We have a lot of mixed ideas of what ‘real estate’ really is, yet I’m willing to bet that some avenue of real estate would suit you. In fact, I’m sure of it. Is it an empty lot that might appreciate or acres of farmland near a future metropolis? Is it a run-down house? Is real estate the site of a future Hilton, shopping center, or apartment complex? Figuring out the most successful avenue is tough.
Every person that defines success to me has engaged in some sort of real estate investing. If you’ve always thought about running your own business, real estate has to be a part of your thinking. In fact, you might find that real estate suddenly becomes the focus of your business idea.
In the state of Montana, the average income is $24,000. In one Montana community, the average home costs $280,000. An average person can’t afford a home? The thought makes me sick, yet it also makes me think, “Is there opportunity?” I think that we can find ways to break into markets that hold money potentials without shelling our entire pay-checks to mortgages. Is that something you want?
Prepare your one-man battle plan
Open your closet, and dust off your many hats. If you want to win at real estate, you have to understand every level in your focus area or hire someone to do it for you. It’s silly to get a law degree just so you can understand the contracts. Yet have you ever considered getting your real estate license? I’m preparing to take the real estate exam and trust me, the info is anything but challenging. But saving around 5% on every real estate purchase might make sense.
Do you have much cash? You probably can’t operate like characters on “Flip that House”. How realistic is the image on these shows, anyway? The characters are willing to pay expensive subcontractors but not willing to break a nail.
You might not have cash to match flippers on TV. You do have that magical thing called sweat equity, though. Don’t just lead the battle; be the soldier. March in the front line, bark orders from atop your horse, and fight for yourself. An added benefit we’ve found in sweat equity? My husband loves to have endless excuses to use power tools.
Pick your target
At my office, we get a lot of rich men who want to invest their money in enormous projects like elaborate hotels and apartments around man made lakes. Our construction company builds these items along with stadium additions and any other commercial construction idea someone might have. Do you want to be my boss, making money by managing enormous developments? And yes, he is making far beyond the average Montana salary.
Instead of being the construction company, you could be the envisioner that wants construction companies to build results. The beginning of the project costs you money. Most of the money won’t be your own, though. You’ll borrow from banks and investors. Make money off of their money once your condos or storage units are built and generating revenues.
But don’t start big
A more financially reasonable idea is the small scale. Buy crumbled buildings, remodel them and sell or rent the spaces, “residential or commercial. Gain some experience in the small scale projects that can build up your credit and portfolio, then shoot for bigger if it’s your dream.
Know that success builds success
Deals are easier to make when you have past triumphs. And the best way to impress people is with your successes. If you own one hotel, you’re cool. If you own ten, holy cow! You can bet that people won’t question your authority on the hospitality industry.
The problem for most of us is that we don’t have any sort of real estate portfolio. It’s like we’re trying to get our first jobs out of college. How many interviews does that take? Make yourself look like an expert. Because I am 24 years old, most people feel uncomfortable with my ability to maintain any sort of real estate responsibility; they change their minds when I rattle off an accomplishment or two. Have they seen the map next to my computer? I’m filling it with gold stars that each represent a property in my growing empire.
Deception is okay
Contrary to my last point, you have to know when to present the aura of an expert. No one looks at me and thinks that I know how to wire a plug or build heating systems. It’s often advantageous to be underestimated. Real estate is predominately controlled by old men. Being young and female give me two edges. What advantages can you see in yourself?
If your neighbor was selling his shop and Donald Trump and I both expressed an interest, don’t you think your neighbor might want Trump’s business because a whole lot of $$ could be involved? At the same time, your neighbor might not want that property to turn into another Trump Tower so he rejects Trump and offers to me. I’m still some dumb blond girl fresh from college to him, but he doesn’t know my plans to build Katie Castle. Naive might just become your middle name.
Finally, know that real estate involves risk. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. But don’t be afraid to check stuff out. Even when we aren’t looking for an investment project, I keep on looking. The last two purchases that I have made came from being curious. Keep your eyes open. Make sure other people keep their eyes open for you, too. If they can make money from you, they will keep on the lookout for you. Money is very powerful in this industry.