When I started my career flipping houses, I was young—younger than my contemporaries, in fact. And, in some ways, it was hard figuring out the steps I needed to take to ensure I was on the right track. I encountered resistance from many of my colleagues because of my age. But, once I finally got going, my new career really took off. I made sure of it. Of course, because of the difficulties I encountered in those early days, anytime someone expresses concerns about investing in real estate at a young age, or any age for that matter, I tell them that the steps we all take to ensure we succeed are almost always the same. All that matters is that you get started. To make a good business out of flipping houses you begin wherever you are and, with the right guidance, hopefully, go up from there. So, since you’re here, let me give you the direction I wish I’d had.
How to Start Your New Career Flipping Houses
The moment you decide you want to get into real estate investing is a big deal and there’s no way to predict when that day will come. Some of us know by the time we’re handed our college diplomas that we want to flip houses, though we may try on other careers for a while first. Others decide to invest in real estate after retirement as a means to stay active and engaged in good work. The point is that when that day does come, it usually brings with it some uncertainty. But, when it comes to buying houses to renovate and resell, your best bet for reducing fear and enjoying the ride is to increase your knowledge. So, let’s step to it.
- Get practical training. Your first step is to get practical, not just theoretical, training on buying, renovating, and selling houses for the highest possible returns. Whatever class or program you choose needs to teach everything from how to run the numbers on potential deals so that you buy at the best possible price to how to market your rehabbed houses to the right demographic. And, to get the most bang for your educational buck, classes should be taught by experienced investors. Otherwise, you risk making avoidable rookie mistakes instead of making good headway in your career.
- Make a realistic plan. Investing in real estate is a business like any other and as such it’s critical to make a realistic plan of action. Unfortunately, too few new investors create a business plan for flipping houses and end up being blown about by life’s distractions or even the goals of others. Sometimes, it’s their own emotions that get the upper hand and, before they know it, they’ve scrambled to buy an investment house that’s left them swimming in debt. But, with a plan in place, you’re more likely to work hard to achieve your goals and to stay on track even when times get tough. And, that can make all the difference in your success at every step.
- Find a supportive team. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: successfully flipping houses doesn’t happen in a vacuum. That makes it critical to find and work with the best pros in town. That’s why you need to network with your colleagues and get a real estate investing mentor on your side, too. There will be times when you need to get out of your head in order to get into a deal. That’s where a supportive team comes in. Whether you need advice on the kind of rehab that will attract young families or recommendations for a contractor who can build a butterfly roof, a great network will steer you in the right direction.
- Use effective tools. Learning to evaluate deals and market properties will only take you so far and without good tools to help you, your training may not translate into returns. The best tools worth considering are those like HomeVestors®’ proprietary valuation tool, ValueChek®, which correctly calculates local rehab costs to help you achieve a realistic ROI. But, you’ll want other types of tools in your back pocket, too, like a real estate software program that helps you follow-up on leads, manage existing deals, and track your overall progress—making the follow-through on your business plan that much easier.
- Get relevant leads. Obviously, none of these steps will get you very far unless you have leads on residential investment property to buy, renovate, and sell. How and where you source your leads should be relevant to your goals. Otherwise, you risk chasing your tail on homes, or in neighborhoods, that don’t fit your bill. Also keep in mind that the more likely the leads are to convert, the better off your bottom line will be. So, if you can, focus your marketing to get distressed homeowners to come to you instead of you chasing them.
I realize this list may make the work you have before you look simpler than it really is. The reality is that to become a professional real estate investor who succeeds year after year, it takes a strong commitment and a lot of elbow grease. But, with an established system in place to take care of the rest—like the training, support, tools, and leads that you need—you’ll find it’s easy to work hard.
Step Up the Pace and Start Investing Like a Pro Now
When I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I was still pretty young. But, I’d been trying to successfully buy, rehab and sell houses long enough to know that I needed a better system to build a more substantial career. And, that’s what owning my own franchise gave me. The HomeVestors system, from the week-long initial training that every new franchisee goes through to the marketing tools and resources that each franchisee gets to use, has helped real estate investors across the country successfully buy more than 95,000 houses since 1996. That’s pretty impressive in my book. But, rather than just rely on the numbers, I took the steps to see if the system would work for me. Once I did, with the HomeVestors® team behind me, my career finally picked up its pace. I’ve been investing like a pro—and sharing my story with everyone else, young and old—ever since.
Begin investing like a real estate pro from wherever you’re starting. Call HomeVestors today!
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