Long ago, when buying my first investment property, I really had no idea what I was doing. Unfortunately, not having the basic building blocks to support my new career meant that my first attempt to buy, renovate, and sell property for a living went bust. Luckily, I had the wherewithal to dust myself off and try again. Still, if I knew then what I know now, my start in real estate investing could have been a lot less rocky and a little more lucrative. I’m guessing that, if you’re here reading this blog, you want to skip over some of the mistakes that I made and get the kind of advice on investing in your first property that will take you beyond one great deal and right into a good living. So, let’s get to it.
How You Can Buy, Renovate, and Sell Property for a Living
Of the many benefits of investing in real estate, being able to call the shots was the biggest draws for me. I languished in a job I disliked for years and instinctively knew that just quitting wouldn’t be enough. It wasn’t another corporate gig with incentives to climb the company ladder that I wanted. I needed to be my own boss. But, since I didn’t properly prep myself with even the basics of how to successfully invest in real estate, I paid too much for my first property and its renovation. When I had to sell it at a loss, I was embarrassed. Thankfully, I wasn’t wiped out.
When you’re calling your own shots, you’d better have a strong grasp on what you’re doing or it’s probable things aren’t going to go well. Here’s a good head start on what you need to know to make a living out of real estate investing.
- Learn the trade. Never take for granted the power of education. More than what books, the internet, and television can provide, in-person instruction from a comprehensive program can set you up to succeed in ways most new investors fail to realize. If you can learn how to find leads that convert, crunch all the numbers, and market your properties—and your business—before you buy that first house, you’ll be less likely to make costly rookie mistakes as I did. And, if the program provides you with one-on-one mentoring long after you’ve started investing, all the better. Since no deal is the same in this business, you’ll probably need ongoing guidance until you become an old pro. And, even if you don’t, it’s always nice to know it’s there.
- Plan your direction. Don’t underestimate the impact a strategy for your business can have on your ability to invest in real estate successfully in both the short run and over the long haul. This includes, of course, setting your financial goals and establishing a few benchmarks for reaching them. But, it also involves thinking carefully about the kind of investor you want to be. Do you want to flip houses like I do or would you prefer developing a rental portfolio for passive income? Each of these models differs in significant ways and will influence the kind of leads you follow and how you evaluate deals. Additionally, whether you sell investment properties or keep them as rentals affects when you see returns and, possibly, how much. So, be sure to plan ahead so that you can stay the course with your goals.
- Connect with leads. There are a number of ways to get leads on investment properties, but very few methods for finding leads that convert—and, connecting with those are critical to your bottom line. Without qualified leads on motivated sellers, you’re just spinning your wheels on deals that go nowhere. And, unfortunately, that’s where most lead lists, foreclosure auctions, and government programs will take you. There are some lead generation systems, however, like the HomeVestors®’ “We Buy Ugly Houses®” national ad campaign, that bring the owners of distressed properties straight to you. Implementing a marketing strategy like that will make connecting with and converting investment leads easier.
- Evaluate deals. The only way to determine whether you have a chance of seeing optimal returns is to evaluate a deal to ensure that it is, in fact, a deal. To do that, you’ve got to perform a home inspection for every property you’re thinking about buying. Then, you need to crunch the numbers fast—and as accurately as possible—to decide whether or not to buy it and for how much before anyone else does. Thankfully, there are tools out there that are designed to do this for you. Some of the best real estate investing tools will not only detail the expenses for the rehab, but will check area comps and estimate the after-repair value too. These are crucial pieces of information for every investor to consider, whether you’re buying property to resell or buying it to hold. So, you don’t have to be a math wiz or an expert at Excel to calculate the costs and your potential ROI.
- Build your contacts. The value of building up your industry contacts should not be overlooked. After all, it’s the pros in your network who will help you stay on top of real estate investment trends, improve your renovation plans and timelines, offer uncommon marketing ideas, and, even sometimes, hold your feet to the fire. More seasoned investors can help you navigate away from the mistakes that they’ve made as well as introduce you to the experts who contributed to their successes. With the right contacts on hand, your chances of achieving success can be well within reach.
These fundamentals will do well to get you started on the path of investing in real estate as a beginner who wants to turn pro. But, I know you want to do more than just eke out a living as a professional real estate investor. You want to make a strong career and a prosperous life for yourself. For that, you’ll have to get beyond the basics. I can tell you how to do that too.
Get Beyond the Basics for Your Best Investment Results
My first failure as a real estate investor taught me a great lesson. To buy, renovate, and sell property for a living, you’ve got to have a basic understanding of how the industry—and every deal—works. And, generally, you won’t get enough of it from reading books, taking online classes, or watching YouTube videos. You will, however, get everything you need to help you build a real estate investing career by becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee.
HomeVestors® provides a week-long comprehensive training to get you started and mentoring from a seasoned Development Agent to keep you on track. In addition, HomeVestors® franchisees have access to some of the best tools and resources to help you get qualified and conversion-ready leads, evaluate deals, and build industry relationships. All you have to bring is a passion for real estate investing and your capacity to work hard. With all this support from the get-go, you can avoid buying a money pit, like I did when I started out.
To get the basics on how to invest in real estate and so much more, contact HomeVestors®. You, your first deal, and your new career will be glad you did. Call today!
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.