Real Estate Investing Basics

8 Steps to Find (& Stick With) the Right Real Estate Investing Strategy for You

Expertise: Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing
247 Articles Written
Male Traveler Looking Through Binoculars In The Distance Against The Sky.

Search online for real estate investment strategies, and you'll be overwhelmed with the information overload that hits you. Self-proclaimed experts, gurus, and never before heard of writers (because everyone has a book these days) keep posting hordes of stuff regarding where you should focus your efforts and what you should put your money into.

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Read a few of these sources, and you’ll see that most of the stuff is the same. It’s very unusual to find ideas that are starkly different online.

Head to the store and buy books on investment strategies. Though definitely not to-the-point and instead highly detailed, once you finish reading, you will find yourself at the same spot you were before. Countless case studies, multiple options, a lot of theory, and no practical application!

Don’t fret. My article today isn’t going to give you 10 more real estate investment strategies.

In fact, we are going to get down to identifying that one smart and strong strategy that will really matter for you. And so, instead of the many ideas that don’t count, I have one perfect plan for you to find that one real estate investment strategy you should focus on—and one that will actually work for you.

But before we focus on how to get there, we need to clear the air about why you should focus on one real estate investment strategy only. Here are three reasons:

  1. The world wide web is overwhelming with multiple strategies and many options. When give attention to too many things at the same time, you spread yourself too thin to focus well on any of them. And that’s exactly the difference between average real estate investors and good ones.
  2. Of the many investing strategies, only one will work for you. And that one will depend on your niche market. So, rather than looking at all the different possible strategies, turn inward and look at your local markets and niche areas of operation. Remember to become a master of one and not a jack of many.
  3. Only when you discover a niche, can you become an expert in it and make it your own.

So, how do you go about identifying that one real estate investment strategy that will work best for you?

8 Steps to Find (& Stick With) the Right Real Estate Investing Strategy for You

Step #1: Decide and stick to the line of work.

Because you’re already here and reading this blog, I can assume that you’ve decided to leap into the excitement that awaits you as a real estate investor. However, while the decision is an easy one to make, it isn’t always as simple to stick to it.

So, all you have to do is decide whether you’re ready to plunge into an uncertain market where you won’t get rich overnight. Ask yourself whether you’ll be able to sit through this roller-coaster ride—because for every real estate investor, the start is the toughest bit.

And once you’re sure that you’ll be able to commit, stick to the plan. Give yourself enough cash to get through the first five years. You should be making money at the end of that period, but it’s going to take a lot until you get there. You need to be willing to risk it all to make it big here.


Step #2: Get yourself into the real world.

Books, course material, websites, blogs, videos, and podcasts are bursting with information. And to many investors, gaining as much knowledge as they can seems like the right thing to do.

However, all that is not enough in the dynamic and ever-changing world of real estate. Though these books and sites do provide loads of information, they won’t give you anything to really work with. It is you, yourself, who needs to figure out a strategy that works best. That can only happen when you get your head out of the books and take action.

Related: Investors: Don’t Shoot for 100+ Properties. Aim for Bigger & Better With THIS Strategy.

So, here’s a tip. Stop listening to podcasts. Stop reading about other people’s success stories. Turn off the laptop, and hit the road. Get some real experience. Because only when that happens can you find that workable real estate investment strategy.

Step #3: Understand the market.

There is no better teacher out there than the market. Getting a pulse on the market, especially the local market where you would operate, is of extreme importance. In fact, it is one of the most influential indicators for choosing your investment strategy.

As it all boils down to supply and demand, dial in on the specifics of your market before you decide on your strategy. Find out what would work best in that region before choosing a path to pursue.

Step #4: Know the competitors.

People are the best kind of trainers. And believe it or not, your competition can teach you a lot. So as you get to work, find out who your competitors are in that region.

Get an understanding of them. How do they go about procuring deals? Do a SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats) to know where you stand compared to them. This is very important because, in order to succeed, you need to be a cut above the rest.

Step #5: Know your limits.

You may have a day job that you love doing and want to balance out with doing some real estate investment. You may have other commitments that eat into your schedule. Before you decide on a strategy, understand what other commitments you’re going to have to deal with.

What kind of time are you willing to spend on real estate? What other limitations may restrict the effort you can dedicate to it? Map all this out before getting started.


Step #6: Get a mentor and build a strong team.

When it comes to learning about real estate, you’ll find personal trainers in real people. So instead of reading sites by self-proclaimed gurus, surround yourself with people who empower you and believe in you. That system is extremely important.

Fill your inner circle with people who have your best interest at heart and who you are confident will share your victories and disappointments by strengthening your resolve at every step.

More importantly, the team you choose to work with shouldn’t be out to profit on you. They should instead empower you to be successful and have a “delayed gratification” mindset. Choose your role models in the line of work and ask them to mentor you. Believe me, this can teach you much more than courses, because mentoring allows you to benefit from the real experiences of people you admire.

Step #7: Know all that glitters is not gold.

As you’re getting ready to sit down and decide on the strategy you’re going to implement, you will be bombarded with many options from different sources. However, remember that all that shiny stuff in the online world isn’t really gold. So when you decide on that one real investment strategy that works for you, base it on the market you’re in, discuss it with your dream team, and then stick to it. Your one real investment strategy is yours alone.

This means that if a site or a person proclaims a particular idea to be a sure-shot way to riches beyond your wildest dreams, don’t fall for it. These strategies sound good when you’re reading them, but they’re always covering pure black and white—nothing else.

And it just so happens that the market has a lot of grays that you need to deal with, too. Stick to one strategy only until you perfect it. Then you can potentially look at wandering off, chasing the shiny stuff.

Related: How to Avoid the Dreaded Shiny Strategy Syndrome (& Keep Your Retirement Plans on Track!)

Step #8: Finally, be patient.

Investing in real estate is a long-term play, and patience is a very important virtue. It takes time and effort to build from scratch, so keep at it through the ups and downs.

More importantly, don't jump into the high-leverage business, as many did in 2006. Remember, they all went bust. If you are using leverage, make sure that it's good debt with a ton of extra cash flow coming in, allowing you a margin of safety.

Key Takeaways

Those are the steps to finding that one real estate investment strategy that will work best for you. Finding it can mean the difference between success and failure.

I recommend everyone look into their markets and into their pockets. Decide on the one strategy that you feel will work best for you. And then, don’t look back.

My strategy has been to buy, fix, tenant, and flip to investors in order to generate lump sum cash profits, which I will then use to buy, fix, tenant, and hold for my personal portfolio. At the end of the day, master your own strategy and stay true to it until it’s perfected. That is the only surefire way to find success in real estate investing.

Also, never forget that teamwork makes the dream work, so you need to surround yourself with the right people.

How did you choose your strategy (or if you haven’t yet, how are you going about it)?

Let’s talk in the comments section below!

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a."the Real Estate Dingo," quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate al...
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    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Yup its a combination of working your butt off and being patient. The first deal is the most dangerous. In that you are more likely to over pay, over bid on your first deal because you may not have been patient… Then you find out how tight the deal is you are much more patient and willing to hold at a good price on the next deals. Even in hot markets, I get a highest and best,,, I toss those emails. I hold at my original offer. I get enough of my offers accepted to be doing as many deals as I can fund per year. So I have the positive feed back of success to bolster my confidence and “patients”.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    lol Whenever a realtor comes back and says “Higher and best”, I always tell him that “I wish the highest bidder all the best” lol There is always another deal around the corner and it’s been a buyers market here in Ohio for a while now. Thanks and much success.
    Raymond Ebbeler from Largo, Florida
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Targeted demographics and psychographics of sellers in multifamily apartment niche
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Raymond, Very detailed indeed 😉 Much success
    Todd Ingles
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Very good article! I’m just starting out and bought my first townhouse last Fall. It has gone very well. I’m energized and excited to build on this success. I’m currently looking for the next deal. However, it is hard being patient! I am feeling restless. Any advice?
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Todd, Sta patient until the right deals comes along. I’ve lost hundreds of thousands for not being patient and its the biggest mistakes I made in real estate. Thanks
    Luis Melendez Investor from New Britain, Connecticut
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great article Engelo. I love all of your articles anyways. But this one hit it on the head. STICK with 1 strategy. I’ve had to learn that the long hard way. I kept reading different strategies and listening to podcasts and always switched up my strategy when I heard or read a new or exciting strategy. I kept bouncing from 1 idea to the next and it took me a long time to go back to the strategy that had my heart the whole time. Once I stuck with one strategy I’ve found success and continue to find success. So the biggest thing I would take from this article is once you find that strategy DONT DIVERT from it and take action. Like Engelo said stop reading all these articles or listening to podcasts. Get out there and make OFFERS. Put the pen to paper and get going.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for your kind words Luis, I made the same mistake of chasing many different strategies. Perfect one and set the right people in place to run it before venturing into something else. Much success
    Karen O. from NYC, NY
    Replied over 4 years ago
    A perfectly timed article. I’m impatient to find my niche. There are so many options that it’s easy to get distracted. I’ve narrowed it down to four possibilities. Two active. Two passive. Next up finding out as much as I need to know before taking the plunge. Must remember the mantra: Patience. Patience. Patience.
    Engelo Rumora Specialist from Toledo, OH
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Awesome Karen and I’m super glad you found value in my blog. Yes, be patient until it feels super right for you. Then, jump in and I mean all in 🙂 Much success