When I first started investing in real estate full time, the idea of striking out on your own was still seen as pretty radical. I left a job that I had been at for a handful of years, where I was on a “management track”—whatever that meant. It came as a surprise. Back then, it was assumed you could stay at one job your whole life.
We now know that’s not the case. Having a career where you are in charge can be extremely important in times of economic uncertainty and a lack of stability. Being your own boss means not worrying about what someone else—or some faceless algorithm—is about to do. Whether you are augmenting your job, starting out on your own, or boosting your retirement income, having your own business is freeing, challenging, and filled with potential.
But what kind of business? Two options are always buying a franchise or becoming a real estate investor. Individually, these business models each have pros and cons, leaving many wanting to only choose to do one. But for some people, including myself, I find that it’s been rewarding to do both. Becoming a franchisee who invests in real estate gives you stability and support while maintaining your independence.
Why Go Into Business for Yourself?
There are a lot of reasons why people don’t go into business for themselves. When times are good, they don’t want to disturb it by leaving a steady job. When times aren’t as good, hanging onto a job seems less risky. But really, there is no bad time to go into business for yourself.
When you’re in business for yourself, whether as a real estate investor or a franchisee, you get to make the decisions that impact your life. It’s very freeing to know that the only person responsible for your financial well-being is yourself. Of course, that comes with some risks, which we’ll get into.
When you have your own business, you get to be your own boss. You get to make decisions for yourself. You get to decide how much to put on the line. And your hard work matters. Your hard work is meant to increase your bottom line—not someone else’s.
So now as your own boss, here’s your next decision. When it comes to real estate investing, should you buy a franchise, invest in real estate, or do both?
Buying a Franchise
Buying a franchise is different than starting your own business; though, the two are, of course, related. There are a lot of benefits to buying a franchise from an established company. You get name recognition, national marketing, and, in the right places, support and training. You aren’t building from the ground up.
Of course, not all franchises are created equally. There’s much to consider when assessing the best financial decision. Some of these include:
- Will you have to have a physical store or office?
- How many employees will you need to hire/train/pay?
- Can the franchise resist a recession?
- What level of prior knowledge and experience do I need?
- How much training will I need?
- How much marketing support will I get?
- What level of independence will I have?
- What are the upfront costs?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. There’s what you think you can get out vs. what you put in. You need to evaluate your budget, the local market, and the strength of the franchise.
One thing that you’ll have to decide is how much independence you desire. That can be measured in a lot of ways. Having 100% independence with no support can be scary. Being constrained by decisions made at the national level can undercut your sense of being your own boss. Again, that balance is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Luckily, making your own decisions is why you’re doing this in the first place.
Buying Real Estate
Starting a real estate investment business is something that has gotten more and more popular over the last couple of decades, really peaking after the 2008 market crash. There are some unfortunate reasons for this, such as people watching TV and believing that this is a great way to get rich quick. That’s not really the case.
But there are far more positive reasons too. Investing in real estate can provide a return on investment in nearly every market. It is the ultimate in independence. You decide what to buy; what upkeep to invest in; whether you’re selling, renting, or wholesaling; and your ultimate exit strategy. You help to build your community. And, as someone who has been doing this a long time, it’s fun and exciting.
That’s not to say it is without challenges and risks. Finding a steady source of capital can be tricky, especially when you are starting out. Marketing yourself is a challenge. After all, how do you stand out from the crowd so that someone reaches out to you when they are ready to sell? Getting leads can be a challenge too. The most common ways, by their very nature, come with the most competition.
For some people, having absolutely no net and no support is exhilarating. For others, like me, it’s nice to have the kind of support that enables even more independence. That’s why I’ve combined buying a franchise with investing in real estate.
How to Buy a Franchise and Invest in Real Estate
After years of being independent, I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchise. I admit, I was a bit hesitant at first. I thought being on my own was the only way to do things. But becoming a franchisee empowered me to make my own decisions, just in a more productive way.
As a franchisee, I have unparalleled access to quality leads. That comes from the nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” campaign. I also have access to great real estate investing tools and technology, including a proprietary hard money lender portal. And there is also incredible support and training, invaluable for people just starting out and those looking to grow.
The best part is that I’m still independent. Being a franchisee gives you the freedom to decide how to run your business, and at what level. It just makes it easier to do so. You still have to do the work and take the risks and rise to the challenges. But that’s the fun part of taking control of your own life and business. If you’re interested in doing so, request information about becoming a franchisee today. It’s the best of both worlds.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.