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By Randy Hughes, Mr. Land Trust

Starting in the late 1970s and up through the 1990s pitchmen were all over television extolling the ease at which you could “become rich in your spare time” if you just followed their real estate investment “program.” After 52 years in the real estate investment business, I know of no one who became rich through real estate quickly (I am sure some investors got rich quickly through luck, but I have never met one).

I do know a lot of people who became rich using real estate as their vehicle. They all earned it by working hard and putting in years of devotion.

This article for Realty 411 is for all of you who have not yet become a millionaire in your “spare time.”

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What does all this have to do with cockroaches?

When it comes to being able to survive and expand its operations, nothing has ever surpassed the lowly cockroach. Despite chemical warfare, I often find them in my houses after tenants vacate. Some tenants seem to cohabitate with cockroaches intentionally (and quite well)!

In New York’s Museum of Natural History, they used to point tourists’ attention to a pickled roach between the toes of their biggest dinosaur to demonstrate that roaches have survived in the same form since the period before dinosaurs stalked the Earth.

This means that cockroaches lived on even after the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. For perspective, man has been on Earth during only 1% of the time that cockroaches have existed on the planet!

How have cockroaches survived?

How have cockroaches survived so successfully for millions of years? 1). It never challenges anything bigger than itself 2). It stays out of sight 3). It can survive for lengthy periods under adverse conditions or in a hostile environment 4). It is fast and elusive 5). It lives in the cracks of society never calling attention to itself 6). It reproduces quickly and with ease 7). It can make a meal out of about anything organic regardless of how unappetizing!

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What can we learn from the cockroach lifestyle?

We small investors must be adaptable, maintain a low profile, and be prepared to move quickly when either an opportunity or danger presents itself. We must be able to recognize opportunities, whether foreclosures, rehabs, discounted paper, single-family house opportunities, or value-added property prospects. We must also avoid hostile environments (and hostile tenants) which are high on risk and low on rewards.

You can skip “make a meal out of about anything organic”. I don’t recommend that.

About those Pitchmen

I knew a real estate guru once that bragged that he bought a property every month. He later confessed that he felt so obligated to follow through with that public statement that he would buy bad deals just to “keep up his image” as a monthly property buyer.

Be patient, be diligent, analyze, and then act. Some investors never succeed because they catch the “paralysis of analysis” fever. They buy books (sometimes they even read those books they buy), attend meetings, talk with other investors, analyze data, buy mentor programs, and never buy any real estate.

I encourage you to learn more by going to my FREE online training at and text the word “reasons” to 206-203-2005 for my free booklet, Reasons to Use a Land Trust. You can also reach me the old-fashioned way by calling me at 217-355-1281. (I actually answer my own phone, unlike most other businesses in America today!)

Apply these lessons from a cockroach lifestyle and you WILL succeed!

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