I am a private mortgage lender and as such I’ve seen successful investors draw on different types of skills. Some are handy and can build sweat equity by doing parts of their rehab themselves. Others are negotiators and managers extraordinaire. They are the ones who squeeze every penny, negotiate for every nail and breathe down the neck of their contractors every day. Working with them is not a picnic for contractors, but those investors do make money when their softer competitors don’t. Still, regardless of their skills, all of those investors share a single strength in common: an ability to find real estate investment opportunities. Identifying properties with money-making potential and putting them under contract is at the heart of real estate investing.