Secrets to Real Estate Investing While Having a Full Time Job

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I started investing in buy and hold rental properties while having a full time job, just like many other investors.  If you’ve listened to the Bigger Pockets Podcasts, there are quite a number of successful investors who have done just that:

So, what do all of these successful investors, plus the thousands of others around the country have in common?  What are all the big secrets to real estate investing while holding down a full time job?

Where does someone find the time?

1. Dedication

Someone who is dedicated to achieving their goal will not let anything get in their way.  Just because you work a full time job doesn’t mean that there aren’t more hours in the day to call leads, write a business plan, attend networking events, ask questions on the Bigger Pockets forums, find a mentor, locate a portfolio lender, visit properties, etc.  Dedicated investors may use some company-approved vacation time to do the above activities that require business hours to complete.  Or they may use their lunch hour.  Or get up early.

You can see where I’m going.  When I started investing, I knew what my goal was and I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy street.  No one was going to hand me a completely finished real estate investing business on a silver platter wrapped up with a little bow.  There were days where I had to work nights and weekends to make it happen.  But looking back, all the dedication and time paid off.

2.  Persistence

Real estate investors need to have persistence.  If you’re dedicated to your goal, you want to be persistent to tough it out during the times that things don’t go your way.  If you’re a buy and hold investor, that may mean that a property that goes on the market in the morning may have an accepted offer on it by 5 pm when you get out of work and are able to see it.  Keep pushing through the obstacles and persist on to make it to your dream.  Just remember, though, that when you are at your full-time job, you owe your employer 100% of your time and effort.

3.  Systems and organization

If you are working a full time job, you are dedicating a large portion of your week to that.  As such, that limits the amount of time you have to devote to your real estate investing.  This means that you have to organize and systematize as much of the available time you do have to take full advantage of it.  If you’re not organized, you’re going to spend unnecessary time locating things such as phone numbers, paperwork, task lists, etc.  If you don’t spend time establishing systems, you’re going to be “re-inventing the wheel” each time you take on a new project.   The more time you spend on unnecessary activities limits your ability to do more projects.

And my #1 favorite secret of investing while having a full time job:

If you pay people, they will do things for you.  (Tweet This!)

This statement is just mind blowing because it’s absolutely true.  Would your time be better served on the weekends spending several hours staging a house, or would you rather hire someone to do that while you use the time to find a flip deal that will ultimately net you $30,000?    Would you rather spend time doing some data analysis or hire a VA (virtual assistant) who can do the boring tedious work while you negotiate the purchase price of a buy and hold property down by $5,000?

So there you go … several secrets to real estate investing while having a full time job — no guru course needed.

What secrets would you like to share?

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About Author

Dawn is a buy-and-hold real estate investor in Milwaukee, WI. She specializes in single-family homes and duplexes, and has been a self-managing landlord since 2009.

11 Comments

  1. This is a really great post Dawn. I work a full time job and am getting into real estate investing. I’ve built a real estate website that focuses on all aspects of real estate and am currently building an email list to market real estate products to. My ultimate goal is to earn some start up cash with my list to purchase and flip property. Dedication is definitely the most difficult of these steps to follow for me, but it’s something I work on everyday. I really agree with the last part of your article. Hiring people to take on the tedious tasks so you can focus on the bigger issues that will affect your finances. I find this true not only in real estate investing but any type of business. These are great universal steps that every entrepreneur should follow…

  2. Very important points. I can’t help but realize how these exact things are important for every investor, whether they have a full time job or not! As you very well know, as an OOS (coining this term now!) investor I wouldn’t be able to do anything without your #1 favorite secret :)

  3. Good point Dawn – pay someone and they will do things for you. I think sometimes we focus too much on pinching pennies and not on the big important things to really move us forward.

  4. Thanks Dawn! Great tip about being dedicated to finding time. A coworker once asked me what I was doing with my time in the morning before I went to work…suddenly I discovered my day had an extra half hour merely by getting up a bit earlier.

  5. Thanks for the article. Now I just need to figure out what I can do as a over-the-road truck driver besides REITs. Think I’ve got a friend or two that I can talk into doing the foot work while I supply the money.

    • Dawn Anastasi on

      If you are lending money, there are tons of deals to finance out there. You just have to find those where:
      a) they are profitable for you
      b) the investors are trustworthy and seasoned

  6. Great article Dawn!

    All tips are definitely necessary for any type of business. This article is especially helpful to me as I’m a novice investor and I work full time. The link to the Business Plan is also crucial, as it not only helps me to see the bigger plan but anyone I’m pursuing to join my Networking Team.

  7. Another must have. Goals set reasonable goals and achieve them. Figure out what you need to do to reach you goal and work on it every chance you have.

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