One of the great things about working with real estate investors from around the country is they all have their own reference points - their own backgrounds that influence the way they think about real estate investing. Often, those reference points and backgrounds have to do with their own families investing, their friends or neighbors investing and even their own education about real estate investing. So it is interesting to note that many investors may have ideas about how to invest, but many have no idea why.
I was part of this crowd when I began investing in 2002. I knew that I wanted to invest in real estate, but was having a hard time figuring out exactly why. I had the usual answers of "real estate has made more millionaires than any other business" or "cash flow is king" or any number of other real estate clichés. But what I really needed was my why!
My why came in the form of a beautiful little boy, a sudden move to the other side of the country and a firm belief that I had to get my backside in gear if I was going to be able to live up to my pledge to never have another "job" again. Real Estate provided a great avenue to provide for my "why" and I went to work educating myself on the ins and outs of buying investment property. Lucky for me, I got some great advice early on from my father and brother who each had purchased investment property already. Their collective advice was three fold:
- Hit the Internet! Start reading everything you can on real estate. It may seem confusing at first and often contradictory, but you need to be consuming information and identifying those voices that you trust. BiggerPockets.com is a great resource for all questions about Real Estate Investing. I am linking to their site here if you want to check it out: http://www.BiggerPockets.com
- Hit the bookstore and start loading up on real estate books. There are literally hundreds of titles in real estate sections and while many are self-aggrandizing for the author, you can always learn from the best selection and build a library to turn back to. If you want a copy of my list of great real estate and business books send me a request and I will email it to you.
- Be inquisitive! Never take anything you read or hear at face value. Always be willing to ask questions and dig until you understand. When you have a clear understanding of different concepts, then success will surely follow.
You have to understand why you want to invest in real estate to be able to put together a successful plan that take full advantage of real estate investing. When you know your why, education and curiosity will usually help you open the doors and find the right people to help you put a plan in place to achieve your why!