8 Thoughts For Those Looking To Get Started in Real Estate Investing

8 Thoughts For Those Looking To Get Started in Real Estate Investing

3 min read
Kevin Perk

Kevin Perk is a full-time buy and hold and fix and flip real estate investor with over 15 years of experience. He and his wife Terron operate Kevron Properties, LLC, a boutique real estate investing company in Memphis, Tenn.

Experience
Kevin was a past president and is a current board member of the Memphis Investors Group. He’s also a blogger and writer who has authored hundreds of real estate investing articles on BiggerPockets and his own blog, SmarterLandlording.com, some of which have been featured on The Motley Fool and MONEY: Personal Finance News & Advice.

Kevin is also host of the SmarterLandlording podcast.

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Kevin moved to Memphis to attend graduate school at The University of Memphis. After receiving his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, Kevin climbed the planning career ladder to eventually become planning director of a county in the Memphis metro area. He “retired” from planning in 2003 to pursue real estate investing full-time.

Since “retiring,” Kevin’s main real estate investment strategy has been to buy and hold, otherwise known as landlording. Generally working in historic Midtown Memphis, Kevin is also known to fix and flip grand, historic homes when the right opportunity presents itself. He and his wife Terron (who is the principal broker at Perk Realty) have participated in dozens of real estate transactions in the Memphis metro area.

Kevin has the heart of a teacher and believes in helping others through education. An instructor of college-level geography for over 25 years, Kevin also regularly participates in seminars and panel discussions at such forums as the Memphis Investor’s Group and the Single-Family Rental Summit.

In addition, Kevin has been interviewed in publications such as the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Daily News, and the Foreclosure News Report.

Education
Kevin earned a master’s in City and Regional Planning from The University of Memphis.

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Our local REIA group holds a real estate investor’s lunch every Friday.

These lunches are open to anyone and everyone and are attended by a wide range of folks. Some are landlords, others wholesale or are turnkey providers. Some have decades of experience, while others have only a few years under their belt. Then there are those who are there for the first time looking to get started.

Many of these first timers find us because they have been watching late night TV infomercials or have been to one of those seminars that take out full page ads in the local paper telling them how lucrative real estate investing can be. You can always tell who the first timers are because they all sort of have this mystified look on their faces like they just do not know where to begin.

Usually a few of us more experienced investors will end up talking with a first timer. Over the years I have generally found their questions to be the same. Now that I think about it, their questions are likely the same ones I asked when I was in their shoes.

So What Do We Tell These First Timers?

Well, along with the home run and the horror stories, here are eight general thoughts we experienced folks like to pass along to those looking to get started:

1. Real Estate Investing Is Not Easy

Real estate investing takes work and effort just like anything else worth doing. Be wary of anyone telling you anything different, as they are likely just trying to sell you a dream rather than something that will help you become successful.

2. You Do Not Need An LLC

An LLC is not necessary to get started. Put your time, focus and money towards other things. You can always incorporate later on.

Related: Top 3 Real Estate LLC Myths: Busted!

3. You Have A Lot To Learn

It does not matter if you want to wholesale, flip or become a landlord. If you are starting from scratch, you have a steep learning curve. Reducing this curve will take time. Use your time wisely by talking and learning from other investors, and going to Biggerpockets.com.

4. You Do Not Have To Spend Thousands

To learn real estate basics, or even some of the more complicated stuff. Most is out there for free or you can glean a lot just by talking to other investors. If after you have gotten yourself a basic understanding and wish to invest in a course that you truly feel will help you advance your goals, I have no problem with that. Again be warned of those selling only a dream.

5. You Need To Network

You need to meet other investors. You need to develop lists of potential buyers and sellers of real estate. Get contact info from everyone you meet. Ask what they do and what they are looking for. Figure out how you can help them and they will in turn help you.

6. Pick A Place To Start

It is hard to focus on an entire city or region. Narrow your scope and become an expert on a few neighborhoods. Learn what property sells for, what it rents for and what the market is like in those areas. That way you will be much better prepared if a deal presents itself.

7. Don’t Worry Too Much About Money

If you find a truly good deal, the money will find you. Focus on learning what a deal is and on how to find them.

Related: 4 Difficult Questions Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Ask Themselves

8.Come Back And See Us

Like I said in number 5 you need to meet and get to know other investors. As we get to know you, the more we will share with you.  We may even end up doing deals together.

Usually by this time we sort of have these new folks somewhat bewildered and perhaps a bit deflated. But nothing speaks truth like the voice of experience. Some folks we never see again. I guess we scare them off. Others though are now speaking with the voice of experience. I like to think that we helped each one out either way.

What would your voice of experience add to the list? What do you tell folks looking to get started?

Be sure to leave your comments below!