What I Wish I Knew When I Started Real Estate Investing.

Real Estate Investing is truly an exiting and rewarding way to make a living.  Over the years my wife and I have spent more than $130k and countless hours on various real estate products, coaching, and training.  We have been and still are students of our profession.  It has been very worthwhile but we wish we knew some things back when we started that we know now.  So I have decided to share some of the lessons we have learned along the way so you can make better decisions for yourself.

I get questions all the time concerning products put forward through some of emails we send.  While I am not an expert in every one of these products my wife and I have been investing in real estate for more than 25 years now so I answer your questions the best I can.  The most popular questions I get seem to center around the general idea, “will this product work for me.”

There is no doubt that real estate investing can be very rewarding.  We have a friend who is going to clear near $100k on a rehab in the next 30 days.  We have rental properties that create a stream of checks into our mailbox each and every month.  We have wholesaled, flipped, bought notes, built from scratch, bought tax liens, worked with single family and multi-family properties, and made money doing all of it.  How you might ask?  We learned and keep learning from the Guru’s.

Prior to listening to the Guru’s we did real estate investing and sometimes we made money, sometimes we didn’t. So first of all we recommend you continuously learn this profession.

Because there are so many real estate investing disciplines taught by the Guru’s and so many Guru’s the big questions are: Which real estate investing technique is best? and Which Guru is best?

The questions above are really very subjective and depends a lot on your individual goals and needs.  The following are some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.  We hope they help you make the better decisions as you further grow your expertise.

  • Gurus offer value:  Whether it is a tool, a course, coaching, or training the gurus offer value.  The techniques they teach work.  For new people we recommend learning all you can and if you are real serious and can afford it, find yourself a quality coach.  If you can’t afford the coach find yourself an experienced partner.
  • Not all Gurus are equal:  While the techniques are all applicable you should consider style and service after the sale.  It will be rare for a Guru to offer one-on-one coaching.  Group calls where people can ask questions, on line forums, on line historic calls, and tools are common.  It is also common to offer attendance at one of their seminars.  (Most of them will try and sell you something at the seminar, maybe it will be their product or service, or someone else’s product or service, or both.)
  • Go deep before you go wide:  One of my sons, Don, tried to teach us, me specifically, this lesson early on.  He basically said, Dad we’re trying to do too much so we aren’t getting anything done.  I thought we could make money on all these different techniques we were learning, it was exciting.  Truth is we were both right but Don’s point was more correct at the time.

While we could make money using all the techniques we had learned we needed to focus on one technique and get good at making money before we added another technique to our tool bag.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be familiar with multiple techniques because all kinds of opportunities will present themselves.  Think of each technique you learn as one more tool in your tool box so you can build a better business.  Just begin by getting good at one technique, make money, and smile on your way to the bank.  Then get good at another technique and so on.

  • Know yourself: When you see that next “hot thing” ask yourself will I really put this to work?  When will I put it to work?  If your answer to either questions is I don’t know, then I suggest you keep checking offers out until you find one that really excites you so much that you will get to work on it right away or within the near future.

 I confess we have several packages that have not been read, let alone studied.  We might get to them someday but it wasn’t a great use of our funds at that time.

  • Go ahead and window shop:  Go ahead and look at the offers, they will all teach you something.  Window shopping is free.  If you don’t look at a variety of techniques how will you know which is best for you?
  • Understand it takes work:  Real estate investing looks sexy, especially on shows like Property Brothers, This Old House, Flipping this or that, when they can solve all issues in a ½ – 1 hour time frame.  Real estate investing can be highly rewarding, it can change your life, however, it takes certain skills, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of, and it takes work.
  • Tools are important:  Years ago we had to do everything the hard way now there are tools that take advantage of all the internet has to offer.  With the right tools you can streamline your business.  Recently these tools have gotten very sophisticated and are worth taking a look at.
  • It is a Team Sport:  While you can go it alone, with all of real estate investing’s moving parts, you will need a team to be highly successful.  Consider working with a partner you trust.  Sure you’ll spread the wealth; however, with a good partner there will probably be more wealth to spread.
  • Somethings can wait:  Unless you have a ton of money or you will be buying and holding real estate right away, you can probably wait to worry about which legal entity is best.  Wait until you’ve made a few bucks and you know this is the life for you.

I hope this helps you make the best decisions when reviewing the various offerings that are out there.  Have fun learning, enjoy the journey.

One last note, we certainly have some Gurus we are pleased to be working with and will let people know that by saying so when we recommend them.  Of course the big test is, will you like them.

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6 Responses to “What I Wish I Knew When I Started Real Estate Investing.”

  1. I am ready to study ” Investing Real Estate”
    Thanks a lot.

    SeSe Dale

  2. Welcome to our world. I will continue to provide advice and insight each week as time permits.


  3. Kevin, it’s been great following your success since meeting you at an event in the Boston area. I’ll put a HUGE AMEN on working with a like minded partner. It’s hard work doing this alone. I’m now partnering with someone who pushes when I need it and encourages when needed. It’s taken some time to find our path, but things are starting to move. Deals are starting to pop like daffodils in the spring.


    • Mike,

      A “Bird Dog” is someone who goes out and finds properties for real estate investors. Each real estate investor will specify what they are looking for and the requirements to get that credited to you. They will either pay you per property submitted or when each deal closes. The best place to find real estate investors who may be interested in this is at you local Real Estate Investing Association (REIA). Just get there early, walk around and introduce yourself and see if anyone knows anyone who is looking for an apprentice or bird dog. Stay for the training and see what you can learn. You can determine if you have a local REIA by going to the national REIA site at http://www.nationalreia.com/.

      You may also find opportunites to work with real estate investors at Craig’s List.

  5. Terry, I appreciate the kind words. It has been a wild ride at times and certainly worth the effort.

    Congratulations on the success you are experiencing. A trusted team or teammate is invaluable.