Have you ever found yourself watching one of those late night infomercials about investing in real estate?
The profits sound great. The risk sounds low. They almost all say that you can do it with no money down. Or at least low money down. Using other people’s money. And, you can do it in your spare time.
And, they all make it sound like finding the real estate deals is a piece of cake.
They make it sound super easy, right? Almost too easy…
Of course they do. They want to sell you on buying their training program. They never give you the actual secret to doing it. Just the hope and hype.
Here’s the thing — it isn’t as easy as they say. And it isn’t risk-free.
Real estate is an awesome way to invest, and build your wealth.
But, before you either buy into one of the programs they are peddling, or just go running off investing, based off of what little information you have seen on TV, here are 5 helpful thoughts for you to consider.
1. You may have to prey upon people.
In order to get a lot of the deals these programs suggest going after, you need to find people who are desperate.
And you will need to directly convince them to do something they probably shouldn’t do, and wouldn’t do…if they had someone watching out for them.
In some ways, you will be tasked with finding the village idiot, or pulling the wool over someone’s eyes in order for you to get that great deal.
This doesn’t bother some people. But it just doesn’t feel right to a lot of people. So, as long as you know this going into it, you can save yourself some time and money if this doesn’t sound good to you.
2. The opportunities are hard to find.
A lot of the types of situations and deals they suggest finding are not all that common. You’ill really need to spend a lot of time, possibly money, and effort digging up potential deals.
And they may very well exist…in some areas. But not necessarily your area, or even an area anywhere near you.
They will always say that what they teach works for people. They will even show you success stories. But those folks are the exception.
Certainly, you too can be an exception. But don’t expect it to be easy. You will need to put in a good amount of effort to find good deals.
3. Other people’s money isn’t so easy to come by.
It’s really appealing to hear that you can get into real estate with no skin in the game. Who wouldn’t invest in real estate if it were that easy and risk free?!
But using other people’s money will come with a hefty price tag, if you can even find someone, or some institution who is willing to let you use their money.
4. No / Low money down deals are hard to find.
This depends on the real estate market area, of course, but in many areas, it’s hard to find any seller who will agree to doing a deal with little or no money down.
This also goes back to finding someone who doesn’t have someone looking out for their best interest, and may be less than well-informed.
Of course, if you bark up enough trees, eventually you will find someone who may do a deal with little money, or even no money down. But that is few and far between.
5. It takes more time than they say.
Don’t expect to be able to do all of the leg work to find the deals in just a few short hours a month. It may be able to be done in your “spare time”…as long as you have quite a bit of it.
That shouldn’t scare you away from investing, though.
Real estate investing can be a great way for you to build your wealth. And you don’t have to have tons of money, or devote lots of time, or take on too much risk. But it does take some of each.
One of the other things a lot of these trainers and courses teach is to use a real estate agent for access to information and their expertise. This is great advice!
However, many of them teach their students to use real estate agents’ time and knowledge with no intention of ever using them for a deal…just to get the agent to help them for free. (Not just one agent, mind you…but several agents at a time.)
Sure, there’s the dangled carrot for the agents to maybe make money. And you can find agents who will fall for it.
But you won’t find an agent who is truly worth working with who will fall for it. At least not for too long.
And a good real estate agent can be a huge help if you want to become a real estate investor.
Not every real estate agent truly knows and understands real estate investing. But one who does isn’t going to waste their time, information, or resources on someone who isn’t approaching investing with a plan, the ability to invest, and some amount of commitment to the agent and the process.
The upshot is that they won’t charge you a dime, until and unless you find and close on a deal.
You get someone who can truly show you the ropes, and help protect you, for free…until you close on a deal.
So, don’t dismiss or put off investing in real estate just because it isn’t as easy as they say on TV at 3AM.
But also don’t go spending money on an investment seminar or training program that probably won’t work, when you can simply work with a local professional who will help increase the odds of investing working out for you.