Journal of a New Investor

30 Replies

Hello BP!

Allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Christopher Malone, and I am a new investor in Chicago, IL. I have been a member of BP for a few months now, and from the time I made my first post, I have learned a lot from this site and the kind people who have taken the time to read and answer my post.

Thanks to this site and the great support, I have created a plan (road map) for the success of my investing career. I took time and created a list of goals that I will be pushing towards between Sep 5th and the end of the year. Becoming more active and giving back to the BiggerPockets forms was one of them.

So this brings me to why I am creating this thread today. In order to deliver on 2 goals with one action, I will be posting my process (on a month to month basis), leading up to and after my first deal. This way, I can give back to the forms through my success and mistakes, and hold myself accountable for my goals. I am no @Wendell, @JScott, etc, and I probably won’t be closing a deal a week, but I will do my best to provide information for all of the new investors with the steps I take in the growth of my business! :-)

So without further delay, this is my September Recap,

I got married!!! One August 31, 2014 (Not really September, but bear with me…) I married my beautiful and supportive wife Brittany. We took an amazing week honeymoon vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and boy did I need it. I had the chance to finish reading the E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber and decided it was time to take action.

On the way back, I decided that the following week, September 12th (Pay day) would be the day I signed up for classes to become a licensed real estate broker. I had the money to start anytime, but I wasn’t sure if it would be the right thing to do. About 5mins later, I received an Email. It was another automated listing Email from my real estate agent, that once again, was nowhere near what I was looking for to pursue as my 1st buy and hold investment. That was it, I was done. I grabbed my iPad and looked for a Real Estate school that provided online classes, and signed up on the 5th. This began my one of my goals to pass both the national and state real estate exam 1 month from the time I signed up.

September 16th was my Birthday! I officially turned 27. It was also the same day as the Chicago Meet up. I didn’t get the chance to attend the meet up or celebrate my B-day due to my obsession of becoming licensed. I celebrated with my wife over the following weekend and I will be attending October’s meet up (Can’t wait).

After completing the 75 hours of self study, I signed up for the following September 20th and 27th 7 ½ interactive class study. I was fortunate to attend a class that contained 2 other local investors that I now communicate with often, one is an Investor that got burned in the market crash and looking to make a comeback and the other is a very energetic young lady with a lot of great ideas in her investing business. The most interesting in the class was the instructor. Not only is does he have over 40 years of experience, but he is very passionate about agents becoming and working with investors! He is also an Investor, Managing Broker, Real Estate Attorney, CPA Member of the AMP board that creates the test questions for the State test, Board member of the NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Brokers) and also an Insurance agent (Collects commission for selling homeowners insurance to himself and others). Talk about eat, sleeping and breathing Real Estate!

I managed to have a 1 on 1 conversation with him and learned a ton in the 30min conversation, we have plans to meet up again in the near future over a steak dinner (My treat), and discuss more real estate and other topics.

After the last class on the September 27th I took the school exam that following Monday and aced it! I waited a week to take the State and National exam on October 7th. I passed both! And that wraps up the 1st month of my journey!

I am currently spending this month searching for a sponsoring broker (tougher than the exam IMO) and getting my financing together. Next steps include, learning the MLS, researching my farm area, and finding a creditable local property manager to pass my rent ready products to.

Thanks for reading my incredibly long, boring, post! Stay tuned for next month’s post!


Hi Chris,

You seem to be on your way. Remember FOCUS. Block out all the noise. As you are new you will get hit with tons of paths to go down and try.

Find out what you want and stick to it.

For instance is it working with investors?? If so residential ones, commercial ones?? Value add properties, stabilized properties?? Flippers or buy and hold etc.??

If you are laser focused  you can get much farther down a specific path then walking back and forth and get a little ways down a lot of paths.

All the best. 

Thank you for your reply @Joel Owens  , I spoke to the Managing Broker at Century 21, the location of the Real Estate school. In our conversation, I made a point to inform him that I am not looking to make this my new job. I am only interested in building a portfolio of buy and hold investments, and I will probably only be closing 1-2 deals a year starting off.  He still seemed interested in working with me, but I will spend this week interviewing and weighing my options. 

@Christopher M.  - Congrats!  Sounds like you are off to a great start and have the focus and passion to pull this through!

As far as finding a MB I suggest speaking with smaller independent agencies.  They are usually much more flexible and do not have the brand fees for using their names.  

Thank you @Brie Schmidt  , this was going to be my first question for you at the up coming meet up! I am going to speak to the managing brokers at @Properties and Kale Realty this week. I am also researching smaller local independent brokers, but I am afraid that the training and tools they use may not be as good as a bigger independent firm.   

I would suggest also talk to Keller realty firms.  They are very oriented friendly investors firms. My understanding is they will let you operate both sides of realty and investors. Can possibly operate as wholesalers also. Do check this out...............

Welcome to biggerpockets.

Two quick suggestions:


Try locating a brokerage who does not handle listing " HUD " properties.

Reason: it limits you as investor on purchasing HUD properties.

Second maybe go through Account Closed thread posts.

@Jenkins Ramon  I enjoy reading Wendell's updates every week, he shares a ton of knowledge. Thank you for tip! 

Welcome @Christopher Malone 

Don't forget to set up your key word searches (i.e., for "Chicago"!) to gather more intel and make additional connections with folks in your market.


I grew up in Chicago on the northwest side.  Where are you looking to work?


@Mark Creason I have been looking at some zip codes on the North side of Chicago, and a few zip codes on the south side. One of the reasons I got licensed is to have access to the MLS and and utilize all of the information to research and narrow down a farm area.

Originally posted by @Christopher Malone:

I like more areas on the near south side.  Near Comisky Park preferably east of the Dan Ryan.  Pricing is reasonable and there is available product.



BIG congrats to you on both your marriage and passing the license. Good job. 

You inspire me to refocus on my classes. I got side tracked by ... bigger pockets forum. Hehehe. Talking about pointing fingers!!! :)

@Nhi Nguyen  Thank you, and thanks again for taking the time to read my post!

If I can inspire at least one person through this thread, the way I have been inspired by reading the forms, it will be well worth it. I admit, I was a victim of analysis paralysis, but my agent motivated me when I was going to take another week to think about taking action. 

Thanks for your post!  

Congrats on your journey thus far!!!

This is great Nhi, I would like to keep reading your updates.  I am new to Bigger Pockets, this is my second post in fact.  How do I keep up with your progress, is there a way I can subscribe?

Hi @Linda Quinton , if you "follow" the person you're interested in you'll see what they post.  You can keep track of them that way.

PS - Good to see a fellow Aussie on BP (although I'm only a citizen by descent)!

Thanks Larry :-)

I am hoping to find several Aussies on here. 

@David McEwan  Thanks! I still have a long way ahead and i'm excited to share it with you all.

@Linda Quinton  You can monitor the topic by clicking on the tab above (Next to Start New Topic) or below the tread on the left side of the Post Reply tab. 

Thank you for your time and interest! I will keep you posted with both, the good and the bad.

Oh, sorry for calling you Nhi!  Ooops. 

Congrats Christopher Malone ! Being able to follow you is awesome. Thank and keep up the posts.

Thank you @Brandon S. Lewis  ! I will be posting on a month to month basis for now. As my business organically grows, I will post more often. I hope I can provide you with helpful information. 


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