How Long Did It Take You to Get Your First Real Estate Deal?

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How long did it take you to get your first deal? It took me a little over four months. And an investor I know just got his first deal after almost a full-year. Also, this guy was actually doing marketing and trying to get a deal the entire time. But he is one of the unluckiest people I’ve ever met. He had deal after deal fall apart.

But, he now has his first lease option deal under his belt and usually after your first deal the “stars align” and a flood of deals come into your life. It happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to a number of other investors. I first learned about this “first deal phenomenon” in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. I read Think and Grow Rich every 6 months and I believe it’s the most important book any person who wants to be successful should read. Also, it really is a book you have to read at least 10 times before you fully absorb the importance of what you’re reading.

Important lessons from this book…

In the book, Mr. Hill talks about how people can struggle along for a seemingly long time and then all of the sudden money will flow into their lives in huge proportions. The reason for this is because as it appears you are “struggling” along, you are really learning and gaining valuable experience. And when opportunity knocks you will have that experience to take advantage of this opportunity and make a lot of money.

The investor who I mentioned above may only have one deal under his belt but he probably has more experience than 99% of investors out there. He’s excellent on the telephone, he knows how to present offers, structure deals and a take care of all the paperwork. For one reason or another he really was just unlucky. But his persistence paid off and now I excitedly look forward to all of the deals he’s going to get.

That brings me to the important point of persistence…

To be successful in real estate you have to market, see houses, etc. etc. etc. But anyone can do this. Yes, some people initially get luckier than others, but if you really want it you’ll eventually close a deal. When I first started in this business I set a goal for myself of the number of properties I wanted to own in my buy and hold portfolio. I set a 5-year time frame for myself.

And when I looked at that time frame I thought to myself, “I’m going to be 5 years older then anyway, so I might as well be 5 years older and own all of these houses which will eventually give me thousands of dollars in cash flow every month.” I accomplished my goal within 5 years and since then have made bigger goals. I think that’s one thing that too many people do, which is not make big enough goals. I did that at first but now I try and think as big as possible.

So… perhaps you haven’t gotten your first deal yet. Don’t give up — even if it takes you an entire year! Remember, the next 12 months are going to pass no matter what, so you might as well do something which is going to help out your financial future, because In today’s shaky economy, rental properties are one of the few investments which I believe are safe.

About Author

Jason R. Hanson is the founder of National Real Estate Investor Month and the author of “How to Build a Real Estate Empire”. Jason specializes in purchasing properties “subject-to” and has purchased millions of dollars worth of property using none of his own cash or credit.


  1. Jeff Brown

    Stellar Jason, absolutely superb. Back in the day, Dad used to require to employees to read two books in the first couple months of employment — PsychoCybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

    I think your point about ‘struggling’ along has been made more understandable by Malcolm Gladstone’s book, Outliers. The ‘struggling’ was probably them gettin’ in their first 10,000 hours. I know that’s how it worked with me as I look back with 20/20 hindsight.

  2. John… great article. I once knew a lawyer who always said… “everything or everyone has its season” meaning that when people are ready what they are seeking will appear or be completed.

    I fully support this theory… as I see it in many of my clients and both activities and success. Based on their actions, you can determine quickly who will get out of the gate quickly and who will linger moving a much slower pace until they find the “right season” or not.

    Peter R. Giardini…

  3. I am in the process of taking my online prelicensing course now. It seems like an overwhelming amount of information they want you to absorb in only 60 hours, but I understand the need. It is the winter of 2010/2011 and the market is still in the dumps.

    I would love to know if any agents/licensees are making or closing any sales right now or not. I know the holiday season is the slowest time for the real estate market but I do want to have my first sale closed before the summer gets here. Any takers?

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