It’s just a plain sad fact: I stayed in my corporate job for far too long. I became increasingly unhappy with each passing day. The C-suite was always trying to galvanize us toward better performance, market expansion, and more revenue. The thing was, no matter how much my department achieved, my salary was stagnant. I just couldn’t get excited about their product or their plans anymore. So, I started toying with the idea of going into business for myself. I wanted to be my own boss, and real estate seemed like the perfect match. In my process of soul-searching, I asked myself some tough questions and I want to share them with you. Perhaps this will help you with your own decision-making process.
My Top Five Questions I Asked
I felt a little overwhelmed thinking about starting an independently owned and operated real estate investment business. There are so many details to consider and you have to build the structure from the ground up. I think I suffered from imposter syndrome, as I feared that all of my corporate business experience simply wouldn’t translate. At the very least, I know that in some ways, I was dealing with a fear of success. Taking everything into consideration, here is a list of the top five points that I contemplated during the decision-making process.
1. What are your motivations?
Just because you are miserable in your current position, doesn’t mean that becoming an entrepreneur is the right choice for you. You will need to be truly inspired by your mission and have the enthusiasm to follow through on your plan.
For me, investing in distressed houses and rehabbing them felt like a sincere way to give back to my community. I wanted to help people in difficult financial times, while improving the neighborhoods around me. This idea energized me far more than the idea of peddling corporate products.
2. Are you willing to wear many hats?
In the corporate world, sometimes you have segmented departments and teams that are hyper-focused on their specific piece of the puzzle. If you need marketing collateral or an accounting audit, you call the folks who specialize in that area. However, as a real estate investor with an independently owned and operated franchise, you will need to feel comfortable juggling many different roles.
Frankly, I felt stifled by my narrow corporate role. I got frustrated when I was trying to accomplish something, as we’d hold meeting after meeting to discuss the issue ad nauseam before taking any action. I had worked my way up the corporate ladder and knew that I could bring a wide range of skills to the real estate investing table.
3. What are your business strengths and weaknesses?
Be honest. Sometimes it’s hard to see ourselves in a neutral light. Some of us have spent so much time juggling mundane corporate tasks that we don’t recognize our other strengths and skills. Others, however, don’t like to admit that they are not Superman.
While I was already good at negotiating contracts and analyzing market trends, I realized that it was time for me to beef up my skill set when it came to evaluating properties for potential investment. In my mind, this skill is mission-critical for ensuring that you make solid real estate investing decisions. I quickly found that I was ready for (and needed) some training.
4. How will you raise money to keep the business viable?
Rather than addressing cash flow as you go, you will need to develop realistic projections of how your money will be managed.
Setting performance metrics and managing budgets was one of my corporate duties, so I felt quite comfortable wrangling with that aspect of a startup business. I really felt the key to making it all run smoothly was defining a real estate investment strategy with a proven track record—and not just some advice from an off-the-shelf real estate investing book or guru seminar.
5.Who are your future competitors and how will you out-compete them?
There are a lot of real estate investors out there, from the dabblers to the hard-core achievers.
I aimed to be one of the latter and I didn’t want to waste time waiting on a bank to approve a foreclosure sale that would be overpriced anyway. I decided that I needed to build a solid brand name so the leads would come to me.
After sorting through these fundamental questions, the light bulb illuminated in my mind. I had the motivation, skills, and business sense to manage a real estate investment business. But, I lacked some of the training, a proven strategy, and a solid brand name to back me. I found I could compensate for these shortcomings by becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee!
What a Real Estate Investing Franchise Offers
What I discovered is this: of the many real estate business opportunities out there, a franchise like HomeVestors offers the best value proposition for new investors. HomeVestors® franchisees benefit from nationally-trusted brand recognition, marketing, training and ongoing mentoring in learning the real estate investment ropes. You’ll also have access to effective tools for evaluating investment opportunities. It’s only been a couple of years now, but I’ve become a HomeVestors® Development Agent so I can help newer real estate investors achieve their business goals as well. If you are ready to leave that corporate job for good, get in touch to find out more about the real estate investment business opportunity with a HomeVestors franchise.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
Photo Credit: Unsplash user Alejandro Escamilla.