Generally speaking, we’re big fans of the Somersoft community; in my opinion, it’s far and away the best of its kind when it comes to online forums for property investors. I’ve been a part of the group there for almost seven years now, so that might give you an idea of how highly I still regard the place.

That said, there were a couple posts there by an individual or two lately that I found rather disappointing. Perhaps my view on the world is a little simple, but to my mind there are three key qualities upon which we build success within any endeavour:

Integrity, and,

Most investors that I speak to will have the third. That passion can have any number of drivers but for many of, that burning desire to create freedom through investing is what keeps us up until 3am hunting around online for new deals.

Vision is a little harder to come by. We all know roughly what that end goal is – financial freedom – but I do see a few people who have no idea what that actually means for them. Working that out is the hardest part, I believe, but well worth the effort. After all; how do you know when you get there, if you don’t know where you’re going…?

Integrity… I believe this to be the most important of those key values and I hold it – and those with an abundance of the stuff – in particularly high esteem. It is all too easy to create wealth without having to compromise it, and keeping one’s integrity intact is amongst the most worthwhile of pursuits. And yet, from time to time I still see people willing to do the wrong thing in their efforts to get ahead.

One of those posts on the afore-mentioned forum revolved around someone wanting to hide income from the tax office. Another, thought it was perfectly reasonable to lie to a real estate agent; since they all lie to us anyway.

Lying to the tax office – and, to us! – is not cool. Even if we don’t find out, the tax office have a ridiculously broad scope of information, and will most likely know what’s going on. They generally won’t appreciate petty excuses.

Lying to real estate agents is not cool, either, regardless of how they treat you. Nor is withholding information from banks in order to get finance. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Play the game, by all means, but surely it’s not worth lowering one’s standards of self just for the sake of a little coin.

Now for most of you reading this – and indeed, most forumites, too – I’m sure that the above is not an issue at all. For the minority that inspired this post, I do hope that it’s not a sign of where the world is heading today.

We always prefer dealing with people who can display all of the above traits. A vision towards achieving something awesome, the integrity to do so with honour, and the passion with which to motivate yourself and inspire others. It’s a fantastic way of doing business and dealing with so many people who operate in this way is a constant plus for us 🙂