Real Estate Investing Basics

Real Estate’s “Fast & Easy Money” Reputation: Is There Any Truth to the Cliche?

Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, Business Management, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing
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Is real estate really the path to fast and easy money? Or is it all a myth?

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More and more real estate gurus are throwing their hats into the ring to promise fast and easy profits. This includes a lot of the hype coming from “reality” television as well. So is there anything to these promises of big money coming easy from real estate? Is it all a trap? Or does it depend on how you do it?

The “Fast & Easy” Real Estate Trap

It is true that you can make a lot of money in real estate. Just look at Sam Zell and Herb Simon. You can even start investing in real estate with no money and no credit (I am living proof). Yet to call it “easy” may be a little misleading.

Related: Think Flipping’s as Easy as it Looks on TV? My Story Will Change Your Mind!

Some have gotten into real estate and have made millions, and they’ll tell you it was ridiculously easy. Others will tell you the complete opposite. They lost their shirts on their first rehab project, and it has been really, really hard.

How hard investing in real estate is really depends on:

  1. How you do it.
  2. Your perception.


There are many ways to invest in real estate. What may be fun or easy to one person may be a nightmare for the next, and vice versa. Perhaps you love tearing up old tile and replacing drywall. Maybe you thrive on helping difficult tenants or burning up the phone with cold calls. Others would rather clock time in an office at a regular day job and pay someone to do all of that for their investments.

For some, making $5,000 in a month wholesaling a house is like winning the lottery. For others, $10,000 may be peanuts.

Successfully profiting from real estate on the front lines can take hard work, dedication to education, money, time, and stress. Some thrive on this; others don’t.

The Rewards of Investing in Real Estate

Whether you go in full-time and are putting in 40 hours a week, plus being on call nights and weekends, or you simply invest via a mobile app in a few minutes once a month, there is no doubt the rewards can be found in real estate.

This is a multi-billion dollar industry. Most can’t fathom how much money there is to be made in real estate until they try for themselves. Many investors make more in one week than the average American makes in a year. Of course, if you rush in without knowing what you are doing and don’t have some great professionals to help and guide you, then it can be far less profitable, too.


Related: The Harsh Reality for Newbies Who Think Real Estate is a Way to Get Rich Quick

However, there are other rewards. The tax benefits are a big one. Finding your passion and something you love doing can be more rewarding than the money itself. It can be real work at times, but I love this world of real estate and look forward to continually thriving in this space — while helping others, too.

How have you found real estate? Is it harder than you expected? Have you found one method of investing far easier than others? Have you found parts of it far more rewarding than you expected?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

Sterling is an multifamily investor specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.

    Daniel Juson from Portland, Oregon
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Good article! I’m interested in wholesale but will branch out and invest in rentals and rehabs
    Sterling White Rental Property Investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great to hear. What market will you be operating in?