5 Steps to Starting Your Career in Real Estate

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 17, 2021

Sep 17, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

Do you have questions about investing? Although I was able to achieve financial independence through real estate investing, I still had doubts. I've only flipped properties, or bought and held, but this is what has helped me decide if real estate was the right path for me.

I Mapped Out my Role

The first thing you should ask yourself is how much or little I need to put in my investments? There are many ways that real estate can be used to serve different purposes. Real estate trusts, for example, are almost completely passive. There are no late-night calls, managing or anything. To manage your properties, you can also hire property management companies who handle anything from big things like tree removal, down to replacing a smoke detector. You can be as involved as you like or as detached as you wish.

You can manage your own portfolio if you would like. I currently manage half of my portfolio, which I invest in four markets. The other half is managed by a company, and I keep track of them. Previous companies that I trusted with my money and properties made accounting mistakes and placed low quality tenants on my properties without my permission. This was a costly error that I was solely responsible for. I have become more involved in my investment homes as a result.

What level of involvement do you want to have? How much do you trust yourself? How competent and confident are you in learning about the laws governing landlords and tenants? There are many who invest but realize that it is more difficult than they expected. It's not difficult for me to manage my investment properties. Although I've received a few late night calls, I have an incredible team who helps tenants when they need it.

I Decided My Goals and Priorities

Why is real estate investing important? Financial freedom and financial security are my goals. It's funny how these two words can be used together when talking about money. Real estate is a good investment if you have clear priorities and are determined to achieve them.

Learn When You Are Needed

Allow yourself to learn! You will not get everything you want. Unfortunately, I am a very involved personality. Although this is a great advantage, it can also lead to me having more anxiety than necessary in certain situations. When things go wrong, I have become a more easygoing person. For example, when someone accidentally sets fire to their condo. A contractor is suddenly arrested and taken to jail. These two events are funny to me now. It's not a coincidence. There are many lessons to be learned along the journey.

It doesn't matter how many times you plan and plan again, things may not work out your way. I'm a very busy person and have many responsibilities going on in my life. When I travel to distant countries, major appliances and large repairs are often needed. That's okay! It's just part of life. If you have a system in place, everything will work out for the best.

Test the Water Before Jumping In

You won't be forced to become a real estate investor. After I began blogging about it on my personal page, and other things, I was the person who friends and family referred to regarding real estate and financial independence. My friend recently moved for work. He decided to rent his house instead of selling it. He may not choose to rent his house out, as the market could fluctuate, but it is a risk that he is willing and able to take.

I Learned More and Built More

They are lazy people, right? They think well. Although I don't consider myself lazy per se, I don't enjoy spending my time on pointless or menial tasks. The Pareto principle does not apply to successful business owners. Is there a way to reduce the amount of time you spend on any real estate task? Is it worth hiring someone to do the job? Are the numbers correct for these properties? If you are able to, learn more and take calculated risks.

After I began to acquire more properties, my initial investment was repaid and the profits were being used to buy new properties. I love finding properties that have a 30% ROI. This is a lot more than the average 7 percent for the stock market over its lifetime. I like being in control of the company's decisions and installing environmentally-friendly showerheads and other low-flow appliances to save water.

Conclusion

While I don't think you should invest in real property, you must consider what you want and what you are willing to do to achieve your goals. It's possible to have a bad experience. It happens. It has happened to me, and many others. My hourly rate for real estate work is much higher than what I would make in a highly skilled job. Although I don't work 40 hours per week, I have drastically reduced my spending (lower than Mr. Money Mustache even!) My properties will allow me to live a comfortable life. This is the goal I set for myself. As I spend my day at home, writing blog posts and cuddling my dog, I feel like I have made the right decision.