Real Estate Investing Basics

12 Simple Tips For Beginner Real Estate Investors

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
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1. Don’t blindly listen to me or anyone else. What works for me isn’t always going to work for you. You are in a different market, with different skills, and have different resources. Do what works for you.

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2. If you don’t know what works for you, keep reading and listening to podcasts until you figure it out. We have 83 episodes of the BiggerPockets Podcast, and they are all free. Listen to all of them and I guarantee a plan will start to form in your mind. 

3. Remember: You don’t need to know everything about everything. You just need to know enough about the one niche and strategy you are going to get into. Don’t get overwhelmed with knowledge. Focus on what matters. 

4. Real estate investing is not a competitive sport. Ask for help from others. Build relationships. Learn from those with more experience than you. As the famous quote says, "You are the average of the five people you associate with most." Go associate.

5. Get your spouse on board or wait. Your marriage is worth far more than your net worth.

6. Write out your business plan. This doesn’t need to be super formal, but it should be written down. Where do you want to get to? How are you going to get there? Without a road map, it’s hard to stay on the right path.

7. If you are buying a rental property, budget for property management, whether or not you plan on using it. If you can’t make money while still paying a manager, you aren’t buying an investment – you are buying a job. If you choose to manage, great! But don’t buy a job.

8. Do your math like your wealth depends on it; because it does. To help with this, try out the BiggerPockets Property Analysis Calculators. You’ll love them. Then do the math again. Be conservative in your estimates and don’t fudge the numbers.

9. Sweat equity is a good thing. Don't be afraid to get you hands a little dirty if needed, but also understand that you don't have to. Manual labor can be a good trade for cash, but it's not the only way.

10. You will have problems, stress, drama. Don’t be surprised by it, but receive it carefully like you are catching a water balloon. Problems are a puzzle that you need to solve, not a dead end. Remember this when times get tough and it will help keep the stress down.

11. Treat your business like a business, not a hobby. Create systems, processes, and rules that govern how you do things. Pretend that you will be handing your business off to someone else very soon – so you need to have a carefully defined process for doing things. This process will change – and that's okay.

12. Share your stories, mistakes, lessons, successes, and more with others. We are all on this journey together!  The BiggerPockets Forums are a great place to do this!

Do you have any tips to add? Anything you would change? Let me know in the comments below! (That rhymed… I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!)

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
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    Wendy Noble
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Nice article: Tip 5: Got my mom on board. My mom lives in the market where I invest and she has great fun going to view properties for me and gives me the low down on what maintenance needs to be done, what she likes and doesn’t like. She’s an older lady and the realtors, owners and current tenants warm up to her and she has a good chat with them (while collecting lots of useful information for me). Once, she was chatting to a tenant (an older lady who was renting from her daughter who owned the apartment) who was telling my mom all about the apartment including that the home owners association (it was a condo) was about to embark on a big capital project. I made sure I put a condition in my offer that all special assessments for the home owners association were paid before closing. Saved me a bunch of cash on that deal. I don’t have a spouse but I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my family. My family have just come to the conclusion that I’m a little crazy to be this passionate about real estate investing, but their support is unquestionable. They always ask me the difficult questions which makes me go back and do my math over and over again (tip 8) but my mother has guided me away from more than one bad deal and caused me to tighten up my “policies and procedures (see tip 6). So whether its a spouse or family, you need their support, you need them to be your sounding board and you need them to question you so that you are the best RE investor you can be.
    Kendall Todd
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Nice post I especially like the part about having your spouse on board.
    Sharon Vornholt
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Brandon- I love this article. These are alll great tips. I especially love #10. “You will have problems, stress, drama. Don’t be surprised by it, but receive it carefully like you are catching a water balloon. Problems are a puzzle that you need to solve, not a dead end…. So many new investors throw in the towel when those inevitable problems crop up. There will always be problems and our ability to solve them will ultimately be one of the reasons we succeed or fail. Sharon
    Gabe Sanders
    Replied almost 6 years ago
    Great advice. Most important to keep the personal emotions and personal taste separate when dealing with investment property.
    Ashley Reed
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Tip number four is something that I need to remember, I’m always trying to learn everything about everything. I’ve started to focus on one thing at a time, and once I know everything about the one topic, I can move on to the next. It doesn’t hurt to learn everything, just if you try to learn it all at one time! Thanks for all the real estate investing tips, this has been really helpful!
    Matthew Jones from Moreno Valley, California
    Replied about 5 years ago
    Great points, thank you Brandon. Keep up the good work! Cheers.
    Kyle Ross
    Replied over 4 years ago
    These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to get your spouse on board with real estate investing before starting. I’ve been thinking about starting this, but I haven’t discussed with my wife yet. I think she would like the idea, so I’ll definitely bring it up with her before making any moves. Thanks for the great post!
    Alex Sanfilippo from Jacksonville, FL
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I got a lot from this quick blog post… # 7 and # 11 spoke the most out of the 12 tips. Thanks!
    Georgia B
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thanks so much for such helpful tips on investing! My husband and I are looking into real estate investing and flipping houses, and we could use all the advice we can get. I love your tip on not overwhelming yourself with knowledge, but just focusing on the niche of knowledge that you really need to know. There is so much information on real estate investments that I can definitely feel myself starting to get overwhelmed! We’ll try to take your advice and start focusing on the important stuff.
    Deedee Lewis
    Replied over 3 years ago
    You mentioned that you should write down a business plan to use as a road map for real estate investing. I agree with that strategy because with any goal you want to reach in life you need to have a plan for how to get there. I will keep these investing tips in mind for future use.
    Jenna Hunter
    Replied over 3 years ago
    It was interesting to know from the text that one should write out your business plan. We have been wanting to get into the real estate business since it started to get really popular last year and we think we can do well. We will be sure to consult with an expert to make sure we get the right help!
    Ernest London
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Thanks for the information about real estate investing. I have been considering investing in real estate for a while, but I want to make sure I am prepared first. I like that you mentioned to make sure you do the math on returns over and over so you can be sure you are making wise decisions. I will be sure to focus on this!
    Mark Padolsky
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Navigating your way through the world of real estate investment can be a bit tricky. Here are simple tips for beginner real estate investors on how you can make wiser choices!