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The 8 characteristics of the successful real estate investor

Real estate investors aren’t born, they’re made, and among those who are successfully “made,” there are several traits you’ll observe over and over no matter what shape the market is in. So here they are, the eight characteristics of the successful real estate investor.


You don’t become a successful real estate investor by getting complacent and set in your ways. It takes an open-minded approach to play this game. Regent Park is a good example of this. When that project first went to market, you would have missed out on a solid opportunity if you had simply let the neighbourhood’s previous reputation influence your decision. The open-minded out there could see that it was going to become a desirable mixed-use community and those who invested in the early days profited the most.

Thirst for knowledge

Not only do you have to be willing to lay money on the line to buy property to excel in real estate, you should also be OK with investing in something that offers a far greater return in the long run: yourself. Maybe you’ll benefit most from a finance or real estate-related course, but the important thing is to just keep learning, to keep yourself in that mindset.

Ability to be a self-starter

If you thrive in situations where you’re given a step by step guide and are told exactly what to do (and how to do it), real estate investment likely isn’t for you. The biggest rewards go to those who are self starters by nature and are willing to act early and be trend setters, not followers. Again, think of those who invested early in Regent Park for example.


Think of confidence as self-trust, which is exactly what it takes to survive in the real estate business. You need to trust your own judgement and then execute. That doesn’t mean acting rashly. To the contrary, the smart investor is methodical and rarely changes their mind because they don’t need too–they’ve already considered the downside before they act.


A smart investor doesn’t limit their trust to themselves. Instead of thinking everybody is out to scam them, I’ve noticed successful real estate investors have a certain level of trust for others and are open to acting without having every single piece of information. Having this level of trust in the team you build around you will allow you to benefit from situations that isolated investors will lose out on.

A positive outlook

When looking at the real estate wins of others, the successful—or soon to be successful—investor doesn’t get discouraged. They have a can-do attitude and look to see how they can replicate what they’ve witnessed or heard about. Their positive outlook is one of their advantages.


The real estate investors who are worth their weight in salt will give up short-term gratification for long-term gains. They aren’t in this for the quick buck, and they understand that real estate wealth accumulates over a longer period of time. Obviously they aren’t opposed to doubling their wealth in a year, but they realize that such situations aren’t common and are prepared to patiently hunker down to reap the rewards later.


Real estate is like a chess game: it requires a logical mind for success. The decisions of savvy investors are not governed by emotion but analytical thought instead. “How can I replicate or improve upon this other investor’s success?” they’ll ask. They know that relying on emotion can lead to sloppy mistakes and a fixation on the short-term, which is the wrong approach when it comes to real estate investing.


***If you enjoyed this article you should check out the podcast episode that this was inspired from here: ***

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