7 Qualities of Great Real Estate Investors

7 Qualities of Great Real Estate Investors FeaturedWhat 7 qualities separate the great real estate investors from just the good ones? Having mentored and coached thousands of real estate investors over the past two decades; I’ve had the privilege of working with those who have become the greatest real estate investors in their respective markets. And while they are all very unique people in different markets with different backgrounds, the great ones all shared 7 qualities in common. And the exciting news is that you don’t have to be born with them; you can practice these qualities until they become a part of you. Plus, none of these are difficult nor do they cost you any money. And when you display these qualities, they pay gigantic dividends over time. So here they are, the 7 qualities of great real estate investors...


Quality #1: Be a Problem Solver

That means solving problems, not just marinating on them. There’s always a reason why a deal is not going to close, so you need to find one or more reasons why it will close. You must solve the problem. Too often people make excuses, and that leads them to not producing results. They make excuses as to why a deal didn’t close instead of overcoming the problems.

Overcoming Obstacles

One of our apprentices is working on a big deal right now and could make well over $200,000. The buyer is lined up and the seller in a place. The deal should already be closed, but it was going through the probate process, and the probate court was taking longer than anticipated to finalize all the paperwork.

We were hoping it was going to come out of probate court on Friday and were prepared to close. Friday came and went because the judge needed some more information. So, our apprentice reaches out to the seller but doesn't hear from him. He tries to contact him several times and still doesn’t hear from him.

He really needs to get this deal done. He's a problem solver, so what does he do?

  • He calls anybody who's affiliated with this person: family, friends, anyone.
  • He contacts the mom who can’t reach the seller either. We had reason to believe this seller may have been a drug user, so our apprentice became very concerned.
  • Then he asks the mother if she knows anyone that might have some information and she gives him a number.
  • Next he calls that person who tells him the word on the streets is that he went to the hospital, but he didn’t know which one.
  • This leads him to call every hospital in the area and locate him.
  • He gets the information from that individual.
  • Gets the information back to the judge, and it looks like this thing is going to close.

That’s an example of being a problem solver. This is what it looks like to be great.


Quality #2: Poise

Real estate inherently creates emotional roller coasters. There are high highs, and then, there are low lows. The people that can keep an even keel and stay poised regardless of the uncertainty and circumstances are the ones that do the best.

The truth is, even with the best deals, there will always be a point when it could completely fall apart. It’s completely outside of your control, and it takes poise to stay the course. This has played a huge role in my longevity in this business. If you ride that roller coaster of emotions that real estate creates, you'll get burned out very quickly. Instead, stay poised and don't get on the roller coaster ride.


Quality #3: Embrace Challenges

In the Bible, James 1:2-4 says,

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Challenges mature you, so that you're not lacking anything. Sometimes when people join my apprentice program, they'll hit a big home run very early on, which can mess them up. They think that what they want is big results fast. However, what I want in the beginning is consistent results, so they understand what they're doing. Otherwise they get cocky and a little arrogant. Their first deal makes $80,000 and they think it's always that easy.

On the other hand, when there are challenges every step of the way, and you can embrace those challenges, that makes all the difference in the world. Then you have a quality that will help you manage the highs and lows in your real estate career. You need to get excited about challenges and see them as a teaching tool, as opposed to something that's blocking your results.

Each new challenge is preparing you for the next day, the next week, and the bigger deal. If you can't handle it on the smaller deals, you're going to fall apart on the big ones. Embracing challenges is a crucial quality of a great real estate investor.


Quality #4: Long Term Commitment

A lot of people don't like the word commitment, but it’s big in real estate. When people join my apprentice program and tell me they’re going to work ninety hours a week and close the most deals faster than anyone, I immediately try to correct their thinking. I call it the bottle rocket mentality. They are just going to take off like a rocket, but then they fizzle out just as fast. Real estate doesn't work that way. You can’t cram it all in and somehow produce faster results.

Real estate has a natural flow. Even in the best-case scenario, the average real estate deal can take 30 to 45 days to close. However, usually it's more like 60 to 90 and then that's after you already have the deal, which can take several months to get dialed in. Also, some rehabs can take 120 days or more.

It takes time to get the fly wheel turning in real estate. You want to have a long-term commitment, consistently making strides. I’ve found that I learn much better incrementally, by adding new information over time.

Having a long-term commitment mentality allows you to make steady strides, and that's when you're going to see your biggest improvements. In fact, I have a video on the power of investing in real estate part time. There's a lot of power in that, so have a long-term commitment quality yourself and you will be a great real estate investor.


Quality #5: Have an Empty Cup

Meaning that you're open to learning and not arrogant, thinking you already know it all. A full cup, by contrast, is someone that already has it all figured out. The real estate industry is full of know-it-alls, and the irony is most of those know-it-all brokers are flat broke.

There's plenty of very sharp real estate brokers out there. The idea, though, is having an empty cup allows you to be flexible and do great things with deals. The truth of the matter is, there's plenty of things that you may not know, and acting like you know them puts you at a massive disadvantage. Especially when it comes to predicting what people will do in a real estate deal.

An empty cup allows you to learn and grow within a deal and not make conclusions that ultimately are going to hurt you. Don't act like you're the know-it-all. In fact, the more you act like you're not the know-it-all, every other know-it-all on the deal will try to teach you things and you'll learn. Remember, you have two ears, one mouth. Being good at listening and open to learn is another quality of a great real estate investor.


Quality #6: Be Creative

Creativity is one of the most valuable things you'll ever possess in life. It allows you to get more done in less time. Thinking creatively enables you to produce better results while maintaining the lifestyle you want to live.

Creativity is what helped me, and my team be successful. We've invented techniques that other investors would love to know that have literally transformed our business and allowed us to dominate many of these marketplaces.

What impedes creativity is not that you aren’t born with it. You have it. The problem is you're using your brain wrong. Most people spend way too much time with their brain focused on a bunch of to-do list items. You need to clear your mind, putting everything into an external memory system. When your mind is clear, then you can be creative.

We all know that we have what's on the top of your mind, in the pre-frontal cortex and what's going on in the back of your mind. Think of the back of your mind as a bunch of employees that are working full-time to help solve your problems.

However, if you leave everything here on the top of your mind, you don't have all your workers working. It's like you have this huge staff with nothing to do. You must get ideas and problems to the back of your head. Let that be working while you're sleeping and doing other things so that creativity can flow. Embracing creativity by clearing your mind is a quality of great real estate investor.

I have a great video on real estate productivity that goes into much greater detail on this subject.


Quality #7: Take Responsibility

When things go wrong, take responsibility. When you haven't achieved the results in your life that you want, take responsibility. We live in a society that has completely ignored the idea of being responsible for one’s own actions, and it is crippling as a real estate investor.

If you take on this attitude that it's everybody else's fault besides you, you’ll never be a great real estate investor. If you really want to be great, you need accept the fact that all the decisions and everything you've done have led up to this point. By taking responsibility for where you're at today, then you can start to grow.

It’s painful to take responsibility, especially if you don't think it's your fault. But somehow it is your fault. Maybe you didn't hire the right contractor or didn't prepare for what could've happened. Whatever the case may be, if you take responsibility, then you can begin to grow.

You can begin to think differently about your situation and ask yourself what you can do differently.
I'm not saying you beat yourself up and say, “I'm just terrible." If you that, now you're not taking responsibility. You need to look at yourself from the perspective that you can change, because you can. The brain is incredibly flexible.

People Can Change

You have the steering wheel to who you are. You have control over your emotions and over what happens. This is the game changer, because when you take responsibility you:

  • Start being a problem solver.
  • Have poise regardless of the circumstances.
  • Embrace challenges. Whatever you’ve got going on, you will come out of this the other side and be a stronger person for it.
  • Have commitment. You're going to stick to it until you're successful.
  • Empty your cup. You don't think you already have it figured out. You remove all the arrogance a humbly ask, "What do I need to do?"
  • Get creative at finding solutions.

Take responsibility and all these other things fall into place. It's an absolute game changer, not just in real estate, but in your entire life. Please, don't play the victim role. When you play victim, you lose all of what makes a real estate investor great. Being a great real estate investor means taking responsibility.


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  1. Paul Svisdahl says

    Your video content is spot-on, as usual. I enjoy the reminders and direction you provide. Thank you for all your commitment to the industry, and life.

  2. Great and informative video. Well articulated peace of transforming video for everyday life. Thanks for being there for me and everyone.

  3. Stephanie Schaefer says

    Not only are you a champion real estate professional, you’re a quality human being. This video was the
    first I’ve watched, and your passion for being the best and teaching others to be the same, comes vividly
    through. Thanks for taking your time to share with us “out here”!!

  4. Evgenii Puchkaryov says

    This is wisdom!

  5. Craig Pfeffer says

    Great video as usual Phil. Nice to see a strong Christian man of faith teaching real estate principles. Keep up the good work Phil!

  6. Rhonda Fleming says

    Great Video

  7. phil you’re the best

  8. Great stuff. Thanks Phil for sharing.
    God Bless

  9. Very true! Thanks much

  10. Excellent and straightforward words Phil! Especially because you are using the Bible as your guide. Truly loved what you mentioned: the empty cup, great emphasis in taking responsibility of actions, and embrace challenges, excellence indeed!

  11. Phil…I have watched your many video and this one really hit home with me.
    This is your best video yet. This subject matter is super critical..If you don’t have
    your self and mind and attitude under control, you will kick yourself out of the business
    really fast..I almost did. Ability to learn and moving on to the next project is essential.
    Learn from mistake, improve on the next one and forgetting you past failure is key.
    YOU got to control your brain and emotion.
    Love what you do…Thanks

  12. N. Moorthy Mallipudi says

    Mr. Phil Pustejovsky,

    Thank you for your presentation on “Seven Qualities of Great Real Estate Investors”. It is a great motivational topic.

    This note is to express to you my sincere appreciation for your video presentation(s) on various topics related to real estate investments. Your presentations are very creative, constructive, motivational, helpful and productive for investors like me. You present various topics with professionalism, competence and thoroughness. You do outstanding job applying your judgment during presentation, identifying the problems and advising.

    It was a real pleasure to listen to your presentations and I greatly appreciated. I couldn’t be more pleased with end results! I wish you all the best with your real estate advise endeavors, and I feel confident that all your listeners will also be extremely favorably impressed with the caliber of your services.

  13. Mandrecko Guy says

    i think I have information over load.I think I went through it to fast.I have to go back and slow down…Anyway,it good to get fresh content from you to keep me going.

  14. You nailed it. God Bless.

  15. Royal Davis says

    Love all that you do. Good stuff Phil. I’m happy you’re sharing with us your gift.

  16. Thank you very much! Phil


  17. Amazing Thank you!

  18. Joshua Castro says

    Phil I love each video that you put out! I really love how you mentioned James 1:2-4 and how these qualities are not just effective in real estate but in LIFE as well

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