Investor from Denver, Colorado
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I needed to hear this today. 2017 for me is all about self reliance . No more real estate training, no more guru jocking. I have my biggest wins in real estate when I listen to my own guru, myself. Sometime I look at a uber successful real estate person and think if this corny cat can figure it why cant I. No one is going to hustle for you. No matter what you do, do it moving, even if it sucks at the moment keep moving forward.
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Glad you found value in the content. Were you able to close any deals this year, Seth?
    Debra Santee Investor from Safety Harbor, Florida
    Replied over 2 years ago
    For me, in 2017, I can. And I will.
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 2 years ago
    You sure will! Happy upcoming holidays, Debra.