Insights from Bruce Norris Kick Off Think Realty’s San Diego Group Event


Of all the important days in your buying career, there are 10 that stand out in particular. If you’re Bruce Norris of The Norris group, a California-based private lender heavily focused on real estate investment strategies, then you don’t just take those 10 days and recognize them—you take them, categorize them and turn them into a powerful formula that other real estate investors can use to recognize pivotal points in their own investing trajectory and leverage for success.

That’s exactly what Norris did at the Feb. 18, 2017, Think Realty San Diego Group Event, when he kicked off the day with a keynote titled, appropriately enough, “10 Life-Changing Days of a Real Estate Investor.” Norris started off by observing that true success in real estate investing and, more broadly, in life in general, begins with accepting the challenges and responsibilities associated with success. Part of that responsibility includes recognizing pivotal events like Norris’ “10 Days.”

Norris said that Day One is a simple one: you apply for “the job.” In the case of a real estate investor, this probably does not mean dusting off your resume, but rather figuring out how to become involved in the industry in a productive, life-changing way. “Never lie about what you don’t know,” he warned, adding, “You’ll learn quickly in this business.” As a real estate investor, every time you approach a deal, you are applying for a job, but failing to land a deal doesn’t mean you’ve been fired. It just means that you’re now doing your job and are ready to keep moving forward.

Once you’ve made it through Day One, whenever that event may officially be, Day Two involves embracing your new “job” in real estate and setting goals. However, just setting goals is not enough, Norris pointed out. “One day, you’ll run across someone who, if you are looking for them, will affect the rest of your life.” In many cases these people are mentors and educators, so be aware of them and be ready to act when you meet them.

Day Three involves being on the lookout as well, but Day Three occurs when you are on the lookout for someone other than yourself whose life is in need of change. “You’ll be sitting across from a seller someday and know that it’s not about real estate at that moment,” Norris explained. “At that point, you’re not in the business to make a profit. You’re in the business to help people.” In Norris’ case, Day Three happened when he encountered a homeowner who made everything far “too easy” during negotiations. Norris got a bad feeling during the exchange and ultimately decided to step away from closing the deal and give the seller Og Mandino’s book, “The Greatest Miracle in the World,” before continuing the transaction. The man accepted the book. The following day, he told Norris that he’d been planning to take his life after closing, but that Norris’ actions had made him change his mind.

Over the course of the keynote, Norris touched on myriad aspects of life as a successful real estate investor and “player” in the real estate industry, including how important it is to be comfortable doing things that are difficult, to accept your own ability to move upward as you succeed (and constantly adjust your goals and self-perception accordingly) and to let certain things go—like deals that may be too good to be true!

“If you’re really experienced, and you’re all alone on a really good deal, you have to ask yourself why,” he explained, noting that sometimes there may be a good reason to move forward but, in many cases, your competition may have information you don’t. “There’s a lot of experience out there in this business,” he observed, adding, “If you’re the only one in there, you may have a problem.”

He went on to elaborate on a certain system that The Norris Group uses to identify stages of markets across the country. A savvy investor, he noted, carefully identifies the type of market in which he or she is active, then implements the appropriate strategy based on that analysis. “You don’t want to be an investor who invests on emotion,” he explained.

When describing the final three days in his 10-day series, Norris delved into some deeply personal experiences as he revealed some important insights about starting a business, predicting booms and busts and facing the “worst business day of your life” head-on. Ultimately, he said, success in real estate and in business comes down to the decisions that you make every day. “When you’re in business, you make decisions and you create a brand with every decision that you make,” he observed. “Sometimes, the hardest decisions are the completely honest ones that take the most guts to make. If you make them


About the Author


Carole VanSickle Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a daily nine-minute investing podcast, and the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. Contact her at or visit




  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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