9 Skills to Be a Good Real Estate Investor

See also: Strategic Thinking Skills

Are you wondering how to become a successful real estate investor?

Real estate is one of the few industries with plentiful opportunities to earn money and enhance the financial position of different people with distinct talents and skills.

While there is no one size fits all, the following core skills can help you become an excellent real estate investor.

Piles of coins with saplings growing out of them with a wooden model of a house.

1. Understand cash flow

While you do not have to possess excellent mathematical prowess to become a successful investor, you need to understand cash flow and how to manage it. You should always strive to have a positive cash flow, where your expenses are less than your income. Ensure that you familiarize yourself with the various costs you could incur during a property investment, including mortgage, vacancies, HOA fees, maintenance, insurance, and property taxes. Be sure to learn how to differentiate a good deal from a bad one and understand concepts like price-to-rent ratios and cap rates, to mention a few.

2. Honesty

As a real estate investor, you are not obliged to comply with a specific ethics pledge. This makes it easy to take advantage of situations, as you are likely to get away with it. However, you should keep in mind that investing involves dealing with people, which puts your reputation at stake. For this reason, strive to uphold high ethical standards in all your investments and be fair to leverage customer referrals and recommendations.

3. Communication skills

One of the most crucial skills you need to become a good investor is excellent communication skills. You are likely to work with lenders, property managers, potential property buyers, and real estate agents, among other professionals in the field, so you have to possess the ability to communicate effectively with people from distinct backgrounds. You should also enhance tactfulness, non-verbal communication skills, and active listening.

Being able to converse effectively can help you network with other professionals to discover new investment opportunities and gain knowledge and assistance. It also enables you to be firm with your tenants, allowing you to comply with the legal standards for all landlords. You will also mitigate misunderstandings while conveying your expectations and needs by mastering practical communication skills.

4. Understand risks and market conditions

An effective way to avoid losses is by identifying and understanding market conditions and patterns. You should be able to analyze a prospective investment opportunity for future potential, relative risk, and amenities to decide whether to purchase or sell. Familiarize yourself with a location’s dynamics, including determining high-demand areas. Be sure to check available facilities, transportation, property prices, job market, and rental rates before investing.

With that said, like any other investment, investing in real estate comes with risks, including having bad renters, tenants failing to pay mortgage resulting in foreclosure, and legal implications. Understanding these risks can enable you to adjust your business to make them more manageable while maintaining positive cash flow even in economic crisis periods.

5. Patience

Real estate investments demand a lot of patience. Understanding the real estate patterns to get returns on your investment takes time. You will also have to be patient to familiarize yourself with market trends and find the right market to determine a convenient time to take action. Other real estate aspects that call for patience include waiting for the economy to improve, setting aside cash for down payments, obtaining funds, and closing deals.

Avoid setting deadlines to buy a property, then feeling the pressure to achieve your goal within the set timeframe even when the house or the deal is not great. Instead, always think about your long-term goals whenever you want to act impulsively.

6. Persistence

Investing in real estate is not an easy way to get rich. You have to develop and stick to your timelines and schedules, manage resources effectively and follow up on leads without giving up to achieve your investing goals and ultimately make it big in the industry.

7. Management skills

Whether you decide to become a property owner or start a real estate business, there are various tasks you have to manage. For instance, running a real estate business requires handling a team of field professionals, including property managers, real estate agents, and architects, among other licensed personnel. You also have to screen and choose the right renters, cater to tenants and their needs and demands, handle move-ins, and move-outs, collect rent and perform property inspections as a landlord. This means that you must have appropriate management skills to streamline activities and maximize your return on your investment.

Consider investing in property management software or hire a property manager to handle specific tasks while you focus on core aspects of business, including growing your business’ investment portfolio.

8. Negotiation

A critical skill each real estate investor should have is the ability to see every investment opportunity beyond its current monetary value. Do not rush to finalize a deal because of its cost. Instead, conduct in-depth research on the property to make a wise investment. However, this does not mean forcing your way to get what you want. Be actively involved in the negotiation process to ensure both parties get their rightful dues from a real estate investment arrangement and always be ready to avoid deals that do not offer any profit margins.

9. Understand customers and tenants

Real estate investment goes beyond purchasing homes, renting, and selling them. You also have to familiarize yourself with the customer or tenant's behavior, needs, and demands to appeal to them. Be sure first to determine who your target customers are. It could be newlyweds, university students, divorced couples, or older adults. Next, evaluate what kind of property your target customers look for, the amenities they require, and how much they would be willing to pay. You should then examine whether or not you can meet the client's demands. Confirm that you are also equipped to solve disputes and conflicts among your renters before taking action.


You do not need a bachelor's degree to make a successful career in real estate investing.  Acquiring the above skills, equipping yourself with extensive knowledge about the industry, and networking with the right people can put you on the path toward becoming a good real estate investor.

About the Author

James Allison oversees content writing services at Globex Outreach.