BiggerPockets


Can Just Any Beginner Get Wealthy In The Real Estate Business Today?

Have you ever seen an ad that reads, “learn how to make millions in real estate investing without cash, credit, contacts or prior experience” and wonder is that really possible?

Well, the truth is that ads, books, CDs, classes, seminars, training, coaching and mentoring programs have very little, if anything, to do with creating wealth with real estate (or in any other area of business for that matter), but let’s ask a different question.

What if I asked you, “do you think it’s possible for a college dropout to start a company based solely on an idea starting out working from a garage or dorm without start-up capital (except their own credit cards) and turn it into a billion dollar company that would impact the way our entire world connects and communicates?”

The point is this – if Microsoft, Dell Computers, Apple, Facebook and a host of the largest, most valued companies in the world today got their start in small spaces by a few guys without anything, but a specific idea and a lot of determination, well then, the notion that you or I can’t start to make millions of dollars by imagining creative ways to acquire or control real estate is just plain nonsense.

So the answer is an emphatic YES! You can start without anything and succeed! And the only people who think this feat is impossible are the ones that have never experienced it for themselves, don’t understand the opportunities inherent in the real estate business, or plainly have never overcome the smallest of obstacles in their own lives.

Now, I’m NOT telling you that every crook and snake oil salesmen out trying to get you to buy their “get rich quick” schemes is telling you the truth about how to do or what to do to make it in whatever. But the point is we should NOT throw out the baby with the bathwater!

Honestly, I may have somewhat of an edge over you on this subject because I am probably the best example of someone who did just what we are discussing on these pages.

I was not born in this country. I migrated from Cuba in 1960, was dropped on my head as an infant which resulted in having ADD for the rest of my life and dropped out of high school in 1974. Then, I went back to night school to focus on becoming a real estate appraiser so I could learn how to identify value and become a great buyer.

I started working in real estate in 1980 at Great Western Bank, then Glendale Federal Bank all the while investing part-time. I ended up going through bankruptcy (not once, but twice) in my 32 years of being in business. Then after having just gotten out of bankruptcy the second time (having learned the wrong and right way of doing business), armed with my Certified General Appraiser’s license, horrible credit, $6,000 I borrowed from my parents, a lot of hard work (and with the help of many real estate agents and other professionals), I turned that $6,000 into $7.2 Million in seven years. Of course, it did not hurt that real estate was appreciating faster than I could sneeze, and keep in mind my story is not all that rare; there are thousands of people just like you and me doing it every day. The point I’m making is this:

Yes, it is possible for someone like you with nothing more of value than your strong desire and high level of determination to get started in the real estate business.

But don’t misunderstand me; desire and determination will help you get started, but that’s as far as it will take you. To finish this race and as a winner, you will have to learn to bring together all the elements of real estate like a conductor would lead his orchestra to create a great symphony. It will take you understanding how to manage risk, attract capital, oversee construction, monitor and interpret the statistics in your target market, all the while creating a solid team of business friendships. The result being a profit-generating machine that will function to everyone’s benefit; your customers, associates, community and you.

Now here are some realistic beginner’s tips on how to get from where you are to where you might want to go for free!

1. If you’re brand new and have never been involved in real estate before, start with basic real estate education by reading great books from your local library – They are FREE!

2. Find a local investors club and attend their meetings. Unless the speakers are presently successfully investing in your present market conditions, ignore them and put 100% of your attention on meeting everyone else in attendance. You will get far more value for your time by making friends with other investors, some of which will have what you’re lacking. This meeting may cost you $20 to $30 to attend per meeting. If they want to clip you for more money, then beat it! Find another club, there are plenty, or join online communities. If you donate your time to help out at the club they just may let you attend for FREE!

3. Once you’ve chosen a Target Market, meaning an area where you will invest, make it your goal to meet and interview every real estate agent in your local board of realtors. Even if this feat may seem impossible, start by focusing on meeting the most active brokers and agents. Be curious; ask questions about everything having to do with the real estate community and other professionals. Find out who they use for financing, contractors, escrow, property insurance, real estate attorney, termite inspector, etc. They are a world of information and many of them have been in business successfully for years. This is also FREE!

4. Personally introduce yourself to the agent who trains new agents at one or more of your local real estate offices (Keller Williams is a great office for this; their whole system revolves around training new agents). Ask them to refer you to their favorite trainee agent. The one they consider to be the most promising (i.e. hungry). Set the ground work for a long-term relationship with that agent. Utilize this person as if they were your personal assistant. They will work their butt off for you if you respond with loyalty. This is also FREE!

5. Consider getting your own real estate license or finding some other position such as real estate assistant for an agent, appraiser, escrow or title company, experienced investor or landing some other job within the real estate community. This will cost you some money depending on your state’s requirements for education and license test fees. However, many real estate offices have programs to reimburse you for your training if you agree to work with them for a specific amount of time after you are licensed. FREE AGAIN!

There’s nothing like getting paid as you’re learning the business, and certainly nothing keeping you from getting started to make the kind of money you want to make!

So get going!

Good Luck!

This article may not be reprinted or copied as per the request of the author.