Are great property investors born or made?

Are great property investors born or made?

If you’re like me you were told from very young age that if you want to succeed at something – be it sport, school or a musical instrument – that you must put in time, hard work and importantly, practice. 21695374_l

Most of us learnt our times tables by repeating them over and over – practicing multiplication was the most effective means of learning this skill.

Well the same applies to property investment.

Successful property investors are not born with a “How to” manual and they certainly don’t rely on luck.

Fact is one of the big differences between the athletes, musicians and business people who excel in their chosen field, compared to the “average Joe” is in the years of practice they dedicate to honing their craft.

And this also applies to property investors

Successful property investors understand that to be good at what they do – creating wealth with real estate – they must learn the rules, gain experience by “doing it” and then improve by refining how they do it.

Training for investment success

In his book Outlier, Malcolm Gladwell noted that in most occupations where complex cognitive and motor skills are required – such as performing complicated surgery or playing the piano – experts in these fields have had an average 10,000 hours of training.

The key is being able to eliminate all the “noise.”success

You need to be able to chunk down all the information available into usable bite-size pieces through a finely honed retrieval system that can quickly screen out irrelevant options given the specific situation.

This skill comes from familiarity gained by “doing it.”

It’s like top tennis players who through experience have developed a sense of where a ball is likely to be served by unconsciously noting the subtle changes in the stance of their opponent.

Or the champion cricketer who seems able to anticipate where a ball will be bowled even before it has left the bowler’s hand.

It’s the same type of perspective that gives seasoned property investors an edge over the average investor.

Think about it…

Having lived and invested though five property cycles means I don’t get carried away by all the property naysayers and doomsday merchants that seem to concern many other investors.

I’m not an eternal optimist. I’ve just seen it all before.

Consistency is key

No matter which investment strategy you select, be it capital growth or cash flow, renovations or property development; you’re likely to find that a small group of investors, say 10% do really well and the rest struggle.

Rather than jumping from one shiny thing to the next like the average investor, these successful investors do the same things over and over again.

They set their goals, map their course and then keep doing what works, refining their skills along the way.

By sticking with a tried and tested strategy, these investors know how to navigate any tricky bumps in the road and become accustomed to seeing the opportunities and potential earning power in market movements.

This means their success depends on them and the skills they have refined throughout their investment journey, rather than on the market place.

But that’s not how most beginning investors do it


They want to climb the property ladder all the way to the top and nothing will stand in their way.

They start using the latest fad from some get rich quick seminar, buy their first investment and then look for the next big way to make millions.

And thus begins a cycle of jumping from one bandwagon to the next.

However we know most investors never achieve financial freedom. In fact most never get past their second property.

This is in part because they have never refined their real estate strategy and taken the time to learn the rules of the game, so they inevitably fall at the first hurdle and more often than not, call it quits before they make any progress at all.

That’s why around 20% of those who buy an investment property sell up in the first year and around 50% of those getting involved in real estate investment sell up in the first 5 years.

So when will I become an expert?

The way to become an expert is to do one thing a hundred times, rather than 100 things once.

Yes, practice makes perfect, which means that rather than looking for the “one big deal that will make you rich quickly”, you should start your investment journey gently, knowing that you’ll make mistakes along the way and learning from these will make you a better investor.

Before you panic about having to commit 10,000 plus hours to property investment before you can call yourself an “expert”, let me assure you that there are ways to speed up the learning process in real estate.

The simplest is to find a mentor who has already achieved what you want to achieve and let them guide you.

Study how they think, because it’s likely a large part of their success comes from their mindset.

Then emulate their successful behaviours and learn from the mistakes they made in order to advance your own skills and refine your own strategies.

How will you know when you’re an expert?

The main thing that separates the successful investor from the wannabe’s is an ability to consistently outperform the averages.

And yes, to get to this level of expertise, takes time, patience and practice.

How you can speed up becoming an expert:

The safest way I know how to speed up your learning curve and save yourself making mistakes is to learn from experts

But be careful…only take advice from those who have done it successfully and significantly and kept their wealth for a long period of time.

In other words find practitioners not just teachers….

There is a long, long list of people who have conducted property seminars over the past 15 years giving wanted sounded like good advice who are no longer around.

Sure, there are those who can teach, even if they haven’t done it, but why take the risk.


Of course…if you want to grow your property portfolio in a more difficult environment next year you’ll need to buy the right type of property.

One that has a level of scarcity, meaning they will be in continuous strong demand by owner occupiers (to keep pushing up the value) and tenants (to help subsidise your mortgage); in the right location (one that has outperformed the long term averages), at the right time in the property cycle (that would be now in many states) and for the right price.

read computer book internet learn lesson

To become a successful investor you will need to surround yourself with a team of independent and unbiased professional advisors (not sales people) – a team of people who are known, proven and trusted, so it is probably appropriate to remind you that in changing times like we are experiencing, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is independent and unbiased.

If you’re looking for independent property investment advice to help you become financially independent, including how to get he banks to say yes more often to you, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties on the market to sell, so their advice is unbiased.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.

Please click here to organise a time for a chat.

Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.

Also published on Medium.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'Are great property investors born or made?' have 3 comments

  1. October 4, 2013 @ 7:25 am Brett Wade

    Great blog – thanks Michael. I know I spent years trying to learn by doing it myself and those years were costly.
    Fortunately I survived, but lost years and many$$$ in the process. I now have some great mentors including you and by has it made a difference.


  2. February 12, 2016 @ 7:59 pm P J

    Success is like pregnancy. Everyone congratulates you but you only know how many times you got f…ed to achieve it.


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