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By Harvey Raybould

Managing Director, Creative Property Group


Revealed: the mindset and success principles of a property investor

Harvey Raybould is a UK property investor and owner of the Creative Property Group (CPG), a Kent-based property firm which aims to help investors build a profitable property portfolio of cash-flowing investments or make additional cash by leveraging professional investors such as CPG.

In April, he wrote a guest article about whether house flipping is still a viable strategy in 2020. Here, having recently published a book called 'The Foundations Of A Successful Property Investor', he outlines the mindset and success principles that property investors need to be successful.

There are plenty of books and websites that will tell you how to make money from property investment in the UK. But there are very few that take a deep dive into the mindset of a successful property investor and what sets them apart from the rest. My book tries to address this.


The right mindset is essential for success

You need the right mindset to succeed with any business. This is especially true when you need to make investments and turn a profit on projects, as you do with property investment. If you are new to property investment, then you need to prepare yourself for some tough times. For those of you that have been in the game for a while, you will be fully aware of this.

Here are some examples of things that can and do go wrong with property investment:

  • Property deals are going to fall through

  • You are going to purchase a property that has nasty surprises and will cost you a lot more to renovate than you budgeted for

  • You will have problem tenants and things going wrong in your properties

  • You will have rental voids and a property costing you money

  • People in your virtual team (solicitors, contractors, etc) will let you down

  • There may be no property deals available that match your criteria for a long time

The way to deal with problems like this is to have unwavering belief in yourself and your property investment business. You need to set clear goals that will inspire you and see you through all of the difficult times.

The alternative is to give up which, unfortunately, a lot of novice and even experienced property investors do. Look at the current situation we are in – we have a coronavirus pandemic that has shut down the UK economy. Things are gradually opening up again, but it will take a long time for everything to return to normal (if it ever does).

You need a positive mindset

A well-known psychology professor, Barbara Fredrickson, has conducted a great deal of research that reveals people that have a positive mindset are far more likely to think rationally, absorb new information and make better decisions.

She says that people that have positive mindsets will boost their energy levels and have the motivation to perform. To illustrate this, think about when you had a task in front of you that you had planned in detail. You probably took the appropriate action to achieve the task rather than procrastinating, didn’t you?

It is very rare for someone to be a total success with their initial ideas and projects. This is certainly true with property investment. As a newcomer, you will find yourself stumbling around quite a lot and making mistakes. It is important that you learn from these mistakes so that you can move forward.

Having a positive mindset that is laser-focused on your goal is essential. It will help to see you through all of the tough times that you will inevitably have to face. A positive mindset is a major force that helps pick you up and bounce back after setbacks. It can literally mean the difference between carrying on or giving up.

A positive mindset inspires others

Having a positive mindset will not only help you, it will inspire others in your team as well. You are the leader and your positivity is infectious. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any employees right now. You will have clients and a virtual team that is likely to include agents, solicitors and contractors.

So how can you nurture a positive mindset?

It is easier than you think and only requires small actions on your part to derive huge benefits. Here are a few of these actions:

  • Showing gratitude to your team

  • Turning failures into lessons—and learning from them

  • Being a source of energy that lifts those around you

  • Addressing all challenges in a professional manner

  • Having a never give up attitude

You always need to bear in mind that your positive mindset is only the foundation for your success; you have to build on this foundation by taking positive action.

Why are you in the property investment business?

Now you know that you need a positive mindset for your property investment business, it’s time to take a trip back in time. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you involved in the property investment business?

  • What are you expecting this investment to do for you?

  • What is your end goal with your property investment business?

The purpose of asking yourself these questions is to identify your reason WHY?

In order to develop a success mindset for property investment, you need to answer all of these questions properly and honestly. It could be that you are involved in property investment because you want early retirement. Or you may want to leave a legacy for your children, or simply want to increase your income so that you can lead a more lavish lifestyle.

A lot of people get involved with property investment because they believe it will provide them with financial freedom or security. This is fine. If you have a day job at the moment you might see property investment as a way to quit and focus on investments full-time.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your answers to these questions are. What is important is that you identify the real reasons for being in the industry so that you can set goals that will align with your mindset.


You must write a clearly defined WHY statement for your property investment business. Don’t just think about it - write it down and commit it to paper. When you have your written WHY statement, carry a copy with you at all times and make sure that it is visible where you work.

You need to read your WHY statement every day – it is best to do this in the morning when you wake up. It will set you up for the day and really inspire you. If you need any additional motivation throughout the day, when you have encountered a difficult problem for example, then take out your WHY statement and read it.

From your WHY statement you can set specific and measurable goals for your property investment business. All of your goals must be realistic and measurable. It is best to use the SMART goal setting process.

Here are some examples of measurable targets:

  • You define a specific amount that you want to see in your bank account

  • You define a monthly income amount from a portfolio of properties

  • You define the age that you will retire          

  • You define success in terms of obtaining material things such as a dream house, car, holiday etc

Timing is very important here. When you set your goals, you must assign a timeframe for achieving them. So, if you want to see £100,000 in your bank account, for example, then when do you want to see this by? Don’t leave this open-ended as you will never achieve your goal.

Success principles

What are the success principles that successful property investors live by? What keeps them going when they have to deal with unexpected problems that could make or break investors that do not live by these principles? Here are the most important success principles for property investors.

No need to reinvent the wheel

There is absolutely no need to feel that you have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to property investment. All you need to do is find the right property and then add value to it. It’s really that simple. Follow the tried and trusted methods.

Far too many people make property investment more complicated than it needs to be. This is understandable to some extent, because it is an industry with a lot of complex jargon to get your head around. It is essential that you keep grounded with this. You are not going to change the world with property investment, so don’t add this pressure into the equation.

You are going to fail

Did you know that this one was coming? This is not meant to be a negative statement. It is inevitable that you will experience failure in your property investment business. How you deal with failure is vital to your success.

Property investment is risky and the markets are volatile. Not all of your projects are going to be a hugely profitable success. When things don’t go as expected, successful property investors bounce back and learn from their mistakes.

You need to do this too as it will help you to grow and be in a better position than someone who has not experienced failure yet.

Persistence is everything

It is critical that you don’t give up. Even if you have had a string of property investments that didn’t turn out as you wanted them to. As long as you are deriving some income from your properties and are able to make new investments, then you can turn things around. Persistence is everything.

Here is an anecdote to demonstrate the power of persistence. Back in the 1990s, the late Steve Jobs persisted with a small gadget called the Apple Newton. It was a really primitive version of the tablet devices that we have today. This didn’t turn out well as the screen was difficult to read and battery life was poor. The Apple Newton was widely disparaged.

But Steve Jobs was a persistent character. The Apple Newton actually inspired several aspects of future Apple products. If he had given up after the Apple Newton, we may not have witnessed the latest smartphones and tablets that exist today.

Know your numbers

This is a very important success principle for property investors. You need to thoroughly research all of your investment opportunities and then research some more. It is essential that any investment opportunities you are considering meet your profit requirements.

Successful property investors always perform due diligence before they commit to a property project. They purchase properties in the right areas where there is high demand and good rental yields, for example. It is essential that you know who your target customer is and that you provide them with what they want.

To be a successful property investor, you need to know your strategy and have an exit plan. Don’t be a jack of all trades when it comes to investment strategies. If you select the buy-to-let strategy, for example, then really master this before moving on to another strategy. You will be far more successful if you stick to one strategy at a time.

You must take action

You will not make any real progress with your property investment business if you don’t take action. There are many excuses that you can use to avoid getting involved in property investment, such as “you are waiting for the right time”. Is there ever a right time? Yes - all the time is the right time!

Take the plunge and work things out as you go along. You will never achieve your property investment goals without taking action. Let your positive mindset drive you, be persistent and get started now.

In his book 'The Foundations Of A Successful Property Investor', Raybould provides a deep dive into the mindset and success principles of successful property investors. Without the proper foundations, he says, 'it will be really tough for you to succeed in property investment'. You can find out more about the book, which is available on Amazon, by clicking here.


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