by Theresa Bradley-Banta

The real estate investors I know who are wildly successful start with a clear vision of what they want to create. They focus on their passion. They design a clearly written strategy. They know the why of what they are creating.

They begin with the end in mind.

I read an interesting quote the other day…

“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.”

It’s a good quote, but perhaps falls somewhat short of being very helpful.

I’m not a firm believer in sitting around waiting for opportunity to knock or one to credit success with luck.

Are you? Probably not.

I’m sure you’ll agree that preparation is a good thing. But I see too many novice real estate investors who fail to realize their vision, in part, because they get caught up in the tactics, a.k.a. preparation, when they’re uncertain about what it is they’re creating.

They fail to see the forest for the trees.

Apply This Thinking to Real Estate Investing

Here’s the perfect example…

You want to invest in real estate.


What do you want to create? Gobs of cash? A nice safe place for your residents to call home? A legacy for your kids? Awards and accolades?

All good reasons.

Here’s where the forest and the trees come in.

Instead of looking at every step you must carry out, all the education pieces, why not hop in the car and drive around picturing yourself owning real properties?

Think big. Look at the 100 unit apartment building or even the High-Rise down the street and picture yourself owning it. What would it mean to you? What would your day be like? Who would you meet? What types of people would be on your team?

Who are your residents? Can you picture them in your mind?

What Do You Want to Create?

I love this quote credited to Billy Sunday,

“More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.”

When you have a dream and the passion to see it through, when you have a clearly written mission statement and strategy, you’ll find the tactics become fluid.

Here’s the difference. Tactics can be rewritten, they can be course corrected. Your vision and purpose—your “why”—and your long-term thinking are where you will find success.

Talent, skills, education can all be gathered along the way. I think life’s supposed to work that way.

Start With the End in Mind

I’ll agree it might not be your best strategy to start with a 100-unit property—although some have done it.

But you can work your way to realizing your dream. Start with small properties. Learn the ropes. Trade up to bigger and bigger deals.

You’re probably saying, “Well that’s fairly obvious Theresa.”

But think about this. What if you invested in a 4-unit rental property…

and then stopped?

Simply because you didn’t envision more?

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Theresa Bradley-Banta writes about investing in real estate while avoiding the pitfalls that plague many new investors. She is a 2017 PropTech Top 100 Influencer and winner of 14 American and International real estate awards for her website and real estate investing programs. As featured on: The Equifax Finance Blog, AOL’s Daily Finance, Scotsman Guide, The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, Stevie Awards Blog, Rental Housing Journal, and Investors Beat among others.