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Investing in Real Estate – 17 Experts Reveal their Most Powerful Advice

Real Estate Investing for newbies

To jump start your real estate investment journey on the ideal trajectory, I reached out to a mastermind of real estate pros to reveal their most powerful advice.  I got answers from 17 real estate investment professionals including bestselling authors, entrepreneurs, real estate coaches, and top personal finance bloggers. These people have jointly impacted millions of people through their articles, books, blogs, presentations, courses, coaching, workshops and more.

Everyone of them rolled up their sleeves years ago and invested in real estate to build their wealth.   Robert Kiyosaki said it best, “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.” So I personally asked 17 real estate pros one simple question:

“If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself when you were a newbie real estate investor?”

Their advice is as diverse as they are; yet, all of it comes from a proven path to real estate investing success. Put this wisdom to work and watch your investment journey soar in 2016.

Because this post is a unique resource, I created a Free PDF of this – you can download your Free PDF here.

Over to our Featured Experts:

Here’s what they have to say:

1. Todd Tresidder recommends living in a multi-plex rather than buying your first condo for cheap rent and accelerating your real estate investing journey.

“If I could go back to my 20’s I would beg, borrow (but not steal) to get enough to purchase a four-plex instead of rent an apartment, and then I would live in one apartment while renting the other 3 to master the landlord game. This property would be financed with a fully amortizing, fixed rate mortgage so that I would own it outright in 15 or 30 years, depending on the loan. And then I would rinse and repeat this same process as frequently as I could afford until I had accumulated enough units to be financially independent once they are paid off.  It’s the simplest, safest, most secure, and certain way to retire early and wealthy.”

– Todd Tresidder, Money Coach & Founder of Financial Mentor

2. Sam Dogen recommends buying rental properties that are aligned with your lifestyle.  After that, worry about rental income and price appreciation.

“10 years ago was a couple years ago before the crash in the US. As a result, I would have sold all my properties and bought back everything in 2010-2012! My first property was purchased 13 years ago in 2003. I decided to buy well within my means, instead of max things out for double the value. In retrospect, I should have maxed out my purchase as San Francisco has done well since 2003 during the tech boom.

“My best advice for real estate investors is to buy the home you are willing to live in for five years. You ensure that no matter what happens in the market, you enjoyed your life while living in the property. After five years, you can probably easily rent out the property for positive cash flow, and perhaps buy a new property for you to enjoy for the next five years.”

– Sam Dogen, Founder of Financial Samurai

3. Dalia Barsoum recommends investing sooner, with the right people by your side, and taking action.

“It took me about 4 years to make our first move . Not because I did not have enough information to move forward or because I didn’t have the right team by my side; but rather due to analysis paralysis.  Investing sooner is what I would have done differently.  Have the right people by your side. Do your home work then put your plans into action.

“I was over analyzing things as I was influenced  by the advice of family and friends who cared. While they had good intentions at heart, they were not investors.

“Base your actions on advice from the people who been there and done it.  The sooner you invest, the sooner you will reach your goals.”

and recipient of the 2014 Mortgage Broker of the Year Award by the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine

4. Gillian Irving recommends investing in yourself and in your business when starting out.

“If I were a newbie investor starting all over, I would have invested in a real estate coach.  I waited a few years before investing in myself because of the price tag, but now I know that the extent to which my business grows each year is a direct reflection on how much I invest in my own growth and education. ”

– Gillian Irving, Founder of

5. Pauline recommends conducting thorough due diligence, not just basing your decision on the numbers.

“I would have done much more research instead of going for one of the first properties within budget. I never checked the neighbourhood at night, turns out it was really rough, my tenant wasn’t so good and if it hadn’t been for rental insurance, I would have had a hard time staying afloat.”

– Pauline, Founder of Make Money Your Way

6. Joe recommends that you buy quality properties –  avoid buying a property with a lot of deferred maintenance and other issues.

“Avoid buying properties that are old with a lot of deferred maintenance and other issues. We purchased a 4-plex in 2011 at a good price, but there were too many issues. Although we made some profit in 2014, we sold it to get rid of a lot of stress.”

– Joe, Founder of Retireby40

7. Anita Flegg recommends to treat your real estate investment journey as a marathon, not a sprint.

“Slow down and know when to speed up. Be more patient, and leave more money in the bank for emergencies, while also spending much more time networking and learning how to attract joint venture partners — meet more potential money partners, faster.”

– Anita, Founder of Flegg Investments and author of The Purple Parachute

8. Daria Hill recommends taking action sooner, there is no time like the present to act.

“10 years ago, I wish I had bought my first property instead of waiting until 2008. I was seriously considering purchasing a 2 bedroom condo in a prime downtown Toronto location for $250,000. At the time, I was worried about whether the condo boom would bust and so I chose to rent for two years instead. Today that same apartment has doubled over in value and would have easily been rented with a positive cash flow.”

– Daria, Real Estate Investor as seen on HGTV’s Income Property hosted by Scott McGillivray

9. Rich Danby recommends surrounding yourself with like-minded people to inspire and propel you to take action.

“Surround yourself with like-minded people to propel you to think bigger, accomplish more and shorten the journey to your financial goals.  If inspiration isn’t enough then invest in YOU by hiring a Real Estate Coach to hold you accountable and help you get to where you want to be. ”

– Rich, President of Rich Ottawa Investments

10. Alexander recommends investing early in life, buying as many as you can afford to, and networking to learn more from others.

“I would have purchased as many cash-flowing properties as I could. I would put myself out there more to network with other real estate investors.  Networking really is a vital step in being successful and most people are shy when they first start out.”

– Alexander, Founder of Cash flow Diaries

11. Greg Blok recommends that you start learning how to manage the right way from the start.

” Get comfortable with management, as good management is the difference between successful and unsuccessful investments.”

– Greg Blok, Real Estate Agent and Investor, Bennett Property Shop Realty

12. Paula recommends running your real estate like a business right from the beginning.

” When I was a novice real estate investor, I didn’t take the time to learn formulas and strategies for evaluating a property. I also didn’t try to develop systems to automate the business. If I knew then what I know now, build it as a business, with a system for increasing efficiency and returns.”

– Paula, Founder of Afford Anything

13. Joe Maruno recommends acting fast on opportunities as you see them.

“There have been several properties in the past that were available, and for whatever reason I did not acquire. Today I drive by some of those properties and kick myself for not buying them.”

– Joe Marano, Property Manager and Founder of Rent In Ottawa

14. Brandon Turner recommends buying quality properties rather than focusing on quantity.

“If I went back and built my investment business again, I’d make three important changes. I would focus on mindset and business skills instead of just real estate.  I read hundreds of real estate books when starting, but didn’t think business or personal development was that important. Wrong! Secondly, I would focus on buying less properties but better quality. 20% of my properties today give me 80% of my income. I’d scrap the crappy 80% and only buy the good 20%. More profit, less headache. And finally, I would have hired an assistant to help with my real estate ambitions earlier. It really makes a difference!”

– Brandon Turner, Bigger Pockets

15. Bubba would have set investment goals for real estate.

“I would’ve made myself more patient.  I invested in a deal or two because I didn’t want to miss out – not realizing how cyclical real estate is.  Set investment goals for cash flow, risk, leverage, etc – and diligently churn through deals until you find yours.”

– Bubba, Founder of Southern Fried Finance

16. Jeff Patry recommends ‘buy and hold’ rental properties as a long-term real estate investment strategy.”

“First, if I could go back in time, I would not have tried to flip a house as my first venture into real estate investment.  What was supposed to take 3 months to generate a profit of $40,000 instead took 19.5 months to earn a profit of $8000.  I would also have bought my first rental property in a better neighbourhood.  But I didn’t, and it cost me dearly in terms of maintenance and repairs, and it was incredibly difficult to find a good tenant for the property due to its location and condition.

“Lastly, I would not have struggled to obtain financing from the banks.  I would have recognized that there are so many people who will happily hold mortgages for me in the pursuit of a better return on their investment dollars, which is how I fund my rental properties today.  I would have been able to buy more houses more quickly, and they would likely be (almost) paid off by now, allowing me to generate a considerable income from mortgage-free properties.”

– Jeff Patry, Founder of Private Money Mentor

17. Quentin D’Souza recommends investing in areas close to home.

“I wish that I bought more properties earlier, and sold less of the properties that we did over that period of time.  And perhaps avoid investing outside of the area, where I was not a geographic expert and was chasing cash flow. In the Durham region, where I invest, over the last 15 years we’ve seen a 94% increase in the value of the property.  So if you were to put 20% down that’s like getting a 500% return on your money just on appreciation.”

What would you have Changed?

If you were to travel back in time, what would you have changed?  If you are new at investing, what is holding you back from investing in real estate?

Stop Settling in Life, Take Action, Invest Smart and Create a Life you want to Lead – Tracy Ma
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