Real Estate Investing Basics

Getting Started in Real Estate: Series Conclusion

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You may recall that I started this series by posing the “Million” dollar question… and that question was…

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As a new real estate investor what strategy should I focus on to get started?

Over these past several weeks I have attempted to answer that question and have provided what I hope is useful insight to new and perhaps experienced real estate investors regarding the major "exit" strategies for achieving profits as a real estate investor.

A brief recap is in order…

Marketing — While not a strategy in and of itself, no discussion regarding real estate investing would be comprehensive if it didn’t include a review of the many techniques available to investors to find a property and get it under contract.  You can read that article here: Approaches to Finding Profitable Deals

Wholesaling — In its simplest terms the concept behind wholesaling is control.  If you can control a property through effective negotiating and a solid contract there are numerous ways to turn your control into a payday for yourself and another investor.  A payday that most likely will not cost a significant amount of money to obtain.  You can read that article here: Wholesaling as an Exit Strategy

Rehabbing – The art of taking a derelict, well OK… it doesn’t have to be a complete gut job, renovating it and selling it primarily into the homeowner market.  While the profits can be significant the cost to participate and risks can be daunting.  You can read this article here: Rehabbing as an Exit Strategy

Income Producing Properties –This is true wealth building.  Acquiring properties at the right price that provide positive cash-flow and build equity over time, is the secret behind the statement that “real estate has created more millionaires then any other investment available.”  But, as I will discuss, it is not without its challenges.  And, this article can be read here: Income Producing Properties

So… what now?  If I am just beginning, what strategy is best for me?

The short answer looks like this… It depends!

The long answer provides you with concrete steps that will help you to make the right determination as well as enhance your level of success.

In the articles that discussed wholesaling, rehabbing and income producing properties I ended each discussion with a list of pro’s and con’s for each strategy.  These pros and cons are important to you because they are the starting point in helping you to determine the best strategy to start out with.

Review the lists in each article and once you understand each of the pros and cons you will have a much better understanding regarding the challenges and rewards and how that strategy can support your goals.

It doesn’t stop there…

However, you must remember that this is only the beginning. 

The next step is to take a realistic look at yourself.  Ask yourself these questions…

  1. Why am I investing in real estate?  Am I getting into real estate because I just got laid off (a very difficult position to be in as a beginner) or am I looking to secure my retirement.  How your respond to this single question is the most critical response you could provide and it sets the tone for everything else that you will be doing… until you are very experienced!
  2. What are your knowledge, skills and abilities regarding real estate investing.  For instance, if you have worked with lenders or banks in another capacity you have knowledge of how lenders work and probably skills in dealing with them.  Or, you may have the ability to rewire a house, pour a driveway, negotiate like a diplomat… all directly transferable to your real estate investing business.
  3. What is your financial capacity?  This is a critical question… because if you don’t have funds or access to funds through “Other Peoples Money” your choices as an investor will be limited.
  4. How much time will you be able to dedicate to real estate investing?  If you are working a full time job and have a family… be fair to yourself.  Don’t think that you are going to work an extra 40 hours per week on real estate.  You will only frustrate yourself and those around you.
  5. Have you sat down long enough to develop a plan, if even the general outline for where you would like to be with your real estate business… in say a year, three years, etc.  This is important because as you gain more experience you will find that once you have that experience your horizons will open to the other exit strategies.
  6. What non-financial resources do you have available… resources like real estate agents, mentors, contractors, and others.

While I am sure there are other questions you should be asking yourself, it is my strongest opinion that the degree of your success as a real estate investor will be directly proportional to the amount of time and the answers you arrive at in responding to the above questions. 

Taking the time to “get it right” at the beginning will mitigate many, many issues down the road and ease your transition into the world of successful real estate investor.

In closing out this series I will leave you with one, last, absolutely no kidding piece of advise… heed it!

Don’t jump around between EXIT strategies!  Pick one and become an expert at it.  Master everything you can about your chosen strategy… and don’t migrate to other strategies until your peers view you as the expert on that strategy… period!

Best of luck….

Peter is an active and successful real estate investor in the Baltimore Maryland region for the past 8 years and is one of the founders of The Club Mastermind a real estate investing coaching progr...
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