I’m teaching on real estate this week at the Charis Business College. I love real estate and being a real estate investor. Here are three words I try to define myself by when it comes to real estate investing (and life in general!).

  1. Patient: In the real estate business you must be willing to play the numbers game. And this takes time. You will want to look at many, various properties–don’t settle immediately. I suggest looking, on the ground, at 15 properties to make one offer. Know your area. Know your competition. You have to understand that if you’re going to be in the real estate game, you have to invest a lot of time up front. It will get easier and quicker as you become more experienced. But there will be some time to invest before you reach that point.
  2. Resourceful: A real estate investor able to find bargain properties looks for distressed properties, or properties that need cosmetic improvement. Distressed also describes the situation of the seller–out-of-town owners, divorce, etc. You can tell if a property is distressed by the listing price. Look for HUD foreclosures and REO’s. Learn how to properly inspect properties cosmetically. Keep up on design ideas, and be creative in ways to add value to the property. Can you convert a single family home into a duplex? Instant bargain property. Can you easily add a bathroom or another bedroom? Bargain. Use your resources and keep a smart eye.
  3. Humble: Don’t do it all by yourself. Use real estate agents. Ask potential real estate agents if and how long they’ve owned investment properties. See if they work with any rehab contractors, looking for good prices. Ask them if they or another agent that they know personally manages properties. Explain your formula and ask them to bring you only properties that meet it. And always remember that you make money when buy not when you sell. Avoid inexperienced agents that have “commission breath.” Honestly, spend more time looking for an “Investor agent” than you do for properties. Also, don’t be afraid to work harder in tough markets. There’s no shame. Use Real Estate Agency Websites. Check Loopnet.com. Look at seller ads in newspapers; For sale By Owner signs; HUD foreclosures. Keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

What word do you describe yourself with as a real estate investor?

Have a great week everyone! See you Sunday!