So you’ve decided that property is what you want to focus on, but are you cut out for it?

Property is not for everyone for many different reasons and one important factor to consider is your personality type. This will either contribute to your success or failure in the property business and help you to determine whether you’d be better suited to passive property investment.

People who are very pessimistic, very analytical and don’t necessarily like dealing with people will quickly find that active property investment is not for them - or rather, they’re not right for property – because property is very much a people business.

Having an optimistic, solution-oriented attitude is critical to your success because you’ll find there will always be obstacles in your way as you build your portfolio. It might be running short of capital, there may be changes to legislation, or simply tenant and property management issues. You need to be able to focus on the bigger picture and find your way through the problems you’ll face.

This runs alongside having the ‘right’ attitude to risk and debt. You need to really think how you feel about getting yourself into hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds worth of debt, because by the time you’ve got four or five properties, it’s highly likely that’s what your mortgage borrowing will have hit. If that thought terrifies you, and you’re not comfortable with the idea of having high loan-to-value borrowing on a property, then you need to learn the value of debt and how, if used correctly, it can be your friend. There is a big difference between ‘good debt’ and ‘bad debt’.

Without the right attitude you will miss opportunities, slow down your progress and may well stall before you’ve started. I’ve seen too many people hanging in limbo, permanently on the brink of ‘doing something’ – either what I call the ‘shelf-help’ (rather than self-help!) brigade, or ‘course-junkies’, who spend money going on lots of courses but never get round to applying what they learn. Focus on thinking positively about what you can achieve, because great success is all about taking calculated risks. By that, I mean looking at the potential risks associated with an investment and making sure you understand them. Then you need to do sufficient due diligence so that those risks are either greatly reduced or eliminated. You must also be comfortable that the reward justifies the risk.

To summarise, a successful and active property investor should possess the following personal qualities:

- An optimist with an all-round positive attitude - Solution-focused - Action-oriented - Excellent inter-personal skills - Willingness to take a calculated risk - An open mind - Willingness to keep learning - Little or no fear of failure and the ability to see it as feedback - Thoughtfulness, generosity of spirit and selflessness - Persistence - Good/great money management skills - Financially astute - A hard worker

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As a property investor, it is vital to identify your hidden weaknesses and prevent potential pitfalls. Use our Property Investor Profile tool and find out if you have the right set of skills and attitude to be a successful property investor.

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