6 Keys to Successful Investing while working Full Time

by | BiggerPockets.com

During the BiggerPockets Real Estate Summit I was honored to present on a topic that is near and dear to my heart.

My presentation topic was: Successful Investing while Working Full Time.

I had a real blast pulling the material together, reviewing it over and over again with my wife and finally presenting in a packed room of investors. It was both an honor and a highlight in my investing career to get 50 minutes with so many like minded investors. If you missed it, I am told you missed an “Intense” session.

I hadn’t intended to deliver an “Intense” session but I am very passionate about real estate, my business, and helping people so I apologize if I came off as anything but sincere and helpful. After reviewing the presentation and collecting feedback, I came up with the idea to document the 6 keys to successful investing while working full time.

I thought a low-key series of blog posts highlighting what I feel are the important aspects would be a nice complement to my intense presentation.

For those that attended the session you may remember my first key factor to get right before you start investing in real estate. I discussed this on several occasions throughout the presentation. In my opinion, the first key to successful real estate investing is:

How to Invest in Real Estate While Working a Full-Time Job

Many investors think that they need to quit their job to get started in real estate. Not true! Many investors successfully build large portfolios over the years while enjoying the stability of their full-time job. If that’s something you are interested in, then this investor’s story of how he built a real estate business while keeping his 9-5 might be helpful.

Click Here For Your Free eBook!

“Getting full and unquestioned support from your Significant other”.

Please note, I tell every new investor to go back and double or triple check this fact. The last thing you want is any gray area. If they say something like:

“Whatever you say, Honey”

“If you think that is best”

Or the kiss of death: “OK”

None of these or other similar answers are acceptable. You need your significant other “In the Boat with you!” All of these non commital and half hearted answers will blow up with the first negative surprise, and trust me you will have negative surprises.

You need your Significant other saying things like:

“I understand our 10-Year Plan”

“I understand this short-term sacrifice will pay off”

The best answer is: “What can I do to help?” or “I want to buy a few on my own.”

You need 100% unbreakable support for several reasons. First, as I mentioned before, negative surprises happen and can’t have the key person in your life throwing hand grenades at you. This business is hard enough without the extra stress.

The second reason is, by definition you will be sacrificing both time and money to pursue real estate investing. You will be spending evenings and weekends researching your market, talking to agents, and expanding your team. This is time that would normally be spent with family commitments and thus your support system will have to pick up extra work to fill the void caused by real estate commitments.

In addition to time, you will also be sacrificing money that may have been earmarked for retirement or maybe a nice vacation or a nicer car. This sacrifice is not always easy especially with growing families, and our common nature of trying to keep up with “The Jones”.

If you and your significant other can get focused on shopping for real estate deals like some of the folks shopping for cars, watches or handbags you will be ahead of the game. As you heard at the Real Estate Summit I would be nowhere close to where I am, if it wasn’t for the full and devoted support of my wife.

We had lots of negative surprises on our journey but I never questioned her commitment and the fact that we were in “The Boat Together” (Thanks, Honey!).

If you don’t have full support from your significant other, you will potentially sacrifice your relationship. I have seen families torn apart because only one member was truly committed to real estate. They either failed to check with their partner (shame on you) or they didn’t dig into the grey area (see examples above) or they didn’t care (in which case, they deserved the outcome).

My final thoughts on the subject is if one of you is not bought-in to Active Real Estate Investing you might want to start with Passive Real Estate Investing. This approach dramatically reduces the wild surprises assuming you vet the investor, the program, the downside risks and how both parties will make their money.

If you’re lucky, perhaps a few successful Passive Investments could lead to Active Investing once the other member has a better understanding of the business.

Worst case you are still participating in real estate during this once in a life time market.

Key #2 coming next week. Good Investing

About Author

Michael Zuber is an active buy-and-hold real estate investor who still has a full-time job. Michael is not an agent or broker, and simply uses the internet and agent relationships to drive his business. He currently averages at least one deal a month and has developed laser focus on his 5 step process.


  1. Thanks, Michael. Very well said.

    We coach and train about 35 local business partners and/or couples in what we do, real estate investing. As you said, soooo much easier when your spouse is on board. Even the ones who say they aren’t interested and don’t want to know about the business need to understand, going in, the time and cost commitment that they will inevitably be contributing no matter how little they care.

    You might be interested in an article I wrote call Working With Your Spouse. http://www.karensperspective.com/working-with-your-spouse/ Both my husband and I are working full-time on our investing business. I started it, he quit his w-2 job two years later to join me. We now have 8 full-time employees. As with any business, working with your spouse can be tough, and it can be quite rewarding! Communication must be open, boundaries must be set.

    Here’s to your success!

  2. My wife was in the supportive but not involved category. I started taking her through nasty houses getting her ideas on how to make it a great home. The last one, she picked the tile, sinks, vanities, counters cabinet colors etc. She reviewed the cashflow spreadsheets with me. I involve her on every financial decision on let her know of every conversation I have with property managers, contractors, insurance agents, brokers etc. It took awhile but she is on board. A few successes help along the way. I also wholeheartedly support her event coordinator business as well.

    btw Michael, I really enjoyed the presentation. I could have easily listened to more had the session ran longer. I picked up some really good tips from you on daily steady progress.


    • Jason

      Nice work on getting the wife involved. The more she is involved the better from my stand point. I would be no where without my wife. In fact she has the power to veto any and all deals I am working on if she feels something is off.

      As for the presentation I am glad you liked it. I had a lot of fun both giving the presentation and talking to investors during the conference.

      Good Investing

  3. No apologies are necessary. I never once thought you weren’t being sincere or helpful at all. Your presentation was a direct, no BS description of what you do and how you do it. I don’t believe for a second that you ruffled any feathers.

    Favorite presentation of the weekend. Thank you.

    My wife confirmed her on-board status for me this weekend, by the way.

    • Tim

      Glad to hear you checked with the wife and she is on-board. Being in this business together is very important.

      As for the presentation I am glad you liked it. I kept hearing it was “Intense” and I wasn’t sure if my message came through or not. Glad to hear it did

      Good Investing

  4. My wife is 100% supportive of the time and effort I put into our business. I am so grateful for this. She has no interest in being involved in our business; however, I am going to take Jason’s lead and slowly introduce her. I’ll ask for her input and see where it goes form there.

  5. Great comments. For sure have your spouse’s approval. I recently found an amazing program that is helping me achieve my financial goals through real estate investing while I hold down a full time corporate job. In the last 18 months I have purchased 4 investment properties, 2 of which are not even in my home state. The key to my success lies in finding the right team to do most of the work for me. I started with a Game Plan of what I was going to accomplish in what amount of time and I am taking small steps every day to get to the final destination.

  6. Mike this is a great point that is often overlooked. However I like Gary’s point in that it’s one thing to have the spouses approval and is another to have the spouse involved. At the very least the approval is required, you just will not be able to pull it off if your spouse is not giving you their blessing. However, they might not be involved…they will not go with you to Home Depot, help you pick colors, drive around looking for deals…heck they might not even ever visit the property.

    I think that is ok. If real estate investing is not their cup of tea then let them be. But at the very least you they will need to be on board that this is OUR wealth plan even if it’s only you doing the work.

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