Real estate investing is both a business and a (part-time) job. So, just like for any other business and any other job, you will need to acquire the right skills to be successful. You can’t just skip your real estate investing education and expect to start buying, renting, and selling properties at a profit today. You have to build a solid foundation for yourself in order to be a good real estate investor.
The good news is that we live in a world full of real estate investing education sources. Below we provide you with a list of the most important ones:
That one came as no surprise, right? Similar to anything else, the best and most widespread education source for real estate investing is reading books. Every year hundreds and hundreds of new books on the topic are written and published. They cover all aspects of real estate investing: from choosing the best neighborhood and property, through securing financing, to selecting a property manager. You can find them online or in any bookstore around the globe.
Those of you who don’t like traditional reading are lucky. Nowadays nearly every new book is made into an audiobook. This will allow those looking to start real estate investing to enjoy nearly the same educational materials as the ones who like reading books.
Let’s face it. Blogs are slowly replacing books and textbooks as the preferred choice for educational materials in any field, including real estate investing. Blogs can be an amazing source of information for new (and even experienced) real estate investors, and just like books, they cover any imaginable aspect of the matter. Some of them are written by relatively new real estate investors, who might have the same questions and worries as you. Others are produced by real professionals and will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about real estate investing. A major advantage of blogs over books is that they can be very interactive. You can post questions to the author as well as to other readers. Plus, blogs – unlike most books – are free. Don’t forget to search through Mashvisor’s “Knowledge Center” for numerous blogs on various real estate topics.
4. Professional Mentors
While reading is very important for anyone new to real estate investing, it is not necessarily enough to make you a successful investor. Sometimes it is needed to talk to someone who can guide you through the process and provide you with clear answers to all your specific questions. Most areas have dozens of professional real estate mentors who would introduce you to real estate investing for a fee.
In addition to hiring a professional mentor, you should try to benefit from other – free – mentors – namely, local real estate investors. After all, no one knows the real estate market in any particular place around the world better than the local real estate investors. Successful investors are very proud of their achievements and are thus usually willing to brag about them. You should reach out to experienced local investors and try to learn from them as much as possible. Make it a goal to ask each one of them a couple of questions that you have, while being careful not to bore or overuse any of them.
Related to local real estate investors, another possible source of information about real estate investing is partners. As a new investor, it might be a good idea for you to make your first real estate investment in partnership with someone who already has some experience in the field. This person will not only be a partner but also a mentor and an invaluable source of information. While your partner will benefit from your capital and enthusiasm (and any additional qualities you might have), you will have the possibility to gain tons of hands-on experience.
A relatively new way of learning about real estate investing is podcasts. These are recorded audio programs which resemble radio shows. However, since they are quite simple, they can be made by anyone with a computer and a microphone. Recent years have experienced the emergence of many great podcasts on real estate investing. Similar to (audio)books and blogs, podcasts can provide you with thousands of hours covering all possible aspects of real estate investing to listen to.
Once you have gained some basic knowledge about real estate investing and are sure that this is the right kind of business and part-time job for you, you can move on to other sources with more specific information:
8. Real Estate Property Websites
You can search through many, many websites with real estate listings which will help you in the selection of the location and the kind of investment property that you are willing to and can afford to buy. You can look at specific listings in various cities and neighborhoods to get an idea of what is feasible and makes sense for you. Don’t forget to use Mashvisor to obtain various analytics to compare between hundreds of US locations and properties.
9. Town Halls
Once you’ve narrowed down the locations where you might be buying a rental property, it is a good idea to go to the local town halls to get more information about the future development plans in the area. Developments in infrastructure and the commercial aspects of an area are one of the most important drivers of real estate property value appreciation. So, it is good to know what’s ahead for the area in which you plan to invest before you make your actual investment.
After you have an idea of what kind of property you want to buy (the location, the size, the price), you should pay a visit to the bank to see whether you are eligible for a loan and what loan conditions apply to you. This will largely determine whether you can afford to invest in real estate and how profitable such an investment would be.
11. Your Own Experience
Last but not least, don’t forget that like other businesses and jobs, real estate investing is learning-by-doing. As a general rule, start small as a new real estate investor. The rate at which you will learn from your own experience in this field is exponential. You don’t have to be an expert to enter the world of real estate investing, but you will become one after some time.
Are you looking for a clue? The color of this Easter Egg is BLUE!