Critical Skills You Need
to Be a Successful Property Investor

See also: Budgeting

To become a successful property investor, you don’t need a fancy degree or the endless cash reserves of the ultra-rich. However, you do need to have a good sense of the markets, understand the importance of cash flow, and have a knack for being persistent.

Many people are looking towards real estate investing to help round out their portfolios and bring in extra income. Whether you are interested in joining an investment group or want to know if buying the house down the street as a rental property is a good idea, there are skills that you need to arm yourself with to be successful.

The great thing for first-time property investors is there are now so many resources available to help you on your journey. From online investment income calculators to getting advice from established and trusted companies, there are many avenues to help you become successful.

Let’s take a look at a few of the crucial skills you will need to be a prosperous real estate investor.

Male hand holding a model of a house.

An Understanding of Cash Flow

You don’t need to be an investment or accounting expert to gain an understanding of cash flow. In basic terms, positive cash flow is an income from a property that exceeds your total expenses. You will need to know how to identify and calculate your core expenses before you know if a property will be worth the risk. All expenses, including property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, and homeowners’ association fees, need to be considered in your calculations.

Knowing how to differentiate between properties that are a bad investment and those that will ensure a positive cash flow will take time, experience, and research. For first-time investors, it is helpful to get advice from an investment advisor. You will need to gain an understanding of several investment terms, including cash on cash returns, price to rent ratios, and acceptable cap rates.

Market Knowledge

Understanding the markets is essential, especially when it comes to deciding on the best time to buy. When the markets are depressed, you will be looking at properties that have inflated values, also described as a seller’s market. This generally means that the market demand is more than the available inventory. This is not the best time to buy if you are interested in properties based on their appreciation value. Rather, buying a property during a buyer’s market, when the prices are lower, increases your chances of selling at a profit.

You should also know where the most desirable neighborhoods are for any particular type of real estate development. Identifying commercial areas, neighborhoods going through a gentrification phase, and areas that are popular can help you to make the right investment choices.

Management Skills

Management skills are essential when it comes to being a successful property investor. You will need to know how to expand your network of contacts so that you can take advantage of their knowledge and experience. Learning from those that are already in the property investment business is one of the quickest ways to increase your own knowledge.

As a property investor, you will need to know how to effectively communicate with potential tenants and deal with general landlord issues. Learning how to negotiate with contractors, communicate with your tenants, and manage your time will be crucial to your success.

Patience and Persistence

As a new property investor, you will need to practice a higher level of patience. It’s not likely that you will win your first bidding property, or it could take you more time than you think to find the right investment opportunity. While it may seem like investing in property is a great way to make passive income, only successful investors know that it is continual hard work that makes all the difference.

You will need to resist the urge to dive in on the first property that you see. The excitement of getting involved in the real estate business can often cause you to jump the gun on a property that doesn’t have the ability to bring you the return that you want. Take the time to investigate your properties, talk to other investors, and complete your due diligence before you make a financial commitment.

Staying in the game is the best way to be successful. If you are looking to expand your portfolio, you need to be persistent in your search. Take the time to drive around other neighborhoods, scour the real estate listing sites, read market assessment articles, and get out there and actively look for the best properties.

Long Term Outlook

Along with the patience to make wise decisions in real estate, you need to have a long-term outlook. Having the skill to be able to see years down the road will help you to make the tough decisions about when and what to buy. Long-term investors are more interested in creating a strong portfolio, rather than buying the first properties that come on the market.

Understanding Consumer Trends

To be a successful real estate investor, you will need to understand more than just how to buy properties and rent them out to tenants. You will need to develop the skills that allow you to follow the current market and consumer trends. The type of properties that you are looking for will each have its own set of consumer needs. For example, with student housing, you will need to consider the unique needs of academia, proximity to schools, and transportation. Alternatively, if you are buying family-style homes, you will need to consider school districts and standard amenities.

Becoming a real estate investor is a great way to create additional income. However, it is not a field that you can just jump into without the right research and skills development. Some people already have many of these skills and can enter the market with the knowledge that they already have, but for novice investors, it’s best to surround yourself with experts that can provide you with advice and guidance. Work on developing these crucial skills to help you become a successful property investor.

About the Author

James Allison oversees content writing services at Globex Outreach.