Often, it is the first few steps in a new venture that are the hardest. When starting with real estate investing it helps to know the best resources for new real estate investors. Here are some tips and ideas to get you started.
The National Real Estate Investors Association
One of the best resources for new real estate investors are local REIA clubs. Some complain that the monthly REIA speakers are there just to pitch the audience. Here’s the insider secret: No one goes to REIA meetings for the speakers. The real treasure is in the people around you, in the audience itself. These are seasoned real estate investors and they come from diverse walks of life. They are plumbers, teachers, accountants and everything in between.
The friendship and advice you will get from the members of the association is the real prize. So, arrive at the REIA meeting early and stay late. Network and gather cards from all of the people you talk to. You never know who might have a deal for you!
Property managers and real estate agents
Some of the most valuable resources for new real estate investors are property managers and real estate agents. These are the people who live and breathe real estate. Their perspectives provide valuable insight. They know average rents, upswing neighborhoods, demographics, the best schools, market trends and the factors that make a property sizzle.
Get out, make appointments and talk with property managers and real estate agents. They will be part of your network. Buy them a coffee or a sandwich and soak up the insider knowledge.
Online education programs
Many online education programs are engineered to sell you into expensive products. We have all seen them, right? That is not my mission. Empowerment is what my website is all about.
The downloads and educational materials here are free. Discover why we’ve won 14 American and international awards for our educational programs and the quality of the real estate content. Our Fast Start Program is an example of that high standard. Experience it for yourself.
Real estate investing books
Yes, perhaps old-school advice but still valuable. Books provide helpful resources for new real estate investors. You can get an education in books that lays a groundwork under your feet. At the very least you should have a legal handbook as a resource in your personal library. This doesn’t replace a lawyer, of course, but you will need to know legal landlord and property procedures as you start out.
Familiarize yourself with the basics. Research all the different avenues real estate investing offers through books and then decide which investing niche suits you best. If multi-unit buildings interest you, then you should read my book Invest in Apartment Buildings Profit Without the Pitfalls.
Legal protection and advice
Before you begin investing learn how to protect yourself legally. Every state is different but one thing is true throughout the country: You should not invest in real estate under your personal name. Form an LLC or a corporation and invest through that vehicle.
Forming a real estate company will protect you but it has to be done right. The smartest way to do this is to find a lawyer through the contacts you made at your REIA meeting. There are online do-it-yourself programs that can help you get started.
Before you go into any deal have a lawyer check all of your legal paperwork to make sure it is watertight for your state laws. This is not the place to be frugal. A legal mistake could be costly.
A final word
You are not alone. There are excellent resources for new real estate investors. It is up to you to utilize them. One last tip: A mentor can help answer all of your questions with experience and insight. Think about it. Get educated, discover the niche that excites you and then take action!