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How to Invest in Real Estate While Earning Minimum Wage

Tracy Royce
4 min read

The draw to the late-night infomercials, books, and DVD programs that boast a “no money down, no hassle, no experience needed” real estate transaction is for a reason; it appeals to Joe Everyman. Although the actual programs may be more complicated then the highlights make it out to be, the bottom line is that anyone can invest in real estate, no matter where you’re starting from.

Often times, the appeal come from frustration. Staying year after year at a corporate position, locked down by the golden cuffs, and easily being able to map out the next 20 years of slaving away to make other people wealthy. For others, it’s accidental. Perhaps you had a relative that was in the business and offered to show you the ropes, opening your eyes to the fact that you could create wealth and possibly make more on 2-3 deals than you did for 1 years salary.

And if you’re young, brand new, in college, or stuck at a minimum wage position? Is there an actually a way to invest in real estate while earning minimum wage? Take it from someone that’s been there, done that, the resounding answer is “yes.”

Started from the bottom now we’re here…

In my podcast on BP, I explain how when I got started in real estate, it was as a loan officer. But being brand new to a commissioned position after working in the health and fitness industry, I’d pick up the slack by bartending or catering. That usually paid a whopping $2.75/hr plus tips, and was exhausting, laborious work. Not to mention, it’s not very thought-provoking or enriching. But when you’re in you’re in early 20’s, it is what it is until you pave a career path.

After some time, I got tired of working in mortgages, seeing too many borrowers getting loans they had no business getting. I was sick of spending all day in the office and all night behind a bar. An old roommate reached out to me because he had 20+ properties and was desperate for assistance, since he had a full time job with the municipality. He asked me what it would take to gain my employ, and I said if he could replace my service-industry income, I’d come aboard right away.

We worked out a deal that I would help run all the property management, selling properties and acquisition, and get a piece of each deal. I earned a salary from the property management side, and a slice of each buy and flip deal. We meshed well and I fell in love with the investing side of the industry. It was the first time I had ever invested in real estate, and I was hooked.

Related: How To Buy a Home With No Money Down

How can I be of service?

I had little knowledge of the investment world when I started, but I had a willingness to learn, the desire to work with winners, and the training to deliver high-level customer service under any circumstance. That first investor I worked with ended up being a irreplaceable mentor and friend to me, and still is.

If you’re just starting, one path is to reach out to investments groups, an experienced real estate agent that specializes in investment properties, or an investor and try to connect with them on a regular basis. What can you possibly offer to a them to learn the ropes? Draw from other positions to show HOW you can be of value to them, even if it’s something as un-related as, bartending! If they offer for you to come into the office and hand-stamp 500 mailers a day, would you do it? The answer should be yes, and do it without complaining, slacking off, and only leave when the job is done. I can train a monkey to do real estate; you can’t find a hardworking, honest person all the time, though.

I wouldn’t have gotten my break into the real estate investing world if I hadn’t shown that I was a trustworthy, dedicated worker. Someone was willing to take a chance on me because they liked, trusted, and could train me. Even if you’re working part-time at a minimum wage job, what can you do with the rest of your work week to put yourself in the same position, around people that will elevate you as you elevate them?

Related: Getting Started In Any New Real Estate Business

It’s a start

Say you’re too shy, don’t know anyone in your area, or no one’s giving you the time of day after many attempts. Still want to break into real estate investing? If you’re passionate about being involved in some way, the second option is to get a job in some segment of real estate that requires day to day office work. I specifically don’t say “get your license” because once you have your license, you’re a free agent and can easily slack off. I’m talking about getting a position where you’re being paid to learn, listen to lingo, and make connections. Often these jobs are low on the totem pole, but are great for getting your foot in the proverbial door.

Some positions that are fantastic to target are administrative assistant, front office assistant, office manager, to name a few. These positions tend to advance up the ladder in medium to larger companies, so that might mean more to you as well. Heck, I’ve had friends in corporate positions at RE companies that keep their jobs there, use the W2 income to buy a property (or few), and their connections to get good deals, discounted title fees, and good contractors.

In either case, if you’re finding leads, you may have built-in partners. They may be keeping you too busy for awhile to be able to deal-hunt, but that is still time well spent.

Only in America can you come from nothing, not know anyone, not have much money, not be earning much money, and get involved in a field that can change your entire landscape. Look at how many millions of people every year work 2-3 jobs just to put food on the table and survive. What if you did one small thing different, and sacrificed your time for an education? If you’re willing to gut it out, you can easily invest in real estate while earning a minimum wage. Once you learn the ropes and use that time well, the world is your oyster.

What do you think?

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.