I’m always one to encourage people to read up as much as they can about property investing and I recently subscribed to a magazine specifically for property investors. Often there are some good articles but frequently there is an article outlining how a new investor can own ‘x’ amount of properties in ‘x’ amount of years to earn ‘x’ amount of income (just vary the number in the ‘x’ categories from month to month in the magazine). Yes, you’re correct if you sense my cynicism.
So this month there was a similar article highlighting how anyone can go about this, however I often find these articles hard to follow and feel for the novice just starting out. They are also frequently very specific about all of the steps required to take to reach success. One of the first steps outlined in this article (which was otherwise not that unrealistic) was for the young investor to move back in with their parents. Now I’m always one for trying to save money but I also like to maintain motivation. I don’t know about others but if I was just starting out investing and the first thing I was suggested to do was to move back in with my folks then I’d probably put my savings into a lotto ticket and hope for some good luck. Whilst my parents have been great supporters of my investing (emotionally not financially) I would have run a mile if I had to move home.
Beware of the good advice that may completely scare others (or yourself) away from a potentially great experience.
One of the reasons that I started this blog is because a lot of people have approached me over the years to talk about getting started in property investing. How do I do it? What steps do I take? Where on earth do I begin? When I purchased my first investment at the ripe old age of 23 I can’t recall anyone that I knew who was investing in property. I look back now and realise that I made my first purchase without really having any knowledge about real estate and certainly not about how to go about investing in it. I knew that I wanted to do it and had some idea in my mind about what I wanted the end product to be but no idea about the other 99% of things that went into getting to that point. What I have come to realise now though is that when you are thinking about starting out there are two key elements that you cannot get anywhere without – Information and Motivation.
Information is essential throughout the entire process of investing in property but particularly as you are starting out. The right information can set you out on an exciting path into the world of buying your own property and becoming a successful landlord and investor. Connecting with the right people, particularly those that have already done it (and done it well) can save you immeasurable time in learning how to get started. You will hear me talk in future posts about the benefits of learning through experience, I’ve done this and absolutely believe in the benefits of it…however…property can involve big bucks and it’s a major commitment for you, so why not learn from other’s experiences (and their mistakes). The other realisation I’ve had is that the people that have done it well also like to share their experience and knowledge with others. They are keen to talk about what works and share their knowledge about success with others. This valuable resource is also generally a person who is also humble enough to share their mistakes which is often the most valuable information you can get. Beware the advisor who doesn’t admit to ever making a mistake!
Motivation is the other critical factor to becoming successful when starting the journey as a property investor. I know it sounds incredibly simple but you have to want to do it. I would imagine that many investors would agree with me that the biggest hindrance to getting started (and becoming successful in the future) is developing and maintaining the motivation to actually do it. I refer to property investing as a journey for a very good reason, it simply does not happen overnight. It takes time, energy and commitment to get the process started and it requires you to maintain all of those traits to ensure that you do it well. So many of the people that I have spoken to have said how interested they are in investing in property but only a limited amount of them have gone ahead and done it. I’m hoping that it wasn’t the discussion they had with me that put them off (I’m always very passionate talking property investing) and I’m fairly sure it wasn’t. I’d confidently say that it usually comes back to motivation. As with all successful people, they know that it’s not always smooth sailing and that you actually need to put something in to a plan to get something good out of it. We live in a society where so much of our day-to-day life is instant, whether it’s instant information, instant rewards or instant coffee. If you want instant outcomes, then I’d suggest you think carefully about property investing. If you are motivated and prepared to start a journey to get to your goal knowing there will be a few ‘bumps in the road’ then read on!
A word from the wise – Whilst speaking with others is a great way to get useful information and also to develop and sustain motivation, it can also work against you if you are not careful. In my experience, for every supportive person that I spoke to when I was starting out there were another 10 that vigorously warned me about the pitfalls of investing and supported their concern largely with incorrect information. Don’t completely ignore advice (even if it seems negative) but also make sure that you check out the information for yourself. Whilst detractors can bring you down, supporters raise you up so make the most of them. I’ll talk more about this in some of the later tips.
Now I’m sure that this website has been around for ages but I just stumbled across it a few weeks ago and have spent hours trawling through the archives. Whilst it’s not necessarily all about investing, a lot of the articles are great for anyone with an interest in property in the US. Note that you can select various areas in the states from the drop down menu at the top. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at LA…you can dream can’t you? If you click the picture above it will take you to an article featuring the mansion built on the site of Walt Disney’s last home which is on the market for around $90M.