Build A Business, NOT A Fantasy!


Every time you turn on the TV,  radio, or get on the internet, it’s there:  “Get rich now! 10 steps to making a million bucks!”

Real estate investing is the Guru’s genre of choice to find suckers for their get-rich-quick strategies.

I don’t know what is more frightening, the fact that these tactics are out there or that people are still buying into them.  Brandon Turner wrote an awesome post, “10 Shocking Truths About Real Estate Investing.” Go read it after this, if you haven’t already, especially if you’re new to this and your head has been filled with the latest guru tricks of the trade.

Here is a news flash for you…  Are you ready??

This is a business!  You are a business owner.  The same rules apply to you that apply to any other person beginning their entrepreneurial journey.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 14 years now.  I even married one 10 years ago.  Being a business owner is not some glamorous, over night, multi-million dollar fantasy land.  It’s hard work, long hours, and lots of sacrifice.  Having said that, the real estate investment business is also an exciting ride that can offer financial freedom and the ability to spend more time doing the things that are important and meaningful to you.  However, you are building a business!  It’s important to treat it like one.  My own business model is constantly evolving, but here is what I think are three important things to consider when taking the plunge to full-time self-employment.

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Have a Work Space!

 Even if it’s a little area at your kitchen table that you can organize everything you need for what you are doing.  Having everything in one place is so important.  I am still working on this one.  Working from home, I tend to spread out all over the place.  It’s not good when the phone number I need is on my office desk and I am trying to work from the car.

Create a Realistic Daily Schedule for Yourself  .

..and follow it!  Set aside time that you make phone calls, answer emails, and work on marketing.  Do whatever you can to follow it.  Believe me, it’s hard!  Something always will come up, but stick to it.  It will keep you from bouncing around activities and in the end getting nothing accomplished.

Separate Business from Personal Time!

  This is the one that my husband and I struggle with the most.  In real estate, everything has a deadline that is incredibly specific.  There’s always just one more phone call, or email, or comps to pull, or offer to write.  Guess what?  It will be there in the morning!  Have a set time to stop and turn off the computer and step away from the cell phone.

We are blessed to work in an industry where our income potential is limited only by our imaginations.  I am not against seminars or mentor programs.  Additionally, I dare say you could find much of the information and encouragement you need right here at BiggerPockets.  However, just remember you are building a business.  To be successful you have to give of your time and resources.  Nothing in life is free.  I don’t care what the infomercials promise!

Happy investing.

Photo: Rodrigo_Soldon

About Author

Katherine Grote, co-founder of I Buy Austin, (Google+) has been involved in real estate for 7 years. Through her experience, Katherine has gained the expertise to sell a home fast. With experience in short sales, REO's, multi-family, and rentals, Katherine is a well-rounded licensed Realtor as well as an avid investor in residential properties.


  1. Hi Katherine,

    I liked your article!

    YES dating or being married to an entrepreneur that is flying without a net with no health insurance or benefits is a UNIQUE experience! Corporate people do not get entrepreneurs.

    Building a business is not for the meek!

    I use the terms Offense and Defense in small business, like
    – Offense is marketing, sales, promotion
    – Defense is Legal, Accounting, Tax planning, Reputation Protection

    It is not what you gross it is what you keep!

    And you are winning the game when you get free referrals from satisfied clients!

    Thanks for the article,

    In business for myself since 1986

  2. Great tips for any entrepreneur Katherine. I have built a couple of businesses, and I have both had an office and worked from home. Like you said, even if you work from home you have to “act as if” you are at the office.

    That includes where you work (having a separate dedicated work space), not working in your pajamas (get dressed), and having “business hours”.

    It’s also going to include “training folks” that mistakenly think that because you work for yourself (and possibly from home) you are available to do all sorts of things like chat on the phone during business hours, keep their kids etc.

    I think it was Brian Tracy that said “learn to say no quickly, confidently (with kindness) and often if you are to succeed as an entrepreneur. Great reminders.


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