Anyone up for a challenge? Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free Hi all, Liz back with you this week! Most of you would probably agree we live in an “instant gratification” society. If there is something you don’t like in your life, well, all you need to do is Google it and see how you can quickly change it. We all like shortcuts and cliff notes. And most of us here on BP want real estate investing success — immediately. I’ve always loved the quote, “Most overnight successes took 10 years.” Isn’t that true? Every success in real estate (and in life) takes time, focus, and guts. There are no shortcuts. It really doesn’t happen overnight. However, what it does take is consistent action, commitment and a plan. Here is a challenge for all those newbies out there. Here are 30 steps you can take in the next 30 days to get started in the real estate investing business. While these 30 steps are not going to make you a real estate millionaire overnight, they certainly can help provide direction and momentum. And the good news about momentum is that “momentum creates more momentum!” If you are interested in taking on this 30 day challenge, I would love to hear about your progress in the comments section below! 30 Steps to Get Started in Real Estate in 30 Days 1. Do some soul searching. Establish your real estate investing goals. I call this your “why” statement. What is the WHY behind your interest in real estate investing goals? What are you passionate about? Just to “make money” is quite honestly not good enough. Related: 5 Harsh Realities About Real Estate Investing Every Newbie Should Know Listen, this business is not always “sunshine and roses.” It can be tough at times. So you have to have a deep reason behind getting into this business to keep your motivation high! 2. Determine your investment goals. Cash flow? Planning for retirement? Chunks of cash? If you are looking for cash flow, then “flipping houses” would not be an effective strategy. Your real estate strategy/niche has to align with your investment goals. 3. Take a personal inventory. Take out a blank piece of paper and on the left hand side of the paper write “1 – 10.” Then, next to each number, write down the top skills and strengths that you currently have. This can be anything from being great with people to being quick with numbers. If you can’t think of any, consider the feedback you have received from family, friends or work colleagues over the years. Sometimes others will notice our strengths quicker than we can. 4. Assess the “time” you have to put into this new venture. Time is the one limited resource. If you have little time, how can you carve out more time? 5. Assess the “assets” you have. This includes your credit score, your available cash, retirement accounts, equity in your home, and friends and family who have available equity and/or cash. 6. Create a list of three real estate strategies/niches you are interested in. 7. Network both online (BP) and offline (local meetup groups and REI clubs). You want to find and connect with successful people in these niches. Remember, success leaves clues. 8. Reach out to at least five successful people in these niches. Schedule coffee/lunch and learn as much as you can about how they became successful and their “success” habits. 9. If you reach out to these folks and don’t hear back from them, don’t give up. Persist, but in a nice way! I like to use the sandwich method. Email and call simultaneously. Don’t give up! 10. Stay in touch with these successful people. Figure out how you can spend more time with them if they are in the niche you want to be in. Find out ways to help them and they will want to help you! 11. Once you understand what skills and assets are needed for these niches, determine your “areas of improvement.” These can be skills you need to learn or cash you need to raise or credit you need to improve. Remember, we all have skills and strengths we bring to the table, and each of us has skills we need to learn in order to be successful in a new endeavor. 12. Seek out support. I don’t know any successful REI entrepreneur who has done it on their own. 13. Get an accountability partner. Find one other person (or a group) who has similar goals, and support one another to take action and keep one another honest. 14. Once you establish your REI strategy/niche, write a brief business plan. I suggest The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur by James Horan. This will help you focus your energies and avoid jumping into too many areas and/or losing focus. I believe focus is the key to success. 15. Read the work of, listen to and surround yourself with successful and like-minded people. The worst thing you can do is start this new venture and allow yourself to be brought down by naysayers and negative people. 16. Become comfortable with getting into the habit of learning and taking action. You’ll need to constantly be learning more and taking more action. You need both to be successful. 17. Gain knowledge and experience in your area of focus. There are lots of ways to do this. Again, there are many free, as well as paid, ways to do this. Find what will work best for you. 18. Continue to attend online and off line conferences and networking meetings. You want to stay in contact with like-minded people in the niche you have chosen. 19. Focus on progress, not perfection. My husband Matt and I have been at this real estate investing business for over 10 years. We still make mistakes. But we learn from them and are committed to getting better day by day. 20. Once your strategy/niche is established, determine the type of market you want to invest in. 21. Determine the type of property (or properties) you want to invest in. Not all property types will meet your investment goals (revisit Step #1). 22. Determine how far away you are willing to invest. 23. Determine how “active” you want to be in the business. Do you want to be an active landlord or would you rather purchase a “turnkey” deal or even invest your money with an “active” RE investor? 24. Find team members applicable to your niche. Some ideas include: accountant, contractor, handyman, investor-friendly realtor, wholesaler, attorney, banker, lenders, hard money or private money lenders. Related: The #1 Reason Newbie Investors Fail to Close Deals (& How to Fix That) 25. Once you feel comfortable and are ready, begin to make offers. This will apply to most real estate niches. 26. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t get emotional about any deal and/or offer. Stick to your offer number and don’t pay too much for a property — even if you really like it. 27. Tell everyone and anyone that you come across in your day to day life about your real estate investing venture. Not in a “salesy” kind of way, but in an enthusiastic and excited way. You never know where you will find team members, support and even money partners. 28. Realize that the “deal of the decade” comes along every day. When deals and offers don’t get accepted, learn from the situation and move on. 29. Write down every lesson you learn on your first deal. Not only does this have entertainment value, it is a great way to keep a record of your beginnings. 30. Find someone to help get started. Don’t forget – what goes around, comes around. Bottom line – begin to take action, get support, and don’t give up. What steps am I missing? Would you add anything to this list? Are you ready to take on the 30 day challenge? Thanks, as always, for reading and for your comments. Happy investing!