Real Estate Athlete

What Real Estate Developers Can Learn from Professional Athletes

You may not be running down a field, shooting hoops or going for the gold in the Olympics, but as a real estate developer, you will need to cultivate similar qualities to those that professional athletes have. Here are just a few things you can learn from professional athletes.

Mental Toughness

Successful professional athletes know how to handle pressure well. They are always out for a challenge and are able to handle let-downs and defeat with grace.

Real estate developers must have a thick skin as well. Every project has the risk of failure, but in order to be successful, you have to be willing to take measured risks.

Problem Solving

Elite athletes have strong crisis management and problem-solving skills. You won’t see a quarterback like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady give up just because they are behind in the fourth. Instead, they look for creative solutions that can turn the situation around.

In your real estate development practice, you will be faced with roadblocks and setbacks along the way. Nearly every project will have issues with site planning, zoning, budgets or adjacent property owners. Learn to find alternate solutions when Plan A doesn’t work.

Hard Work and Discipline

Millions of kids participate in youth sports every year. But at the professional athlete level, only a handful of those kids are left. What sets them apart? Talent, yes, but that isn’t enough. Competitive level athletes have a strong work ethic and self-motivated discipline to train daily. Their unrelenting preparation, even when they don’t see success right away, is eventually rewarded.

Treat your real estate development business with no less dedication than a professional athlete. Yes, you will experience challenges and frustrations, but it is up to you to commit to working daily toward the achievement of your goals.


Finally, professional athletes see the value both in receiving and providing coaching. Regardless of their talent, they know that they can always improve and are anxious to train and learn more. Alternatively, they are willing to share their knowledge with their teammates in order to ensure everyone wins.

You too will grow as a real estate developer if you commit to seeking out help from mentors and advisors who have been through it already. Welcome feedback and use it to cultivate the skills you need to find and develop successful projects.

Professional athletes demonstrate a winning attitude regardless of current circumstances. Embrace the same philosophy and you too will thrive.

Roman Temkin is a real estate developer from NYC.

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