How to Start Investing in Real Estate as a Total Beginner

Have you ever considered getting into real estate investing? Real estate investing is one of the most popular and most effective strategies to build wealth, and there are many different ways to approach it. For example, you could invest in a portfolio of different residential rental properties, collecting income, or you could invest in a commercial property with long-term growth as the goal. Most experienced real estate investors opt for a mix of different properties.

But no matter what your long-term goals are, if you’re new to the world of real estate investing, it can seem intimidating. How do you get started with practically no experience?

Option 1: Get a Your Real Estate License

One of your best options is to study to get your real estate license. It’s a major step and one that will take you several weeks of preparation, but it’s not as intensive as it might seem. These days, you can get your real estate license entirely online in most states. You’ll need to take several classes, pass a test, and register with the state, but once you do, you’ll be a fully capable real estate agent.

Being a real estate agent gives you a number of advantages in the real estate investment world. First, you’ll have a much deeper knowledge of real estate transactions in your state. When you buy and/or sell property, you’ll be able to handle the transactions entirely by yourself, and you’ll have a keener sense of what makes a good deal. Second, because you’ll have access to a wider range of listings than the average person, you’ll have early alerts for good deals as they come down the pipeline. This is why so many real estate agents end up becoming successful real estate investors in their own right.

Option 2: Find a Mentor

Your second option to get started in real estate investing is to work with a mentor. Chances are, there are hundreds, or even thousands of real estate investors in your city, and many of them would be more than happy to share their skills, knowledge, and experience with another person. If you find the right fit, you may be able to shadow them as they manage their existing properties and look for new ones, and you can ask them their opinion about prospective investments you’re mulling over.

The trick is finding the right candidate. Consider attending real estate investing meetups in your area and talking to the other people you find there. The more time you spend building your personal network, the better.

Option 3: Learn on Your Own

Of course, with today’s information accessibility, there’s nothing stopping you from trying to learn how to invest in real estate on your own. Head to various real estate investing forums to learn from other people, and do your research to find out what makes for a “perfect” property in your chosen area of expertise. You may be at a disadvantage, at least to start, with no formal training and no professional guidance, but with enough studying and enough experience, you can make your investment strategy work.

Option 4: Invest in REITs

If you’re looking to get exposure to the real estate market, but the thought of buying and managing physical properties is concerning to you, you might consider investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs function like mutual funds; you can buy and sell shares online. Essentially, you’ll be investing in a real estate investment company, and your money will be made available to invest in various properties. If the company does good work, selecting good properties for their portfolio and adequately managing their cash, you should be able to make money from your initial investment. You could also start one of these fast cash house buyers businesses if you have a large amount of money to get started.

Getting the Money

Of course, no matter how you choose to approach learning how to invest in real estate, you’ll need some way to generate the funds to invest in your properties.

The straightforward approach is to save gradually through strict personal budgeting; cut your personal expenses as much as you can, pick up a second income if necessary, and set your money aside for forthcoming property purchases. You can also partner with someone and pool your capital, or work with an investor to gain access to even more funds while simultaneously lowering your risk.

There are many ways to approach real estate investing as a total newcomer, but in any case, the best way to advance is through experience. Be prepared to learn from your mistakes and celebrate your victories along the way, and gradually refine your approach. Start small, with inexpensive properties you fully understand, before moving on to bigger and more complex projects if you want to minimize your potential losses along the learning curve.

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