By Than Merrill
At many of my real estate seminars I am often asked the question “what does it take to become a successful real estate investor?” More specifically what are the intangibles that separate successful real estate investors from their less successful counterparts? If I had to boil it down to three components it would be knowledge, systems, and action.
Knowledge is power. This statement is paramount in its application to real estate investing. In the real estate game, the most knowledgeable players are always the most successful. (Why do you think Alex Trebek has half of the universe on a 6 month option?) Knowledgeable investors thrive on information and they are consistently seeking and finding resources to improve their knowledge base. The information they seek is specialized knowledge, the finer details you might say, within the niche in which they operate. If you do not continue to acquire knowledge at a rapid pace, you will fall behind the curve. To stay on the cutting edge in any field you must continually seek new information. With the ever changing real estate market, those who are educated will always be in a better position to succeed.
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Systems run businesses. When you create a solid system and implement that system in your business, you are setting up the infrastructure to be successful. Truly efficient companies have detailed systems in place. This allows them to insert new people at any time into any position and not skip a beat. By doing this, you can remove yourself from certain responsibilities as well as replace employees whenever the need to do so arises. This allows you to run your business rather than have your business run you. If you are not able to create an effective system, you will always be a prisoner within your own business.
Business Systems allow you to duplicate your business in other markets. All successful franchise operations have detailed business systems that allow them to efficiently and effectively replicate their businesses at new locations. Whether your plan is to open one store or a hundred stores, a solid business system will make this process possible.
Without action, knowledge and business systems will not accomplish anything. You can go out and acquire all the knowledge you wish and create an excellent business system along with that knowledge, but if you do not take action and implement your ideas, they are wasted. This is the step that many people will never accomplish. Action separates those who do from those who only dream of doing. Many people are afraid to take action and as a result never become successful. While taking action is a risk, through education and system development you can minimize that risk. Successful business owners take action everyday and as a result expose themselves to risk and failure. This is inherent in any business, including real estate. With great risk come great rewards.