How to Become a Real Estate Entrepreneur By Imran Zaidi

Like most human endeavors, entrepreneurism has an age-old and deep-rooted association with land and buildings on it. In simple terms a real estate entrepreneur is a person who purchases and sells properties to generate income and to build wealth. Plus, they do not work for anyone but themselves. A real estate entrepreneur is generally motivated, risk-tolerant, and driven. They possess the ability to conjure possibilities and seize opportunities when they find one. More than anything, it is a typical entrepreneurial mindset more than anything that blends imagination with enthusiasm and tenacity.

As Michael E. Gerber says in his book, The E-Myth, “The Entrepreneur is the visionary in us. The dreamer. The energy behind every human activity. The imagination that sparks the fire of the future. The catalyst for change”. Actually, taking the leap from an employee or an investor to an entrepreneur merely comes down to recognizing the attributes it takes to be successful.

If you are an entrepreneur who has not yet ventured into real estate, it is worth considering. The foremost argument for doing so is real estate’s steadily productive ROI’s in almost every property market — an investment that will continue to give, even in the face of today’s economic uncertainty. At this time, the rental market is booming, and you may possibly find good deals during the economic downturn.

In my years I have seen quite a few businesspeople transforming themselves into real estate entrepreneurs. So can you. Here I will discuss some of the basic characteristics it requires. 


Having an entrepreneurial mindset is the starting point. This is the most basic and important trait for success in business as it consists in never stop learning and consistently pushing forward in the face of challenges and setbacks. Bear in mind that an entrepreneurial mindset is not an inherited attribute — it is an individually acquired behavior that gets stronger with use.


You have to constantly educate yourself on the topic, including the knowledge of industry, markets, and human behavior. Being a real-estate entrepreneur does not require a formal education, but you do need to be highly knowledgeable about the industry (its markets, transactions, terms, laws etc.) and reasonably competent in finance. A good knowledge is essential to both mitigate risks and produce more opportunities. Find yourself a good mentor within the real estate industry, soft skills matter a lot in this industry. Broaden your network to increase your sources of information and knowledge. Get a solid understanding of financing processes and building regulations. You can also take courses centered on real estate, comprising those that define the buying and selling process, explain various terms and definitions, and provide understanding of the flipping and reselling activity.


Networking is vital in real estate, so seek ways to build connections and interact with others in the industry. Look for real estate-focused groups in your community to join in person or online. You could also try to find a mentor who has experience in real estate. A wide repertoire of connections will help you find opportunities and offer your more choices in building your team.  


Real estate industry is about working with people. It is important for a real estate entrepreneur to be self-aware, cognizant of their strengths and weaknesses. It will help you in building the right team around you to fill the voids. Find complementary pieces in people with real-world experience. As your business grows, you will discover that having a reliable and experienced team of real estate agents, attorneys, finance experts, and contractors will make sure your business functions efficiently and achieves success.


We all know the power of habits. The key to being very good in anything comes down to practice. Healthy daily habits are essential for a real estate entrepreneur as these routines keep body, mind, and spirit in good shape. Wake up early to take advantage of the power of mornings. Visualize success and be mindful of what you tell yourself. Always be networking, keep building your rolodex of real estate contacts.


Let your execution be founded in thorough planning. This will improve the quality of decisions you make and will help you stay on the path to achieving your goals. Have a clear structure for how the business will operate, as well as identify the short-term and long-term goals, with a plan for how you will achieve those goals.


The path to success in the real estate industry starts with just one investment. Be sure you have fully evaluated your first deal. As you gain experience, you will become more successful in the industry. Many folks think that starting in real estate entails buying up massive properties. It certainly is not the whole picture. I always tell beginners to start small by investing in a single-family property. Even if you have the cash to go for something bigger, save that cash for future investments as you get wiser and better at it. Get in at a lower barrier of entry and get started sooner rather than later. One big bonus of just starting is the knowledge you gain early on. You will never truly learn if you do not get going.


As the cash begins to flow in, resist the temptation to splurge it right away. To me, the key to becoming a real estate entrepreneur is not to spend the cash that you earn from your first property. Instead, invest this cash in another property as the second rung of your ladder. This is how your business begins to build.


Once the property is running and you have found your tenant(s), it will not need much time. I always tell my clients that at the beginning they should self-manage their units to gain as much knowledge as possible and to save on the management expenses. Once your business grows, you can outsource the property management and spend all your time on building your business.


You can take your real estate investment to the next level to become a veritable real estate entrepreneur. This will require developing an entrepreneurial mindset, practicing positive daily habits, continuing your education, and building productive relationships. With more experience in the field, you will be able to lower risks, increase returns, and build strong relationships with lenders. And, mind you, it does not require a fortune to begin in real estate. Real estate is your best chance to balance building generational wealth while having family and personal time. Last but not the least, there have never been more ways to get started in real estate. You can always find something that suits you.

About the author
Imran Zaidi is a seasoned Real Estate professional with wealth of knowledge on the real estate market, financial processes, and mentorship. Along with his expertise, he has also found success in building and growing a boutique real estate brokerage in Toronto.

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