I have been in the real estate business since 1986 and would like to share some perspective with people who are new to the industry.
The real estate business is just like any new business. First you have to gain knowledge, set up a plan and then take action. This is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time to build, just like any other business. If you were setting up any other business, you would know that in the first year, you are successful if you break even. Why do people think this business is any different? True, you could be making deals within a few months of starting, but it doesn’t always happen that way. If it doesn’t, most people give up.
We have heard over and over again it’s the people who persist when everyone else has quit that succeed. Most deals are made after numerous attempts. Barney Zick, one of my first mentors, says that you have to ask for something an average of seven times before you get it. Follow up every offer you make and re-present it every month until THE DEAL CLOSES ESCROW. You never know when someone is going to say, “That’s it. I can’t take this any more.”
Part of the process is in education. The “gurus” really have worthwhile value. Many of their books and cds are excellent, and are the only way to really learn the business. (and the cheapest way). The college of hard knocks is too expensive. Just make sure they are up to date and current on what is working today, not a few years ago.
Don’t get caught up in the hype that they use in their ads about people making fabulous amounts of money only one month after they purchased the course. Too many people get discouraged if they don’t get immediate results and think, “This stuff doesn’t work here.” It does work. It takes time and persistence and HARD WORK to get results. It’s amazing but the harder you work, the luckier you get.
Even if you are doing it part time, it’s a great way to build a retirement plan. Your IRA or pension fund can be used to buy just a few houses a year. By retirement time, you will have free and clear houses giving you great income. I recently met someone who bought apartment buildings in the 1960s. He didn’t make great money in the beginning, but now he is retired and living nicely off the income. The mortgages are paid way down and the rents are way up.
The moral of the story is: keep plugging-it works everywhere.