Overcome Your Fear to Get Started as a Real Estate Investor

by | BiggerPockets.com

This article is going to be a vast departure from my normal ramblings about the current economy and housing/financial markets.  In fact, if it seems I have gone all squishy on you, just be patient.

As a coach I often times feel like I am more of a psychiatrist then a real estate expert.  This I believe is due to the fact that while the mechanics of real estate investing are not overly complicated, the ability of a person to overcome their conditioning (fear) to actually go out and become a real estate investor are another thing entirely.  

For many of the more experienced investors you know what I mean by the above statement… and for many of the new investors out there… you know exactly what I mean!

You may be asking… “Why have you chosen this valuable space to discuss the psychology of real estate?” 


Over the past several months I have read many, many posts and received a great many emails and comments to my other articles from new investors.  These comments go something like this… “I was just got laid off from my job.  I attended a real estate investing bootcamp, bought some materials and still I can’t seem to get started.  Can you help?”

Specifically, I had a situation in the past couple of weeks where someone reached out to me, started a discussion with my executive assistant, made it past that hurdle and then when the time arrived for our appointment… this person bailed and didn’t keep their commitment.

My first response was to chase this person down and with little fanfare or decorum inform them that they had, as Nick J. likes to say… “Murdered an hour of my time.”

Instead, I took a step back and realized that the very reason this person was having difficulty keeping their commitment was most likely the same reason they are having problems getting started with real estate.  Their conditioning is keeping them from taking the necessary steps (you can read that as risks) to get started and to prosper… and the sad fact is that they don’t even know that it is happening to them.

While thousands and thousands of words have been written, all directed at helping new investors to get started, it seems that for many these words are falling on deaf ears.

So… the following is for all of those “NEW” investors who are having trouble getting started.

  1. If you are looking to real estate investing to save you from certain financial ruin, then you had better get off of your duff, develop a plan and work that plan everyday, just like you would get up and go to work everyday fora paycheck!
  2. STOP buying courses and other materials or seeking out mentors or coaches until you are committed to step number 1!
  3. You need to start participating on sites like BiggerPockets.  And just don’t lurk — participate and ask questions.  If you are afraid to ask questions then you are going to be afraid to speak with a seller who needs to sell you their property!
  4. Almost every real estate course out there just focuses on the mechanics.  The real action is what’s going on between your ears.  When you can get that under control, it won’t matter what technique you use; you will be successful as an investor! 
  5. Most mentors/coaches are ill equipped to help you deal with a life of conditioning that has caused you to be where you are today.  Realize that you could spend a lot of money having someone show the mechanics, but if you are not willing to deal with the “conditioning” issue you are just wasting money.  Don’t!

And finally, stop what you are doing, get up and go look in the mirror.  What do you see?  Someone who believes that real estate can be the legitimate answer to their challenges or,  someone who hopes, wishes and wants real estate will get them out of their circumstances?

Only you can decide, and you don’t need a “highly paid, unlicensed psychiatrist” to help you get started, just a belief in yourself and some good old fashion action.

Photo: Federico Stevanin

About Author

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 program focused on local coaches helping investors to perfect their game.


  1. Great post Peter. So many people are looking for the magic bullet in real estate not realizing there is work to be done every single day. If you really want to be a success in real estate there will be many sacrifices along the way.

  2. Very true. As a beginner myself and having been conditioned my entire life to work a job in order to make a living, I find it extremely difficult to step out of my comfort zone and take risks. It’s a daily struggle to be proactive everyday towards becoming an investor. But knowing there is a psychological reason behind it helps tremendously.

  3. Great post, Thank you. I’m in the analysis paralysis stage right now and also in the perfect position to start wholesaling and my time seems to be slipping away. Yup, I”m scared. I feel overwhelmed. I’ve never been afraid of anything in my life until now. I’m most afraid of going to jail for doing something wrong. This seems a legit. concern here in illinois. I’ve done just about everything else I can think of to get around starting my wholesaling business so I don’t have to face my fear. Yet every time I turn around this desire is at the forefront of my mind. I can’t shake it. Time to take action. I’m still very afraid. The investors I talk to locally say I can’t Wholesale here, I”ll get in trouble. This stifles my dream a bit but I’ll figure it out.

  4. Pamela,

    I hope you can overcome your fears… they seem have a strong hold on you!

    If you send a colleague request perhaps we can open more direct lines of communications and I can help you to put your mind at ease regarding your fears.


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