In my post last week called “What Are You Willing to do to Become a Real Estate Investor?” I described how I got my start in real estate investing and listed six steps for getting started. I also wrote that following these steps requires a lot of effort. After reading the column Morris L. made this comment:
“I agree with the article about most folks not following through, however so many posts speak about most people aren’t willing to do ‘all the work’ or as you put it, work nights and weekends etc. I think where many get confused is what are the details of all the difficult work? Door knocking? Sending direct mail? Driving neighborhoods? Scouring MLS or craigslist? I find a lot of posts are vague when the difficulty of real estate is not actually explained; therefore the gurus take their money because they can at least offer some level of comprehension to someone starting out. Scouring through foreclosure lists, sending mailers out or talking to homeowners for example is not demanding work for me, but trying to do repairs to a house would be exhausting work by comparison. I for one have a lot of free time during the week, so taking a class or setting up a template site really is easy work. I’ve done both for other business ventures. Can you elaborate more on what the longer hours of work entails?”
Morris L., I’d love to elaborate here what a fix and flip investor does all day. Before I begin though, a little disclaimer:
I don’t do physical work at any of my properties. My project manager and subcontractors handle that stuff. Nor do I door knock. I work with a “bird dog” that does it for me. My number one priority is keeping the pipeline of properties full. This means doing research, submitting offers, purchasing houses, completing rehabs and selling houses.
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.
Now, here’s what my typical day looks like:
- 7:30 – 8:30a – Catching up on the latest real estate industry news by reading my local newspaper, the Wall Street Journal and anything else on my Twitter and Facebook feeds that looks interesting.
- 8:30 – 9:30a – Following up on emails and phone calls from the day before.
- 9:30a – 10:30a – Social networking (writing blog posts, exchanging Tweets and Facebook comments with followers and friends).
- 10:30a – 3:30p – Researching the MLS for short sale and REO deals – downloading foreclosure lists, doing market analysis and title research on these properties, property inspections.
- 3:30p – 5:00p – More follow up on emails and phone calls from earlier in the day.
This doesn’t include all the phone calls I make and contracts I sign at night and on the weekends when I’m negotiating offers on my deals. You may be thinking, “That’s not hard work.” You’re right. It’s not, but it does require effort and discipline. If you’re just starting out your days may not be as long. However, even when I began I kept busy 30-40 hours a week doing research, door knocking and following up with distressed sellers.
I’ll admit digging ditches is harder. And it’s not like I stick to this schedule every day of the week. I occasionally sneak out of the office for a round of golf. But if you saw me play you’d agree getting through 18 holes is really hard work.