The problem with passive income is that it’s not that exciting to earn.
By all means, contact a qualified broker, research some solid mutual funds and put your money where it’s going to count. Smart investment means you get to retire while you’re still young enough to enjoy it.
But where’s the adventure in letting your broker have all the fun?
If you’re attracted to the prospect of flipping an investment property, we’re willing to bet that you’re looking for a little more adventure than you’re going to get by signing a check over to your broker and checking the NASDAQ or ASX a few times a week. The real estate market is a setting where your money does the work for you, but it does not bestow fortune upon the inattentive. It’s engaging, it’s challenging, and the biggest payouts go to those who do their research; assertive, competent people who are smart enough to catch the opportunities that others miss.
In some fields, the clueless do just fine. Not in real estate. Investment property professionals who don’t know what they’re talking about don’t get far. These are tried-and-true experts, and if you know how to take a dollar’s worth of free advice, they can help you to earn what you’re after, whether that’s an exciting, hands-on investment opportunity, or just a steady income.
What You’re Going To Need Before You Get Started
Getting started in property investing requires two things above all else:
- Access to startup capital
- Willingness to learn
If you have all the startup capital on hand from your salary, a great stock tip, inheritance, settlement or similar, great. If not, then it may take you a little longer to get started, but it’s not impossible to get outside investors interested. More on that later.
Larry GoinsReal estate isn't being risky, being uneducated is what's risky.Click To Tweet
If you have a background in marketing, great. If you have a background in investing, great! If you have an experience in construction, great. If you’ve never worked in any of those fields, then you might have a little extra reading in front of you before you can make your first sale, but we all have to start somewhere.
1. Study The Local Market
Wendy ChamberlainKnow your product, do your numbers and know who your buyer is before YOU buy. Then make sure that the property product that you are offering back to them is actually something that they will want to buy.Click To Tweet
99% of what you’re going learn in your career as a real estate flipper is stuff that you can’t learn until you get elbows-deep into the process and start buying and selling investment properties, but that first percent is the foundation for the rest of your education. It’s the 20 years of experience that sets a great chef apart from a good one, but it’s the NSW Food Authority guide on sanitation that sets a good chef apart from a bad one.
Neil VorsterDo your homework - Make sure that you know the local market extremely well by physically looking at dozens of properties in the area to get a good idea of values.Click To Tweet
The good news is you don’t need to know everything there is to know about the business on your very first venture, you just need to know the neighborhood.
One of the most important things you can do when flipping a home for the first time is understanding where you are starting from the where you are going. So many rookie investors make the mistake of buying a home and thinking they can make more money than they really can.Click To Tweet
Bill Gassett has 29 years of experience in the real estate industry. He founded Maximum Real Estate Exposure to help condo or home sellers establish a dominant exposure online. Connect with Bill on Twitter.
2. Select The Right Neighborhood
Select the right area and learn it like the back of your hands. You need to get on the ground floor, so look at trends and activity going on in that neighborhood now and into the near future. Are developers looking to build new supermarkets nearby? Is a school district hoping to establish a new school here? Don’t look for great neighborhoods, look for neighborhoods that are getting better.
Laura AlameryFind your niche in the market by tapping into hidden properties (not the ones that are for sale already, but reaching out to owners in distress), doing things differently than other investors (don't be afraid about experimenting with strategies on how to reach distressed sellers), knowing where to find and work with private lenders and always making it a win-win situation for all the parties involved.Click To Tweet
You only need to know one neighborhood. You need to know everything there is to know about that neighborhood, and it has to be the right neighborhood, but you only need to know one neighborhood.
Kylie DavisMy advice is to look for well-positioned property that you can positively gear and then hold onto it. That way you get the best of ongoing revenue and the benefit of capital gains. If you can make some small improvements to increase the rent, even better.Click To Tweet”
3. Select The Right Building
My #1 tip is 'Buy Right.' You make money in real estate when you buy.Click To Tweet
Jilliene Helman is passionate about real estate and technology. She founded RealtyMogul.com to simplify real estate investing by connecting investors through technology. Be in-the-loop with Jilliene through Twitter.
The perfect home or office building for your first investment property is going to be:
- Within your budget
- In the right neighborhood
- Not a money pit
I like to find undervalued properties in areas with the LOWEST DOM (look for 30-45 days or less, regardless of price). If you can locate properties in low DOM areas, then you know you can flip quickly at any price.Click To Tweet
Barry Cunningham is an innovator and social media marketing consultant to major consumer brands, entertainers, and sports teams. Catch Barry on his personal website and his business website Real Estate Radio USA. Tweet with Barry on Twitter.
If you’re looking to make an investment, the truth is that you don’t need to be too picky about the building itself. You’re here as an entrepreneur, not a home-buyer. The building has to be within your budget, it has to be in a neighborhood with a promising future, and it shouldn’t come with any major repair costs.
Kevin VitaliI am approached by many people who are first-time flippers. They see the home improvement shows and people making a ton of money so they want to jump into the game. So my number one tip for the novice or newer investor is don’t skip the home inspection!Click To Tweet
Putting in stainless steel sinks and beautiful bamboo flooring to make it more appealing to your buyers is your job, and a few grand in remodeling costs can pay off ten-fold if you know what your customers are after.
A key to making sure you get a good deal and do not end up purchasing a money pit when trying to flip properties is to always have a home inspection performed by a licensed professional. Saving a few hundred dollars by skipping inspections is not worth it if the home ends up having structural issues, needs a new roof, has encroachment issues, etc.Click To Tweet
Anita Clark is a residential real estate agent in Georgia. She helps both buyers and sellers with their middle GA real estate needs. Check out Anita’s personal website. Keep up with Anita’s tweets on Twitter.
4. Get Your Budget Together
David NingThe key to making money flipping real estate is the entry price. The transaction is all about numbers, so don’t ever fall in love with a property that you overpay for it.Click To Tweet
The process of flipping homes can be easier, and the profit margin will certainly be wider, without any outside investors. And if you can cover the purchase with cash up front, all the better. If you can cover the costs yourself then you need to simply set a number that you’re comfortable with. The chances that you’ll lose your full investment are slim. Real estate is always worth something. If you can’t cover the costs yourself, you still have options, including:
- REIA meetings. These are Real Estate Investor Associations comprised of people who have worked in the real estate or construction industries along with people who have no experience in that field but are looking to invest in someone else’s development project. It can be difficult for a new face to earn trust, but if you can cover part of the costs yourself and put together a persuasive pitch, then you have a leg up.
- Private lenders and investing partnerships. This can be anyone. Co-workers looking to invest some money, your dentist, your golfing buddies, your cousin who just landed a major settlement. They say never to borrow money from friends and family, but going in on an investment together is a different story. If you can make your friends rich while establishing a new career for yourself, what’s the downside?
- Hard money lenders. Proceed with caution if you’re pursuing hard money lenders. A hard money lender charges a high-interest rate plus points on top. These lenders can be useful for very, very short-term projects, but we’d advise waiting until you have some experience under your belt so you don’t wind up paying back a quarter million on a $100,000 property.
William BronchickRound up your repair estimates to the next $5k increment. Click To Tweet
You need more than just the cost of the property. You need to cover the initial purchase, repairs and remodeling, marketing, fees and taxes, closing costs, and you need to have enough left over for any legal issues and other unforeseen circumstances that might come your way. Even if you can afford the initial sale price on your own, it’s not always a bad idea to supplement your funds with a loan or an investing partner.
5. Build To Maximize Resell Value
Our number one tip is to buy based on real numbers (Not Proforma, aka 'Fake' numbers) and to have a plan in place before you buy for how you are going to improve the property.Click To Tweet
An entrepreneur and a real estate consultant, Spencer Cullor gained many years of experience in business development, business ownership, management, acquisitions, and dispositions. He co-founded Cullor Properties, a Kansas-based real estate company. Reach out to Spencer via Twitter.
You don’t have to know a hammer from a pitchfork in order to build and remodel a home. You just need a good construction crew.
David DrakeThe reliance on your construction crew is a key ingredient in flipping real estate and for your sanity.Click To Tweet
You’ll want to do a little market research. Here’s an easy way to get that out of the way: Tour similar homes for sale in similar neighborhoods and take notes. What are the trends? If the realtor is really talking up the oak flooring, then you can bet that it’s because their clients love oak flooring. If the French doors look new, that’s because they read that French doors are hot right now so they had a set installed.
Tracy RoyceMy #1 tip for making money in flipping real estate is to stick to your guns with your numbers and types of deals to pursue. Thin margins, funky houses and properties outside your wheelhouse can lose you money, they can take you out of the game and sour you to the entire process. Focus, focus focus; that’s where your funds will fly in.Click To Tweet
Find a good construction team, bring your notes and brainstorm with them, and let them do their thing.
6. Turn On The Real Estate Marketing Machine
Joe BauerMy number 1 tip would be... To focus on marketing. We say we are in the real estate business, but we are really in the marketing business.Click To Tweet
Marketing is roughly ninety percent of the job. Marketing doesn’t mean “advertising.” Advertising is a branch of marketing, but marketing entails a lot more than just posting a few real estate listings.
Finding a niche can help in this regard.
Minh Q. TranMy 1 tip is to invest in early-stage ventures around proptech and asset & wealth investment tech. The reason is that industry is also facing disruption via digitalization.Click To Tweet
Marketing starts when you’re doing your neighborhood research. Marketing means knowing who you’re selling to and what they like to buy. Remodeling is marketing. Choosing the right neighborhood is marketing.
Understand the difference between calculated risk and speculation. Understand that risk, when properly evaluated, is your foundation for opportunity and a successful business. Demonstrate this understanding in a solid plan and strategy and you’ll attract others to your mission.Click To Tweet
More than an entrepreneur and a science nut, Michael Borger dedicates himself as a real estate investor for Oahu Home Buyers. Check out his tweets about personal and all things real estate on his Twitter profile.
Truth be told, a lot of the advertising work can be done by a third party. Enlisting the talents of a real estate agent means one less thing for you to worry about. If you’d rather keep the commission for yourself, we’d recommend reading How To Win Friends And Influence People, and Seth Godin’s groundbreaking marketing book, Purple Cow before you decide to write the listings and give the tour yourself. We’d recommend reading those books regardless, but especially for anyone who needs a crash course in closing a deal face to face with the buyer.
7. Build Your Pipeline of Sales
Congratulations on your first sale! Once you’ve finished off the champagne, it’s time to consider whether or not you want to make a career out of this. Some people are happy to make one sale to establish a neat little nest egg. Others love the process and can’t wait to get back out there.
Build a pipeline for deals. Yes, almost anyone can get one deal and flip it. But to make real money you have to build a real business, which means a consistent and steady flow of deals coming to you.Click To Tweet
Brandon Turner started in real estate at the age of 21. Presently, he co-hosts the podcast and leads as the VP of Growth and Communications at BiggerPockets. Find out what’s new with Brandon on Twitter.
If you want to keep at it, the good news is the hardest part is behind you. You’ve got your contacts in the industry, you’ve found your niche, you’ve got some experience under your belt, the foundation has been laid to build and expand on your business, so it’s time to set up a pipeline. This is the process through which you fund, buy, remodel, market and sell investment properties, one after the other.
It gets easier from here since you’ve already gotten your feet wet, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and you’ve already built trust with your investors, your partners and your clients. It’s a lot easier to get your dentist to invest when he’s still sitting on the money he made from the last deal, and it’s a lot easier to sell a home when your first client is raving to all their friends about the new house.
We hope you found all the information you were after. Tell us if you have any questions you would have liked to have seen answered here. Sound off in the comments, and good luck on your investment!