As the story goes, about 500 years ago a Spanish explorer called Ponce de Leon came to Florida looking for the fountain of youth (and some real estate). He might not have found the fountain. But I’ll tell you what: I did. I’ve been down here investing in real estate for 14 years now, and I feel younger than I did three decades ago when I was still padlocked to my desk. Investing has been challenging, stimulating, energizing, and rewarding. I don’t have to play crosswords to keep my mind sharp.
But, let me tell you something else: I had help every step of the way. In fact, when I first started coming here for the winter with an apple in my eye, I floundered for two years, then blew a deal. I was almost ready to cut my losses when I realized that it wasn’t the real estate market—it was that I didn’t plan my strategy with the proper gear to build my real estate investing business. There’s a lot of opportunities here in the Sunshine State but, to make the most of it, you need to start with the basics.
What It Takes to Make Florida Real Estate a Good Investment
Florida’s a busy state, and the real estate market here has long been active and contested here. Many sound indicators show the state to be a positive place to invest—a diverse industry portfolio has led to a strong job market, with lower unemployment than the national average. There’s no income tax and the property tax rate is only 1.1%, which is nearly rock bottom. Florida’s population grew by leaps and bounds in the past decade, evidencing a strong demand for housing, both owned and rented. With low taxes, a strong job market, and solid population growth, it should be no surprise that housing prices are rising faster than in almost all of the states in the Union.
The trouble is putting it all together. Sure, you can wander around the state picking up a deal or two that lands you some lucky coinage. But, without spending the time to get the training, tools, mentorship, and qualified leads in that order, you won’t likely be able to sustain a real estate investing business as I have.
If you don’t have previous relevant real estate experience, you might not know where to start. While nothing’s stopping you from taking a swing at it, it’s easy to whiff when you don’t know to see a curveball coming. In order to identify good deals, draw capital, manage renovations, and find buyers or renters, it helps to have professional training. But, you won’t likely find that at one of the local real estate investing clubs because most of the attendees are just as green—or greener—than you are at this. The best way to get it is under the umbrella of people who really know what they’re doing—not the guru you found on youtube.
Even if you have a lot of practice, Microsoft Excel doesn’t quite cut it for managing a real estate investment business. It’s easy to lose time and make mistakes without comprehensive, efficient organization. General customer relations management software, or patchworks of different lead generation tools, make it difficult to find the information you need and keep records straight. Whether you are tracking leads in the up and coming neighborhoods in St. Pete or closing a deal in Miami, finding a dedicated, industry-specific real estate investing software program dramatically smooths out the investing process.
Friendly advice is good, and internet articles are great, but neither one of them can introduce you to their general contractor. A real estate investing mentor who knows the ropes, and knows the people, can make the difference between a win and a loss. They’ll expand on your training with practical advice. A mentor can walk you through buying a home from a distressed owner, rehabbing, and selling it at market value. If you have questions about making sense of the numbers along the way, you can call them and ask. Lastly, they know how the Florida real estate market is doing, because they’re in the market.
If you don’t have a lead, you won’t have a house. Even worse, there are many, many “siren leads” to be found on real estate websites, foreclosure sales, and sheriff auctions around Florida. They may beckon to you, but by the time you’ve chased them down, you’re wrecked on the rocks with nothing but an empty promise.
When you’re starting off, you’ll find that the good deals don’t stay on the market for long around here, if they’re listed at all—larger, more experienced investors will have snapped them up. There’s a better way, if you can afford it: marketing that builds trust. Telling everyone in the state you’re ready to buy their house. Why spend all your time chasing houses, when houses could be chasing you?
This is a lot to put together but, luckily, I found a package deal on all four. And, it finally set my professional real estate investing business in the right direction. I can’t tell you where the fountain of youth is, but I will tell you how I got mine back.
How I Found My Second Youth With Real Estate Investing
When I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I finally got started in the right direction. The comprehensive one-week training showed me where I went wrong, and my ongoing support from a dedicated Development Agent kept me on the path to consistently improving. Now, I also work with some of the best tools in the business for everything from tracking leads to valuing repairs and houses. And the nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing keeps those qualified leads coming in.
Are you looking to get into investing in Florida real estate? Start your new life today by requesting information from HomeVestors® today!
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