Most people associate “single-family home” with the word “real estate” but you and I know a different world, don’t we? The field of real estate investment has a dazzling number of options to specialize with.

For a new real estate investor, deciding on a real estate investing niche can be a bit overwhelming. Should you invest in raw land? Apartment buildings? Student or senior housing? Condos and town homes? How about specializing in self-storage or industrial? You might even consider investing in oil & gas (yes, that’s also a real estate investing niche!).

Where to start?

Where are you?

You start with what you know and where you are. Do you live in a college town? Does your town get seasonal traffic? Are you near a beach or lake? Are you close to an industrial area? Maybe you live in a commuter town. Just by living near this feature you are more familiar with the ebb and flow of this niche.

What do you know?

Sit down and focus on what you know about this area. What does the local industry need? How is this area shrinking or growing? What do people want when they come to the area? What does local or state government plan for the area? Are there any big building projects underway?

You’ll become knowledgeable about your area with some internet research and a few phone calls. Use my free real estate market checklist as a guide.

Get educated in a specific real estate investing niche

After narrowing down what your area offers it is time to get educated in that real estate niche. Get on the ground floor and talk to your market. For example, if you live near a college town, then find out how much local housing costs for students. Talk to some students. What are they looking for in housing? Is it a washer and dryer? Maybe they want proximity to classes? Discover what they really want.

Everyone, of course, has different needs, but there will be a common thread among the population you speak to. Now you want to give the population, your market, what they want.

That’s your niche!

Read, watch and listen

Depending on how much experience you have in real estate, you would be wise to read a few books and blogs. How-to real estate investing books, videos and articles will help you narrow down the type of real estate to buy. They can also help you raise funds and become familiar with what is important to know in local real estate transactions. My free Fast Start to Real Estate Investing Program is an excellent place to begin.

Real estate investing podcasts are another goldmine of information for learning about real estate investing. The time you spend getting educated will help you avoid costly mistakes in the future.

Find a mentor within your real estate niche

Another prudent step would be to find a real estate investing mentor. Reading books and listening to podcasts are excellent tools but you don’t know what you don’t know, right? That’s the fear that usually stops people from becoming real estate investors.

People have coaches and teachers to guide them through uncertain waters in every stage of life. Sometimes you need a mentor to give you the practical, insider’s guide to the industry. Other times mentors are important to keep you true to your goals and dreams. Together, you can plot a practical, achievable plan for your real estate dreams.

Find the voice of a real estate professional you enjoy and reach out to that person.

Time to take action

Finding your real estate investing niche takes education and action but you don’t have to take that journey alone. There are guides and resources all along the way that will make you feel like we are in this adventure together!

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Theresa Bradley-Banta writes about investing in real estate while avoiding the pitfalls that plague many new investors. She is a 2017 PropTech Top 100 Influencer and winner of 14 American and International real estate awards for her website and real estate investing programs. As featured on: The Equifax Finance Blog, AOL’s Daily Finance, Scotsman Guide, The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, Stevie Awards Blog, Rental Housing Journal, and Investors Beat among others.

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