15 tips for budding real estate investors, straight from the pros


Starting any new business can be daunting, but getting started on the road to becoming a real estate investor can be especially daunting for someone who has never done it before. Novice Investors the stakes may seem to be quite high, but fear shouldn’t stop anyone from placing a bet as long as they prepare ahead of time.

Courtney Poulos

Inman recently spoke with several industry professionals to find out their top tips for aspiring real estate investors, and they had a lot of knowledge to share with newbies who need a little confidence to get into the game. Here’s what they said.

Courtney Poulos, Owner / Broker ACME Real Estate

“If you can’t buy it alone, consider buying with a friend! When I bought my first commercial investment property, it was a partnership opportunity where I took over the debt and my partner made a down payment. We are now both capitalizing on the increased market value and seeing our retail rental income increase as well. Everyone wins – just make sure your title deed is prepared lawyer and everyone knows the exit strategy. “

Farshad Yousefi

Farshad Yousefi, co-founder and CEO of Fintor

“Start with a small investment and use this experience to understand how real estate investing works before moving on to larger deals. As you learn, you should expand into larger deals and diversify with different types of property. There are platforms like Fintorthat allow you to invest with a low entry point and diversify multiple properties for as little as $ 10. “

Harma Khartuni, Broker / Owner of Harma Real Estate at Keller Williams

Kharma Khartuni

“Store it for 10 years or don’t buy it for 10 minutes. I do not believe in short term investments. Nothing good happens quickly, no matter which market you buy from. If you have held your property for more than 10 years, you will see a profit. Don’t try to take a shortcut. “

Raf Hoveri

Raf Hoveri, CEO and Founder of Kukun

“Each investor must develop their own verification and forecasting process. When buying real estate, we often make emotional decisions. Investors must give up any emotional attachment to property and make sound financial decisions. Make sure you have enough data for each property and its valuation. You can collect a lot of data from the Internet or get iHomeReport of [real estate property data and predictive analytics company] Kukun. The report tells his story, his assessment, the history of permitted work, and how the home is located among the most important services – from schools to parks, from hospitals to grocery stores. ”

Yavar Charlie

Yavar Charlie, Director of Real Estate Aaron Kirman Group at Compass

“My biggest advice to aspiring real estate investors is to think outside of large cities… The housing market is currently accelerating tremendously. Novice real estate investors should look at other areas that have emerging markets or industries. For example, Nashville, Tennessee is now very popular thanks to Airbnb and short-term rentals. Real estate can still depreciate greatly and has high rental turnover. Investors should avoid areas that have already peaked. “

Kimber Menkiti

Kimber Menkiti, Regional Director for Maryland and the District of Columbia at Keller Williams Realty

“Get your walking shoes ready! If this is your first time investing, try to study the market you are investing in. One of the best ways to do this is to grab your shoes and explore the area – block by block! This makes it possible not only to better understand the value and conditions of the property, but also to uncover your first investment opportunity! Talking to neighbors and local businesses can help figure out who might be willing to sell. ”

Gary Wilson

Gary Wilson, Lead Trainer at Real Estate With Gary Wilson

“There is a formula for success with three variables, the first of which is getting the right education. The second is correct information. Our team has several dozen websites that we use to collect information about people and property – all the details, all the numbers about everything we need to know that we are making the right decision. And the third variable is the correct action. Not making any money, but actually using cash, using the money to make a down payment. So the formula is: correct education + correct information + correct action = correct results. It’s academic. “

David Parnes

David Parnes, co-founder of Bond Street Partners at the agency

Location very important. It’s all about location, because if you buy something for the long term, you can change your home by remodeling and reconfiguring it, but you cannot change its location. So always the location is not. 1. If they are going to rent, they will either want to walk or, if this property has a view, a great view. So place, and then obviously as much land as possible, because in the end more land gives you more opportunities, so your investment will be worth more in the future with more land. Everything that cannot be changed in the property [are] the location and size of the land you are buying. “

Rick Guerrero

Rick Guerrero, Director of Branch Sales and Strategic Partnerships, US Mortgage Corporation

“Make sure you have good cash flow because right now, for example, I’m talking to a lot of friends who buy Airbnb… and they say, Rick, could you give me $ 250,000 or $ 500,000 in advance approval,” whatever … and I think about it because they are my friends, don’t buy. Because now, in my opinion, everything is overstated. If you’re looking to buy a Florida beach house right now, that’s $ 100,000 more than it was 18 months ago. Will these prices remain? Maybe, maybe not. And now you have to consider this: Now you have bought this property for $ 100,000 more than it was 18 months ago, you are going to list it on Airbnb, and you are going to compete with others who had $ 100,000 less property. So, if you need to rent it now for $ 500 a night, you are competing with people who rent it out for $ 350 a night. So my advice is to count and make sure you are making a steady profit. Another piece of advice I could say is: don’t buy property on the market, buy off the market. “

Gretchen Pearson

Gretchen Pearson, President and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Drysdale Properties

“Don’t delay getting started. Just buy one, don’t pick out clearly where. Buy one, start saving for the next. “

Eric Eichof, Fulton Realty Broker

Eric Eichof

“My best advice is if you are starting out in real estate, buy a property that is easy enough to self managementespecially on your first few sites. First, because the property manager may receive 10 percent of the rent, but your total income may only be 20 percent of the rent. Thus, the manager can take about half of the income. And the reason I find it important to be self-managing early on is because you gain a lot of experience and knowledge about how real estate works, how much it actually costs, and how difficult it is to find tenants, fill vacancies, and the like. … So, later on, when you hire property managers, you kind of know if they’re eyeballing you or not. Therefore, it is important to buy in an area that is closer to the proximity. [to you] but also a type of building that doesn’t have a ton of maintenance, and something in an area that’s comfortable for you to manage, where you know that area. “

Mike Hills

Mike Hills, Vice President Investment Brokers Atlas Real Estate

“Don’t buy what you like because nobody cares what you like. Buy a deal, buy a property, buy a place, whatever attracts you to that property, remember, you are not buying what you like. It doesn’t matter if you want to live there – will other people live there? Who is your target market? Try to reach this target market. ”

Laura Alameri

Laura Alameri, real estate coach and investor

“I think this is the first thing to really focus and want it very much. When I talk to someone and they say they want to do real estate investing, sometimes I have to dig because they might say, “Well, that’s it” or “Oh, I want more money to be able to take a vacation. … but this is really the main problem, because I know that if they don’t get it out of themselves, they will never win. This tough business is not a get-rich-quick thing. People are trying to sell a dream, right? Say, “You know, this is easy” or “You can do this and that.” No, it’s not easy at all. So, be focused, have drive, determination, consistency.

Jason Sterner

Jason Sterner, founder and president of Southern Homestay

“On my real estate journey that [advice] probably what helped me the most was being good listener and be patient. ” I think a lot of people are in real estate because they want to get rich, but it’s actually the other way around. Wealth comes from patience and listening. So when you do that, it means either solving people’s problems, whether it is buying real estate from someone else, and you solve the problem for them, because they need to sell the property, or, in my case, teaming up with other investors. and help them solve the property management problem they want to keep and create cash flow so they can lead a different lifestyle than they do now without doing the job on their own. “

Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson, founder of the educational investment website Invest Four More

“Make sure you know all the investment costs! Low costs often surprise people. Real estate taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and job vacancies can lead to a lot of money, and many people do not account for these costs. “

Email Lillian Dickerson

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