How to invest in real estate? Don't. You heard me right. I don't invest in real estate and neither should you. Forget about being a real estate investor, and you'll be well on your way, financially, to wherever it is you're trying to get.
Because owning real estate is the last thing you need to be concerned about. Did you catch the key word in that last sentence? "Owning."
There are a lot of things you and I can do today with real estate, but owning it isn't one of them. Owning real estate takes real cash, and if you don't have that cash, you have no business trying to invest in real estate.
My rentals were bleeding me dry
Owning real estate forces you to spend money for all kinds of reasons. Unexpected repairs will be needed--guaranteed. Your tenants won't pay and you'll be forced to evict--guaranteed.
Now, if you're not set up to handle repairs and evictions and vacancies because you have an insufficient (or non-existent) bankroll, you've got yourself a problem.
I struggled for years and years with a bankroll that simply could not support the rental units I had. Even worse, I didn't recognize this, so I continued to think the answer to my problem was to get more rental units, so I did. Bad idea.
I'd been so brainwashed into believing that this real estate business required nothing out of pocket that I felt if I did have to put money into a property, I was doing something wrong. Not true.
And don't think money is the only resource you'll need as a real estate owner. You'll also need skills, wisdom, experience, and know how. Owning real estate is a real business. It's not something you are suddenly good at simply because you were able to buy a house or two.
So where does that leave us?
It leaves us entirely out of the business of owning real estate. That's a business you can look at in the future when you have a little background or know a little more about how that game is played. But not today. Today, you are not a real estate investor. (But don't worry, neither am I).
What am I, then, if not an investor?
Be a real estate matchmaker
I'm a real estate matchmaker, and I am in the business of hooking up people who want to sell with people who want to buy. That's it! The secret? Find someone who really, really, really wants to sell, and someone who really, really, really wants to buy, and then introduce them! (You'll need some paperwork in there, for sure.)
What do you need to know to be a successful real estate matchmaker? Well, a couple things, really, but only a couple: Whom to buy from and whom to sell to. Of course, there will be some "how-to's" in there as well, but essentially, that's what you need to know. I am not a real estate investor--I'm a real estate matchmaker.
And yes, it really is that simple.
Do yourself a favor and don't try to complicate things. If you know who wants to sell and who wants to buy, you'll have the makings of a game plan in place that is second to none.
Am I an investor? No. Do I care about the long-term ownership of investment property? No. I am simply a deal maker who understands precisely his role, real estate matchmaker.
Your job now? Don't complicate it! Don't try to make it any more involved than what's described here. If you want to someday own houses, that's fine, too. But that's not what we're doing today.
A role you should seriously consider is that of a real estate matchmaker. And as such, you'll need to know whom to buy from and know whom to sell to, and that's all you'll need to know. Now, go hook 'em up.
About the Author:
Joseph M. Kaiser is a highly successful real estate investor who is a real doer. He is proud to be out, pounding the pavement nearly every single day, looking for the next bargain property to add to his investment portfolio.
Joe started investing in real estate in the mid-1980s and soon found his niche in foreclosures and lease options. He is the master at tracking down motivated sellers.