A 7-Day Plan for Aspiring Real Estate Investors

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(This blog post is for the newbies, but for those who have crossed the line into actual real estate investor, I believe there’s something in here for us all!)

As someone who was an inexperienced real estate investor only two years ago, I can completely relate to the challenge of moving from an aspiring real estate investor to an actual real estate investor.  It’s a daunting process for many.

You may be feeling overwhelmed by any number of obstacles…

  • No money and/or bad credit
  • Information and sales pitch overload (typically leading to analysis paralysis)
  • Fears of losing money, doing something wrong, ticking off a spouse, or accidentally doing something illegal

I’m currently reading a book by author and multi-millionaire entrepreneur Dan Kennedy, titled No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs and there’s one specific thing he said that inspired this post:

“When you focus your self-discipline on a single purpose, like sunlight through a magnifying glass on a single object, look out! The whole world will scramble to get out of your way, hold the doors open for you, and salute as you walk by.”

A key to your success in moving from “aspiring to actual” real estate investor is within that quote – self-discipline on a single purpose. In other words, laser focus.

If you’re feeling stuck in a seemingly unending “aspiring” spiral, I want to urge you to take the next 7 days and immediately do the following things to help you practice self-discipline on the purpose of being a successful real estate investor:

  • Today, Day 1: Determine your “why”. Why are you looking to do real estate? What’s the end goal? What is it that you’re seeking to achieve that makes you so excited and gives you the drive to keep at it and crush any obstacles you may face? You have to start with the end in mind. Don’t move forward unless you’ve done this.
  • Day 2: You know that there are a ton of ways to get started in real estate…you’ve already spent days, weeks, or maybe years consuming information on these various ways. Pick one! The options are limitless…you can focus on absentee owners, short sales, free & clear properties, subject2 deals, lease options, wholesaling or doing rehab flips with distressed properties, probate and estate deals, I can go on and on (and on and on). All of these ways have worked successfully for hundreds, even thousands of investors so just pick one that feels right for you. [Word of caution: If you’re looking to start off with buying & holding for passive cashflow, please make sure you have reserves to deal with vacancies, termites, other maintenance issues that will come up.]
  • Day 3: Evaluate the Real Estate Investing related e-mail lists that you’re on – pick your favorite 1 (no more than 2) that is directly focused on your area of real estate investing interest and unsubscribe from all the rest. You simply cannot afford to be listening to every new webinar, compelling story, and sales pitch.  Almost all of it sounds good…in fact, quite a bit of it is good and working well for people!  But you can’t do it all. Not right now. Laser focus…remember?Once you’ve moved to actual investor, feel free to add some of these back on if you’re looking to branch out into other areas to diversify your investing experience and increase your profits…the lists will still be there (and if not, thank goodness you unsubscribed!).
  • Days 4-6: You’ve picked a real estate investing focus. Now put a plan in place. What are you going to do in the next 30-60-90 days to make progress?  What will you accomplish in that time and what resources do you need to get it done?

People may disagree with me, but I strongly believe that you should have at least a little operating capital if you’re going to do real estate investing. Depending on your strategy, it can take anything from a small investment to a pretty significant one. Even if you’re low on cash and need to focus on a very low budget strategy, that’s fine. Just know that even the littlest things cost money – paper, stamps, gas to drive around looking at houses, signs, a domain name for a website, etc.  This stuff is not free. Don’t let that be a discouragement.  You have a plan…so figure out what you need financially to support that plan and hustle and make the necessary sacrifices to ensure you have what you need.

  • Day 7: Commit to do something every single day for at least 30 minutes that will help you move forward on your real estate investing goals.  If you’re taking massive action and have some rather aggressive goals, you’ll need to spend more than 30 minutes daily on this, but hey, you have to start somewhere. Just be careful to spend more of that focused time doing, rather than talking about it (or socializing with others who may or may not be doing).

Bottom line, this is an excellent time to be involved with real estate investing, so I urge you to get off the sidelines and play – just stay focused, be willing to keep learning, don’t let obstacles trip you up, and keep taking massive action!

Here’s to your success!

Image: Photographer: Gregory Szarkiewicz via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog, GoodFaithInvesting.com, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!

37 Comments

  1. This is great advice for beginning investors. I too am a beginner. I have been following this model pretty much to do “T”.

    I am enrolled in some educational classes, and I am strongly focusing on these classes. Pretty much the only media I monitor is here on Bigger Pockets.

    I spend at least 30 minutes a day focusing on my goals to be successful wholesaler.

    Thank you for the great write up Shae.

  2. That’s how to do it, Chris. We’re here to help, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have on the forums.

    As the others have already said, this is a fantastic post, Shae . . . we wouldn’t expect any less!

  3. @Chris, way to go! I wish you all the success in the world. Stay focused and positive and victory will be yours – I truly believe that ;-)

    @Robert, LOL! Thanks – I had to laugh because I can hear the Oprah voice :-)

    @Josh, I appreciate it, bud.

  4. Thanks for writting this article! It was really well written and the advice is great. It sounds like you found another really good book to read. I think I need to go ahead and buy all the books you buy, it would be a good investment. lol
    Your suggestions will help alot of people stay away from distractions and focus on results. There is a lot of “noise” out there that could keep anyone distracted enough that they’re always focused on learning more before they execute. Ive been in that category for far too long so this article came right on time! It’s about time I leave the “newbie investor” title behind me!!!
    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

    Stephanie

  5. Great advice Shae. I see beginners spin their wheels and spread themselves too thin. They should master one strategy and not lose focus. And having a plan and tasks to do everyday will keep that focus and keep them critiquing and improving their strategy. Very good advice!

  6. Excellent advice Shae! I’m gonna delete all those (10-20) websites that I try to monitor every day. I’m getting my feet wet in the wholesaling business and I totally have a case of analysis paralysis!! Need to set some goals and move on day after day.

    Thanks!

  7. @Winston, Nick, and Robert (Dad), thanks so much for the feedback!

    @Mike, I wish you the best with your wholesaling business! Trust me, you’ll be able to get so much more done when you don’t have the constant distractions from those 10-20 websites :-) Focus, focus, focus. Go get that research done on your area of focus, see where the cash buyers are buying, and make some offers!

  8. Thanks for this article. This is really helpful. We’re getting started with wholesaling business and we are overthinking the process and not doing enough!! We Need to set some goals and move on step by step.

  9. What you said about needing to have operating capital is SO true. I have found that out over the last couple of years. I also learned the 50% rule for landlords: that you need to consider 50% of what you are charging for rent as needing to go toward your operating budget.

  10. Mike Henderson on

    Really good stuff. I’m teaching a class here in Denver this Tuesday real estate investing for newbies. You have some great stuff I’m going to include in here. I’m including some of the material that Jon Holdman and I did about real estate agents and investors working together.

  11. Great Post Shae. Dan Kennedy is definitely the man! I love what you tell aspiring investors to do on Day 1. I think that is so crucial for any business. If you don’t have a strong WHY, then your business will likely have a wobbly foundation.

  12. Just the post i needed to read. I’ve been researching for a few months now and there are so many aspects of RE investing. I just decided earlier today that i will focus on wholesaling. And then i found this site this eve and have found some very valuable information.I’m just ready to be like the Nike commercial and Just Do It.

  13. @Foi, you’re very welcome! Sounds like you’re ready to move forward. Go for it!

    @Steve, yep – those reserves are so critical. When I was talking about termites, etc. I was speaking from very recent experiences :-) Thank goodness we have reserves and the inevitable issues like termites and electrical issues, etc. are not stressful!

    @Mike, thanks for your comments! Hope your class went well today and glad I was able to add something to it :-)

    @ J Lamar, Preach preacher!

    @Tamarra, the ability to “Just Do It” is one the key differences between ordinary and extraordinary people :-) Go get it girl – I’m excited for you!

  14. This is a great post – Thank you! I see myself in this, as I have been “studying” investing for close to a year now, and have bought almost every program known to man, then had all this information swirling around in my head. I’ve already implemented some of your tips, so I know I’m on the right track. I just did my first marketing campaign, and have a meeting with my first potential client/seller tomorrow!
    I love this website – I think “it” is going to be my new mentor!

  15. Nice one Shae –

    Very well-written article. And focused, too. Like Dan Kennedy says. :)

    Indeed – focus is probably the biggest struggle for beginners.

    It’s so easy to keep switching tactics, always looking for short cuts.
    Overnight success never happens overnight.

    It just appears that way to those that haven’t traveled that difficult road themselves.
    So a lot of beginners may lose heart when they pick one path, and it proves to be harder than they expected.

    So they switch paths.
    But the new path turns out to not be simple either.

    Without focus, this happens over and over gain.

    Thanks Shae, for reminding us all, of the importance of focus.

    I also love your Day 1 item. The WHY.

    The tactics of success vary widely.

    But what remains constant is that all successful people have a strong a present enough “why”, that they can push through all the frustration, distractions and setbacks that are inevitable with any worthwhile pursuit.

    Keep on striving. Keep on shining.

  16. I really appreciate this article as I am a new investor and have struggled with some of these issues. However, I was also pleased to realize that I’m doing several things right, as I have had someone teaching me the “ropes”. But I need to work on some other areas.
    Shae, I want to thank you for this article. I have saved it so I can refer back to it and not fall into the pitfalls mentioned in the future, if things don’t go the way I think they should.

  17. Mike Henderson on

    Thanks Shae. Just to let you know that I made your points from the article the first 15 minutes or so of class. I rolled it out differently and didn’t introduce it as a seven day action plan, it was just a seven step action plan. At the end I changed it and said the person who created it made it happen in seven days. Should of seen a few jaws drop.

  18. Thanks for the feedback, Maria! I wish you the best as you’re getting started!

    Bolaji, thanks for the feedback – your comments were spot on and I agree 100%

    Mike, that is awesome. I would’ve loved to see that :-)

  19. Hi Shae,

    This is a really well thought out and clear post.

    I liked the part where you mentioned that one needs to spend 30 minutes each day working towards their goals.

    This is so important. Things only get done when we devote our time towards achieving them.

    Best Regards,
    Neil.
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..Robert Kiyosaki — Friend or Foe? =-.

  20. I’d like to say that YES, I have spent YEARS reading about the thousands of ways to get into the investing game & I have yet to pick one! What is the best route to take for someone who is high on time yet low on money/credit?

    • Hi Tee, I think a good place to start is with wholesaling. Very low risk, requires little cash. You can partner with other wholesalers in your area and find buyers for their deals or you can go get your own deals. You’ve been doing a lot of reading so I bet you know quite a bit about wholesaling already. Just get a plan together, commit to it, and work it!

  21. This is a great article Shae, I have really liked some of your other articles as well. Great job! I couldn’t agree with you more. Simplify and focus on one strategy then create a plan that makes you a master.

    I also recommend wholesaling for Tee. You will learn some crucial components of successful investing such as finding great deals, building a buyers list and selling deals. All with no money and risk. Once you have some success for awhile you can choose to rehab, flip, rent, or lease option some of the great deals you are finding. Best of luck!

  22. It was a great post and it had some very useful advice. Although, six of the seven of the points could have been completed in 70 minutes, instead of 7 days.

    All good advice though. Nice work.

    • That’s funny Steven and I agree :-) I think baby steps are easier for people to consume (particularly when people have been sitting on the fence for years), but the hungry person will knock these out in less than 7 days for sure! Thanks for your comments!

  23. Great article Shae! It really helps to narrow how you will obtain the capital in order to do the strategies then to reach your end goal which of course is never “the end”. This was very helpful. I have finally figured out my niche, what I’m most comfortable doing and what my budget is and what I need to sustain or increase that budget. But as always you HAVE to do something each day related to real estate in order to make any movement and it’s important to differentiate what the mundane non-producing activities are versus the activities that yield results.

    Thanks!

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