Our local REIA group holds a real estate investor's lunch every Friday.
These lunches are open to anyone and everyone and are attended by a wide range of folks. Some are landlords, others wholesale or are turnkey providers. Some have decades of experience, while others have only a few years under their belt. Then there are those who are there for the first time looking to get started.
Many of these first timers find us because they have been watching late night TV infomercials or have been to one of those seminars that take out full page ads in the local paper telling them how lucrative real estate investing can be. You can always tell who the first timers are because they all sort of have this mystified look on their faces like they just do not know where to begin.
Usually a few of us more experienced investors will end up talking with a first timer. Over the years I have generally found their questions to be the same. Now that I think about it, their questions are likely the same ones I asked when I was in their shoes.
So What Do We Tell These First Timers?
Well, along with the home run and the horror stories, here are eight general thoughts we experienced folks like to pass along to those looking to get started:
1. Real Estate Investing Is Not Easy
Real estate investing takes work and effort just like anything else worth doing. Be wary of anyone telling you anything different, as they are likely just trying to sell you a dream rather than something that will help you become successful.
2. You Do Not Need An LLC
An LLC is not necessary to get started. Put your time, focus and money toward other things. You can always incorporate later on.
3. You Have A Lot To Learn
It does not matter if you want to wholesale, flip or become a landlord. If you are starting from scratch, you have a steep learning curve. Reducing this curve will take time. Use your time wisely by talking and learning from other investors, and going to Biggerpockets.com.
4. You Do Not Have To Spend Thousands
To learn real estate basics, or even some of the more complicated stuff. Most is out there for free or you can glean a lot just by talking to other investors. If after you have gotten yourself a basic understanding and wish to invest in a course that you truly feel will help you advance your goals, I have no problem with that. Again be warned of those selling only a dream.
5. You Need To Network
You need to meet other investors. You need to develop lists of potential buyers and sellers of real estate. Get contact info from everyone you meet. Ask what they do and what they are looking for. Figure out how you can help them and they will in turn help you.
6. Pick A Place To Start
It is hard to focus on an entire city or region. Narrow your scope and become an expert on a few neighborhoods. Learn what property sells for, what it rents for and what the market is like in those areas. That way you will be much better prepared if a deal presents itself.
7. Don't Worry Too Much About Money
If you find a truly good deal, the money will find you. Focus on learning what a deal is and on how to find them.
8.Come Back And See Us
Like I said in number 5 you need to meet and get to know other investors. As we get to know you, the more we will share with you. We may even end up doing deals together.
Usually by this time we sort of have these new folks somewhat bewildered and perhaps a bit deflated. But nothing speaks truth like the voice of experience. Some folks we never see again. I guess we scare them off. Others though are now speaking with the voice of experience. I like to think that we helped each one out either way.
This article 8 Thoughts For Those Looking To Get Started in Real Estate Investing originally appeared on The Bigger Pockets and is Copyright 2014 BiggerPockets,