“I want to start investing in real estate, what’s the best first step?”
I get asked this question quite a bit and how I answer people has changed over time.
What I’ve come to realize is that there is no one perfect best step. The key is to simply commit to investing and get started doing something.
What might that something be? Well here are some great first steps to take:
1) Figure Out Your Goals & Write Them Down
At the end of the day, I see real estate investing as simply a vehicle. It’s a vehicle to help me achieve my ideal life.
Isn’t that the point of all investments?… To help get you to a place in life where you feel in control, safe, secure, free, etc.
So many people start the journey without knowing where they exactly want to end up. That’s equivalent to taking a trip but not knowing where you want to go. I think that’s why so many people have such a hard time figuring out the roadmap.
So the key is to get specific about what you’re looking to accomplish and when you want to have it by.
Books are still relevant today even with all the different forms of media available to us. Yes, they typically take a fair amount more commitment to complete than taking 5-10 minutes to reading a blog post.
But the level of depth you're able to get to in one resource is powerful.
I have to spend more time telling you the power in books. We all know we've read plenty of them for education in our lifetime.
I hear from people who say they don’t have the time to sit and read an entire book. It’s sometimes that initial resistance to committing to an entire book that keeps people from starting their investing journey.
I wonder if it's truly a time issue, or has more to do with the fact that it's outside of their comfort zone. We all like to stick to things we're familiar with.
So I tell them, start by reading blogs one article at a time. Or go on forums and read a thread.
Everyone can find 2-3 minutes during the day while waiting in the coffee line, before a case starts, or wherever (get creative). Sometimes people can get a nugget in wisdom even from the shortest post.
That might inspire someone enough to want to know more.
You might not have time to sit and read, but there's no doubt that you can find some time to listen and absorb information somewhere in the day.
I find the best time to educate myself is in the car or while walking my dogs. That way I'm not utilizing more time in the day to get this done. It's just a better use of time that I would be spending anyways.
There are so many amazing resources available today in audio form. I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and even book summaries. Every book in the list above can be found as an audio version.
Ok don't know if it's obvious by now, but this is a great first step.
5) Go to a Real Estate Meeting / Conference
I still remember what it was like to go to my first real estate investor meeting. I went alone and didn’t know a soul there. I felt out of place, but I was determined to learn more. So I talked to people, sat and listened to stories as well as some strategies. I felt like my eyes were opened to a whole new world and I learned a ton.
Since then I’ve made the commitment to going to at least one major real estate conference each year. I feel it's important immerse myself in it, network, learn from others, and find a community of like-minded people.
There have been times where I’ve learned more from one conversation at these conferences then weeks spent reading online. It's powerful.
This is a great first step.
6) Talk to a Friend / Colleague / Family Member
I am confident that you know someone in your network that has some experience investing in real estate. It might not be someone extremely close to you, but maybe it’s one of the physicians you interact with on occasion. Maybe it's a friend from college you haven't talked to in a while. Perhaps it's a family member.
Whoever the person might be, why not utilize first hand experience from people you trust to help guide you.
It might feel awkward at first to approach someone about the topic, but one thing I’ve learned is that people who invest in real estate love talking about it. No one got where they’re at (if they’re successful in real estate) without having guidance and help along the way.
They're usually more than willing to share their experience. So seek those people out and ask how/why they got started. See where it takes you.
This is a great first step.
7) Take a Real Estate Investing Course
I don't know if it's just me, but every year I feel like I have less and less time to do all the things I want to do. So I've been hyper focused on maximizing my time.
I’m also all about high yield content & resources. The most limited resource we have as busy professionals is TIME and I feel my time is extremely valuable.
As doctors, we make decent incomes but what good is it if that money can't help you free up your time.
So instead of spending hours and hours of somewhat aimlessly searching for all the right resources and information, if I can find a course on it that accelerates my learning and shortens the learning curve, I'll take it.
Yes, I've spent thousands on these courses over the years, but it's saved me hundreds of hours. And I'd rather spend that time with my family & friends. They've also saved me from making some big mistakes and that's worth quite a bit.
Shameless plug, but I'd like to mention one such course. If you'd like to learn to confidently invest in passive real estate deals, then check out our course, Passive Real Estate Academy. Waitlist open now, regular enrollment will be open soon, but it'll only be open for a short period.
This is a great first step.
So What Truly Should the First Step Be?
So how do I now answer people when they ask me what their first step should be? Honestly, it’s usually #1 above – I ask them to define their goals.
Like most things in life, the first step usually leads to the next and once inertia is overcome, momentum takes over.
So what’s that first step for you if you haven’t started yet? What do you think you should do?
Disclaimer: The topic presented in this article is provided as general information and for educational purposes. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking action, consult with your team of professionals.