You Must Make Your Own Success in Real Estate; it Will Not Happen For You


15 Aug
You Must Make Your Own Success in Real Estate; it Will Not Happen For You

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A lot of people complain that life is not fair and they cannot catch a break.  It is true that life can throw us curve balls, but successful people don’t let those curve balls bother them. The truth is most successful people and most unsuccessful people have the same amount of luck and opportunities. The successful people take advantage of the opportunities they are given or they make their own opportunities. For a long time I waited for success to come to me in the real estate business and it never came. I decided it wouldn’t just come to me, I had to go out and get it!

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This is the first article of my new series about attitude, goals, planning and working harder on yourself than your job. For the original article and a list of my other articles check out how to be more successful at real estate investing and life.

Our natural tendency is to sit back and not take chances

It is easy to say you will go out and get success, but it is not easy to do it. For most of us the natural thing to do is to sit back, stay on the same track and hope the future will bring us what we are looking for. The hard thing to do is to change our track, do something different, take chances and get out of our comfort zone. If your boss doesn’t see your value, if your investments aren’t doing well, if you can’t save money; change something. These issues do not magically fix themselves, you have to fix them yourself by changing your attitude, habits or actions.

I started to see a lot of success in 2008 and 2009 after I started listing REO properties as a real estate agent. Before I started working with REO, I had done traditional real estate since 2001 with limited success. I knew something had to change if I wanted to achieve everything I wanted out of life. I went out on a limb and started pursuing REO listings with a passion. I was very shy as a child and I still am a bit of an introvert. However I picked up the phone and started cold calling banks to see how I could list their foreclosures. I hated the phone at the time and it was not easy for me to call people I had never talked to (probably why I was not a successful traditional real estate agent). I didn’t even know if the banks would have any idea what I was talking about when I asked about listing REO properties. Those calls got me the information I needed to get my foot in the door with banks.

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Once you find some success you can’t sit back and relax again

Once you find a little success, you can’t sit back and enjoy the ride. I have learned it is much more fun to keep changing things up and pursue new ideas. Once I started listing REO properties I started joining REO groups like the NRBA. I attended the NRBA conference, which was way out of my comfort zone. I found myself in a group of REO brokers who had listed bank owned properties for ten times longer than I had and were making five times the money I was. I was in awe and barely said a word the entire conference  Luckily there were some great real estate agents there that befriended me and helped me relax and improve my business. I think there were well over 1,000 people at that real estate conference and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

After I started making as much money as the REO brokers I was previously in awe of, I did not sit back and relax. I looked for more ways to improve my business and life. I researched the best ways to invest my money, started reading self-help books and I enrolled in personal coaching with Jack Canfield. Thanks to personal coaching I was convinced to take more chances and be willing to get even farther out of my comfort zone. I started Invest Four More, took over the real estate and fix and flip business from my father and I continued to grow. I learned how to delegate more, gain more free time and relax. In the beginning of 2013 I even volunteered to speak in front of 200 people at a conference. I would have never volunteered to speak in front of more than 5 people with my previous attitude. It was an amazing experience that I am extremely proud of. All this happened because I was willing to try new things like enroll in a coaching program and I took charge of my life.  Five years ago I would have laughed at participating personal coaching. If I would have relaxed after doing well in REO I would be in trouble now, because there is so little REO in our area. Luckily I did not sit back, I created new streams of income and continued to grow.

When can you get comfortable?

Many people have a goal of making enough money to be comfortable in life. The idea of being comfortable seems appealing; sit back, relax and all your problems will be gone. However, if you look at the most successful people they don’t ever get comfortable. They keep trying new things, taking chances and getting out of their comfort zone.

Why would people continue to go outside their comfort zone? Because it is exciting and fun to continue to try new things and take chances. When you start thinking of problems as challenges; life becomes much more fun. When you stop worrying about problems and simply start doing the best you can with what you have, life is much more fun. Being comfortable is not what life is about, getting the most you can out of life while conquering challenges is what life is about. Real estate has provided me with a great income, my 11 rental properties produce over $50,000 a year in cash flow and I have more fix and flips then ever. I am not done growing or looking for new challenges; in fact right now I am learning as much as I can about commercial real estate and bigger projects.


I wanted to start off my series of new articles about attitude with this article, because your state of mind is one of the most important attributes for success. You have to be willing to change, take chances and make things happen. 90% of the ultra wealthy became wealthy by themselves without an inheritance or winning the lottery. Wealth and happiness did not come to them, they went out and got it. If you aren’t happy with how things are going; do something different, take chances, educate yourself, don’t worry about being comfortable and live your life.

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  • Jason
    Posted at 17:31h, 16 August Reply

    Great article.. I am looking forward to this new series of being successful. Thanks Mark.

  • Marianne
    Posted at 05:02h, 17 August Reply

    Thank you for writing this enlightening article Mark—I just found you on BP and am glad I subscribed—This is what I needed to hear and I’m looking forward to the next article—As an introvert myself, you have inspired me. Keep ’em coming.

  • Mai
    Posted at 14:03h, 19 August Reply

    I’m looking forward to these new articles! They sound as thought they will be very inspiring – thank you. It’s great to read things like this from someone else’s point of view, and to hear about your experiences.

  • Michelle Y.
    Posted at 21:30h, 19 August Reply

    Great uplifting article! Thanks Mark!!

  • Charley
    Posted at 10:26h, 26 August Reply

    Sounds like these will be some interesting articles – thank you! Can’t wait to read them. I am also pretty shy, so I found this very inspiring and motivating – thanks again.

  • Sami Aljundi
    Posted at 21:45h, 04 March Reply

    You have mentioned your hate for cold calling, well me too, and it’s maybe the most reason it scares me to jump into brokerage business, I love doing presentation to my clients face to face and offering sincere advice , yet I know that cold calling is a mandatory in brokerage, how did you over come it? I hate to do something it might bothers others, yet I love real estate more than any other business.
    Great articles and can’t wait for the new ones

    • Mark Ferguson
      Posted at 03:44h, 05 March Reply

      You don’t have to cold call to be successful, although many teach it. You have to call, but focus on people you know.

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