Property: Make Mistakes in Real Estate


Property: Yannick Callens says that the power of repetition is the key to your mistakes.

I hope your holiday went well and that you have made lots of mistakes! Yes, you read that correctly – I repeat, especially for you: ‘I hope you made a lot of mistakes this summer.’

In real estate, how do you think experience is acquired? By practicing! Like a sportsman who trains day after day, you must stay consistent and persevere to the end. You will build the muscles of your brain and mind, particularly that of the mind. Do you know the difference? Let me explain: a professional golfer, his brain sees the green, the hole and the trees, but his mind sees the path to be the best… and win the most tournaments. What I recommend in real estate, especially for beginners, is to visit as many properties as possible. Identify the advantages and disadvantages as you perceive them, and list them all.

During the first months, visit, visit, visit! You will train your mind to see the invisible. But Yannick, you say, what is the invisible? Let’s say that the visible are the walls, the location, the repairs needed, the tenants – the invisible, on the other hand, is the ‘trend’ of the market, the ‘demand’ of the market, ‘the potential’ of the market, the potential profitability. All the important things for your purchase that, at the beginning, your mind does not see, but your brain does.

To become a real-estate investor, you have to become 100% involved. It takes courage and perseverance to repeat, repeat, repeat. In other words, you have to train. The table that illustrates this is the ‘cone of experience’ (also known as ‘cone of learning’). It was developed by educational psychologist Edgar Dale: after two weeks, we tend to retain 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, but 90% of what we say and do. This is all about real action – the nature of the commitment is active and not passive.

For 90 days, visit, visit and visit! At the end of the day, write a summary of your steps on a single page of a notebook, your discoveries, the pros and cons – the good, the bad and the ugly. How can an individual learn anything if he is afraid of making mistakes? If you observe a baby learning to walk, you will see him get up, fall and cry. After a while, he will try again, he will get up, fall and cry. He repeats the process until he can stand, walk and then run. The more mistakes he makes, the more his universe will expand.

At school, we are taught that students who remember the right answers are smart. And that students who make mistakes are stupid. Then, in the corporate world, we dismiss employees who make mistakes. In other words, once a child goes to school, his or her learning process is slowed down. He begins to learn fear of mistakes and to avoid making mistakes.

The majority of employees have learned to be afraid of making mistakes; they have been taught that only stupid people make mistakes. They have been taught not to make mistakes, rather than to learn from them. Buckminster Fuller, a visionary for his time, wrote: “Only when the human being admits to having made a mistake is he getting closer to the mysterious integrity that governs the universe.” In other words, as soon as an individual recognizes that he has made his mistake, he is getting closer to universal power.

In summary, learn from your mistakes, because the consequence is the experience, the experience you need to become the best investor who is (already) in you! Your mistakes are worth gold! Or rather, cashflow – do not be afraid to make mistakes.