They say that experience is the best teacher and I would hardly disagree. There’s nothing better to teach a lesson than a solid, “Been there, done that.” But that’s why there are teachers. That’s why there are coaches and mentors. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel when there are those who have trod5 tips for a successful real estate career before you who can give you a bit of advice that will keep you from making real estate investment mistakes.

No Exit Strategy. The exit strategy is the detailed plan on how you’re going to dispose of your investment. Say that you’ve been approached by someone who wants you to help finance the acquisition of a small apartment building. You look at the numbers provided and see how it makes sense but what’s the exit? Don’t make an investment until you know when and how it will end.

Emotion. This is leading with your heart and not your head. Investments should be based upon solid numbers and not on something that “just feels right.” Real estate isn’t exactly the most liquid of investments and there are costs associated with buying and selling real estate.

Speculation. Real estate investing is just that—investing. Speculating is a gamble to some degree. Yes, builders can build new rental property or a flip without a known buyer waiting and call it a “spec” but looking at a potential project through rose colored glasses can get expensive.

No Consistency.  Once you’ve established a proven model, improve on it, don’t replace it. Successful real estate investors find a niche and dominate it. Be an expert in a particular community or property type.

Lack of Planning. If you’ve just inherited a rental property from a relative and that’s about the extent of your real estate holdings, you may not need a business plan. But if you’re going to make this a career, carefully plot out your goals, track them and follow a business plan.