As a Realtor specializing in working with investors, I come across a lot of people at various stages in their real estate investing careers. A common theme I’ve noticed is trying to be an expert in EVERYTHING. It’s human nature to want to be the smartest person in the room – “Wow, that guy really knows what he’s talking about. I wish I were him!” Am I right? Everyone wants to be that person. However, by trying to be the expert in everything you are simply running in circles wasting time, trust me.
How to Analyze a Real Estate Deal
Deal analysis is one of the best ways to learn real estate investing and it comes down to fundamental comfort in estimating expenses, rents, and cash flow. This guide will give you the knowledge you need to begin analyzing properties with confidence.
Stop Chasing the Next Shiny Object
A big part of the problem is always chasing that next strategy. “Rent to own? That sounds interesting. I’m going to read everything about it so I’ll sound smart at the next investment seminar”. Does this sound familiar? If you answered no you’re either extremely focused or you’re lying! And while I agree everyone should read, read and read more about investing in real estate before actually taking the plunge, there comes a time when you need to sit back and really decide what real estate vehicle is right for you and master it. If 5 years have gone by and you haven’t quite figured out what’s right for you, you’re missing out on some good opportunities to create wealth and relationships.
Focus and Specialize
Focus on what you want your real estate to provide you. Is your goal to quit your day job as soon as possible and become a full time investor? Well, you’re going to need lots of monthly cash flow to replace your income, correct? Specializing in rent to own or multi-family investments may be for you as they provide great cash flow. Or, are you tight on time and want a hands free investment property? Take a look at specializing in single-family properties. They have great mortgage pay down, appreciate well and can be fairly hands off. Are you handy and have free time to dedicate to your business? Flipping properties may be for you etc. Find the real estate business that fits with your life and then …
Become the Expert
Now that you specialize in a type of real estate, become THE expert. Make a website for the type of real estate you specialize in, for example, “FlippingBostonHomes.com.” Provide FREE content through blogs, videos etc, that will position yourself as the only choice to do business with. Everyone normally gets a little worried about giving away free content but this is where opportunities come to you and your business starts to go on auto-pilot. Joint venture partners will beg to work with you. Banks will call you to buy their distressed properties. Your investment savvy realtor will email you deals that fit your system. Congrats, you’re now that expert at the party everyone wants to be, if you want to.
The whole point of this article is not to say you can’t learn about other types of investment strategies, but really focus and master one. If you buy a multi-family here and a student rental there, that’s cool. It’s not a bad idea to diversify but if your only strategy is “find me anything that’s a ‘good deal’. I’ll buy whatever” (and I do come across these investors frequently) you are lacking clarity in your business. You’re just chasing after the next thing but never mastering anything (been there, done that!). You’ll be surprised how much time you save focusing on one strategy. You’ll be even more surprised by how many opportunities will come your way. So, pick a strategy that fits best with your lifestyle, buckle down and master it!