How should I start educating myself?!

17 Replies

Hey Guys.

One of my goals in the next 90 days is to purchase my first rental property! Anyone that knows me knows that I have been thinking and talking about real estate investing for TOO LONG its about time I left the fear and analysis paralysis behind. How should I best tackle educating myself? 

There's so much information out there sometimes you feel like you have to read EVERYTHING before doing anything lol- I just want to get to a point where I feel confident and comfortable with the knowledge I've attained in order to take some action! I would love some pointers on the books, blogs, and videos I should focus on in order to achieve this goal. 

Thanks All!!

Hello @Theresa Amouzou , congrats and good luck on your new adventure. I would start by building your team, are you going to be investing locally? If so, I would suggest you start interviewing an agent and finding management if you're not going to be managing the property yourself. 

I know here in Columbus, the market is extremely competitive and having and agent and management in place at the beginning of your search can be paramount. If you're looking at properties that need work, those two should be able to recommend you to a good contractor as well. 

Also, I would check out some podcasts to get ideas and learn the lingo etc. All the best!

Hi @Theresa Amouzou . Great question. Read books, listen to podcasts, stay up-to-date on news and currents events in your market, find a mentor, and shadow a professional in your area. Good luck on your journey and nice work putting your fears aside. 

@Theresa Amouzou

I think a lot of investors can relate to that feeling of wanting to know everything before taking a first step. But the truth is.. you will never know everything. It is a constant learning process.

I would suggest connecting with a knowledgeable real estate agent and property manager and then just going for it.

It won’t be perfect. Things will surprise you. But as long as you have a good team and some cash reserves you will do great! Good luck!

Originally posted by @Jonathan Styer :

Hello @Theresa Amouzou , congrats and good luck on your new adventure. I would start by building your team, are you going to be investing locally? If so, I would suggest you start interviewing an agent and finding management if you're not going to be managing the property yourself. 

I know here in Columbus, the market is extremely competitive and having and agent and management in place at the beginning of your search can be paramount. If you're looking at properties that need work, those two should be able to recommend you to a good contractor as well. 

Also, I would check out some podcasts to get ideas and learn the lingo etc. All the best!

 The nice thing about Columbus, Ohio is that you can develop a team from BiggerPockets since so many of the investors are active on here.

@Theresa Amouzou  

You can spend hundreds of hours reading books, listening to podcasts and analyzing deal after deal after deal. Or you can spend 20 hours investing into relationships with “doers” in your market that will be able to guide you along the way.

I don't think one way or the other is right, it's more likely a mix of both of them. I guess what I am trying to say is don't get so caught up in the research of things that you forget to make valuable connections that you can fall back on when things go south.

Reach out to some of the more active people in your market that are on BP and offer them lunch. Most would be willing to give you an hour of their time!

@Theresa Amouzou

I’d start by identifying a few markets and then speaking with local professionals there and running numbers. Then further narrow it down to one market. Speak with an agent and PM there so you can understand what the current trends are in different neighborhoods. Then choose a neighborhood you want to focus on and start analyzing deals there. Then buy one.

@Theresa Amouzou I feel you! I was living in Manhattan when I started, and I was scared not sure where to invest first. Also very fearful and stuck in analysis paralysis.  I recommend less educating and more of a step by step process.

The first thing you need to do is 

1. Have a strategy - What kind of investing? What kind of properties? If you know what strategy you are going for you reduce a lot of the thoughts you had about switching between fixing and flipping vs buy and hold. Instead you can master the formulas behind each one

2. Pick a Location Based on Data: You need to pick a location, not based on emotions or feelings like "Newark seems like a great place to invest." Instead, you should really take a look at the factors and data points that matter (crime rate, schooling, price to rent ratio etc).  Picking one here will reduce the overwhelm and the choice fatigue you will have by looking at bunch of different properties in different markets, where the numbers are all different! Also it will make you compete with people that have more money than you, more information than you, more experience and a team full of people working with you. Instead you need to pool all your focus into one bucket, one market, one town.


3. Choose a Financing Strategy, Get a Pre-approval: Learning about the different financing strategies, speak to a lender, get a pre-approved. You need this to prove you are actually capable buying a house, so no sense in looking at any properties until you do this


4. Analyze Deals and Make Offers: Once you have gotten to the point where you approved to buy, the next thing to do is master the skill of analyzing deals. This is the most important skill (in my opinion).  Analyze a deal everyday.  Analyze every property that comes on your market. This way you can learn which ones work and which ones don't. Talk about the numbers with other investors in your market to get a good feel if you are in the right direction. Once you find one where the numbers work initially, go look at it, and be ready to put an offer in.


This is my 4 step process I teach, if you have any questions, feel free to ask! 

@Theresa Amouzou congrats! I had analysis paralysis too and decided to get over it by finding the right realtor. I posted on here for recommendations and interviewed 3 options. I found one that clicked and let him lead in terms of the market (since I am out of state). I am a real estate attorney, so I have a base of knowledge which you may not have on the legal issues, but you can learn that too.

For me, the mortgage process was a learning process but not difficult. Remember most services you can shop around for and get better prices than what the bank will pick.

I bought my first place in September and the tenants stayed in the place. So far it has been pretty good. If you have specific questions, please message me or get my email. I am happy to share what I learned and answer questions. Good luck!

Get a great attorney (or legal plan) to help with legal issues that WILL arise, and a qualified CPA to help with deductions, join your local landlord association and registeron Mr. Landlord's website for information and suggestions from LL's around the country.

@Theresa Amouzou  

I hope this makes things a little easier but you will never and should NEVER feel comfortable. Once you feel comfortable its time to challenge yourself again.  Start looking at properties and putting in offers and all the information you've gathered to this point will show itself and you should build a team to help you.  Get a real estate attorney, accountant and property manager as soon as possible.  Good luck

Hi @Theresa Amouzou ,

I would recommend reading Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Without any financial literacy, it tells you how to manage the finances of your properties and business.
I'd also recommend Gary Keller's The Millionaire Real Estate Investor because of the book's practical tips.