Just Do Something! 5 Baby Steps to Ease New Investor Fears

by | BiggerPockets.com

Best-selling author and motivational coach Mike Litman often says “You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.” Getting started can be one of the most challenging hurdles for aspiring real estate investors. You may frequently hear people talk about the importance of taking “massive action” but as I thought about this yesterday I realized that some people simply feel stuck and massive action becomes an elusive concept. That being said, today I want to focus on simple things…baby steps!

If you’re thinking to yourself “Baby steps? It’s going to take me forever. I need to go big!,” I encourage you to consider whether you’ve taken any big steps already. If the answer is no, I respectfully ask you to reconsider that thought and just focus on getting some “action practice” with baby steps that can help you overcome analysis paralysis.  I can tell you with full confidence that once you start doing a few things that are uncomfortable for you, it will snowball and before you know  it you’ll be taking the type of massive action that you desire and need for yourself.

I’m not necessarily suggesting that you do all these steps (although I think its a good idea), nor am I suggesting any particular order. What this exercise is about is practicing doing something. This is simply “action practice” and it costs nothing.

  1. Determine what’s important to you and write down why you’re doing real estate investing
  2. Drive around for 15-30 minutes writing down the phone numbers on “For rent” signs.  Call 1 or 2 of them and just tell them you’re just getting started with investing in the area where their property is and see what input they have about the neighborhood and see what else they may be willing to share. [This is all about getting practice calling landlords. You may end up doing a lot more of this!]
  3. Find a home with a “For Sale By Owner” sign and a car in the driveway….go knock on the door and ask the person about their home for sale. How much are they looking for? Why are they selling? You never know what you’ll find out!
  4. Find an experienced investor at a REIA meeting or online here on BiggerPockets and have a 20-min phone chat about how they got started and overcame hurdles.
  5. Pick one neighborhood within driving distance of your house and start researching! First go to zillow.com and determine which homes were recently sold (past 3 months) as well as those that are actively listed and print out that list.  Then go drive that neighborhood and drive by the homes.  You’re doing research and getting a sense of the types of homes in the area and the values. This is a great exercise regardless of your investing strategy of choice.

There are so many options of simple things you can do to just get going! Once you feel comfortable practicing taking action for your real estate investing, make sure you go back and determine your goals and put a real action plan together because they will help you stay organized and laser focused on your single goal.

For those who are new or experienced investors, what other ideas would you add to this list?

Photo: Lulu

About Author

Shae Bynes is a real estate investor in Sunny South Florida. On her blog, GoodFaithInvesting.com, she provides helpful tips and an inside look at her real estate investing adventures -- obstacles, failures, & successes!


  1. Hey Shae!

    Yet again, an awesome article. You write so well!

    I agree 100% with Julie’s comment.

    It is all about doing…’something’ each and every day.

    A little ‘something’ each day adds up to a bigger ‘something’ at the end of the week, and an even bigger ‘something’ at the end of the month.

    As per one of your other posts Shae, it is all about relentless forward motion.

    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..A Day in The Life of A Downtown Toronto Condo Flipper =-.

  2. Great article, Shae! I like your list of suggestions of steps to take and practice of doing something everyday. It really is about the small steps which help get to the larger ones. I think having small goals can make people actually see something achievable, while larger goals are more far off and distant. Sometimes it can be scary going out there, though it’s nice to know we now have the tools to attain the information we may need. Though in the end, you’re right about “just get going” as it is all about taking action on a daily basis, thanks for sharing!

      • Hey Shae!

        Sure, I can give a couple of recommendations. Overall, I think it’s most important to start off (like you suggested) with a plan. When most folks are first starting out, it’s important to know what their goals are (i.e. building cash, ready to buy and hold for cash flow, etc).

        For those interested in getting started with mobile homes, I’m a firm believer in education. One of the baby steps I recommend is to go out and read Lonnie Scruggs’ book, “Deals on Wheels.” Make a goal on getting it read – even if it’s a chapter or two a day. The important thing is to do something everyday to get the education.

        Then, the next baby step I’d recommend would be to go out and make a plan to learn the market. Even if folks plan to work with bird dogs and/or wholesalers to help them find deals, it’s really important to learn the market (in this case, their mobile home market) so they can learn to spot a deal and not have to depend on others to find deals for them.

        I’ve known so many investors who have depended on others to find them deals without even learning the market, and they’ve really got into some bad situations. If folks get to know their market, then they’ll be able to recognize opportunities that fit their criteria (and not depend on someone else’s).

        Some things to do to learn the market would be to visit a lot of parks and see a lot of mobile homes – in parks, on land, visit some dealers, etc. Get to know the parks, the lot rents, the types of homes available in their area (sizes and dimensions, # of bedrooms, # of baths, average square footage, etc), what the demands are, what the values are (i.e. wholesale value, retail value, trade in value, etc). These values can vary depending on the area and a lot of times the type of park (i.e. low end, high end, etc).

        Just a couple of suggestions. The last thing I’d like to add for folks looking to get started in mobile homes is to just work their plan. It’s really easy to get bogged down by all the “noise” especially when discussing real estate with others. There will always be people out there who like to give their opinions – they say this works and/or this doesen’t work, or you should/shouldn’t invest in this or that, etc. Everyone has an opinion. The best thing to do is block all the noise, just work the plan – it’s definitely something that has helped me to focus. And, I think focus is so important in order for folks to get to their goals. If folks can keep their eye on the ball despite what others say around them, they’ll do just fine.

        Sorry, Shae this is so long. Hope that helps!

  3. Great article Shae. Mike Litman’s quote, “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going” is definitely a big shift for people to grasp. I know it was for me. We all can get caught up with trying to be a perfectionist and know it all before we get out there and do anything and that is how we get caught up in the paralysis of analysis web. What’s worked really well that I know of is planning out your day the night before. Writing down a small list of tasks to complete for the day that lead to a goal for the week. However, ensuring that you complete the most important tasks first. Keep in mind that consistency and commitment need to be at the forefront of your efforts because those baby steps can turn into huge leaps very quickly.

    Thanks for the shout out 🙂

    • J. Lamar, that’s sooo true. I’m very much a “planner”…..and I was a computer science major in college and used to be a programmer so you KNOW that I’m analytical — while these traits are good, they can also get in the way. Thankfully tasks lists kept me moving forward even when I was a little nervous about the fact that I didn’t feel fully prepared 🙂

  4. I believe understanding the market that you are in is key with any strategy that you chose. If you educate yourself then you will understand what a “good” deal is for your market. I’m starting in wholesaling, as much as it feels like a “job” I need capital but I also need to understand what a good wholesaling deal is. This is where your REIA can be of great help. I understand what properties are moving quickly either for buy & holds and fix & flips. This allows me to use targeted marketing for my wholesale business. Great article and yes it’s all about the baby steps!

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