Life is a journey, not a destination –  we determine our destiny by the direction we take –  Anonymous

My Real Estate Investor life has been a journey that started with the firm decision not to have a job or work for somebody else.  I did not wanted to have someone else determine the income I could earn or what type of lifestyle I could chose to live.  So I decided to go into real estate.  I devoured as many real estate books as I could and attended every seminar possible and found other more experienced investors whom I could model after.portofino 3

The first problem was that I believed that all I needed was an education on the mechanics of the real estate deal.  I thought if I can only learned how to find good deals and learn hot to analyze those deal, if I learned how to raise money and how to manage the rehab then I would be  ok and successful.  The one thing  I needed to understand is that it is a business and needs to be treated and run like a business.

Most real estate education seminars, books, and curricula created by successful real estate investors focus purely on the mechanics of hot to do the business yourself.  When I stared,  I was the business.  If you took me out of the equation, the business produced no income.

It took me about a year to realized that I needed to make serious and significant changes in how I ran my business if I wanted to create financial freedom.    Here are my  key lessons learned:

Key Lesson 1:  Accumulate specific knowledge

Most successful investors acquire knowledge through books, seminars, and trainings.  That give you the confidence and a foundation on how real estate transactions are to be completed. –  This education process never stops.

Key Lesson 2:  Gain Intimate Market Knowledge

It doesn’t matter where you invest, there are always opportunities in every market, in every cycle, no matter what happens in the local or national economy.  The key is to really understand the unique aspects of your market and acquire local market knowledge.  The first step is to understand price points of properties you are focusing on by area; the next thing you should do is pick up a local zoning map and attend a few planning and zoning meetings to learn a lot about new development.  The final thing I should recommend is that you take a real estate appraisal class –  It may not be the most exciting class you have ever taken,  but the knowledge will be invaluable.

Key Lesson 3:  Focus on a Market Niche

One of the fundamentals shifts I made in my business was when I decided to specialize in certain niches of the market.  During my first year in the business, I evaluated and made offers on all types of properties without focusing on anything.  Eventually, I made a conscious decision to specialize in certain types instead of being a real estate jack of all trades.  I suggest you make the conscious decision to specialize in only one or two sectors of real estate at a time.

Key Lesson 4:  Become a Private-Money Raising Machine.

It goes without saying that having access to a lot of capital for your real estate deals, your business working capital, and your education are very important.  What’s also important is that you realize it doesn’t have to be your money that you use for investments.  Having relationship with private lenders would give you an advantage over competitors who had not taken the time to develop such relationships.

Key Lesson 5:  Develop Systems

Years ago, after I completed my first few deals I decided I wanted to start growing my business.  I knew that in order to become more profitable I had to become more efficient with the time I was spending working in the business.  I had to create systems in order to do this.  My goal was simple:  I wanted to “shrink” the average time it took me to complete a deal.

Key Lesson 6:  Scale Your Business.

If you truly want to grow your real estate business it will require you to learn more than just how to buy and sell real estate deals.  First, you have to use your personal time working “in” the business as strategically as possible.  Second, you must spend a lot of time educating yourself on running a business and financial management.  Finally, you will have to learn how to hire and manage talented people effectively.

Key Lesson 7:  Create additional streams of Income

There are a lot of income streams that can be developed outside of just acquiring and selling properties.  You can influence everybody that comes into contact with you in the daily course of your business.  Create affiliated relationship with at least two people or organization to promote the same product or service.

Key Lessons 8:  Create Passive Income Streams

Over the years I made a strategic choice to also build my rental property portfolio to take advantage of the many long-term benefits of owning real estate.  To this day, I continue to build this portfolio every month.  I have financed the majority of these acquisitions using the profits from the properties I flip.

Key Lesson 9:  Remove Yourself from Your Business

The last key lesson I would like to share is how I strategically began removing myself from different parts of my business. My approach was systematic, but it is not an overnight process.  First, you have to master the craft in each department of your business yourself such as sales, marketing, operations, rehab, financing and so on –  to gain a deep enough understanding of “how” the business works.  Then, you create a standard operating and training procedures, so you can train someone to replace you in the different divisions of the business. This was difficult, but very rewarding, process because I learned how to achieve my goals while at the same time help other people to achieve theirs.

Looking back, all these lessons played a vital role in my personal journey to financial freedom.  Each lesson was a fundamental shift in the way I ran my business and ultimately played a role in how I was able to free myself from the drudgery of work that plagues most real estate investors.

So please heed my advice, commit to following up and ultimately implement what I teach you so you can design the real estate business of your dreams and get your life back.

For more information about how I can help you as a real estate investor go to:


Lorena Arnold

Speaker, Motivator, Real Estate Investor
Cell:  303-981-6539
Empowering Strategic Investment



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