Real Estate Investing: Specialize or Die

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Whether you are just starting to dip your toes into the ocean that is real estate, or are free diving in the great blue yonder, you need to be aware of the rules that govern your ability to maximize your success.  You have most likely heard that there are countless ways to become profitable within the huge genre that is real estate; if so, then You’re right!

Some people like myself stumble into a niche they love, and are great at from the start of their career, while others may fail in real estate before ever truly finding what inspires them to kick butt and take no prisoners.

Here are some tips to help you narrow down the search to find what is right for you.

  1. Keep the end in mind: Sit down and make a list.  A list of your short and long term “financial” goals, your skills, your abilities and your limitations.  Do you desire steady residual cash-flow?  Do you need to make cash right now?  Do you have starting capital?  Are you handy with a hammer?  Are you a good leader? Manager? Negotiator?  Like I described in my last post, “What will you do for success in Real Estate”, know what you are willing to do and not do to reach your goals.
  2. Explore your options: Mobile homes, wholesale, retail, lease options, REOs, fast turning, rehabbing, commercial investing, short sales, loan modifications, Realtor, buy and hold, multifamily, foreclosure, land development, pre-foreclosure, note buying/selling, etc.  Spend a short time going through this list, learning about each and deciding if the vehicle in question will get you to your real estate goals AND make you happy in the process.
  3. Have lunch with an expert: One of the best recommendations I can make is for anyone in real estate that is currently unhappy or not as productive as they would like to be, to take a “mentor” out to lunch.  In my first week investing, I took five knowledgeable investors who were not trying to sell me some course, out for lunch to pick their brains.  These meetings gave me insight to the game, that has carried me through to this day.
  4. Don’t spread yourself too thin: I know that I am not the only one that has ever piled too much on to his/her plate.  Over committing to too many deals at one time (on more than one occasion) has almost cost me my entire bank roll.  Unless you have completed more than 15-20 transactions, it will be wise to complete one deal, get it cash-flowing, then move onto the next.

    Choose just a few areas of real estate that interest you, and run with them.  Market for your targeted properties and keep to your game plan. Do not stop marketing after you are committed to a propertyl;  if and when you find a great deal, but are too busy to act on it simply wholesale the deal for fast cash.  It is far better to make a smaller wholesaling fee and continue investing profitably, than to bite off more than you can chew and go far over budget.

  5. Become an expert: Becoming an expert is really a never ending process, but when you find a niche or specialty in real estate, dominate it!  Become the best investor in your town within your desired field.  Be the expert that people are asking for advice and the name that everyone thinks of when they think of your niche.

Always remember that your end goals and desires may continuously change.  Be open to new ideas, what may sound like a terrible investment strategy may just turn out to be a great money maker.  Keep in mind you are your own person, what works for someone else may not be your cup of tea.  Find what you want (money goals), what suites you (i.e. mobile homes) and kill it!

– J. Fed

About Author

John Fedro

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.


    • Ryan,

      specialize or die for sure… it seems that when we’re new we just market for FSBO’s not really knowing what we want, we often try and tackle every deal that could possibly make us any money. This is not a good recipe. thanks for commenting.


  1. John,

    You are bang on again with this article brother.

    2 areas that have helped me are, ‘Have lunch with an expert’, and ‘Keep the end in mind’

    re: ‘Have lunch with an expert’

    On more than one occasion I have had the opportunity to do this. I have always learned the most out of this one single activity, than any other real estate related activity.
    These sessions are always so insightful for me because often times I believe that we (real estate investors), look up to real estate experts and think that their world is absolutely perfect because they have everything that we are striving for.
    By spending time with these experts over lunch, coffee, or whatever, we are able to gain a glimpse into their world. Often times, their world is not as wonderful as we initially thought.
    This is a great exercise to do because the expert is usually willing to share with you the mistakes that they have made over time.
    To the new investors out there, I highly recommend that you take John’s advice and take some real estate experts out for lunch. You will be amazed at what you will learn!

    re: ‘keeping the end in mind’

    I think that this is one of the most important things that we need to do as real estate investors. Without knowing what we are aiming for, it is very easy to get distracted.

    Not only can we get distracted, but we can also become confused.

    Having an end goal is very important. I personally am always asking myself what my end goal is. I find this very helpful, as it helps me to re-focus and forge ahead!

    Onwards and Upwards,
    .-= Neil Uttamsingh´s last blog ..BiggerPockets Just Got Bigger =-.

    • Neil,

      Its so true, right! I think that this simple suggestion will help out a lot of ambitious newbies that want to hit the ground running. Most “real seasoned investors”, not fly by night “guru’s” just trying to sell their product, will happily sit down with an eager, respectful, inquisitive investor and offer free guidance over lunch.

      I’m glad to hear that you have found the same. Our countries aren’t so different after all. lol. 😀 Thanks for commenting Neil.


  2. John, a lot of the information above seems like common sense, but it’s often overlooked. People by nature enjoy taking short cuts, and as a self employed individual it’s all that much easier. Discipline and a Plan will make a difference along with following a written game plan.

    Visit Liz Voss’s last blog at San Antonio Homes.

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