Real Estate Investing Basics

Start Investing in Real Estate: 4 Simple Steps for New Investors

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP
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Alright, how do you get started with real estate? If you’re brand new, you’re probably wondering what the first step is. Let me give you just a few pieces of advice.

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4 Things Every New Real Estate Investor Must Do

  1. Read everything.

First of all, I’d recommend reading everything that you can on the subject on a wide level. For example, what is real estate? How does it work?

Go real wide, then once you start to understand what sounds pretty good to you or what sounds horrible, focus on the things that you think are going to fit well with your local market, with your skillset, with your time availability, with how much cash you have. Then, really go deep into something and get focused and specific on that thing.

For example, in the beginning, you’re not sure what you want to do, so listen to podcasts and read books and all that. And then focus in when you’re like, “Oh, wow! Rental properties in Ohio sound really great.”

Focus on that. Then, become really, really good at that.

Related: 8 Stupid Mistakes to Avoid as a New Real Estate Investor

  1. Network with other investors.

You naturally become like the people you associate with, so start associating with people in your market. For example, go to BiggerPockets.com/events. Head there and you can find local meetups happening all over the country, all the time, in neighborhoods like yours.

Now, you might go there and say, “Hey, there’s no meetup in this area!”

But that’s awesome. Because that means you get to go and actually host it. The people who host meetups don’t have to be good at it, you know? You just have to be able to bring together some people at a bar, at a restaurant, at a club—whatever. You just have to be able to get people together.

Then, you become the hub. You start to know who the players are in your market. People look up to you, and people get closer with you. So, by becoming the hub or going to these meetups and networking, you become like those people you surround yourself with.

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  1. Take consistent and daily action.

Now, what does that mean? It means every single day, do something.

Here’s an example. Say you’re reading a Stephen King book. It would probably take the average person a month. But it wouldn’t be a month of solid reading. It would be 20 or 30 hours—read a few minutes, then put it down, then pick it up a couple days later. There are books I’ve been reading for two or three years, right, because I rarely pick it up.

But if every single day you picked up a book and you read it for 20 minutes, you could finish an entire book in a week or two. It’s about consistent, daily action. I’m just using the book thing as an example.

Realistically, it applies to anything in life. Get consistent and daily with your actions. A couple of easy things to do as a real estate investor—even if you’re brand new—start analyzing deals every single day. Just go to Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Redfin.com, BiggerPockets Marketplace and find properties that are for sale. Run the numbers. It doesn’t take anything; you can sit in your chair and do it. You don’t have to go anywhere. Get really good at running the numbers.

Use software like the BiggerPockets calculators. If you run the numbers every day and you spent five minutes every day doing so, after two months of doing that every day for five minutes, you would have analyzed 60 deals in your market. Don’t you think you’d have a pretty good idea on what average prices are and what you think rents might go for or where you’re going to go next or what the next step might be. You’ll be a rock star after 60 deals analyzed.

Most people have analyzed one or two maybe ever, and they get stuck. That leads me to the next point.

Related: This is the One Metric Every New Real Estate Investor Must Know

  1. Ask better questions.

If you’re at that point where you’re like, “Well, I’m not sure what the next step is.”

Then, you need to ask better questions. So many people just sit there not knowing what to do, so they don’t do anything. But start asking a question every day: “What is the next thing I need to go do?”

Start focusing if you’re stuck. If you don’t know how to analyze deals, ask, “How do I analyze deals?”

Now, you’ve asked a better question. Your brain starts looking for a better answer. And that’s how you get over those things with every step of the process. Continue to ask yourself, “Am I asking the best question? How can I reformulate this, so I ask a better question?”

And then go out and seek it and sometimes you can find the answer to those questions. Maybe you find it by reading a book or by meeting with a local real estate investor. You can ask those better questions and stew on it for a while, and then maybe the answer will come to you at 3 in the morning while you’re lying in bed. You never know!

The Bottom Line

So, what should you do? Follow these four steps. Don’t come back to me and complain that you don’t know what to do.

Do those four steps. Do them over and over. Rinse and repeat.

If you do, you’re going to have massive success in your real estate endeavors.

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Is something holding you back from getting started? What is it? How can I help?

Leave a comment below. 

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    Joyce Adeleke from Charlotte, NC
    Replied 3 months ago
    Very informative blogpost. I just discovered BiggerPockets a few weeks ago and I'm pretty pumped. I've been reading about financing and learning everything I can about the subject. Thank you!! -- Joyce Adeleke
    Eric Smith Flipper/Rehabber from Dallas, tx
    Replied 3 months ago
    What's up REI world! I've been driving for dollars getting addresses from destress propertys what do I do after that step? Please help I'm stuck and don't have much money to work with.
    Joan Diaz
    Replied 3 months ago
    what is the very first book I should read beside Rich dad poor dad? I have no experience at all, I would like to have rentals and do wholesaling. But mainly rentals. thank you
    Lassy Gnini Rental Property Investor
    Replied 3 months ago
    Read “the book on rental property investing” by Brandon Turner. It is a great book
    Carl Childers
    Replied 3 months ago
    Lots funny how the world works. This morning at 9am I started evaluating rehab evaluator. I also use the Bigger Pockets calculator. I crunched numbers on Zillow all day long. I took some deals and ran different purchase prices, hard money stats, different JV structures...and 7 hours went by. Watched videos. Did the numbers again on a deal I have. And then found this post to “crunch numbers on Zillow”. The universe has a sense of humor. Thanks for the post. And let’s all sharpen our skills!
    Cynthia Harrison
    Replied 3 months ago
    Thank you Brandon! I'm a newbie being 1 week old at BP! Sold RE, profitably, years ago & owned/ lived in a duplex, not so profitably (rented to family) & spent time in property management. Learned more bad lessons but some good. I've been on disability for 4 yrs now & decided that I won't have anything to leave to my 6 grandchildren. I've always wanted to fix & flip but never had the cash. Still don't but now I have the drive! Finally, here's my question! I've decided to start with wholesaling to build up some cash flow but not sure how to (other than reading & networking). I am so open to your suggestions! Thank you for being here!
    Neil Schoepp Real Estate Investor from Milford, PA
    Replied 3 months ago
    Spot On!!!