The following are four thoughts I had to inspire others who are looking to build wealth through real estate, whether they are 20 or 60.

1. Follow the 80/20 rule with investment properties.

In real estate, as with most things in life, the 80/20 rule exists. Eighty percent of your income comes from just 20 percent of properties. Focusing on recognizing that 20 percent and focusing only on those, you will have far fewer problems, fewer tenants, and more profit.

2. Don't neglect your education.

Do this one right ... for the most part. When you first started investing in real estate, read every single book your local library has on real estate. Then began ordering books online, going to another library and checking every thrift shop for the best real estate books.

Sure, a lot of the information is repetitive, but it didn’t matter. Every book will teach you something. It’s my hope that others will learn from me, the same way I continue to learn from others.

3. Systematize everything.

Real estate investing is a business, despite the way so many people treat it. Just as the local fast food joint has written processes, checklists, and other repeatable systems in place to deal with the business, so should real estate.

No one tells you this when you get started, dealing with every situation like it was the first time.

Today, everything I do is systematized and handled in a way that should I die, someone else could pick up what I do and not skip a beat. 

4. Tenacity is key.

Things go wrong all the time in real estate, as with any business. The ones who succeed are the ones who can push through, learn from the tough times and keep going.

Tenants will lie to you, contractors will steal from you and your family will likely think you are either crazy or greedy. Push through. Every lesson makes you and your business stronger.

In looking over this list, I realize that each of these four points could apply to almost anyone. Following the 80/20 rule, continuing your education, systematizing your business and pushing through no matter what happens seems like a pretty darn good recipe for success, no matter what business you find yourself in.

If you are interested in building wealth through real estate, understand that it can be done, but it’s not as easy as the late-night TV guys make it seem. It’s hard work, but it’s worth every moment.