You’ve got your business cards printed, your website constructed, and you’re chomping at the bit to getting started in real estate, and beginning what you hope will be a long and profitable investing career.
But as ancient navigation maps from the 16th century used to label unknown areas of the world with the cryptic phrase “Here Be Dragons,” as a newbie investor learning how to start a real estate investing business you are more-than-likely to encounter some “dragons” of your own. (Especially if you don’t get intel on unknown areas of the investor career path.)
So, here are five things to keep in mind while getting started in real estate to help you avoid those dragons and point you in the direction of a profitable and sustained career.
5 Tips for Getting Started in Real Estate
1. Taking One Step at a Time
Starting a real estate career can be an overwhelming experience. Most investors want to take on every new deal that comes their way. While these ambitions can be exciting, it’s important to know that patience and dedicated focus — not hasty action — can go a long way in boosting your chances of finding successful initial deals.
In reality, it is easy to get pulled a million different directions without going anywhere. If you aren’t careful, you could end up spinning your wheels and heading nowhere. Instead of trying to learn every niche or waiting for the perfect deal, you need to change gears during the infancy of your business, and stay flexible to what market conditions provide you. By focusing on little things rather than the big picture, you will get more accomplished and accelerate your learning curve. Which will make you more money in the long run.
2. Business is As Only As Strong as Your Relationships
How are business relationships established? For the most part, they are cultivated in a shared belief and vision. You can hand out as many business cards you want ,and go to as many networking meetings as possible, but that alone will not help you generate business.
You need to figure out what makes you different and what value you can bring to a relationship. This should be your focus every time you meet a potential business partner. Trying to get people to work with you when they have multiple options will leave you right back where you started. If you make the focus on others — and how you can help them grow their business, while growing your real estate business at the same time — you will be far more productive and efficient in your networking.
3. The Riches are In the Niches
The real estate business is difficult to grasp and harder to master, especially in your first few months. Instead of trying to know everything about every step in the process, you would be better served focusing on one aspect of this business.
It doesn’t matter if you make mobile homes or tax liens your particular area of expertise, you need to be able to hang your hat somewhere. Not only is that good for your business but it ties into your networking efforts as well.
In having a real estate niche to identify with, you will be able to talk to people easier. (Especially with your marketing.) Once you take a few weeks, or even months, to know everything about one area, you can move onto the next aspect. This will help you sort out which niches you want to invest in.
4. Outwork the Competition
Many new investors sour on the business because they think deals will just fall into their laps. When they don’t, they become frustrated. Even if you have some contacts in mind, you still need to work for every lead you get.
This means working harder and smarter than you possibly imagined. There is plenty of new business available if you are willing to go out and get it. Doing “anything” once will not give you a true indication of a venture’s potential for success. You need to stick with it for months.
Many of the strongest relationships in business are the byproduct of someone reaching out continually until they get “yes” for an answer. This is how diligent you need to be if you are looking for new business. All it takes is one new contact every week to make it all worthwhile. That one new contact could be the one that changes your business, forever.
5. Get in the Driver’s Seat (As Soon as Possible)
Getting started in the real estate business requires you to actually work on deals. You can spend months on education and networking and on your real estate business plan , but until you have a deal under contract you are just spinning your wheels. You don’t need to make an offer on the first deal you look at, but sooner or later you need to take a leap of faith and get started.
Many investors will not touch certain deals for fear that they will take up too much time or could be a hassle. As a new investor, time should be your greatest asset. You should welcome even the toughest deal if it comes your way. Not only will you get an opportunity that you otherwise may not have gotten, but this is a great way to learn the business. Any investor can close an easy deal, but it is the great investor that can close a tough one. Additionally, building a successful real estate team can also assist investors in getting their career off the ground.
Don’t Wait, Start Now
There’s an old parable about two frogs who got stuck in a bucket of cream and couldn’t get out. One frog, figuring there was nothing he could do, simply sat in the cream waiting for the inevitable.
But the other frog started paddling in the cream, even though it didn’t feel like he was getting anywhere. And eventually that continuous paddling turned the cream into butter, allowing the second frog to jump out of the bucket.
The same lesson applies when getting started in real estate. Not every marketing strategy you try or negotiation tactic you employ is going to work. In fact, a majority of them won’t work. But keep paddling — keep striving to do your best and learn as much as you can — and eventually you’ll turn cream into butter. (Who knows, you might just launch yourself not just out of the bucket, but into a whole new, lucrative career as well.)