What Makes a Successful Real Estate Investor

Do you have the characteristics of a successful fix-and-flip investor?

With all of the ups and downs of the real estate market and economy as a whole in 2022, we wanted to do a deep dive into the minds of real estate investors.

We didn’t just want to hear what they thought of that year’s market. What we really wanted to know was how some of those investors remained successful despite the volatility they all had to contend with.

Many of the responses were expected of high performers, but there were some surprises — not the least of which was how many respondents said they expected to make a higher ROI next year despite market predictions (45%).

While the full “2023 Fix-and-Flip Success Report” has all the survey highlights, we decided to break out the findings that showed the characteristics of successful investors. By applying some of these mindsets and tactics, perhaps you, too, can have an even more robust year in real estate investing.

5 Key Takeaways from Stoa’s Fix-and-Flip Investor Survey

52.5% of respondents with a +20% ROI in 2022 were more likely to strongly agree that flipping houses is both work and a hobby for them.

Only 12.5% of respondents with 1 – 5% ROI agreed with that statement. While these numbers might seem surprising, one possible reason is that those people who look at flipping as also being a hobby were willing and able to take time between projects to source properties that would give them the highest ROI.

65.7% of respondents with a +10% ROI were more likely to strongly agree that technology helps them do their jobs as investors better.

Conversely, 32.5% of respondents with a 10% or less ROI strongly agreed with that statement.

While there is a learning curve involved with using new apps or technology of any sort, they can make life easier for fix-and-flip investors. There are apps for sourcing properties, tools for predicting expenses for a given flip, and even apps that compare multiple properties to help you find the one with the highest ROI. A savvy investor will use several of these together to save time and money while increasing profits.

One successful fix-and-flip investor looks at a laptop while another man holds it and points to the screen.

65% of respondents with the highest ROI were much more likely to enjoy setting long-term goals than those with the lowest ROI (25%).

Long-term goal setting is only helpful if you can stick to your plans. Here are some tips to help you get there.

  • Make sure the goal is clear and detailed.

    • Don’t just write, “I want to flip more homes.” Instead, use something like, “I want to flip three properties per month with an average ROI of 15%.”

  • Set short-term goals that will help you reach your long-term goal.

    • Whereas your long-term goal can be achieved a couple of years from now, your short-term goals are milestones you can achieve within weeks or months.

  • Check that the goals are achievable.

    • Setting reasonable timelines and short-term goals will keep you motivated and focused.

  • Set a beginning and end date.

    • A reasonable timetable will help you stay motivated and keep you on track. Just make sure you factor in any possible roadblocks.

55% of respondents with a higher ROI were more likely to consider themselves risk takers.

However, only 2.5% of those with a lower ROI agreed with that statement. That said, investors with the highest ROI also were much more likely to have a backup plan (50%) for disasters than those with lower ROI (12.5%).

57.5% of respondents with the highest ROI were more likely to spend time on a daily basis keeping up on current events and reading real estate industry blogs or newsletters (52.5%).

While news sites and real estate investor blogs are great sources of information on how the real estate industry is doing, social media can also be helpful. Investors with the highest ROI were also more engaged on social media (35%) than their counterparts with lower ROI.

Joining real estate investor groups on LinkedIn or subscribing to a real estate investor subreddit will allow you to hear from people with “boots on the ground.” This could allow you to find out about potential shifts in the market before it makes headlines.

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