Too many real estate investors fail to achieve their dreams because they fail to properly launch their investing careers or because they reach a crossroads and don’t know which way to turn. Confused about the next step to take, they spin their wheels, do nothing, and eventually opt to walk away from real estate completely and go back to a life of mediocrity. To prevent this from happening to you, follow this simple seven step roadmap to success.
Step One: Education – The right education is critical to your success. Before getting started you should begin learning about a variety of creative techniques. You don’t want to spend so much time preparing to invest that you never launch your investing career, but you don’t want to go off half-cocked and fire at everything that moves either. Learn enough to be able to write an intelligent offer and then make it happen. As your career advances, continue learning as you go along. There’s a ton of accumulated investing knowledge available, so take advantage of it. Keep in mind, too, that education doesn’t have to be a $2,000-$3,000 guru-sponsored super course. You can sometimes learn more from a $20 book, but never quit learning or you will quit growing.
Step Two: Planning – What steps are you taking to reach your goals? Are you sitting around with a pad of paper and a pen planning how you’ll spend your real estate profits or are you taking a series of deliberate steps to all but guarantee your success? How many calls are you going to make today, this week, or this month? How many properties will you look at? How many offers will you write? Real estate is a numbers game, so you need to plan your numbers and then you need to follow up by analyzing your activity. If you don’t keep score you won’t know if you’re winning or losing. It all starts with a plan and ends in the winner’s circle or the employment office. Planning – or failing to plan – will determine where you’ll be in a year and how much money you’ll have.
Step Three: Team Building – Major league ball teams don’t wait until the season starts to begin looking for members of their team. Their team-building effort starts months ahead of opening day. As a Real Estate investor you need a team of professionals in your corner. Start today with a small title or escrow company and a mortgage company. Make sure they understand creative real estate and have experience. If you’re not working with a mentor familiar with creative investing, you need to find one. He or she can shave years off your learning curve by helping you to avoid some of the stupid and costly mistakes they made.
Step Four: Circle of Influence – Who are you listening to? Your brother whose idea of creative real estate investing is buying a time share in Arkansas? If your circle of influence – people who give you advice – don’t know and understand real estate investing, they’ll constantly be taking aim on your hopes and dreams because they don’t understand the concept or because they don’t want your success to shine a spotlight on their mediocrity. Tap into as many creative – and successful – real estate investors as you can at your local REIA meetings.
Step Five: the Right Sellers – Wasting time trying to browbeat somebody into accepting your creative offer is unproductive and demoralizing. Make sure that the sellers you’re dealing with are highly motivated to sell and good things will happen. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the wrong deal even if the price is right. Know your ideal situation and then capitalize on it when the opportunity presents itself.
Step Six: Hobby/Business? – Is real estate investing going to be your pathway to prosperity? While there are plenty of opportunities for you to have fun, never lose sight of the fact that you’re playing in a very competitive sandbox. You have something going for you, though. A lot of investors lack the education, training, and mindset to prosper. If you’re one of them, you should save your money and take up stamp collecting or join the rock club. If, however, you’re serious about success and give this business the effort it deserves, your future is a blank check – and you’re holding the pen.
Step Seven: Stick with It – Real estate investing success won’t necessarily come overnight. That’s not to say that you won’t become an overnight sensation, but be prepared for the possibility that it might take 3-5 years to achieve a level of success that inspires you to throw all of your time and energy into enriching yourself. Real estate investing is easy, but it’s not simple. It takes work, effort, and a willingness to keep plodding ahead even when your big payday is years away – instead of mere days. Amber Sea