Looking for Regional Information?

Getting Started With Real Estate Investing

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2007 | Entrepreneur

One of the best ways to get started with building your own personal wealth-building system is by investing in real estate. Becoming a real estate investor is a daunting task, but one that will, if operated efficiently, pay dividends forever.

How does one start with the business of real estate investing? Let's look at plans to get started buying and selling real estate property:

Plug into your local real estate investors association. Most medium to large communities have a real estate club where other real estate investors attend regular meetings. These are other investors with the same goals and dreams as you.

People gathered together with like minds create a social atmosphere that motivates new investors to take action. Club members share ideas with other members, discussing what works and what does not work in real estate investing.

Before actually buying any investment properties, beginning real estate investors should begin to put their organizations together by outlining a specific business plan. The plan should go over every step in the purchase of a property, from the marketing strategies on through the sale or leasing of a property.

In the beginning it is important to decide what types of properties to focus on. If you wish to buy rental properties, then focus on those. If flipping houses is in your plans, then concentrate on those types of properties. This is important because it allows the new investor to become a specialist within that area. Becoming a specialist leads to fewer costly mistakes.

Begin to get together a group of contractors and sub-contractors who you can trust to work within your new system and according to your business plans and your budget.

If you will be working with "fixer-upper" houses, line up a plumber and an electrician, as well as heating and air-conditioning experts. Better yet, find a reliable "handyman" who is capable of doing many of the jobs needed in fixing up houses.

Find a real estate agent that understands property investors and their needs and is willing to work with you on a continuing basis. An agent gives you access to property information, including the Multiple Listing Service. An agent who understands real estate investing can also find you good deals within your specific market.

Time is always a key factor in real estate investing, so always look to ways to "turn" a property in the least amount of time. A property that remains unsold or not rented is eating up profits every day it in your possession. Learn to cut the losses on properties that fail to meet their profit potential.

Every beginning real estate investor will make mistakes that cut into potential profits. It is imperative to recognize these mistakes and correct them before they can cripple the business.

In the end, the investor who runs their business in the most efficient ways will profit, succeed, and grow in real estate investing.