Do you know the one “Right Way” to get started investing in real estate?
I gained interest in Real Estate in 2003 – I bought the Carleton Sheets and then after reviewing it I returned it in the 30 day requirement because I was broke and needed my $100 back. No – I didn’t get into Real Estate at that point but that is where it all started.
Fast forward to 2008/2009 and my first attempt which I failed miserably at Real Estate. In 2011 I dipped my toes in again with 1 rental property purchased – for cash this time. I even took it one step safer and rented to my mom and uncle for the first year.
Finally in 2012, 1 year after my “testing the water” phase, I jumped all-in and went from having only 1 property in June of 2012 to acquiring 4 more cash purchases by June of 2013. I dug in and got my hands dirty as needed. When I need to know something – I become obsessed with it and research until I got the answers. I lost sleep at night thinking about Real Estate, calculating numbers, learning how to find private lenders, how to resolve rehab issues, and so on. I only speak on what I personally have experienced or know is fact. If I get a ‘No’ I move on and figure out how to overcome my obstacle.
I’ve learned the hard way and only since July of this year have I been able to network and meet people smarter than me and doing this longer than me because I travel for work a lot. It’s been great and it’s been disappointing at the same time.
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What is the “Best Way” To Get Started?
This leads me to my blog topic today. One thing about learning the hard way is you are forced to learn the ways, how to solve problems, and ultimately what works for you personally as an investor. We all have different life situations. We all have different financial backgrounds. Some of us have friends and family who can help financially and supportively.
Some of us do not.
Although my wife is very supportive, she was the only one in the beginning who supported me. Now a few family members are not so negative about it – but still have their personal reservations. I also do not and never have had friends or family with money.
Can you relate?
Since July I have been meeting new people online and offline that are either investing or want to invest. This, now going back to my previous statement, has been great and not so great. You see, with everyones different background also comes different mentalities, ways of thinking, opinions, and more.
This is a problem, in my eyes, and I can get offended by some people in certain situations. I just had another experience myself for the maybe 5th time or so in the past 3 months. I had a company come out to give me a quote on my personal residence for repairing my roof. Come to find out – he is an investor as well.
So this led to a lengthy conversation which was nice but ended with him offending me. Not only did he offend me by his remarks towards me, but he also insisted that the REIA I attend is not as good as the one he attends (there was more descriptive words that I’m choosing to keep out of this blog).
He told me I need to get out of rentals if I want to stay married. I need to network. I need to find lenders. I need to be focused. I don’t know how to research my market… and on and on and on!! So now my curiosity is arise and I will be attending his REIA. Not only because I want to know why he believes this but also because the guy who runs it. I met the investor who runs this group and even hit it off with him. We were working on a deal for him to help me learn to find private investors. We had a plan laid out, a time frame and everything- but then he stopped returning my emails and didn’t answer my calls. (That’s kind of off topic but I wanted to explain why I’m so curious about this REIA now.)
Now, if this investor I met last night knew me or what I have already accomplished, he may not have said these things, but solely by appearance and after telling him I have been investing for a couple years, it led into this rant that lasted 30 minutes and I could hardly get a word in edge wise.
(Oooh yeah… this guy last night also told me I need to be open minded… HA HA HA… but yet he was the one telling me that rentals are not the way to go!)
Truth be-said, at first I thought it was great. I was getting some insight from an experienced investor. But unfortunately that was not the complete case. Although he did give me some good information he also was pre-judging me.
Let me give you another example (with a better ending.) At dinner the other night, after my REIA meeting, I met a couple people on a more personal level. I had an investor telling me I will never make it if I don’t quit my job and concentrate on real estate full time.
He had all the answers.
He told me how he was once broke and found his way. This actually hit close to home and it’s how we started talking- but it was the same thing. In the beginning he was telling me what I need to do and telling me I didn’t know anything. By the end of the dinner he had completely changed his mind after finally letting me talk and give him some insight on myself.
Here’s the Point
Here’s the thing: there are investors who think their way is the RIGHT and ONLY way to invest. Now I’m all for people having their opinions and beliefs – but my point to this post and to a similar post I put on the BiggerPockets Member Blogs a while back is that there are many, many ways to invest in Real Estate.
There are always ways to improve a process or become more efficient. There is no one RIGHT way when we are talking about the different types such as rentals, flips, commercial, wholesaling or whatever your preference may be; however, this seems to keep appearing in front of me from long time investors who want to push THEIR opinion and beliefs onto others as the only way to invest.
This clouds peoples minds especially for the newbie investors.
I, myself, have even gotten off-track by those shiny ‘new’ techniques for investing; I started listening to these people because I thought I was still too new at investing and thought maybe I wasn’t doing something right. It has become overwhelming and stressful but the more I talk with these people the more I realize how much I have learned and that even I can be helpful to them with experience I have. I also learned that I was more productive with my process and investing before I tried taking on other investors ways.
As I mentioned on BP many times- if you are an experienced investor looking to help others, don’t push your ways on them. We all have certain things that work for each of us. I like being a landlord so don’t tell me I can’t make money at it. I want multi-families, apartments, and eventually commercial.
But I’m not going to tell someone that my plans and goals should also be their’s.
To make a community work and be flourishing, we have to work together, be open minded, listen, and only offer help where we can.
Don’t worry about what someone else thinks is the RIGHT way. Do what is right for YOU. Follow your dreams and goals. Take the advice you get and use it as fuel. Use it to help you determine what you really want to do. But don’t let it change your goals or dreams.
Lessons to be Learned Here?
There is NO RIGHT WAY to invest in regards to what type of investing you want to do.
Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment below – and I’m sure I’ll be giving my $.02 in the comments as well!
Photo Credit: Gary A K