My Whole Foods Real Estate Rule Income properties near a Whole Foods are a safe bet, and other guides for investing.

By Grant Cardone

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Some people have certain criteria when they search for real estate deals, such as a 6 percent or 7 percent cap rate, or that each unit has to be under $100K. I don't use any specific thing to tell me whether to go into a deal or not. What criteria should you use? My personal criteria begins with a G. Is it a Grant deal?

Each Monday on GrantCardoneTV I'm doing a real estate show to answer your questions and detail all of my deals so you can learn more about investing in this space. Here are some tips for you today:

1. Don't believe the pro forma.

Many brokers will give you a thing called a pro forma assuming 3 percent rent increases a year. Pro forma is about the future, but nobody has a crystal ball. If you think it, then you don't know it. If you are into astrology, don't do real estate. You'll need every zodiac sign for it to work for you.

In reality, I don't even look at the pro forma because it is deception. The pro forma is always a lie. Never assume rent increases.

Related: How a Music Mogul Went From Dead Broke to Epic Real Estate Tycoon

2. The 2 percent rule.

You need to look at 100 deals to find two that you love and are willing to buy. This takes a lot of energy, research and work. I look at deals every day. Go into things with the idea that you will need to look at 100 deals to find two that you are willing to pursue.

3. Cold call.

Where do you begin with creative financing and no money down? It's going to be very difficult. None of these no-money-down courses teach you that you will be making cold calls all day long to people who own property. You have to know your pitch to be successful at that.

Let's say you call on someone who has owned 12 or 18 units for a long time. Your job is to knock on their door and tell them you want to buy their property. You will have to offer them a premium. Maybe the property is worth $500K. You offer $600K but give him that premium in the future.

It's a little more complex than that but you have to be very sales savvy to pull it off. If they are putting up the credit and the money they will want is 50 percent of the deal, but 50 percent of $500,000 is better than 100 percent of nothing.

Related: How to Make Money in Real Estate, Even If You're Not in the Real Estate Business

4. Skip college.

You don't need a college degree to get into real estate. College is a complete waste of time for many people. I wasted my college years. That's nothing against the college --that was on me.

I will pay for my daughters to go to just one of three colleges. If they will want to go to another one they'll have to pay for it themselves because I won't. When my kids go to college they'll only go to meet people. You need to focus on meeting people and increasing your income through mastering the art of sales.

Related: How Two Entrepreneurs Created a New Real Estate Culture

5. Whole Foods rule.

It's very important to consider the location for renting properties. Why? Because you have to manage and maintain the place. Buying in a bad neighhood is going to give you headaches. You also want to be able to exit. Neighborhoods come and go, but you want to be in an up and coming location. My rule is to look for an area with a Whole Foods nearby.

Real estate is a better deal than the stock market. If you invested $1,000 in stocks (one share of the DOW) in 1985 today it would be worth $18,950. The average cost of a home in 1985 was $24k and today it is $240K. You don't make $216K from that, you have put a new roof on it and paid property taxes for 30 years. Houses on average went up 10X. There are better investments than this. My properties pay me 10-12 percent every year and my tenants pay down my debt.

With income producing real estate, over time debt will go down or value will go up with the property -- or both likely. The goal should be to pay more rent and less in housing. You need renters paying your debt down -- not you paying it down in a house.

In the stock market for every Apple, there are 50 that never went anywhere. Don't make little moves -- make big moves. Get at least $100K before you start investing. If you want to get rich, get income-producing properties only. You don't need stock, houses or gold.

If you can't repeat it, it's not wealth because it can't be duplicated. Guessing the right stocks and flipping houses are like a casino. You can pick a winner but can you duplicate it over and over again? Try to start with 16 units -- so what if it's a bigger payment? Don't think small. If you can figure out four, you can figure out 16. You have to be committed and creative. If you lack the creativity to get money, you must get more committed.

The bottom line is that you can't create a dream life without passive flows of income. Email to find out how you can invest with me.

Grant Cardone

International Sales Expert & $1.78B Real Estate Fund Manager

Grant Cardone is an internationally-renowned speaker on sales, leadership, real-estate investing, entrepreneurship and finance whose five privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $300 million.

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