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Expert Tips for First-Time Real Estate Investors

An informed investor is a successful investor.
Michael Jordan is the Founder and President of Strategy Properties, specializing in purchasing and renovating single family homes in Detroit and suburban Michigan.
Michael Jordan is the Founder and President of Strategy Properties, specializing in purchasing and renovating single family homes in Detroit and suburban Michigan.

Joining the real estate industry as an investor can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating. As a first-time investor, everything can seem to take twice as long and lead to twice as much doubt, but don’t fear. While things may appear confusing, there are a few tricks of the trade that can help you get through the hustle and bustle of your first investment and come out safely and successfully on the other side.

Do Your Homework

Ask any real estate investment expert for advice and you are bound to hear one common statement, regardless of what property format they invest in. That advice? DO YOUR HOMEWORK. When it comes to real estate investing, school is always in. Understanding the market in which you are investing is vital in this industry and anyone who has their foot in the door will tell you that.

Markets grow and change. New property trends arise, economies boom and crash, and demographics shift. It is just the nature of the beast. Staying educated in all things real estate will help you, as an investor, make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve as these changes take place. An informed investor is a successful investor—regardless of how long they’ve been in the business.

Learn from Other People’s Mistakes

Doing your homework involves meeting other real estate professionals. Whether you are getting to know other investors, real estate agents, or turnkey professionals, having feelers out across the industry will help you to educate yourself on multiple levels. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages to having friends in the industry is the stories they tell. Listening to other real estate professionals will give you an insight into their previous successes, but also—and perhaps most importantly—their previous failures.

While it is important to learn from your own mistakes, in real estate learning from another’s mistake is actually even more important. Why, you ask? Because learning from someone else’s mistake means you are not losing money yourself, and let’s face it, not losing your own money over a silly mistake is really what matters, right? If these professionals are willing to explain their mistakes, to help you avoid them yourself, listen and pay attention. But, do not forget, if later down the road you find yourself with a story to tell, tell it. Pay it forward. There is always someone eager to listen to prevent themselves from making a costly mistake of their own.

Internet forums, blogs, and other real estate social media sites are also a great way to hear tales of woe from experienced real estate professionals looking to impart their knowledge and proficiency on fledgling investors.

Join Everything

When you are just starting out in real estate investment, knowledge is power. Accumulation of knowledge is the difference between having a successful first-time investment or ending up with a sour taste in your mouth from a poor decision. Research is vital. It is important to read every blog, article, magazine, or book you can get your hands on. Devour everything on the industry you can find.

But why stop there?

Find local real estate associations, investment groups, and other organizations. Meet other starting-out investors as well as canoodle with experienced investors. Attend meetings, mingle, make friends. In addition to being great sources of knowledge, these groups can provide an invaluable networking system down the road. When you need to find another investment property or you’re looking to sell off a property you already own, guess what? You are familiar with an entire room of investors who may have what you need. These people will also be able to offer recommendations for contractors, property management services, tenants, and so forth, as they are all working alongside you in this industry.

Other great opportunities for learning come from seminars, webinars, and workshops. If you see an expert investor hosting a talk or offering a workshop, go. If your local real estate association is putting on a seminar regarding new housing trends, attend. In addition to potential information, you will be in a room full of people with the same interests and investments as you. It’s a great place to network. These events are also great places to drum up a mentor—another invaluable tool when you are first starting out in real estate investing.

Don’t forget the Internet! There are a million webinars available at any given point. Forums and chatrooms give you access to expert investors across the nation. Just keep in mind to verify the information you are given, as not everyone is truthful on the Internet.

While these are three very different tips, they all follow one simple rule—which is perhaps the most important rule in the entire real estate investment industry. That rule? Stay up-to-date with your information. Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first investment property or your thirty-first, staying on top of the latest trends, education, and news in the real estate industry will keep you from making any unnecessary mistakes and keep you on the path to successful investing.

The saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch is very much true for Robinhood.