Everyone needs a goal in life; it could be to land the perfect job to finding the right spouse. The same applies for real estate investing especially when you are just starting out. I would definitely recommend sitting down and writing down the things you want to achieve from investing in real estate, even before you start out. This will be your outline, something you would do prior to writing a research paper. Warning – the goals you write down must be precise, time lined, and realistic. You can’t just write “I want to be like Donald Trump”, this is an example of a very vague goal. I wouldn’t even call it a goal; it would be defined as a dream.
Your goals have to specifically state what you want to do and the steps you are going to take to achieve them. For example, “I want to start investing in real estate by buying a residential property in the south side of town. I will start by researching the area and ask friends to recommend a realtor.” Furthermore, your goals should be time stamped, meaning you have to put some sort of expiration date on when you will accomplish said goal by. Using myself as an example – when I started out in December of 2009, I wrote down that I want to have 8 residential properties in my name by December 2010. So far, I have not waivered and I am on #5. It is also important to be realistic while writing down your goals. You can’t say on the 19th of the month that, I will buy a residential investment unit by the end of the month. Even if you pay cash for the property, it takes time for the realtors and title companies to do all the paperwork and put together everything for a closing.
Lastly, I would put together a list of goals I would like to achieve 3 months from now, 6 months from now, and 1 year from now. This way you have a clear picture of what you would like to achieve in one year. Additionally, I would recommend writing down a daily to-do list of things to do specifically towards the goals. And don’t start writing down things like getting a hair cut or grocery shopping. These have nothing to do with your goals. The last important piece of advice: constantly refer back to your goals on a regular basis and evaluate yourself fairly as to how you are progressing.
Well from personal experience as a real estate agent, I cannot tell how to make it big in the real estate market. One thing I can tell you is how I started to get noticed in the real estate industry. When you get noticed you get business.
When I first received my real estate license I would often think to myself, if I could be mentored or better yet stick to someone (like glue) that I wanted to be successful as or achieve the level of professionalism as someone; who would this person be? So I went up to my long time friend and ask if I could start my first few weeks out in the real estate industry shadowing them. This did not only unlock a good bit of business for me but it taught me how to get noticed and market myself.
The first thing I did was order myself business cards, car magnets, etc. Then I was very familiar with the internet with building websites and social networking. Social sites that I started out with was facebook.com, myspace.com, linkedin.com, friendfeed.com, and twitter.com. I also hired some freelancers on websites like freelancer.com to write articles for me on the real estate industry and use them to post to my personal blog and they would also submit them to hundreds of article directories. I also used a few viral video techniques to send visitors ultimately to my main web site which was my real estate web site with the company at the time I was with. I used Google adwords to drive traffic too, but do not attempt to do that if you do not know what you are doing. Please trust me on that one!
I have also used billboard advertising. I would and still do buy a bunch of really nice pens with my company name and contact details on them. When you think about how much people really love a good writing pen and one person borrows it, to the next person. It is another little viral technique that seems to bring me business. If you ever have seen the movie “I Love You Man”, or if you have not and you are reading this, you need to see that movie! You will understand why after you watch it.
Keep in mind that I kept my part time to full time job at night to pay for all this advertising and to keep food on the table and to pay our bills. When I first started out and even in the middle of my career I have thought that I may need to look at picking up some extra work, but whatever you do just do not give up!