We all grew up — well, most of us — being taught that we had to get the “A” in school or we had to always do our best or we had to act a certain way to be considered “successful.” Most career paths or industries we get into have only further supported these expectations. If you don’t make the grades, you don’t get the job. If you fail at your work tasks, you get written up or lose your job. If you act inappropriately, you are likely to get fired. All of those beliefs we grew up with only get more deeply embedded within us the further we move along our paths in life.
Until now. Welcome to real estate investing, the land where most of the rules we have known and (not) loved go right out the window.
Real estate investing really does go outside the box when it comes to a lot of things we’ve been taught to believe.
If you are a real estate investor:
- It doesn’t matter if you failed every class you ever took, or even if you have a high school diploma or not. You can still be a real estate investor (and a successful one at that).
- You are working for yourself so all of those threats of being fired or assumptions about how you have to act are gone because you can’t get fired (unless you fire yourself).
- You can be a raging jackass and still run a profitable real estate business (not my preferred route for people to take, but it can be done).
- Very few of the fundamentals of real estate investing were ever taught in schools, so everyone is on their own for figuring it all out (unless you have a family member or someone who is already in the industry and you’ve learned by watching them).
For you folks on the more rebellious side of life, your ears may have just perked up and you may be feeling all sorts of fired up about getting into real estate investing now! If you err on the more cautious side of life, hearing all of that may have sparked your nerves a little in thinking of getting into real estate investing.
No matter which side of the spectrum you are on, you can still get into real estate investing.
Real estate investing is a very different field than most career paths you can choose, mostly for the reasons already mentioned. It’s a different feel of an industry, and it has different expectations and “rules” than most. Now that you understand how different of an industry it really is, let’s look at the pros and cons of being in real estate investing as compared to other industries.
I’m going to start with the downsides (cons) of the industry first, so we can end on a good note with upsides (pros).
Downsides to Real Estate Investing
I’ve already briefly hit on the biggest downsides, but I’ll elaborate more here. And keep in mind too that all of these downsides, depending on your preferences and styles, don’t necessarily have to be seen only as downsides. Some people actually like these things about real estate investing!
But in staying on a more factual side, I say these are downsides mostly because they do in fact make real estate investing difficult. It’s that challenge that a lot of people see as a good thing in certain areas, but for now we’ll keep these things listed as bummers to the industry.
There’s No Specified Education
This is really the biggest issue with real estate investing in my mind. We just weren’t taught this stuff in school! I know there are real estate degrees offered in some colleges, and certainly you can always get a more generic financial background in school that can be applied to investing, but straight real estate investing principles are not taught in any school I’ve ever heard of. Why do you think the guru programs can make so much money?
If there were college degrees specific to this stuff, you could spend the same money or less than you would at a guru program just getting a college degree that teaches what you need to know. So to get into this industry, you really have to exercise serious initiative to get yourself educated. And to make that harder, there are SO many resources out there now that it can really get overwhelming and confusing trying to figure out who or what to rely on for your education. The overwhelming plethora of information out there is great for access to resources, but figuring out who to listen to is tricky sometimes.