How I used BiggerPockets to Jumpstart my investing

3 Replies

Hey BP,

It’s been about two months since I sold my very first deal! To make a long story short, I have wanted to buy a rental here in the central NJ market since finding BP, but instead I had bought a foreclosure with the intention to do a live-in flip after discussions with a now ex-girlfriend.

Well, shortly after closing on the property, my relationship was no more! ... and I had a hurricane Sandy damaged property on my hands to deal with. Fortunately, I had done my research and felt very comfortable with what I was getting into, and albeit with mistakes and hiccups along the way, I ended up with more than double my original anticipated profit (my estimate was 30K). I couldn't have done this without a game plan, or without some help and knowledge from some key people I met here on the site.

If you are new to the site or have yet to do a deal, I want to offer up 3 simple tips to get started toward that first one:

1) Commit to one

Commit to doing your first. I am new and frequently meet investors of all backgrounds, but many new that want to break ground on their first deal, yet some spend more time going over their 5, 10, or 20 year plans – which I think is necessary and essential to your long term goal, but it all starts with one! If you have yet to buy a property, focus on your first deal, not the apartment complex you want to buy one day.

 2) Learn as much as you can! …. But don’t doubt yourself.

I found myself learning everyday for over a year but hesitating to make the big first step (analysis paralysis). 

 For my flip I took @Jay Scott's book, “The book on Estimating Rehab Costs” into the actual property with me, and used it to guide the scope of work and pricing, writing down everything I needed to work on. Although time consuming, being that this was my first deal I thought this was the best way I could verify things I would highly recommend doing something similar for people looking for their first. Without that confidence and physically seeing the property and doing the calculations myself I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger and got moving on the deal. I used additional sources sources to ensure my pricing was accurate, and came within 5% of the number I estimated for the rehab. Learn all you can about the direction you wish to pursue, but once you feel confident and you’ve had others verify your deal, make a move!

3) Leverage the experts

Without some of the people I’ve come into contact with on BP, I still think I would be on the sidelines. If you are serious, use whatever value you can bring to an investor (which might mean lugging tiles around, doing paperwork, finding a deal to partner on, etc) and learn what you can from someone who mirrors your goals and has been in the game. Figure out how you can help or provide value to someone with experience, figure out what they want, and help them get that. For me, this is @DarrenSager, who has been paramount in helping me as a new realtor and investor. Although I believe almost anything you would want to know about real estate can be found on BP, having a local expert is invaluable. Attend the local BP meet-ups, listen to the Podcasts, go to your local REI association meetings, they will all give you insight and answer questions you didn't know you had.

Best of luck to all of you in your investing!

Kevin Santos, Real Estate Agent

Well said and well done @Kevin Santos .  Gotta do your first one!

This could be a good blog post.  Congrats and keep up the good work!

Haha I was about to reply and was like "wait a minute....don't I know this guy?? Didn't I meet him at the now infamous 'dinner that @Brandon Turner forgot'? " Glad to see you were able to make lemons out of lemonade! And I agree with @Steve Vaughan , it would be a great blog post. What's next for you?

Very inspiring Kevin. I think pulling the trigger on the first deal is definitely one of the scariest moments. What really has helped me recently was hearing Brandon, in one of his webinars, talk about how the first one or two deals really don’t matter. It really helped give me some resolve to just go out and take the plunge. And to be honest he’s right. I’m currently in my first project which is a slight rehab for rent and yeah I’ve made a few mistakes, maybe overspent in places, and miscommunicated etc...... but I have LEARNED. I’VE MADE CONTACTS WITH CONTRACTORS, BANKERS, INSURANCE AGENTS, WHOLESALERS, OTHER INCRSTORS AND MORE. That to me is the real gold behind the first deals.

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