Many times when we contemplate real estate, we see it only as a place to do business, or raise a family. These are primary and original functions of the land we live on. It didn't take mankind long to become territorial about the space they occupied, and lay claims of ownership. Like that Coke bottle that fell from the sky to the people of the Kalahari, we discovered "a feeling of wanting to own, of not wanting to share. Other new things came. Anger, jealousy, hate and violence (The Gods Must Be Crazy-1980)." The conquest of territory, and the wealth it holds is a cause of political tension and even war today. Fortunately across the world there are statutes, laws and libraries of case law that lay out a civilized system that governs realty, or the possession of rights in real property (not to be confused with rights associated with personal property, or personalty, and often referred to as chattel).
Modern real estate conquests follow a structured process of purchasing or leasing rights to property, harvesting income from the use of the property itself, or income from leasing the rights, and finally divesting of the property through selling the rights the next user or investor.
There is only 57.5 million square miles, 36.8 billion acres, and 16 quadrillion square feet of land covering the surface of the earth. Of that land approximately 33% is desert. The people of the Kalahari live in peace on their land, because "where any other person would die of thirst in a few days they live quite contentedly in this desert that doesn't look like a desert. They know where to dig for roots and bulbs and tubers and which berries and pods are good to eat." Their site selection was not as much a personal as an inheritance and way of life." Real estate is scarce yet abundant, and each piece of property has a unique location that in large part determines the value it has to a buyer. Only a small fraction of this land is desirable or prime.
Inheritance has played an important role in the transfer of property rights and wealth, however that doesn't fall under the category of conquest. In modern times, understanding the viability of a site can be analyzed by statistical, financial, geographic, demographic, and psycho-graphic models. These models allow a buyer to overlay in three dimensions the location of a property in relation to the human interactions with the property. Purchase prices, income levels, traffic patterns, crime rates, walk-ability, lifestyle match-ups, proximity to amenities, and other factors.
On your quest to acquire real estate, selecting the right location certainly matters, above everything else if you want to preserve value and be able to harvest a return on your property through the time you own the property (hold period), and or when you decide to sell the property.
You will need a compass to guide your conquest to win the best property and for the right reasons. The purchase process, the hold period or harvest period, and finally selling. A Coke bottle to the people of the Kalahari was worthless, but with the right guide they would not need to travel to the end of the world to find a willing buyer.