3 Principles that Every Real Estate Investor Should Follow

Liz F. built her real estate portfolio from the ground up. As she found greater success, Liz began helping women reach financial independence the same way that she did.

Imagine running an immense real estate business consisting of large multifamily apartment syndications. For those starting out, this may sound overwhelming or even unattainable.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

Liz F. created a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio and holds properties in four states. It wasn’t always linear, though. Along her journey, she’s compiled an abundance of life lessons. “We can share a lot of our mistakes and be very real with people. If we just had this straight trajectory, I don’t think I would be as useful,” said Liz.

Now, she works to help women like herself achieve financial independence through real estate.

This age-old industry has predominantly been pursued by men. In fact, only 30 percent of real estate investors are female, which is why Liz emphasizes the importance of educating women about the power of real estate. She stated that“there’s something about going to a conference and literally being one of the three women there.”

There have been a plethora of influential male mentors who helped her get to where she is today, but she wants to bridge the gender gap. By sharing her path, Liz hopes to educate the next generation of great real estate professionals. Here’s what she’s learned.

Mindset reset

It all started with a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. After reading it, Liz and her husband became obsessed with the concept of passive income.

The book talks a great deal about the power of real estate. She noted that “we played Cashflow and were amazed. What if we were able to buy property? Then you start thinking about what this could do for your life and how you can contribute more.”

From there, she transitioned to a career in sales to increase her earning potential. This was a major career and mindset shift for the former social worker. Over time, she began to see the possibilities. “Feeding our minds with positivity is really important. We’re very big into our vision, our values, and creating something that’s bigger than ourselves,” she said.

Belief in a mission and singular purpose served as her compass. She became motivated to cold call, do door knocking, and hustle to find opportunities. Doing the hard things and staying consistent led to her first property acquisition. From there, things continued to spiral.

It started with a winning mindset and a mission grounded in helping others.

Find your niche

Think of real estate investing as a large, all-encompassing term. There are many ways to invest ranging from passive to active approaches. Each has inherent advantages and disadvantages depending on an individual’s personality and preferences.

Given the multitude of options available, it’s easy to get “shiny object syndrome.”You see someone post before and after pictures of a flip, so you decide to go for that. Perhaps another person’s AirBnB is crushing it.

There are unlimited possibilities. That’s the blessing and curse of real estate investing. Liz recalled that “we were all over the place early on and it stifled our growth early on. The first five years, we got involved with different niches too quickly. That’s not ever a good thing.”

Instead, Liz recommends that you find a niche and dominate it. When she focused on one thing, her business began to grow exponentially. After exploring the waters, Liz eventually dedicated to “focus on multifamily. It’s where we’ve had our success. That was really the impetus for focusing on multifamily.”

Know yourself and your niche will become clear

What if you’re just starting out and don’t know what you’re good at? To find your niche in the early days, it’s imperative that you first know yourself. Certain types of investing lend themselves to certain personalities, but there’s a niche for everyone in real estate.

Here’s what Liz had to say: “ I think it’s about people being true to themselves.” She recommended reflecting on your values and goals “what is working in your life? What’s not working? Where do you want to be in five or ten years?” By defining your trajectory and knowing yourself, you can find a strategy that matches your aspirations.

Real estate is a long game

People see the allure of flipping and other real estate strategies on shows. If you think you’ll build wealth through one investment, you’re probably wrong. Wealth is built over time through consistent investing and requires patience.

Those who want overnight success forget this part of the process: “if you’re just trying to get a quick dollar or a quick property, remember that real estate is a long-term game. It’s hard and then it gets easier,” Liz noted.

When you play the short game, you’ll make short sighted decisions rather than focusing on the big picture. This has the potential to bring you in a different direction than what your long-term goals might call for.

Playing the long game also allows you to learn from mistakes and refine your processes. Once Liz was able to systematically approach her business, she found great success, “you get beat up a little bit and then you move on from there. It’s about trying to create a business that you can replicate and do it over and over again.” After enough attempts and learnings, you’ll be able to apply it to new investments. This gets easier as you gain more experience.

Keep the long-term in mind from the start.

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Kyle Spearin

Kyle is Sundae's Real Estate Editor. As both an investor and content marketing professional, Kyle combines his passion for real estate investing and educational background with his love of helping others. His experience with real estate tech companies, including contributing to BiggerPockets Pro, gives him insight into markets across the United States.