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51: Traits of a Successful Property Investor

12-03-2005 has prepared a list of character traits that tend to be present in successful property investors. This compilation was developed from observations of fellow investors during meetings, conferences, and networking.


One very important trait is that property investors often like a high degree of “control” in their lives – they are empowered to take control of their financial destiny and also tend to like control of the “purse strings”. Some decide to do joint ventures with other people which can lead to problems because financial and decision making control is either fully or partially lost.


Successful property investors can be either introvert, extrovert, balanced, sociable or non sociable – it really does not matter. What they do tend to have though is a passion and obsession for property. They are often independent minded, go with what they believe in and have a strong intuition for investment decisions. They are more comfortable with handling personal risk then most people. Their fear of the unknown is less than most. They are more adaptive to change – some get a buzz from taking high risks. Some are fearless – a trait that can get out of hand if the investor gets carried away.  They often have strong views and believe in their opinions. If someone doubts their belief, they are likely to ignore it. Many are counter-intuitive – and contrarian with their views. The most successful property investors are likely to enter the market when other have just exited, and exit the market when the masses have finished entering. They are normally analytical, thoughtful and take calculated risks. Some are impulsive, but the best are likely to be calculated, non emotional and focussed on numbers rather than feelings. many are "visual" people - they can imagine what something looks like when it is changed - they can "see" how something could look like in the future (e.g. regenerating area, upgrade to a property, change on an area).    


They can be of any age, either female or male, be any race or background. Business experience can be important – so the best and most active investors are often older than 35 years and have a large portfolios to back their actions. They will often work in business (small or large) and in the private sector - though some are also public sector workers (these tending to be the more creative and entrepreneurial public sector workers).


Property investors often like exploring – getting outside and combing large areas for the best deals – some have a real passion for this search process. Many will walk or drive many miles searching – this excites them and gives them a sense of freedom. The drive to gain financially might actually change the normal behaviour – an example being a fearless ability to knock on the doors of strangers to ask a stranger who owns a property or parcel of land. This drive can alter their bevaviour and make them more direct and fearless than in normal life.


Property investors are often empowered – they take things into their own hands. They will often be cynical about the government, pensions, stock markets, taxation and red tape. Rather than spending all their time complaining about these aspects of life, they will channel their energies into actions – driving towards financial freedom and independence. Many will deep down be concerned about pension provision, coping with old age  - and be property investing to create a large retirement fund that gives them full financial control and independence. Many will be doing this for their families - to create a lasting legacy. Most will not be doing investment for other the benefit of people - though many will value providing high quality rented accomodation to tenants - often believing this helps society - this value will also drive them to invest in more property. 


Many investors will come from different ethnic backgrounds. Some will have started property investing from a low base many years ago – some because they could not find suitable salaried employment. Others will have started because their salaried employment was (and still is) taxed heavily and retirement provision is small. Most property investors are thoughtful, action focussed with an independent mindset.



Traits of Property Investor               Traits of Non Property Investor

Likes control                                        Like to be controlled

Action focussed                                    Procrastinator

Creative mindset                                   Non creative

Entrepreneurial                                     Prefers public sector job security          

Numbers oriented                                 No interest in numbers

Calculated risk taker                             Risk averse

Aspires to financial freedom                  Looks forward to state pension

Likes making money                             No interest in money

Passion for growth and learning             Prefers the status quo

Independent minded                             Likes to operate in a group

Obsessive                                             Balanced

Safety on my own                                 Safety in numbers – like communities

Independence key                                Interdependence key

Caring of one-self and family                 Caring of others

Financially sophisticated                        No thoughts given to finance

Likes internet, news, investing                Likes TV, pub, sport

Calculated risk taker                             Cautious

Financially disciplined                            Financially ill disciplined


If you believe you have many of the traits on the left, it is likely to put you in good stead to gain high net wealth. If you have mostly traits to the right, you are less likely to make a good property investor – and are more likely to work in the public sector or in salaried employment, and believe you have “safe” job with a promise of a steady pension. 


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