Do you know why real estate investing is so hard for most people? Maybe it’s not hard once you get into it, but isn’t (or wasn’t) getting started incredibly daunting and intimidating? Why is that? I think it’s because real estate investing was never taught to most of us growing up. Maybe a few of you were lucky enough to have family members who were investors so you were able to get into it more naturally, but I’d venture to say that’s not the case for most of us. I’ve never even heard of a school that teaches it. Certainly not high schools, and some colleges offer real estate degrees, but that’s about it.
So can I go out on a limb and say that getting started as a real estate investor is incredibly hard? Hard in the sense that it can be overwhelming, confusing, and one of the worst parts about it is you don’t know who you can trust to learn from. Other industries are more black and white about how to do things, so when a college professor teaches you something, it’s doubtful there is room for that information to be completely wrong. Whereas with real estate investing, there is everything from risky investments to scammers to bad information, you name it!
There all sorts of beginner’s guides out there, both on BiggerPockets and from other sources. If you start researching real estate investing guides, you’ll be bombarded with options of things to read! Just on BiggerPockets alone, you will have absolutely no shortage of things to get you started.
One of the best resources written by our fearless leaders Joshua Dorkin and Brandon Turner is “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing,” which is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in getting into the industry. In addition to their guide, there are several blogs and blog writers that focus on helping out beginners, and then you can find pretty much any topic covered in the Forums somewhere.
While it is exciting to know how much information is out there to help an investor get started, does that really take away the nervous, confused feeling of how to jump in? It may actually make it worse. Even when you read beginner’s guides, it is possible you might end up even more nervous than before you read it. This can happen because anytime you start reading more about real estate investing, inevitably you will start to get a little bombarded (or a lot bombarded) with new things to think about and things you supposedly have to do.
So what if I told you that I can ease your stress by telling you just one thing you can (and should!) do to get started in real estate investing in the easiest and best way possible? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I bet you haven’t thought of it as being the only thing you need to do right now to get started.
Are you ready for it? Drumroll please…
Read, Study, Research & Investigate Everything You Can
That’s it. Fairly anti-climactic, huh? I know it sounds really boring, and it’s doubtfully new information, so let me expand on it a little bit, and hopefully then it will seem a little more exciting.
If the only thing you are required to do to successfully become a real estate investor (for now) is just to read and look things up. Doesn’t that take off an awful lot of pressure? How easy is simply reading! Sure, you will eventually have to act on a deal to make it happen, but know that not acting just yet is actually smarter. That is all sorts of pressure taken off your plate! You will be better if you don’t act right now.
The more education you have getting started, the more graceful you can be diving in. Education can save you a ton of time and money in the long run because it will help you avoid costly mistakes, it will give you more options for paths and creativity that can dramatically increase your profits, and you can avoid wasting time doing things you hate.
The best way to be as successful as possible as a real estate investor is if you find your true niche. If are working in an area of real estate investing that goes against your natural grain, it will be a constant uphill battle to succeed. You still may succeed, but have you ever heard of strengthening your strengths instead of your weaknesses? It’s the same concept. You will succeed much more if you focus and work in the areas you are already good at. What are those in real estate investing? Who knows.
You couldn’t have offered me a million dollars when I first got started to tell you that my niche would end up being turnkey rental properties. I didn’t even know what that term meant, much less that I would end up quitting my job as an aerospace engineer to work with them! Well then, how did I find turnkey rental properties? I didn’t — they found me. And that’s how you find your true niche. You study and research and pursue everything you can get your claws into, and eventually your niche will find you. It’s the only way to figure it out. Man, if I had tried flipping properties just because I always heard what a great gig it is, I’d likely be so broke right now I wouldn’t even have this computer to type this article on. Not because flipping isn’t lucrative, but because it’s not something that is naturally in my bones.