For me, one of the most interesting things about being a real estate lawyer over the past quarter century is that I’ve had the chance, every once in a while, to look at my clients and see what skills, habits, and traits made them successful.
It is very revealing to see what makes one group of individuals more resilient than others, particularly during these difficult economic times.
By the early part of the last decade, it seemed as though many of my clients in the real estate industry could make a handsome living with virtually little effort. Whether they were part-time Realtors, mortgage brokers, builders, or average folks who became involved in flipping properties, everyone was hopping aboard the real estate express. Income flowed easily and the business seemed to roll in.
But the problem was that they all depended on three things:
- That the banks would keep on lending.
- That demand for real estate would remain steady.
- That real estate prices would keep rising.
And of course, as we now all know, none of those things happened. The party did come to an end, the bubble burst, and like kids playing a game of musical chairs, many did not find a place to sit.
So was it luck for those who found a chair or was it some innate skill set that allowed some to survive and even flourish while others perished? Well it is a little bit of both. I believe you can create your own luck through proper preparation and perseverance. I found several key traits among the clients who thrived despite the housing market collapse.