Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Five Critical Habits of Real Estate Success
by Michael Sexton

In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey observed that a lot of our success is built on the small habits that we cultivate daily. That principle applies to real estate investing too. If you observe successful real estate investors and developers, you will see that they have cultivated some highly effective habits too:

Habit #1: Being curious. Successful real estate investors hunger to learn something new every day. One day, they will learn all about a new kind of mortgage. The next day, it will be a new kind of insulation. Their learning never stops.

Habit #2: Staying flexible. Only supple people triumph in real estate, because things change so quickly. One year it makes no sense to invest in a certain city; the next year, it is hot. One year adjustable mortgages seem ideal; the next year, they make no sense. Inflexible, opinionated people cannot adapt quickly enough to survive. To win, you have to stay open-minded and agile.

Habit #3: Looking at properties. You can learn a lot about real estate by reading books or Web surfing. But you cannot learn everything that way. After all, it is called real estate because it is all about real things: land, concrete and wood. That is why top investors never stop looking at properties. Doing so provides information that they can never find in books. Is the ground in one part of town mushy underfoot, for example? Are houses made by a particular builder more solid-feeling than others? Nobody is going to tell you that kind of thing; you need to get out there and see for yourself.

Habit #4: Cultivating the gift of gab. Nearly all successful investors love to chat with everyone they see in the course of their days - with shopkeepers, pedestrians, police officers and virtually anyone else who can offer insights on what is happening in different communities. If you don’t like talking to people, you are not going to make it in the real estate business.

Habit #5: Reading real estate ads - obsessively. Your friends and family members might wonder why you sit there reading all those property listings every day. (Sometimes, you might wonder why you are doing it too.) But just as stock market investors pore over stock listings, successful real estate investors are addicted to property ads. Reading those ads daily, over a period of years, builds a broad knowledge base that no book could ever provide.

If this kind of thinking makes sense to you - and I believe that it should - I invite you to join us in Trump University’s Real Estate Investor Training Program. The time to start cultivating winning habits and knowledge about real estate is now.

Michael Sexton is President of Trump University.

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