Common New Investor Mistakes

5 Huge Real Estate Investment Mistakes

Real estate investment is an art as much as it is a science, and errors in judgment are part of the learning curve. However, if you pay attention to those who have gone successfully before you, you can avoid some common missteps. There are five huge mistakes that can cost investors far more than a few dollars, if they’re not careful.

Failure to Plan

Investors who focus on single transactions rather than a long-term investing plan can get tripped up by their own short-sightedness. A property may seem like a steal, but if you haven’t done your due diligence to find out whether it may actually be profitable, or whether it was a good decision long-term, you’re chasing your own tail.

Do your homework to determine the locations and property types you want to invest in. Create a buyer’s list so that you’ll already have clients to match up with properties you come across. Set a timeline of goals. Then, when you find a great property, you can determine whether or not it fits in to your greater plan, and make a wise decision.

Underestimating Time, Work and Expense

Real estate is fraught with all kinds of pitfalls you may never see coming, from the tenant who skips town to the major plumbing issue the inspector fails to disclose. You can pretty much bet that any endeavor will be more costly, more time consuming, and require more work than you think it will. It’s best to generously overestimate the time, expense and elbow grease a project will need, then decide whether it will still be profitable before investing.


Real estate investment is fast-paced, but building a business and making a steady profit is a slow process that can have a long learning curve. Expecting your efforts to pay off immediately in a big way is the surest way to become discouraged and disillusioned. If you’re realistic about your opportunities, and you’re patient with yourself and the process, you have every chance of becoming very successful.

Emotion-Driven Decisions 

If you can’t get excited about a deal, or if you only go by numbers and never trust your gut feelings, you won’t last in this business. That said, getting overly-emotional about a property, a deal, a client, or a partner can spell disaster. You have to be able to walk away from any deal, any property and anyone if things aren’t going to work out from a business perspective.

Buy properties because they’re good business decisions, and not because you love them. Let properties that aren’t profitable go, even if you have to swallow your pride. And always temper excitement with a diligent reality check.

Arrogant Thinking

The minute you decide there isn’t anything left for you to learn, you’ve as good as failed. Investors who won’t listen to wise advice, won’t accept criticism, and insist on going it alone are doomed to mediocrity at best and failure at worst. Seek advice, learn from your mistakes, surround yourself with knowledgeable people you can rely on for help, and stay open to new ways of doing things.

About Kent Clothier

Kent Clothier is President and CEO of Real Estate Worldwide (REWW), a highly sought-after speaker, the owner of three multi-million dollar a year Internet marketed brands, and proud husband and father. Kent is motivated by his love of family and freedom, creating products that enable people to live their lives the way they choose.

1 comment add yours

  1. Very sound advice, Kent. I just came to that conclusion over the last few days not to get involved in transactions where emotion can get involved. Right down the street from my house on Friday, a house went up in flames due to what appears to be arson. I met the renter Saturday, and she was a mess over the loss, and potentially for losing her husband to the fire, should he not survive his burns. While this kind of house is a prime target on the wholesale side, and I could help the homeowner “double-dip” through claims and selling the property as-is, I’m not so sure I’d want to get involved with the emotions of what happened, and my personal knowledge of what that house went through. Time will tell, and maybe I will change my mind – knowing that if I do, I have to keep it professional, and not personal.

    Great article – you hit home on this one. 🙂

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