by Theresa Bradley-Banta
Like many new investors you might be finding it difficult to carve out time for your real estate investment business — especially if you have a full-time job.
If you were to ask me, “What’s the biggest mistake you see new investors make?” I would tell you that 9 out of 10 investors who fail did not devote enough time to their investing endeavor or they mismanaged their time.
If you’re a new real estate investor, you’ve probably faced the same uncertainties. How much time and what activities will guarantee success?
Stop for a minute and honestly answer these three questions:
- Are you informed enough about real estate investing to understand where to network, who to hire, what markets to invest in, when to invest, and what risks you might face?
- Have you decided on a specific real estate asset class? (Classes such as single-family or multifamily residential, retail, industrial, office, REITs, storage, etc.)
- Do you have the time and motivation to succeed?
Here are some good habits to get into—starting today.
Always Track Your Time
Keep a daily calendar in order to track the amount of time you spend on your real estate investing business. Plan ahead.
A frenzied two hours per week, in one sitting, will never have the impact that daily activity provides. Small successes can be incredibly powerful.
Put aside 15-60 minutes per day—time that is specifically devoted to education, networking, and research. Consistency is key to your success.
Your daily activities should focus on:
1. Real Estate News, Mentorship
Read absolutely everything related to your specific asset class and markets.
In my article Investing in Apartment Buildings – Some Mostly Free Resources, I have web links for: multifamily market research; rental market research and data; commercial brokers; and free industry magazines like Apartment Finance Today and CIRE Magazine.
Start compiling your own list of similar sites, specific to your area of focus, and visit these sites on a regular basis.
Find a mentor. Start associating with other successful real estate investors. It’s important to connect with investors who specialize in your asset class of choice. You don’t want a retail storefront investor giving you tips on buying and operating an apartment building.
Education around your specific niche investment asset class is key.
Tip: As a successful owner of investment real estate it’s your job to stay on top of real estate trends, cycles, markets and news. This will become a lifelong habit—especially when you catch the real estate investing ‘bug.’
2. Investment Property Deal Analysis
Until you’ve run the numbers on dozens of comparable investment properties, your investment plan will succeed (or fail) based on a foundation of guesswork, misguided but well-intended assumptions, and, hopefully, a lot of good luck.
In order to find potential investment properties you’ll be speaking with commercial brokers, realtors, third-party management companies and other investors and service providers within your niche market.
Networking is essential to your success.
How much time will you devote to sourcing potential investment properties? And how much time will you spend practicing thorough deal analysis within your niche market?
It’s critical to think in terms of your daily calendar.
3. Your Specific Real Estate Investment Market
A lack of good solid market research is another way in which erroneous assumptions are formed.
Assumptions such as vacancy rates, escalation for expenses, rent bumps/escalation, and other income growth rates, for example, assist you in making accurate income projections for your investment property.
The same is true for overall market data such as new construction, absorption rates, market rental concessions, financing trends and loan products—becoming an expert in this information will lead to your success.
When you make a habit of reading data related to your investment, you’ll begin to collect solid information that will lead to successful strategies.
Start Some Good Real Estate Investing Habits Today
When you do anything often enough, it becomes a habit.
Spend 30-60 minutes a day (good quality time vs. poking around on the Internet) on your real estate investment business and you will succeed.