For 40 years my wife and I have owned rental property. For 35 years I have been a San Diego apartment broker. I learned a lot, too much the hard way. Some of what I learned is summarized below.

In an earlier post, I described how “Outstanding results are more likely with great clients or great patients.” Great clients do things that make success more likely. In this post, I want to look at the other side of the coin.

No one starts out to do things that make success unlikely. Nevertheless, here are five ways that clients lose traction.

Waiting for the perfect deal

There are no perfect properties and no perfect deals. The price of perfection is prohibitive. You can’t build legacy wealth if you don’t invest. Instead of waiting in vain for a perfect deal, take the best option available in the market that matches your investing values and goals.

Rejecting reality

Reality is sometimes hard to swallow. But the truth is our friend. You will lose valuable time and miss valuable opportunities while you come to terms with reality. Instead, work with your great broker to devise a strategy that will help you move toward your goals.

Consistently rejecting professional advice

I’ve encountered many investors over the years who thought they knew better than their professional advisors. Your broker should have two things you lack. He or she should have deep knowledge of apartment investing. He or she should also know the market in intricate detail. Instead of rejecting your broker’s hard-learned advice, use it to increase your success. If you don’t trust your broker’s expertise or ethics, find another broker.

Not reviewing their situation and goals

To serve you well, I must understand your goals and values. As you live your life, your situation will change. You’re the only one who can know if it’s time to buy or sell or if your strategy should change. Instead of assuming that your broker understands everything in your head and heart, review your investments and goals regularly.

Letting emotion swamp reason

Some investors fall in love with a property and choose to pursue it even if it doesn’t make sense as an investment for them. Others get their blood up during negotiations. They respond to rude behavior with their own rude behavior. You can vent your spleen or give the other party a piece of your mind, but it won’t help you close a deal. Patient, tactful people close great deals even with principals who act like jerks.


What’s your experience? How have you seen investors, maybe you, lose traction?


Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.

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