If you are looking for a quick and easy way to become a millionaire, real estate is probably not the answer. If your entire focus is the money, investment real estate in most likely not for you. Investment real estate definitely can be rewarding, but if you do not have the time, perseverance or focus like in most businesses your success will suffer.
To risk not sounding like a self-proclaimed real estate guru here are five easy steps to break into investment real estate. These may all seem like “easy” steps, but reading them and doing them are two very different things.
Step 1 – Educate yourself
Your first inclination in getting started in investment real estate may be is to take the shortest path with the claims of the quickest results like my old friend, we will call Mark, whom I have known for 30 years. Many new to investment real estate think real estate seminars are the answer. However, just ask Mark, he discovered going to many seminars, buying CDs and binders of information does not make you an investor.
You can easily find information online to learn how to invest in real estate or just spend several hours on television flipping through the many seminar offerings and house-flipping shows proving others are getting rich using their “proven method.”
There are legitimate seminars which do offer good training, information and support to help you get started, but you need to do your research. Review online forums where others who have taken the courses leave their comments.
You may not glean much from a free seminar, but a few promises so be prepared for the up-selling of products many of these self-proclaimed gurus offer. There is no sure-fire way to get rich quick in real estate. There may be a few individuals who were at the right place at the right time making the right decisions which made lots of money. However, then again, you only hear about their successes.
One thing for sure is you do not need to be an expert to get started or a real estate license or a formal education, but it is good to know the basics. Useful information can be found in books, podcasts, and online forums.
Books I suggest:
Purchase, Rehab and Reposition Commercial Investment Property by Michael H. Zaransky, Confessions of a Real Estate Entrepreneur by James A. Randel and How I Turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate by William Nickerson.
Podcasts I suggest:
Real Estate News For Investors with Kathy Fettke, Bigger Pockets with Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner and Creating Wealth Real Estate Investing with Jason Hartman. These podcasts, as well as many other similar websites, have excellent resources as well.
A basic understanding of real estate terminology and financial analysis is valuable knowledge to obtain to speak the language and have conversations with brokers and other investors.
In my next article, we will discuss steps two and three: doing your research and focusing on what you know.
Burt M. Polson, CCIM, is a local real estate broker specializing in commercial, luxury estates and wineries. Reach him at 707-254-8000, or [email protected] Sign up for his email newsletter at BurtPolson.com.