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7 Secrets to a Successful Investing Career | By: Matthew Gillogly

7 Secrets to a Successful Investing Career

Matthew Gillogly


Real estate investing can be hard work, causing us to ask ourselves: Am I doing this right? What are the pitfalls of the business? Can I be successful long term and make this a career?


Let me give you seven secrets I have discovered while working with hundreds of investors across the country.


  1. Cast a Vision. Most new investors just get in because they want a quick buck. Yes, this does happen, but more often than not, this is a get rich slow business. That is why you need a vision. It helps galvanize your ideals and values and goals. You then work from your goals to accomplish your dreams.


  1. Determine Your Values: All the great investors I know operate from a set of values. These values determine the types of deals you do and types of people involved in your transactions. If your values are integrity, honesty, etc., then this well have a dramatic effect on the success of your business. If your values are money first, then you will look to do different types of deals.


  1. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing: I don’t care how many classes you have taken or books you have read, it doesn’t matter unless you market. You must always have five forms of marketing/advertising going on at all times. Signs, billboards, flyers, business cards, networking, whatever it is – market. This separates those that do average deals from those that do great deals. Don’t start and stop your marketing and never, ever cut your marketing budget. If things aren’t working, redirect the money you have allocated to a different marketing tool. Marketing makes the difference.


  1. Be a Monomaniac with a Mission: All great investors, not just some – all – started in one part of the business in one area of town. I have a friend who told me, “You can do any deal you want; I just want all the rehabs in my particular zip code.” Guess what? In one year, he has learned how to own his market. Anybody in his area calls him first to sell their house.


It is the investors who can’t focus that don’t make it long term. Pick an area, pick a type of transaction (rehabs, pre-foreclosures, subject to’s, wholesaling, etc.) and become an expert on it. Whatever you do, be focused. Concentrate all your efforts on just those few things. Learn everything you can about that market and that type of transaction, then get after it.


  1. Be Patient: Ever hear the term “Coyote Ugly”? It means that we were impatient and now we must pay the price for doing an ugly deal. We would rather chew off our arm than be stuck with that bad deal we did last month. When we are desperate, or running out of cash, we will force a deal just to do one. We feel like we are getting something done. Being patient is not sexy, glamorous and won’t get you invited on an investing guru phone call… But it can make you successful.


  1. Attract a Team: Ever meet a self-made millionaire? I doubt it. Sure, you may run into people who say they are, but somewhere, someplace, others helped them accomplish their goals. As you move along, you will need to have an attorney, office help, maintenance people, contractors, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, etc. These folks will be instrumental in helping you close deals and make money. Your team will allow you to focus on your strengths. Your team will lift you up and not drag you down. Your team will be people who have like aspirations, dreams and desires. If you have negative people on the team, get rid of them and get positive, uplifting people around you.


  1. Never, ever give up: As the story goes, a gold miner spent years digging for the gold that would make him wealthy. After many years of trying and failing, he said enough, sold the mine and went home. The group that purchased the mine decided to take a different direction in the mineshaft. They dug only a few feet to the left and found one of the richest gold strikes in the history of the world. The only difference between success and failure is the successful person gets up one more time than the one who fails. Don’t give up.


These seven secrets are tried and true. Use them every day to accomplish your dream of success.



St. Louis Real Estate Investment News July 2004

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