Last week, I was fortunate enough to be on a panel at my local real estate club meeting, where I was asked to share a few tips with real estate investors on how to be more successful in the coming year. It was fun, and the tips could really be anything somehow related to real estate, whether it was how to save time and money, avoid aggravation, or even increase yields.

The beauty of it was there were four panelists sharing ideas, so I walked away with 32 new tips on everything from designing and staging rehabs, to working with contractors.

The least I could do is share mine.

9 Real Estate Investing Tips for a Better 2018

1. Use tax strategies.

Let’s face it—every dollar saved on taxes is another dollar freed up to invest with. This is one of the main pillars of building true wealth.

There are many ways to save on taxes, whether it’s depreciation, all the write-offs the real estate business can offer us (mortgage interest deductions, taxes, maintenance, etc.), or even becoming an agent to take advantage of unlimited passive losses. My personal favorite is probably investing through qualified plans like self-directed IRA accounts, HSAs, ESAs, etc.

This year in particular, it would be wise to meet for a planning session with your accountant about all the new tax law changes to avoid any surprises. That said, the biggest advantages didn’t really go away, as they stem from things like providing housing, creating jobs, or helping charities.

No one said you have to choose just one either. For example, my buddy’s non-profit owns an apartment building that leases units to disabled veterans. Perhaps you can incorporate a similar strategy into your business model.


Related: How to Let Your Mission, Vision, and Goals Drive Your Business

2. Be focused and disciplined.

Sure, focus and discipline can be applied to things like sticking to a budget and having your financial house in order, but what I’m referring to is a little more philosophical. As Jim Rohn puts it, “We need to work harder on ourselves than we do at our jobs.” Many of us could use more work on our soft skills—things like time management, sales, negotiations, public speaking, or even just reading more.

3. Set goals.

Earl Nightingale, an author and successful insurance broker, best known for The Strangest Secret, put it best when he asked the question, “Where do you see yourself based on the actuarial statistics for 100 men at age 65?” At the time (1950s), the statistics were that one was very…