Finding a Real Estate Investing Strategy That Works for YOU

February 15, 2011 in Getting Started, Guest Posts, Investing In Real Estate

Choosing an investing strategy or a “niche” has always been one of the hardest things to figure out when you are new to real estate investing. There are just so many. How do you choose the right one?

My friend and fellow investor Shannon Bynes over at Good Faith Investing has written an excellent guest post for my blog today.  She will tell you that it took most of us a couple of tries to figure out exactly which strategy was right for us. There was a bit of trial and error involved. Shae has some excellent ideas and suggestions to keep you from going down the same path. Check out her post below. You’ll love it!

 

Finding a Real Estate Investing Strategy That Works for YOU

I’d like to share a quick story with you.  When my husband and I decided we wanted to be real estate investors, we only thought about it from the buying & holding for cash flow perspective. To tell you the truth, we didn’t know squat about all the various strategies and niches of real estate investing.

Then we started getting educated and suffered from a very common virus — a combination of information overload and shiny penny syndrome (also known as squirrel spotting). We spent a couple thousand dollars on a real estate investing home-study course, attended a short sale boot camp and thought, “Oh we can do this!” having no idea how involved it would be and how long we’d have to wait for a deal to close.  Once we started to understand that, we said, “No this isn’t for us.”

Around that same time learning about short sales, we also learned about wholesaling.  “Sounds like a great way to get some quick cash going!”  Or so we thought….we started making offers on properties and realized we didn’t know our market nearly well enough.  {Note: The gurus will tell you that wholesaling happens overnight.  No, not the case….not if you don’t already know your market really well.  Learn your market.}  Anyway, we got two properties under contract and couldn’t find buyers for them.  We could’ve let the contracts go, but instead we decided to purchase them.

We did a major rehab flip on one of them and didn’t make a penny. However, what was missing in terms of profit was certainly gained in terms of valuable hands-on education. The other property ended up being our second rental property and it provided (and still provides) an excellent monthly cash flow.

All of this happened in the first year of being serious about real estate investing.  You have to hand it to us…..nobody can say that we weren’t massive action takers!  Perhaps all of our actions weren’t the best ones, but you live and you learn, right?

We went on to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in private money and purchase additional rental properties, and eventually it became crystal clear.  The right investing strategy for us is buying and holding (including some short term lease options). That’s it.

Why am I sharing this story?

Because it is so easy to just watch what other people are doing successfully and say “I can do that!” and get distracted. You don't have to go through the same mistakes and experiences that my husband and I did.  Really, you don't!!  I want to encourage you to do two things:

Research various real estate strategies and pick the right one for YOU

You’ll certainly find that some investing strategies are better suited for you than others. Your options are seemingly limitless: commercial vs. residential investing, wholesaling, rehabbing, buy & hold, lease options, short sales, need I go on?

When evaluating your real estate investing options, consider the following:

  • Length of time you’d like to be involved in real estate business
  • How active you want to be in your real estate business
  • The aspects of real estate investing that really get you excited
  • Resources needed and how soon (money, people)
  • Your specific strengths and how those strengths can best be leveraged

Focus on that one strategy/niche intensely until you’re successful before even considering any other strategies.

In other words, don’t quit before you even had a chance at success!

Even though it seems like successful real estate investors were successful overnight, I can assure you that they weren’t.  If you pay close attention, you’ll also notice that these successful investors found one strategy….one niche…and just hustled and worked it until their efforts yielded some awesome results.

I hope these tips are useful to you! Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments section below.

Happy Investing!

You can find Shae over at http://www.goodfaithinvesting.com.