How to Invest in Real Estate While Earning Minimum Wage

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The draw to the late-night infomercials, books, and DVD programs that boast a “no money down, no hassle, no experience needed” real estate transaction is for a reason; it appeals to Joe Everyman. Although the actual programs may be more complicated then the highlights make it out to be, the bottom line is that anyone can invest in real estate, no matter where you’re starting from.

Often times, the appeal come from frustration. Staying year after year at a corporate position, locked down by the golden cuffs, and easily being able to map out the next 20 years of slaving away to make other people wealthy. For others, it’s accidental. Perhaps you had a relative that was in the business and offered to show you the ropes, opening your eyes to the fact that you could create wealth and possibly make more on 2-3 deals than you did for 1 years salary.

And if you’re young, brand new, in college, or stuck at a minimum wage position? Is there an actually a way to invest in real estate while earning minimum wage? Take it from someone that’s been there, done that, the resounding answer is “yes.”

Started from the bottom now we’re here…

In my podcast on BP, I explain how when I got started in real estate, it was as a loan officer. But being brand new to a commissioned position after working in the health and fitness industry, I’d pick up the slack by bartending or catering. That usually paid a whopping $2.75/hr plus tips, and was exhausting, laborious work. Not to mention, it’s not very thought-provoking or enriching. But when you’re in you’re in early 20’s, it is what it is until you pave a career path.

After some time, I got tired of working in mortgages, seeing too many borrowers getting loans they had no business getting. I was sick of spending all day in the office and all night behind a bar. An old roommate reached out to me because he had 20+ properties and was desperate for assistance, since he had a full time job with the municipality. He asked me what it would take to gain my employ, and I said if he could replace my service-industry income, I’d come aboard right away.

We worked out a deal that I would help run all the property management, selling properties and acquisition, and get a piece of each deal. I earned a salary from the property management side, and a slice of each buy and flip deal. We meshed well and I fell in love with the investing side of the industry. It was the first time I had ever invested in real estate, and I was hooked.

Related: How To Buy a Home With No Money Down

How can I be of service?

I had little knowledge of the investment world when I started, but I had a willingness to learn, the desire to work with winners, and the training to deliver high-level customer service under any circumstance. That first investor I worked with ended up being a irreplaceable mentor and friend to me, and still is.

If you’re just starting, one path is to reach out to investments groups, an experienced real estate agent that specializes in investment properties, or an investor and try to connect with them on a regular basis. What can you possibly offer to a them to learn the ropes? Draw from other positions to show HOW you can be of value to them, even if it’s something as un-related as, bartending! If they offer for you to come into the office and hand-stamp 500 mailers a day, would you do it? The answer should be yes, and do it without complaining, slacking off, and only leave when the job is done. I can train a monkey to do real estate; you can’t find a hardworking, honest person all the time, though.

I wouldn’t have gotten my break into the real estate investing world if I hadn’t shown that I was a trustworthy, dedicated worker. Someone was willing to take a chance on me because they liked, trusted, and could train me. Even if you’re working part-time at a minimum wage job, what can you do with the rest of your work week to put yourself in the same position, around people that will elevate you as you elevate them?

Related: Getting Started In Any New Real Estate Business

It’s a start

Say you’re too shy, don’t know anyone in your area, or no one’s giving you the time of day after many attempts. Still want to break into real estate investing? If you’re passionate about being involved in some way, the second option is to get a job in some segment of real estate that requires day to day office work. I specifically don’t say “get your license” because once you have your license, you’re a free agent and can easily slack off. I’m talking about getting a position where you’re being paid to learn, listen to lingo, and make connections. Often these jobs are low on the totem pole, but are great for getting your foot in the proverbial door.

Some positions that are fantastic to target are administrative assistant, front office assistant, office manager, to name a few. These positions tend to advance up the ladder in medium to larger companies, so that might mean more to you as well. Heck, I’ve had friends in corporate positions at RE companies that keep their jobs there, use the W2 income to buy a property (or few), and their connections to get good deals, discounted title fees, and good contractors.

In either case, if you’re finding leads, you may have built-in partners. They may be keeping you too busy for awhile to be able to deal-hunt, but that is still time well spent.

Only in America can you come from nothing, not know anyone, not have much money, not be earning much money, and get involved in a field that can change your entire landscape. Look at how many millions of people every year work 2-3 jobs just to put food on the table and survive. What if you did one small thing different, and sacrificed your time for an education? If you’re willing to gut it out, you can easily invest in real estate while earning a minimum wage. Once you learn the ropes and use that time well, the world is your oyster.

What do you think?

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About Author

Tracy (G+) is an Arizona Short Sale Realtor, Investor, Rehabber, and Foreclosure Expert. She also is an avid blogger, vlogger and consultant on all things Arizona Foreclosures.

21 Comments

  1. Impossible, I listen to the news and it is common knowledge that one cannot pursue their dreams unless they can support their family from a 40 hour work week regardless of field of work or skillset. Only then will someone be able to have the freedom to pursue their dreams and start a business or invest…… I’m sorry I couldn’t help it.

    I am always amazed at the opportunities that are screaming from every corner and so many people walk right past them and go home and complain to their spouse that it is impossible for the little man to get ahead in todays world. I went from renting a room from a family friend 5-6 blocks away from my mill job. I walked during Wisconsin winters to work because I made mistakes that caused me to lose my license. I used my time to work as much as possible. During slow times on the job I was able to read and learn about investing and eventually real estate. Great things are possible with determination and drive. Opportunity is everywhere!!

  2. Just to long as you play the song “Started from the bottom…” (hip hop song) in the background, while they read the article, Brian ;)

  3. Great article. I am very new and I have been looking for a position in real estate and wasn’t sure if that was the right move but your article was great and now I know it will be a great move so I can be right in the industry and learn while I’m getting paid!

    • You’ll never know if each step is the “right” move, Simone…the most important part is taking steps forward. You’ll figure it out as you go, so don’t hold back! I’m glad you gained some insight from the article.

  4. Thanks for the great article, Tracy! It’s always refreshing to hear someone reiterate that hard work, persistence and dedication can lead to opportunity and a better future. I personally like the mindset that belief matters, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re absolutely right. But if you believe you can, you must then follow that belief up with action. I like that you demonstrate that action isn’t impossible. :)

  5. Good article, another job in the real estate industry without being licensed is a transaction coordinator. I am currently working in this position and love it. The pay is not great but i have access to the MLS, comps, inside inform from talking with Realtors in the office, access to contracts and the Realtor that I’m assisting just sold my investment property. So it’s a win-win for me. I have access to all this and I get paid too!

    • Oh yes, Rashida, that’s a great point! Even TC positions are coveted and typically take some time to get into, but well worth the learning curve while you you earn to learn.

  6. Tracy! Thank you for this great article! Started from the bottom! For someone who just turned 20 this article helps me see that even as a full time server I can still pursue my rei dreams through hard work and prersistance.

    • Sometimes, hustling can pay off. The younger you are, with more energy and less attachments, the easier. Be wise with your money and work smart in your off-time. Cheers!

  7. At the beginning, it was hard to manage both. I truly say I found my passion in the Real Estate Market. It’s great to know that either you helped someone out of a situation and they’re thankful. You also know that the property will be restored. Because of my past injuries I must say I’m enjoying this now instead of an office job.

  8. Thank you Tracy. I too am working a minimum wage job and at 32 hours a week. Yes we do get food stamps to help a little with the groceries. After working at the convience store for almost 5 years I decided that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I have done this before and succeeded somewhat. And now am doing it again. Like the other poster I walk to work even in Rain and Snow because I too lost my license for the time being. But I am like an old dog willing to learn new tricks.

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