I’ve stewed over this blog post about how easy real estate investing is. It’s really gotten to me. Has this guy really gone through one of “those” kinds of deals you have to gut out and work through? Has he done many deals? I’ve pondered it often the last week and felt compelled to review some thoughts here.
I know Scott Trench has a book out, he’s a young guy, he’s bought a couple houses, and all of a sudden he is a real estate investor and an expert. He works at a wonderful and amazing place called BiggerPockets. I LOVE BiggerPockets! It’s an amazing site with incredible amounts of great information and a community interested in helping one another no matter what skill level. But the idea that somehow it’s “easy” to invest in real estate long-term is not only misguided and misleading, but it’s dangerous.
Scott, you are probably an awesome dude. But this idea lacks serious perspective and a lot of clarity on what it takes to be a successful long-term investor. Yes, there are parts of being a real estate investor that are easy on the surface. And then there is the rest of it that takes patience, learning, grit, and tenacity.
A Professional’s Job Is to Make It Look Easy
Let’s take the example of a professional ballet dancer. They make the most complicated, sophisticated, and challenging moves look easy. It’s their job. They do that every day, all day. Their workouts are designed around dancing well and being limber. And everything they do in their jobs—and oftentimes in their lives—revolves around this one thing.
Or think about the weight lifter. Have you ever watched one of those old school Russian lifters? It’s always some small guy who walks up to the bar with hundreds of pounds of weights, and just lifts it clean over his head.
A race car driver can drive around a track at top speeds, winding in and out of other drivers, while dealing with G forces that could make others queasy or unable to even function. What an incredible feat to drive that fast, while in complete control.
Related: Starting Now is Good, But Starting Young is Great: How Time Affects Investing
It all looks so easy.
Of course it does—because all these professionals have performed hundreds of thousands of reps.
We as a community might want to take a second look at what real estate investing really entails. Without having done hundreds of deals, over years, in various market cycles, how can we know if it’s truly an easy endeavor?
There Are Real Estate Books, Courses, Podcasts, and Blogs for a Reason
There is a massive amount of books, magazines, podcasts, and blogs about real estate investing. If it was so easy, why would there be such a large system of information everywhere about it? And how would real estate masterminds, podcasts, and blogs be so successful? If it was so easy, why would so many people intently listen to the BiggerPockets Podcast?
Within BiggerPockets, there are calculators, forums, and places to learn about everything from apartment investing to wholesaling, scaling your business, buy and hold properties, and more. But don’t worry, it’s easy.
Think of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That book wouldn’t be so successful if people weren’t looking to learn and grow. In all of the books that talk about building businesses, there isn’t a single story without trials, learning, hardship, pain, and the will to persevere.
Don’t Believe What the Gurus Try to Sell You
There is a ton of gurus out there with crappy education programs making piles of money. But their promises of easy, guaranteed results aren’t helping you become a better real estate investor.
Related: The 5 Biggest Mistakes I’ve Made in My Real Estate Investing Career
There is nothing more important than a great support system and a solid mentor. Maybe you hire a coach or have a friend teach you the ropes. But there is more to being an actual real estate investor than buying a few houses, painting a few walls, and owning a couple rentals. You have to understand what you are buying, create systems, understand your exit strategy, and know what your numbers are during the entire process.
Before we go around telling people how “easy” real estate is, why don’t we first start making sure people have the education, the background, the help, and all the tools to invest as safely as possible? We have to have the discipline to have learn, grow, scale, dial it in, slow down, speed up, and learn some more. Possibly most important is the wisdom that comes with time and deals. Until then, you haven’t earned the right to call it “easy.” Because if you had done all the work and gained the experience that comes with time, you would know that just isn’t true.
[ Editor’s Note: We are republishing this article to help out our newer readers. ]
What do you think—is there an “easy” way to find success in real estate? Or is the notion that investing can be easy naive?
Leave your comments below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.