So You Want to Be a Real Estate Investor?

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… but you don’t know where to start?  This is every newbie investors position isn’t it?  It makes me wonder…  How is it possible with all the guru product and pitch fest seminars there are that people can still be confused as to where to start.  Oh wait – I was confused when I first started too.  Why?  Maybe because there is TMI – TOO MUCH INFORMATION.  We are all bombarded with so many different techniques and strategies that it really can be overwhelming.  Stop the madness! 

I remember going to my first real estate club meetings and being confused to all heck.  I had already bought many different products and I still didn’t know exactly what to do and when to do it.  Now in my old age, I realize that we need to start with basics when we are new.

It need not be complicated.   But it will be hard work and focus and organization and steadfast determination.  Have I scared you yet?  Good if I have, because this business is not for the faint of heart or the unmotivated or the scarity cats or the excuse makers.   It is however the most rewarding and funnest businesses ever – if you can handle it.

Here’s why.

Hard Work + Determination + Education = Success in Real Estate Investing

It is hard work.  If you have read any of my previous articles – you know I don’t try and fill your pretty little head with pie in sky, “you can make 60 thousand a month if you buy this product” molarchy.   The bottom line or rather the “bare truth” is – you must be willing to do the work in order to be successful.   I have a lot of newbies ask me what they need to do in order to get started in this business. There are several things to do to get going.  In a nutshell:

1.  Get yourself business cards and network, network, network.  Make friends with a lot of other investors (get some experienced people in your network),  join your local Real Estate Club and join an important real estate forums such as biggerpockets. This is important for many reasons; Your investor friends will be an invaluable source of ongoing informaiton and support,  and the more people you know, the more possibilities to find a potential partner, a deal or a money source, 

2.  Get educated on real estate investing as whole.  NO – don’t run out and buy every dang guru product out there,  but do get the “basic” education first.  Now basic education can mean many different things depending on who you are talking to.   In my opinion, the basics include geting educated on the current market that you will be buying in.  My market is L.A and it is REO’s and a lot of people wanting to walk away from houses.  Therefore my strategies are buying houses subject to and also buying houses using private or hard money.  My exit strategies for all of the properties are either, wholesale (to another investor), retail (to the public) or hold (lease option or owner finance these is preferred.)

3.  Get educated, period.  Learn the basics such as how to buy REO’s, Buying properties Out of State, Subject to Investing, Lease Options, Owner Financing, Using Private Money and Marketing to start. (There is a heck of a lot more, but this will get you started).  You can become a millionaire several times over just knowing these things here.  You can apply any and all of these strategies to houses, apartment building and commercial property.   It’s all good baby!

4.   Learn Marketing.  If I have said this once, I’ve said it a gazillion times.  You ain’t nothing without marketing.  Nobody – even me (and I own a real estate investors club!) – can be a successful real estate investor if we are not marketing our business.  Why?  Because if I am not marketing, I do not have leads, and if I do not have leads, I do not have deals.  OK – wait.   There is an exception to this rule.  If you plan on just buying houses outright – such as houses from REO’s, Auctions, Agents or even properties that you hear about from a real estate investment company – then you don’t need to market.  You simply need to get the information on the property, do your due diligence and buy the property.  No marketing to get the deals really needed here.  However, you will need marketing to exit out from them if you don’t plan to buy and hold.

The bottom line is that if you want to be an investor who is going out and finding the deals from distressed homeowners – then marketing is the only way to riches my friend.  Direct marketing such as letters, postcards or flyers, ads in papers or craigslist, cold calling, websites, etc.   Also, get an acquisitions team working for you such as bird dogs, real estate agents, lawyers, etc.

5. Lastly – just go out and do deals!  Don’t let yourself be held up by “not knowing what you are doing”.  If you have done the #1, #2, and #3 things on this list you will have all the help you need.  If you have a deal and don’t know what to do with it, seek out the experienced and successful investors for help on your first deals!  Offer half your deal to them in exchange for their help!  It’s a win win!

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This article was written by a guest blogger on the BiggerPockets Blog. If you're interested in learning more about the author, see the article above. Otherwise, if you'd like to write for us, check out our guest blogger page.

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