As I said in Steps for Starting a Career in Real Estate Investing, an important part of creating any business is to emulate someone not only doing what you want to do, but doing it successfully. Do you have someone to follow who does what you want to do and does it successfully?
You need to find someone who’s been through the mine field before and will allow you to step where they’ve stepped so you don’t get blown up. You can take the time and expense to do it on your own or save time and money by finding a successful mentor you trust.
The best scenario is that your mentor actually lives close enough for you to be able to talk to this person face-to-face. This is especially important in real estate because, as much as we pay attention to what’s happening nationally, real estate is actually a very local business. Not only does Arizona differ dramatically from what’s happening here in North Carolina, what’s happening in Greensboro differs dramatically from what’s happening in the mountains or at the coast. You must get advice from someone who knows your specific market intimately. This is an expensive business. Don’t get advice from someone who “thinks” they know what is going on in your area.
When we started investing, I was all alone in the spare bedroom of our house depending mostly upon the internet and books for information. Those are great resources, but slow learning! When a seller would ask me a question, I’d promise to find the answer and get back to them. Often times, just finding where to get the answer was time consuming. Then, how do you know the answer is correct? Especially anything to do with legislation which changes constantly.
I lived in constant fear of ending up in prison for making some huge mistake out of ignorance. After all, with real estate investing, you’re dealing with banks, attorneys, lending institutions, court systems, attorneys, government regulations, contracts, mortgages, attorneys.. and peoples’ homes (!) all of which can be daunting and quite frightening! I was fully aware that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! My beginning steps were largely involved with finding out where to find out. Important, but not at all profitable!
Now that we have a successful company, I’ve asked myself what would have been the biggest help to me starting out. A couple of things ring out the loudest; (1) a coach or mentor to turn to for answers and (2) a peer group to talk with so I didn’t feel like the lone ranger in the wilderness!
These are 2 of the reasons we started our local investment groups. If you want to spend more time doing your business and getting to profit than you do learning how to do your business, find a mentor – find a coach – find a successful entrepreneur who will show you how to do what you need to do to become successful.
You will pay for an education one way or another, with a mentor or with your own time consuming and unnecessary mistakes. Too many people fail out of this business simply because of avoidable ignorance.
Next week I’ll be discussing How to Build a Solid real estate investing Foundation.
To our joint success!