Standing on the shoulders of giants

by Russell Westcott on October 24, 2012 in blog with No comments

I’m always a humbled by the number of people who tell me that I’ve been a mentor for their success in real estate investment. Some of them have heard me speak at REIN meetings or seminars. Others have read books I’ve helped write or have listened to me speak via the CDs that come with REIN home-study courses like Joint Venture Secrets. In every case, these people have taken information they attribute to me and have used it to buy revenue property, often with investment partners. I truly am happy for you all.

But here’s my chance to let you all in on a fact of life that way too many people still don’t understand: Real estate investing is a learned skill and there are things you can do to “get it right.” In other words, the things you think you’ve learned from me are successful business strategies that I have learned from others.

That’s right, instead of trying to do it all myself, effectively making myself the master of my own disaster, I deliberately chose to take educated steps on the path to real estate investment. That does not mean I never make mistakes. It does mean that I learn from my mistakes and take deliberate steps to never repeat them.

Learn, then learn as you go
When I first got into this business, buying the “right” property probably generated the greatest worry. The quest for money partners was a close second. But neither hurdle was all that daunting since a solid real estate investment education meant I went into this business with both eyes wide open. That foundation helped me buy my first properties only after I knew how to find properties that cash flowed and attracted quality tenants who stayed put to help me pay down that mortgage. By the same token, I knew where to look for money partners and how to bring them on board only when they understood my exit strategy for buy-and-hold revenue properties.

But it’s not like I invented these concepts. My business strategies are solidly based on what REIN calls the Authentic Canadian Real Estate (ACRE) system . It’s a system that gets better with time and experience—largely because REIN fosters a network of real estate investors who willingly share their know-how with others.

As part of my own commitment to ACRE, I never stop looking for new ways to tweak my own systems. And that process is largely dependent on my relationships with other experts. For example, I continue to invest a lot of time my relationships with individuals who bring specialized knowledge of real estate markets, lending, law and tax law to my business. I also know who to contact when I need properties inspected, managed or renovated and I have learned how to develop my JV network to the point where I have money partners who are actually waiting for my next call.

To learn more about how my money partners and I benefit from standing on the shoulders of giants, take REIN’s home-study course, JV Secrets, or pick up a copy of Real Estate Joint Ventures: The Canadian Investor’s Guide to Raising Money and Getting Deals Done. >>click here

About the Author

Russell Westcott: Canadian Real Estate Investor, Educator, Researcher, & Best-Selling Author. He is the Vice President for the Real Estate Investment Network™ (REIN™), Canada's leading Real Estate Education program. Visit for more information

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