How Do You Get Started in the Real Estate Industry?

How to Get Started in the Real Estate Industry

A friend from In Good Measure sent me a list of great questions. I decided to include our Q&A here.

         Give a 2-3 sentence introduction about yourself:
My name is Karen Rittenhouse and I’m a full-time real estate investor. Over the past few years, I have bought and sold over 150 single family homes. I am not a real estate agent; all of the deals I do are my own. I also coach and train others how to buy and sell properties for profit!

How did you get started in the field of real estate and real estate investing?

I studied how the wealthy made their money. Over 95 percent made it through real estate: railroad tycoons made it from the land the rails lie on; Hearst Publishing owes their family fortune to the fact that William Randolph Hearst bought up the coast of California during the Great Depression; McDonalds owns more real estate than the Catholic Church. If you want true wealth, own real estate.

What is the #1 tip you would give people looking to get started in the real estate industry?

Find a successful coach. Don’t ask your mother’s brother’s uncle or your neighbor for advice. Don’t ask anyone who isn’t making significantly more than you want to make. Get a coach who’s doing what you want to do and is doing it successfully. Guru’s who pass through town selling materials often make their money that way and don’t even own real estate themselves.

What is the #1 mistake people make when house shopping?
They pay too much. They believe it will be worth more in the future. If you want to make money when you buy real estate, you need to make it the day you close on the purchase.
What, in your opinion, is the outlook for the real estate market in 6 to 12 months?
Same as it is today. Expect the next 3-5 years to be flat.
What is your formula for success in the world of real estate investing?

Buy right and hold as much as you can. If you plan to sell, buy so you can sell 20 percent below market value or it’s just going to sit. This is a great time to be a landlord.

This post has 4 Comments | Would you like to leave a comment?


  1. FLL: Good point. We’re negotiating and selling all the time, even when not doing real estate. The most important skill anyone can learn is selling – how to interact with others.

  2. There are many franchise systems and license systems available for agents. Most fail in my opinion because they don’t adequately support the agents to focus on what they do best and what they like doing most. Speak with people.

  3. Hi Charlene:

    Yes, a lot of people told me not to get into real estate and not to have tenants. Those people don’t and they’re also not ones with a lot of financial success. Find someone you admire who is doing what you want to do and follow them.

    Personally, I made a decision about what I wanted to do and why, then I started studying how to do it. Don’t ask people for permission. You have your own dreams to fulfill. No one else will do that for you. Find your passion and make it happen!

  4. hi karen my name is charlene murrill i resided in new haven ct by way of jacksonville nc!have a very low credit score 453. i made bad choices with money in the past but im trying hard to correct it and get my score up my goal is to become a successful real estate investor and to be able to help my family , travel the world and be free of the 9-5 hustle and bustle. my question to you is what do you do when people try and tell you not to be bothered with real estate and not to be a landlord, when thats all that i think about,read about and watch on tv. i also read biographies of wealthy people to keep motivated. did you encounter people that told you not to do it or that you could not do it. please give me some advice. by the way i think its great that you have accomplished all that you have. you are inspirational.

    my email is

Leave a Comment