Normally when I sit down in front of my laptop to create this post for BiggerPockets.com I know exactly what I want to write about. My brain and fingers collaborate at 75 words a minute and I’m finished in less than an hour. But every once in a while I lose my mojo. I stare at a blank screen with an empty mind. Hours go by. No amount of coffee or Facebook perusing can inject a useful idea into my cranium.
This was one of those weeks.
Whenever this happens I lean on you, the readers, for inspiration. I get messages 2-3 times a week from our members here on a variety of subjects ranging from raising money for deals to how to find good contractors. However, the most common request I receive comes from new real estate investors that want me to train them how to fix and flip houses in their market.
While I’m humbled by the notion that anyone thinks I’m qualified to teach about this subject, the truth is real estate investing is a hyper-local business. What works for me here in Phoenix, Arizona likely won’t work for you in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sure, I can offer general tips on the structure for the business and make constructive suggestions regarding stuff like contract negotiation and rehab timelines. But I lack the market knowledge, which is probably the most important piece of the fixing and flipping puzzle. There is no way for me to know about pricing, inventory levels, supply and demand, contract law, building permit timetables or buyer preferences outside of Phoenix.
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How to Find a Successful Investor to Learn Real Estate From
Earlier this week I received an email from a reader asking me to be his teacher. I advised him to find a successful investor to learn from in his own market. He asked me where to find one and I suggested a few places to go:
- Foreclosure auctions (the courthouse steps)
- Real estate investment classes
And people to call:
- Title companies or closing attorneys
He’ll likely find someone there, or through these people, that know someone, or someone who knows someone, that is a successful real estate investor. I did a Google search in this reader’s area and in less than 5 minutes I found a real estate school offering a class on short sales and foreclosures for Realtors and investors. The cost is minimal ($125) and it’s 20 minutes away from his home.
I explained to the reader that it’s not enough just to find a successful real estate investor. In order for the investor to be motivated to share what they know he’d need to bring something to the table. Back in 2003, I got a very successful investor here to teach me about wholesaling. My job was to use what I learned to bring him attractive deals. This investor helped me because someone had helped him get started once. Because I was motivated to learn he took the time to take me under his wing.
It was a win-win. So if you’re just getting started find a successful real estate investor next door and in a few years you can be that successful real estate investor next door.