What is the best way to get into real estate after college?

13 Replies

 I'm a junior in college majoring in Finance.  I don't really have an interest in corporate america, and I want to get into real estate as soon as possible.  

I need tips on where I should start looking. I've been doing so much reading about real estate and I'm just o ready to start making moves. Holding properties interest me the most, but I know I need more capital.

Are there certain career paths I should be looking at?I don't think I want to be  real estate agent, because I don't want to be  a salesman. I just don't know how to succeed on just being an investor when I don't have alot to invest right now.

@Isaac Howell and @London Stewart  my advice for beginners is to formulate an actual plan, road map so to speak, about the path you want to follow for investing. There are many different approaches to real estate investing such as wholesaling, flipping, short sales, rental properties, note buying, etc., etc. You need to focus on one path in the beginning and stick to it. Once you decide the path you can find out much of what you need to know right here on BP by searching in the forums, podcasts, etc. I also encourage you to look up and join any local investing groups in your area. London you mentioned holding properties. If that is what you want to do then take the time to find out as much as you can and ignore the rest, ignore the noise and information overload. It's easy to get lost and start to wander around if you are not focused (I know from personal experience :) ).

As far as financing goes there are many opportunities to real estate investors. Hard money loans (just do a quick internet search), private lenders (local real estate groups), or perhaps finding a lending partner right here on BP. There are options available so don't let financing be a road block. 

Best wishes to you both in your investing endeavors!

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

@Isaac Howell and @London Stewart my advice for beginners is to formulate an actual plan, road map so to speak, about the path you want to follow for investing. There are many different approaches to real estate investing such as wholesaling, flipping, short sales, rental properties, note buying, etc., etc. You need to focus on one path in the beginning and stick to it. Once you decide the path you can find out much of what you need to know right here on BP by searching in the forums, podcasts, etc. I also encourage you to look up and join any local investing groups in your area. London you mentioned holding properties. If that is what you want to do then take the time to find out as much as you can and ignore the rest, ignore the noise and information overload. It's easy to get lost and start to wander around if you are not focused (I know from personal experience :) ).

As far as financing goes there are many opportunities to real estate investors. Hard money loans (just do a quick internet search), private lenders (local real estate groups), or perhaps finding a lending partner right here on BP. There are options available so don't let financing be a road block. 

Best wishes to you both in your investing endeavors!

 Thanks for the advice! May I ask how you started your career out in real estate?  I checked out your profile and it seems like you got your hands tied with everything! A jack of all trades.

@London Stewart I was out of college working a full time job. I wandered around for several years trying to figure out how to get started in real estate investing. At the time I would go to local bookstores and read every book on investing I could get my hands on (this was before BP). The problem was information overload. There were way too many things I thought I needed to learn in order to do investing. So I just decided I would start with rental properties and found a great local real estate agent who had experience in rental property and went from there. I sponged up as much information as I could doing real estate investing part time. In about 2 years I quit my full time job and started doing real estate investing full time. That was 11 years ago. Now, it hasn't always been fun and profitable... but it has been a learning experience each and every day.  You being in Minn, MN I suggest you seek out a local real estate agent or investor with experience to help you get going. You might find that person on BP, or maybe your local investor groups, or perhaps doing an online search. 

Bottom line it is very possible to get moving and you will. 

@London Stewart Maybe you could get a job in the real estate field without actually being a salesperson - property manager, appraiser, home inspector, loan officer, etc are all jobs that will acquaint you with various aspects of real estate.  I went the RE agent route myself, but there are so many avenues.

@London Stewart Knowledge is definitely good.  I did spend a fair amount of time wrapping my head around things to begin with...sounds like you've done some of that...but eventually you got to take action...nice to hear you're in that spot.  There's a lot of ways you can go about investing without conventional financing.  JJ mentioned some of them.  Also, creative finance (contract for deeds, lease options, purchasing "subject to" the existing mortgage, etc) opens many doors, assuming you can find motivated sellers who would benefit from these non-conventional methods.  Putting these kind of deals together is going to hinge around you getting out there and finding motivated sellers yourself.  There's a lot of low-cost methods of marketing to find these sellers that you can employ (search the forums for free marketing or low cost marketing to motivated sellers).  I don't know if you've listened to many of the BP podcasts yet, but there's also quite a few interviews with investors who got started with very little money and without conventional financing...they are a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Local meetups are great too...for both learning and networking.  I posted a couple links in here for local meetups I've been too, but found out we're not supposed to post meetup links in the New Member Forum.  PM me if you need ideas on any of these to check out.  Great advice too about finding other jobs in an RE related field!  

@London Stewart,

Personally I believe that there is perhaps no better point of entry into the real estate game than the real estate brokerage. That being said, you are very young, I would personally recommend that you get some experience under your belt working for corporate america related to finance that allows you to apply what you learned in college. Also read as many books you can get your hands on real estate investing and finance. Don't pigeon hole yourself this early and explore different opportunities in your early 20s and try to find a vocation that you are truly passionate about. 

Good luck. 

My opinion for you with little to start out with is buy a duplex and live in half of it. You should be able to get an owner occupied type loan which is better than an investment loan since you will be living there. Hopefully you find one where the neighbors rent covers the mortgage. Save the money you would be paying for rent for your down payment on investment #2

Google:  "Minneapolis Real Estate Investors Association"  Join ALL of those groups.

https://www.biggerpockets.com/rei/minnesota-real-e...

Some folks suggest getting licensed and work at a brokerage, while trying to learn the investor ropes.   My view is that you have room in your brain for one track, the "agent" track, which is 100% transactional income or the investor track who of course can work at 100% transactional real estate deal types, but more than likely also does buy and holds and creative deal types that deliver the highly sought after "passive income", income that in time will help you not have to worry about having a day job.

I can say: you'll do well if you apply yourself as an agent, picking up rentals here and there... And you'll have a well marked road map to follow.  Following the un-licensed investor route is,,, well less structured.

Either way, or doing it BOTH ways starts with finding the high achievers to copy what they do and know.  Being successful in real estate is based on knowledge, honing your sales and people skills and then being a "doer".  It does not start with having lots of cash, as one might think.   :)

Study:  creative deal types, direct marketing, how to talk to sellers, how to talk to potential partners...

Not easy to do! If I had to start over again, I would have a problem making money (knowing what you don't know is a difficult position to be in). 

Note: it should be easier now than when I started, there were no computers, no internet, no pagers and no cell phones. New investors have this advantage now, they should learn how to use it.

I agree with you that the corporate world or just working for someone else is not a way to get rich (if getting rich is your goal, it was mind), working for other is not fun or rewarding. 

So where do you start. Find out who is doing what you want to do (buyers, creative practitioners, brokers, investors, auctioneers...etc) and talk to them. Offer to pay them for advice to help you become financially successful.

Meanwhile get an education, learn from other, get a real estate license, hang around real estate offices, read listings, list and sell real estate, get into that messy culture, lean to be positive, take courses on public speaking, take the Dale Carnegie course on How to Win Friends and Influence others, and read, read read.

Attend public auctions, attend settlements, listen more than talking. Attend REIA but don't buy anything, read, read, read.

Look at 50 houses in your community, but don't buy any. Study the market. Keep a journal of all the properties you look at (previewed), what was the SF price per property, the comments of the agents and sellers, study the history of the properties looked at; how long on the market (known as DOM) how many times has the price been reduced, what did the comments say, how many times has it been listed, talk to the prior listing agents, ask them why the property has not sole.....

These are some starting ideas for you..............good luck