Becoming a successful real estate investor.
Real estate undoubtedly has enriched a lot of people and for those who have successfully made money in it, it's not hard to see why. With so many different ways to grow wealth investing in real estate, there are tons of opportunities for many different people with different skill sets and talents to be successful, make money, and improve their financial position in meaningful ways.
Investing in real estate can be successful but going through it alone can be challenging and highly risky. Joint ventures, wholesaling, and property management are just a few of the ways investors can profit from real estate. It also takes a little savvy to become successful in this highly competitive sector.
Here are some of the habits/guides to become an effective real estate investor:
MAKE A PLAN
Real estate investors must approach their activities as a business professional in order to establish and achieve short- and long-term goals. A proper/detailed business plan is very ideal, as it also allows investors to visualize the big picture, which helps them maintain focus on the important goals rather than on any minor setbacks.
Real estate investing can be complicated and demanding, and a solid plan can keep investors organized and on task. The plan would include estimated outlays and inflows of cash from rentals, how many units to own, when to refurbish or upgrade units, demographic changes, and anything else that could impact your investment over time.
STAY EDUCATED AND KNOW THE MARKET
As with any business, it is imperative to stay up to date with the laws, regulations, terminology, and trends that form the basis of the real estate investor's business. Investors who fall behind risk not only losing momentum in their businesses but also legal ramifications if laws are ignored or broken. Successful real estate investors stay educated and adapt to any regulatory changes or economic trends. Moreover, keep up on real estate, tax, and lending laws and regulations that could directly or indirectly impact your business.
On the other hand, effective real estate investors acquire an in-depth knowledge of their selected markets, such as narrowing in on a particular geographic region and focusing on residential vs. commercial properties. Keeping abreast of current trends, including any changes in consumer spending habits, mortgage rates, and the unemployment rate, to name a few, lets real estate investors acknowledge current conditions and plan for the future. This enables them to predict when trends may change, creating potential opportunities for the prepared investor.
To focus on where to grow your knowledge, you can start with developing the following skills:
*The ability to analyze a property for cash flow
*The ability to recognize an under-valued property
*Developing a basic understanding for estimating rehab costs
*Learning the economic factors that drive a market
*Learning the various pieces at play when it comes to owning rental property (property management duties, etc.)
DEVELOP A NICHE AND FOCUS
It is important for investors to develop a focus in order to gain the depth of knowledge essential to becoming successful. Taking the time to build this level of understanding of a specific area is integral to long-term success. Once a particular market is mastered, the investor can move on to additional areas using the same in-depth approach. Some niches might be high-end residential, low-income multi-unit housing, or rural farm rehabs. The best investors are highly focused, know what they want, and do not let anything prevent them from getting there. Obstacles are not a problem for the focused.
The best investors have the focus of a laser. They don't let obstacles stop them, and they know exactly where they are going. The "Pareto Principle" (also called the 80/20 rule and developed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto) can be summed up by stating 20% of your efforts will result in 80% of your results. Top business people adhere to this belief and its philosophy is seen in their business plans. By focusing their efforts on the 20% of the job that produces 80% of the results, they outperform their competition and make progress where others stall.
Having patience may sound simple, but that's not always the case. When it comes to real estate investing, there is a lot of pressure on you to move and move fast. The best deals go quick and allowing projects to run past the agreed upon timeline can be expensive. Investors are constantly facing pressures to do more, do it faster, and do it cheaper.
The best investors have learned to temper this pressure with wisdom and patience. They know when they need to run fast, and when they need to stop and wait to see how things develop. Patience can take several forms when it comes to real estate investing. Learning to recognize areas where you'll need to practice it can save you from a lot of expensive mistakes.
One big area investors make mistake on is buying a property solely because it allows them to meet a goal they've established in their own mind. Many newbie investors set deadlines for when they'd like to buy their next property, then feel pressure to make it happen-even if the deal isn't that great. The best investors don't feel the need to buy a pre-determined number of houses a month. They know if they don't buy one this month, they may just buy two next month instead. Having patience to wait for the right deal is crucial and having the fortitude to wait until it comes along is a valuable trait to possess.
Another problem novice investors make is jumping in at the wrong part of the market cycle. When everyone else is buying a home, it can be tempting to want to get involved yourself. Top investors zig when everyone else zags. They are fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Waiting for the market to slow down, or crash even, can require more intestinal fortitude but it is also a much better time to be picking up assets.
Managing the friction between pressure to act and patience to wait is a tough skill to develop. The best real estate investors have mastered this and reap the rewards of it.
While real estate investing may look like it's all about the numbers from the outside, this is rarely the case. While buying cash flowing property and holding onto it for a long period of time will generally build your wealth, the very best investors do more than just buy and hold. They buy and improve the assets in their portfolio, adding value in additional ways.
Having the vision to see what a property could be, and then pursuing that vision, is what sets apart the average investors from the best. In real estate there is a term called "highest and best use", it describes the concept of finding the very best use for a property and working to help bring that to fruition. Good investors do this well.
In a hot market, you don't just find good deals. You make good deals. Top notch investors see ways to add value to properties without spending more money than they have to. For those with the vision to bring it about, there can be big rewards for those who buy the ugly duckling and turn it into the beautiful swan.
Some of the common ways investors do this are:
*Adding bedrooms to a house in a house with less than three
*Adding bathrooms to a house with less than two
*Adding square footage cheaply. Often by converting car ports, Florida rooms, efficiency rooms, or covered storage areas to make them part of the property
*Buying properties with strong bones that need cheap cosmetic upgrades
*Buying income property and increasing the rents
*Buying commercial property and decreasing the expenses
There are many ways to add value to a property and the best real estate investors have mastered this. Whether it's a big-time real estate developer who creates an experience buyer will pay top dollar for, or a weekend warrior handyman who buys a fixer upper and does the work himself, the top-notch investors all have the vision to take something as it lies and make it better.
Source: David Greene (top traits of a successful real estate investor) & Investopedia (habits of successful real estate investment).