Healthy Habits to Grow Your Real Estate Investing Business Dramatically This Year

Healthy Habits to Grow Your Real Estate Investing Business Dramatically This Year

Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in 10 years.

It’s a new year and a chance to begin fresh. Many people make resolutions, yet data indicates that most people have given up on their resolutions by January 15th. They just don’t create the habits they need, yet simple habits over time produce incredible results. If you study the habits of highly successful people in a particular field, you may notice some similarities worth emulating.

Here are some habits you can develop to be the most successful real estate investor possible:

  1. Spend at least 10 minutes a day looking for deals. Search websites like Zillow and look for properties that are for sale in which the Zestimate is much higher than the asking price. Have a Realtor set you up on an automatic search or a portal with their Multiple Listing Service. Search the local foreclosure auction list when it comes out. Join some investor clubs and see what other investors are selling. Have wholesalers send you their deals.
  2. Walk or jog your target neighborhoods. It’s great exercise, and you’ll get to know people in the neighborhood. You’ll observe For Sale and For Rent signs going up, and you’ll notice that some signs stay up for a long time. Call every For Sale By Owner sign you see. Call the landlords looking to rent their property, and ask if they ever want to sell. They might save your name and number and call you when they’re ready to sell, and you just might find yourself an off-market deal. I remember hearing Robert Kiyosaki talk about how he jogged through a target neighborhood consistently. One day, he saw a seller who had a For Sale sign in their yard for quite some time. He asked the seller, “What will you take?” The seller responded with a price that Kiyosaki found to be quite lucrative for a landlord, so he ended up buying that house.
  3. Schedule and follow through with real estate education activities. Whether it is attending courses, listening to podcasts, going to seminars, or reading books, top investors continually educate themselves. Learn about negotiation, the math behind analysis, the language of contracts, and renovation tips. Don’t assume that you’ve seen it all and know it all.
  4. Consult periodically with your professional advisors. You should not be talking with your accountant just once a year at tax time. Your advisors include your accountant, attorney, insurance agent, Realtor, mentor, and business coach if you have one. December or January are great times to consult with them. Regardless, whenever you are making a purchase or sale decision, you should have a conversation. I recommend even having a conference call or virtual meeting with all of them together once per year. Read our blog on holding an annual meeting with your advisors.
  5. Check on your properties. If you have a property manager they will do this, although it never hurts to go by your own properties periodically. If you self-manage, check on your properties every once in a while. It could be as simple as a drive-by, or it may be more involved like a formal once-a-year interior inspection. If you send a contractor out to a property, ask them what they observe. Are there junk cars parked on the front yard? Is a pipe leaking or a light bulb flashing repeatedly? What are the tenants saying to the contractor?
  6. At least once a week, set aside time to think. Thinking is the hardest work there is. Successful CEOs spend considerable time – perhaps an hour a day – thinking. Schedule some time to think about your business. Is there an area where you can improve? Should you create an entity like an LLC instead of buying in your own name? Should you increase the deductible on your insurance since you have sufficient cash reserves? Should you switch from self-managing to having a property manager? What opportunities are you not pursuing that you should? Who do you need to be in relationship with? Who do you need to stop working with? Where do you want to be in one year, or 10 years? What is the fastest way to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be? Check out our blog on thinking.

If you’re going to think, why not think big? Small goals do not stir the soul. Big goals can be scary and seem impossible at the moment, yet big goals jazz you up and force you to take bigger actions. Bigger actions produce bigger habits. Bigger habits produce bigger results. I wish you tremendous success this year! Drop me a line and tell me how you’re progressing.

Tai DeSa is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He became a full-time real estate investor in 2004 after serving in the U.S. Navy.  Tai has made colossal mistakes in investing (and learned some things along the way).  He has helped hundreds of homeowners avoid foreclosure through successful short sales. Check out Tai’s books on Tai may be available for coaching and speaking engagements on a variety of real estate topics.  Send an email to

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