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5 Things Real Estate Investors Need To Succeed And Stay Successful

Nah, it’s neither money to invest nor the real estate investing techniques or the how-to’s, etc. While these are important, I truly believe there are other things that are equally, if not even more important. Things that you need to continuously work on, even after success has been achieved. Failure to do so will surely lead to a downward spiral to disaster.

Photo credits : woodleywonderworks via flickr


Here are just 5 of the things I believe real estate investors need to succeed and stay successful.

1. Credibility

Having credibility means people actually believe you. People can take you seriously. What you say carries weight. This is what most beginning investors may lack when they have not yet done any deals.

But if you think about it, nobody was born a real estate investor, everyone had to begin with nothing right?! So if you have no credibility at the start, then you just have to work for it, just like every successful real estate investor did before you.

You just have to build your credibility as you go along. As your credibility grows, so does your reputation.

There’s really no magic formula to build your credibility. In order to build it, you just need to have integrity.

2. Integrity

If credibility means people believe you, then integrity means people should believe you. Because you are for real.  You are sincere in your words and actions. You walk your talk, you are true to yourself and others. You disclose what needs to be disclosed. You care.

Integrity is just like character. You are for real, even when no one is watching.

There’s just one catch. Paraphrasing Peter Scotese, Integrity is an all or nothing deal. Either you have it or you don’t, and people will know.

What can hurt one’s Integrity? One lie, one wrong decision, one utter moment of weakness, greed, or just plain stupidity. It can mean integrity down the drain.

In the end, you are just fooling yourself if you act without integrity.


“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

Would you go into a deal with someone who has no integrity? I don’t think so.

3. Honesty

Honesty means you say what you mean, and mean what you say. You get your facts straight. You stick to the truth, always.

You give credit where it’s due, and you don’t grab credit from other people.

I also believe being honest means you have honor. You honor your word, your agreements, your promises.

It may sound cliché, but honesty is still the best policy.

As Mark Twain said, “When in doubt, tell the truth.” If you are honest, people will naturally trust you.

I only want to invest with people who are honest and trustworthy, how about you?

4. A Code of Ethics

If real estate professionals are duty bound to adhere to a code of ethics, I wish real estate investors had something similar.

I suppose the next best thing would be to have our own personal code of ethics. This will help keep us from doing anything that is unethical, immoral, or illegal. In other words, It will stop us from doing anything stupid that we may regret for the rest of our lives.

I believe good start for this would be to have “correct principles”.

5. Correct principles

I often hear Filipinos refer to someone who has integrity as “Isang taong may prinsipyo” (Someone who has principles). Obviously, this refers to “correct principles”.

But what are “correct principles”? Let me quote the late Stephen R. Covey as he defines correct principles in his book Principle Centered Leadership:

“Correct principles are like compasses: they are always pointing the way. And if you know how to read them, we won’t get lost, confused, or fooled by conflicting choices and values. Principles are self evident, self validating natural laws. They don’t change or shift. They provide true north directions to our lives when navigating the streams of our environments. Principles apply at all times in all places. They surface in the form of values, ideas, norms, and teachings that uplift, ennoble, fulfill, empower, and inspire people. The lesson of history is that to the degree people and civilizations have operated in harmony with correct principles, they have prospered.”

Examples of correct principles are integrity, honesty, doing what is right no matter what, etc.

An afterthought: we also need discernment

This is what you would need to protect yourself from people who lack any of the things I have written above, especially since a lot of beginning real estate investors tend to be too gullible.

A Filipino saying says “Kung walang magpapaloko, walang manloloko” (If no one would allow himself to get fooled, there will be no fraudsters, scammers, con-artists, etc.). Gullible people are usually the ones who get fooled.

People say Filipinos are really gullible, and they may be right. A good example would be when a respected  journalist writes an article about Filipinos being the most gullible people in the world based on a Harvard study published in Mosquito Press, which is obviously a satirical publication. Funny right? It just goes to show that people really are gullible.

Here’s my point, stop being too gullible! Start listening and acting with discernment. You need to be able to read between the lines and discern between facts, what you want to hear, or maybe what other people want you to hear and believe.  In other words, you need to be able to discern which is crap and which is real.

A healthy dose of skepticism while keeping an open mind is ideal. If something just does not feel right, or it sounds too good to be true, then it’s time to do your due diligence. Get feedback from other people who have been in the same situation as yours. Educate yourself, gather information, and trust your instincts.

Learn to discern so no one can fool you, even yourself.

Of course these are just a handful of the things real estate investors need to succeed and stay successful, in my opinion. Please add more by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

To our success and financial freedom!

Jay Castillo

Real Estate Investor

PRC Real Estate Broker Registration No. 3194
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Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

Full disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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15 thoughts on “5 Things Real Estate Investors Need To Succeed And Stay Successful”

  1. Pingback: Goodbye and thank you 2011! Hello 2012! — Foreclosure Investing Philippines
  2. I think I need to practice the “do your diligence” part. Most things can be done best when we do it and not when we wait for someone to do it nor just watch what happens next. This is relevant to the college life.

    Thanks for the post Sir. The 5 things are tightly woven. I can imagine the responsibility needed to become a real estate investor

  3. Pingback: 7 questions you need to ask to avoid investment scams
  4. Empowering beliefs, I think, are important. Not only in Real Estate but in all other areas of life as well. 🙂

  5. A nice piece of writing particular in 5 things of real estate investors! I assume that your things are most effective for real estate. Thanks admin 🙂

  6. Very nice post Kuya Jay! I remember when I listened to the audio book, The Millionaire Next Door, the author explained that honesty is the top one of the success factors of the millionaires. So this means that being honest does not only apply in real estate investing or in money, but in any areas of life.

    • Thanks Will! Yes, honesty is definitely one of the traits of the truly affluent as described in The Millionaire Next Door. I really loved that book, thanks for reminding me of it!

      Even Dolf De Roos mentioned that based on his research, the rich had unquestionable integrity and they honor their word.

      Let us not loose focus on these if we really want to be truly rich for the long term. 🙂

  7. Hi Jay,

    Thank you for posting this, its really a great help for us beginners.
    I believe if we are driven with right reasons and purpose of why we are getting into real estate investing, we are going to make it. =) More power to you and foreclosurephilippines!


    • Hi Jocel,

      You’re welcome and thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on this! Exactly! With the right reasons and purpose, it would be hard to fail not just in real estate investing, but just about any worthy endeavor. 😉


  8. Very well said kuya Jay! I really like what you said about integrity being an all or nothing deal…in the corporate world, they call these as “core values”. Who’s to say that only big companies have to have core values. I think everyone should discover their own core values and live to express them in everything they do.

    • Hi Allan, you have an excellent point. I also admire big companies that have the right core values, values that are anchored on correct principles.

      I was no longer able to include it in my article but sometimes even having core values is not enough if these are not based on correct principles. Let me quote the following from a summary of Stephen Covey’s book “Principle Centered Leadership”

      Principles vs Values

      An example of a value is: The more profit we get, the better our organization will be and the better the lives of our members.

      An example of a correct principle would be: Profit should come second to ethical considerations.

      Both values and principles can dictate our behavior and how we judge and evaluate our environment.How are they different?

      Values are subjective, temporary maps that show us where to go or what to do given a particular situation. They can become obsolete when the situation changes. Values represent our cultural influences, personal discoveries and family scripts. They vary from person to person, or, more accurately, from role to role. A single individual can carry with him several sets of values for each of his different roles – child, sibling, parent, spouse, friend, lover, executive – and these values can contradict each other, and change over time depending on the person’s newly acquired experiences and insights.”

      Lately I can’t help but notice that wrong values like the one above (where the only focus is money) are what we hear from some people out there.

      Let’s put it this way, even swindlers have the same core values, but if they follow correct principles, they would not have become swindlers in the first place. 😉

      Thanks for dropping by, cheers!


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