10 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About Real Estate

by Bright Ugochukwu
May 15, 2024

Investing in real estate can seem like a daunting endeavour, but it doesn’t have to be. 

If you’re looking to gain an edge in the real estate market, there’s no better place to learn than from your competitors. 

They’ve already made the mistakes, faced the challenges, and found the strategies that work. Here, we reveal 10 powerful secrets your competitors can teach you about real estate investment.

Let’s dive in and discover how to turn these insights into your success!


1. Understand Your Market Inside Out

One of the most crucial lessons your competitors can teach you is the importance of knowing your market thoroughly. 

Successful investors spend a lot of time researching and understanding the market. They know the best neighbourhoods, the types of properties that are in demand, and the average rental yields.

Key Actions:

  • Conduct Market Research: Use online resources like Zillow, Realtor.com, and local government websites for data on property prices, rental yields, and market trends.
  • Network with Local Agents: Real estate agents have firsthand information about the market. Build relationships with them to stay informed.
  • Attend Local Events: Property auctions, real estate seminars, and local investment groups are great places to gain insights.

By understanding your market, you’ll make informed decisions, reduce risks, and maximize your returns.

2. Leverage Data and Technology

In today’s digital age, technology is a game-changer in real estate investment. Your competitors are using data analytics and technology to identify trends, forecast market movements, and manage properties efficiently.

Key Tools:

  • Property Management Software: Tools like Buildium and AppFolio help manage rental properties efficiently.
  • Market Analysis Tools: Platforms like CoreLogic and PropertyRadar provide valuable market data and insights.
  • Virtual Tours: Technologies like Matterport allow potential buyers or renters to take virtual tours of properties, increasing your reach and saving time.

Using these tools will streamline your operations, improve your decision-making, and give you a competitive edge.

3. Build a Strong Network

Real estate is a people business. The more people you know, the more opportunities you’ll have. Your competitors understand the power of networking and often have a wide network of contacts including real estate agents, contractors, investors, and legal advisors.

Networking Tips:

  • Join Real Estate Clubs: Participate in local real estate clubs or online forums to meet like-minded individuals.
  • Attend Industry Conferences: Events like the National Real Estate Investors Association (REIA) conferences provide great networking opportunities.
  • Utilize Social Media: Platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have groups dedicated to real estate investing. Join these groups and actively participate.

A strong network will provide you with support, knowledge, and potential deals.

4. Focus on Location

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Location, location, location.” This isn’t just a cliché; it’s a critical factor in real estate success. Your competitors know that the right location can make or break an investment.

Factors to Consider:

  • Proximity to Amenities: Properties close to schools, shopping centres, and public transport are more desirable.
  • Neighbourhood Trends: Look for areas with upcoming developments or gentrification.
  • Safety: Safe neighbourhoods attract more tenants and buyers.

Investing in the right location ensures higher property values and better rental yields.

5. Diversify Your Portfolio

Diversification is a strategy used by smart investors to spread risk and maximize returns. Your competitors often invest in different types of properties and locations.

Diversification Strategies:

  • Residential and Commercial: Balance your portfolio with both residential and commercial properties.
  • Geographical Spread: Invest in properties in different cities or even countries to spread risk.
  • Property Types: Mix single-family homes, multi-family units, and commercial spaces.

Diversification reduces your exposure to market volatility and increases your chances of steady returns.

6. Understand Financing Options

Financing is a critical aspect of real estate investment. Your competitors know how to leverage different financing options to maximize their returns and manage cash flow.

Financing Tips:

  • Conventional Loans: Traditional bank loans are common but require a good credit score and down payment.
  • Hard Money Loans: These are short-term loans from private investors, often used for property flipping.
  • Owner Financing: Sometimes the seller finances the property, reducing the need for a bank loan.

Understanding and utilizing various financing options can help you secure deals and manage your investments better.

7. Conduct Thorough Due Diligence

Before making any investment, your competitors conduct thorough due diligence. This involves inspecting the property, reviewing financials, and understanding legal obligations.

Due Diligence Steps:

  • Property Inspection: Hire a professional to inspect the property for any structural issues.
  • Financial Review: Analyze the property’s financials, including past rental income, expenses, and potential ROI.
  • Legal Check: Ensure the property has a clear title and review any zoning laws or restrictions.

Thorough due diligence helps you avoid costly mistakes and ensures a sound investment.

8. Invest in Property Management

Managing properties can be time-consuming. Successful competitors often invest in professional property management services to handle day-to-day operations.

Benefits of Property Management:

  • Tenant Screening: Property managers find and screen reliable tenants.
  • Maintenance: They handle maintenance issues promptly, keeping tenants satisfied.
  • Rent Collection: They ensure timely rent collection and handle any issues with late payments.

Investing in property management saves you time and ensures your properties are well-maintained and profitable.

The real estate market is constantly evolving. Successful competitors stay updated with the latest market trends, regulations, and economic factors affecting real estate.

How to Stay Updated:

  • Subscribe to Industry News: Websites like Realtor.com, HousingWire, and Investopedia provide the latest news and trends.
  • Follow Influencers: Real estate influencers on social media often share valuable insights and updates.
  • Continuous Learning: Attend workshops, webinars, and courses to keep your knowledge current.

Staying updated helps you anticipate market changes and adjust your strategies accordingly.

10. Learn from Mistakes

Every investor makes mistakes, but successful competitors learn from them. They analyze what went wrong, adjust their strategies, and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Learning Strategies:

  • Post-Investment Analysis: After each investment, review what went well and what didn’t.
  • Seek Feedback: Get feedback from mentors, peers, or professional advisors.
  • Read Case Studies: Learn from the experiences of other investors by reading case studies and industry reports.

Learning from mistakes helps you improve your investment strategies and become a more successful investor.


Real estate investment is a journey of continuous learning and improvement.

Understand your market by leveraging technology, building a strong network, and learning from your competitors, you can achieve great success. 

The key to real estate investment is not just knowledge but also action. Start applying these insights today, and watch your real estate portfolio grow.

Investing in real estate can be incredibly rewarding. By learning from your competitors and implementing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful real estate investor in Nigeria. 

Happy investing!


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