Should You Do Real Estate Full-Time?

Many self-acclaimed real estate gurus state that everyone should quit their jobs and immediately jump into full time real estate investing. They often claim incredible results from students with little experience. We would like to caution that life-changing decisions are not usually simple and that full time investing is not for everyone. Let’s discuss some pros and cons of full-time versus part-time investing.The Full-Time InvestorEntering into the real estate profession on a full-time basis offers several advantages over a part-time commitment. Being successful requires you to develop knowledge in many aspects of real estate, and more time focused on real estate leads to greater knowledge. The more your learn, the more you earn, since you do not need to rely on as many professional services or partners for help. You also learn to recognize a deal (or a dud) faster, which gives you more time to do more business or spend with your family.As a full-time investor, you work your own hours. When we say “full-time,” that may mean as little as twenty hours per week if you are good at finding deals. The rest of your time can be spent pursuing other vocations or hobbies. Or, if you are so inspired, you can work forty or more hours and use the extra cash flow to buy rental properties or diversify your holdings in the stock market. The point is that you need to satisfy your cash flow needs before you can start “investing” your money.One final point you should consider is whether you want to be “self-employed.” If you have always worked for someone else, being your own boss sounds very attractive. In some, respects, this isn’t quite the truth. Being your own boss means being an accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, receptionist and office manager all-in-one. You have to do deal with tax returns, payroll, office supplies, customer service, bills and all the other hassles that come with a business. You don’t have friends to chat with at the water cooler. You don’t have paid health insurance, a company car and a 401(k). You take your problems home with you every night. Sound like fun? It is, once you learn how to master your time and run your business. Being the master of your own life and career is well worth the other hassles of dealing with your own business.The Part-Time InvestorThe part-time investor holds a “regular job.” This may be by choice or for the time being until his real estate ventures are bringing in enough cash to quit his job. If it is the latter reason, don’t quit your job because the real estate “guru” told you so. Quit your job when it is not worth the income that it brings you. In other words, if you are making more money per hour flipping properties on the side, you are at the point that where your regular job is costing you money. Only then, is it time to quit!One of the advantages of starting out part-time is that you can maintain cash flow while learning the business. It may take weeks or possibly months to find your first deal. That same deal may take several months to turn around, especially if you decide to fix it and sell it retail. Think twice before telling your boss you’re leaving; you will have plenty of time to make the career switch once you have real estate experience. You may, on the other hand, like your occupation. If so, continue to work at it, and invest in real estate on the side.The best case scenario, if you are married, is to have one spouse work a regular job. The other spouse work the real estate business for creating wealth, retirement income and a nice college fund for the children. Of course, in today’s market, you could be laid off due to unforeseen circumstances. If you earn additional income flipping houses and invest the proceeds into rental properties, you will be covered if your main income is lost. This is especially the case for married women that often forego a career and raise a family, only to find themselves divorced with no means of making a living. We don’t want to sound cynical about marriage, but with a fifty-percent divorce rate in America, it never hurts to have a system for making money.Someone with a full time job tends to have little free time to focus on real estate. A part-timer should learn most of the same skills as a full timer. Thus, the key disadvantage to flipping properties on a part-time basis is that it takes sacrifice to learn the business. Something has to give; television, lazy weekends, meaningless hobbies and even some family activities must be compromised. As with any education, time spent learning about real estate will bring its own rewards, especially if the people in your life understand your goals and your plan to achieve those goals. If you are married, make sure your spouse reads this material with you and participates in the fun process of making money.Treat Real Estate as a BusinessPeople are lured to real estate because of the quick buck that it promises. Don’t hold your breath, you won’t get rich quick. An “overnight sensation” usually takes about five years. More than ninety percent of the people who take a real estate seminar quit after three months. Real estate investing should be treated with the seriousness of a career. It takes months, even years for a business to cultivate customers and have a life of its own. You need to treat it like any other business.

A Schedule for Marketing Success for Your Real Estate Business

In the world of real estate there are many challenges that can occur on a daily basis. Customers can cancel appointments. Transactions that you thought were going to close fall apart. A prospect who wasn’t supposed to come in for days arrives early. The number of challenges that occur on a daily basis can drive you insane.Even with all of these challenges that can occur, I invite you to consider the following:Struggling Agent – One who makes statements like “I don’t know what tomorrow will be like, I am busy”, “Each day is different I can commit to a meeting”; “I work 24/7”. The struggling agent never seems to get their schedule under control. They may have a good year every now and then, but for the most part they live commission check to commission check.
Top Producing Agent – One who makes statements like “Each Saturday we hold X of open houses”, “Ever morning from 9am-12noon we follow up on prospects”, “I don’t have time for a meeting on X, but I can schedule on Y”. The top producing agent controls their schedule.Sound too far fetched? It won’t happen over night; however, when you want your real estate business to run smoothly you will have a set schedule that delivers consistent results. Consider the following elements that can be part of your schedule.Marketing Time – Dedicate time each day to run your marketing. This might be short sale marketing. It could be doing marketing for your website. When you can dedicate at least 1 hour a day to work ON your business, instead of IN your business you will produce more leads and income.
Prospecting Time – When you can stay on the phone at least 3 hours a day you can have a 7-figure net income. This is not “chit-chat” time or walking around with your Bluetooth headset on. Prospecting time should be done in your office and focused on calling those interested in buying, selling, or even leasing. When you don’t have enough prospects to call, focus more time on marketing to generate more leads.
Appointment Time – Instead of meeting people at properties to show them homes, bring them to your office. Schedule time each afternoon to bring people in to discuss buying property. When you are focused on sellers, set listing appointments each evening. Make it a point to have new appointments daily.
Workout Time – Keeping a demanding schedule means having energy. Dedicate time each day (for most people it is the morning) to your workout. If you can’t hit the minimum of 60 minutes, consider dedicating at least 30 minutes, the important part is to start.By creating a consistent schedule you will gain more free time and earn more. The more you control your schedule the more FREEDOM you will enjoy.Discover a complete short sale marketing system that you can run each day as part of your schedule.